Well my friends, two landmark moments happened yesterday. First of all, I got a missionary name tag in English (his first one was in Portuguese as he was headed for Brazil; not sure if that will come to be or not, but he's loving the work in Phoenix), accompanied by chants of "One of us, one of us, one of us" from my zone. Apparently this makes my "adoption" (into the Scottsdale, Arizona mission even though he's still waiting for his Brazilian visa) more official or something! haha. Secondly, I am now training!! I'm super excited. My trainee's name is Elder Sw. and the kid is awesome. Ready to learn and work and we are loving the heck out of him. I am still in the YSA (Young Single Adult) ward and still with Elder Sh. We are tripanionship training and it's going be really cool. I'm super excited because I never taught I was going to be able to train with the whole visa situation and all. It makes me really happy.
Anyway, so this week. There were a bushel and a half of super interesting experiences and miracles and also just plain fun stuff with devastation mixed in because that's just how mission life works. So first things first. Sunday is either the best day or worst day in the world. And let's be real, when people don't show up to church you just want to be like "YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND THE ATONEMENT." Because otherwise we would all keep our covenants and march on into eternity and be happy about the mountain of blessings we receive. But anyway. So we are working with a bunch of less-active members right now. As in 29 of them who we are teaching or working with. And some of them are really coming back strong. I think we had upwards of 10 of our people at church on Sunday. Like no investigators and all but hey, I'll take people working towards covenants of exaltation as well as salvation.
So we are sitting there all joyous because J. and D. and Ja. and A. and M. and C. and some others came to church for the first time in forever and I hear a voice say, "Can we sit here?" and I look over and say, "Why yes, President Swe. (the Mission President), feel free to sit by me." We then proceeded to experience the most gratifying sacrament meeting in existence, wherein A. got up and said he will be working on going on a mission and that this was his first time back to church in a couple years, M. got up and said that he, too, has decided to go on a mission, and J. (wearing flip flops, shorts, and a T-shirt) got up and said the same, all of them giving us shout outs for dragging them back to the gospel. Probably the coolest thing ever, made all the more special by President being like, "Well done...we have an extra suit at the mission office if any of them need one."
We were seriously blessed and it's amazing to see people start to change their lives and their desires. All people need is to be lovingly home taught and brought back. Reading the scriptures will change your desires.
Let's see what else. Ohhhhh! So on Monday we got invited to take some Elders out and teach them how to contact. Which basically means observing while they take on the people of Phoenix. So we ended up going to central Phoenix and the first people my new Elder ever talked to were two swearing, homeless men who said, "What are you going to teach me about Christ that I don't already know? I was hunkered down in rice paddies in Vietnam before you were a twinkle in your father's eye." Welcome to Phoenix haha. Best. Day. Ever. It actually ended up being really cool though. We talked with them for about twenty minutes and I think it was an eye-opening experience to be exposed to what real life is for many of the people in our mission and to come to love people for who they are and who they can become. It was a good reminder to me as well.
Then transfer meeting was yesterday and we got Elder Sw. So excited. We are going to have so much fun and do so much work. Can't wait.
Love you all. Thinking of you!