I seemed to have a SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS this past weekend, but before I get to the bad stuff, I will first tell you all of the good things that happened. On Monday, I played some more Settler's of Catan with a 20 year old in our ward named Nate. Another update from him was that he got a new job at Wal-Mart as a meat cutter starting at $11 an hour. There is a confirmed minimum wage raising of $15 an hour in the next 4 or 5 years, so that's going to do more bad than good. Everything else around here will just go up too balancing everything out. He certainty was kicking my butt at the game being his first time. I won the last 2 games with Elder Shepherd. It was just the luck of the role. I did not plan that one out very well. It's a travel size edition, so it's convenient for me as a missionary. Elder Shepherd gave it to me as a gift. He didn't want it, so I took it.
On Thursday, we had our normal district meeting, and then we spent pretty much 5 hours down in Tracy waiting for President interviews. It would have been inconvenient to drive all the way back to Manteca 1/2 an hour away and then go back an hour later, so we stayed. A lot of us gathered in the chapel by the piano, and then we got an idea to sing hymns and primary songs together since we had a couple piano players with us. It was fun and entertaining to pass time, and faith building. President never had missionaries sing hymns during interviews. He loved us for doing it, so did Sister Palmer. Apparently, Sister Palmer told Elder Shepherd, "So your the mission gypsy." He replied, "Sure Sister Palmer, whatever you say." I thought it was slightly funny. Elder Shepherd agreed. He never seems to stay in one spot for very long.
During my interview, I asked President if I could have permission to go to the Oakland Temple to see the Rutherford's sealed in July or August. He said that the 70 usually allow missionaries to go do that, so he will ask. I will give the specifics to him, and then I will see that huge temple on a hill. I feel it will be an amazing day. I will also get in communication with the Rutherford's to make sure they have a plan soon or if they are still active. I'm pretty sure they are holding strong. They have made such a huge change in their family's life. I'm still happy for them. Maybe I will be able to see Brother Brown after all- my former companion.
I also told President that I thought my worst experience was over. Boy was I wrong. He warned me, "Now don't get your hopes too high Elder! You might just get something you might not have expected." I never thought my series of unfortunate events would be so soon.
The next day, Friday, we exchanged after weekly planning, and I had a good time with him in his area of Union Ward. They were currently going through their potentials list. At the end of the day, we rode in the car home from Manteca, all the way to Tracy where their apartment was. I don't know why. I saw plenty of apartments in their area. Maybe they were super expensive. But that's another story. As it was 8:30, and being pitch black on the I-120 freeway, Elder Robinson noticed that there was only one bike on the rack. He quickly pulled over and we came to find out that MY BIKE fell off going about 65 miles an hour, so we ran back about 50 yards and we saw my bike on the other side of the road. Thank goodness too. Or else there might have been a car accident. Praise the lord for a small blessing to other people and our own safety. We ran across and retrieved the bent wheel and the bike with a broken off fork, as you can see in my pictures that I sent to my family. We then loaded the bike into the trunk and drove the rest of the way. I'm not sure if using his lock on the bike rack would have helped much. It could have gotten low enough that it would drag on the road or something far worse than what did happen, but I still wish we would have locked up before I went, then I wouldn't be in such a predicament. So, we get home, and unload our bikes. Then I scraped my pinky on the bike making the bottom bleed. There was my other unfortunate event. I was not a happy person this weekend, but my mood was made up with this last event.
On Sunday night, we had a classical music concert at the church. We had two investigators show up-- Marsh Baker, and Luke, the Eckle's son. It was really good listening to some hymns being sung and played. There was one song that involved a violinist. I know my younger sister would have been fascinated with that song medley. There also was an older man that sang Josh Groban's song, "Thankful". When he sang that song with great force, echoing the entire meeting hall, the very words forced themselves deep into my soul. "It's up to us to be the cause of great change...there's so much to be thankful for." It reminded me of what was said in General Conference which is to take care of the poor and needy in our communities, the refugees, and the terrible sin that has infested this world. There is so much more need in the world than what I need. People are starving for food, and I just need a simple but not so simple bike repair. I have much less room to complain than a starving child or an uneducated person who has taken refuge somewhere in this world. I pray that the world can become a better place when we do much missionary work, change our hearts, and give peace instead of praying for peace in the world. All that is unfair in this life can and will be overcome through the power of the atonement.
In other news, I am guessing that Sister Palmer is following my blog now. She liked my idea of a mission blog, so, I gave my web address to her to look at. We also gave service to Giovanni in transporting his donated couch to migrant workers from Mexico. Elder Shepherd told me while I was gone that after he helped finish, Giovanni was in tears and expressed his fond gratitude for our help. We also taught Marsh Baker the rest of the word of wisdom while she was cooking tri-tip. I was full, but I still tasted a bite. It was okay. This week, we are going to help out with the Love Manteca service project. There is much to do and President has urged us to participate in this service opportunity with other religious groups. We also plan on fixing a fence for one our kind of investigators, Marianne. She is super weak, tired, and sick all the time, so we don't go over very often. We may not get a whole lot of teaching done this week because it's so packed with service opportunities. Farewell to all until I write my next letter next week.
Sincerely with love,
Tyler's not well pleased look