Monday, January 30, 2017
Week 76 - January 30, 2017
What an incredible week here in the Promised Land of Philadelphia! We have been so blessed with incredible opportunities.
This last week on Monday we had all of the departing missionaries at the mission home and we played games (I beat Elder Andrus in ping pong 25-23) had some good cheese steaks and heard some amazing "dying testimonies." It was particularly heart-warming when our two-transfer missionary bore his testimony and how the great example of his two trainers influenced him so much. Everyone was in tears. Be thou an example!
We dropped them off at the airport Tuesday morning. It was sad to say goodbye, lots of mission legends. We rushed back to the mission office and began transfers helping people get in and out quick, that was... exciting :) Elder Andrus' trainer got picked up by his parents at the mission office, that was cool. His trainer is a complete stud of a missionary.
After transfers, we rushed back to the airport and went to go pick up all of the incoming missionaries or "Goldens" as we call them... they were so frightened it was great. Love to see those new missionary faces--it's the best. I always enjoy spending the day, learning and getting to know them. I respect each individual who comes out to serve a mission!
Wednesday we did some trainings with the Goldens and their trainers and it is sooo much fun watching the slideshow of who the Trainer-Golden companionships are. There is a lot of excitement.
(The new incoming missionaries.)
We watched the missionary broadcast and learned a lot from that, plus our missionary schedule just took a 180 degree turn. We actually get more sleep now!
Thursday was great. We taught our Vietnamese investigator, Tai. He doesn't speak much English, but we read from "Gospel Principles" about who God is and who Christ is and the role of the Holy Ghost. He would read it in Vietnamese and then we would ask him questions, and he did surprisingly well understanding what we were saying. He prayed for the first time in his life at the end and it was amazing... love this kid.
We taught this new young single adult named Kelly. She goes to Penn. She is from Lubbock, TX. She has had a really CRAZY past, in and out of rehab for drugs, alcohol you name it. She has been all over the place with her life. Well, she met an LDS girl at rehab in Utah and they went through the process together and became really close. Last week the LDS girl got married in the temple in Pason, Ut and Kelley decided to go and wait in the lobby. She said as she was waiting in the lobby, she just felt the most incredible sense of peace she has ever felt in her life and that she wanted that more in her life. She has had multiple LDS professors in her life and has just been surrounded by members of the church who have had a huge impact on her in the good and bad times. We had our first lesson with her and she was sooo pumped to meet with us. It was an incredible lesson. She is stunning.... words can't describe how cool she is. She loved church, is going to Institute with some of the members. She's all over it. We focused our first two lessons with her primarily on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how she can access it and feel God's love and power in her life.
We had a pretty funny experience this week up in North Philly at Temple University. We were going to have dinner with a member and while we were waiting on the street corner, we heard someone yelling and using some very explicit language to say the least and anyways after a few minutes this small but pretty bulky hammered drunk comes walking up to us and starts yelling at us and basically goes off on us, "You don't know who I am?" We were like.... what? He starts going off about he plays football for the Steelers and we're like... okay, that's cool. He got up in our faces and was like, "You don't believe me (in the midst of all this he was using some colorful language wow) and he pulls out his wallet and tries to give us hundreds and hundreds of dollars for us to believe who he is, and we were like, "We don't care about your money, man! Anyways, he pulls out his NFL ID card (he actually was a Steelers football player) and is trying to get us back in his car (guy was driving so drunk) and the member finally comes and the guy is like, "You don't know who i am either," and the member says, "Yeah, you're Tyler Matakevich." It was pretty funny. Apparently the guy was a legend at football at Temple and is a rookie for the Steelers, but it was just comical to see him so drunk all on his own walking around Temple trying to get some recognition for who he was. Good times, gotta love Philly. I thought Elder Andrus was about to lay down the hammer if he got any closer lol.
Well, to close I really like these two passages one from "Preach my Gospel" and the other from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.
"As we rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, He can help us endure our trials, sicknesses, and pain. We can be filled with joy, peace, and consolation. All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ."
(A recent convert who Elder Andrus and Elder Wilde really love. He is great!)
"However late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made … , or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines.”