Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!!!!!!

   This past week was the week of Christmas, so there were lots of cops all over the place because everyone was stealing presents for their kids/letting their kids steal their own presents. This week wasn't a busy week. On Tuesday we went to the Broomall building for a Christmas devotional. We had to get up at 5:30 to get there by 9. When we were there we watched Ephraim's Rescue and had a talent show after we listened to President Anderson talk. Our zone got up and did a Hawaiian dance for our talent. Half of us already knew it, the other half didn't. Those who didn't know it had no time to learn it and I was forced to be in the front... I had no idea what to do, it was embaresing. We got all our packages by the end of the devotional. I got 12 packages!  Luckly we had the sister car to stuff everything in. After we got back we had dinner then went with the zone leaders to sing christmas carols to some of the less active members for the rest of the night. 

   Wednesday was Christmas, we didn't have time to open our presents Tuesday so we had to wait till Wednesday morning. I loved all the gifts everyone sent! Dillon's family invited us over to their house for lunch. We spent a long time over there. After we spent some time there we went to the Healy's house to call home (: we spent the rest of our night there. 

   Thursday we had district meeting and weekly planning, then we went to the Peterson's home for dinner. 

   Friday we walked around most of the day trying to contact referrals, nobody was home. 

   Saturday we played volleyball in the church building because the members that usually come out and play football with us were gone. We had two good lessons Saturday as well. First we had a lesson with a woman named Victoria, she is very smart in terms of the gospel. She is very interested in learning about the church. The only problem is that she's really busy. She is among one of the handful of people who are trying to get an education in our area. Then after Victoria we went to go contact a referral who's name is Adilana. She was home when we went and knocked on the door and she was very excited to see us. Her husband, William, came to the door with her and I felt inspired to ask if they had 15 minutes for us to teach a lesson. They were glad I asked! We sat outside their house and had a lesson on the restoration and answered any questions they had. They took a lot of interest in the Book of Mormon and were very interactive. William wants to know more about the Philadelphia Temple. When we were done they wanted us to come back as soon as we could. One thing that might be a obstacle though, they really like the church they're already in. Something I've learned is that every investigator will have a concern, problem, or barrier they need to overcome. Those issues are there for our benefit as missionaries, to help us learn and to help us love those we teach even more. 

   Sunday after we studied we went to the Rennie's for dinner with the rest of our district. They fed us tons of asian food! 

   Today for P-day Elder Shamo and I are going to check out center city and see what they still have up from Christmas.

Happy New Year Everyone!


Elder Chance Owen

Monday, December 9, 2013

Let it Snow!

   Hello Friends and Family!  Go Eagles!
   Tuesday was a good day. I felt inspired to stop by one of our investigators who we were about to drop because he never holds appointments and when we stopped by he was home and we were able to talk to him for and his wife for a while. We gave them a quick lesson on the Book of Mormon and bore our testimonies. The spirit was there and we were able to commit them to read and pray; we were also able to set up a return appointment. We'll see if they hold or not… 

   Wednesday, we ran into a former member of the church, Bernardo, as we were walking down the street. He chased us down, told us his conversion story, then told us how he wanted to repent and become a missionary. He told us all about the steps he's been taking to get back into the church and how he's done all this stuff to change his life. He was a cool, honest guy. He spoke better Spanish than English however so we gave his info to the Spanish elders.  Later this Russian dude, Misha (Russian for Michael), followed us on the bus and came up to us asking us all these questions about the church. He is very very interested but it was really hard to understand anything he was saying. However he told us he's on the FBI's wanted list so I guess well just meet with him until he disappears. 

   Nothing to exciting happened Thursday. We had zone training for the first half of the day, then district lunch in center city, then we went and tried to contact some referrals the rest of the day. 

   Friday we had our flash mob. For the flash mob we gathered about 30 missionaries and met up at a subway station in center city at about 4. Since it was raining outside Friday, everyone was taking the subways. We all gathered together and got on the most packed subway we could find. As soon as the doors closed we started to sing one of three songs; I am a child of God, child's prayer, or hark the harold angels sing. At first It went horribly because there were to many people crammed on the subway so we couldn't hear each other. Then, at the next stop, we chose to get on a less packed subway car that still had quite bit of people on it; it started to get better. Then we tried doing other things and what not. All in all, The spirit filled the subway car when we sang and we got lots of peoples contact info. We also got a good number of people to sing with us on the subway. I would say it was a success. 

   Saturday we played football again. After football I gave this lady in the ward and her child whose in the hospital a blessing as directed by the spirit. They're doing better. Then we went home and got ready for the ward Christmas party. When we got there we helped set up and everything was real nice and a lot of people came and the food looked good; there were lots of investigators there. When the party began, the lady at the microphone started to get aggressive. She ended up yelling at people through the microphone and she made a kid cry and she scared some of the investigators... crazy crazy crazy... Even though the member at the microphone was a bit of a control freak, the party still went pretty well. Thank goodness she's not the Relief Society President!

Yesterday it dumped a several inches of snow out here in Philly. The snow made the traffic horrible. It didn't start snowing until church started, so we were able to travel to church, but by the end of church it was snowing pretty good. The roads started to ice over and traffic came to a crawl, cars were sliding everywhere. Philly drivers are worse than Utah drivers too, so that made  things even worse. We usually take the bus or walk everywhere we go so because of the snow, all the buses pretty much stopped. 

   After church (12:00), the Zone Leaders had a baptism, so we stayed for that. The spirit was very strong during the baptism, I remembered back to when I was baptized and how much joy I felt that day. Elder Shamo and I taught a 5 minute lesson on the restoration as part of the baptism. We were supposed to go home after the baptism and study for a few hours then head over to a members house, the Rennie's, for dinner (4:00), then go back to the church to watch the Christmas devotional. All the missionaries in the ward (six of us) were invited over for dinner because of the baptism. Because of the snow, the traffic was so bad, we ended up waiting an hour for our bus to go home, then realized its not coming and decided to cross the street and wait for a bus to take us over to the Rennie's for dinner. After waiting for another hour, we still saw no buses coming either way. The sister missionaries have a car, and sometimes the zone leaders are allowed to borrow it. The zone leaders had the car and picked Elder Shamo and I up and dropped us off at the next bus stop we needed to take to the Rennie's. The zone leaders had the car because they had an appointment scheduled right before dinner; the sisters just stayed at the church after the baptism and studied at the church. So after they dropped us off, we waited another hour for this bus, but it never came. By the time the zone leaders were done with their appointment it was about 4 and they went and gave the car back to the sisters at the church, then the sisters got permission and gave the zone leaders a ride to the Rennie's, dropped them off, then came and picked us up at the bus stop (about 4:30) and took us over. Luckily, Dinner was awesome! After dinner, the zone leaders went with a member to the the church and Elder Shamo and I went with the sister to the church. When we got there (7:30) nothing was set up for the devotional. Found out that the Spanish ward didn't want to set it up because they thought nobody would be there because of the snow... They forgot to tell us. We tried to watch the devotional on the computer in the clerks office but that computer doesn't work very well and we couldn't fit all the people who came (about 20 people) in the clerks office. So we just ended up getting dropped off at home by the sisters (just after 9). On a normal day the buses run at about 15 to 20 minutes a stop. It normally takes us about a half hour, from the time we get on the bus, to get to the church via bus and subway. And it normally takes us about 45 minutes to get to the Rennie's from the church via bus and subway. So that's how yesterday went… 

   I love and miss you all!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

   This past week went by really fast! We didn't have very many lessons scheduled because everyone was out of town but we were able to spend some of our time visiting less active members of the ward throughout the week. Tuesday we didn't have any lessons. Everyone that scheduled appointments with us for Tuesday forgot to tell us they were leaving out of town. However while we were traveling on Tuesday we did meet a lot of people while waiting for the buses. 

   Wednesday we started teaching Two new investigators. While we were on the bus traveling Wednesday, I gave a man a pass-along card with Jesus on the front. He takes the card, look at it... Then asks me "who dat?" pointing to Jesus. I looked back at him and said, "that's our savior, Jesus Christ". With a surprised look on his face he looks up at me and yells " Fo Real! I thought Jesus wa black!" everyone on the bus turns around and looks at us... That was fun. 

   Thursday we were supposed to have a Turkey Bowl at the mission house but the backyard got flooded from the rain we had Wednesday so we had to relocate. The Turkey Bowl was so much fun! I was really sore the next day. We had three dinner appointments scheduled but only one of them followed through. First we were invited to go over to brother Jeretsky's home. Brother Jeretsky looks exactly like the man who plays chess with himself from the pixar short films. Elder Shamo and I were supposed to be the only ones having dinner with Brother Jeretsky but he decided to cancel because he was to lazy to cook the turkey.... good old Brother Jeretsky. For our second dinner appointment we were invited over to an investigators house. His name is Ray, he lives by himself, young man. He forgot to mention to us that he decided to go to his aunts for thanksgiving last minute. Lucky our last dinner appointment held. It was at a members home. The Layton and Brown family. We're preparing their son Dillon to be baptized on the 15th. They fed us, however the food was not like your's Mom… But I was still very thankful for their invitation and for the extra food they made for us. They are great people and I'm glad they we're willing to feed us. 

   Friday we spent the entire day at the church. After we studied in the morning we went there to plan. Then we practiced some singing with other elders for an upcoming flash mob. We went and got some Chinese food and brought it back to the church for dinner. After dinner we had a lesson planned for 6:30 but she didn't show up so I helped Elder Shamo do some Facebook proselyting. Then we left the church at about 7 and went to contact some referrals. 

   Saturday did not feel like Saturday. Saturday we spent all day trying to contact people. We visited some less active members, visited a member, Sisiter Schurez (shes an interesting lady), and taught Giovanni about missionary work. Sister Schurez used to be in a gang and now she in her late 60s and loves to make crafty porcelain containers. She's giving us little fake trees to put on our desks for Christmas. 

   Sunday was a good day. After church we had to study. Then we had two appointments that fell through. After our lessons that didn't happen we contacted some referrals then went to dinner at Mike and Dana's house. While we we're there I found a bottle of fragrance oil sitting in their kitchen that smelled EXACTLY like the apple crisp/cobbler that mom makes. Smelling that made me sad... Being away from home has been really hard, there's so much I miss about home. But at the same time I'm having so many wonderful experiences out here in Philadelphia. I could not stay out here doing what i'm doing if the Lord wasn't here helping me. He gives me the energy I need every day, he gives me the joy I feel every day, he walks right beside me through every trial I face, he gives me something to look forward to every day, he's helped me see all the blessings he has given me, and he teaches me something new every day.