Thursday, August 3, 2017

Temple trip, teaching and good birthday

Tuesday July 25, 2017
Woke up at 5:00 and got ready to head off to the temple, which was cool because that is what I did back home is wake up really early for the temple.
We kept driving, and we went driving on some pretty back roads, it was interesting, and pretty fun.

We got to Bragg road 20 minutes early, and were the first ones there. Then the others arrived and we exchanged WenHou(greetings), the one with Elder Richardson was a little weird. Everyone else was good, it is always good to see Elder Grimaud and Elder Dickamore, and Elder Schellenberg, a good number of my past companions. After that we grabbed some lunch and then piled into the back of the vans they rented, and drove up to the temple. It was cool, got to see the Washington monument from a distance, and some other things. Definitely looked like it did when I first went there. We approached the temple, and is really big. It was hard to see from the van, but still cool. Definitely a lot of excitement and anticipation amongst the many missionaries. We got out and headed right in, and wow. It felt like coming home. We walked across the bridge and proceeded to get clothes and dressed and other things. It is a really cool temple, the stairs are part of the coolest part since they go straight up through the spires on the outside. In the beginning we got to spend a little bit of time with the Temple President, that was cool we were able to ask questions and talk about the temple and things. Then we went into the session. It was really, really good, it felt good to go through again. After getting through and going into the celestial room President Smith was there to greet us which was pretty cool.

After that we took some pictures and then crammed back into the vans. We got back, and ate at Chipotle. Then we drove back to Charlottesville which was fun, the whole crew fell asleep at one point.
Once we arrived, it was still a little crazy with all the companions in different areas, we dropped off Elder Whitlock, and picked up Elder Buhler, and then we 5(Larson, Wilkinson, Buhler, and Strong) went to a 1st ward mutual to talk with the young men about missions and things because the 1st Elders couldn't make it.
After that we dropped off Rivanna, and then we drove out to Crozet and picked up Elder Miller, it was pretty interesting figuring things out, but it did work out.
-Elder TempleTripTuesday

Saturday July 29, 2017
Well today was fairly interesting. Well it was pretty good. The morning was well we had to get ready pretty quick as well because we were meeting with Angela at the Oakhurst inn at 10:00, so we did our companionship study in the morning which was good, and unique. However I think it really helped out. We got to the place and found out that it is a sit down restaurant, and was really busy which was a little disconcerting because Elder Larson said the stuff was super expensive....but we ended up only drinking the water.

She started off with some questions, and then we said a prayer, so we didn't teach exactly a whole lesson, however through answering her questions we were able to teach her the restoration, it was a little scattered at times unfortunately...but overall it was good. She was asking lots and lots of questions, she even did some research online about us and it was accurate research. In the end, she agreed to read from the Book of Mormon, and wants to come to church tomorrow. Her lesson was definitely a little different than most, however it was still good. She was really nice as well and seems like she has a sincere interest in learning. A lot of it was trying to point her to the Book of Mormon. She also took the mandarin Elder thing well.

Also made a banana maple cake for my birthday from the stuff we had. We will see how it tastes.
-Elder SuperFullSaturday

Sunday July 30, 2017
It was a good birthday, all the little gifts from the family were fun. After that we went to brunch, Sister Lu let us know she couldn't come. I saw Elder McGowan there, he just got back from Hong Kong, it was weird to see him again.
We also heard from Sister Heath that Tina and her husband went to the Self Reliance thing.
Church was good, we also taught Gospel Principles which was really good. After that Elders Quorum was good. Then we went to the YSA ward which was cool, good to see everyone, we waited a good amount of time, but Angela didn't come. It was really peaceful waiting in the foyer though. After that we ate lunch and did our studies which was really good studying about the life of Jesus Christ and then doing Language study with Elder Miller.

Following that we went to the Howells, which was really, really good. It felt like a family, we were passing tons of things around and it was also tasty tacos. As well the fruit was super good. We had a really good time, then we were able to share a thought, which feels good to help them. They are a really good family. As well President and Sister Smith called in the middle and sang happy birthday.

After that we were able to visit some addresses in Crozet, we went to Leo the referral...and there were some wasps up in the top of his door so we were cautious...and then we knock and one starts flying towards us so we booked it away from them door...then the neighbor came outside and asked if we were ok. We said we were. Then we walked away and couldn't find two of the three addresses in Old Trail...that was a little confusing. Then we returned and had a good companionship study.

One the way home the downtown elders(including Elder Dickamore and Eames) called and sang happy birthday which was super nice of them.
Definitely feel kind of old being 20.
-Elder ServiceSundayBirthday

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Two days in the life of Elder Smith

After that we headed home and did our studies then rushed over to meet Brother McGowan to help him move some more things from his house. We started with moving some plants, and some other things, I think a bed, then Crozet and his nephew showed up to help as well. We moved the stuff to the other house. Then we headed back and grabbed the patio furniture and things. Then it started to rain, as well right before Crozet came we realized we couldn't find Putty(their dog) and so we searched for a good amount of time and saw him behind a neighbor’s house way at the tree line. So I ran down to get him and kind of felt weird like I was approaching a ferocious animal even though he is a small pug. I wasn't sure if he was going to run or not though, and then from the neighbors house that we are at...there is a really big dog that is barking at us...and it got a little intense...not really but it could have been. It felt like a scene from a weird animal movie. After that we continued to help him more from the house, drive and unload, and then return to finish up. We were there for a long time, then we had to fill the pod as well. By that time it was about 7 or so, and he offered dinner so we went to dinner with him at 5 Guys, that was really good, the milkshake was super, super good. After that is was 8 or so, and so we headed back and were super gross, and so we went to bed. It felt really good to serve and help Brother McGowan though.
-Elder ComeBackPutty

Wednesday July 19, 2017
Well it was quite the day, when we went out after interviews which was really good, we ran into a member that served a mission in LA as a senior couple and asked about Elder Wallace. So then they offered to take us to get some frozen yogurt....which as weird we were trying to focus on finding, but we went and ate really quick and then headed out, and we went across the street to talk to a lady and we went up teaching her the restoration along with many other things and answering different questions for 45 minutes. It was really, really cool. Her name was MinJoo, and. She was Korean, she was really nice though. It was really cool.

After that we headed home and ate our dinner, and then we headed to English class, and Wang LiZhu came in addition to Tina and DeJun. Elder Miller did an amazing job at helping them. After that, we cleaned up and did our companion study which was good.
-Elder ElderCounsel&FrozenYogurt

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

photos from Elder Smith

Our investigator Wang LiZhu took us out to dinner at a really good Chinese place

Other Elders in Ward at members dinner

Made my own Chinese's stir fry stuff with Eggplant and tofu

Picture from our zone p-day activity of painting a bridge at UVA with the plan of salvation

Bad Hair Cut Day but on with the work

Then we returned home and I cut Elder Bendel's hair, which turned out pretty good, then I cut my own, and since I did Elder Bendel's in the kitchen, I did mine there with our giant mirrors and I kind of just sat on the ground....well it was harder...and things kind of didn't worked...the cord was short..and yeah. It didn't turn out very well. I went too high with the #, and so I had to cut the top with a #5....and yeah it is probably the worst haircut I have given myself on my mission....oh well. After that we headed out, and didn't have much time so we left a pretty big mess in the kitchen.

After that we went to grounds/JPA...and we talked to very few Chinese people, but did give a Book of Mormon to Jessica and Owen on the Lawn which was good. They seemed pretty cool, they looked kind of Chinese from far away, but they weren't. It was a little interesting of an approach not the most standard and a little awkward...however it was good. I definitely feel like Elder Miller and I have to develop some companionship unity, but we are definitely improving.

Then we talked to some Koreans...and made our way to the Corner, and met Song Yi Feng again which was kind of cool( we met him last transfer with Elder Snow, but he never contacted us back) and so he gave us his number, but it was already in the phone..which is always a bit interesting. He doesn't talk much that is for sure. After that we realized it was 8:40 so then we had to head home.

We cleaned up the hair cutting mess, and some other things that needed to be cleaned...and I made a organized box for all of our supplies, which turned out pretty well. Then we headed to bed.
-Elder .....HairCutHayday...

Wednesday July 14, 2017
Well in the afternoon we met John from Shanghai and he is only going to be here for a day which is really lol we met him, and we met Amy Chang who was from Taiwan and is visiting for a workshop, she is a teacher in California. It was really cool, this is when we were on the corner.

Then later we had English Class, and three people came! As well a bear was in the trash at the Hydraulic building. Tina Tang, and Liu DeJun all came which was cool, YangLIJing also came. It was pretty good learned a lot from our mistakes and from things that work well. It was super awesome.
-Elder ReallyGoodDay#EnglishClass

Sunday July 16, 2017
Good good day, we found a ride for church in the morning because we were really worried about that. Brother Nichols was awesome and helped us out, however we went there as well hopefully to meet him so things would go smoother, but she left before we got there. At a stoplight a man motioned for us to roll down the window and asked, Mormon missionaries? And asked which church we were going to....then he followed us to the church, but after pulling into the parking lot we lost him and never met him. Sacrament meeting was really good, very peaceful, it reminded me of the temple. Then we had a good primary lesson with Sister Lu and Sister Witt helping Sister Lu share some thoughts which was good. After we left the entire primary class repeatedly yelled "stinky missionaries"...that was kind of funny. After church we went and tried to contact lots and lots of people. We contacted a few, the ones we were trying to find weren't home though. We tried to visit TianXu at Garden ct, Sunxin lin the taiwanese girl, she wasn't back, the pool people at ivy gardens...but met there neighbor through a through the door conversation...she said to come back and sounded Chinese.

After that we drove down 29 a long ways, and then down a long driveway to get to the Johnsons for is a really really big and nice house. Wow, they were really nice, Crozet was there too, and we had hamburgers/hot dogs/pork tenderloin which was all pretty good. Then it came to my turn for the spiritual thought, and I shared it from the Living Christ about the Sacrament. Also one of Brother Troy's cousins was there, and he didn't seem the most active in the church because I think his girlfriend was there who I think they are living together...not sure. However I definitely felt my purpose as a missionary to strengthen the members, and that God would help me do so. It was different than most dinners. I definitely made it a point for me to decide that for myself, and not hesitate about it.

After that we drove home, and contacted Aldous and mentioned Priesthood blessings to him because YangLi Jing is kind of sick, and we sent some other things off, then we headed home for studies which was also really good. For language study we went through Elder Miller's flashcards and I had him translate sentences from the words...I was impressed even if he was kind of frustrated.
Then we headed to bed.
-Elder SereneSunday

Monday, June 26, 2017

Photo of all the Mandarin Elders l to r: Elder Raty (new)
 Elder Schellenburg, Elder Snow & Elder Richty, (leaving)
 Elder Smith and Elder Miller( Elder Smith's  new companion)

New and Old Richmond Virginia Mandarin Elders

Elder Raty is from Sandy. He is now with Elder Schellenberg in Richmond, and I am with Elder Miller from Ammon Idaho. He has been out for 5 months now and will probably be the one to train the new Taiwanese Elders that come in. I am kind of his Chinese tutor and things are going well. Some other information on him, he really likes playing the trumpet and is pretty good at it I hear. He also sang and did some theater in high school.

Update on the elders coming in, so we are actually getting three Elders from Taiwan, but one of them is also an american citizen and he will come in September and there will be no visa problems, but we are still waiting to know when the other two Taiwanese Elders will come.
Elder Smith