Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Silver City and the Free Dr. Pepper

So this week has been pretty exciting! Our mission was selected to receive iPads! So i am typing this on an iPad!

Monday: So after dinner our appointment canceled so we decided to go find some more people to teach. As we were walking around, we started talking to a man as he was fixing up part of his truck. So in talking with this man we come to find out that he was baptized years ago and is now less active. We started to talk to him and his wife and we were able to set an appointment to return! It was so great!

Tuesday: We visited a less active and shared a video of Joseph Smith. After, our appointment with a potential fell through and so we did more finding. We met a young man that had met with missionaries before and he asked to come and teach him again! We later had dinner with the branch president and his family then had a little meeting with the branch president after dinner. We were starting to feel that there was a growing distance between the branch and the missionaries so we wanted to talk about that and how we are here to he and support. We also talked about how more support could be given by the members to missionary work. We walked out feeling great and feeling that it was a great meeting. We then drove an hour to Lordsburg, NM to meet up with 2 other companionships to do an exchange. Elder Tyler went with the 2 Elders from Duncan, AZ and I went with the 2 Elders from Silver City, NM.

Wednesday: Exchange! I slept on the floor in the tiny apartment. I slept perpendicular to a hallway and within the doorway of the bedroom and within the doorway of the study room. I slept ok... My back has been tight recently, probably stress, but sleeping on the floor didn't help. I just remember how for like the last month of school, even through finals and graduation, i was able to sleep on the floor like it was nothing. Then again, it was my floor. We did studies then had district meeting. I started getting heavy eyes during the meeting. Usually, on exchanges, you go to bed a little bit later than usual. Especially if you are good friends with the other missionaries. So, I was tired on Wednesday. After district meeting, we did some service at a food bank setting up food on tables for people to get a small supply. We then went across town to see a new investigator. He was really cool and has a ton of faith and potential. He knows that great spiritual strength and "armor" can be found from reading the Bible and Book of Mormon, and from praying every day. After, we did some former hunting and found a potential investigator that those Elders set an appointment to visit later. We had dinner back at the apartment. We went out to this small town area called Hurley. It is super tiny! Anyway, they drove me down the main street that had a bar, a police office with one cop car, and many closed down and rundown businesses. Outside of the only running business, the feed shop, there was an ancient Coca-Cola machine. There was also another ancient soda machine. I went up and pressed a button hoping for a soda to appear. I pressed the button with the handwritten sign, "Dr. Pepper". I heard a buzzing, I wished with all my might, and I heard some tumbling, then a can of Dr. Pepper appeared! And yes, I checked the expiration date just to be sure it was safe and it was good! We then made the drive back to Lordsburg on a nice beautiful dirt road. It was awesome and we got to see some great sunsets! I took pictures.

Thursday: This morning, we met with the old less active man we met on Monday night. We had a very interesting lesson. The lesson was focused on the Word of Wisdom, in the unplanned manner of course, and it was very interesting. We were guided and not confounded. He needs to read the scriptures and attend church. We had lunch then visited another less active man and had a very nice talk with him. After the lesson, we went to explore a bit of our area to find some good areas to find more people to teach. We then had to go to the church to set up our iPads! It was so awkward holding an iPad... It is really cool what we are going to be able to do for studies in the mornings, for teaching our investigators, and for missionary work in a logistical sense. The main part is learning how to be disciples in the digital age. This process is a time to "immunize" from the bad in the media world. Technology is only a tool, and like a pen or pencil, it can be used for either good or evil. As missionaries with iPads, we are making good and wholesome technology habits to be able to transfer or carryover to post mission life. We then had dinner with a family from the branch but had to leave quickly to get to a meeting with a member of the stake presidency. We were able to talk about goals and discuss how we as zone leaders and faithful missionaries can be unified with the stake presidency. We cover, in our zone, 2 stakes. We have 7 missionary companionships in the Silver City stake and 3 companionships in the Duncan Arizona stake. After our meeting, we were able to have a great lesson with our main investigator family. They are experiencing a very interesting time. As they try harder and harder to prepare for baptism, they find that it is as if someone is throwing things in the way. Small challenges arise and they described it as this, "You are trying to walk down a hallway but someone keeps throwing chairs in the way." We are praying hard and working hard to help them overcome.

Friday: We had a nice time playing ultimate frisbee for a bit with other missionaries during our exercise time. We did studies and I realized that I didn't have any content downloaded on my iPad. So we went to the church building during lunch so that I could download some content. We later tried to visit a less active man but he wasn't home. We then returned to our apartment to do some weekly planning, the longest planning session we do as missionaries. We average about 3-5 hours. We had dinner with a nice member family then rushed to our appointment across town only to find that they didn't answer the door. We knocked a bit then went to a lesson with the young man that we met Monday evening. It was great! He loves talking to the missionaries and remember a ton from his past lessons. After, we had an appointment set with our main investigator family. We knocked a few times, no answer. Elder Tyler had to go to the bathroom so we stopped at the nearest gas station. On our way out we sent a text to the family saying that we hope everything is ok. They responded immediately and said to come back and that they were on a walk just down the street. Therefore, inspired bathroom stop! We were able to have a nice lesson with them and we can see that they are doing ok but we all know they need to get to church if they want to overcome these challenges.

Saturday: This morning we helped clean the church and then did some service for a member. We painted. And me, being the tallest there, I was chosen to paint the ceiling. It went really well. A picture will be included. We then came home, washed all the paint off, and finished our studies. We then took the nice drive south, basically to the boarder, to visit a less active woman in Columbus. She had 4 very nice dogs that we brushed as we shared a message and talked. She is very kind and funny. She wants to go to the temple but she knows that she needs to attend church more. This is what we love, someone that has a goal and desire and someone that knows what they need to do to achieve that goal. We can do what we can to help her achieve the goal as much as we can but ultimately it is up to her to attend church. We then drove back to Deming and helped the branch president load a trailer to help a woman move. We were given money for dinner so we filled our craving of pizza with Domino's pizza. We then went to see a potential that was driving away as we walked up. They stopped and we talked for a second, just long enough for them to say that they are not interested. We then pressed on and went to pick up a young man to go with us to our next lesson. We went to the next lesson, knocked, and no answer. It was quite odd because this was the young former investigator we talked to the night before. So we pressed on even more, carry on, carry on, carry on, and we went to an apartment complex to contact some referrals from the sisters. The actual referral said he was no longer interested. We then were able to have a lesson with a nice woman, then a very very loud drunk man that gave Elder Tyler a hug (he also let out a HUGE breath of stinky BudLight breath in Elder Tyler's face during the hug), and lastly, a young man sitting at a picnic table. We hope they felt the spirit and that they will act on the impressions they received and will receive to learn more about the true restored gospel.

Sunday: We went down to the group meeting in Columbus. It was only me, Elder Tyler, and Bro. Nicoll for the first 15 minutes. Then, a less active woman with her 4 kids drove up! It was awesome! We had a nice little sacrament meeting then a little class about the commandments. We then went to our ward. We had a great sacrament meeting, Elder Tyler spoke about Priesthood. We then sat in the class with the youth for Sunday school. It was a great class about following spiritual promptings. Then we had a nice meeting combined with all the adults. We had a nice dinner at home then went to a YSA activity. Then with Sunday night calls our zone found 17 news this past week!

Hope you all had a great week! Thank you all for your prayers, letters, thoughts, and everything!

Elder Dallin Baker

(Pictures of the dog bite and offending dog)

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