[S6E2] Another week in paradise

So this week was really normal, mission-wise. Nothing really funny happened, so this email is going to be kinda short. 

5: Tracting was fun, we found 7 new people, who were kinda cheese, so I’m not really counting on them being solid. We might not meet with them again.

4: When we headed to uptown Springfield to drop off some mail, we stopped by the famous Simpsons mural and took some pictures. Very cool

3: Last night we spent the night at the Zone leaders, and because elder Leifson wanted to play Tarazons settlers expansion we played. Now, as you play settlers with one other person it goes pretty quickly. However, with 4 people, it will keep you up till 1:30. Once we hit 12:30 I just started giving away my stuff to help the game end faster.

2: We put 2 people on date to be baptized! A younger kid named Alejandro, and a single mom named Tonya. Nobody came to church, so that felt awful, but we got plenty of administrative stuff done that had to be.

1: In the closet of past missionaries stuff, I found a nice pair of boots that fits me! I have been worried about what I would do if it snows, but now I’m covered!

I love you all, and hope you all have been doing well.

LaReita and Dave trip to San Francisco

Visiting with LaReita’s long time Cello teacher Irene Sharp
LaReita outside the new San Francisco Conservatory of Music building downtown
One of the concert halls
Attending a performance
Temple session with Bay Area friend Rula Scoville
A trip down memory lane past our old apartment in Daily City
Time at the beach
Lunch at Fisherman’s Wharf

[S6E1] Springading 3rd!

10: A new area!Now that I am in my 3rd area, I am no longer considered a ‘new missionary!’

9: A STOVE!!!! HALLELUJAH!!! Now that I am in a normal apartment, I have an actual kitchen instead of a cabinet and a microwave. The only hard part is that it’s not well stocked, so I’m going to be buying some basic kitchen stuff in these next couple of weeks. 

8: Late Mexicans let me play the cello! We share a ward with the Spanish elders, so we have shared dinners, and they were late, so I got a chance to play the ‘decorative’ cello that the Andersen’s had sitting on top of their China cabinet. Unfortunately the G and the D string were wack, and I didn’t want to mess with the pegs too much, so I just played the two outside strings. Plenty of fun, I definitely regret not keeping up with that?

7: Can you break into a sisters apartment? As we were getting out of a dinner on Saturday, we got a call from the sisters, who informed us they had locked themselves out of their apartment, and that they will need some help breaking in later that night. So, at about 9:30 we headed over to the sisters apartment, (they live in the same complex as us) and tried to card their door. No luck. So we went and got the 5th ward elders, because they know how to card a door. Turns out, the sisters door is situated in a way that it can’t be carded. So elder Simper and i head around back, make sure no one is watching, because this would be a difficult situation to explain to the police. After trying the back door, the kitchen window, to no avail we noticed that there is a bedroom window, we asked the sisters if it was locked, and they said no. Bingo! So we yeeted elder Tarazon up to the overhang, and he cut open the screen, slid the window open, and fell through. This whole ordeal took till 10:45

6: Our ward has… problems. There’s not too much I can say about this without disclosing sensitive information, but this will be interesting, not being sure if I want to bring people to church. Yeah, at least I’m not a Spanish elder.

5: lots of board games! Elder Tarazon loves his board games, so in our down hours we have been playing Catan, (pirates and explorers expansion) and boss monster. Lots of fun, especially with more than 2 players.

4: morning racquetball! This morning we played racquetball with President Lowry, the mission presidents 1st councilor. Lots of fun, but has reminded me that I need to start running for morning exercise.

3: I almost forgot my new companion! Elder Tarazon!  He’s from Gilbert AZ, and has been out for ~17 months. We get along well, a little too well sometimes, and while we are talking over breakfast notice that we should be out and about. Oops. We are going to be working on that. 

2: Biscuits and gravy cook off! Not really a cook off, but elder simper and I are going to compare biscuits and gravy recipes tomorrow. Will be fun! 

1: D&C 138 is dope! I love you all, and am doing well in my new area.

If anyone wants to know my address it’s; #### apt # aster Springville OR, 97478

Ya boi, Elder Berky 

[S5E6] Not even sure what to name this email

10: See ya Merlin/Grants Pass!
We got transfer calls on Friday, and I am going to be heading up to Springfield 3rd ward! I finally am getting my dream fulfilled and living not in the boonies! I’ll be with Elder Tarazon, who has been out for 18 months.

9: Moving. Multiple. Fridges. In our exchange in Cave Junction, one of the families there needed help moving a fridge from their neighbors house to their own. However the one that we were moving that took several hours to figure out how to get out of the kitchen, was the wrong one. That felt good. Then we visited this one lady who wasn’t interested until we asked her if there was any service we could do for her. She needed a broken fridge, a broken oven, and a broken washer. So we grabbed brother Gill and came back with a dolly, and spent forever moving appliances. Should open a business. After all that she was interested in what we did as missionaries. 

8: Strambauchers are cool cars Looking around our areabook, we noticed that we were in the area of a part member family, so we decided to stop by, and see how they were doing. As we were talking, the member showed us his classic car collection, all Strambauchers, in the process of being restored. Very cool, and I got a picture in one off them.

7: Elder O’Bannon will be getting a problem child  The elder coming in to replace me is apparently a “problem child” and Elder O’Bannon is excited. He hasn’t had a difficult companion yet, and he is going to change him to being a good missionary. 

6: A member in our ward passed away Saturday. Leo Freedman was out cutting trees, and his chainsaw bucked and his son found him. We taught Leo earlier that week, and he explained what he did for work. Making wooden bowls. He served in Oregon on his mission, and decided to come back. He is a great man, and I know that he is continuing the missionary work that he started here, only on the other side of the veil.

5: Packing is fun! I’ve realized that I have too much stuff, like desk ornaments, and Christmas decorations. So I’m sending that home. I now have much more space for the really important stuff, like clothes.

4: Church was wack. You’d think that the bishopric would have cancelled the other talks, which were on the self reliance classes, and give a talk about the plan of Salvation. But no, even though Leo’s non-member family were all that there. Then in Priesthood session the discussion drifted to some really obscure deep doctrine that has no scriptural basis. That was fun, might tall with my next ward about what church is, a place for learning basics, and not for deep doctrine.

3: that’s really all I got for this week, I need to keep packing.  Sorry, but stuff gets busy as a missionary, so I’m going to have to get going.

I love you all, and will let ya know if my new address in Springfield. 

[S5E5] Feel the Urgency

That is the main take-away from our meeting with an apostle.

10: Elder Cook came to the mission Because this doesn’t happen often, the whole mission gathered in Eugene. It was great seeing the missionaries that I haven’t seen in some time. But…

9: Standing for an hour on a stage with 151 missionaries can get very hot. In order to get a picture of the whole mission, all 151 missionaries packed onto a stage, and because we wanted to get one with Elder Cook, we stood up there for over an hour while he took his time eating lunch. I did get to chat for a while with everyone though. That was nice.

8: Just before the meeting, we ate at IHOP (for FREE) Because we got up very early for the ride to Eugene, we didn’t really have a breakfast. So we went to a place that I haven’t been since I was a young boy. As we ordered, some members came in, said hi, and sat down. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the members get up and talk to one of the waitresses. It didn’t take much to figure out that they just paid for our food. That was a blessing in disguise, because I have exhausted my eating out fund. I’ve allotted myself $20 for fast food, and I used that all up within the first week of the month. 

7: We have the first uninterrupted week of this transfer. This whole transfer has been weird, and nothing has been normal. Stuff has been postponed, we haven’t done a solid weekly planning session since the beginning of the transfer. Never thought I’d be complaining about that, but here I am. Luckily, this week will be normal, and uninterrupted. 

5: Elder Tinney’s Birthday!  None of you would know him, but it was his birthday on Friday. 

4: A sense of urgency That was the main thing that I took away from the meeting with Elder Cook. Which, to me signifies a couple of things. The work of gathering Zion is becoming increasingly important, because of the difficult times ahead. The only way people will be able to make it through these upcoming decades is with the knowledge of the Gospel. Two, Christ is coming. I will be able to see him come, I have felt this for a while, and have had it confirmed to me by the Spirit. Even now as I type this.

3: Hit gud scrub Last week, when we watched Coco at the Becks, Elder Haws game-shared Dark Souls with Kayden. He finished downloading it, and asked for Elder O’Bannons help. Elder O’Bannon knows that game like the back of his hand; best armor builds, enemy placement, parry timings, everything. Is he helped Kayden out with the eternal Dark Souls mantra. “Git Gud”

2: List of study material is growing  Whenever I have a question about something, and need to take it to the Lord, I just add it to my list of things to study. As I have been working through it, I have found that Gospel Library can help all questions. Anything from finding out the significance of the word father in the Hebrew language/culture to blacks in the priesthood. (Elder O’Bannon is still the reigning authority on that, cause he’s, well, you know… studied it.)

1: Sister Steele gave us a pound cake so dense, the boys at JPL used it as heatshield paneling on the space shuttle. The lady who does our (now only) weekend dinner calendar had us over for dinner, and she baked a cake so dense it bends light. Naturally she gave it to us to finish, cause the Steele’s are an old couple who couldn’t even finish her rice. Sorry I didn’t get a picture of this miracle material.

I love you all, and hope that the new Sunday schedule helps you come closer to having a relationship with Christ, rather than a testimony of the church. One is full of imperfect people, and the other makes those people perfect.

Look closely at who you love most, and evaluate.

Ya boi, Elder Berky 

Toofar South (street name)