Monday, July 1, 2013

We've had quite a Portlandian week while staying with the Assistants

Hello everybody! Nope, we managed to avoid sleeping on the streets for at least a week or so (until the assistants kick us out)! We've been staying with them since this last Wednesday, and I've actually really enjoyed it. The assistants are pretty sweet, and they're hilarious. Elder Visser, one of the assistants, makes us do bench-presses before we can go to sleep. He's a football player from Preston, Idaho so he's been making us actually do some exercise. Elder Jones is hilarious, but he broke his ankle hard-core so he's on crutches and his ankle is absolutely wrecked! Their apartment smells pretty weird sometimes, but they have two bathrooms and enough beds for us so it isn't too bad. It's an apartment with four twenty-somethings, so it's kind of a dump as well. Their dishwasher doesn't work at all, they have nothing but a small, black fan to keep them cool, and their apartment is just littered with miscellaneous garbage. It's been actually really fun though! Their neighbors are all Hispanic, and they're always hanging out late at night in the parking lot. This little Mexican kid, Rolando, has become our friend (we've seen him around the apartment complexes quite a bit). These two guys totally were screaming at each other on Saturday though, it was crazy! This super pissed white guy was ripping into the maintenance guy about something and I thought they were going to beat the living crap out of each other. The Mexican guy ended the argument and the white guy called him an a-hole and various other profanities and slammed his door. Elder Visser has been feeding this huge spider on the stairway up to the apartment door, and we've nicknamed her Shelob. It's super crazy, we catch moths/flies that are fluttering around and you throw them in her web and she just comes out and freakin' attacks whatever you toss in! It's incredibly entertaining, and really cool! Last night we threw an earwig we found in her web, and they got into an epic battle! The earwig was pinching at her and she ran around him at like, 50 MPH, and ensnared him in webbing and then just bit into his neck and killed him! I took a lot of video and some pictures (I'll send the pictures!) Speaking of heat-waves, Oregon has not been exempt from them. The past few days have been EXTREMELY hot- the temperature outside has been steadily rising and the humidity has been ridiculous. It's been like being in Florida and we've had to bike around in it all day long... Not to mention our apartment is hotter than it is outside, so my hair hasn't been dry since last Tuesday! I've been able to cope with eating a ton of otter-pops, cold showers, and fighting over their little black fan. (They're going to steal a ton of fans from the mission office tonight though so we should be good!) The heat wave is supposed to hit it's peak today and tomorrow, but luckily we have the car this week so we're out of it for now! (God bless central air-conditioning!) We've had quite a Portlandian week as far as stories go. Apparently there was a massive bee genocide in Wilsonville and some surrounding areas from some landscaping companies using too much pesticide on these trees. I think around 50,000 bees were killed from it, and some people told us that they're having a memorial service for the bees in Portland! A memorial service for a bunch of dead bees! I was laughing so hard, and I still can't think about what you would even have at a mass bee memorial! It was really funny, you should look it up and see if you can find more information on it! We also saw this long-haired, bearded guy walking down the street playing a guitar yesterday. It was pretty cool, because he wasn't too bad on the guitar! We also went to this local Greek joint in our area called the Mad Greek Deli for dinner on the weekend and it was freaking delicious! Supposedly the guy who owns this place is known as the "Greek Nazi", because he's just like the soup-nazi from Seinfield. They have Greek fries, and if you call them French fries or ask for ketchup he freaks out on you! It was a really cool restaurant, and they make these gyros that are really good! I actually had a lamb gyro and it was delicious, so I'm curious about their beef and chicken ones. Either way, it was pretty good. This week we were able to get in with some people that we've had a hard time getting in the door with. Both of them our investigators we picked up awhile back, Ken and Beate. Both of our lessons with them went very well. Ken's visit was extremely casual and it was more of a discussion about God- he really opened up to us a lot, and he's absolutely hilarious! He's got a lot of doubts about whether God is there or not, but we made some good progress with him I think. Our recent convert from last month, Jen, has gone completely inactive though. This kid that's been staying with her (her ex-boyfriend's son whom she's super attached to) has been playing defense at the door, and yesterday told us that she wants us to stop trying to swing by and talk to her. It was pretty lame, and it's disappointing but we're trying to get somebody talking to her. Also, the lady we talked with last week that had a ton of potential left a note on her door and she's totally does not want us to come back. That sucked too, but what can you do. This week has sounded pretty interesting for everybody, especially for Dad! Dealing with the antagonizing crowds cannot be enjoyable, but I'm glad that he did a good job on dealing with the press on the whole issues. Getting positive recognition from a state senator and a news reporter definitely would make me feel like I did a good job. What was the Q&A about? I can relate in respect to the heckling intellectuals out there, I get into many bible-bashes with people who just love debating/arguing with you on just about anything. There is this one guy we visited who was like a human-computer, extremely intelligent! He had a ton of observations on the bible and I felt like a two-year-old trying to compete with this guy intellectually. It was brutal! Yeah, the whole gay rights thing is definitely a difficult thing to discuss and deal with. That's crazy to hear that ground-zero for that whole debate is heading to good ol' Utah. All the controversy of homosexuality is not my favorite thing to discuss with people. I'm glad I'm not the only one who's thought about how homosexuality just doesn't work and isn't really normal, from a biological/scientific standpoint. I definitely don't think it's a discussion about marriage, but absolutely is a discussion about acceptance- a discussion which I hate talking about with people. I think we need to love the sinner, but hate the sin. Well, I've got to get going. Lots of things to get done today! I love you all very much and I hope you all have a great week! Love always, Elder Samuel Burge

My awesome lamb gyro

My light refracting face

Jones soda & mail

Ultimate insect fighting

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