Monday, July 7, 2014

Being in SW Portland is very interesting and the members here are amazing!!!


Well, his week was alright. If I'm being honest, it's probably been the two roughest weeks so far of my mission- lots of struggles, but we've gone through it with joy. I mean it's just one thing after
another and so many little challenges, but my attitude has been so much better this week. I used to think there was no way I could have the faith to endure some of the hardships early saints and pioneers faced, but after this week I feel like my endurance might be stronger than I thought (or than it used to be).

So our week was probably somewhat better-- getting more used to the area, and our planning has gotten better. The area book was very, VERY unorganized. Quite a few people that dropped us months ago, visited and rejected the message, and some people that shouldn't even be in our books (Spanish referrals, etc.).. So we've been sorting through it and I think we've gotten quite a bit of it cleaned up and updated. I still am really enjoying the area. Being in Southwest Portland is very interesting, lots of unique people and again our area is pretty big! That means a lot of places to contact, and from what I've gathered there hasn't been much door-to-door contacting for the past
few months (which means there's probably quite a few new move-ins to the apartments, people haven't seen us in awhile so they won't slam the door so hard, etc.). Still don't really have anybody we're teaching right now, except some recent converts and less-active/returning members.

Our one investigators who we met with (somewhat) regularly ended up taking off for Texas randomly to find work in some oil fields there. He had a baptismal date, but obviously that fell through since he straight-up left on a whim. Lots of confusion on that one, but hopefully that works out for him.

We had a day this week (like Thursday, I think) that was pretty rough. We visited so many potentials and, while we did clear out quite a few from the books (err, I guess iPads?) We got quite a few doors slammed in our faces. People were not friendly that day, and between those angry doors and media referrals who rejected us after requesting things themselves online, we had to walk for like two-three hours in the blazin' heat. I was pretty beat by the end of that day, but it was followed by an awesome weekend!

We've got a lot of potential here- and we saw some of it from Friday until the end of the week. The members here are AMAZING! They're super friendly and awesome to be with, and they have a missionary focus! We had some sweet opportunities because of the great people in our area!
Our 4th of July we just spent the morning with Elder Meredith and Elder Ah'Qui hanging out, getting a bite to eat, and playing basketball at the church. After that though we went with Bro. Foutz to
visit somebody we'd set a lesson with earlier. It ended up falling though (which we guessed), so we went back to his house and spent the day with them. I dozed on their couch for about an hour, then we
watched "The Other Side of Heaven". It was nice of them, and we ended up staying for a barbecue they were having with another family in the ward and some of their neighbors. We got to talk with two or three people about what we did as missionaries, and I ended up talking with one teen about boxing for awhile. He'd been boxing for two years and ended up letting me friend him on Facebook! Digital-era missionary tools, FTW! (He moved the day after further into the city). It was sweet that they let us come over though, talk with people, and fed us delicious teriyaki burgers with grilled pineapple. (grilled pineapple is so good..!)

After that we went for fireworks south in Tigard with Brother B-Line (one of our favorite members in the ward, he's legit!) and his family. The fireworks were at Tigard High School at like 9-10, and so we went to his in-law's house until then. There we ate steak and got taught a lesson in how to fix the government by this older guy.

So we watched the fireworks (no pictures this year, forgot my camera). That was good- I got to see Sister Farley and Elder Pearson because they were there! I love Elder Pearson, he's been my favorite companion my whole mission and Sister Farley is an awesome sister I've served around quite a bit. That was sweet! Then we got home at like 11:30, drank some Martinelli's Sparkling Apple Juice to celebrate freedom and stuff, then crashed because we were wiped out!

Saturday we were doing service with Brother B-Line, and we helped him clean gutters, trim some bushes, and other stuff on these properties his manages and we had an awesome member missionary experience! One of the tenants came up to pay her rent, and I ended up talking with her on his porch for 5-10 minutes while he was taking care of the rent inside. She asked all sorts of questions about missionary service, and she ended up asking Brother B-Line about whether he served or not (which he did in northern Chile). He bore a sweet testimony about how great it was, and about the gospel and right there in front of me and Elder Viecco invited her to hear the lessons and she said yes! She had
all sorts of misconceptions about e faith (going to church naked, worshipping Joseph Smith more than Jesus, etc.) and we cleared them up with her. We've got a visit set up with her this week and Bro. B-Line said he'd love to come and everything! Member missionary work is AWESOME! He told us later he'd invited her to church before and she totally shut it down, but felt prompted to invite her again and now we have a lesson planned! It shows how we should never give up even if one or two of our tried at sharing don't lead anywhere, if you just have faith and diligence you will see success in sharing the gospel with those around you! We were excited, and Sunday was filled with more talk in our meetings and with the auxiliary leaders about missionary work. I am excited to work with this ward, it's been great so far.

Glad to hear that your 4th of July was good! I'm happy that got some steak and had the chance to take it easy. I have been so tired lately, you just are always kind of exhausted as a missionary. I could barely stay awake in church (I was head-bobbing the last hour and a half) and if I sit anywhere where I don't have to talk much I have trouble staying awake. A few months back I actually fell asleep reading with some recent converts.. It was was pretty embarrassing. Thanks for getting all this license business sorted out on your end for me..! I really appreciate all the help and how quickly you got it
taken care of, you guys rock. We are excited to get back on the road and quit bummin' for rides. It's a blessing that they gave me the temporary license!

Well, I love you and hope y'all have a good week!

-Elder Samuel A. Burge

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