Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Week 46: A New Title

I've officially earned myself a new title: "Elder Mann, Slayer of Trees" I've done the dirty deed once again. I've killed another. Am I proud of my dealings with death? No, but it is a work that somebody has to do. This time the tree who met its match was a nut tree of some kind. It was not producing what it should have, so it needed to be eliminated. This time a more methodical method was used. I was told to "girdle the tree". That meant I cut the bark off of a section of the tree, and then cut a ring to block stuff from going back down to the roots. However you look at it, the tree is dead soon. At that same service project, I was able to claim the title of true Idahoan. How so? Well, I worked in a potato field. I think that is a requirement if you are to call yourself an Idahoan of any level.

A week and a half ago I filled my first journal. Every page is written on from front to back. I wanted to try and get a picture of it, but I haven't figured out a good way to do it yet. The first 20 pages or so make up my first year at college. The other A LOT are my mission from July to May. I didn't write much at college. I wish I had.

This was one of those fun weeks where we tried to see a lot of people, but nobody wanted to see us. We tried stopping by a list of less actives we'd been given, but only one of fifteen talked to us more than to say they didn't want to talk to us. The important thing we try to keep in mind is to not get discouraged. Discouragement is a weakening of faith, and that will limit our ability as missionaries.

The picture of the week comes from an exaggerated version of an object lesson we use called '3 cups and 3 knives' The idea is to create a structure that will suspend something above the ground using the 3 cups and knives without moving the cups closer together than where they are placed.(They're placed with enough space that the knives all lay flat on the surface with one knife placed between two of the three cups...terrible explanation...) Anywho, the important part is what it stands for. The 3 cups represent 3 commandments(scripture study, prayer, and sabbath observance). The knives represent obedience. The something on top represents us. As we are obedient to the commandments, we are held above the world through the blessings we receive.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Week 45: A message for the world

That's what I'm out here sharing: a message for the world. What is that message? Jesus Christ lives, and we can follow him. Isn't that cool? I think so.
Here's a quick some up of the past 2 weeks since I don't know who all knows what.
May 3 An unexpected call brought excitement to our night. We got transfer calls at the end of the night. I'm still here in Nampa(1200 Autumn Wind Drive Nampa, ID 83687...in case you were wondering), but Elder Smith is gone to New Plymouth. Who's my new comp? More on that later.
May 4 We had a baptism. Chris Sandoval is an interesting guy. He got divorced. His life fell apart. He was missing structure. That's when he saw that his ex-wife had found that structure in the church. He wanted that same peace that she had found, so Chris got ahold of us at the beginning of last transfer. After a month-ish of working with him, he got baptized by his ex-wife's husband. Weird, huh?
May 5 I became 10 months old. Nothing really big or exciting happened. Elder Smith needed to pack, and I needed to do a little bit of packing and cleaning in prep for the upcoming adventure.
May 6-8 I drove down to Boise...Monday, I rode down to Boise while somebody else was driving to participate in a training meeting for those who would be getting missionaries fresh out of the MTC. Tuesday, we got together with the new missionaries and did a proselyting activity. What's that mean? We knocked a bunch of doors with the new missionaries so that they could get introduced to the real world. I actually had a lot of success with Elder McKenzie! We had four people invite us back and only one yell at us to go away. Wednesday, I got my new companion, Elder Cavin! He's from South Jordan, UT. Not far from home? That's because he's here waiting on a visa to go down to Argentina Cordoba. We got right to work Wednesday night, and haven't had much time to take a breather since.
May 10 Zone Conference was today. They really emphasized the hastening of the work. There are a lot more missionaries. Another few months and the mission will be split into 3. We need to be ready to do a lot more work in all new ways. No more tracting. Working a lot more with members. Stuff like that.
May 12 Mother's day! I got to call home and talk to family. That was fun. I went a little bit long, but that's okay in the grand scheme of things.(Elder Cavin went long too, and he just talked to his family on the phone last week at the airport). I played Parcheesi for the first time while E Cavin was talking to his family. Fun times.
That's the exciting news from here in Nampa this week! We'll see if we stay as busy this week as we did last week!
Elder Mann

Week 44: The new arrival

We're still alive! We've survived the first 24 hours. This is Elder Cavin. He's from South Jordan, Utah, and I have the pleasure of serving with him until his visa to Argentina Cordoba comes in. Apparently, with all the new missionaries, visas are a lot harder to come by. He told me that there were 160 other missionaries getting ready to go to Argentina at the same time as him that all got reassigned to stateside missions waiting for their visas. He went to school in Utah at UVU before coming out. He's a cool elder and a great teacher for only having 6 weeks of training with it all being in Spanish.
I just got another fun assignment: District Leader. That means I'm in charge of planning and conducting the district meeting we have once a week with the other four sets of elders in the district. I also get to plan a trip to the temple as well as exchanges. Today I got to take charge of my first district meeting. Elder Barnes(one of the zone leaders who used to be my companion) told me I did well. I'll take it.
I get to call home on Sunday! Yay! That'll be fun. Now David isn't home, so I won't get to talk to him...I better get an email this week...haha More fun adventures from this week to come in Monday's email!