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