Monday, August 27, 2012

Week 8

"What up, freaks?" I told somebody I wasn't sure how to start my letters, and that is how I was told to start it. He even said to tell y'all that Brother Hamer told me to say it, and he did.
Everybody makes fun of the IBM(Idaho Boise Mission) because Singles Ward(the movie) made a joke about it. In all truth, it is a great place to be. The people are awesome. Even when we have doors 'slammed in our faces' they aren't really slammed. They say stuff like "we're not interested" and politely close the door. It's kind of funny. The food is safe and filling. For some reason people seem to feel the need to feed us dessert at dinner. This week was especially 'good'. One night we had blackberry pie made with blackberries from the family's garden. The following night we had raspberry pie made with raspberries from their garden. The night after that we had peach cobbler with peaches not grown in their garden because you can't grow peaches here, or at least I don't think you can. Don't worry. I'm not getting fat. They give us exercise time for a reason, and I use it! The climate is nice enough. It's funny because it'll rain for a minute and that is all that will happen. It won't even be completely overcast. It'll just be one cloud that has a little too much water, so it can't hold onto it. I can't think of any other mission I'd rather be in right now(not even Chile Santiago North).
Yesterday was cool because we didn't have time for dinner! We went from one appointment to another all afternoon/evening long. It was great! Lately we've been teaching a lot of members the message of the Restoration because we are trying to get as many people thinking about missionary work as we can. Elder Jones and I can do a good amount on our own, but we can do a lot more with the help of the members. "Every member a missionary!" We do have a family we hope to be able to baptize later this month. More on that story as it develops.
I seem to have the same/worse luck with bikes here as I did back home. I am now up to 2 flat tires and 4 'crashes'. Funny story about the crashes. I think I talked about two of them last week when I ran into my companion and then swerved away and my bike fell over. Well some similar stuff happened this week. I was riding my bike to an appointment when I started to slow down and dismount. The bike stopped before I realized it had and fell over the opposite way I was expecting it to, and the two of us(me and my bike) went into a bush. That's my airhead moment for the week. My other airhead moment was when I was riding on the road and I got distracted by a driver who was being less than cordial. I rode my bike to close to the curb because of this distraction, and (once again) me and my bike toppled over onto the side walk with a little bit of sliding action! I even have a picture of what it did to my pants! There is a white stripe underneath the 'hole'. That was caused by the sliding(but I guess the hole was too). Awesome, right?? I only share these stories because I find them funny and laugh at them. I don't mean for anybody to worry. Laugh with me! hahaha ...well...I think it's funny. Maybe that is just because I'm me. To ease any troubled minds, I came away uninjured from all of these incidents. My body is happy and healthy. [Obviously I am going to have to buy another pair of pants. The pair that tore came from Burlington, and there just so happens to be a Burlington up here. I'm going later today and will report back next week.]
The night we had the blackberry pie for dinner, Elder Jones and I were eating with the Whites, an older couple in one of our wards. We were sitting and waiting for dinner to be ready when I noticed some old books. One of them was an old copy of the Book of Mormon. I thought I had written down how old, but apparently I didn't. It was printed some time between 1900 and 1920 I think. I thought that was cool. I've included a picture of this too because I like old stuff like this.
Tomorrow is my companions birthday. He'll be 21, and he'll only have about 4 months left. He's been cool about it though. He keeps on doing the work like he should, and it has been great working with him.
ttfn Tah tah for now!
Elder Mann

Monday, August 20, 2012

Week 7

Hey everybody!

This week was equally exciting and mediocre. We taught some members, less actives, and investigators. We haven't found any new investigators in the time I've been here, but I've been here a very short time. Idaho is still good. Lots of food to be eaten, especially at dinner time. Breakfast is cereal. Lunch is Peanut Butter. Right now, I wouldn't have it any other way. I've now been in Meridian longer than I was in the MTC. It feels good, and when I think about it, it feels like I've been out for a while. When I put it on paper, I haven't actually been out that long. Just over a month. No worries though. Everything is great!
Tuesday I was able to buy a bike for myself. I bought it from a used bike shop, but it was all but new. It rides great, and I love having a bike I can crash and not feel bad about crashing(which is funny because...) The next day when I went to ride it, something happened so that the front break was squeezing the tire without me even pressing on the break handle. To fix this, I took off the front break. It's okay. I've still got a back break which is more important. That same day, I wasn't paying attention very well while biking. Twice(in the same spot) I ran into my companion because I got to close. I fell over both times. At some point later on that night I realized my water bottle was missing. The next day we biked by the same spot and saw that it had fallen out where I fell over. I 'crashed' again on Sunday. I was going to slow while preparing to park my bike, and it fell over. Even the best of bikers have trouble riding some of the time!(not that I'm the best. I'm trying to imply I'm allowed more dumb mistakes because I'm far from it!)
Speaking of dumb things that happened! hahaha Thursday night we went to a members house. We went outside to talk to the guy, Bro Valle, when he showed us a giant wasps' nest that was in one of his trees! He hadn't noticed it until that day, and it was as big as a basketball! What did he do? Right then and there, he got a lighter and WD-40. WHOOSH! That thing lit up fast! After half of it was incinerated he got a can of RAID and killed the rest. No(human)body was hurt during the course of this...adventure.
I also had a chance to talk to one of my dad's old neighbors. He actually grew up in Mentone and went to Mentone Elementary School(a really small place even back then in the 60s), or at least he did until 3rd grade. He then told me his uncle lived there while I was going to school and was a yard duty. I remembered his uncle's name! Richard! That was a crazy blast to my past. This week we might have dinner with this guy and his uncle who moved up here a few years ago. It's cool the connections you can make 2304982039458 miles from home.
Hope everybody who is preparing to start school is having fun! Good luck! Remember to ....remember to....use your brain! Yeah! Use your brain! It's a great tool, especially at school! Bye now!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Week 6

It is interesting how life just kind of goes on. People are starting up school. They are moving around. Things are changing. Things are staying the same. The mission is doubly interesting because the daily routine is the same wherever you go, but it is different depending on who you are with. Each person adds their own personality to what they are doing, and that is the spice of life.
This past week we tried to do some tracting, but members were the only people to let us share messages with them. We had a few lessons with our progressing investigators that went well. There was one discussion where we weren't ever able to actually get into what we had prepared because the people had so many questions. Questions are great though. It means they are studying and trying to understand what they can.
It must have been some sort of harvest time because we had corn on the cob 4 times last week. It was all delicious, it is just no fun getting corn stuck between your teeth.
There are a few fires up here, and so at some points during the day you can smell the smoke. It is a surprisingly familiar smell and it kind of feels good. It isn't healthy, but it is slightly nostalgic to choke on the smoke. It reminds me of back home in '04 when we had a few big fires close to home.
For all of you family people out there that like horseshoes but don't think it is for kids or yourself, I have a solution! There is a game called washers! What you do is you take a piece of PVC pipe(somewhere between 4" and 7" in diameter) and you glue it to the middle of a box/crate(make sure the crate is about as tall as your piece of pvc pipe). You then use this like you would use a horseshoe stake. You put two of of these opposite eachother. You proceed to try to throw washers(I think 2" or 3" diameter) into them. You get 3 points for in the pvc pipe, and 1 point for in the crate/box. Maybe it isn't that different from horseshoes, but it feels like it when I play it for FHE with a family we visit.
That's all from up here! I did have an influx of mail this week[which included the package from home] which was greatly appreciated. All letters will be replied to in due time. I'm finding I have less time to write letters now that I am out of the MTC, so it may take longer to get to get a response.
Enjoy life!

Monday, August 6, 2012

One Month!

Hello whoever is reading this!
Well I have officially been on my mission for 1 month now(July 5-Aug 5)! It is hard to believe that there is a world out side of my area! My current area is half farmland and half sub-divisions. It is really funny and eventually I'll get a picture that depicts it perfectly. It is great being out here. There is very strong member support in the area. We've got dinner every night, and sometimes we get offers for lunch too. This might be hard to believe, but while up here, I've had the best tacos in the world. I'm from Socal! You think I'd have had the best down there. Nope! They're up here! Last night I got to eat elk for the first time. I like it better than steak(which I actually had the night before). It feels like 9 out of 10 families have a garden and we are somehow fed something from that garden. Last week we went out and picked blackberries from one older couple's garden. They were great right off of the vine!
Speaking of older gentlemen, I love them. They have such cool stories and collections. One had a car and sword collection which included a 1949 Buick Roadmaster(Rainman, anyone?). Another had his father's doorknob collection, and the last one I saw was a belt buckle collection. I feel bad because I don't look excited when they show me these collections, but I really am. I think they are awesome!
Another great thing I've noticed about the older community is how resilient they are. It seems like all of the old people have been through some sort of difficult trial. Some lung cancer; others cataract surgery; one guy had to have a chunk of one of his internal organs removed(which I guess can also be said for the lung cancer guy). These people haven't layed down and keeled over though. They are fighting and overcoming whatever trial has come there way! Even if they don't have anything really difficult going on, they are still being proactive. One guy buys old stuff and restores it and he's got to be 80! I hope I get to be that way when I am older.
If I might make one suggestion to whomever is reading this. Go to Youtube if you can, or, and look up "Lessons I learned as a boy". It is a beautiful and inspiring short video about...about alot. Referring to the video: Everyone of us has been blessed with silver dollars at some point in their life. Sometimes we forget to thank those that bless us with these gifts, whether or not we know who gave them to us. I feel like I have been especially bad at that part. Thank you friends and family for being there for me in so many different ways at so many different times.
Elder Mann
 Oh yeah, I forgot to mention I commited a family to baptism! A family of 4 has agreed to be baptised September 8! Everything should work out great with them. They have a strong testimony and truly believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true. It's true what they say! 'The field is white!'" 

"As I've recently found out, BYU and other colleges will be starting up soon. If you happen to be somebody that has written me or plans on writing me a letter and are moving some time in the next month to college, please include in that letter your new address because if I send it back home you will be gone before it can get to you. Thanks all!"