Well hello.Monday was pretty interesting. When we came home at the end of the day, Elder Baker walked into the apartment and noticed it smelled like bread. When we turned on the lights, there was bread all over the floor. Ripped up into little pieces, and strewn all over the floor. What I didn't mention last week was that we came home one night to an apartment covered in silly string and tissue paper. We hadn't cleaned all of the silly string up yet, and now there was bread all over the floor. This time, though, there was a note from the Sisters in the Branch, identifying themselves as the bread-fiends. I was like, "Aw man... Now we have to clean up two messes..."
Then Elder Baker said from the other room, "I think there's a dead cat in the bathtub!" What? I walked into the bathroom, turned on the light, and there was not a dead cat in the bathtub. There was a dead raccoon.
Like, a 30-pound raccoon, holding a piece of bread. It was at that moment that I decided the Sisters are disgusting. We called them, and they told us they thought we were disgusting for having a dead raccoon in our bathtub; they didn't put it there. It was already there when they came to put bread on the floor. So we figured out it was another companionship who had gone on a hike that day, and must have picked it up on their way back into Montrose. So we put it in the bushes outside their apartment. Then I scrubbed the tub with bleach for a half an hour while Elder Baker picked up the bread with a snow shovel. The next day we caught the Sisters cleaning our apartment. They did a good job. It turns out they had done the silly string and tissue paper as well. But now it's all cleaned up! They had asked some of the other Elders for the code to our apartment (it's a key-pad lock) so they could prank us, and so they could clean it up. So we changed the code. Long story short, there were some more pranks this week,
I went on an exchange with the Mount Sneffles Elders this Saturday, and that was quite an adventure! I don't like being an English missionary as much. But Elder Schlegel told me that at 2:00 we were going to help a lady in the ward move a dryer. At 1:30, we were picked up by their ward mission leader, and given a ride 30 minutes south, into Ridgeway. We went waaaay out into the boonies in the middle of a scrub-brush pine forest, saw some elk, and found the lady's house. It was pouring snow. It turns out that her washer and dryer, which she wanted to move into the house, were somewhere in the middle of a bunch of junk in her 53-foot storage trailer. We slipped and slid in the cold mud for two hours moving things out of the trailer, including a 2,000-pound wood splitter (that's an estimated weight). Finally, we got to the washer and dryer, and were able to move them into the house. We were in our proselyting clothes for all of this! I'm kind of glad it ended up being a big project, because it would have been a big waste of time to drive an hour round-trip just to move a dryer. So there's the silver lining! Also, she couldn't have done that by herself. I was cold and really tired after that. We didn't have a dinner appointment, so when we got back to their house in Montrose, I threw some leftover pizza in the microwave, devoured it, and zonked out for the remainder of our dinner hour. Other than that, the day was rainy and sleety, and we had to walk, because the Elders had blown their mileage allotment the week before. I was SO happy when I got back to my apartment and ended the exchange. If nothing else, that exchange made me grateful to be serving in San Juan.The man sitting next to me at the computers in the library just asked if we have a dental plan for the members of the Church. I told him no, and he said if we did, he would become a Mormon. I told him I'd see what I could do.
During some big annual football game that they had going on on TV on Sunday, we went and left notes to most of our investigators on their doors. Then that night we went and taught the Morenos. They are tough cookies. They're just so... hard to get through to! One of them had had a question, "If we all lived with God before this life, then why are there people who don't even believe there is a God?" We taught them about the veil and it's purpose. One of my favorite scriptures on the topic being Alma 32:17-19,
"Yea, there are many who do say: If thou wilt show unto us a sign from heaven, then we shall know of a surety; then we shall believe. Now I ask, is this faith? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for if a man knoweth a thing he hath no cause to believe, for he knoweth it. And now, how much more cursed is he that knoweth the will of God and doeth it not, than he that only believeth, or only hath cause to believe, and falleth into transgression?"
So, basically, because of the veil we can learn and grow and make mistakes without bringing upon ourselves an everlasting condemnation by sinning against the great light. I think they liked the lesson. It answered some questions for them. But the one who was paying the most attention was their niece, Anita. When it finally clicked in her head, she said, "Voy a ser una Mormona!" She was just kidding, but she could be a really promising investigator. Unfortunately, though, she lives in Telluride, a ski town about two hours away from Montrose. We don't have the mileage allotment to teach her regularly, and I don't think she would be able to get a ride to church every Sunday. But we'll see what we can do! Hopefully it can work out somehow.I have come to realize even more this week my great appreciation for the Book of Mormon! It is truly the keystone of my testimony. As I've ready it every day, I have come to know more about the Savior's mission and Atonement, more about His character than I've ever learned before in my life! As Alma taught, the foundation of our testimony must be the Savior Jesus Christ, and that foundation has been strengthened immensely for me as I've come to know Him through the pages of the Book of Mormon and the Spirit that testifies to me as I read. Read from the Book of Mormon every day!! I know that Jesus is the Christ! I know that His Church has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith! We are a part of the greatest work on the earth!
I love you all and wish you a happy, Book of Mormon-filled week!
A Thought from Mom:
"Our priorities are most visible in how we use our time. Someone has said, "Three things never come back--the spent arrow, the spoken word, and the lost opportunity." We cannot recycle or save the time allotted to us each day. With time, we have only one opportunity for choice, and then it is gone forever."
~Dallin H. Oaks