I want you to try and visualize some of the rich experiences I've had this week!
Imagine walking into the basement of an 80 year old house built with scrap wood and rocks, and catching a whiff of something nasty, like an overdue cat litter box. Then look to your left and see that there is a compact freezer nicely tucked back in the corner. From the outside, this freezer doesn't seem to be out of the ordinary, but then, as you continue to look at the freezer, imagine someone telling you that the freezer is full of food, but has been unplugged for.......over a year! Yes, and we were assigned to carry it out to a large dumpster. After we carried it out and set it down, we all stood back, and decided to open it. It was disgusting! Ziplock bags full of nastiness and bugs....anyway, you get it.
Now imagine you are sitting at a somewhat fancy Japanese steakhouse where they have the stovetop in front of where you eat. Imagine a Japanese cook flipping his spatulas around as he cooks rice, eggs, veggies, etc. Then, you watch as he takes a small piece of scrambled egg, and flings it up in the air in your direction! He did it twice to me, and I caught them both in my mouth! :) Thanks to the Vances for taking us :)
Now imagine sitting with a missionary from El Salvador in the home of a Spanish family. As he talks with the smart ten year old about baptisms for the dead, you are trying to keep up, even though you can hardly understand what they are saying!
It was quite fun going on that exchange. Elder Parrish and I enjoyed serving with elder Montoya for a few days. He taught me some Spanish, and I got to actually testify in Spanish at a members home! I said simply, "Mi familia es feliz porque vivimos el evangelio." Now I can actually read the Book of Mormon in Spanish, and comprehend some of it! I love it.
We've been helping this cool lady Maira paint a rental house. She is a new investigator that the other elders found while tracting. She's really nice and, after we answered some of her questions about the church and missionaries, we got to basically teach her the restoration while we were painting. She said it really makes sense to her!
The Dolan kids finally got baptized! It was a great experience to be a part of that family. I got to baptize Beau and confirm Sadi the next day. Their dad, Chad, gave a great talk on the Holy Ghost. He's probably one of my favorite people I've met out here. "I might not be the most qualified for this. I smoke, I occasionally drink... but I know that what you are doing is good." His talk and his testimony were so sincere; it was great to have him participate. I was a little worried at first when his kids asked him to talk, but he said he'd do it, and he did just fine.
The carters, whom we work with closely, finally got their car registered so they can get to church. That's a miracle! I love seeing their progress, especially because they have been stuck for years before.
Well, I hope you were able to imagine what it was like a little bit for me for the past couple weeks. Now on to new adventures! Tune in next time to hear how I survived over 4 thanksgiving dinners!
(Elder Wylie top row left end)