Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Elder Smith Photography!

What's up everyone!! It's been a busy good week here in PA! I finally
got to do some cool stuff and the leaves are starting to change so
there's been a lot of pictures this week!!

To start off our week on Tuesday we headed up to the Aaronic
Priesthood Restoration site in Susquehanna, which used to be Harmony,
PA from what I understand! So President Anderson has been trying to
pull strings to get the whole mission up to see the site, and I'm glad
he did because it was a really cool experience! Two other zones went
up with us at the same time and the rest of the mission went up at
different times. So at the site they built this beautiful chapel, and
there's so much white in it and on the outside that it looks like a
cross between a temple and a chapel. The chapel is the building for
the ward up in that area and has the visitors center inside. I don't
know if any of you watched the dedication of it, but even the podium
is white! I loved being inside. We had a few speakers at the
beginning, then we watched a video they made for the site up there. It
is narrated by Oliver Cowdrey and tells his experience. It was really
cool to see the restoration of the priesthood in a different
perspective. Afterwards we took a tour around the grounds and saw the
gravesite where Joseph Smith would have buried their first child, and
the replicas of the houses that got burnt down many years ago! Anyways
I'll throw up some pictures of all of that. It was such a cool
experience to be in the spot where so much history of the church
happened and to feel such a strong spirit! The site took most of the
day because it's pretty far away from our area, so we weren't really
sure when we'd get back to our area. We got back around 7 and ate
dinner, so 8 o'clock we didn't have anything planned out. Elder
Stimpson recently got a pie in the mail he's been dying to get. He
wanted to eat it but he was like "we gotta eat it with ice cream" so
we decided to go get ice cream at the store! While we were at the site
President Anderson told us we need to keep talking to everyone we see,
so we decided to walk to the store and talk with people. Well there's
really not many people walking around late at night in small towns
like this so we weren't expecting much. We were about half way to the
store and I looked across the street and some guy was staring at us,
and I thought "oh crap another crazy person" then all the sudden the
guy yelled "Are you Mormons?" and I was like "Yes we are!!!" So he ran
over and started to talk to us. I don't know if I mentioned last week
that we got this crazy referral for a guy with a baptismal date, but
anyways this was him! The phone number we had for him was wrong and we
didn't have an apartment number for him, so we couldn't find him. His
names Jon, and we were just lucky to be out on the streets at that
moment! President Anderson stresses the fact that there's "no random
thoughts". So next time you have a thought to go buy ice cream, go do
it because it may be a thought from the Holy Ghost and you may meet
someone cool!

Wednesday didn't go so smoothly. We had a solid day planned out where
we woulda taught a buncha lessons, but as things go here in Lehighton,
plans always get cancelled! But we bounce back pretty well! We ended
up going and getting cheesestakes for lunch, which was both of our
first cheesestakes out in the field! It was good stuff but believe it
or not, I'd pick vito's in bountiful over this one. After that, Lori
called us and we went over and cleaned out her stove pipe and moved
some wood for her, and she rewarded us with baja blast! Later in the
day we were supposed to have a branch indexing party, but when we
showed up the wifi wasn't working so they ended that short as well.
That's just how things roll around here, but it's no big deal!

Thursday our plans cancelled again, but we stopped by the Bealla's and
we gave a children's Book of Mormon to Casper and he told me he was
going to be at church, so I was pretty excited about that! We got to
teach Jenny about temples a little bit, we are trying to help her get
there to do baptisms for the dead. Then we got over to the Bakers
again for dinner and a lesson, so the day went better than it should

Not much happened Friday because of weekly planning, but we stopped
by Jeff's and he taught us how to make cotton candy! Then we went to
Bro Devore's house for dinner, and they have so many stories it's
crazy. Sis Devore is from Utah and when she was younger she played
Tennis with guys who are now general authorities and one time she was
on an airplane and sat next to President Uchtdorf. They lived in Utah
until about 4 years ago and moved back here where Bro Devore is from.
They have a son named John who's probably somewhere around 25 and he
has Down syndrome. He is the life of the party! You can hardly
understand him, but usually you can figure out what he says because he
talks about dumb and dumber a lot!

Saturday was a fun day, first let me say Domino's has stepped up their
game. Anyways Bro Fegely (our ward mission leader) took us to meet a
part member family named the Wilcox's. The wife, Vicky is a member and
her husband isn't, but he doesn't seem opposed to it at all. They
haven't been to church in a while because he works construction and
she works a lot of overtime at night so I guess it's hard for them to
get to church or whatever their reason is, but Fegely told her things
will start working out if she just pays her tithing and starts going
back to church. We'll see what happens there! Afterwards we taught a
lesson to Charles about temples, we are trying to get him to do
baptisms as well. Then we had a lesson with Jon, who pretty much knows
everything because he's met with two other sets of missionaries, so we
set him with a baptism date for November 14! We brought him to our
branch halloween party which was a much better turn out than anyone
expected! Me and Elder Stimpson are sick of no one coming to
activities or showing any support, so we got the word out and got a
ton of people there! They did a chili cook-off and everyone really
enjoyed that, then they had games and a trunk or treat for the primary
kids! It was really successful and the branch is planning on doing
more of these social events each month!

Sunday was AWESOME because Casper finally came to church!! So thank
you for the prayers everyone! He came and sat by me and I think he
really enjoyed it and know's it's where he should be on Sunday! We are
making progress! Then we got to teach Sharing Time in primary, which
is great because I'm used to teaching kids now! After church we got to
go give Jenny a blessing, because she's sick and it was great because
she had 3 friends there and we got to teach them about blessings and
hopefully they felt the spirit during the blessing, who knows! Anyways
we finally got to get back to our regular weekly schedule and end it
off with dinner at the Roselers, which is always a fun time!

I'm not a huge fan of numbers at all, but I guess statistically this
was the best week we've had since I've been here! It's pretty exciting
having two investigators with a date and by the end of this week I'm
really thinking we could have four with a date! The branch goal was 10
baptisms this year and they've had 1. There's a lot of work to be
done! Thank you for the prayers everyone, they do help! I can promise
you that prayer works. Everyone enjoy the pictures, have a great week
and a Happy Halloween

Here's me with the Susquehanna River (the one Joseph Smith & Oliver Cowdrey were baptized in)

This one right here is the Hale home. I guess it was luxurious back in the day!

This is the Vistor Center/Chapel

This tree probably saw the Aaronic Priesthood get restored!!!

Here is me eatin' my Cheesesteak! 

That's my cotton candy I made!

and here are some nice pictures of PA!

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