January 19, 2015- Grateful to be Safe
Hey Family and Friends!
I can't believe that I’m just 3 days away from hitting my 6-month mark. Time is just flying by way too fast, and from what I've heard from other missionaries, it just flies by faster and faster as you go. This week was an awesome but crazy week!
On, Monday we had a lesson with Luis, who is 18 years old. He's a really cool guy. His older brother Jose was taught by missionaries and then baptized a year or two ago. Jose left to go on a mission a few months ago. I actually was able to meet Jose before he left when I was in Newport News, my last area. None of his other family members are LDS, so we are trying to work with his whole family. We taught one of the commandments to Luis, which is one of the roadblocks that has kept him from being baptized. We had a good talk with him and we were able to commit him to live it, which is just a miracle.
Tuesday was super awesome. President Baker has closed down the Eastern shore for missionary work for both Spanish and English Elders. My companion and I went there with our Zone leaders and the AP's and cleaned out the old apartment. It was really cool driving there because to get out there you have to drive on a 20 mile bridge across the ocean to get there, and for 15 of the miles all you see is the ocean in all four directions. I feel pretty lucky because everyone who has served there says it’s the coolest part of the mission. I'm pretty sure that President Baker is going to keep this area closed for a long time so I probably was one of the last missionaries to go there for a long time.
On Thursday, we found a new investigator. We knocked on a door and the man of the house let us in. We started by discussing a bunch of questions he had about where we go after this life. That led us to teaching him about the Plan of Salvation. We ended by committing him to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it, and he said that he would do that.
Friday was such a crazy day. Elder Bradshaw and I, and two other missionaries, were driving back from a district meeting when a car 4 cars ahead decided to do a U turn even though it was prohibited in that area. This action led everyone behind him to slam on their brakes. Elder Bradshaw slammed on his brakes too but we slid really hard into the car in front of us, the air bags went off and our car was completely totaled. The airbags punched us all hard, but luckily no one got seriously hurt. A guy from Church insurance is coming out to see the car in a few days, but I don't think the car is going to be able to be fixed.
Until the car repair or replace issue is resolved, Elder Bradshaw and I will be biking everywhere we go. We have been on bikes since Saturday morning. It’s actually been fun to bike even though we are super tired by the end of the day.
We borrowed the bikes from some missionaries who had a few extras lying around, but unfortunately the bikes are pretty ghetto. Neither of our back brakes work. We had a hard time biking for the first little bit because both of our chains were messed up and Elder Bradshaw's chain kept popping off. Fortunately, we were able to fix it and keep going. Then, 15 minutes later, Elder Bradshaw rode over some glass and tore a hole through his tire and air tube. We weren't too sure what to do because we were pretty far from our apartment. We could see that we were only 1/2 a mile from some apartments, so we just walked the rest of the way with our bikes. On the way there we weren’t sure what we were going to do because later that night we had to be at an investigator's house to eat dinner and their home was far away. So I just said a short simple prayer in my head that we would run into someone that could help us fix Elder Bradshaw's bike. Literally a minute later, we turned around a street corner, and there were the Norfolk English Elders talking with someone. We waited until they were done talking and then we walked over to them and told them what was going on. They told us that they had a spare tire and air tube at their apartment, which was super close by. They went and got it for us, and then they fixed Elder Bradshaw's bike. So, prayer really does work! After the bike was fixed we knocked on some doors and met Jose and Olga. They let us in and we taught them a lesson. It was a really cool lesson and they were so sweet! After the lesson we biked on over to another investigator's house for dinner. They served us pupusas, and man were they yummy!
On Sunday, I got to meet the members of our branch for the first time as we had Stake Conference last week. Everyone in the branch is awesome!
Hope everyone has a great week!
Welcome to Eastern Shore of Virginia
View on Freeway to Eastern Shore
Damage to our car
View from my seat after the crash
Me with my bike