Well, our week was good. No new people to teach, but the people we are meeting with are making great progress! We set a baptismal date with one woman for December 13th! I told Elder Wheeler we're at least getting one before I leave! So that was good.
It's been a weird week - we got caught up with a lot of different things. Going to Oregon Health & Science University to give priesthood blessings, helping some other elders out with some issues they've been having. It has been a rough week for quite a few people, so we've been doing a lot of administering to the missionaries. Good news though, all of their problems have been resolved, so now we can all get back to work!
We also helped with the Halloween parties for the wards that meet in our church building. We helped set up some props for the other ward's party (we set up "floating" candles in the gym with the Raleigh Hills elders and some members in their ward, etc.) Our ward party was good,I wore the pajama suit and people LOVED it! They just laughed and thought it was the best thing they'd ever seen. I told everybody that the white handbook CLEARLY states we should be in full proselyting
attire at all times, going to bed at night isn't an exception! They thought it was funny- and it was good. (You'll see more pictures on Facebook, I'm sure).
The Raleigh Hills ward had easily the best ward function I have ever seen-- a Harry Potter themed Halloween party. The lights were great, they put a ton of effort into decorating the church building and gym and it was sweet! They had themed food like butter beer, chocolate-covered frogs, etc. Everybody had really, really good costumes too! They are serious about their Halloween parties! Probably because their ward (like ours) is mostly young couples in dental/medical school with 0-1 kids..!
I will tell ya, it's going to be a long 7 weeks... This area has been challenging in a lot of respects. I love the people here, and being in SW Portland has been awesome! (Wish my camera wasn’t busted, or I would readily take more pictures. It's a shame, but I will get lots of good ones before I leave!) It’s just the work has been slow, a lot of other missionaries have struggled, and it's been hard being so close to the end. Being so close to the end, it is incredibly (and increasingly) more difficult to stay diligent and focused. Just knowing you have just weeks left, you struggle with the recurring thought, "What's the point, I'm not going to be here in six or seven weeks anyways!" Not that I've become incredibly lazy or disobedient, but I just don't feel as immersed in the work anymore. It's weird, but I feel like God is just saying to me, "Take what great things I've given you in Portland,go home, and move forward with your life".
Well, it's great to see Kayleigh lettering in tennis! That's awesome! Haha, let me know how Ben's long-distance romance goes! That is cool that you applied for a state position, mom! I don't necessarily know what that means, but it will be interesting to see what happens! Well, love you guys. Talk to you next week!
-- Elder Samuel A. Burge