Since my last email, I've received a request to include more "missionary stuff" in my emails, so I'm going to try and do that this time. I have to admit, things feel very routine on a mission. It feels like we are doing the same things each day, and I don't feel like most of them would be exciting for you outsiders. As such, I've tried to include the bright and fun spots of the week. We are doing missionary work. We teach lessons. We knock doors. We get rejected. All that fun jazz. For me, none of that seemed very exciting being on the outside before my mission, so I didn't think to include it here reporting to y'all on the outside.
Today is the official transfer day. Most people are moving around. I got to do all of this a week early though. We got the call a week early saying that Elder Jones would be leaving, and that I would be getting a new companion Tuesday morning. We still spent our P-Day in the mountains because it's the mountains. Monday night was spent feverishly packing and saying goodbye to some members and investigators. Tuesday morning arrived along with Elder Barnes from Maryland. I've kind of been in charge, mostly because he has no idea where he is going. He is a fun guy that loves fungi(but not really(He kind of despises vegetables(even though fungi aren't vegetables...) and potatoes(ha! He's in Idaho..))) He enjoys the finer things in life like knocking doors and teaching lessons.
This last week we went 5 for 5 Tuesday to Saturday! We had a service project each day of the week! We started out stacking and cutting wood on Tuesday. Wednesday we were clearing out a yard for a member which included helping in tree removal. Thursday we got down and dirty in the dirt trying to remove some apple tree stumps from someone's backyard(for Steve and Sandy: This is Bro Simmons in your ward.) Note that I say "tried". It turns out apple tree roots grow strong and deep. We were at it for about 4 hours and only managed to get about a foot deep of roots cut, and the stumps still had no inclination of moving. I've still got a little bit of dirt under my fingernails from this project. Plus,the roots had to have gone down another 3 or 4 feet at the very least. Friday was easier. We were moving a member from one house to another. It was pretty easy because they didn't have too much stuff, only about a trailer(that you hitch onto the back of a truck) full. Saturday we got to help that member's dad with taking stuff to the dump because he wanted to do some fall cleaning with his kid moved out.
Suit coat season started here in the IBM. That means we get to where our suit coats full time(yes, even while we are sleeping). For those who might not know what IBM stands for: It stands for I'm in the Best Mission(or at least that is what I decided it means). Some of the other people think it stands for Idaho Boise Mission, but the two things are basically the same.
You know, once I have my act together, I'm going to become the next John Bytheway. We both have awesome last names that you can play with(You all know that "I'm the Mann". 87% of you have told me so.) I've even come up with my first big break/fireside shindig thing: "Missionaries: The Greatest Superheroes of Them All" I'd tell you some of my ideas, but then you'd steal them and claim them for yourself. There are all sorts of similarities between missionaries and superheroes from tripped out rides to utility belts to lightsab-I mean-to tools. You name it! If a superhero has it, a missionary has something similar/better than that thing the superhero has.
In one of my less bright moments, I got to teach at District Meeting where us missionaries get together and learn how to be missionaries. I wasn't quite as inspired with my training as I was with my fireside idea. I got up to talk about "Finding when you teach and teaching when you find" or vice versa. One of the key ideas in teaching and talking to people is being natural. If you aren't yourself, people aren't going to want to talk to you! Sometimes people don't want to talk to you even when you are being you! If you are going to be denied, you might as well be denied as yourself and not someone else. I went to end my training talking about being natural by saying "Don't deny yourself!" I immediately realized I was talking to 19 and 20 year old guys who have read scriptures that all talk about "deny[ing] yourself"(of all ungodliness) and they break out laughing at my error. Me too. I fixed it though! I went on to say: "Scratch that. 'Deny yourself, but don't deny being yourself.'" That was my big breakthrough. Don't do those things which aren't good, but don't do those things that don't make you yourself either. We are all individuals with individual value and worth. Each of us is great because we are ourselves. So, these are my words of wisdom to you all today: Deny yourself, but don't deny being yourself.
Well, with a new transfer comes a new picture of my 'smiling face' to show that I am alive and well! I kind of mentioned lightsabers earlier...Well, Here's your proof! haha That's right. Missionaries are now issued lightsabers! If that isn't enough to get you out on a mission when you are a young man, I don't know what is! Have a great week!
Also, I forgot to mention my address is still the same! I am still in Meridian and it is fantastic! Mail can be sent to the mission office or directly to
Elder Soren Mann
3145 N Valam Ave
Meridian, ID 83646