No kidding about Ben crawling the walls, I've been curious to what he does all day now that he doesn't have a rigorously planned schedule everyday. Sounds exciting that he's starting to get all his classes and things figured out, and I'm hopeful that his new job will be good! Glad he got a taste of what kind of ladies he can encounter in entry-level college math classes! I always knew that my father was a wise man!
Glad that Nathan finally got his mission call- I was expecting him to go to some Latin-American country but Paraguay should be really cool. Thanks for giving my email to Luke, I'd love to hear from him. I got a letter from Hunter out in Taiwan a few days ago, and Ethan wrote me an email telling me about a letter he sent back to me in response to a letter I sent him like a month ago. It's weird to think about how many girls will be out serving, but I guess it makes a lot of sense. Easier for them to go out now that they don't have to become a nun for three years!
A few good stories this week to write home about. Last Monday we went to this local bowling alley with a guy from our ward, Jim. I don't know if you knew this but I was absolutely terrible at bowling my entire life. I mean, I was awful- so Jim gave us a bowling 101 crash-course and now I can bowl pretty freakin' well! It was actually enjoyable now that I didn't feel like I sucked beyond all comprehension.
We also did some service for a lady up in Lake Oswego a few days ago. We drove up and she had this plot of land covered with blackberry bushes, which are really common here in Oregon. Just a bit of background on blackberry bushes; they grow tenaciously and they're covered in thorns. These bushes must have been 8-10 feet tall, and she needed help clearing the front part of this land, which was like ten feet back and fifty feet wide! So we borrowed a ton of gardening equipment and drove down to help out. The cool part is that Elder Lloyd was able to get a machete, and so we both took turns using it to clear this thick berry brush, and it was awesome! It made the classic slicing sound as you'd cut through the thickets and both Elder Lloyd and myself felt like men.
My really interesting story this week was probably the most traumatizing. We'd been knocking on doors out in the country for the later half of the week, which is great. Blue skies, the occasional light rain, the fresh outdoor air... It's easily some of the best time I've spent in Wilsonville. It's like hiking, but missionary-work. Anyways, we'd walked maybe an hour down this long road to this small area of houses. We knocked on most of the houses, and finally we get to the very last house on this street. This house was enormous and blocked off by this gate, but unfortunately the gate was open so we thought we would try talking to whomever lived there: big mistake.
As we walk up this gravel driveway there's a man spraying along it with some chemicals to kill the weeds. So we get pretty close to him and just give a polite greeting and say hello. This guy was pissed! The second he looks up he points this nozzle in our faces and angrily yells, "Hey, you guys get the f@#?! out of here!". Luckily he didn't spray us or attack us (he was a big guy too), but something came loose mentally because this guy snapped! We said sorry and told him that we would leave and as we're walking away he's following behind us, screaming and yelling at us "What the f@#?! is wrong with you guys?!", and trying to get us to basically sprint off his property "Well? Get the f@&#!? outta' here! Get moving, now!". Elder Thomas and I thought he was either going to call the police or pull a gun out on us, but it was awful. Totally draining too, you feel like doing absolutely nothing after you've been verbally raped!
A silver lining to our week though, we were able to find a new person to teach and she's really awesome. This guy, Chipper, and his wife Carly moved into Wilsonville from California about a month ago and while having dinner with them we had some time before dinner was going to be ready so we taught her about the restoration. It went pretty good, and we have something set up for next week. Not to mention we actually got referrals from two people this week, which is rare! So hopefully we can have things to fill our time.
Well, that's my week in a nutshell. Hope things are going well at home, and hope this week is good for everyone.
Love you all,
Elder Samuel Burge
P.S. - Hopefully I can get some pictures of me slicing with that machete from Elder Lloyd, I know he took a few.
Elder Thomas tracting country-style
The gravel driveway of berating – seemed innocent enough