Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Samoan to English in 2 Weeks?

Monday, 15th of July 2013

The fire from last week was still burning, it was burning for over a week! It was the biggest fire the valley has ever seen, it was the #1 priority fire in America and 10% of all the hot shots (elite firefighters) in the nation were fighting that fire. Apparently nothing else is going to grow on the mountain for years now, the fire has done so much damage.

Sam enjoyed his week last week as the work is starting to pick up again. On Wednesday he got to go on exchanges with Elder Tusa, he is from Western Samoa and spoke no English. He went to the MTC for only 2 weeks to learn English and he has only been out in the field for 2 weeks! They had 3 hours of study together, the language barrier made it a challenge for them both. Sam was very impressed with how well he is going for only learning English for 4 weeks, he isn't afraid of going up and trying to talk to people even though he is just starting to learn the language!! Elder Tusa was so grateful to have the opportunity to work with Sam. He will make a great missionary if he continues to put in the effort to learn the language.

Last night they had a 'cool experience' (in the words of Sam) There is a less active lady whose husband isn't a member, it turns out that yesterday the ward mission leader, Doug Coburn, had visited them and her husband is now interested in taking lessons with Sam and his companion. They visited them last night and they are a great family, they even have a small black pug! He asked a lot of questions and even wrote some more questions down for next time so they can discuss them more. Its always a good sign when people ask a lot of questions and sincerely want to understand what it is they teach. Their recent convert, Sean Thomason, wants to go with them to the next lesson!

They have taught 11 lessons this week bringing it up to 18 in total. They are behind in numbers from last transfer but Elder Blanco says the work always slows down after a baptism. Sam is still loving it over there and he is still getting along well with Elder Blanco! 

Monday, 21 October 2013

Mystery Man and Fire!

Monday, 8th of July 2013

Last week has been slow for Sam since he just had the baptism of Sean and Amy, also it was the 4th of July weekend so there wasn't been a lot of people for him to teach. He only had 7 lessons. Sam and his companion have been doing more tracting that usual, but not too much more, they knocked 87 doors, 59 weren't in, 16 weren't interested, 8 were other religions and they got 4 returns appointments. One of the appointments fell through so it wasn't too fruitful. There is a reason the Apostles keep saying there is a better way of doing missionary work than tracting!

Sam had a really good experience last night, he was riding home and they got to the junctions at Tropical and Clayton, they can either take Tropical all the way to the apartment , or El Campo Grande, they decided to take El Campo Grande and took a short cut through the church car park. There was somebody parked there but it was 8:45pm. He  called out to Sam and Elder Blanco and they went over to speak with him. He asked when the church was open and they explained that it would be open on Sunday from 9am. He told them that he needed to get something off his chest. It turned out that on the 4th of July, he got drunk and went to a casino and blew his wages ($1500) Then after, a friend offered him some sort of drug which had a bad effect on him. He said he hasn't done anything like that in 5 years and that his family is more important to him than any of the stuff he did. He didn't know what to tell his wife, so they told him to be honest with her and not to lie about anything. He told them how he has met with missionaries before and it kept him out of trouble, so they talked to him for a while and left him with a prayer, a pamphlet on repentance and a card with their number on it. He really regretted what he had done and he was wanting to change. Sam is hoping he can meet with them again and start getting his life sorted out.

There is a huge fire on the mountains at the moment, it has been burning for nearly a week, it was started by lightning. There are 3 separate fires and with the wind it has been at 0% containment - in other words, the firefighters have no control over it! The amount of smoke in the air is amazing, Sam really didn't think a fire could push out so much smoke, he thought it was a cloud for a while until he saw the flames at the night time. Sam thinks its amazing because he would never get anything like this back home. He had his first proper storm yesterday morning, there was lightning, thunder and it rained for about 5 minutes, then it was over. The storms over there don't last very long but the roads flood really quickly!

Sam got his new best time for the Rubiks cube today, 19 seconds! He thinks it will be a while before he will beat that time though!

He also got a lot of food from a place called WinCo today because its so cheap. For $22 he got 2 cans of pringles, 80 tortillas, 2.5lbs of cereal, 1.5lbs of m&ms, 2.5lbs of fruit punch mix and 2 tins of baked beans. They have been eating a lot of tortillas lately as Elder Blanco converted Sam to them!

One of the less active families that they have been teaching gave them both camelbaks, they are so handy as its much easier to use while walking around. It hit 120°F over there, that's just below 50°C! Sam thinks he is adjusting to the heat as he is dealing with it a lot better. He now considers 100°F cool now.