Man. I am exhausted!!! We spent all day in Tacoma doing a bunch of stuff. I had to go down to take a "driver's training course" for that ticket I got 3 transfers ago. I told President Weaver that I get carsick really bad riding shotgun trying to make phone calls and look at our planners and navigate. Apparently he is the same way, so he gave me my blue card back almost immediately after Elder Quigley (car manager) had taken it away. Wahoo!! But I had to go down and watch an hr and 15 min long driving video and answer all these questions on a worksheet and then take a test on what I watched. Hmm. Tiny, tiny TV and a video from 1978. It was painful. But worth it, because now I am totally rid of that awful ticket and everything that came with it! We took advantage of being in Tacoma and went shopping down there. They have an H&M and a 2-story Forever21 so I spent most of the Christmas cash that I had been saving for a rainy day. Lucky for us, the past few days have been really sunny! Like 50's-60's during the day. So niiicceee. We are pooped from all that shopping. Funny how a couple hours of that will knock you out yet we can go all day doing missionary work. Goes to show that God supports righteous causes. I guess shopping for clothes and things at Target doesn't really qualify. But it sure did boost our spirits!
So I am going to get on the Encinitas ward for not making Mormon.org profiles!! What's up with that, guys? We use Mormon.org with people we meet tracting and our investigators and they always like to see people from our hometown's profiles. I totally thought there would be more from Encinitas. You guys are all so awesome and unique, the world needs to know about it. So shout out to Brother Townsend!! Haha his was one of this first ones to pop up. Kudos to him.
Mom, a few emails back you told me that really cute story about the elders running back to their apt to get the "penguin" tupperware. Hahah I LOVED that story because that same exact things happens to us here in Btown. This 86 yr old widow, who's grandson is serving in the Carlsbad mission (he's currently in San Juan Capistrano. Name is Elder Shirley. Ask your elders if they know him), always makes us little treats and promises us that if we return the tupperware that she'll fill it up with something new to snack on. She usually fills it with THE best chocolate minty fudgy brownies ever. SO GOOD.
So the other sister missionaries in our zone have a lady in their ward that made a bunch of "hobo" bags. Giant ziplock bags filled with hats, scarves, gloves, toothbrushes, snacks, etc. that the sisters could keep in the trunk of their car to give out to homless people. Well, their area is pretty nice so they gave the hobo bags to us. Plenty of hobos all around Btown. Or people that you might mistake as hobos. So it has been really fun handing them out to people. So far we have given away 5 bags. None to random hobos but to less fortunate kids/families in the ward or investigators that we are teaching. It's crazy how excited kids get over some gloves and a toothbrush.
We have been running!! Yeah we are taking our health seriously. So despite the pitchblackness, freezing mornings, and earliness and pain of the alarm going off after it feels like you have been asleep for 10min we have made it out like 4 times this past week to hit the streets and run. Sister Welch went from despising running to semi-hating to tolerating running. She loves the way it makes her feel AFTERWARDS. But during the run she doesn't enjoy herself too much. Therefore, she appointed me to be the course designer. Each time we go out running I map the course and she follows. I usually start brainstorming the day before and recap the course the night before as we are getting into bed. We have been progressively adding more and more distance on to the runs and more hills. Saturday's run we ran almost 3 miles and the course was pretty hilly. Sister Welch stops and walks for a while and I run ahead and then double back. She says her knees cause her pain and sometimes she tastes blood when she's breathing hard. Hmm. Not good. But I am starting to love running.
Alright so my little calling that I have in the Bremerton Zone is "Madame Miracle." Any time a miracle happens in any of the areas in the zone, the missionaries are supposed to call me and tell me about it and then I send out a mass miracle text to the rest of the zone to inspire, pump up, and entertain us all. It's so fun. Haha I love my calling. I try to make it as funny as possible so that incase people are having a hard day, that the miracle text will make them laugh and not feel bad or upset that they haven't had a miracle. SO...the other day, one of my ZL's calls to tell me a bunch of miracles that happened to them. Just amazing, amazing stuff. So I am thinking about what I am going to say and what little funny quips I could make up. Then he tells me that there was a really weird/scary thing that happened to them that night. So they were out tracting and they were driving to another street than the one they were on. They make a U-turn and in the glow of their headlights they see this lady laying face down in on the ground in front of her house. Weird. So after waiting a couple seconds they notice that she wasn't moving. At all. So they quickly pull over and see what's the matter. A middle-aged lady was laying in the middle of her walkway face down with a pool of blood under her face. Yikes. There were bags of groceries all around her. It looked as if she has just gotten home. The elders noticed that there was a bloody handprint on the railing by the door and the lady still wasn't moving so they called 911. The dispatcher told them they were going to need to turn her over and check her breathing. So they did. She wasn't. A little while later the ambulance comes. They pronouce her dead on the scene. AGHHHHH!!! The police roll up and have to get a full report and witness from the elders about everything that happened. So apparently she slipped and fell. Hit her head. Got up and felt that she had cut her head open reached for the railing and then collapsed on the ground. Then she bled out. So saddddd!!! It was a miracle though that on this random quiet street the missionaries happen to be there and notice her so that she could be taken care of properly and not lay their the whole night. Sorry that was such a gruesome story, but I thought it was yet another testament that God is mindful of everyone and that His missionaries are His hands in many instances.
There are a lot of different nationalities out here in Washington, particularly Bremerton because it is a navy town. So you would think that people wouldn't be shocked to see me walking down the street. We were at this older couple's house, both members of the church, and we were there for dinner. The man was talking about some historical figure. I have heard his name but couldn't tell you a thing about him. His wife was like "Ralph, the girls wouldn't know that. That's wayyy before their time." He replies, "Sure they would have learned it in history class." Then he points to Sis Welch "Well, she might've." Then he points to me. "Well, she probably wouldn't have down in South America..." Wait, what?? I was like "Ummm....I'm from Southern CALIFORNIA. Not South America!!" Hahaha. Man...people these days. Apparently they thought I was from Ensenada and not Encinitas. Which is also a faulty statement because Ensenada is in Mexico. Ay yay yayyyy.......
We cleaned another squalored home this weekend. We visited this new family that semi-recently moved into the ward. Oh my goodness. It was badddd..So I volunteered Sis Welch and I to come back this past Saturday for a couple hours to do some service and help them clean their house. It's a mom and her 3 kids. (11yr old boy with aspbergers, an 8 yr old boy, and a 15mo. old girl) The first time we went over there the 8yr old started frantically picking up things off the floor, stacking dishes and tidying up for us. It was the cutest and saddest thing ever at the same time. So of couse he was the biggest help when we came back and cleaned. He and his brothers helped us clean while the mom tackled a giant heap of mail, bills, and papers on their desk. No joke, their living room looked like you took a 50 lb.bag of bread crumbs, and cracker crumbs, and any other kind of crumb and sprinkled them all over the carpet like you would potting soil. Out of control! They don't have a working vaccuum so they have been using a broom. Not sure that was working out so well. So we gave them one of our vaccuums. We had two. It took me an hour to vaccuum a room that was probably about 12ftx12ft. The Oreck vaccuum was the real hero of the day. That thing picked up stuff I wouldn't dare touch. And I picked up an old pizza crust that I found underneath the couch with my bare hands! Sis Welch did the kitchen ( I didn't dare go in there). It took her an hour just to clean the stove top. After it was all said and done the place looked great, we felt great, the kids got to help, and everyone was happy all around.
I am continuing on in my reading of the Book of Mormon and am in Mosiah. There is a really great part in I believe chapter 24 about "cheerfully submitting ourselves and bearing our trials with patience." It might be worth checking out.
We are surviving the cold and the loving the scattered sunshine. Thanks Grandpa Ted for thinking about me always. You are such a good GranPaww. Sis Welch and I cling to this HappiLight that a lady in our ward is letting us borrow. And we're having a good time doing the work out here, despite a lot of hardship we've both faced lately. So we're good. Keep on keeping on. Haha.
Love you guys,
ps. we didn't even know it was the superbowl until Saturday. Shows how much we are in the world. We didn't tract during the superbowl cause we had a lesson w/an investigator instead.