on exchanges on mt. hood with sister halogen.
you just can't capture the beauty up there from your camera.
It's been a pretty good week I guess. There is a bummer part about it and that is Sister Pope has been getting super bad migraines so we have to stay in sometimes. Being sick as a missionary is the wooooooooooooorst. Getting migraines seems pretty bad too. She is going to the doctor again on Thursday. She got medicine, but it's not helping. If anything it is making them worst. So in your prayers can you remember to ask that Sister Pope has the strength to endure this trial, and we can figure out how to deal with this situation, and the doctors will know how to help her? She is a real trooper though. Doesn't ever complain, but I know she is in pain.
Wednesday was an awesome day. We had a full day scheduled. We had district meeting in the morning and lessons planned for the rest of the day and we were able to get members to ALL OF THEM! It made for a long weekly planning a few days before but we found people. Then we were just praying that no one would cancel their appointment and that we would get out of our lessons on time to meet the other members or pick up the other member on time - that sort of thing. Our first lesson was with our star returning less active couple. They are in their 70s. A member from the ward came to that one. It was really good to have her there. She was able to connect with them and offer them carrots from her garden and she sat next to her in Relief Society today! Yay! We had the lesson on fasting. Shared Alma 17: 1-3 about the sons of Mosiah doing a lot of fasting and prayer and they got great blessings because of it!
Then after our first family we had a lesson with another lady. I can't remember if I told you guys, but she was actually taught by Sister Newman and I think was Sister Newman's first baptism! Oregon City 4th Ward was Sister Newman's greenie area. Anyway, she is 79 and really great. She got baptized last August and just went through the temple for the first time and got sealed to her deceased husband who died 15 months ago. She is so great. Pretty spunky. We decided we wanted to bring a youth to her lesson because she is so easy to teach we thought it might be good practice for them, especially if they were preparing for a mission. Well, our appointment was at 3:30, kind of an awkward time because it's close to school time but we were able to get a young man. (I think he is 16....maybe just turned 17) to come with us since he is homeschooled. He met us there and we had a ten minute prep time where we showed him the Plan of Salvation cutouts I have from Sister Newman, did a quick little role play and then we went to teach her. The young man did great and I think appreciated the experience. And on another side note is the night before she and her daughter who is probably in her late 50s who is kind of her care giver came on splits with us the night before. We taught this less-active mom and her less-active single mother daughter the Plan of Salvation as well. That went really well. It was really good to have her daughter there. She is a high school English teacher and she just has a way with explaining things simply and clearly and understands people. English teachers can do that, right, Renee? So she had the Plan of Salvation taught to her on Tuesday and Wednesday. Then on either Friday or Saturday she told us she was able to comfort another resident in the place she lives at who just lost a loved one and she was able to teach them a water downed version of the Plan of Salvation! She told us about it when we had dinner with them on Saturday. We told her how awesome it was that she was able to hear the Plan of Salvation twice in one week and then the Lord puts in her path this struggling person who just had a lost and she was able to comfort them through the gospel! Pretty cool I'd say.
Then after the lesson we were able to get out in time to pick up a young woman to teach 11 year old investigator with us. We taught her the Word of Wisdom. She pretty much knew it because she has already read the Strength of the Youth Pamphlet, True to the Faith, and parts Preach my Gospel.
Then we had dinner then we had a lesson with our other investigator. She called us earlier before and she was having a real hard time with her roommate. They got into an argument and her roommate said some really nasty things to her. She was trying to be the bigger person and apologize but her roommate kept lashing out out her....and said some pretty rude things to us too. Hmmmm. A sister from the ward was able to come to this lesson and she did most of the talking, comforting her and telling her things that no 20 year old missionary could quite say in a way that she could appreciate and understand. Members are such great missionaries!
Then we had a MRL lesson with Sister English. A MRL lesson stands for Member Referral Lesson. Basically you teach a gospel principal to an active family and at the end you ask if they know anyone who could use this message....basically. Well, let me tell you I always find it interesting doing MRL lessons cuz honestly I don't know if I have ever gotten a referral doing them and sometimes the response that members can have are pretty funny. Like we would have just have a great lesson on the Atonement. Spirit is there, there was great discussion, maybe a couple tears shed, experiences that were forgotten were remembered...then we would say, "Brother and Sister So and So, we just had a great lesson on the Atonement and how it has blessed your lives and your children lives. We know you have such a strong testimony of this principal and you have seen how applying to your life blesses you for the eternities. Is there anyone you know that can also use these same blessings?" Now the funniest answer and the one I don't understand is, "No. I don't know anyone that could use this." Errrrrrrrrr, say what? At least I can appreciate the answer of, "You know sisters, so many people can use this message of hope in their lives. If more people would apply it, our world would be a better place. I may not know of anyone I can ask now but let me pray about it and get back to you." See, that's an answer I can appreciate. Rather than, no, I don't know of anyone that could use the hope, peace, and blessings that the gospel can bring. Nope, not one soul. Okay, I'm off my soap box. Remember, in the words of Rachel's last email, the success is in the inviting. So needless to say, it was a good visit, but there were no referrals. That's okay because our success was in the invite.
So by the end of Wednesday I was beat! Thursday we had a lesson with another lady…(early 50s maybe). She is a convert of about a year but can't come to church because she has to work on Sundays. That's no fun. Anyway, we showed her Hope of God's Light Mormon Message but she didn't' really take to it. I don't know what it was. She said that she would probably feel differently about things if she went to church and I agree. Probably the best mission prep I could have had was living in the Bahamas. It was great mission prep for a lot of reasons but one of them was knowing how it feels and the effects of not attending church months at a time. My spiritually suffered, absolutely.
Friday was exchanges. I was going to be in the Sandy River Sister's area and be with Sister Halgren and Sister Bloxham was going to be in the OC with Sister Pope. The Sandy River area is up near Mt. Hood. The area they cover is HUGE. Like I would say if our mission was split in half, half would be Mt. Hood area and the other half is well, the other half. We met half way and exchanged Thursday night and then I spent the night in Sandy then on Friday we worked in the Hood. It's like what Sister Halgren said, "In this area you feel like you are on a road trip." And it's true. You really have to plan your day because if you have an appointment with someone up in the mountain, you have to plan driving time and then what to do up in the mountain for an hour or two before your next appointment. Then you finish your appointment and you drive back down the mountain for your dinner appointment and your dinner appointment is out in the sticks but you still got 40 min to kill and you can't really do anything else cuz there is no where to tract (and honestly tracting in the sticks is creepy and probably not very safe), and you cant' drop by a less-active because by the time you get to the nearest one you'll have to turn around and drive back to dinner. So thank goodness for iPads and online proselyting that you can make your time productive when you aren't being so productive. When we got to dinner early we started updating our lessons. Sweet.
Anywho, it was fun serving in Mt. Hood for the day. We taught this one recent convert in his 40’s. Pretty interesting fellow. Lives in this old trailer on his dad's property in the woods. He loves the Gospel and how it has helped his life. He doesn't have any support from family and friends but he sticks up for the church and himself when they mess with him for being Mormon.
Living in the mountains is a lot like living on an island I decided. I don't have time to write to you guys my whole spill I gave to Sister Halgren on the subject maybe you guys can figure it out. It even has a lot of the same culture.
This Sunday was the primary program. It was one of the best I have ever seen. The whole gospel was taught by children and it was so awesome! The gospel is really simply beautiful and beautifully simple.
Well, the church is true and I am grateful I can be a missionary in the great state of OREGON!