Well now this week was something. It doesn't really seem like its Christmas. This year it has been more Christ centered than ever so it isn't as familiar but it is a change for the better. It was a really good week. At the end of each day I thought to myself, man I can't wait to email home. I think it’s what keeps me sane being around Darrell’s all day.
So on Monday after we emailed and went shopping we went home and I took a long much needed nap. It was nice to catch up on some sleep. My companion can't get up real fast in the morning and after the alarm clock goes off he goes back to sleep so president Jardine told him to set one 5 min. early every morning and then another one on time so it wakes him up. Well as Jackie and Hayley know too well, when I wake up, I don't lollygag. I just get up. So I have been getting up five min. early every day for the past month. Which means I have been losing 35 min. of sleep a week and 140 min. which converts to 2 hours and 20 min. a month. But then I realized that that clock is 2 min. slower than every clock we have so I have actually been losing 7 min. a night, 49 min. a week and 196 min. a month which is three hours and 16 min. You can see how unhappy it makes me that I took the time to figure out the math. So in conclusion, I sleep a lot on p day to make up for his lack of effort in trying to get up on time. So that night we had a nice dinner and then taught a black guy. That’s a miracle in itself. There are only like 10 black people in the whole county I am serving in and that’s not an exaggeration. The real miracle is he came to church with his white member girlfriend. (They are in their 40's.) We stopped by her house just to say hi to her and he happened to be there. He said he wasn't interested but thanks us for the offer. Two days later some old guy called us and said the black guy told his girlfriend to have us come back and teach him. So we did! It went really good. He said he is more curious about what we believe but that’s all it takes for the spirit to touch his heart and then for him to get baptized. It was awesome. Tuesday was kind of a lame day. We didn't do much while the sun was out but the night time was good. We got to go over and teach Rudy and his family again. The lesson was really good. We taught them about tithing, which is usually a scary thing because it turns people off when they have to give someone their money but the great part was Rudy’s wife Dusty said she is a firm believer in donating a percent of her pay check to the Lord, she just hasn't had a church to give it to. So that was cool. Rudy has quit smoking and its going awesome. He asked us at the end of the lesson what it would take for them to join the church! That was the right question that we most definitely have an answer for. We told him he needed to be baptized and he said he'd think about some stuff and he'd talk to us more about it on Friday when we met again. It was funny that night because for a few weeks now they have all been calling me teddy bear which isn't the first time I’ve been called that. No one could give me an explanation of why they think that until Tuesday night when Rudy’s youngest son, Rudy Jr. said that it’s because I am so big but am short so I look like a bears body and also my face looks like I’m always grumpy but so happy at the same time. It made us all have a good laugh and everyone agreed with him on it.
Wednesday was an ok day. We mostly just drove around and visited people so Elder Bowman could say bye cuz he was getting transferred the next day. There is a really cool family named the Uhri's. We were there probably a little too long but it was a lot of fun just visiting with them. We really didn't do much on Wednesday.
Thursday was an amazing day! We had to wake up at 530 because we had to a take our truck in to get a liner in the bed so we can use it. Then we went over to the chapel that is next to the Sacramento temple and we had a mini zone conference and lunch. It was real good. This Tongan girl who was going home sang a solo and it rocked! Then after lunch we had a sermon on the temple by president Jardine. It was really good. Then we all went over and did a session in the temple. It was really fun being in there with all the missionaries. It was only a third of the mission though. President Jardine said it’s the best picture for a mission president to see all his missionaries dressed in white in the celestial room of the temple. He said that in itself was a white Christmas for him. Then we all took pictures and chilled for a little bit outside the temple. We barely got home in time for dinner with some expert driving by myself. Then we just saw a few people in our ward.
Friday was a swell day too. We had weekly planning in the morning. Then we had lunch and my companion is the district leader so he did transfer reports while I took another much needed nap... Then we went over to Karey's house to teach him. He was about to fall asleep because on Tuesday he got the tube out of his throat and usually people come down with a cold after getting it out. So he had been up all the night the previous night and had been to doctors all day and was ready for some sleep so we just prayed with them and then left. But it was awesome to see the tube out of there. They said the hole should heal up within a week so that’s awesome. We went tracting for a while after that. It was raining so it wasn't too fun. It has rained nonstop all week and will go on until next week. There are creeks that didn't have water in them a month ago that look like rivers we have gotten so much rain. They said we should be getting about 10 inches this week. It’s crazy. Luckily we have a truck to keep us dry and on the wet roads. I have had to slow down a bit for fear of death. Then we went and had dinner with President Lyman, a member of the stake presidency. It was a nice enjoyable time with them. They are a nice couple. Then we zoomed down to Rudy’s for another lesson with him. We talked about the Sermon on the Mount because that was something he was confused about after reading. He gets confused when he reads. So he is the miracle of the year. When Rudy was younger his friend got shot and was paralyzed. Rudy was mad and went and shot that guy and that guy is now a quadriplegic or however you spell it. He went to jail for 3 years for that. Well when I first got here we would talk to him about repentance and not doing the sin over again. Every time we brought it up he would just repeat over and over again that he would do it again in a heartbeat. He wouldn't even think twice about it. Well we have been working with him and we haven’t brought that up and on Friday we asked him about it and he said, "Knowing what I know now I would not even think about doing it again. I know where the guy is and I’m going to go talk to him and apologize for what I did and just talk to him about why I did it". Now is that now the biggest miracle in the world! He has changed and turned around completely 180 degrees. It was great to hear. He also said he was thinking about being baptized. So that night ended with an air of euphoria.
Our Saturday was super busy. We had breakfast with our ward mission leader in the Ione ward and his wife. It was super good. We talked to them about the work we had been doing in the area. Then we went and studied then had lunch. At one we went over to a family’s house and helped them move. It was a good move. We worked for 3 hours straight and man did it ware me out. Then we went home took a much needed shower after moving in the rain and then went out and visited people for a while. We had dinner with Dennis Anderson who is the Bradford’s good friend. What a small world. It was a delightful evening. Then we went and saw a couple of people and then went to see if Rudy was going to come to church. And they were so we went home.
Sundays are always a fine time on the mission. We had some meetings in the morning then went and saw Rudy. Usually him and his son Triston are the only ones that come but Rudy Jr. had bought some new Sunday clothes and wanted to come so that was awesome. We had an amazing sacrament meeting. There was a load of musical numbers. They had a couple solos and duets and then the 29 year old bishop gave an amazing talk on Jesus and how Christmas can't be celebrated with just his birth but with his suffering death and resurrection as well. It was really good. Classes were real good as well. We invited Rudy and Tristen to be baptized on the 31st and Tristen said yes and Rudy said he'd think about it and let us know on Tuesday. So that is real exciting. Then Rudy Jr. ran up to us after church and said he was coming to our church forever because he had so much fun. It was awesome. Sunday night was good. We saw a lot of people.
So Christmas calls. I should be calling around 11 California time so I don't know what time that is in Arizona. So yeah on Saturday sometime after eleven is the time. I'll probably just call the house phone in hopes someone will answer it and it won't die. If it dies I’ll just call moms cell phone. So yeah that’s how it will go down. The area code of the phone with be 209 so just a heads up for you to get excited when you see it. Well Merry Christmas!
Elder Tyler Pete Arnett