August 8, 2017


Second Area - Monmouth, OR


Elder Elias

Week 48

On Monday after P-day we were walking around in our area, and fresh out of the car, about to contact a couple potential investigators in a particular part of our area, when we saw the less-active member - Hermana Amescua - across the street outside her house. We hadn't seen them in what feels like FOREVER, so we quickly ran over to talk with her and her non-member husband, Javier. We soon found out that Javier wasn't super interested in talking with us at that moment, and was content to water the array of flora and fauna they have at their house. Hermana Amescua told us it was her birthday that day, and we were able to talk with her for a little while about that! So neat! I don't remember how we got to it, but we eventually asked her the story of her conversion, and to be frank, it was a little....unsettling is maybe the right word. She was converted as a young woman when the missionaries visited her sister when they were living in California, and what got her interest was when the missionaries talked about John the Baptist, and Peter. She said, and I quote: "Joseph Smith was alright, I mean, John and Peter, I love them! The missionaries taught me so much more about them." After that, Elder Elias and I weren't sure where to go with our comments. She then proceeded to tell us how when the church was formed, there were a group of Mormons who attacked and killed innocent men, women, and children, and drove them from their homes. We kindly explained that no, it was actually the other way around. She wasn't swayed in the slightest, and told us we really ought to know church history. We decided not to tell her we read it for fun, so we really did know it... ;)

Tuesday was a day full of planned service. We scheduled the night before to help Hermana Amescua with some things around her yard before she had a garage sale these past couple of days. We also had scheduled to help an English less active member to trim her blackberry bushes, since the English elders can't currently do any thing remotely service oriented. We showed up at the English members home, and she wasn't there... We tried calling her twice, and hung around for 5ish minutes to see if she would get home, but she didn't. We were able to go over to Hermana Amescua's home to help earlier than we planned! The "couple of things" she needed help with turned out to be a nightmare. Picture a half-finished tree house, with only the ramp and lower deck floor finished, about up to my shoulder height. All four sides of the space underneath the deck were filled in, or in other words, it was a shack with a tree in the middle it, from what looked like to be a failed treehouse project started before I was born. All the wood was super rotted, and everything was falling apart. The inside contained element-exposed power tools, extension cords, random junk, car tires, and among a thousand different yard tools, a corroded old car battery. On top of all that, the stench of ammonia was so strong inside the shack, that we couldn't be inside for more than we could hold our breath for. It was all junk, in other words. :) It was fun moving that around for a bit, so hopefully she was able to sell some of it! ;)

The rest of the week has really flown by. We've been in a good habit of visiting people, and dropping those who aren't ready to hear our message. Our area book has been looking a lot neater, since we've started that. The hardest thing though, is accepting that right now, they don't want the gospel in their lives, and moving on. I've noticed how thats been tough to handle. I desire that these people truly have better lives, and have the joy and peace I have within the gospel in their lives.

We got transfer calls on Saturday night! The mission is getting 31 missionaries tomorrow, and loosing 40ish, with another 28 coming in next transfer in 6 weeks! Let's just say the entire mission is getting a lot of new trainers and leaders tomorrow and this next transfer! We got the call, and our area is getting shut down! Its so sad, since we've worked so hard to bring the gospel to the people here, but by no means are we discouraged. We're giving Josher over to the elders in West Salem, since we had an awesome lesson with him this past week, and he got to church. There's a few others we need to make sure don't get forgotten, but other than that, nothing else too special is involved with closing an area. I'm going to Riverview in Lebanon, English speaking to be with Elder Catchum, and to be the district leader over there. Elder Elias is going over the mountains to Redmond SP to be with Elder Bankhead! It's going to be so awesome! I'm so excited! Its going to be weird to not be primarily spanish speaking, but its where the Lord wants me to go, so I'll go.

Have a great week everyone!


Elder Kehl


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