It was a CRAZY week for me-lots of interesting things happening here in SW Portland.
Well, teaching has been better his week! We have taught the most lessons to investigators with members present since I've been here. It was only three lessons- but hey, improvement is good (even if sometimes it seems small). The lessons have been really good, and we are starting to see some people come to church. We even had one less-active guy, Doug, invite us over for Thanksgiving dinner (which is sweet, he's a great guy and I love meeting with him). The ward is still doing great as well, we gave talks (my first sacrament meeting talk in 22 months— I thought I was going to keep the streak going!) on missionary work. I had like 45 minutes of actual preparation for it because of how busy things got on Friday and Saturday, but I think it turned out alright. Either way, a great week in that respect.
The week though, was a very peculiar one to say the least. It started with Wednesday, while I was on an exchange with Elder Schildknecht. We were at the library across the street from our apartment on Capitol Hwy. when suddenly we heard this loud "BOOM" come from outside. So we logged off the computers and walked outside to see a ton of Muslim people standing around the apartments, one car and apartment in particular. So, in curiosity and with high-hopes of something adventurous we walked over and were two of the first people on the scene. From what we gathered, some enraged Muslim man had some sort of vendetta against somebody or something like that (it was hard not to let the stereotypical thoughts come flooding in). So he made some home-made car bomb and threw it under this guy's car in hopes to blow stuff up! Well, apparently his Google-inspired bomb recipe sucked because all it did was make a loud noise. I mean, we got there and there was no damage to the car or anything.. But, everybody was freaked out. The school next to us went into lockdown, the bomb squad was called, and the police were there for most of the day. It was pretty crazy stuff— so that gives you an idea of the neighborhood I live in! Haha (just kidding mom, it's actually not even close to Wednesday's shenanigans)
Aside from that, I got to attend my first wedding on Saturday! Elder Snow and I (my second companion in Aloha 2nd) went to a wedding for a returning member we became really close friends with! Sam and his dad Rick, did I mention them before? Well either way, it was a great wedding. The food was great, people were drinking excessively. It's just like television told me it would be! Haha- but it was actually a beautiful wedding and I was so excited for him. His (now) wife was really nice and he was great too. You meet so many awesome people on your mission, and Sam will definitely be one I'm staying in touch with. Plus, spending most of the day with Elder Snow was great. It was good to catch up, talk about our areas, the mission, life, etc. We talked about my departing this life soon, and about what makes a successful mission. Even though I didn't baptize the nations, I definitely feel like I tried my hardest to work hard, be obedient, and help other people. The lessons I've learned and the testimony I've gained have been far worth it. Looks like your $10,000 investment was worth it! Haha
Well, I love you guys. Thanks for the pictures, I love seeing you all. It's been kind of hard these past few weeks. Coming home sucks, for MANY reasons. A lot of conflicting emotions, especially thinking about post-missionary life. It will work out though, but the worries and uncertainties are still there. School, work, dating, housing, etc. All that is coming quickly. I am super excited for it, but also terrified of it (if that makes sense).
I am most excited just to see you all and spend time with you again.
... and to watch all these awesome films that have come out..!
Elder Samuel A. Burge