a lot of being a missionary in the oregon, portland mission looks like this....
guess who was at church my first sunday in the 5 Oaks ward........
zone caroling at the retirement home.
hiking this morning at tyron creek state park near lake oswego.
oregon sure is beautiful!
so, we went to this waterfront after our hike cuz i thought it was the actual Lake Oswego,
but it turns out it wasn't....
...but we got to see a little downtown of lake oswego which sis. larsen hadn't seen before.
mission Christmas party!
pres. ballard was santa and all the missionaries got a pic with him...
sis. ballard made sure of that.
This is going to be a super quick one. Sorry I don't have time to reply to your guys emails personally. I loved hearing the happenings of everyone at home and such. Glad sisters made it down safe and sam with the bros. It's been a reeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaally long day. Started with a dermatologist appointment in the morning. Then a hike. Then our mission Christmas party that took 5 hours. It was a lot of fun but it just was a wee bit too long. A lot of work was put into it.
Man, this week has been pretty slow. Transfer week either goes slow or fast. So about this area....can't remember what I said in my last email so some of it might be repeat. This area has A TON of apartments. Very transient ward. Sister Larsen said that they just had a lot of strong active families move out of the ward. The days can be slow. Nobody is home during the day and people don't necessarily want to see you at night because they are busy coming home from work and dealing with the holidays. On Saturday we seriously tried so many people. Eventually I was like, I gotta use the restroom, let's go to Fred Meyer and use the toilet. We walked into Fred Meyer and holy moly! No wonder nobody was home on that Saturday! Everybody was at Fred Meyers! So after our potty break I'm like, "Let's do a lap around Freddies...." So we did and I was getting some nuts in the bulk section and this worker lady was refilling the bins and she was like, "Oh I see you are sister missionaries! Im not Mormon, but my ex-husband is Mormon and I have read the whole Book of Mormon to my daughter when she was growing up!" So we ended having a really good conversation with her and ended up giving her a He is the Gift card. It was the most we had done all day! Talking to people about the gospel wise....
We also do a lot of service. I had a really good experience the other day. So we live right across the street from the Food Bank and we signed up to go on Friday. Volunteers come in two hour shifts. On our shift we were packing frozen green beans. My partner was this guy, Dan. He was in his mid 30s, and when we got put together he's like, “hi! I'm Dan, what's your name?" So then I say, "Well, I am a Mormon Missionary so I go by Sister Magnusson. Magnusson is my last name." When you just say Sister Magnusson a lot of times people get confused cuz they are like, "Your name is sister? What is Magnusson? Is that your last name or first name?" Anywho, he said that he had some really good childhood friends that were Mormon and some who went on missions. He works with Insurance but he used to be a Youth Minister. He was asking me a bunch of questions which was awesome! He calls himself a Baptist Protestant....and I was getting the sense he was also a Born Again. Anyway, his deal was that God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are one person, if you accept Jesus on your death bed you are saved, if you never accepted Jesus into your heart you are dammed to hell, additional revelation or scripture is not given. He was super nice and he truly has a strong testimony in Christ and His power to change lives and had done a lot of great things with the youth. But I was very confused with his doctrine and he seemed to be with ours. "I just can't see how you have to have works in addition to faith to be saved, " is what he told me. I didn't Bible bash with him, and didn't with me which was nice but man, I thought of a scripture for everything he said. He said he would add me on Facebook and he gave me his full name but I don't remember how to spell it and can't find him. Booger. Oh well. It was one of the best OYMs (open your mouth) I have ever had and I believe we were truly meant to package frozen green beans together.
So our only two investigator are a Hindu couple from India. There are A TON of Indians in this community. A ton. Someone was saying Intel and Nike brings them in. Everyone works for Intel or Nike in the Beaverton/Aloha/Hillsboro area. Anyway, for our lesson we had a member from the Hazeldale ward come (Sister Larsen served in Hazeldale for 9 months and it neighbors our area) cuz he served his mission in India. He is some white dude in his 30s from Arizona. It was soooooooooooo awesome to have them there. The wife has a Christian background but the husband is pretty much Hindu. We really have to simplify our teaching with them and Bro. Whiting (the India returned missionary) did such a good job. You could tell he got totally into teaching them. We mainly talked about praying to know if the Book of Mormon is true. The husband was saying he believes in a higher power but he believes in all the Gods. All the Hindu Gods, the Christian God, Muslim God, all of them. His thing is that if God is really God he would be with all the religions and cultures. Well that is true in a sense, God loves all His children no matter the race, ethnicity, or religion so I can see where he was going there but there is only one way to truly serve and follow him. The miracle of day was that the wife wanted a Book of Mormon in Telugu (her native language that they speak in Southern India). I have never even heard of that dialect. It's pronounced Tell-e-goo. I was sure we could get it for them but I didn't know how long it would take. Sometimes ordering things through the mission takes fooooooooooreveeeeeerrrr. Anyway, we go home and I'm brushing my teeth for the night and Sister Larsen was like, "Hey Sister Magnusson, guess what is on our book shelf!" It was a Book of Mormon in Telugu!!!!! We were both shocked! We have no idea how it got there. Someone must of ordered it before for someone in the area cuz there are so many Indians here or something but Sister Larsen hadn't noticed it when she de-clutterd the apartment a few days ago. After a long day of knocking on doors without people answering we defiantly saw that as a sign that Heavenly Father is aware of our needs. They came to Sacrament meeting on Sunday which was awesome! A lot of people said hi to them without being overwhelming which was good. Next time they said they will try all three hours.
K, I have more I could say but I have to go. Sorry, it's a short one. I love you all! Can't wait to talk to everybody on Christmas.
Love you! Merry Christmas! Remember because Christ was born we have the Atonement which means we can make changes in our lives!