Monday, April 27, 2015

Sunflower Seeds

Dear Family,

Recap for this week, went to some kids soccer game, taught mission prep, helped out at a potato bake, jumped on a Super Thunder Trampoline, sunflower seeds, upstairs neighbors in a yelling argument that woke us up at 2 in the morning and resulted in the husband/boyfriend leaving, getting gift cards, moving freezers and a couple three miracles of people coming to church! 

On Tuesday, we went and watched 2 brothers play their second to last soccer game. They are 9 and 10 years old and they were really glad we came. It was super cold and we were the only two dorks without coats or jackets. We could have gotten our suit coats because those were in the car, but we were like, we are already the weird ones here in white shirts and ties and don't want to look any weirder so we just pushed through the cold!

Wednesday we taught mission prep and it went ok. They had the young men in this time and it's hard to keep the younger ones quiet, but it went well. We went over everything for baptism and preparing people and how to do that and everything.

Thursday, I finally found a way to help me stay awake while driving forever...sunflower seeds!!! So we now have a big ol' bag in the car and we just spit seeds during the ride. I'm going to need it tomorrow because we are going on exchanges so I'll have to drive into Lincoln for District Meeting, exchange comps, drive back to Seward, work for a bit, then drive clear up to Utica because that is where our baptism lives, then drive back to Milford....that's a lot of driving!!

We also got to listen to our upstairs neighbors get into a fight, all we know is that she was hanging out with another guy and went to a bar. So yep, moral of the story, don't go to bars. We could hear her before we went to bed on the phone crying and angry, then about 2 in the morning her and her boyfriend/husband were going at it and he slammed the door and left. I guess they worked it out or something because he finally came back a few days later. So that was fun...not.

For dinner that night though, we went to a families house and it's a good thing he came and got us because they live in Friend, which is a ways away. They are awesome!!We played basketball and I got to jump on a Super Thunder Trampoline, it was legit!! One of the kids actually super jumped me and it scared the crap out of me...I don't think even Travis has gotten me that high. They have an 8 year old who is super super super, like super smart. He will ask us math questions and we just have to answer saying that we haven't been in school for a while...he loves to read the scriptures, he would read it all day long and he actually corrected us while sharing a message.

On Friday, we did the normal help out at the Food Net and someone slipped an envelope in our box of food we were taking and it had $25 gift card and $25 in cash for us. Then at church someone gave us both $10 Subway cards!! :D After Food Net, we went and helped Mark load up some freezers and take them to a new home. So we went to the farm where he works and loaded up a big ol' forklift and his big old 5500 flatbed pickup and we helped him move them. I didn't get a good picture of us helping him, but I did take a selfie at the farm. :)  I also got a picture of Grandma H, we go over there every week and she will tell us stories for the first while, while we try to stay awake, then she will teach us something new to try and cook. Then we will read the scriptures with her. We just wanted to get a picture with her because her health is really up and dead and we wanted to make sure we had one of her.

Our baptism date girl is doing well, she is set for baptism May 9th. We went over and were talking to her and she said that her dad said would all come to church!! So he came and brought the other two and that was awesome!!! Hopefully he will finally have a desire to stop smoking so that he can baptize the two boys. Then at church, we had a less active show up that totally surprised us, she has told us a lot that she would come but looks like her time behind bars for a bit gave her some time to think and hopefully she will keep making steps to change!!

This week should be fun as well seeing how we have exchanges. You guys will have to start getting questions ready for Mother's Day Skype, I will let you guys know the info on that, when I know.

Love you all!!

Love, Elder Searle

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

#temple, #baptism date, #ihatehashtags

Dear Family,

Let me tell you a story about two kids that were sent to the hospital. So this week was pretty good, besides the fact that we drove like 300 miles this week...oh I forgot about my story I was telling. We weren't the two kids that went to the hospital, I don't even know two kids sent there. Elder Hansen just told me to start it out that way. :)

TEMPLE TRIP!!! Do you know how far the temple is from us!! Far far away, in a green field far away actually...We had to drive to Wahoo, which is 50 miles from us, then they took us the other 50 miles to the temple. Got spiritually uplifted, then drove 50 miles back to their place, then 50 miles back to our neck of the corn fields. Do you have any idea how hard it is to be driving that much and all you listen to are conference talks,  MoTab and the sound of us beating our heads against the window?! It's Great!!

We got a baptism set!! :D Missionaries have been teaching them for a while and we just weren't quite sure what to do. The dad smokes and doesn't really want to quit and all 3 of his kids wanted him to baptize them, or we thought. We went in with the possibility of dropping them but we were talking to the kids and found out one wants to be baptized and she doesn't mind who does it! :D They have all been taught the lessons and everything and we went through the baptism  questions and she could answer pretty much all of them. She just needs to come to church and we are going to recap all the lessons with her and hopefully we'll have a baptism May 16th!! The only thing that will be hard is they live in Utica, which is like 30 min. away and it's going to bite us in the butts on hopefully we can get a non Utica member to take us.

"Hey Elders, will you guys both speak this Sunday?  GREAT!"  Actually it wasn't all that bad, it could just be the fact that there were only like 55 people there and it's not like I was standing clear up on the stand and using a little Primary Room microphone. We were asked to talk about a conference talk that stood out to us. So I spoke on Elder Cook's and Elder Pearson's talks. I mostly talked about Cooks talk, then at the end I used Pearson's talk since he talked a lot about Lehi's dream. Where are you on the path? Are you just starting out, are you holding steadfastly to the rod? Are you holding on with one or two fingers? Are you partaking of the fruit then feel embarrassment and leave? Or are you staying by the tree and helping others come?  Now I thought my talk went pretty well, I was the last one to speak and was almost done with my talk when something was going on in one of the rows...a little kid threw up!! LOL!! I was like "ummmm...what do I do?" But I just kept going and Elder Hansen was like "man, it was like you didn't have a clue what happened, you just kept going!" I knew what happened but I was almost done with my talk. So now I can say my talk must have been so bad that someone threw up during it. :)

That's about it for the week, we're going to go play some basketball again this much basketball!!! But I guess it's keeping me running so I'm all game for it. Have a great week and enjoy the Temple picture I took!!!

Love you all!!

Elder Searle

Monday, April 13, 2015

17 Month Mark

Dear Family,

This week has been full of everything. I'll just quote what President Weston started out with in his email this week. "Everyone in the mission got what they wanted last week weather-wise..with days that were sunny and warm, cold and snowy, thunder and rainy, windy and mild. Welcome to Nebraska all of you new missionaries! There is no better place to be than in the Best Mission in the World!" That about sums it all up. We had nice sweaty days to days where it didn't rain but it mist for about 3 days, then it snowed! Then it went back up to 80* degrees!! Welcome to Nebraska!

To start out the week, my companion got a cat thrown at him. Yep, a cat, we went and met with a family that kinda runs the Food Net and he Larps, which is live action role play. So he was showing us all of his weapons and shields and his chain mail that he is working on and he was telling us about this red ball which is a fire ball. You have to say "fireball" 10 times to charge it, so Elder Hansen charged it then threw it at the 16 year old daughter, which should have been a 1 shot kill but she didn't like it. So she picked up the cat and threw it at him. Now I could lie and say that the cat clawed him, but I won't... it didn't do anything. Elder Hansen threw himself backwards on the couch and smacked his head on the wall pretty good though.

We also had a mist for like 3 days, it was annoying because it wasn't ever like raining but it wasn't sunny either, so that was fun. Then on snowed!! What the heck?! We were running low on miles that day so we walked all day!! BUT...we found a new investigator that way!!We were walking and were like,  it's cold, so we walked into a little thrift store then left, then walked into another thrift store and found a little basketball hoop that counts when you make it!!We started talking to the older lady that worked there and she was like "I saw on TV about Jesus coming to the Americas, do you know anything about that?" Oh we sure do!! So we told her about the Book of Mormon and she started crying!!!! It was awesome!! So we are going back to the shop this week and we will see what happens!!!

Saturday was a day full of helping a family clean up their yard. We helped out with that and then we took 2 truck loads out to this farm where he showed us everything and was bouncing us all over the place because he was hauling butt in his field. (which was awesome!) So we did that, got some sun which is great because my companion and I both look like Casper the Ghost! Then on Sunday we got the first thunderstorm of the season!! Whoot!! Storm season here we go!!

Love you all!!
Love, Elder Searle

 Selfie with a dog that followed us

Church & Yoga

 Elder Packer from last week's service

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Easter/General Conference

Dear Family,

Hello everyone! This week was full of rain, hail, exchanges on top of exchanges, service at Meals on Wheels & Food Net, having a tree land on me, General Conference, Easter and a basketball/water balloon fight!

To start off the week, we went on exchanges with the University Young Single Adult Zone Leaders and Elder Hook came to Seward with me. We had a pretty good day and went back to back to people to see so that made it nice. One of the guys we saw is an older rail road dude that the missionaries have been seeing for years. So last week when we saw him, I tried leaving him with a homework assignment, to read a chapter out of the Book of Mormon, like what missionaries do, but I guess he didn't like it. He said I was being a salesman like another missionary did and just ripped me. Afterwards Elder Hook was like, don't worry about it, you did what we're supposed to be doing etc. I was like I know, but still. 

Wednesday!! Another exchange but this time with the Mahoney Elders and I went there with Elder Packer, not older apostle Packer...just little Packer and we had a blast! He goes home soon so this was his last exchange. We went and helped a dude cut down some trees in the middle of nowhere. I can't say up in the mountains because there aren't any mountains here...but rolling hills area so I was kinda in the mountains?? It was pretty fun, since we couldn't use chainsaws we used an ax and while we were waiting while he fixed the chainsaw... we beat the snot out of the tree. It was pretty fun and quite the adventure, then he was cutting this one tree and his chainsaw got pinched, so I went in there and pushed the tree off and it was all good, caught a branch to the side while I was running away but no harm. Then it happened again so I pushed the tree a little more and this time the top of the tree came down and landed on me. Got just a few scratches..which we got a lot of during this service project because we were in shorts. 

Then the next day, the Mahoney Elders had Meals on Wheels that they help out with and their investigator had a baptism interview with the mission president at the same time so our comps went there and Elder Packer and I did Meals on Wheels. You get driven around and you take meals to elderly people who aren't able to get out. If they don't answer the door, then you have to call them, if they don't answer you, you see if the door is unlocked, then you take the food in and you check to make sure they didn't fall or anything. Luckily everyone answered this time so we didn't have to worry about that.

General Conference- We watched all the sessions at different homes. It was a great conference and a lot of fun since we watched it with some families. Holy Cow, did they drill on the marriage part...that doesn't help any missionaries at all. ;)

We actually had an Easter Dinner as well, it was right at the last minute but it worked! After we ate we always play PIG or HORSE with their daughter who is 0-9 beating us. Elder Hansen won the first one then it was her and I and she wanted to have a bet, whoever wins gets to throw a water balloon at the other. DEAL!! I won!! :)  I wasn't going to throw a water balloon at a girl so I just popped it on her head when she wasn't expecting. Then it started a water balloon fight with squirt guns, but I won!! Elder Hansen was just chillin' with the adults laughing at us, but it was fun.

I'm doing well, I really do love it here in Seward. Milford is alright, the cow smell is still weird because it's not all the time so you don't get used to it. We also have a train go by every 10 min. so that's fun!

I sent a picture of our study room, at a garage sale, I bought a little bookcase thingy for $5 then that giant picture she sold to me for $5. That picture is huge! Either I got the picture for a steal or I paid way too much for the bookcase. lol! The other picture is of the missionary going home (being killed off).

Our days are pretty much day to day, people here are so chill and don't really set appointments but they are usually home when we try them. Transfers are this week, something might happen, but I doubt it. 

So that was my week, now the weather for the whole week is pretty much RAIN!! :'(  Rain rain go away, you are going to make the cow farm next to Milford STINK!!! :(

Love you all!!

Elder Searle

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Crazy Adventures

Dear Family,

Hey Hey everyone! So this week has been full of different adventures and excitement! To start out the week, we went on exchanges Tuesday and Wednesday and while exchanging back on Wednesday, we went to the other elders apartment and they set up a fort and flipped everything over and they started throwing stuff at us. So it turned into a giant war! They got it on video so hopefully sometime I can upload it for you.

Thursday is where the adventure starts. So we were going around trying people who are usually home and none of them were home! We were joking around saying "what would happen if they aren't here?" happened.

We went walking a bit and realized the way we were heading was leading to the wrong place, so we just walked back to the car and were looking at the list of names. As I was typing stuff into the GPS, Elder Hansen was like "holy cow man...look!" This white van was hauling down the cobblestone street in the middle of town.

We were watching it and were like "I don't think it's slowing down" as it was approaching a stop sign. It didn't slow down or anything and it hit the bumpy intersection going 40+ miles and she jumped the van! It hit the first bump, then slammed the bottom of the van on the ground, then flew into the air on another bump. The rear of the van was at least 6-7 feet in the air!! Then when the van landed, it veered right and slammed into the corner of a house. That was better though because she would of slammed into the car in front of her. So we witnessed all of it, Elder Hansen drove us while I called 911. The car that she almost hit just heard a loud crash and stopped, but they didn't see anything, we went to see if she was ok. It was an older lady and she wasn't wearing her seat belt. :(

Elder Hansen said she was awake and had both hands on the wheel when she went by so we don't know what happened. We both got a little look at her in her crashed car, in my mom's email a week earlier, she mentioned she had been through something kinda traumatic and she couldn't get the image out of her head, so I looked at her to see if she was breathing...and she was!!!As far as we know, she is doing ok, she did break her leg and might have some neck problems. We had to stay and wait there to fill out the police report and most likely will be getting calls from insurance people. Hope she'll be ok.

Then we were like "well, now what do we do?" So we went and cooled down at DQ and had a blizzard. Also that night, we had dinner with an older investigator and he thought you could just microwave food that really needed to be cooked in the oven for like 70 min. So we just shot the breeze with him for a while.

Friday we helped at the Food Net again, we got more free food and a dude came in and was like "It's snowing!!" was snowing for a little bit. Then we were seeing a member in Utica and saw two semi's hauling helicopters, so I got a pic of that.

Saturday we had breakfast at the St. John Lutheran Church with an older dude. We were helping him move stuff so he took us to the Waffle Man Breakfast and we pigged out on waffles forever! Then we saw a tree that was carved like a beaver, so I also took a pic of that. 

Then we went and had dinner with a new family that moved in and they just let us in. We were talking to the kids when one of them came running up with a ferret! Elder Hansen was like "what the heck is that?!" They said they have 5 ferrets, 2 dogs, 3 cats, and like 38 bunnies! It was crazy!! I did get to hold little bunnies so it was worth it. :)

ALSO!! For the first time in my life...a stupid squirrel threw his darn acorns at my head!!! It was so funny!! It hadn't happened to me so I was caught off guard. Those little guys can throw better than what I thought...stupid little critters...

That's my crazy week, all is going well with me and I'm excited for General Conference and Easter!!! It's going to be awesome!! We'll most likely go watch it at our church building, but, hopefully we can go to homes to watch it. 

Love you all!!

Elder Searle