Sounds like a pretty eventful week, definitely! I'm glad to hear that things are still going alright! I can't imagine anybody would be too peachy-keen if somebody started talking about possibilities for you having a serious disease. I'm glad that everything was able to work out alright though. I'll be sure to keep Dad in my prayers though (more so than I already do).
I'm glad to hear that Kayleigh's got a good moral compass! I can imagine the frustrations you have about Silas- I think I've learned a lot of valuable lessons my ten months here in Portland and I've learned very well the saying, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink". You can tell people to do something or develop a certain habit that will help and benefit them but until they have a determination for themselves to change, it won't happen. It's amazing how difficult it is for people (myself included) to do the little things that are asked of us daily. It's incredibly freaking irritating and frustrating when people don't listen, but I've come to realize the importance of showing your love for people even when they choose to be either disobedient and ignore whatever wisdom or counsel you offer them. If they understand, and I mean really understand, that you love them and what you're sharing with them is going to bless/help them then it will soften their hearts and humble them enough to listen and obey. Either that or they suffer the consequences of stupid decisions and, like touching a hot stove when you've been told it's hot, feel the burn and unfortunately learn from experience the blessings of obedience.
Our week was fairly interesting- but still a pretty slow week. We managed to find a really nice couple that we're going to start visiting, Derrick and Tina! They're already pretty devout Christians, but they're incredibly humble and sincere people. Not to mention they've been thoroughly impressed with our persistence in coming back to their house once a week for like two months..! Lesson #2 in my letter- persistence and diligence brings freakin' results! There's been at least three people that we've met with that have said something along the lines of, "You know, I'm incredibly impressed by how persistent you two guys are! I'll listen to what you've got to say!". It's pretty sweet, even if it is hard sometimes.
We've also had some pretty sketchy nights in these apartments on the west side of our area- super, duper sketchy! Earlier in the week, Elder Olsen bought an umbrella and whilst knocking on some doors in the apartments he'd left his umbrella tucked away under a stairwell. Well, it got stolen and it was not a cheap umbrella (he was pissed). Later in the week, we went to set up some appointments at like, 8:00-8:30, and so we parked our bikes outside the complex and walked up in. Well, there was something shady going on because there was three cop cars with their lights off and a couple of officers scoping out one of the buildings. We then walked over by this porch and one of our favorite locals to sit and talk with was having a smoke. So we sat and talked with her about a lot of things, and soon enough we had this other guy coming over asking for a smoke and sitting there talking with us. So we were having a conversation with them while they were all puffing cigarette smoke all over when the guy asking for a cigarette says, "Hold on, gotta' get something out of my car.." So I assume it's like some milk or groceries... Nope, it was his 3-month old son. It was a really weird half hour, but hopefully we'll get to do like a scripture study with the lady soon!
Well, it's the last week before transfers so I'll probably get the Halloween package on Monday if we go up to the transfer meeting. I'm really excited to get the heck outta' dodge (which sounds terrible), but I need a change of scenery. Plus, I'm excited to see Elder Olsen taking the reins of the area- he's a good missionary so he'll do good work in the area!
Tell Mom that I'm doing alright- staying safe on the bike. It's funny, a lady in our ward came up to us and talked about being careful/staying safe on the bikes because of how worried she thinks our mothers must be! Guess she was pretty inspired!
Well, I love you guys. Hope you all have a good week!
-Elder Samuel A. Burge
(Sorry, I've been pretty bad at taking pictures as of late...)