Date

May 11, 2015

Area

1st Orlando, Florida Mission - Deland Zone

Companion

Noah King

Novelists and storytellers are just really good liars. - Elder King

Hey everybody! How's it going?? By the way, the subject line is just a random quote from my companion and has nothing to do with the rest of the email. Enjoy!

This last week for me has been crazy. We started out the week by going on exchanges with our District leader. This meant that for 24 hours, my companion, Elder King, went with our district leader to work in his area, while his companion, Elder Palmer, came to my area to work. I was left in charge of my area for 24 hours. And it didn't go too bad. Nobody went apostate or anything, and we didn't lose any investigators, so that's good!

Me and Palmer had a great time spreading the gospel. At the end of the day we hung out with this ex hippie, who's now a Mormon and ward missionary (these ward missionaries have white name tags, its so weird and cool!). He used to be a Rastafarian, Buddhist, and a catholic. And now he's a Mormon, living with about twenty cats, and spends his time rebuilding pinball machines. We had fun with him playing each other in pinball.

Thursday was our on normal day last week. We spent most of it seeing old potential investigators. We spent about two hours finding and finally found one person interested in hearing our message. We taught him the restoration and gave him a book of Mormon! We'll see how that goes this week, haven't seen him since then. Hopefully he's reading though, that's the most important thing!

Also on Thursday I went over to a members house to jam on guitars with him and one of his friends. We rocked out to Van Halen, the stones, and all kinds of crazy stuff. This was my first time playing guitar in 9 weeks, and it felt great. This put me in a really good mood for the rest of the day, and the few days following it. The guy I was jamming with builds guitars, and can shred as good as Eddie Van Halen. He was so good. I felt a little rusty, but I could still keep up with him (although not nearly as good as him). It was a great time.

Thursday night we saw a miracle. Probably the coolest miracle of my mission so far. We met up with this guy named Arthur. He was a former investigator, neither me or my companion have met him, but we felt like we needed to see him. We stopped by his place and he was trying to put a lock on his door, so we offered to help out and talk to him. As we were putting the lock on, he dropped the keys into some dirt. Now this is at about 8 o clock at night, so it was fairly dark; we couldn't find his keys that he dropped anywhere. We looked around for about 10 or 15 minutes, and couldn't find them. They disappeared; it was unbelievable. As we were looking for them I had this thought come into my head: ask him if we can pray for help in finding the keys. I pushed the thought out of my head thinking it was kinda stupid. I didn't want to pray, and not find the keys. Imagine how that'd look on the missionaries. As I thought this, I heard in the back of my head my companion saying something he likes to say all the time: "Do you have the faith?" At that point I knew the spirit was prompting me, so I asked him if we could pray for help to find the keys. Not five seconds after the prayer was over, his son finds the keys sitting right there where we had been looking for 15 minutes already. Miracles have not ceased!

Friday we had a meeting in Orlando. At this meeting I got to see all of my other MTC friends that came to this mission, which was a lot of fun. I got permission to call Elder Heiner occasionally to practice Portuguese with him.

After the meeting we went to the temple to buy something at church distribution. The temple here is beautiful! After that we stopped at an LDS bookstore to buy a few more things, then we headed home. We didn't get home till 5:30, and we left at 8 that morning. We had to skip weekly planning, which usually occurs on Fridays, because we had some appointments to get to.

Saturday we went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders. This time I went to the Zone leader's area, and my companion stayed in our area. I was with a guy named Elder Dalmas in Daytona. This day was ridiculously crazy. We had a lot of fun. We started off the day by playing Soccer for our workout that day. Then we went knocking on some doors. We knocked into this one guy who was on the phone yelling at somebody, his son or something. He invited us in, and had us wait on his couch while he finished talking on the phone. We heard him threatening to shoot the guy, he even had a gun in his hands. At first I thought this was real, but eventually I started to think that this guy was just messing with us. After he got off the phone we tried talking to him about who we are. As our conversation progressed he randomly threw a book of Mormon at me. At this point I realized that this guy was joke. Took me another second, but then I realized that Elder Dalmas had set this up with this guy too! He wasn't just messing with me, he was a member of the church! Not only that, but he's known to be quite the legend in this mission apparently. They call him "grandpa" and as Elder Dalmas puts it, he takes care of the missionaries.

After this all went down, we went out to lunch with him and a recent convert. Grandpa ended up being really nice, wanted to make sure I got good food, made me get dessert and everything. Then after that he set us up with some muffins and bagels to take home. He ended up being a super nice guy. He's 85, but he acts like a child, just trying to have fun. He was really cool.

We visited lots of random people that day. At one point we went to visit and teach a deaf guy known as Deaf Richard. He can't hear a thing. He can read lips and talks to us through sign language and grunts that I can sometimes make words out of. Elder Dalmas knows a little sign language apparently, and so he was able to communicate our names and where we're from by using the alphabet in sign language. This guy was really cool and funny too. He signed to us, basically, that he used to be a hippie and hates war. It was really entertaining to see the energy he had as he signed this to us, and the way he signed this to us (by doing gun shooting motions and holding up peace signs).

For mother's day I was finally back with my normal companion. We taught a class that sunday with only one guy there, because all of the sisters were off at a mother's day thing. I had the opportunity to call my parents on Skype later that day, which was really a lot of fun. We were at the bishops house, and they have a son in brazil, so when he skyped them I got to practice my Portuguese and have a full on conversation with him. That was really cool.

This last week went by fast, we stayed busy. Everyday was different from our usual schedule because of all the meetings and exchanges. But overall I'm loving this mission and the people we teach!

Well that's all for this week guys. Thanks for the emails, tchau!
--

- Elder Chandler Efros

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