The work has really been picking up this week. We had lots of lessons and exchanges with other Elders in the zone. We had our interviews with President Taylor and that was a good time. The picture you saw, mom and dad, of me and Elder Wood with the certificates is for our cleanest car award. At every interviews our vehicle coordinator, Elder Skonnard, inspects the cars and awards the cleanest car in every district. If you tally up three awards, you get a hundred extra miles for the month! Woo! The rest of the week was just busy. On Saturday I went with Elder Nelson on an exchange in his area. While biking back to the house to change for the adult session of stake conference, we cut through a field behind the Cactus Rd. church building. Elder Nelson was behind me and I heard a "*Slush*....dang it!!!" I looked back and Elder Nelson's bike was laying in a pool of mud he didn't see. He had to step in it to get his bike out. Thankfully he didn't fall in, otherwise I flat out would have made fun of him. I attached a picture of the scene, not much to look at but pretty funny. Elder Wood had a little spill too. At a roundabout I heard behind me a "*Clank*....'aw crud'...*crash*" followed by Elder Wood laughing. I looked back and Elder Wood was lying in the middle of the roundabout on his back and he was just laughing. His pass along cards were scattered in front of him on the ground and about two or three cars stopped to see what happened. He flagged 'em on and he got back up to keep riding. It was pretty funny! Thankfully I've yet to crash on my bike since I've been out here, knock on Wood.
Not a whole lot of other stuff to report this week, we're just keeping busy. We had interviews this week, zone leader council on Friday and zone conference in Surprise North stake next week. Tomorrow is a bishopric training in Surprise North, and this Sunday are back-to-back-to-back ward council trainings for West Point, Surprise 1st and Surprise 2nd Wards. The hardest part of the week is going to be losing our Sisters. Sisters Rohner and Lautiki are from the temple square mission and have been here since October. I love 'em so much, they work so hard and have made a huge contribution to the Arizona Phoenix Mission. They go back to Salt Lake City this week and we're sad to see them go. We'll be moving in two Sisters from the Phoenix South zone on Wednesday. I know one of them, and I trust that the area will be in good hands. It's still hard to see our wonderful temple square sisters go.
Tim's not going to be baptized on the 11th. He doesn't feel like he can quit smoking in time. He also said he feels like there are some people he wants to forgive before he can be baptized. Our lesson this week was on agency and the choices we make. He seems to understand everything we teach, even to the point of teaching it right back to us. The application is the hardest for him. When he comes to church though, he feels great. Unfortunately back pain keeps him from staying the whole block. Our lessons are still regular and we just found out that their family has new home teachers, home teachers I know and trust to take care of their family.
We had a fun week with Eric and his daughters. On Monday we went to the Smith's, his neighbor, for a Family Home Evening. It was really simple (little kids, short attention spans) but fun. We all sat around and Eric wasn't sure what to think at first. We sang "I Am A Child of God" for the opening song and Eric seemed to like that. He had on a little smile while we were singing. We shared a thought from the scriptures and closed with "Popcorn Popping" for a closing song. Eric loved it. He had the goofiest grin on his face while we were singing and doing that hand motions and everything. It was a really fun experience and I recommend that every family have a Family Home Evening with their neighbor. A few days later we had a lesson with Eric at the Smith's. We got there a little early and said that our plan was to teach faith and repentance, and then teach the Word of Wisdom. Eric loved the lesson. He said that he feels like his faith has significantly grown over the past month alone. He especially loved repentance. I think he described it as "beautiful." I had invited him to write down some things he felt like he wanted to change and repent of, and he said he already did. When he was reading the chapter of the boom of Mormon we had left him, he felt like he needed to write down some stuff that he wanted to work on. He felt the Spirit, and he followed it! I was very impressed. About halfway through our lesson I felt prompted not to teach the Word of Wisdom. I hoped Elder Wood felt the same thing because I sure wasn't going to bring it up. He didn't either. When we got back into the truck we both talked about the feeling we had not to bring up the Word of Wisdom quite yet. It's cool when you and your companion acknowledge that you received the same prompting of the Spirit at the same time.
I'm thankful for the chance I have to be here on a mission. Time is flying--I hit 18 months this weekend--and I'm making the most of it. I love writing in my journal all of the experiences I am having and all of the things I am learning. I hope all is well with everyone back home and I hope to hear from you all soon. Send pictures! I'd love to see how everyone is doing. Until next week, take care and be good.
|Elder Nelson in the mud|