Monday, April 19, 2010
Valdez Culture and a New Investigator!
SO here is the good news for this week! I made it through!
Alaska is so awesome. Valdez is the coolest place in all of Alaska! We got 2 feet of snow earlier this week and the snowflakes were crazy-shaped. They were these massive bunches of flakes but they were frozen in like a double helix - like DNA - and as they floated down they were spiraling, slowly twisting. It was pretty sweet; everyone I’ve talked to says that was the first time they had ever seen it float like that before. I feel pretty lucky to have seen it!
The natural beauty of this place is amazing! It’s soo awesome. It’s been snowing/raining down here near the bay so it’s been melting the snow that was 6 feet deep last week so now it’s down to about 4 feet. It’s all landing as snow in the mountains and up in the pass too. (The pass is where the road to Fairbanks and Anchorage heads through and its about 20 minutes away)
On Saturday we were able to go up to the pass to watch the Valdez Snow machine Hill Climb which is a qualifier for the World or National Championship in Wyoming! It wasn't what I expected. I was expecting to see them climbing really steep hills, which they were, but I thought it was going to be like a high mark competition, you know - see who can go the highest without rolling their snow machines.
The way they do it is pretty sweet though; it’s set up like a slalom course that they run in reverse, with the gates spread out wide across the mountain. Then they have to maintain their speed through the turns and traversing the mountain - rather than going straight up the mountain. This is more difficult because snow machines are heavy and they like to run flat, not on edge. Think of when you are snowboarding across the mountain and you have to keep your toes up so you can keep your board digging into the mountain! That’s what it’s like, just with a heavy snow machine! And if the people slow down too much or their snow machine just can’t handle it, it will dig in. Then they are stuck. So they have to be good at controlling the machine and maintaining their speed. Each person runs it and they time the run. We saw a couple people who did awesome through the whole thing but during the last stretch, right before the finish line, dug in. It was like EPIC FAIL. Like they could reach out and touch the finish line but their machine just wouldn’t go forward any more. It ended up being pretty cool. But that was just a short cultural study activity that we did, after our 2 lessons fell through and then we went through all our back up plans but no one was home.... cause everyone in Valdez was up watching the heats! I hope I get the chance to try hill climbing like that someday though, it looked like tons of fun!
We picked up this awesome investigator this week too! His name is R. and he’s really bright! We taught him the first and second lessons this week and he has been to church 2 weeks in a row now! He’s genuinely interested in the church and he finds it fascinating, well most of it, except when it’s boring (ha-ha) but that’s how we all are! He’s gonna try to read the entire Book of Mormon. I’m pretty sure he can do it, he said that he could read it in 6 hours, 8 hours actually comprehending it... ha-ha. So I challenged him to do it - to read it before our next lesson, and to pray before he reads it and then to pray to know its truth after he completes it! He’s an awesome dude! And his good friend just got home from his mission from the Philippines and was the one who initially invited him to church! He stayed for the gospel principals class and he seemed really intrigued by our understanding of our relationship with our Heavenly Father, and our knowledge that he loves us and cares for us, and always does what is best for us in his wisdom - whether we know it or not! And how our knowledge comes from the spirit! So we invited him to take the missionary discussions and he really liked it! So we kept teaching him! Please pray for him!
I hope that you guys can have awesome missionary experiences! We are so lucky to have this knowledge of the gospel and so lucky to have each other! That’s a lot more than most people have! And it is our DUTY! Our OBLIGATION! To share this gospel! This wondrous message that Jesus Christ lives and that we can progress towards becoming like our Heavenly Father!
C! M! D! I hope you can apply this excitement to your lives! You all have friends that need the gospel in their lives. You don’t need to be forceful, unless they are less active or wandering away from the church - in that case give them a push in the right direction (being a good example is a great way to do this), but do be open to the people around you. You are Mormons. You have a knowledge of God that no other religion on earth has! Did you know most Christians believe that we didn’t live with our Heavenly Father before this life, SOME EVEN believe that Jesus and Heavenly Father are the same person!
Guys and Mom, I love you all. I cannot imagine a Heaven without you. I want you to worry about your own salvation first; strive to live the gospel - set that example for all around you, and then be open to missionary work. If you invite all your friends and make it a normal thing, than it won’t be weird. MOST OF ALL!! Trust Mom and Dad. Seriously, you can avoid so many stupid choices if you just calm down, put your pride and yourself aside, and listen.
I love you guys! Get out and enjoy the nature around you! GO SWIMMING! I wish i could go all the time but I can’t!!!! I miss you guys! Just remember! Live righteously and you will get a wife that’s way hotter than you are! :)
I’ll send you guys all my pics as soon as I get that cord!! Love ya!!!!
OH AND I LOVE GETTING letters!!! Even if you type it out and send it that is awesome!! I just love getting mail! (You will understand when you guys are on your missions.)
Posted by De Anna (Mom to the Winterrose Boys) at 2:13 PM