Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Week 63:Autumn is falling upon us

Happy two days late birthday to the temple. Happy two days late birthday to the temple. Happy two days late birthday to the Redlands temple. Happy two days late birthday to the temple. The Redlands Temple was 10 years old two days ago. That is weird to think about. I don't remember it super well, but I have some memories of when that used to be an orange grove next to the stake center. We'd always get in trouble for going and playing in it after cub scout activities.

That's 10 years ago though. Back to the here and now, things are going alright. This past week was equally slow and fast. Elder Jones was sick, so he spent a lot of the weekend sleeping. He's feeling a lot better now, but he was out of it for a while there. Friday he was up for studies in the morning and dinner in the evening.

Elder W Craig Zwick of the Seventy visited this last week. He strongly emphasized making daily improvements and doing our best to endure to the end. I think one of my favorite parts of these visits has been the chance to see general authorities(higher up church leaders) in a more relaxed atmosphere. Somehow it makes them more real when they say things like "Elder Perry and I would walk down the streets of [some city in Germany] to get to the office where we were working. He never failed to stop and talk to someone along the way" "Some nights we see President Monson leaving the office building, but he won't be heading home. He'll be heading in the opposite direction to visit the cancer center or the university hospital."

He also shared some interesting factual information about Preach My Gospel. He share that it was started in 1995 after President Hinckley was first sustained as President of the church. It took 9 years before it was released. In that time, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles remained the same despite the poor health of many of the apostles. It was only after its completion that any of those members who started working on it passed away. Elder Maxwell was the first about two months after its publication. Most of chapter 6 "Christlike Attributes" was written by him.

We had another crazy hailstorm(that's two more than last year!) that kept us at our dinner appointment most of Saturday night. I'd be living it up in these storms if I weren't so busy wearing suits and ties trying to get places!

Monday, September 9, 2013

WeeK 62:I had a clever title for this weeks email, but I forgot what it was.

This was a ...what adjective to use to describe the week...week. It wasn't bad. It wasn't super exciting. It was one of those regular weeks. The weather was the most exciting part.

The weather cooled down a lot this week. The air tasted like Autumn. It reminded me of being in Meridian a year ago, biking through neighborhoods in cooler weather. Supposedly it'll warm back up for a little while, but Fall is on it's way. We got a little bit of rain Tuesday with a reprieve Wednesday before a crazy storm Thursday. Thursday we got a midwest-like thunderstorm. There was wind, rain, hail, and lightning. Several smaller trees got knocked over. The streets flooded. What did this do for the missionary work? We happened to be in the house when the storm hit, so we waited it out. A member drove us around for the rest of the night. 

We spent most of the next day helping clean up after the storm. It didn't look nearly as bad the next day with the sun out. It was a great day to be outside doing service. 

Saturday was a day for mourning. We attended the funeral of a 10 month old child. It was disheartening to see someone so young lay there without life. I had a quote pop up into my mind that felt fit in my own mind. I can't remember it's origin, but it says "Don't pity the dead. Pity the living." There is some truth in this. I am grateful for the gospel knowledge I have gained over they years that ease the pain at times of death. Those who die may go on to "a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow." Death is not the end. After death comes this temporary state of rest; following this spiritual rest, our spirits will be rejoined with our bodies to have the opportunity to be with our family in eternal joy. This I know to be true.

Week 61:Revenge of the everything

This week the world fought back in Idaho. There were two victories, two ties, and one loss.

Victory #1: Return of Meridian. Did you know that "Return of the Jedi" was originally going to be "Revenge of the Jedi". Whoever is in charge of making titles decided that didn't sound very Jedi-like, so it got changed. The victories are going to be similar because they aren't evil. Anyway, Return of Meridian! Meridian can't actually return...it didn't go anywhere. However, people from Meridian can definitely drive out to Nampa where us missionaries are! Shout out to the Ham(ast)ers! Good old Meridian members drove out for a visit which rocked.

Victory #2(which actually came first and is better in a spiritual sense than victory #1 but was numbered '2' because ...well I don't know why): Return of/to Boise. This week I got to go to the temple back in Boise. That was an awesome experience. I love the temple. Even a fly in the waiting room couldn't ruin the peace found within those walls. If you haven't been to the temple recently, go back! If you can't go to the temple for whatever reason, convert so that you can go to feel the peace inside!

Tie #1: Revenge of the zucchini. Last night we were eating a delicious chicken dinner.(winner winner?  Yup, that was us.) They left dessert sitting on the stove so that we could see eat all dinner long. They said it was actually a healthy dessert. It definitely looked like chocolate. It had a secret ingredient. Somehow I knew what it was even before they brought it closer. I don't quite understand zucchini. Everyone says it is super nasty when you eat it on it's own. It grows super easily. It grows really big. One vine grows more than any family could eat. All you do is mash it up and stick it into other things to make them "healthy". 

Tie #2: Revenge of the transfer. Transfer calls came Friday night. Elder Jones and I are staying together. Hopefully we get more done this transfer now that we know the area. With the new transfer comes a new address!(The 1008 W Sanetta St is stilll good.)
Elder Soren Mann
3800 Brenan Drive
Nampa, ID 83686

Loss #1: Revenge of the mosquitoes. When I think of mosquitoes and bugs, I generally think of those poor souls in the central and south American missions. Well...somehow they made it up here to Idaho. I've got 8 bites below the knee on my left leg, 5 on my right, 2 on my left elbow, and 1 on my left....I'll leave it at that...

Week 60:Get to keep moving

Well hello there! Welcome back to the (exciting/whatever other adjective you might see fit to put here) world of Elder Mann. In this weeks addition: Chaniel's baptism, moving, possibly moving, leaving the mission, and that's all I can think of.

Back when I was in Meridian North with Elder Cavin, we were told about an individual with interest in the church who needed to be taught. Her name was Chaniel! This happened waaaaaayyyyy back in early June if memory serves me right. We got through teaching her all of the lessons while I was with Elder Larsen, but the timing was off. She didn't get baptized while I was still there. I was able to travel the 5 miles back to the Nampa North Stake Center and attend her baptism Saturday. That was a pretty cool experience for me. It brought back fond memories of the distant 5 weeks ago. 

This transfer, we had been living with a second companionship in a tiny add on to a member's house. Only two of us had beds; the other two slept on a cot or the couch. Space was tight, and somebody needed to leave, so we did. Another family that actually lives in one of our wards opened up there home to us. Missionaries had never lived there before. It's still super clean, shiny, and smells good. It's great to have such kind members share so much with us.

That means the 520 Railroad Ct address isn't good anymore! I was going to say that anyways though because this Saturday we'll get transfer calls, so I could be moving out of this new place next Monday. It's not super likely, but it's possible. I'll be sure to give an updated address next week one way or another.

Wednesday I get to leave the mission. I'm holding President Cannon hostage and forcing him to drive me out of here. No? That doesn't work? I guess that's ok. He's taking a group of us who are around our year mark to the temple to celebrate the anniversary since we can't regularly go anymore. (10am session if anybody in the Boise area wants to see a friendly face. hahaha) It should be awesome!