Friday, October 16, 2015

Bike Heaven

October 7, 2015
         Today was a fun pday. We started off by playing sports as a zone, which consisted of me being goalie because I don’t play soccer (really I wasn’t even playing as a goalie since I just did exercises on the goal line.)  Overall it was a good time especially when we played volleyball afterwards.  For about 3 hours we all just messed around as a zone.  After that we did our buys, wrote our families, and ate lunch. By the time we got all done, it was 5ish and my comp went to sleep. I got to work on the bikes and was appalled at the condition they’re in.  They are really old, really crappy, really poorly treated bikes.
Miracle #394: I rode a bike for the first time in more than a year.  I must admit that my butt is really hurt.
         The fun part of the day was cleaning the house.  So fun to clean up the filth of 2 other elders.  I’m pretty sure that they hadn’t cleaned up in around a month from all the oil caked onto the stovetop.  The good news is that for tomorrow, the house is cleaned and the bikes are good to go.  The bad thing is that we are going to accompany the sisters tomorrow afternoon because they’re both brand new in this sector.  I’m not sure how I feel about being in a sector with sister missionaries and I am especially unsure of how to be their leader.
October 8, 2015
         Well today was fun. All morning long, we did our weekly planning.  We ate lunch with the members who live right next to us.  Technically we live in and add-on to their house.  After that, we has a service project out in the field with our sector.  We saddled up our broken bikes and rode out.  My butt is so not used to a bike seat.  I am going to have to get used to it really fast though. Even tough the service was fun, I enjoyed the bike ride more than anything.  The best part about the riding is that we can use our bags again!!!  No, actually, the very best part about the bikes is exercising all day long as we go out and visit people.  It’s absolutely great!
Miracle #395: I met a member (the ward mission leader) who is as nuts about working out as I am.  We gave each other some tips and ideas.  
A calisthenics move called the dragon flag.... you have to lower your feet to this position and raise them straight up while only letting your shoulders touch the ground.
         The funny part of the day was walking the sisters home to their apartment at night.  Elder M. told me that they used to do it because it was dangerous for the sisters.  But seriously, it is so chill here that it didn’t take much intelligence to know why they really did it.  There used to be a sister in this ward who was quite beautiful and had quite the charm with the other elders.  I am 90% sure that the sisters won’t need to be walked home anymore.
October 9, 2015
         Today was an interesting day.  It started in the morning with a new leader training thing where we learned all about how to be a good leader.  One of the things that they really stressed was believe it or not…having a clean house.  Weird considering that a LOT of my mission problems revolve around the fact that I want to live in a clean house and the other elders don’t. Anyway, because of the meeting we missed lunch and had to eat in the house. We have an hour to eat, but we were done in 15 minutes.  I wanted to take the remaining 45 minutes to clean the filth, but my comp wanted to leave.  When I explained to him why I was cleaning he decided to study more.  It is a good thing it doesn’t bother me doing it alone anymore.
Miracle #396:  I got to practice piano on a full size keyboard for the first time in more than 4 months. Wow!
         The funny part of the day was having to turn in our bikes with a list of all the problems of each bike.  I was kindof blown away that I had already made the list.  For one of the bikes I wrote, “there is not hope.  Buy a new bike.”  The treatment of those bikes was awful.  The elders let the tread get so worn that it was just flat rubber.  Each bike had a huge list of issues and we’re really hoping that by tomorrow we will have them back.  I am trying to be chill in this sector, but you can really tell that my comp is new and just figuring out the mission.
October 10, 2015
         Today we practically didn’t do any missionary work.  This morning we went to the mission office to pick up and take our bikes to the shop (because the office didn’t have time to do that yet.)  As it turned out, the man was so busy that he wasn’t going to be able to fix them for around a week.  When I explained that I knew how to fix bikes, he said well you can go and buy your parts and use my tools if you want to fix them.  FANTASTIC!  It took about 2 hours, but we got our crappy bikes fixed up and running.  After that, we went to lunch where they started cooking when we arrived.  It was around a 2 ½ hour lunch followed by a service project for a less active family for 3 hours.  By this time it was around 8:00. When we finally got out to work, the bikes needed even more help, and in addition, our cita fell.  It was a relaxed day where we weren’t very productive.
Miracle #397: During the service project, we found out why this less active family doesn’t go to church anymore. They don’t like hypocrites and someone apparently offended them.
         The funny part of the day was probably in the service because we were sanding walls and EVERYONE got covered in white dust.  Every time we took a step, dust flew everywhere.  The ridiculous part of the day was seeing how little my comp knows about bikes.  But today, he learned today how to replace the brakes!
Carlos's cute baby boy, Carlos.
October 11, 2015
         Today was a pretty darn good day! This ward is really quite friendly and I liked my first day here.  After church, we went to a baptism! Jazmin and Steven got baptized and I got to assist.  It is weird going back to an old sector even though I haven’t been gone for very long.  It somehow felt like it had been ages since I had been there with them.  There were over 40 people there supporting the baptism and it turned out awesome.  I got to baptize Jazmin and it was without a hitch.  The only bad thing was that it made us miss lunch, but then a member gave us some sandwiches and saved the day. 
Familia Ruiz Lagos (crazy carlos) I love this family.....
Miracle #398:  In the supposedly unreceptive part of the sector, we had 2 exceptionally good contacts. 
         The funny part of the day was probably making the calls as a district leader tonight. It was awful, but in the end I survived.  Sadly, I am going to be doing this for a while.  I have to learn this sector fast and figure out this new job.  I don’t want to be as rude or overbearing as I have been in my other sectors, so this week I will just be chill and when I have figured out things a little more I will be able to lead better. 
October 12, 2015
         Today was a good day.  The morning was dedicated to morning contacts.  The only guy we found is already an active member.  After our studies and my exercises we went to lunch with the bishop.  After lunch we spent an hour and a half cleaning up the area book, and now it is finally organized. This evening we did street contacts from our bikes. It was strange to get off a bike to talk to someone, but it was fun.  I think that this sector is really fun because going from house to house is super fast on a bike.  It is a blast to bike 10-20 km a day, and it makes me super tired at the end of the day.
Miracle #399: We had a division today!  We also had a great contact with twins.
          The funny part of the day was a lesson with a lady who is very slowly progressing and goes off topic a ton.  In less than a minute, we go from talking about prayer, reading, and going to church to talking about how sad it is that Zone left One Direction.  We are teaching way more “snakes” than normal here in Portezuela. It seems pretty weird.  I am not a fan.      
October 13, 2015
         Well today was fun.  It started with district meeting.  We had our first leadership meeting and it felt weird being in there.  My comp has it rough because he is so new to the mission that he really has to jump in without really having any experience.  My new companion doesn’t like how loud I am.... he´s always telling me to be quieter, so I told him that no matter what he says I’m going to be loud because that’s who I am, and I have always been that way.  It´s really frustrating when the missionaries in your ward (him and another sister missionary) think that your personality is not adequate for a missionary.  But this really is how I was born and despite almost 20 years of trying to modify my “loudness”, I haven’t made much progress.
         After the meeting, we went and replaced the rim on my back tire.  Overall I spent a little over $50 fixing all of the bikes.  We have to see it they will hold up.
Miracle #400: We had citas all day long and that is a miracle because it was raining all day long.
         There were two funny parts of the day and both had to do with bikes.  The first was seeing the sisters getting “help” from members to “fix” their brakes.  Their brakes came loose, but instead of tightening the cable, they just took the bracket where the cable sits and bent it closed with the cable situated farther back.  That is why these bikes are so trashed.  I fixed their bikes and taught them how to do it themselves in the future.  The other funny part of the day was riding in the rain and getting spray all up our backs.  We got filthy!  This is why we are told to not ride our bikes in the rain.  Haha!  It is great fun here.
The consequences of riding our bikes in the rain.


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