My first full week in the Monmouth area has been full! Our Area Book is so full of names that we hardly know what to do! Since we cover multiple areas that aren't geographically next to each other in some cases, we have to be super careful when planning so we can make the most effective use of our time and keep our lines in the water for as long as possible each day.
This week I have a couple of funny experiences. :) The first happened on Tuesday of last week in West Salem. We were trying to contact a less active member, and have a lesson with him. He has two husky puppies, who are super full of energy, and crazy hyper. We had struggles even getting into the yard, they were hitting the fence so hard. After some time, probably five minutes, we finally get into the yard, and immediately get attacked by them. They were licking and barking and jumping on us, and wouldn't let up! Elder Vega even got hit in the stomach, and then I started laughing, which let the dogs slobber us even more! After all that work, the guy we were try to find wasn't there! We just left a note instead. :) We repeated the whole process again, minus Elder Vega getting head-butted, and by the time we got out of the yard, we were panting and breathing really hard. There may or may not have been sweat too. :)
The second occurred on my exchange with Elder Wang on Saturday. We lined up some people to contact that we decided were going to be either dropped, or made to progress. We knocked on the first house of the day, and a guy, I'd say mid 20's, with a goatee sunglasses on (in cloudy Oregon) whipped open the door and in a very friendly tone told us we could come in. Elder Wang, who's been out 16 months, and I looked at each other and raised our eyebrows at each other. A silent conversation took place, where we said "do we go in?" "Yeah, I think we do" "okay". We went in and what came to my mind was "this guy is either drunk, or he wants to Bible-bash with us". He was walking towards the garage door in the house after telling us he was going to grab something, and suddenly turned around and said to us, I'm black!, then walked into the garage. At that point we knew he was drunk, since he was clearly Mexican. :) He came back inside, ended up inviting us to his bedroom to see his "sweet stuff", which culminated with him asking if we could help him out financially. We said something along the lines of "oh, how neat!" And made an excuse to leave. We left the front of the house in tears because we were laughing so hard, but had to smother our laughs!
With those two funny experiences I also wanted to share one spiritual. We had the opportunity to take a member of the mission presidency, Presidente Aguilar, with us out into our area after church. He is from Cuba, and speaks perfect Spanish and English. We went to visit a less active lady named Amalia who has been less active for a long time. She opened the door, and was really standoffish at the beginning. She was gracious enough to let us in for a couple minutes, and the ensuing hour-long discussion with her led us to a need that she has. She opened up to us a lot, sharing a lot of things that have been happening in her life. I realized from that experience that Presidente Aguilar taught me so much about being like Jesus Christ, and addressing the needs of the people we talk to. After talking with Amalia for that hour, she was so grateful to us and the fact that we came over to talk with her. I was so grateful that we got to talk with her and show her that we actually do in fact help people even if they're not members of our church.
This week has been a great week for building up our area. Really solid time for us to figure out who is actually interested in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I've definitely learned how to press on throughout this past week.
I love you all! I hope you all have an amazing week!