This week went by so quickly! I am very lucky to get to serve both in North Dakota and soon (hopefully) in Taiwan.
I really like the people here. Ive met people from everywhere! ND had a huge oil boom a couple of years ago which brought people from all over the place. Its slowed down a lot so now there are a bunch of people that dont want to be here but they are stuck. I dont really blame them for wanting to leave. There isnt much worth seeing here.
Ive fallen in love with the work out here though. Our focus is primarily on Less Active members and I love working with them. Its weird that Im entrusted with something as important as helping others come back to Christ. We've been working with people who deal with addictions, who have so much anxiety that they dont sleep at night, and who are just straight up lazy. The lazy people are the worst because even if they are humble, they never put in the work to getting a spiritual confirmation.
Being called to serve others has been incredibly humbling and has been a special experience. Even though I dont know everything, and I am striving to gain a stronger testimony myself, the Lord has worked through me and my companions to help others. I have seen miracles already as we have tried to do this.
Its also been fun because I have met people who are so unique. This week I met a man who, when I first saw him, had a kind of rough appearance, but is one of the nicest people. He actually used to be a pastor on a radio show. On top of that, he has one of the most disarmingly beautiful smiles I have ever seen. I want to have teeth like that man haha
Yesterday we went to a tiny town called Killdeer which is about an hour away from dickenson. It may be tiny, but like a third of the ward lives there. About 2 months ago they had a hail storm that destroyed the town. The hail was about the size of baseballs. There are still houses that are torn up that are missing windows and cars that look like someone took a baseball bat to them. Thus far we have done some pretty solid service there. Last week we helped dig a ditch around a house because they were pooring a new foundation or something. The ditch was as tall as me, 6'2" for anyone who doesnt remember. This week we helped a family drywall their basement. This poor family is under pretty crazy time crunch to finish because they have to get it done before their baby goes into surgery or else that risk of infection from the dust from the basement is super high. Both of them have been sleeping for only 3 or 4 hours a night.
Last night I also had the opportunity to help a handicapped woman prepare for her baptism on friday. She is having a really hard time remembering what the different questions for the baptismal interview mean and she was really stressing about it. It was fun because while the other two elders taught another investigator who came to dinner at a members house with us, I got to work with Ronda. It nearly brought tears to my eyes because she was so excited to be baptized and she was so sweet.
The other investigator is a man named Ray. Ray is a 95 year old bachelor who is a wiz at puzzles and an incredibly sweet man. He doesnt really have any family so Im pretty sure the only people he has is the people who work at the local diner that he goes to everyday, and us missionaries. I dont know how interested in the church he is but honestly that man needs a family. We are going to try to bring him to all our dinner appointments when we are in Killdeer. Ray is so funny though, he was telling us about how the hospitals were all ran by nuns back in the day and how he and his "negro" friend Snowball drove like 300 cattle nearly 100 miles in -10 degree weather. This guy must have been tough. He was a rancher his whole life.
Still no word on the Taiwan visa which is kind of distracting but at least its not awful here.