This week was great for the most part. Lots of stuff happened. Last P-Day we spent pretty much the whole day in the church playing basketball and dodge ball and soccer and a bunch of crazy stuff! It was super fun! Last Friday my
permanent retainer came unglued on 2 teeth, so on Tuesday I went to a dentist
who did it free because I was an LDS Missionary! That was great.
Tuesdays we usually spend with the Chico Elders because they speak Spanish and Hmong and there are a lot of Spanish and Hmong speaking people up here in Redding. I love the Chico Elders! They're so fun! We passed the Redding City Hall building so we thought we would stop and take a few pictures.
We had dinner with LJ (the LDS tattoo fella), then Elder Bates and I had a lesson with the S... family! They're awesome! We're kind of teaching the son mostly because he's about to get baptized. We finished the lesson at about 8:30 so it was dark and what not, and the mom offered to give us a ride home. But because the father wasn't there and we're not allowed to be driven around or be alone with just a women, she would have had to take her 5 kids. I felt bad. I didn't want her to do that! So I said no we can walk!
Bad decision. The walk home would take about an hour, which I didn't know when I answered for my companion and I at the offer for the ride home. This neighborhood is a bit freaky. We got out of the neighborhood alright. We were on a road and we were walking past a park, a big sketchy park. So we're walking by the park and this big white truck pulls up... He says "what church are you guys with" we said the LDS church or the Mormons. I was kinda freaking out. He offered to give us a ride, and my companion said "no we're ok but thank you". Then another car pulled up behind him, and another one across the street..... It was so freaky! But it turned out those other 2 cars were doing something else and the white truck left. But then every time a car passed it freaked us out. So then a little while down the road, (and this road was a lot scarier. No lights at all.) I was scared, he was scared......a hymn was going through my mind, I couldn't think of the words though. Then they came to me. It was Did you Think To Pray. So I took that as a little hint. I said "Elder Bates I'm going to say a prayer." And being too scared to stop and close our eyes and stand for a minute I said one out loud while we walked. In the prayer I said "help us make the right decisions." Not even a minute and a half went by when another white truck pulled up and said "are you guys the Elders?! My best friend is LDS, do you guys want a ride?" And without hesitation my companion said "yeah sure!" I didn't even think twice either. He took us right home. There was just something different about this guy. We knew he was a good man as soon as he pulled up. We could just tell. So that was awesome!
Friday was rough for me. Really homesick and just frustrated with everyone. But then I said "let's just go for a walk around the neighborhood and talk to people." We found a family who was just moving in. We helped them move
couches and boxes and everything! They were awesome and that made my day go from bad to great!
Saturday was a good one. Man oh man it was a good one! There was a zone blitz, which is where our whole zone goes and works in one ward for the day. But Elder Bates and I had a baptism to go to! So we didn't go to the blitz at first. But the zone leaders were mad! They texted us and said stuff like "did we not make it clear that this is absolutely mandatory?" But it was a baptism. It was important. Then we had committed to going in to volunteer at the cancer shop, which made the zone leaders even more mad, but we couldn't just not go. We had already committed to that. We know we were guided by the spirit in that decision.
So then I said to my companion, "we should just go to the blitz to show them we're obedient and willing and really want to go and help out." He seemed reluctant. I couldn't tell why, but then he showed me the route to the other church building.... It was a 50 minute bike ride! And Redding is just covered in hills! I was fine with it but he still didn't seem too excited. But we went, to be obedient. Got downtown, and downtown Redding is a kinda nasty place. Lots of homeless people, lots of drug use. When I say lots I mean LOTS! So we're riding our bikes, and this homeless man stops us and says "are you guys missionaries?" I said yes, and he asked "the Mormons?" I again said yes. I was scared. He was kinda freaky. But really he was a great guy. He asked us to pray for him and said we had his daddy's smile (talking about Heavenly Father's smile) and he said we should keep smiling. He called himself "Duke of Christ", haha. But he was obviously addicted to some kind of drugs. So we talked with him for a good 20 minutes then we road our bikes a bit further. And we were at an intersection when a man on a walker (one that you can sit on) was kind of rolling into the intersection. I got off my bike and pushed him across. He was very grateful and I could just tell that people saw me do that and knew that the Mormon Missionaries represent Christ. And not to give the credit to me but to Christ.
Then we were going to stop at Taco Bell, but I had a funky feeling about that. There were a lot of drug addicts sitting outside, so I saw a Weinerschnitzel down the road. I told Bates we should go there instead. He was ok with it. So we got there and locked up our bikes, and a homeless woman asked if we had any change. I had 3 dollars in my wallet, so I just thought "well I can just buy lunch with my card." So I gave her the 3 dollars. When we walked in, there just happened to be an LDS man sitting in there who saw me do that. He said, "I saw you give that woman money, let me buy you guys lunch." And he gave us a 20 dollar bill. What a blessing that was. So we're
sitting and eating and this very pretty young single mother walks in. She looked tired and stuff so I asked how her day was going? And she said it was good and she asked if we were Mormons and she said, "I have a strong testimony of Christ", and she was very impressed that we came out for 2 years when we're 18. She was just awesome. She had been clean from drugs for 3 years and she shared her testimony with us. She wasn't LDS but I thanked her for sharing. It was unexpectedly spiritual. And her daughter was so cute.
That night we went to sister E....and carved pumpkins. That was one of the best nights of my mission so far! It was so fun! Then Sunday we went to church, had lunch, visited a few families, went to dinner with a super fun family where the dad isn't a member but has a strong testimony of Christ. We shared a couple of scriptures and experiences and I could tell he was feeling the spirit. It was a good night. And today we went to a fun center opened by a member and played laser tag and go carts and mini golf for free! Good week.