Monday, September 16, 2013

It's an uphill climb

Eu estou cansado...

This week has been extremely busy and it doesn't seem like we have made a lot of progress.  Also, I'm sorry, but there are no new pictures this week! I haven't been thinking too much about it. I will try to do better next week. I know that we have had some success, because we have been working very closely with the members and have been building a lot stronger relationship with them, but not much has
come of it yet. I am soooo tired lately because we have been biking like crazy! Almost everyone who we go to visit is at least like 5 miles away, AND (for all of you who have never been to KCK) there are hills EVERYWHERE! This was extremely difficult as we were trying to meet all of the members in a 5 mile radius of where we are currently staying. The chapel hill ward is so big though, we haven't even been able to even visit some areas because we don't have enough miles on the car. I am definitely loving the members here, it's just really hard to even talk to some people here because KCK is definitely in the Bible belt! Seriously, about 30% of the people we talk to have actually gone to a Bible College and would love nothing more than to just Bible bash. It's really difficult because all we are trying to do as missionaries is help people! It's kind of funny because every time we are done talking with people, we ask them, ' well, is there anything we can do to help out?' People can be so rude... Then we get those gems! Even if they don't want to listen to our message, they are very polite and kind to us. We have some people who will commend us for what we're doing and say that they have a lot of respect for us.. Buuuuut they still won't listen to our message! It gets frustrating sometimes.

We lost a lot of our investigators lately; one of them got evicted and left our area, we haven't been able to contact the one who is going to jail soon (neither has his sister... kinda sketchy), and I already told about the other one who dropped us. We do have someone we are teaching now, A., who is from Mexico and seems to really enjoy learning more about the church! The first 2 visits were just with him and they went really well. He doesn't know a whole lot of English, so sometimes it's a little difficult to get our message across, but this last time we taught him and his daughter (I think that she's like 14?) and we had Bro. M come with us (he served his mission in Spain). Anyways, he said that they were reading a page a day of the Book of Mormon with each other, which is AWESOME! Haha as you can tell, we don't get a lot of people who will even try reading the Book of Mormon, so I was pretty excited. Oh, and we gave him a Spanish copy of the Book of Mormon (El Libro de Mormon) and he seemed a lot more interested in reading it now that he could understand it better. My Spanish branch experience has proven to be the best training for this Missouri Independence Mission...who could have guessed? We will see how our next teaching appointment with him goes, but he said that he might be coming to church this coming week, so that would be really cool!

Our only other investigators are two little boys in a part-member family. They are 10 and 9 (well, almost 9, in about a week) and their Mom has just been coming back to Church after a couple of years. It's really interesting, but I really enjoy working with their family. If anyone has advice on how to teach kids that age, it would be much appreciated!!!

Oh, I almost forgot, but we also working with another less-active, part-member family, and the Dad is the only member. He works a lot (and on Sundays). He and his wife have twin 8-year-old daughters. We're going to try really really hard in the next week to get them to come to church, and they LOVE the missionaries! Funny story about that actually, but on Saturday, we had a very very long day of biking, and Elder D's allergies were kicking in and he could barely even breathe. Anyways, we were right by their house, and we got the impression that we should ask S. (the dad) for a ride home. It was about 5 miles home, but it was dark out, and again, Elder D. could barely breathe! He was very willing to take us and we had a great talk with him. He said, 'I might be able to come to church tomorrow, but my work calls me at 7 and lets me know if i have work or not, so we'll see'. So we got home, and were able to meet with him for a little bit. I'm planning on making brownies or something for them as thanks for taking us home (I know, I sound like a girl), but I definitely feel like we should express how grateful we are to them.

So speaking of biking and the effects that it has on us, I AM SO TIRED! Haha I actually just found out yesterday that my companion has taken the phone and taken pictures of me whenever I fall asleep in some weird place. It's all been in the extra time that we have during lunch.... or on our couch... our in the other missionaries' recliner... or in a member's house... or in that same member's car... twice... I feel so bad! Haha I never fall asleep on the weeks that we have a car, it's just that biking is sooooo tiring when you're carrying this much stuff and going up and down hills for miles a day... It's still embarrassing, but some of those pictures are really funny! I wish I could send them, but they're on the phone and I don't think that we can. 

Anyways, I am up to 193 lbs!!!! I don't know where all of this weight is going!!!! I look at myself in the mirror and my belly has definitely gotten smaller. It's probably all going to my thighs because of all this biking..... Yeah, I think that I'm just bulking up more, because we do weight training a 1/2 hour each day. Not to mention all of that biking! Biking itself is plenty easy, it's just biking up all these hills!!! You have no idea! Imagine two Midway hills on either side of where we are staying and that's what it's like. Oh, and guess whats after those hills? More hills! T.T Yesterday we had team-ups with Bro. W and we could barely get out of the car. Oh! We also get to play 2 hand touch football (it's considered noncontact) on saturday mornings with the Elder's quorum and their friends/other less active members. Now I'm about to go and play about 3 or 4 hours of basketball at the stake center, so I just don't imagine how I'd be getting any fatter!

Anyways, one of the things that Elder D has had me doing has been having me share my 'favorite scripture' for all of the dinners that we have with members and share a spiritual thought alongside it. So I think that a lot of people who read the scriptures can relate, but I don't have a favorite scripture! So I end up just sharing something that I learn in my scripture studies that morning. Anyways, I would just like to share a scripture before I end this email. Today, it is a short passage in the Book of Mormon that asks a rhetorical question, It is Alma talking to one of his sons. (For those of you who don't know, Alma was an ancient prophet in the Americas who preached the gospel of Jesus Christ and foretold of his coming)

Alma 39:17, 19 : '17 ... is not a soul at this time as precious unto God as a soul will be at the time of his coming? 19. Is it not as easy at this time for the Lord to send his angel to declare these glad tidings unto us as unto our children, or as after the time of his coming?'

I know that God loves all of His children. No exceptions. That is why He has restored the gospel in these latter days by the prophet Joseph Smith, so that all of His children, through the great Plan of Salvation, will be able to know of His true gospel for time and all eternity. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that this church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, contains the fulness of the gospel that Christ Himself taught when he was on the Earth. It has been restored because God loves us. Yesterday, today, and forever.

I hope that all of you in the outside world are doing well, I don't get to hear much about what's going on! I love hearing from you, and any advice, questions, and really just about anything is greatly appreciated! Tchau tchau!

Elder Colvin

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