Things are getting a little bit tougher in the Field. I have noticed lately that I really am struggling with Street Contacting. I mean think about it: randomly walking up to someone and letting them know that the Church is restored. It is both exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. I am hopeful that this will get easier. Also, the Adversary has made himself known, again, during the mission. I am not surprised since the MTC was rough due to his constant down-grading on me. I have been praying and fasting for things to get better, and they have. It is again the Power of the Spirit that always helps us in our dark times.
This week has been good. Prep. Day Monday was amazing!! The Gilroy missionaries went up to Mt. Madonna. It is a State Park, I believe, that has so much to see and do. We first visited a Buddhist Monastery, which reminded me a ton of Chinatown in San Francisco. It was a very peaceful place, and funny enough, we all whispered most of the time while we were visiting there.
The Second, and last stop was to (what the missionaries call) "The Ruins." I couldn't find a plaque or anything that told what they were or when they were from. They were primarily foundations of old buildings. The Elders and Sisters played lava tag on the stone bricks that jutted out of the ground. Creativity, yes. Double points to the missionaries for making an arguably dull place fun.
(Male White Fallow Deer in pen near "the Ruins")
The week itself went by slow, but looking back it appeared to have gone by fast. It was like Sunday turned into Saturday in a matter of minutes. Tuesday and Wednesday I was in the office doing misc. projects like helping on the road with Elder Yearsley (a Senior Elder from Arimo, Idaho) at various apartments. Also I repaired and did inventory on about 30 bikes. I am definitely appreciative now to Brother Ransom for his lessons in Teacher's quorum on bike management.
Wednesday, I also got la opportunidad to work with Elders Prince and Alonso with some Spanish Less-active members. It was actually really fun. I definitely struggled speaking, but I really was able to understand most of what was being said. I have to give credit again to the Lord here. My Spanish no es bueno since I went home. I really feel the Lord blessed me for the day with the Gift of Interpretation of Tongues.
Thursday and Friday, I was with Elders Seelos, Tupua, and Davis. (Elder Tupua is an Elder in the Bernal district (Grandma and Grandpa Grandy's district)). I love him a ton. He is from Samoa and is a real strength to the mission. (He was on a quick Companion exchange with the Zone Leaders.) Elder Davis and I were primarily together for the time. For the most part, we Street contacted and did service. It was actually really fun on Friday. We volunteered at the St. Joseph's Family Center which is like a Food bank. I really enjoyed helping the people and serving with the Catholic Church. Everyone was kind and it was a really great time. After the Food Bank, we went back to Street contacting. We really struggled finding anyone. It was funny because after about 45 minutes (and maybe 8 contacts made) Police cars were zooming past. IT WAS CRAZY LOCO!!! There must have been something big, because it was the first time I had seen police in Gilroy. I was under the impression that Gilroy was relatively quiet. Nope!
Saturday was fantastic since I got the day off to go with Grandpa to the Oakland Temple. It was so nice to be able to enter the House of the Lord, since it had been quite a while.The Temple is an extraordinary place. I hope everyone can go more often or prepare themselves to go. It is such a great place of peace and learning. I am grateful for it! Also, It was great since we ran into Uncle Allen and Aunt Barbara in the Celestial room. Families CAN be together forever! It really made the session even more special.
Sorry for the Travel-log type entry, but know that I am well. Things are going better. I'd love to hear from you/hear about your adventures. Take Care!
Greetings from California! Things are going really great. I love California even more than I have compared to simple vacations or visits to Grandma and Grandpa Grandy. I met with President Watkins on Friday morning and was immediately placed with a trio elders assigned to the Gilroy District.
(Elder Seelos, Davis, and Billin. Elder Davis is waiting for a visa to go through so he can go to his mission in Brazil and Elders Seelos and Billin are Zone Leaders)
I love working with them. They are the kindest "most nicest" Elders you could ever meet. They are extremely humble, but so powerful in the Spirit. They really build me up, especially when I am too scared to talk with people (I am not sure that I can, yet, since I am a Service "Member" missionary). So far we have done a ton of street contacting (which is nerve racking especially when talking to big men with tattoos who are either smoking or drinking) but still have done a few appointments.
So far I feel like I have done a lot, but it has only been three days! I don't even know where to begin (and what I can say). It is different being a Service missionary because I don't wear a badge and I go by "Brother Harris." It is really hard explaining to people why I don't wear a badge, so I tell them that I am trying to earn it...which isn't a full lie. Also, I kind of wish that I had some more MTC time since I really struggle to talk with people and express simple Gospel Principles. I am noticing slowly, and with time, it is getting easier though (again, only 3 days out here, haha). Also, it is amazing to see that pretty much no matter what language you speak for your mission, you HAVE to know Spanish in Gilroy. I would say that there is a 50/50 split between people that speak Spanish and people that speak English. So even the English Elders, that I am with, all speak a little bit of Spanish.
I hope people at home know that I love them. Thank them for their support! Also, encourage them to be missionaries of their own.