(I am repenting from being a slacker. Sorry everyone. - Anne)
So I'm at Aimee Marsh's house, she's a member of the branch, mother of three, this dog keeps running over and flicking this ball in into my lap, trying desperately for me to toss it. Hahaha.
It's a foggy, kinda wet day in Petersburg, we had some sun last week and it was absolutely gorgeous, I got so hot. It probably was about 75 degrees (that just COOKS YA). HAHAHA. I know in my head that that is NOT hot but it's hard to tell yourself that when you are sweating.
Mommy, what kids are you talking about? The ones that everyone seems to be fostering in the ward?
Jessica sounds so funny. I am glad she called you on the phone. I can't believe she's nine months old. That's crazy. I have been gone eight months today, is that crazy or what?
SO PETERSBURG. I love it here. It is just so quiet and peaceful, not a single stoplight in the whole town. There is a highway called mitkoff highway that takes you outta the town, you call it going "out the road" when you drive outta town that way. There are lots of houses on mitkoff highway, you might see someone's address as 'mile 11 mitkoff highway.'
Then there is a road going out the OTHER direction, this is sandy beach, and takes us to our house. Anyway then if you keep going on sandy beach rd and turn left on this "Caution: single lane road" thing it takes out along the coast line to the um, south or north, just the other way, and it's beautiful, and we had "scout out the area" written in our planner so we drove and drove and drove and finally passed some houses, we only had a lil bit of time before dinner so we tracted one house and they told us they weren't interested and we were on private property. Sigh. Sister Pete-pete says people live out here for a reason. Sigh. We left a card with them and maybe it'll change their lives.
So, remember the guy we talking to on Main Street in front of all those flyers, well, he is super cool, we will call him El Colombiano. He has this hilarious sense of humor. We met with him real briefly Thursday outside the library (la biblioteca) and all we had at the time was a Restoration pamphlet in spanish, we gave it to him, he said it is NOT una pamfleta, es un librito, porque es sagrado (it's sacred, so it's not a pamphlet, it's a little book). We had a lesson set for the next night with a girl who just got back from her mission to Peru who was gonna come with us. The spanish-speaking elders in Juneau shipped us four Libros de Mormon and lots more pamphlets in Spanish (I mean libritos) overnight. Isn't that nice of them? El Colombiano was tired from work the next day and couldn't make the lesson, but we rescheduled for tonight. He even wanted to come to church yesterday and called several times, but he started calling twenty minutes after church had actually started and our phone was on silent.... He's so funny, he asked me what my first name was, i said Melissa (in my awesome Mexican accent), and he laughed and cried something along the lines of, 'So when your father gets impatient with you he yells MELISSA!" Haha, and he acted out a frustrated father stamping his foot in a fit. So funny.
We picked up two investigators who are Muslim....they are willing to read the book of mormon with us but we're not sure how interested they are in learning cuz they seem to be very happily Muslim, so we're not sure what to do, they want us to come back, so we don't want to say no. We'll figure it out. They are very nice. They are in the middle of their month of fasting until sundown and so one day we came and they were sleeping (to kill time) and we felt so bad to wake them up but they were so gracious to us, and gave us cake, and dates (what they break their fast with first at night), and we told them we feel bad eating in front of them, but they say we are their guests!!! So very nice. What's cool is that the wife is white but started practicing Islam when they married, and where's the head thing, the kijob or something? in public and everything. They have an adorable two-year-old daughter whom they both love very much.
We picked up another investigator yesterday, he was a potential that Sister Pete-pete says never says much, one-word answers, doesn't even face the missionaries, kinda angles himself away, which is what happened yesterday. He lives in the more slummy part of town (Petersburg, though tiny, follows the same social pattern that other places do---there are incredibly huge houses, very beautiful, and there is the middle class, and then there's a low class, which consists of shady lookin apartments, and trailers-made-into houses trailer courts. Some parts even remind me of Mexico, though not quite as poverty-stricken. But no yards, just one trailer-house after another, with porches and roofs built on. Oh and what's cool fact---everything is built on, oh dang it, whatchamacallems, stilts. No! Pilings. Hahaha. Well, the trailers too. IN fact one house on the water is a log float with the house attached. Pretty cool.) ANYWAY. So this guy, Guy on The Porch, comes out onto a tiny porch and all three of us are in a space about the size of a fourth of a bathroom, and maybe to avoid standing so close to us as we're all shuffling awkwardly around, he leans over the railing and looks out and we are left to talk to the side and back of him. Hahha. One-word answers. BUT, he just listens, which is awesome right? So if he's gonna listen, we're gonna teach, so we read a bit of the intro of the book of mormon, taught him a lil bit about what it was, invited him to read the rest and the testimony of joseph smith at the front of the book, and had a prayer with him, and had a time set to see him this friday, so we walked away after having picked him up as a new investigator, which is awesome.
There are several other investigators here, one is a young guy in his twenties who works on a fishin boat, one is a Hispanic man (speaks English) who works at the cannery, one is a fifeen-year-old girl who's been coming to church for two years and is currently in Juneau at youth conference and girl's camp and she can't get baptized till she's eighteen.
So the branch is good, about ten or twelve kids in primary, I think there are two or three classes, I've been playing piano for it the past two sundays. Primary meets in the chapel. You open the curtains and my heck! there's a white boardwith primary decor all over it.
One speaker during sacrament meeting. Just one! Who takes up the whole time. So, I guess he or she speaks for about thirty to forty minutes. I guess you gotta do that when you don't have as many choices. Did I tell you other places call in? they use the polycom. During sunday school and relief society too. You're doing all your comments, right, teacher is teaching, all of a sudden someone in Kake starts speaking from the polycom and we all listen, it's pretty cool.
ANYWAY I LOVE YOU.
Other things sabout a branch: one family signs up per month to clean the chapel. Now we can be grateful we only have to clean the chapel one or two saturdays every few months, right???
(EVERYTHING is about fishing here)
(Oh...I killed a king crab with some less actives the other day. Actualy, I tried, he did it better, the husband, cuz he is stronger, so i tried and then he took over and finished it. But we cracked open the shells of the legs and took all the meat out after they were boiled of course and ate FRESH KING CRAB, only caught HOURS BEFORE....so, the way he kills them is he takes these huge things, one hand grabbing the legs on each side, and pile-drives its face into a bucket, using leverage then to bend the top part of the crab, the shell, off the body, they call it ripping its face off. who knew. i have had a truly alaskan experience. then they sent us home with lots and lots of crab and halibut that they'd caught as well, vacuum-sealed in packages to go into the freezer. hahhaa.)
Monday, July 16, 2012
Monday, July 2, 2012
First so I don't forget, there is a fireside this Friday the 6th of July. in Anchorage. It's about religious freedom---it'll go over joseph's blessing that his posterity will come to America, and then Columbus, and then the restoration, and stuff. Anyway, they are gonna webcast it, so anyone can watch it, and gave us permission to tell our families and friends. Personally, I think San Clemente YSA should make a ward activity of it, watching my fireside. HAHAHAHAH just kidding.
and it starts at 6:30 PM but go to the website at 6:15 PM cuz it takes a while for it to get all settled and stuff, apparently. Hahah. I will be in the fireside, playing piano and stuff, and Sister Rivera will be singing.
The fireside is for missionaries and for anyone else.
We had a really good lesson with The Woman With Two Kids (Who Also Runs a Store), but it was just her and not her Two Kids, but that helped her open up to us a lot more. She's hilarious. Her husband just watched a show about how Moroni is an alien and has his own planet, so she kept being snarky and joking about how we believe in aliens and stuff. The member that we brought with us didn't quite get the humor and so when she looked confused, I said, "Moroni has his own planet. This is serious business," the member just kinda furrowed her brow and said, "Uh-uh." Sigh, oh well. HHAHA, when we taught the three kingdoms of glory, celestial, terrestrial, and telestial, The Woman snickered and said, "Sorry, but after all this talk of aliens, that kinda just sounds like...extra-terrestrial," and she laughed and said, "I know it's not, I know it's not, but you have to admit that's funny." Oh man I just love her. And sigh, the member we brought with us asked, "If I'm not mistaken, there's even three MORE degrees of glory inside the celestial kingdom, right?" Sister Rivera just kinda grunted and looked straight ahead, and I was like, Hoo boy. Deep doctrine stuff, and proceeded to try and explain with the help of the Spirit, really briefly, about that so that The Woman would understand according to her level of knowledge.
The member is amazing though, really good at inviting The Woman to functions, invited her and her daughter to the Michael Mclane fireside the next night that was just for Young Women and their mothers, and said he and Hank Smith gave a really funny fireside last Sunday, but that at (some other activity) they'd had their CDs out, "So it was kinda like priestcraft, I was talking to my husband about it, and we were trying to figure out if it was priestcraft or not, like they were doing their firesides to sell their CDs, but we think they kept it within the line, they really are quite good speakers.."
We didn't try and explain what priestcraft was. Maybe if we don't talk about it, The Woman will forget.
The sweet nine-year-old girl (she's actually ten now) that is in the other ward got baptized on Saturday with all the other 8-year-olds in the stake that were getting baptized that day. Very sweet girl. Very good spirit that was felt there. We've just been teaching her with her elders cuz we're girls. So it doesn't count as our baptism, but it isn't about the numbers, it's about one more person making covenants with her Heavenly Father!
We had no time to see the Man In the Store on Saturday so we were gonna drop by (dinner went way late, and the ten-year-old girl's baptism was happening in ten minutes) and poke our heads in the Store and say "Sorry, we didn't forget, can we come next Saturday?" But not only was he in there but his wife, and this was their last day open to the public (they're closing the store, sad, but it's okay) so we got to see her again, and offer our help with packing up all the heavy food storage items and stuff, which she tried to refuse and seemed amaze that we'd offer. THen she told, "I'm glad I saw you guys! I've gotten some insights that I wanna talk to you about!" Which is awesome, she looked happy and peaceful. I wanna know what her insights are! We had to run, though, and went off to the baptism.
The members here feed us practically every night, and I get some really good food, my word. We just had some banana bread that was made without any wheat, or sugar I believe. It was made with barley...and spelt...and coconut oil...and dates....anyway, it was delicious.
And they send us home with food a lot. We were even given a can of Tony's cajun seasoning. HECK!
And we went and visited the Chinese member that Sister Chan and I used to see more frequently, sang her How Firm a Foundation, she followed along in her CHinese hymn book, and then she asked us if we had time, she'd like to take us to Wal-mart and buy us whatever groceries we needed (she said that in very thick accent, but if you listen you can totally understand). We were so flabbergasted. She is such a lovely woman. She's funny. So we followed her to wal-mart, we walk inside, and she says, "Okay, whatever you want." Hahha. We were in the cereal aisle...I hadn't eaten cereal for months before the mish and just got back into it when someone gave Sister Chan and I four boxes of cinnamon toast crunch and now i am back to being a cereal addict, so we were in the cereal aisle looking at the cap'n crunch with berries, and the big box is actually cheaper per ounce than the little box, so I pointed that out to Sister RIvera, and the Sister Wong said, "I like family size. YOu like family size. You like it, I buy it. My daughter she always say, NO, mother! But i always like to buy things for her. So I like to buy things for you two."
This woman is amazing! She bought us $45 worth of groceries and so today, our p-day, we don't have to buy anything at all, except we wanna go to Freddies and get lavender oil, cuz it's apparently a natural mosquito repellent and you smell good too.
I am so humbled by all the wonderful examples of people I see all around me. I love the members here in Colony Ward and the surrounding wards. I love the people that I meet. I love the Book of Mormon, and i'm now in Exodus in the old testament, and am reading about the Passover. Not a bone of the paschal lamb was to be broken, just like when they came to break Christ's legs on the cross, but didn't once they saw he was dead, not one of his bones would be broken. So many things point to the Atonement of Jesus Christ. All the lives of the prophets testify of Christ---even in what happened to them. LIke Moses almost being killed as a baby, just like King Herod almost killed Christ when he was a baby. Prophets testify of Christ in more ways than just their words. I know the gospel is true, I know the Atonement is real. I know that God loves us, and has given us a way to come back to him.
TELL YO FRIENDS!
p.s. someone should totally find a barnacle (like, not a live one, like the shell) and mail it to me. BECAUSE, it would really help with my barnacle story I got from Brother Greiner to help explain repentance. i will pay them back for the shipping. I like visual aids.