Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The people you know and the stories that never end

A while back I commented about how Alex always seems to find connections between people he meets on his mission and people he knows back home.  Well this story just goes to show that the world is small and the Lord works in mysterious ways. 

So Alex told us a story in one of his letters a couple of weeks ago about how he and his companion were out tracking one day.  They were walking through a trailer park when Alex spotted a couple of cars with Utah license plates.  He really wanted to go and knock on the door of the car owner right then, but they were in a hurry for some reason and had to get going.  A few days later, Alex and his companion were back in the same trailer park and sure enough, so were the cars with the Utah plates.  This time they weren't in quite a rush so they decided to meet these people and hopefully catch up on a little home town news.  Sure enough the car owners were from Utah and one of them was about the same age as Alex. During their conversation they started comparing high schools and people they knew.  Soon they discovered that even though their former high schools weren't anywhere near each other, they still had friends in common.  It turned out that this person actually went to high school with one of Alex's old wrestling buddies.  The more they talked, the more they discovered common acquaintances that weren't even from their respective high schools. 

So here is the most interesting part of the story.  As part of the missionary duties, Alex and his companion commonly attend some of the leadership meetings on Sunday mornings.  Attending these meetings gives the missionaries an opportunity to report to the Bishop about the people that they had met during the week.  Even before Alex was able to report on the people from Utah, the Bishop of the Ward spoke up and said that he had received a call from a concerned parent in Utah who's adult child had just moved to their area.  As it turned out the people that Alex and his companion had met and the person that the Bishop was talking about were the same people.  Alex mentioned in his letter that there was still some work to be done in that home and was very excited that the people had invited these missionaries back anytime they wish.

There is another story that just keeps weaving its way in and out of Alex's whole mission experience.  This one has to do with a young man that Alex met during his first assignment in Wamego Kansas.  You probably remember from a previous blog entry how Alex had the opportunity for a while to be a volunteer coach for the wrestling team at the local high school.  During this time he got to know a young man who was a member of the wrestling team in Wamego as well as a member of the church.  After Alex was transferred from Wamego, the friendship between Alex and the young man continued.  There were times while Alex was assigned to serve in Lawrence, when this young man came to visit the missionaries just to help them out.  Now that Alex is back in Manhattan, which isn't far from Wamego, he now has a chance to return the favor and help this same young man in preparing to go on a mission himself.  

Alex told us a story about how he and his companion were in a nearby city working with one of the districts that Alex is in charge of as a zone leader.  During this time the mission president was also there conducting missionary interviews.  Alex thought it would be a good idea to invite this same young man to the interviews so that he could get the chance to meet with the mission president.  Of course at the time, this young man wasn't aware that the mission president was going to be there.  Once the young man arrived, Alex and his companion ushered him into the Relief Society room where the mission president and his wife were waiting.  Alex told us that once the whole thing was over, the young man had had the chance to talk with the mission president for a while and take part in helping to teach some of the other missionaries about the new teaching lessons that were recently introduced.  Alex told us that this whole experience seemed to really touch this young man and get him excited to serve a mission as well.  I'm sure that this won't be the last that we hear stories about this young man.  For whatever reason, this will probably be a recurring event throughout Alex's entire mission.

So apparently Alex has a problem that just recently came up.  The good news about this problem is that it is one of those kinds of problems that you generally wish for.  Alex told us that they have been teaching several Samoan people lately and they love to have the missionaries over on the weekends to teach them.  Usually after the missionary lesson, these good people also like to feed the missionaries.  Most of the Samoan people that I know really enjoy good food and good company and I am sure that these people are no different.  The problem that Alex has is that dinner is usually a little later at night that they are used to.  According to Alex, eating that late at night especially after having eaten earlier in the day, just helps to put the weight on.  You would think that with all of the running around that these missionaries do all day long, burning off a few extra calories wouldn't be a problem.  But if you knew Alex, he is a bit of a health nut (unlike his old man) and tries very hard to stay in shape.  But what a problem to have!  Great people who are excited to learn about the gospel, good food and good company with whom to enjoy it.  Wouldn't we all like to have that problem? :-)

In Alex's last letter he talked a lot about how busy he and his companion are in taking care of all of the zone leader responsibilities in addition to trying to get in some actual proselyting time.  Much of his letter talked about attending the various meetings that they have and just how fast the time is flying by.  Once he got to the end of his letter, he probably decided that most of what he talked about was just the day to day life of a missionary and his last week really wasn't full of a lot of new and exciting stuff.  So to end off his letter, this is what he told us:
"So yeah that is pretty much it for this week, sorry I can't think of anything too cool, I ran over a possum yesterday…that was kind of cool ha ha. So I love you all so much and I hope things are going well!!!

Love, me!"
We don't know the exact condition of the possum at this time, but we are all now fasting and praying that the possum pulls through.  ;-)

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