17 August 2009
Thanks for your email. Things are going pretty good here. I wrote a letter this morning detailing a couple of the cool events that have happened this past week.
Tomorrow I will have been out 6 months! Isn't that crazy? It hardly seems like it at all. Well, I could say that I have 18 months left, but really that isn't quite true. I entered the MTC on 18 February 2009 and my Ministerial Certificate expires the 22 February 2011. So Tomorrow will be the "I've been out 6 months" mark and Saturday will be the "I have 18 months left" day. But, I guess I might not even go home on the 22, that is just when the certificate expires.
Speaking of tomorrow, it is going to be a busy day. We have district meeting and 5 other appointments set up! That is a great day for our area. Last week we taught 11 lessons. That is more than any other week that Elder Weatherston has been in the area. The week before we had only 1. But that was unusual and a bad week. I think generally this area has been getting about 6-8 lessons a week for the last couple of months.
It is kind of funny to tell people where I am from because of four responses that I get quite frequently:
1. Almost EVERYBODY says "Oh, IlliNOISE". Even after I tell them "Northern Illinois." (And they’re not trying to be funny, they just don't know.)
2. "Oh, I've been to Virginia." (or New York, Massachusettes, Connecticut, etc.) Maybe they don't worry about geography too much in the public schools of Idaho.
3. "IlliNOISE! They kicked us out already! What are you doing there? (Or “Did you get left behind?") It was funny the first couple of times.
4. "Oh, Coool. IlliNOISE." (As if they really are interested in that tidbit of eternally insignificant information.) A typical response from a member who wants to make me feel loved and special, yet knows nothing about the place and is floundering for something to engage me in conversation with. It's the thought that counts. No, really, it is.
So I thought I might try to recreate the typical introductory conversation (which we go through several times a day) that takes place between a member and a companionship:
Member (while shaking your hands): "Hi Elder...(pause while they read your nametag)...Call!" "And Elder.......... Weatherston!" (Weatherston or weatherSTONE or weatherSPOON, seriously.)
Elder Call/Weatherston: "Hi, how are you?" (It is a dangerous thing to ask for a name right off the bat, because you never know if you have met them before.)
Member: "Good. How are you? Whereyafrom?"
Elder Weatherston: "Texas."
Member: "Oh really!? What part?"
Elder Weatherston: "Corpus Christi."
Member: "I've been to Texas, but never Corpus Christi. Been to El Paso and to Houston."
Elder Weatherston: "Well, you've probably been through Corpus Christi too."
Member: "I bet you don't mind the heat then do you?"
Elder Weatherston: "No. I actually kind of like it."
Member: "And Elder Call, where are you from?" (notice more enounciated, because their excitement in meeting the missionaries is wearing off by the time they get to the second elder.)
Elder Call: "Northern Illinois."
Member: "Oh Coool."
Elder Call: "Yep."
Member: "I bet you’re used to the heat/cold then." (I would say it is about 50/50. Some think that Illinois is a ice chest and others a humidifier. When really the temperatures are pretty comparable except for the humidity.)
Member: "What town in IlliNOISE?"
Elder Call: "Have you ever heard of Rockford?"
Member: "Heard of it, not sure where it’s at."
Elder Call: "I'm about an hour and a half from Chicago."
Member: "How close are you to Nauvoo?"
Elder Call: "About 3 and 1/2 hours."
Member. "Cool, well it was good meeting you."
Elders: "You too."
Never knew their name. Never knew anything about them. Generally on their way somewhere. Generally never really talk to them again. Sometimes we're asked about the work. They are happy it is going good.
Well, apparently the place is about to close. So I have got to go.