Monday, June 26, 2017

Wichita Take: 2

Wichita Take: 2

This week has begun from helping the housing coordinators move a bunch of missionary furniture into a storage unit on preparation day. I want to switch them a table when Elder Tippetts leaves, so I need to be in good graces with them! Later the same preparation day, Elder Tippetts and I meet a rather interesting fellow named Chuck. We gave him a Book of Mormon right before heading in for the day as he was sitting in his car with a few buddies. Chuck is the very first person we see the next day, trying to break into his car. He locked himself out. Lucky for him, I've broken into a lot of vehicles on my mission. I ran back into the apartment to grab a few tools, hustled back out and put everything into place. With a little help, Chuck armed himself with a wire hanger and a few seconds later, POP goes the weasel, he's in. He appreciated the help and suddenly became a little more interested in our message!

It's now Tuesday so district meeting is supposed to take place, but the church building is all locked up for cleaning. I took the district to the park in a nice shady spot after strapping a whiteboard onto our Chevy Malibu and we were there for the entirety of our meeting. It was a really great time. By nightfall, I slowly became aware I had been attacked by oak mites during meeting. I found rather quickly am highly allergic. I'd share pictures of the bites but I'll have you know oak mites bite in dark moist areas of the body. They are relentless. I figure you'd rather be spared of further detail.

Although we had a progressing investigator move out of our area (who may or may not be stark drug crazy), God gave us another! Elder Tippetts and I met Fernando Sorensen! He's a cholo recently out of the slammer, but otherwise a god-fearing man. As we met with Fernando, it became apparent he loves the feeling of the Spirit. Our meeting with him went rather long because he stalled us from leaving by sporadically reading random bible verses.

Soon after this experience I met Kay Fralin (Fray-Lin). Elder Tippetts and his previous companion have worked with her a few weeks previous to my arrival. She's so funny. Kay anxiously awaits our arrival, retrieves her Book of Mormon and asks we say a prayer and hold hands, sitting in a circle around her table. We receive a lecture of staying safe in this crazy neighborhood then we read a chapter from the Book of Mormon.

Saturday night Elder Tippetts and I meet a man named Chris Cummings we stopped as he was walking his dogs. Chris has met with the sisters in the area in the past, but after he broke up with his girlfriend and receiving a gunshot wound on separate occasions, Chris prioritized in keeping his life together. He's more stable now so we talked about Jesus Christ restoring His church on the Earth again through the prophet Joseph Smith. Chris expressed to us his concern whether fighting for your life is a sin if you hurt another. Chris asked for a copy of the Book of Mormon. I handed him an open copy while frantically searching in another copy for the verse about Captain Moroni writing the title of liberty. During my search Chris had begun to read aloud from the open copy I gave him, "And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a pice thereof, and wrote upon it--In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children..." My search stopped abruptly. I accidentally had given Chris the exact page he needed without realizing it! I call that a miracle. Go Jesus. 

Ah, Wichita is a really fun place. The sisters have an investigator named Mike that insisted on feeding us. He made a TON of food and we ate it in the backyard. Mike is from Iran. He had a former LDS boss that helped him from becoming a simple technician to an engineer for Boeing aircraft. The office elders joined us for the meal per MIke's request.

Above: Sister Thompson, Mike, Elder Benziger, Elder Tippetts, Sister Curran

Below: Elder LaMont, Elder Saari (sorry)

Listening to Mike's stories after the big meal.

At the house of a member, playing SPOONS with the kids before dinner was ready.

Elder Tippetts' face of defeat when a prank doesn't work.

A member's makeshift Father's Day card to his father not yet sent.

A sign hanging in the mission medical coordinator's office. Funnier when you're on the other end of the shot...

Much love to my friends and family from Wi-Chee-Tuh <3

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Fresh Elder of Bel Aire

The Fresh Elder of Bel Aire

Happy Father's Day to the fathers in my life and fathers throughout the world. The love that a good father feels for his children reflects the greater love that our Heavenly Father feels for us! How grateful I am for fathers and for families!

Transfers are upon us, ladies and gents. If you've not yet heard, I'm in Wichita once again. My new companion Elder Tippets is a Sky View High graduate of the year 2015, as I am. We have plenty to talk about.

Check out this vehicle I saw on the way to Wichita!

"Somebody call the WHAAAMBULANCE!"

Does anybody know how much of a nightmare it is to have a glass table for a dining table? It's the worst. You can't ever keep it clean for long. It can't be done with water because you'll leave streaks. Windex is your best friend. For the longest time in Lawrence, my companions and I had such a table. An opportunity to rid ourselves of this table came when the housing coordinators made the long trip to Lawrence from Wichita. We traded with a perfectly ordinary wood table and I became very content.


The bit of furniture pictured here, circled in red, is the table I reference. This picture was taken some time ago in Lawrence during the spring season while Elder Daly was my companion.

I walk into my new apartment with Elder Tippetts and see this:


"Elder Tippetts! What is this table doing here?"

"Huh? Oh, I grabbed that from the housing coordinators. They took it out of Lawrence and were about to throw it in a storage unity. I'm so glad I saw it. When I served in Lawrence, I had that very same table and now it's here. I love this table!"

This table is haunted. It followed me here. I hate it. Unfortunately, my companion loves it. Fortunately, he goes home next month so the table goes right out with him.

Anyway, the apartment in which we live has undergone massive cleaning efforts! It's really tiring.

But after a ton of work, I finally felt content to share some pictures of what I'm living in.

In mine and Elder Tippet's apartment complex, there are a lot of dog owners. Especially our neighbors. It's real easy for me to talk to anybody that loves animals, and real easy to bring Christ into the conversation. This week we contacted a lot of individuals taking their dogs out. Sometimes it is easier for me to remember the names of the dogs the investigators own rather than the names of the investigators themselves. I think my baby sister Vivian would be rather proud we are so similar. Some of the investigators we have include Renee Reynolds, Ember Elliot, and Lillian Elliot. Each of them were found in like manner.

The members are great and the ward is enormous! It's crazy being in a family ward after serving in a small YSA for a few months. The entire chapel is abuzz with the din of children and all sorts of noise, comparatively.

One of the families that fed us this past week claims I have a celebrity look alike. What do you think?

This part of Wichita is no exception to the crazy sort of people that live in Kansas, but we love them. I'm so happy to be a messenger of Christ's gospel to my brothers and sisters. I know it is true and I am forever changed from it. Thank you always for your love, support, and prayers.