Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Spencer's bike Accident

This is Spencer's district.  That face he's making, his entire pose....all of it.  It is soooo Spencer!!  

This is the explanation I got for this one:  "So there is a very steep road leading up to the church building.  We were riding down it after district meeting and I was standing up on my bike with only one hand on the handle bars.  (I was trying to fix something on my bag) when one of the other elders came by and spanked me.  I went straight over the other side and ground off half of my elbow.  It wasn't very pretty, but ya."

I believe this was his first convert baptism.  She's 9 or 10, if I remember correctly.

Shrum-Dog Millionaire..... Finally an update!!

I have to apologize- I don't have a good excuse.  Spencer's communication has been a bit patchy over the past month.  We don't get much information from him through email anymore.  Just a quick hello and how are you all type of thing.  He is sending weekly letters- I have just neglected to sit down and type them out for the blog.  Very pathetic- I know.  So here is the last letter we received last Friday.  His letters are usually very long.   He is doing really well and sounds very happy.  

Dear Mother,

So yesterday was the same as any other P day.  But we've finally started to get invited to meals from the  members.  Sweet! So we ate with the A family last night.  I really love them.  He is so cool.  I found out yesterday that he has a flippin bullet bike!  So sweet!  It just made me remember how badly I want a bike someday.  Great stuff.  They're a really cool family though.  He's from Romania and she's Armenian.  Love them!

Today was good.  We had district meeting.  Then we went to the bike shop to fix some stuff on our bikes.  50 flippin dollars later!  I have a got nice hand pump.  (My tires get super flat and I haven't had a pump for a Phixie, so I got one.)  And I had front brakes put on.  I only had a rear break and that wasn't the safest thing.  (That's where I'll leave that.)  So I thought I'd put on the second for a little more safety.  The rest of the day was good.  I'm on an exchange with Elder Ballard right now.  He's so cool!  Different than me, but the most amazing person you'll ever meet.  Oh!  Fun fact for ya.  We got another sister in our ward.  She's deaf.  So everyone is trying to learn sign, so that they can talk with her.  I knew they were coming, so I was really hoping for Sister McNeil.  But no.  Sister Ingram was her MTC companion though.  So that's still cool.  But ya, that's all for today.

So yesterday was good.  I went out with Elder Ballard that morning and taught a guy the restoration in the park.  Kind of cool.  We had a good conversation with people everywhere we went, which is the mission goal right now.  He is pretty good at that.  People just open up to him and talk.  I am trying so hard to be like that.

(next day)  It has been a super long and short week.  Every day has been so very long, but this week has flown by.  One of the shortest weeks of my mission.  I can hardly remember what happened a few days ago.  So the exchange was so super good.  We went out and worked the rest of the night.  Coolest thing ever.  That night we hate dinner with the Flinders (Elder Flinders great aunt and uncle from our ward) and they brought a non-member.  This guy is Greek, about 84 years old?  But he is a flipping rocket scientist!!  And he went to school with NEIL ARMSTRONG!!  He knew the guy.  Crazy!  I love being able to meet all these amazing people.  So Cool!  The rest of this week was really slow.  Elder Shrum has had a sinus infection, so we've been taking it each moment at a time.  He's really not feeling well.  He has a low tolerance for pain.  Ha ha.  He is one of my favorite people ever.  Truly, I like him so much more than most any of the missionaries I've met, but ya.  He doesn't love pain.  So this week has been slow.  We had a lot of dinners this week though.  That was really good.  I'm finally starting to love the ward.  It helps sooo much when you love the people that you serve.  Oh my goodness!  It makes this thing worth it.  This is an amazing experience, and I so completely and absolutely love life right now.  But without a love for the people, I'm not sure it's worth it.  Living on my own is a blast, studies are the greatest, I LOVE Burbank!!!  But none of that really matters.  That wouldn't keep me here.  The people really are the best part.  I love them so much.

Ha ha.  So something I've recently figured out, you know how I used to say that it was hard to love the people because I didn't have a specific culture to learn to love? Well, I was wrong!  This place is Little Armenia! So many Armenians living here.  Their culture is interesting.  I don't know if America has a motto or anything that we go by, but theirs is "We'll mess you up before you have a chance to mess us up."  Something to that effect.  They are the craziest people ever- ha ha ha- but I love them sooo much!! They are so interesting.  Their accent- it's like a mix of Russian and Spanish.  It's hard to mimic, but that's what Elder Shrum and I try to do.  Walk, and talk like Armenians.  I love it!!  They think they are the biggest and baddest nation out there.  It's so funny to me.  We'll knock on a door (the houses all look the same) and some big, yoked man will come out, close the door, fold his arms and say, "What do you want?"  Just standing there in his tight black tshirt and gold chain necklace.  Armenians are the best!!  The Arcadia mission, just next to us, has missionaries that are called and are Armenian speaking.  I'm sooo jealous!!  But they serve in Glendale, literally Little Armenia.  Highest population of Armenians outside the country of Armenia.  They're slowly spreading to Burbank- that's why we see so many.  So great!!

So, we had a few baptism this weekend.  One of the kids from the ward, and another from the Sister Missionaries.  A woman named L.  They taught her for a month and she was baptized.  Such a good experience!!  I love convert baptisms.  They're the greatest.  But we were asked to teach the first lesson at both.  Good experience.  Having to teach a detailed lesson in less than 10 minutes isn't the easiest- requires a lot of prep.

(next day)  So today was so great.  We had an absolutely amazing district training by Shrum-dog Millionaire.  So good.  We all talked about why we are here.  We did pretty poorly this week, as a district.  So we really needed a booster/pep talk.  I hope we see a lot of results soon.  Elder Shrum and I are working hard to make things happen.  I'm not sure if anything else happened.

Tell Lincoln that I'm super proud of him for the choice he's made to be baptized.  Baptism is quite literally the most important thing we will ever do.  That sounds wrong, but baptism leads to all other important eternal choices.  Isn't it interesting that Father allows people to make that choice at such a young age?  Baptism is such a big deal.  Taking that first crucial step to becoming like God by following Jesus Christ.  Or by making the promise to follow him.  Look at the power it gives you.  The gift of the Holy Ghost.  Probably the most important gift we've been given.  The chance to have a member of the Godhead with us at all times.  To lead and guide us.  To help us make choices that will make us eternal happy.  Little things every day that will bless us and everyone around us if we're worthy and if we're paying attention.  So easy, and yet is such an enormous blessing.  That added with the fact that when we have the Spirit, we are able to brush off any temptation like nothing.  Crazy how God has given us all of this and a sure way to get something a million times better.  He really loves us.

Okay, I have to get to bed.  I'll send this tomorrow in the mail.  I wish so badly that I could be there to watch Lincoln get baptized.  So badly.  I miss him so much.  I love him and all of you.  I hope you're all doing well and that you're safe.  Please be safe!

Love, Elder Sharp #2

P.S. What has the weather been like?  Did you get me Mary's address?  What else is going on in the younger 2 boys' lives?  I never know what to pray for them about specifically at night.  Any blessings they need?  How is dad?  Are you feeling good?  What's going on for you?  How is the youth conference planning going?

P.P.S.  Sorry- yes!  I got the package you Saint of a woman!  Thank you sooo mcuh.  I really loved it.  I liked those Kashi bars and the shirt.  Thank you so much!  I really am so grateful for you.