Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May 28, 2012 Letter

Glad to hear that Jake finally got hitched. I was worried about that guy. Sounds like the weekend was a great adventure. Our week was pretty interesting as well. The mission president is trying to help us save miles (we have a limited amount of miles we can drive a month), and so he had us conduct district meeting over conference call. Well, we had to get the oil changed in the car that day so we went across the street to the Dairy Queen and held district meeting in the parking lot. We just kind of sat down on a wall and gave the training there. If people didn't already think that we were weird, they do now. Two guys in white shirts and ties, talking on speaker phone, in the middle of a parking lot about how the Bible and the Book of Mormon support each other. It was really funny to us. At the end of the phone call we had the lady from the auto shop calling us to tell us that our car was done; so throughout the prayer there was a bunch of beeps from her call coming in. It was really funny because on our end it sounded like the Elder that was saying the prayer was having his swear words bleeped out.
We got to help a lady in the branch clean her house this week as well. She said that if we came and helped her that she would provide us with lunch. You got it. We were there in a heartbeat. We asked her what she needed help with when we got there. The task seemed simple: Fix the vacuum and beat the rug. Sweet. We got this. Well, unknown to us, she has cats. Lots of cats! My companion and I are allergic to cats (my companion much worse than I). So I thought it best to have my companion fix the vacuum so he could stay outside and not have to deal with the cat hair on the rug. This rug was bad. I couldn't tell what was rug and what was cat hair. I dragged it outside and hung it on the clothes line. Then it was batting practice. Cat hair everywhere. 
All over my clothes, face, everything. So I start sneezing like crazy, my eyes start to well up, and my nose is all stuffy. Meanwhile my companion is messing around with the vacuum trying to figure out why it's not working. After finally getting the front cover off he realized what had happened. The vacuum bag was filled with cat hair; and upon detaching the bag it exploded...all over my companion. We were a mess. His voice dropped about three octaves, his eyes were bloodshot, he was coughing and wheezing, and he was all kinds of stuffed up. Lunch was a no go, because my companion couldn't breath if he put anything in his mouth, so we left and downed a bunch of Benadryl. We were alright after that. We would have taken pictures but neither one of us could really see where the camera was pointing long enough to take it. 
Later that day we taught the word of wisdom to one of our investigators. He has been chewing tobacco for about 33 years. We told him the blessings of living the word of wisdom, promising his that if he would give up his chew that he would be blessed to be able to read. He has not yet read the Book of Mormon, because he struggles with reading. He just never took the time when he was a kid to learn how. We felt that the blessing of "wisdom and HIDDEN treasures of knowledge" would provide him with the ability to read. Usually we teach him and his family, but this time it was just him. We asked who he would like to say the opening prayer and surprisingly he said, " I think that I'll say it." After that beautiful prayer we started the lesson. He has investigated the church for a long time and often jokes about "someday" being a member. We simply asked him when "someday" would be. He said that he didn't know. We then told him that the only thing that would stand in his way of becoming a member of the church would be his chew. He looked at both my companion and I and said, " Alright then. Here you go!" as he threw me his brand new can of chew. "What am I supposed to do with this?" I asked. "Dump it in the toilet!" he replied. I think that the best part of dumping that stuff down the toilet was watching the look on his 5 year old daughter's face as he said, "You see that?! No more. Dad's done with that." 
We have had similar experiences with 2 of our other investigators this week as well. Guess that it was just the word of wisdom week. We had one quit tea and coffee, another quit alcohol and smoking, and another quit chew. It was a breath of fresh air. Another highlight of the week was having our 11 year old investigator tell her mom to be quiet because she was trying to learn about the gospel.
We got to take another trip out to good ol' Arkansas this week. Brother Pate volunteered to take us out there to save us on miles. He is so awesome. It was a great trip. On the way back we got a flat tire and had no spare tire. Wonderful. We had to wait for Brother Pate's wife and her friend to come and pick us up. When they came we stayed with the broke down car so Brother Pate could go to a tire shop in DeQueen to get a new tire. Whilst waiting for Brother Pate to get back we were trying to help Sister Pate think of different boys in the branch and her oldest daughter could date. It was way funny. She started off the conversation like this: "Alright, so now that I have you captive, I need your help. My daughter just broke up with her boyfriend." Ha ha ha. Uh...Sister Pate...we're kind of off limits...don't know that we could help you much.
On Friday one of our investigator's invited us over for dinner. Their friend was there and he was very intoxicated. I don't think that I have ever laughed so hard in my entire life. At the end of the visit we invited him to live the word of wisdom and to dump out all of his alcohol and he said YES! But then when we got up to go help him dump it out he screamed, "No, No, No, next week!" Ha ha ha. You know, I used to think that drunk people were funny before the mission, but they are way more funny on the mission. Especially when they are speaking Marshallese.
In other exciting news this week, we have 4 couples that want to get married and baptized, 3 potential families to teach, and my companion and I ate Menudo...remind me again why someone came up with that dish?
I think that the most wonderful moments had to have been with Jared and Amy. They are one of the couples that want to get married. We had a lesson with them about marriage and the law of chastity on Saturday. The lesson went marvelous. Couldn't have been less awkward. We ended the lesson stating we didn't believe that marriage ends when we die. That someday Jared and Amy could be married for all time and eternity. We asked, " Jared, you said you wanted to be with Amy for the rest of your life, right?" "Yeah." "Well, what if you could be with her forever?" The concept blew his mind. At first he was really excited, biggest smile ever. Then he started to get choked up. He asked his soon to be bride, " Is that what you want too?" With tear filled eyes she simply smiled and nodded. It was one of those times in your life where the Spirit in the room is so thick that you could cut it with a knife. We said that the next time we came over we would explain how they could live together forever with their family. We came back a few days later and taught the Plan of Salvation. The lesson was just as spiritual as the last. We asked their little boy if he liked going to church that day. He said, "I LOVED going to your church today! Can we go tomorrow?!" Jared smiled and said, " Hey. That's not just their church son, it's our church too." I love the Plan of Salvation. It truly is the Grand Plan of Happiness. I don't think that I have had sweeter moments in my mission than when we are teaching families how they can live together forever.
Needless to say, we had a great week. A lot of planning that we have to do for the upcoming month, but we are so excited for it. Can't wait to share more good news next week. 
 Love y'all so much.
-Elder McNinch

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