Monday, November 9, 2015

"You Can Find Trash No Matter Where You are!"

What's up everyone? Hope life wherever you are is just great! It's
pretty great out here if I do say so myself. The weather was
ridiculously warm this week and everyone tells me to enjoy it, because
usually by this time of the year it should be really cold. It's a
pretty dry warm and everyone here just talks about how great it is,
but I'm just used to it because it feels exactly like Utah!

Monday was pretty fun! The Bakers rescheduled for FHE to Tuesday, so
we went out to the Roeselers again and we helped Bro Roeseler try to
change his brake pads and oil, but we ran into a billion little
problems because the last time he had his oil changed, he had it done
at walmart. Lesson for the day is if you want something done right, do
it yourself. If you want something done wrong, take it to Walmart!

Tuesday we stopped by Tom's because he needed some help modifying his
new trailer. As we were working, this guy on a jazzy rolls up. Now
everyone knows this guy, he's super nice and just rolls around
Palmerton all day. He doesn't have any legs and he's just not in great
shape, he's also a Jehovah's Witness! The JW (Geno) and Tom are
buddies and he loves talking to us. He needed some help because his
wheelchair lift in his car wouldn't fit his 4-wheeled scooter. Tom
remembered one of his buddies had an old ramp that we could put on
Geno's trailer hitch, so we went and picked that up. We put it on, but
his chair didn't fit, so we had to rig it up so the chair barely fit!
It was a bunch of running back and forth in Palmerton! Geno was super
appreciative and anytime we would see someone he'd say "these guys are
mormons!" Then he'd turn to us and say "I'm not ashamed to say I'm
with mormons!" Yeah you better not be ashamed Geno. Anyways It was fun
helping him out! Tom kept saying he wanted a picture of the two
mormons and the JW working together. After we were done Tom kept
saying that we should get extra points in heaven for helping a JW! If
only that's how it worked Tom!

Wednesday we went over and helped Bro Schoenberger take his A/C units
out of his house and rake all of the leaves in the yard. He had this
insane backpack leaf blower he let me use and man that thing had
power!!! We then headed out to the Kellars to help them out. We moved
a bunch of wood for him, fixed a bookshelf and did a few other small
jobs. I love going over there because they are so nice and funny and
old so it's good to help out! They always try to do stuff themselves
but we go over and take on the hard stuff so they don't work
themselves too much!

Thursday we had Zone Training. I walked into the Nazareth chapel and
saw a brown and gold volleyball in the back of the gym and I was like
there is no way. I walked over and low and behold it was a Davis Dart
Volleyball. A Davis Dart volleyball all the way out in PA??? There's a
Sister in my zone who went to Viewmont with me and she couldn't
believe it when I showed her! Then was talking to my Zone Leader,
Elder Clark who's from Bear Lake about it. I was like "yo how did this
get here?" and he said "You can find trash no matter where you are!"
After the training we went to help out Daniel Baker raking his leaves,
and while we were doing it he stepped on a rake and it came up and
smacked him in the face hahahaha. He came to a lesson with us for
Casper, and the kids progressing really well! I'm pretty happy about
it! Afterwards we went up to Albrightsville, which is a place neither
me or Elder Stimpson have been. A new family moved in up there so we
went to have dinner with them. They are super awesome! It's a mother,
her son and her daughter. Now her son Harry and her daughter Cira are
probably in their late 20's early 30's or something like that. Their
last name is Zambrano or Parraga, but no one can usually pronounce
their last name so they tell us to just call them by their first
names. Anyways they speak Spanish and they have a heavy spanish accent
and a less active family in Albrightsville, The Macarenos have gotten
to know them pretty well, so they were over as well. All of them were
speaking spanish at one point, and I now know how foreign speaking
missionaries feel when they first get to the field and can't speak the
language! Anyways they are super nice and really fun, and I think they
will help us a lot with the Missionary work in Albrightsville!

Friday we were gonna have exchanges with our Zone Leaders. They called
us up and say "find us the best chinese place in your area and we will
meet you there at 1" Well we live in Lehighton, there's literally
nothing here! We ended up finding this little chinese buffet and went
there for lunch and YOOO It was some good stuff! Cheap too for a
buffet!! We had exchanges and I took Elder Fernandes over to meet Tom.
Elder Fernandes was in the Marines for 4 years before his mission, so
he talked to Tom about it for a bit. It brought up memories of Tom's
son being in the service and Tom started crying, which has never
happened before! I took him over to meet Jeff the Jew and they talked
a bunch about the service too! Then Jeff gave me a present for feeding
him taco bell a week ago, he said he really appreciated it and I'm the
first missionary to feed him all 15 years he's been visiting with
them! We made a few stop by's but no one was home until we went out to
the Kennedy's. Sister Kennedy was home and she used to live in Hawaii,
and Elder Fernandes has family from there so they talked about it for
a bit. Elder Fernandes forgot his nametag back at the apartment so we
went back to get it and walked the streets of Palmerton and there
really wasn't anyone to talk to, so me and Elder Fernandes just kept
talking and he's a really cool guy!

Saturday Elder Stimpson and Elder Clark came back to exchange and we
were sitting around our apartment for a bit. Elder Fernandes was like
"so the question is... Chinese buffet?" We all laughed because we
thought he was joking, but he was serious so we all headed out to the
Chinese Buffet again! Makes me miss Wok Lin with all the guys back
home. We got a phone call that a new family moved in, The Martinez
family, so we headed out to meet them! They were really nice and they
have 3 sons, age 15, 13 and 9! So we finally have youth/young men! We
had a lesson with Charles out at the church, and we were about to
leave when our Branch President rolled up and asked if we could help
him clean the church! We were cool with it because our dinner
appointment cancelled. President Relitz took us out to eat after too!
We went to Jeff's later and he did a natal chart for us, which is
where all the planets and stuff were at the exact moment you were
born! It's like a patriarchal blessing based on the planets and it's
pretty interesting to read!

Church was good as always on Sunday! During Sacrament Casper sat by me
and handed me his phone so he would't use it and pay attention and I
was like Yo!! That's awesome! During Priesthood, President Relitz was
conducting, and he was asking us if we got fed enough and we said yes
and he was like "I can definitely tell you aren't starving! One of you
has eaten a lot since you've been here! I won't say names!" Well he
was joking about me! haha but a member, Bro Unger thought that he was
referring to Elder Stimpson so he called Elder Stimpson fat like 3
times before the end of church!!! The struggle of being in a driving
area! After church we stopped by Tom's and in our conversation he said
something about us and the cross, and we were like no we don't
celebrate the cross. We explained it to him and he actually really
understood our point and thought it was very interesting and liked it!
One day that guy will be a member!!! We headed out to the Roeselers
for dinner, and his wife had to leave soon after we got there. Bro
Roeseler realized he'd never shown us around his house so he did and
all of the sudden he pulled out these wheels you attach to your shoes!
He said he wanted Heely's when they came out, but he could never find
them in his size, so he went and made these "wheelies" for himself! I
strapped them on and started zooming around the house, he slapped on
his roller skates, Elder Stimpson grabbed a scooter, we moved all the
furniture and turned his house into a roller skating rink! It was
awesome! Pictures will be below!!

Altogether it was a fun week filled with service! Never did I imagine
I'd be helping out a JW! As for our investigators, Jon the ice cream
miracle, works two jobs and it's hard for us to meet with him, but
he's pretty prepared! Casper is doing great, he's just gotta be to
church 2 more times! Jenny got a job and she works a lot, so it's
getting tough to reteach her and to teach her son Christian. Hopefully
we will get things worked out this week to teach all of them! I hope
you all are doing great! I miss you all a lot and I keep you in my
prayers! Have a great week everyone!

Elder Dylan Smith

Here's the trash that I found straight outta Davis High School

Here's a donkey I found while raking leaves!!!

And here's Bro Roeseler on his skates with his daughter Emily, Elder Stimpson on a scooter and me with my new tracting wheelz. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Gospel 'n Tacos

Whoa it's already November! How about that? I got off the airplane
Sept. 1st and got to my area Sept. 2nd where I found they were already
setting up for Halloween. Now I'm not really a fan of Halloween so I
had to look at all these stupid decorations for two whole months, but
now it's finally over! Anyways this week was pretty interesting. We
were told to be in by dark Friday night for "mischief night" and
Saturday for Halloween, but for some reason each town out here likes
to do trick or treating on a different night so all the kids can go
town to town, so we also had to be in by dark Thursday. Throw in
some different things that came up this week and we didn't get too
much teaching done, but anyways here's my week!

Monday was pretty usual, but then outta no where the Bakers cancelled
FHE with us so we were thrown a curveball because that never really
happens. We went to Jeff's so he could cut our hair and he asked us
what the rest of our day looked like, and we told him our plans got
cancelled, so after he finished cutting our hair he had his wife Mary
go pick us up Taco Bell! Now I'm no expert on Jews, but Jews aren't
supposed to eat meat with dairy and they have to eat Kosher foods,
which from my understanding means the animal product had to be taken
care of properly. I don't think Taco Bell falls under either of those
two qualifications. Elder Stimpson was fasting, so me Jeff and Mary
dug into a taco 12 pack. It was fun because it reminded me of being
back home and going to eat taco bell or mcdonalds with all the guys
and we'd sit there and tell stories and laugh! It almost felt just
like home except instead of a few of my friends I was sitting across
from a 60 year old Jew! I don't think I've ever ate that many Taco
Bell taco's in one sitting! Family home evening with 2 mormons, a Jew
and as Jeff calls Mary a "recovering Roman Catholic".

Tuesday was a pretty regular day by this weeks standards! We visited
Bro Kennedy and he showed us his Christmas Village that he's setting
up. The thing is way cool! Once it's all done I'll send some pictures
of it home. Anyways we went to the church to help Bro Devore adjust
the microphone in the Chapel and afterwards he drove us up to
Lansford. We tried our hardest to see some less actives in Lansford,
but they were all busy and the place is a ghost town. Bro Putt lives
in Lansford and he's headed out to Arizona for a while. Last time he
left, the power went out and all of his food spoiled. He didn't want
that to happen so he told us to stop by and he'd give us some food.
Holy crap did he give us some food! We got two huge boxes of stuff! A
bunch of frozen meats, like chicken, beef, meatballs, porkchops, ham
and then a bunch of hamburger helper type foods and a buncha ginger
ale! We took our load and headed back to Lehighton to go have dinner
with the Bakers. As the subject line suggests, they fed us Tacos! I
have no problem with that! Afterwards we had a discussion on tithing
as Sister Baker suggested. Lets just say some people don't understand
tithing out here, and by some, I mean everyone! For our branch to
become a ward it needs about 90-80 in sacrament every week, but they
will ease on that number if there is 15 full tithe payers. 15??? That
shouldn't be tough right? Well here's some statistics for y'all. About
199 members of the branch. I'd say 40-50 are active. 7 full tithe
payers. Out of 199 people on record, 7 pay tithing. We've got some
work to do here!

During studies on Tuesday we got a call from Elder Rose, our mission
vehicle coordinator. Him and Elder Stimpson talked for a bit because
he claims they are tight, but anyways Elder Rose told us we needed to
be down in Broomall Wednesday to pick up our new car!!! No longer
do we drive a nasty ugly gold colored car! Anyways we woke up early on
Wednesday to head down to Broomall. Because of traffic it takes a
solid two and a half to three hours to get there. The assistants told
us to be there at 8:30, but we really didn't need to be there until
9:30, so we hung out with Elder Rose for a while. Elder Stimpson knows
cars so Elder Rose had us inspect all the cars that got brought in.
Afterwards the Tiwi (black box) company had to come move our Tiwis
from our old cars to our new cars so we were in Broomall for quite a
while! We ended up getting a white 2016 Toyota Corolla with 17 miles
on it! I figure that may be the only time in my life where I see that
low of miles on a car. After a nice long rainy drive back in our new
whip we got a text from Tom and Melani. They were finally back after
hunting in Utah, or as Tom calls it, the Mothership for 3 weeks and
needed our help unloading everything. It rained all day Wednesday so
all of their stuff in the trailer was soaking wet! They also couldn't
get their brand new freezer they took back from Utah because of the
weight distribution on the trailer, so all the meet came back in
coolers and there really wasn't enough freezer space at home for it.
We brought their stuff into their garage and then they picked up some
cheesestakes. Two nonmembers go to Utah to go hunting with a
missionary that used to serve in this area, how about that?

Thursday we had district meeting on using the Book of Mormon in
missionary work. Elder Stimpson is getting pretty frustrated about his
district meetings because each week he goes to plan and the topic they
give him is using the Book of Mormon in Missionary work! He says all
of his ideas are running out now! He always does a pretty good job
though. After three weeks of pretty much the same topic I now know to
use the Book of Mormon in missionary work! After district meeting
Elder Stimpson wanted Taco Bell because he missed out on Monday! We
picked it up and ate lunch at Jeff's. He likes the Beefy Frito Burrito
so I surprised him with one and he was so appreciative and was all
like "You guys thought of me? You thought of the old Jew? Man you guys
are alright!" Haha I don't know why, but there's something about
paying for someone else's food that I like, and I got Jeff to break
the Jew rules again too! We left and had a lesson with Casper about
prayer. It's easy to teach kids because they don't argue or anything,
but it's hard to keep their attention and make sure they actually
understand, but oh well! So dark rolls around and we can't be out
proselyting, so we went to Tom's and they fed us dinner again! Tom
built his trailer by hand, but now he doesn't like it because he
couldn't get the freezer on it and he wants to sell it and buy a new
one for next year when they go to Colorado. It's funny, they get back
from one trip and their minds go straight to their next trip, which
will be in a year. They already bought a new freezer for it!

Friday during studies we got a call from Lori and she said she locked
herself out of her house so for some reason she called the
missionaries to help her? Anyways we went over there and she was
thinking of all these ways to get in, then she remember the back
window of her truck doesn't lock so we opened it, and pushed the
garage door opener with a stick. Tom wanted us to move his new freezer
inside, and then he had us help him get ready for winter. We went back
to the apartment for weekly planning, then headed out to the Roselers
for dinner and because of the Halloween rule we got to just stay there
teach a lesson and play a mean game of Monopoly!

Saturday we had to drive out to Stroudsburg so Elder Stimpson could
interview some people for baptism for the Stroudsburg elders. That
took up a large chunk of the day, so we came back and had a lesson
with Charles, where he said he never wanted kids so we changed our
lesson plan and focused on why families are important. :) We had a
quick lesson with Jon, our ice cream miracle on the street guy, which
is pretty weird because he already knows the lessons so we don't even
know what to teach. Then we went to the Kennedy's after it got dark
and watched Meet the Mormons with them. Honestly I have no idea how to
reactivate Bro Kennedy, and it's frustrating because the branch
doesn't seem to do much about it. This guy came teaching with us,
comes to all branch activities and loves having us over, but just
doesn't come to church. He has so much potential in the church and the
branch needs to find it in him. This guy is dope and I will get him to
church before I leave this place.

Sunday was pretty average with church and stuff, we met with our
branch president after church and talked about the missionary work
here. He's such a good guy, and he's from Murray, Utah so I like him
even more! Hopefully after that meeting things will get rolling here.
We stopped by Tom's to drop off some tools he loaned us, and he
already bought a brand new trailer! It's an aluminum frame and it's
beautiful. Anyways our dinner plans got cancelled, so we fell back on
the Roselers and we had dinner and a lesson with them.

It was a pretty interesting week having to be in Broomall and
Stroudsburg, then be in every night at 6. Hopefully this week we will
be able to get some work done! We have exchanges twice this week so it
will be an interesting one! Hope all is well wherever y'all are! Enjoy
these pictures of our new car and our district, and have a great week!