Monday, September 28, 2015

Another Week in PA!

Hello everyone! Hope it's been a good week back in good ole Utah or
wherever you may be! I think the biggest thing I learned this week is
the only thing you can plan on is your plans not working out! Always
have a backup plan and because that one usually falls through you just
gotta be creative! Anyways here's a look at my week

To finish off last Monday, our family home evening got cancelled so I
went over to Jeff's and he gave me a real good haircut! He spent like
over an hour on it because he's a perfectionist, and then he evened it
all up with a razor blade! I was pretty happy with it, and he got the
back of my neck all cleaned up so I was even more happy! He ended up
feeding us dinner too, nothing like a free haircut and food!

Tuesday was another day where our plans all got cancelled, and we are
really running tight on miles with our car, so we went and mowed a
lawn for a sister in our branch who just had surgery. She's Casper's
grandma so pretty much an older lady so she doesn't keep up on her
lawn herself and it is MASSIVE. Some people have way too much property
out here. Her lawn mower was ancient so it took us forever to get it
started, and since there was only one, me and Elder Stimpson had to
swap off mowing the forest. It was nuts, the grass was super long and
there was a swamp in the middle of her yard that literally had a
kitchen sink in it! How about that? Anyways 2 or 3 hours in, the mower
died on me, which was okay because we needed to go to a lesson. We
taught Casper the 10 Commandments, Elder Stimpson knows all these hand
signals to make remembering the commandments easier, so we taught him
using those and I think he understood really as much as a 9 year old
could. We stopped by Tom and Melani's and they fed us dinner after we
mowed their lawn (theirs is very small so not a big deal). Listen
though, the food here is pretty creative! They fed us hotdogs,
sauerkraut and dumplings! Super good! Overall for everything falling
through, I feel like we did well!

Wednesday we helped a member of our branch presidency, Bro
Schoenberger, set up some bunk beds for Casper and his brothers. The
box was ridiculously heavy and there's a billion stairs up to their
apartment, but we some how pulled it off! Anyways Bro Schoenberger had
two hours he could help us out and the instructions said two people
could put it up in an hour. Turns out three people makes the process a
lot longer! Pretty much we put every part together wrong and had to
take it apart a billion times, which is expected when you put anything
together! We didn't even come close to finishing, so we will finish it
later, but we had to hide the little parts and bolts and screws
because those boys would lose all of them, so Bro Schoenberger threw
them in the freezer and we are praying they don't find em! For Zone
conference this week they told us to study the Abrahamic Covenant and
the Gathering of Israel, so we figured who better to learn it from
then the Jew himself! So we went to Jeff's and he taught us all we
need to know! It's pretty interesting, definitely something good to
study! After that we met back up with Bro Schoenberger and we went out
and visited some of his home teaching families. We first visited Bro.
Unger who is kinda having a hard time with life because he doesn't
really have much and his car broke down and everything, but he still
has a strong testimony and Bro Schoenberger brought some of the
unfinished humanitarian kits and challenged him to finish at least
one, even if it's not much, if you give what you can you will be
blessed for it. Anyways we stopped by some other people, then Bro
Schoenberger told us we could help him another night because he has 11
home teaching families. Now for anyone who complains about having 2 or
3, just think about having 11.

Thursday we had district meeting, which was a different kind of
feeling because our District Leader was getting emergency transferred
that day. We are guessing someone went home, so he's now serving
somewhere in Maryland! Pretty long drive from Stroudsburg to Maryland.
After district meeting, we had a lesson with Jeff Wartluft, the guy
Elder Stimpson taught last week while I was on exchanges. He's
Presbyterian, so he really likes to compare our church with his. One
thing he loved about his church is how he felt like it was a family,
but then he mentioned sometimes he wishes it could be more and I just
wanted to be like "Yo we literally call ourselves brother and sister
and we are part of ward families!!!" but I didn't know exactly how to
say it. He tells us that this isn't going to be a conversion, but the
things he loves about his church is pretty much the same stuff, plus
he loves the idea that the Book of Mormon goes along side the bible,
so we left him with a copy. He invited us to a few different
activities with him, that if we can we will try to go with him.
Something he said right before we left is that he doesn't know if his
church is the true church, but he feels better there than anywhere
else. I see something I can work off of! He's a real cool guy though!
We finished up mowing Sister Bealla's forest from Tuesday, which took
a looong time. Then we visited Jenny, the one that Elder Stimpson
baptized right before I got here. She's getting evicted and she wanted
to move her stuff on Friday, but she didn't have a truck or trailer so
she was gonna strap her couches to the top of a car and we were like
no that's no bueno so we made some phone calls to get her some help.

Now every single day some things fell through but we bounced back
pretty well, so Friday we started off by going to help Tom put up some
hunting camera's up by his tree stand, then we visited with his friend
Frank. Frank's old, but he's italian and he was pretty much all in the
mafia and such. Pretty much he had it all, he was going to open up
some stores and stuff with his wife and whatever, but then he got way
into cocaine. He decided to quit one day and at the bar he pulled the
last of his cocaine out and gave it to his friend and told him to
never let him do it again and to keep it away from him. Well there was
an undercover cop there that saw it, so Frank got 2 years in jail. Now
he came back and felons can't own guns, Frank had over 1000 guns. So
they told him to sell them, so he sold a few, but he kept the real
expensive rare ones in a hidden room behind a bookcase. The government
didn't believe he sold all his guns so they tore apart his house for
hours looking for them. Just when they were about to finish, they
moved the bookcase and bam, 10 years for Frank. Anyways so he lost all
his guns, but the dudes still loaded. He showed us his old gun room
and now he just has hundreds of bows in there, it's pretty cool! I
don't know what we can do with him and the church, but he was very
nice and we did a little service for him. Anytime Tom needs help up in
the woods we will meet with Frank and probably teach him some stuff
about our church! That was a good way to start our day anyways, and on
our way back we picked up a trailer from the Kellars to help Jenny. We
had weekly planning that day, so we went back home and started to plan
for the week when Jenny called us and pretty much stuff happens and
she wasn't gonna move that day. So now we have Bro. Kellars trailer in
Palmerton, with no way to pull it back. So we pretty much made phone
calls to try and figure out how to get it back. Bro Roesler was the
one who was going to help us move Jenny, so when his wife got off work
he drove into Palmerton and picked up the trailer to take to the
church to meet up with Bro Kellar. Now keep in mind our area is pretty
big, so we felt kinda bad making all these people drive around for us
and we didn't even help anyone out. We dropped the trailer off and we
were still feeling down because our plans never work out and stuff,
but Bro Kellar reminded us that we were trying our hardest to help out
someone in need and that's what matters. He's like that grandpa that
always has the coolest advice and is just awesome! That was a loong

Saturday our plans didn't work out again. Bro Schoenberger invited us
to a cub scout activity he was putting together on his property. Well
there's like maybe 5 scouts in our branch so it got cancelled. We then
were going to finish putting up the bunk bed's for Casper's mom
Jennifer, but she wasn't home. We drove out to our church to have
coordination with our ward mission leader, which went well. Then we
taught Charles about laws and ordinances. We were planning on him
driving us to Lansford because it's far away and he usually goes out
with the missionaries Saturday's well he didn't feel like it, so
we didn't make it up to Lansford. So we decided to stop by some people
in Slatington, but none of them were home. We couldn't really drive
much further so we got home and visited with our neighbors Doug and
Rachel. Doug is crazy, the kind of guy who believes in Aliens and
stuff! He told me I look like someone who belongs in movies though, so
I like Doug!!! Rachel mentioned her son went out and she told him to
bring soda, so me and Elder Stimpson both wanted a soda after she said
that so we made a quick stop at a few stores in Palmerton, and in one
we found two more cases of baja blast!!! They were a steep price, but
you never know when that stuff is gonna be off the shelves!

Sunday there isn't much to report on because we pretty much had church
and then made some visits and I baked some cookies to take to the
Roeselers for all that they did to help us on Friday then we ate
dinner with them and that's pretty much it!

There's a sister in our ward whose niece comes to church every week
and she really wants to meet with us, but we need permission from the
girls mother first and that's taking some time, but hopefully we can
teach her this week! We can't get Casper to come to church because
well he's nine and there's so many family problems there, that he's
never with his mom on Sunday's and it's not like he can just drive
himself. I think he's still excited to get baptized, but he needs to
come to church before that can happen, so this is gonna be a longer
process then we originally thought! Things are good here though, we
are trying to keep the work going, it's slow, but there's some signs
of hope! The weather has been pretty much perfect, it's not hot
because there's usually a cool breeze and it's still sunny! I can't
even feel the humidity, but I'm getting excited for the snow! People
say it should be coming quick! I think that's it for this week. Just
remember the best way to get away from your own problems is to help
out others. Matthew 16:25 I hope everyone has a great week and please
feel free to write, Elder Stimpson likes to spend p-day writing
people, so I end up just eating food while he writes. Help me not get
fat by writing me!!! Haha love you all and hope you have an awesome
week and a great general conference weekend!

Elder Dylan Smith

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