Hello everyone. Bah! I just had a small panic attack where I realized I only get to write one more of these things after this. Ok. Deep breath.
Let me tell you. You are all in for a treat this week. You think last week was a crazy week... oh man. It only gets better. So let me start by getting a few things out of the way.
1. I GET TO GO TO PALMYRA TOMORROW AND I AM SO STINKING EXCITED. I think I am more excited for the Palmyra trip than anything else at this point. We drive down to Utica tonight, so you won't get to hear about it all until next week. But it will be sweet, and I am way stoked.
2. I HIT MY 18 MONTH MARK THIS WEEK. weird. The elders keep using this against me. Anytime I say anything to them they say, "You don't even count anymore. Just go home." Rude! It's a pretty weird fact. But don't worry. We celebrated my 18 month mark by going to a really fancy restaurant. Sister Mason got a 30 dollar steak. haha. And lest you think we used our MSF for that, we actually tracted into the owner and he let us eat there for free. :)
...and speaking of eating.
3. THANKSGIVING. We had 3 meal appointments back to back. If you think I was dying you would be correct. By the last one I seriously couldn't eat another bite. At every meal they kept saying, "Oh we have so much food! Please go get more!" and we kept thinking "Guys. we still have 2 more dinners after this one!" Let's just say I would be fine if I didn't eat turkey again for a year!
4. The Saratoga ward got a new bishopric. So that was exciting talk of the week. The new bishop is Bishop Eucker and he is way way cool, so we are very excited. Our old bishop is now the Albany stake patriarch. Anyway, random cool news.
Now let's get into the good stories.
1. Ok I can't not start with this story. So.... remember my story last week about the lady who threw the puking cat at us? hahaha. Well, here's another story about her. So this week she invited us over for dinner. So we said, "Ok, make us dinner!" Well, everything was going ok. She was frying some chicken and making some rice. Now let it be noted that there was WAY too much oil being used to fry this chicken... but we let her do her thing. She finished cooking the chicken and set it on the table and then we were just waiting for the rice to be finished cooking. We sat down at the table to share our spiritual thought before dinner started. As we started in on the message all of a sudden we hear this huge "woosh" I look over and see some crazy flickering lights. "OH MY GOSH! I THINK SOMETHING IS ON FIRE!" We all ran into the kitchen. Well, she had left the oil on the burner and it caught on fire. She started freaking out. Thankfully we all knew not to put water on an oil fire. She tried to grab another pan and smother the fire, but the flames just kept coming on the side. Then she yelled, "CALL 911!" Sister Mason ran out of the room to call 911. I was just thinking... oh no. Her house is going to burn down. What do we do? The fire was now climbing all the way up the wall. Black smoke was making it hard to see anything at all. By pure inspiration I knew what to do! I ran to the living room, grabbed a container of kitty litter, (of course), and threw it on the fire. And thank goodness, we got the fire out. Then I ran back outside and filled the kitty litter bucket with snow and dumped that on it too, for good measure. Then we all ran outside just as like 6 fire trucks pulled up. Oh my goodness, we were dying. The fire fighters went in and blew all the smoke out and everything was ok. I think the best part of the night though was when we were standing outside, it's snowing like crazy, and they turn a spot light from one of the fire trucks right on us and the lady we are with just says, "Well, now this is just embarrassing." OH MY GOODNESS YOU GUYS. We have dinner with her again this week. Pray for me. ;)
2. Ok, here is another good story. Thankfully this one is a little less life threatening. So last Monday we had set up to meet with this guy at a coffee shop in town. Yes a coffee shop. Well, we meet him there and sit down on a couch in the middle of the shop. We start teaching him the restoration and it goes ok. It was pretty loud in there so it made it hard to really focus on the spirit. But nonetheless we got a return appointment with him and it seemed like a good evening. We were about to stand up to leave but another guy had sat down near us and had listened to our whole conversation. He goes, "I'm sorry you can't leave yet! I have GOT to pick your brains for a minute." Well... that sounded good to us, so we sat back down. We ended up having a pretty good conversation with him. He was pretty into trying to throw anti at us and argue, but it all ended well and we gave him a Book of Mormon! So then we finished that conversation and were about to get up and leave again, but another guy had sat down and was listening to THAT conversation. He goes, "Oh no, you can't leave yet! I have to ask you some questions." So we got into a nice conversation with him as well. With him though, it was a really uplifting and kind experience. He kept just commending us for what we were doing and telling us that we may never know all the good we do. That we are planting more seeds than we could ever know. It was really awesome and uplifting.
Later that night as I reflected on the experience I just kept thinking about the difference between the two men who had wanted to talk with us in the coffee shop. The first proclaimed multiple times to be a Christian. Yet, all he did during our conversation was try and pull down our beliefs and make us feel bad. He even tried to tell us that WE were anti-Christ's. Yet, the second man, never once proclaimed a particular faith, or even a strong belief in Jesus Christ. YET, he was kind, supportive and built us up. The difference in the two conversations was so stark. I guess it goes back to the saying that, "Going to a church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car." The second man had something that the first man lacked, and it was the Spirit. It was kindness, it was seeking the goodness where ever it may be. It reminded me of what WE BELIEVE. that, "if there is anything virtuous, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy we seek after these things." Anyway, I just learned a lot from the experience. and they are these things...
one- If you hang out at a coffee shop, people will invariably want to talk religion with you.
two- (this is a quote from the second guy we talked with): "knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad"
three- Being a disciple of Christ is SO MUCH MORE than wearing a name tag.
3. Ok... sorry everyone because this is getting really long, but just one more awesome thing. GLENN'S BROTHER IS GETTING BAPTIZED. He even has a baptism date for December 27. We are so excited. It has strengthened Glenn so much. Man. That guy is such a bomb missionary.
Alright, well I'm going to get going. Trying not to freak out. We will deal with that next week.