My first week back in Gresham started poorly but ended great. Things here have been going great already. Elder Grasinger and I already have someone who is probably almost ready to be baptized in a couple weeks. We are even planning on taking him to visit the Temple this next Saturday. The Hermanas here handed him over to us since he is an old single man who they have had a hard time visiting in the past. They told us that he just wants to hold off on being baptized right now because he doesn’t feel like he knows enough yet in the church and wants to learn more first before committing to a date. At church yesterday though, he attended all 3 hours and my companion joking went up to the old man, after being sarcastically put up to it by the Hermanas, to tell him that he was going to be the one to baptize him. He chickened out though and just said hi, then walked back to me and the Hermanas just laughing. He then jokingly told me to go and tell the old man that we were going to baptize him. I took it seriously and walked up to the old man and told him in Spanish that Elder Grasinger and I were going to be the 2 Elders that would finish teaching him about the Gospel and the Church and that we would be the ones to baptize him. His response was “Que Bueno” which means “That’s Greaf” depending on context. Then my companion and the Hermanas all just laughed and were surprised since they had been joking about it. I’m working on proving to my companion that being absolutely bold really just works sometimes when done at the right time and in the right way. He can be pretty bold sometimes but usually isn’t to people he knows or expects to be around longer. He just likes to laugh and be goofy most of the time and will almost always take up a chance to do something crazy that could make someone laugh, including himself.
Our first 2 days here in Gresham were pretty crappy though. They weren’t my worst days of the mission but they were my companion’s worst days that he has had on his Mission so far. He has been out for 6 months. When we got our car and things packed into it on transfer day to leave to our new apartment, we were told to just follow the Elders in front of us to our new home but unfortunately my new companion just recently got his Drivers License a few weeks ago and isn’t used to driving. He is only the designated driver because I asked if I could not have to drive this transfer since I still don’t like driving. So we got lost and soon after found out that our new phone for our Area didn’t work. It couldn’t receive or make calls or send or receive messages. We had also gotten stuck in some rush hour traffic for over and hour. When we got out of that, we went over to the Spanish Ward Church building to get some wifi so that we could sync our Areabooks on our iPads so that we could look up addresses of members in order to get access to a phone. That didn’t work either since our Areabooks were broken and had been miss-configured during transfers. So next we decided to go to a gas station and ask to use someone’s phone. We had no one’s number to call but thankfully I was able to remember the Hermana’s phone number since they have the same phone that I had 3 transfers ago when I was last here in Gresham, so we called them to get our Zone Leader’s number to find out our apartment’s address. And after we eventually got home, we were finally able to start unpacking a little and getting our day started. We got hardly any work done that day since we didn’t have a functioning phone until the following day nor had an Areabook to work off of so we just street contacted. Thursday was pretty similar. It wasn’t until Friday that we were able to really begin working properly since that was when the Hermanas sent about 200 people over to our empty Areabook. Things finally went back to normal on Sunday though. We got to teach some great lessons and I was able to visit some of the people that I had worked with 3 transfers ago which was very nice.
This transfer for my Mission was a very bid deal since the Mission got another 31 new missionaries. Last transfer the mission got 26 new missionaries. Two thirds (2/3) of my mission is training or being trained right now and there are even some Elders and Sisters who have only been out a single transfer and are now training and being trained by other Elders or Sisters who have only been out for the same amount of time. The transfer meeting on Wednesday was extremely spiritual though. My Mission President got up to give his talk and he had set down his journal, notes, and his scriptures on the podium, but then paused and said “Gosh I love it when the Lord does this to me,” then pointed to his 1st councilor and told him to get up and talk for a moment on what ever was on his mind at that moment. He then said, “I don’t know what’s on your mind but the Lord obviously does.” It was pretty funny but also very spiritually inviting since the 1st councilor spoke on the importance of journal keeping for about 8 minutes and heavily influenced the now altered topic of my President’s talk that he had written. The councilor shared an experience that he had had where he was able to save a 1.2 million dollar lawsuit only because he had written down the specifics of what the lawsuit had been about in his journal prior to the lawsuit. So because of his keeping of his journal, the case was won. He inspired a lot of people to continue keeping journals or to start. He also reminded everyone about how the scriptures, specifically the Book Of Mormon is just a journal from the prophets of old keeping a record of their experiences and memories for their own and their posterity’s benefit. He also told everyone that the difference between just a missionary and a great missionary was one who keeps a journal since we will be blessed with more spiritual things to write about as we prove our willingness to keep a record of those things that we have already been blessed to witness or experience.
I’m looking forward to this transfer and my companion and I started this transfer together with the goal for 3 baptisms and we intend to get them. My Spanish has gotten a lot better as well which is a relief for me since I will be using is a little more now that I am in an all Spanish Ward.
Have a great week everyone.
Elder Adam R. F. Scoville