Sunday, October 18, 2015

1 Transfer Down...

October 12, 2015

And many more to go! I don't even know how many transfers are in a
mission, but anyways I made it through 1! I bet back home it doesn't
even feel like I've been gone that long! I know I feel like I just
started this journey! Anyways, it was another busy week in PA, so
buckle up and get ready for a good read!

Last Monday we switched things up and hungout with Bro Roseler. I mean
he's a stay at home dad in farm country, and his wife drives their car
to work so I think he enjoyed having us out there. He's just renting
the house and land, so the barn is empty, but it is HUGE! So he let us
in it and showed us around. The thing is massive, and way old and
there's bat poop all over in one corner, but it's like 3 stories tall.
It made me think of all those parties Tyson's family does in their
barn! If this one was fixed up, man it would be a hangout let me tell
ya! Elder Stimpson liked it because there was old tractors in there,
he gets all worked up over farm equipment and trucks hahaha. After a
good fun day with Bro Roseler we went to FHE with the Bakers and
Ulhmans, as usual, nothin too  fun to report there!

On Tuesday we had a referral from Church HQ up in this town called Jim
Thorpe. We never go up there, because it's a distance, but we figured
we might as well do it, so we drove all the way up there, and this
referral was actually outside and she was very very nice. We gave her
a Book of Mormon and she invited us back in a couple weeks when she
knows her husband has the day off of work, so we are pretty stoked
about that! We met up with our zone leaders for Exchanges so I went
down to Nazareth for the rest of the day. We made some stop by's and
knocked on a door, no progress, but it was interesting to see how
Elder Clark did missionary work! We ate dinner with a member family,
who recently moved to the area about a year ago. A family! A whole
family, wife, husband, three kids, every wards dream move in right? So
I asked where they moved from, they told me Lehighton, and I told them
that's my area so we chatted about members and the missionary work and
such! Of course they move out of my branch, them alone would have
probably double the size of our youth. Anyways they were way awesome
and it was my second dinner of the week so I was way stoked about
that! Then we went and visited this older lady who was baptized a year
ago. Pretty much she is huge into political campaigning. Like she's
met Pres. Bush and all those people from that political era, it's
nuts! She's one of the best campaign managers around. She started
being a campaign manager for this guy, who turned out to be a mormon
(the ward mission leader in Nazareth) and she was converted! Now she's
a professional cook, so that's dope, and she has this insanely strong
testimony about the Book of Mormon, because during the time she was
reading it she went down to the Mayan ruins because she loves ancient
history and was like whoa and made all those connections down there.
Then before we left she started talking about cars and she knows a
ton! She's like the coolest old lady ever and I'm sad she's not in my

Wednesday I had a good study sesh with Elder Clark, he committed me to
really focus on breaking down the restoration and making it simple. He
has two guitars so we played guitar a bit and I showed him what I know
and then he told me I could take one of his guitars so that's probably
the coolest thing that happened to me all week! I missed playin the
guitar, and I have my ukulele too so I'm just waiting for a companion
who can play one or the other and we will start a missionary duet or
something like that! After exchanges me and Elder Stimpson went to
help Jenny put together her kids bunk beds, but when Elder Stimpson
was helping her move a week ago while I was on exchanges he lost some
of the pieces so we ran to Lowes to get some new pieces. On the way
back we stopped by Bro Kennedys house to see how he was doin, we
hadn't seen him in a few weeks. Then he was like "well hey if you
wanna stay a little longer I'll feed you dinner". I don't know why I
would ever say no to that, so he fed us pancakes which was my 3rd meal
this week! Then we went back to Jennys to finish putting her bunk bed
together, afterwards we took the tools back to Tom's then headed home!

Thursday we had Zone Training, which was very good this time. We
practiced sharing the Book of Mormon with each other using first the
intro, second using 1st Nephi, then last using any scripture! I loved
it, it was actually fun to try to personally attach someone to the
book of mormon! So while I've been on my mission I've had this idea of
always remembering the missionary purpose, because it's important, but
everyone's different and we all have our own purpose as a missionary.
I know that's what's kept me happy out here and enjoying my mission is
my own purpose. I just want to help people, whether it's doing service
or just being a christlike example ya know? And honestly I've been
questioning these past couple weeks if my mindset is right, but at
this training they asked "Raise your hand if you came out on your
mission to baptize people" no one raised their hands. Then they had us
give reasons why we came on a mission, and someone also pointed out
that the reason we came out and why we stay are two different reasons.
After talking about that, they told us although the missionary purpose
is great, they told us we need to have our own purpose ourselves and
committed us to go pray about it and figure it out, and I was like hey
I've been doing that all along, and I guess you could say my prayers
were answered about me doing the right thing! So it was a very solid
training. Afterwards we got to do exchanges, this time I got to stay
in my own area and be in charge for the first time, and Elder
Underwood, whose a new missionary too, came with me! It was also my
first time driving since I left home so that was awesome, but I showed
him around our area and how cool the Walmart is here, because I needed
to get supplies for an object lesson. Then we met up with Bro Kennedy
to go teach Casper. Now that's kinda what we are dealing with in this
area, we have a hard time getting active members to come out with us,
but less active members are cool with it. How does that make sense?
Anyways we had a great lesson with Casper on the Holy Ghost! The kids
so smart haha he's my little buddy. After our lesson Bro Kennedy asked
us if we would go with him to pick up some food from one lady in the
branch, and take it to another lady whose mom just passed away. So we
rode with him from one end of Lehighton to the other and talked with
him for a while. We got back to his house and we were planning on
heading home for dinner, when he asked what our plans were, so we told
him and he told us we could stay for dinner. Like I said before, why
would I ever say no? So we stayed and had a fourth meal that week
(second in a row from him) and he was pretty much telling me and Elder
Underwood about his past and stuff. Our next appointment texted us and
canceled, which was great because we were having a great conversation
with Bro Kennedy. I guess he almost died in a motorcycle accident.
Like half his face pretty much fell off and the hospital thought he
was dead. So he told us he remembers having this very real dream of
some sort while he was dead, being in this sort of dark cellar, with
few people around, and a light at the end of it. So he went to it and
it was a portal, on the other side was pretty much just a park, people
playing around and stuff. So he went to go through, and a lady stopped
him and said he wasn't supposed to be there yet, and he kept trying
but she wouldn't let him through and finally she used forced to push
him back and he woke up in the hospital with a huge needle sewing his
face back together, and lets just say the doctors and nurses were not
expecting him to come back screaming! So we talked a little about the
spirit world, and Elder Underwood told him to read Alma 40 sometime on
his own and think about it! On our way out, the Kennedys daughter,
Carrie came home and she had a flare up of a sickness she had, so she
was headed to the hospital and we were able to give her a blessing.
Things worked out that day! Then I took Elder Underwood to Jeff's to
finish off the night because it would be the last time he'd ever get
to talk to him and they had a great conversation about scripture in
the Old Testament, so pretty much everything I don't know about!

Friday morning we exchanged back, and it was a kinda a bummer because
that was the last time we'd see Elder Underwood. He got his visa, so
he's on his way to Lyon France right now, which is kinda funny because
Caleb Grayston is on his way to Paris France today too! Anyways it was
awesome having Elder Underwood here for this transfer and being in my
district! When we were in the Salt Lake airport me and him stuck
together and got mcds breakfast even though we didn't really know each
other and then somehow we got put in the same district! Pretty cool if
you ask me! Anyways he's a good kid, he's gonna do great things in
France! So me and Elder Stimpson got our weekly planning all done
later in the day and planned on going to the Roselers to do service,
so we show up and it's pouring rain. It's a far drive and there's no
where around to really go do any missionary work, especially in that
kind of rain, so we just visited with them until dinner was ready and
shared a message with him. There wasn't much we could really do, it
was like we were stranded on the funnest island in the world!

Saturday we had our regular coordination meeting with our ward mission
leader. Afterwards we ate lunch and waited around for Charles to come
pick us up so for a lesson and then we were going to teach him. He
never showed up so we texted him and he told us he woke up sick so he
wasn't coming. COOL. So we called Jenny to see if we could come teach
her and we'd get someone else to come along, but her daughter answered
the phone because she was sick and asleep. EVEN COOLER. So by the time
we got it figured out that our plans didn't work out as usual, our
mail came. Elder Stimpson has been pestering his bishops wife to send
him a pie, and lo and behold the package was from her! We ripped it
open and there was a bag of candy and a pie covered by a pie tin. He
picked it up and it looked like dirt fell out of it, I was so
confused, but Elder Stimpson was just like NO NO NO NO! We opened up
the pie tins and there laid not a Strawberry rhubarb pie like we
hoped, but a large pile of cow poop. We headed over to Tom's to cut
his grass, and then they fed us Pirogies, which are my new favorite
thing! If you don't know what they are, they are like little pockets
of heaven filled with mashed potatoes and cheese and all other sorts
of things depending on what you get! Then Tom deep fried them! Whitney
would love them, as I'm sure any other sane person would! That's all I
want to ever eat and think about now!

Sunday after church we switched things up and went to the Brewers for
dinner. Bro Brewer is in our branch presidency, but he lives out of
our area, down in Nazareth. Nazareth is nice! I almost felt like I was
back in a nice Utah neighborhood. They fed us and we got to know them
a lot better and they are so cool! I wish they didn't live so far.
Then I got to share with them my new favorite object lesson and pretty
much it's mesmerized ever person I've taught it to!

So that's our week, it was a little hard to get things set because of
the two exchanges, but I still felt like it was good! Now we are into
the second transfer here, and I feel like things are starting to roll
along. Elder Stimpson is now our District Leader, so that's pretty
cool I guess. Hopefully this week we will be able to teach some people
we have in mind. Especially the ones who like Elder Stimpson because
he most likely only has a transfer left and they want to get him in as
much as they can! So this week, for those of you heading out on
missions, think real hard about what your purpose as a missionary is
and what you want to accomplish while you serve! I'm going to keep
putting thought into it myself. After a full transfer out here, I can
tell you all I love it. How cool is it that I get to live on my own,
not worry about anything other than the people and just have all the
time in the world to help those people out? It's great! I love it.
Honestly the biggest struggle so far is that I'm probably going to
have to start shaving twice a day, I can't keep my face smooth
anymore:( How come all through high school I just wanted a nice beard
and stache, and now that I can't grow one my facial hair is
flourishing! It's tough let me tell ya. You're all in my prayers and I
hope you all have a great week wherever you may be!!!

Elder Dylan Smith

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