Monday, August 12, 2013

I'm determined to write everything!

Hello all!
     This week I left myself hopefully enough time to write what happened this week and things I left out from last week. I'll try to organize it, but I'm taking it from scattered notes I wrote in my planner.
The ward we're over is SUPER spread out, so while I have my bike, we always drive to houses. Look up the ward boundaries for the Nine Mile Ward on the lds.org site and you'll see. But I still want to use my bike- I'm so excited for it! I haven't had a new one since I was 8!? So my companion and I went for a ride one morning for our exercise... well whichever 18 yr old boy or 70 yr old man set it up didn't do it right because my rear brake was permanently pressed down (a fact I didn't discover until half a mile into our ride). I mean, 1st gear on a flat road should not have my legs burning. Once we discovered this, we walked home- I couldn't work myself up to riding with that much resistance again!
     The ward here is so excited! My transfer here is the first time they've had their own set of missionaries ever. And they haven't had sisters in over 20 years! Ward council is pumped, now we need to get the rest of the ward members excited. Our ward mission leader is a fireball. He's so into his calling. His personality reminds me a lot of Lane. He's such a great guy and just so willing to help us spread the gospel. I wish the ward members realized how important it is to fellowship! I've been talking with a lot of less actives and the ones that are returning are all attributed to visiting and home teaching. And those who aren't coming back yet are offended that people haven't tried to get to know them or reached out to them. It's so important! I wish I knew how to stress it to everyone! I love the people up here so much! I'm already learning some incredible lessons on judging others too quickly. Some people who I initially thought would be weird or difficult have actually turned out to be so kindhearted and hard working!
     We've been doing tons of service for less actives- showing them that we care for and love them. *Viewer discretion advised on this next story and the pictures that will accompany it on the blog * Slaughtering rabbits and geese was disgusting and definitely a one time thing for me. After the lady hammered the rabbits heads to kill them we hung them up and cut their skin and cut off their feet. She cut off their heads. We then pulled off their skin and gutted them. As in cut them open and pulled out their guts. With our bare hands! The video of me doing it is too large to send. Sorry you'll have to wait 17 months for that one. But you should have seen my face. I was gagging half the time. By the third rabbit though I was used to it. The geese were fairly similar just with a lot more feathers involved. That night we ate chicken at a families home.... I had a hard time not imagining it as bunny meat. lol. This family whose house we ate at were pretty interesting. They're what you'd call "eternigators" They were taught the discussions 2 years ago. They haven't missed a week of church in those 2 years. But they haven't been baptized. Their oldest son is 9 and they want him to be baptized. But the bishop was pretty straight forward in letting them know he wanted them to be baptized first. So mine and Sister Wood's goal is to get to the root of their hang up and help them through it and into making covenants. After having dinner with them though, we've discovered that they don't read the Book of Mormon much- so we need to help them gain a testimony of that.
     Another guy we're working with is Jimmy, an ex-con. His wife is less active and he's taken the lessons forever. He accepted the baptismal invitation years ago. He's just waiting until he gets off parole so he can be baptized ;) He's a funny guy. Has some great stories about growing up in  Compton during the defacto segregation. I shared dad's story about getting jumped. He had a similar experience... but he came back the next day and jumped them. Man, that guy has had an interesting life.
     While we were visiting another family who just started coming back to church this last month, we had an interesting sighting. Well you might not know, but this here is Sasquatch territory what with all the trees and mountains. We were up in Ford on these back dirt roads and saw Big Foot! Don't worry- I got a picture. And this crazy dog chased us while we were getting the picture. So funny!  While we were out there we went to visit this guy who is a less active. We called and set up an appointment. We got so lost trying to find his place! Out there, there's no street signs, or pavement. So we were basically off-roading in this Chevy Malibu, winding around up the mountain. It took maybe 45 driving from where we live. We finally find this guy's place and talk to him and his girlfriend. He's like 60. He hasn't been to church since he was 15! His family is active and he has a niece and nephew on a mission. He wouldn't let us share a scripture with him so we just testified of how living the gospel would improve his life. At the end he begrudgingly let us say a prayer with him. It was quite the drive out there for what little we were able to do. I hope it helps make a difference for him somehow.

     The lady who has all of those dogs needed help building a shelter for her goats this week. So while we were helping, like 1/3 of her dogs were in the yard. I snapped a picture for you all. She's such an incredible woman though. And she's Scottish. She was really excited to have two red headed missionaries at her place. She went to the Scottish games and looked up our family tartan and printed it out. I'll have to send it home to you guys.
     Okay, I'm running out of time so the rest will be scattered. Fun fact about our mission. We piloted the church tours. We've been doing them for a year and there's a unique structure to how we give them. It's way cool. So we add church tour invites and church tours to our key indicators each week. Did you know 1 out of every 3 people who go on a church tour end up being baptized?? So cool! No wonder they're trying to get all missions to do this! I'll share more about church tours next week.
I've killed (mostly my companion though) a large amount of large spiders down in the basement we live in. It's terrifying! I've found cool connections of people in our ward. There is a family, the Bleekers, who lived in Simi in the 60's and 70's. The wife reminds me of Aunt Joan a lot. They wanted to know if we knew Becky Gerber? Also, a family in our ward was asking where the Metcalf's are from. I started to explain about Springville and grandpa's family. Apparently his mom is best friends with Marilyn Metcalf! So he got her on the phone and had me talk to her to make sure it was my great aunt. It is! She talked about Jack and Milan and Evelyn and Eloise. I guess she grew up in Springville. Small world!

     3 things I don't miss from the MTC:
1)the food
2)being in the same room all day
3)teaching pretend people

     4 things you need to know about 9 Mile Falls, Washington:
1) everyone and their dog has a dog. And they are indoor pets (I hope there's nothing toxic in inhaling dog urine fumes. I've never smelled more in my life!)
2) there are trees for days out here! trees on trees on trees. It's crazy beautiful and green. Don't even get me started on the sky! it's unbelieveable! Pictures don't do this place justice!
3)if you're gonna live here, you have to have a garden apparently. and can everything from your garden.
4)It's optional for men to wear shirts. So awkward!

     We have a mission rule of no caffeine. It's rough. But I have been able to take a few short naps at lunch. That helps :)

     Mom and Dad- you guys need to put in your papers and serve! Being a missionary is so incredible! I am loving this time in my life! I have such a stronger relationship with God and a much stronger conviction to live the gospel. I want to share this with everyone!
Mom- I'm eating everything members are giving me. You'd be proud. I'm pretty sure I ate rabbit this week. And I had deer jerky. Everyone gives us food when we visit. Jams, bags of nuts, jerky, fudge. I have so much food!
     We have one baptism on date. A ten yr old named Gavin whose parents are returning to activity. It was supposed to be Saturday but the parents pushed it back. That was a little disheartening. I hope they don't keep pushing it off.
     Okay, I love you all and think I got everything in. Well, that's a lie. I know I forgot things. Maybe I'll squeeze them in next weeks letter! I love you so much! Please pray for me and the people out here!
     Do the little things! Pray daily, read the scriptures, take the sacrament weekly. This is what people who are struggling are lacking. Don't ever let those things go! I love you all too much to have any of you fall away from the gospel!
Love- Sister Metcalf





Letting an investigators daughter do my hair after dinner


On a bench in River Ridge...

It's this beautiful.... everywhere we go! Me and Sister Wood‏


 For real...

In case it's hard to see- there's 32 dogs in this picture! Probably only half of her dogs were outside....


 Half the roads we drive on look like this...

Just your average family car loaded with---WEED!




Rabbit blood on my shoes :(

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