Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Monday November the 25th

   This week was pretty uneventful. Nothing exiting or cool happened. Tuesday was my companion's birthday, we didn't get to do anything special. He got a birthday package but other than that it was a normal day. 

   Wednesday was another normal day. We had four appointments scheduled but only two of them followed through. People out here do whatever they want for the most part. We can't force anyone to have a lesson with us. Usually the only time people don't follow through on appointments is when its the first appointment and they haven't met with us before. 

   Thursday was zone conference, I got my packages after conference was over. I was SO excited to finally get my scriptures and my bedding. The scriptures are awesome and I finally have blankets to sleeps under! Zone conference was great! We learned how to teach more effectively and how to better recognize the spirit. Zone conference pretty much took up the whole day. 

   Friday we spent all day contacting referrals. We had four appointments scheduled and only one followed through. That one lesson was with Giovanni and his family. They took us out to dinner at pizza hut and we talked to them about the importance of attending church and enduring to the end. 

   Saturday we helped a member move early in the morning, then we played football for a couple hours. Usually for football we have a good handful of investigators and non-members come play with us but this Saturday was so cold and windy nobody wanted to come out, but we played anyways with some members and other missionaries. After football we had weekly planning, then we had a lesson with a boy named Dillon. I don't remember if I've already mentioned him or not but his family is less active. We got them coming back to church and they're now fully active and loving church and almost fully involved again. Dillon is ten and he will be baptized on December 15th. 

   Sunday was a good day, Church was all right  Our ward is very small.  After church I met the first black man to receive the priesthood, or so he says he was the first... He's really old though so I believe him. His name is James Berry. After church was ward council. Usually every Sunday night we have a dinner appointment with a less active member named Mike and his non-member wife Dana but they went out of town so we went and tried to make contact with more people Sunday night. I'm predicting this week to be kind of a less active week because everyone will be leaving town for thanksgiving. I still need to figure out how to send my pictures home. Might just send the SD card home and have you guys send it right back. I can't believe how fast time is going by.

Monday, November 18, 2013

   This past week went by insanely fast!! 

   Tuesday evening we were on the bus and we found a handful of small bags filled with cocaine sitting on one of the seats... That was interesting. Nothing else exciting happened Tuesday except for the snow. 

   Wednesday was just a day dedicated to contacting referrals, we walked all over our area and only several of our referrals were home.  A lot of the other addresses we got were either abandoned homes or people who have recently moved in and have no idea how we got their address. 

   Thursday we had a drunk guy sing to us on the subway. When we got to our stop and had to get off he gave us a hug and told us he loved us. Sweet man. We found a little white board thing on the bus that night and wrote our information on it to see if anyone would call us. 

   Friday we had a lot of lesson appointments, only two of them held. Both of these appointments were with new investigators. One of them is a guy named Richard and the other a woman named DaShey. Both great people. Richard is older, he has diabetes, and he is a very faithful man. During our appointment we asked him to pray that night to know if the church is true and he said, "well I'll just do it right now". He prayed right there in front of us, on his knees, and told us he believes what we taught him and believes the church is true. That was a very cool experience, I could feel the spirit radiating in the room. DaShey is younger, she's working on her nursing degree and doesn't really have a stand for religion. The Lord Brought DaShey to us. She said she was on Mormon.org and felt something special about what she was reading. She said she felt inspired to meet with missionaries. She already follows the word of wisdom and she is very nice. We invited both Richard and Dashey to be baptized after our appointments with them. We feel Richard will be ready by December 15th and we feel DaShey will be ready by December 22nd. 

   On Saturday we had a lot of people out for football, it was fun. After football we were supposed to help a member move but they forgot to mention to us that they decided to postpone their so we showed up at their house only to be told to come back next week. The rest of Saturday we had a lesson with a boy named Dillion, he's ten, and we went and tried to contact some referrals who we weren't able to contact Wednesday. We met a woman who is interested in meeting with us and we met another woman who tried to tell us she was a God... There are defiantly some interesting people out here. Walking down the street we saw a man smoking on his front steps to his house and we felt inspired to talk to him. We taught him a little bit and he told us he was interested and agreed to meet with us again. Sunday our investigator Richard came to church. Out here we have people called "active non-members" who are non-members that are just as active as normal members. So we've been meeting with Giovanni (finally learned how to spell it) and his family since I first got here; they are active non-members. They've been coming to church for a while. There is Giovanni and Rebecca and their two children Giovanni Jr. (we call him G) and Siani. Giovanni and Rebecca are trying to figure out their marriage situation but their son G is eight and their daughter Siani is six. 

   Sunday I baptized G. Giovanni wants to get baptized but he doesn't know what to do with Rebecca, Siani wants to get baptized too. Rebecca is always working or sleeping so we never see her and we have no idea what her deal is. Baptizing G was an incredible experience! I cannot describe how amazing it was. G was so excited, I was excited, Giovanni was overwhelmed with joy and Rebecca was happy. G will be confirmed this upcoming Sunday. 

   That night we had two dinner appointments. First we had the Heel family at 4:00pm then Mike and Dana at 7:30pm. The Heel's are members. Mike is less active and Dana is a non-member. On our way to Mike and Dana's house we almost got hit by a car. Out here you can turn left on a green light like they do in Utah. So we were walking across the street, at the crosswalk, we had the right of way, and this van decided to completely ignore us and comes strait at us as were walking. We literally had to jump out of the way to dodge it. Then on the way back from Mike and Dana's we saw a huge crime scene. Streets were blocked off, helicopters flying around, people everywhere; we have no idea what happened. The Lord defiantly keeps us safe out here so you guys don't need to worry.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tuesday November the 12th 2013

   When my companion and I got up this morning it was snowing! Yesterday was Veterans' Day so the library was closed which is why nobody got an email from me yesterday. The weeks are starting to go by faster and faster and I'm starting to get used to the culture here. I cant believe I've already been out for a month! This past week went by kind of fast. 

   Monday (11/4) was P-day, we didn't do much other than prep for the rest of the week. Every Monday at 6:30 we have family home evening with the zone leaders at brother Abad's house. Brother Abad is an interesting guy. He's very large and he only has one leg... The other one is a metal rod with a rubber foot on the end that looks like a Halloween decoration. He lost the leg because he has diabetes, but he's really funny and always has interesting stories. 

   Tuesday we taught a couple lessons. Nothing exciting or eventful happened on Tuesday. Every Tuesday we have coordination at 7 till the rest of the night. 

   All day Wednesday we walked around and tried to contact and visit a list of referrals we were given. Most of the people we tried to visit weren't home but we called them and were able to get ahold of some of them and set up appointments. 

   Thursday we had zone training. I liked zone training. It was very interactive and very helpful. we talked about how to get people from being an acquaintance on the street to becoming a baptized member of the church. After zone training we stopped by this woman's house who asked us to pray for her while we were waiting for a bus on Halloween night. This woman is a single mother of two young girls. It is seriously a miracle that we met her because she has been searching for religious help most of her life. When she first saw us at the bus stop Halloween night she thought we were detectives and came up to us asking how we're doing. We introduced ourselves, told her we're not working for the government and then she asked us to pray for her. We got her info and she is now a solid investigator. 

   Friday we went on exchange with he Zone Leaders, that went well. I was paired us with Elder Toilolo for the day. Elder Toilolo is a huge Samoan dude from Hawaii. I like him. During exchange we both worked on talking to more people and interacting with others on the streets. On our way to an appointment we were waiting for the bus when, out of nowhere, some skinny dude parks his old suburban in front of us at the bus stop. He rolls down his window and starts yelling at us. He tried to tell us that we had no idea what we were doing, we're wrong about everything, and we're no being productive. At first we tried to calm this guy down a little bit and explain to him what we do as missionaries and explain to him that we're on our way to an appointment but that just made him yell louder. We tried to figure out why he didn't like us but all he kept on saying was, "Do you have the truth?" After a couple of minutes we just decided to ignore him but then he got out of his car and got in out faces. Noticing that this man had draw a small crowd around us we knew that we had to set a Christ like example as missionaries and just stand there and take it. We asked him some questions like, why he was yelling and what his religious background was and some other questions but he wouldn't tell us anything. We told him that we didn't want to argue and that we would like to set up an appointment with him so we could come teach him and bring him the truth but he refused and told us we didn't have the truth. Now whatever we said he would just say the opposite... "Sir, were your brother"... "No you're not!!!". "We have the truth"... "No you don't!!". "We would like to come teach you"... "no you wouldn't, you don't care!!!". "Sir, you're not gay"... "I am gay!!!". Hahaha, we didn't mention being gay but that would have been funny. Finally the bus came and we both felt good about the example we set at missionaries. We knew that everyone who was out there watching us had a new found respect for us because of the way we just sat there and let this guy yell at us as we were polite and stayed calm and tried to help him. 

   Saturday we played football with members and investigators till about noon, then went and cleaned out this ladies house who is expecting another baby. She's a member. After that we tried to contact more referrals. 

   Sunday we had church and ward council. Sunday evening we gave a lesson to Giavaughny and his son G. G is being baptized this upcoming Sunday and Giavaughny is someone we call an active non-member. He's as active as any other member but he isn't baptized. He wants to get baptized but he needs to get married to his girlfriend first.

   Monday (yesterday) was P-day and veterans day. We went shopping and prepped for the week then treated ourselves to sushi to celebrate veterans day haha. Most of the food places out here are sketchy so I haven't really tried to much out here. I've learned you can trust the Chinese places out here and the cheese steaks are not at all what I was expecting. Their not that good. I'm still looking for a place that makes good ones but so far... Not impressed. Overall the past week was good. I miss living in Roseville but I know I'll be home sooner than I think. The Lord keeps us safe out here so you guys don't need to worry about me to much. I'm trying my best to grow as much as possible. I didn't get the opportunity to really read anyone's emails today because it's not P-day anymore so we didn't have to much time but I'll be able to read them all next week.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Chance's First transfer into Philadelphia

So my first transfer is out of the MTC and into the outskirts of the city. This place is crazy! Not at all what I was expecting. There are things that should not be spoke of all over the place. Trash EVERYWHERE, you cannot walk on the sidewalk without stepping on broken glass, wrappers, or… other things. The place we live in is small and falling apart. Gunshots do go off every now and then, but not very often. Everyone that has a drivers license here shouldn't, seriously the craziest drivers ever. Yes, worse than Utah drivers!

Tuesday I stayed the night in the mission home. Wednesday I got assigned to my area and got to meet my companion.  My companion is cool, we get along really well. His name is Elder Shamo and he's only been out for three months. Wednesday I didn't even have very much time to unpack, as soon as we got back we had appointments to go to. Half he time when we go to an appointment, no one is home. One of our appointments was a dinner appointment at a members house, a recently married couple from Utah.  I like them. Thursday was Halloween so we had to be in by 6pm. Lots of crazy things happened Thursday night. People crashing their cars into houses down the street from us, people throwing eggs, people breaking things... Friday we had some appointments to go to and referrals to contact so that's all we did Friday. I committed a woman to be baptized on December 8th, we'll see how that works out. I met one of our investigators who is supposed to be baptized on the 17th this month with his son.

Saturday we played football until noon and then went over to the ward Halloween party. I got to meet some of the ward. Sundays are my favorite days because I get to go to church. The ward is small. Probably an eighth the size of our ward from home. Sunday nights, one of the members feeds all the missionaries in the area.  We all get to hang out and eat real food and its nice. I really like Sundays. Today is Monday, November 4th.  Monday is my P-day, I have no idea what we're going to be doing today.
Everyone keeps asking about this so... Send letters to my address ( 3311 Kip Street Philadelphia PA 19134 )      SEND PACKAGES TO THE MISSION OFFICE (Address is at the top of the blog).  It takes about a week to send and receive letters between here and home.  If I sent a letter home today, it wouldn't get there until Monday, or if I'm lucky Friday. Also I'll try and put pictures on Flickr today.

Friday, November 1, 2013

We got an email from the mission president today.  What is the first thing Erin and I do…  Well, we look up his address on Google Earth.  Interesting.  I bet Chance's eyes are as wide as saucers and his head is spinning!  Well, one thing is for sure, he will learn gratitude.  I will put some of the pictures below so that you can see where he is residing.  I put a picture of President and Sister Anderson below as well.

I did a Google search on the area and there is a corner not to far from Chance's place that is rated the #1 recreational drug corner in America.  I am sure he will be fine and the mission would not put him in harms way, but please remember to mention Chance's safety in your prayers.  Monday is his P day.  We are looking forward to getting en email and maybe some pictures from him then.  I will post them when I get them.

1 November 2013

Parents of: Elder Owen

This week Sister Anderson and I have had the thrill of welcoming your son to the Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission. He has arrived safely and we have enjoyed becoming acquainted with him .

Yesterday, Elder Owen was assigned his first companion and trainer, Elder Shamo.  Below is their address; we invite you to please write or email  Elder Owen weekly with positive, uplifting information and experiences to encourage him in his missionary efforts.  Your expressions of love and interest in him will not only bless his life here in Philadelphia, but will cement relationships of trust forever.  As instructed by the leaders of the Church, we ask that you not telephone or visit Elder Owen during his mission unless I have been informed in advance.  He will have my permission to call on Mother's Day and Christmas.  You should feel free to contact Sister Anderson at any time. 

We know the Lord will bless you as He does all who make the necessary sacrifices to allow their loved ones to serve in these great callings.  If we can ever be of any service or assistance to you or your son, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you for the privilege of serving with Elder Owen.

Best personal regards,

T. Gary Anderson

President, Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission

Elder Chance Christopher Owen

3311 Kip St.Philadelphia, PA 19134USA