Tuesday, November 24, 2015

23 Nov 2015

So It came to my attention I never said the area where I'm serving. Its *drum roll* Idaho Falls Central stake *applause* We cover a whole 7 wards and I feel like I know nobody yet. Luckily Elder Gillespie knows everyone. Not yesterday but last Sunday was stake conference and C. Scott Grow from the 70 was there. During the Saturday session he pulled up a ward counsel to explain everyone's purpose and I guess missionaries are included in the ward counsel. So he talked to us and found out I was a whopping four days out on my mission. He decided to test me and started asking questions. I got all of them easy except one, he asked and I paused for a moment, Then I heard the bishop right behind me whisper so I blurted out the answer. No one noticed not even Elder Grow.
     This last week has been crazy we have three baptismal dates and a few more potential dates. This coming Saturday will be Brother Kisley's baptism. There was a big scare for a while because he's in the air force, I believe, but he got a notice that he was going to be deployed. We had no idea when that was going to happen for a few days but luckily that's a few months out yet. The other two dates are in December and those are the 11 year old I talked about last week, and an over age youth that because of circumstances just never got baptized.
     Monday- It was my fist P-day. To start off I did my laundry and it came out perfect, So mom, you don't have to worry. From 10-6 is our "free time" I guess is the best way of putting it. After all the e-mailing we spent most of the day driving with Elder Wright and Elder Leti (sounds like yeti). And it was my day to drive, Well I don't know any of the area yet so going from one destination to another was a struggle. especially when you can't tell who's giving the correct directions. I was told left right and straight and every time some one else was telling the truth. I felt like an idiot my first time shopping for food I didn't come with a plan of what I wanted to eat or anything, Luckily members feed us like.... I can't even think of a good analogy for how much they feed us. Its like a pig being raised for a slaughter or something. Anyway food isn't much of a concern. I think I brought home more left overs than food I bought for the week. After shopping we got ready for the activity time It was mostly just ice cream, basketball, and I'm not sure if we should have been but we were playing Texas hold'm. But it was a lot of fun. Then we totally forgot about a lesson we had scheduled so we rushed over to drop off the other Elders and get changed. After that lesson we had a referral we were suppose to check out but Gillespie in all his inspired wisdom said lets go to here instead. That ended up finding us the under aged youth and we set up a baptismal date.
    Tuesday- Not to much happened on Tuesday. A few appointments fell through so we had some time where we were just setting up other appointments. But the first appointment we had was rather frustrating. So this guy is a compulsive liar. He's in some rough living situations and can keep a job. I want to help him but every time we talk he goes off on rants about how back in Texas he had a farm with 6 pigs and 2 llama and 18 chicken and.... Thousands of cows. For one trailer of cows he could make up to 1600 dollars. Or if we were still in Texas and his wife was home he'd have to shoot us because apparently in Texas, men aren't allowed to be in the same room as another man's wife. Other than that we did YSA visits and that went pretty well, At first we thought we got rejected. This little girl answered the door and her mom came over and looked at us and asked are you missionaries. We replied yes, then she goes we're atheist and slams the door. As we are walking away laughing because that's the first time I got rejected like that, she opens up the door and goes, wait don't leave I was just joking. We talked to her son who has a lot of member friends and is very interested in religion,So he's looking like a new investigator. 
     Wednesday- We had our first district meeting and our District contains four elders. The other companionship is Elders Jones and Ledbetter. We talked about how to better teach and reach people, also the importance of always being prepared. we had a few appointments drop but because of that we got new appointments set up with some youth. We took an OAY (over aged youth) to the VC (visitor center) which is a cool way of teaching people its a unique resource to be able to use and its an awesome way to show people the more eternal perspective of the church since its all about temples.
     Thursday- today was a dream day for Elder Gillespie, It snowed. He's from Phoenix so snow is pretty foreign to him and he loves it, But last winter he was in a walking area so he still doesn't know how to drive in it which scares me. We got another youth who wants to be baptized. He's in a part member family and this kid is like the most mature 12 year old I've ever met. We asked him what his favorite thing in the world is and he goes... aaahh family. He's really excited to meet with us and get baptized so we just have to teach him the lessons and he's good. We had a few more follow up lessons and meetings that evening but the best one to happen was we went to see a member who is recovering from suicidal thoughts. She lost her business which was the main reason for her depression but she's been getting better and was just offered a job for $20/hr so that helped a ton with her recovery. later in the week we tried to stop by again, and her brother let us in. When he went to go get her we could hear her saying, the missionaries shouldn't be here without an appointment tell them I'm fixing the bathroom or something. Her brother walks around the corner and sees us laughing, and just goes "well thanks for stopping by but i guess you heard her"
     Friday- I went for my first actual tracting experience which was fairly pleasant. We went to some sketchy looking apartments and met several people, The first were some college kids, The one at the door was a non-active member and pretty much just said I'm not worried about church right now. She was really kind about it though. The next was a lady who looked about 30ish and she was baptized at 8 because of a friend and then just never went to church again, Once again she just wasn't worried about religion at this time in her life and let us down gently. The next two were fun, a retired and strong Methodist answered the door, he respected what we do but just said he didn't agree with the church. But I don't think he ever read the Book of Mormon. He just went on about random facts that had nothing to do with our actual doctrine, and then eventually started talking about Isis and psychology. He talked for a good 20 minutes to half an hour. The last guys was the best though, I couldn't understand much of what he was saying and I'm surprised I kept a straight face when he answered. He was 70 or so and also stuck in the 70's he had long white hair with a multi colored Native American head band, an orange running jacket with nothing underneath and had it unzipped nearly to his belly button. Tons of grey chest hair and glittered french tip, Now as strange as this guy was he was really nice and actually referred us to someone who needed help.

I'm starting to run out of time again but the missions awesome, As weird or mean as people might be I've learned to care about everyone because I'm more able to see them in an eternal perspective. I'm excited for the upcoming week and hope the best for all of you.
 Love, Elder Hoffman

One last story I got a bit of time. So Elder Gillespie sees the truck of someone he baptized so he followed it because he wanted to talk to them when they got out. Well they noticed we where following them they started like running stop signs and Gillespie is like barley keeping up. Then he goes into a parking lot and Gillespie thinks, "oh he's finally parking." Nope the guy jumps the curb drives through the grass and a ditch to a different parking lot and then just peels out.

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