Thursday, June 26, 2014

Bikes are fun and I still don't know where I'm going

June 23, 2014

So we had quite the bike accident yesterday! Haha here's the story to
start off the email. So me and my companion were riding down this hill.. And this hill is a huge hill (and no it is not that fun to ride up at all actually). So
we are both going pretty fast like we usually do because it is fun. Well I started to notice that my companion was going pretty fast when he got to the bottom. And we had to go up onto the sidewalk then take a decently sharp turn. Well he was going fast and tried to brake a
little bit to slow down to make the turn... Well he used his brakes a little too much. He then continued to flip his bike sideways and fall completely off the bike. Hahaha it was such a funny thing to see. I can literally see it replay in my head and I'm laughing out loud. Haha. So I didn't say are you ok for about 10 second a because I was laughing too hard. What made it funny was that there were a couple cars that witnessed the whole thing. A kid in one of the cars said
"good thing you didn't crash in the road you would've died" hahaha. So ya I went to help him up and his shirt was shredded. Then we had to walk up that huge hill. We then found out that he totally destroyed the seat of his bike. I will send pictures of all these things. It was
a great and funny experience for both of us.

(The hill we ride up on and the hill my comp crashed on) 

Alright so now that you all have laughed a bit here is my week.

On p day all we did was sit at the stacked center again. It's funny now that I am not companions with Chevy anymore I miss him. But he is in my zone! And we got to hang out on p day so that was cool. Then that night we had dinner with the faifais. We had it at a high school. There was some banquet going on. It was so weird being back in a high school. High school was a great experience for me. I loved it.

It's awesome when you truly plan to set goals and achieve them how if you work your hardest for them you will achieve them. We achieved a lot of our goals this week, it was a great feeling.

A lot of time this week was trying to fix up bikes. My bike had a gear fall off of it on Monday. So we had to take it to a shop. Then as we rolled up the shop like 3 other things fell off of it. I am so
thankful to have been in the right place at the right time otherwise I would have been in some deep trouble haha.

It is weird to be "just a visa waiter" in a ward. That's what a lot of people refer you as. It is weird, not sure I really like it though. We had an awesome zone meeting this week though. Something I took from it that I really enjoyed is "COME HOME TIRED" that is now my main goal
for my mission and every day I go out and work. It reminds me of the
scripture 4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. (John 9:4) every day I come home from a long day of working and I don't have any more energy to really do much else. I do all the work during the day. It's a cool
scripture that I got something out of.

This week I have realized that I am really not that great of a teacher. I don't teach all that well to be honest. There is a lot of
stuff I need to work on. I can tell you stories, come up with analogies, and all that, but I cannot quote scriptures to save my life. I need to get better at it. But I also realized at church it doesn't matter if I can do all that. I am out here willing to do this work and try to make a difference with people. I may not be the most
spiritual person ever but I care. I truly care about the people I meet out here. This reminds me of a couple other scriptures though.
2 Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve
him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand
blameless before God at the last day.

3 Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work;
(D&C 4:2-3)

I was called to the work. I am doing my darnedest to do it well.

So I talked with this member in our ward and he is a chiropractor, but is also some guy who works with energy. He told me that I have hypoglycemia. He told me that it runs in my family and it is a precursor to diabetes. he can do some cool stuff. He also told me that I so t learn well by listening to learn, or just seeing
to learn. He told me that if someone shows me how to do something I
can just do it pretty much instantly. That explains how I play music so well. If someone shows me I can usually figure it out pretty well. We will be going over there today to learn more about how to improve myself in those ways.

There is a lot of work being done here. I am glad to be here.

Love you all

Elder Hamrick

Monday, June 16, 2014

Alright SO NEW AREA!

June 16, 2014

As you know I was transferred last wednesday. I really was not looking forward to it because I loved the area I was in so much. Well I am glad that I got transferred now. It is kind of hard to explain. In Gresham there was a real lack of work going on there. I tried my best to do the most work that I could, but there just werent as many opportunities that showed up. 

My new area with Elder Kesler Martin! So I will just start with how it started out. To be honest the first day in my new area... Was really hard for me. I didnt know why, but I wasnt talkative, I didnt feel like saying anything. I just felt lost pretty much. But Heavenly Father was with me the whole way. The next day I felt so much better. The work that needs to be done in this area is truly amazing. In Gresham we had about 6 Investigators... here we have like 32! It is insane. I mean not all of those are super solid and we need to go through them and clean them out, but there is an evident abundance of more of the work that needs to be done here. I am so excited to be here and to do the work.

The area that I am in is pretty similar to Gresham in the way it looks. It is a whole different feeling though, that is for sure. Not ghetto, at least I dont think so, and the people around are generally a lot nicer to us missionaries.

I love Elder Martin. He is an awesome guy, He is from Eden Utah and has been out for about 6 months. We have been getting to know each other a lot and enjoying that time we have had so far. Transfers are hard, but when you take a step back to realize why it happens, You become so much more grateful.

The ward here is pretty interesting. I havent really gotten to get to know too many members here yet, but I will for sure let you know when I do get to know some awesome families. 

We live with the McClurs.(Pretty sure I spelled that wrong). They are pretty cool. We basically have our own little house in the basement.  A living room/kitchen, a bathroom, and a bedroom. I like it there. The view from the backyard... Absolutely amazing. I cannot wait to be able to take some awesome pictures there.

So we are in a biking area now. My second day was a crazy biking day, and my legs did not thank me the next day. We basically rode to the bottom of our area (our area is the largest in the zone and it has a bunch of hills) back to our house then back to another part of the area.. It was a crazy busy day with a lot of physical labor. We helped move someone from one apartment to another. She had a whole lot of stuff there.... haha it was actually pretty weird. But anyways. That day killed me on the biking. We probably rode at least 10 miles that day. It doesnt sound like a whole lot, but there are tons of hills here. It feels like a whole lot. 

We had an awesome experience with an investigator. We came to her house she wasnt available, so we sat on our bikes talking about an experience we had prior(It wasnt a good experience so it was all negative about someone getting mad at us) Then she came out. We asked her if she had time for a lesson and she said yes. Well as soon as we sat down she said "When do you guys have your baptismal services?" We told her usually saturdays. Then out of nowhere she said "I would like to be scheduled in for one" It was an awesome feeling. She said that she knew that it felt right and that she should be baptized. I wish more people would realize that while we are teaching them, but anyways a cool experience.

The first day here I actually talked to two people from KANSAS! One person in our ward actually was in our stake years ago! If anyone knows the Coatneys. One of their sons is here with his wife. Anyways that was cool, made me feel a little more like I was home.

I think with any new area you go to that you are going to find that it takes a bit to feel like you are at home again. I had a revelation last night about back home. I feel that I got changed to a new ward (Stanley Ward) Right before I left so that I would be used to that feeling. Once I realized that I feel so much better about leaving areas. Of course it is going to be hard, but it makes it feel a little bit easier. 

I have an interesting story. We got welcomed into a home yesterday. HE was not a happy man, and did not think too highly of the missionaries. So he told us that we were ruining society and everyone in it. Persuading people to believe in this "bull crap" we were forcing people to believe. Then he continued to compare us to those people that believed so much that they crashed into those towers.... I was amazed that he said that. Then I went to say all we are doing is trying to help then he said well youre doing the opposite. You are making the world an awful place. We then said well you arent welcoming so we will leave. Then said have a happy fathers day. Experiences like that are pretty hard to go through, even if I know that I am doing good. having people be so hostile and all of that really did not feel the best. But it helped me strengthen myself to know that what I am doing is for the better of everyone, including myself. It reminded me of the scripture I put on my missionary plaque. God is always on our side if we are willing to be on his side. He is a rearward he is everything and always looking out for us. He truly is our Loving Heavenly Father.

Love you all and miss you,

Elder Hamrick

The leaving missionaries and the lindhorsts. Awesome family in blue lake ward

My sick new ride for a while

Elda Ma'Teni and Elda Hamre'ke. We both wish we were poly. He served
in the Tongan ward before here, so he likes to make me jealous.

Me and Elder 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Well I'm leaving Gresham

Turns out that I am getting transferred! When I opened my transfer
letter I was not expecting to leave at all. I was just expecting to get a new companion in the same area... Well turns our I was wrong. The crazy thing is though. We are getting tripled out of the ward. Me elder olschewski and elder archibald are all leaving the ward. So
three new guys will be coming in on Wednesday. I got transferred to
the Vancouver west stake in the Vancouver 7th ward. I have no clue
what that area will be like, but I am kind of excited. I leave Wednesday morning for there. I'm actually really sad I have to leave this ward though. I have grown to love each and every person in this
ward just like it was my home ward. Now I have to get used to a whole
new set of people once again. But welcome to missionary work I guess
right? My new companion will be elder Martin. I don't know much about
him at all, but I'm hoping he's a pretty cool guy. He's only been out
for about 6 months so we are both pretty young to this mission thing. This new area I'm going to is a biking area, so I am pretty excited to ride some bike out here haha.

The timing for this transfer could not have been worse to be honest. We just started teaching one of our investigators, and she will for sure be getting baptized sometime soon in the near future. The only reason she's not yet is because her old church is giving her chairs,
and she doesn't like singing hymns. She goes to a black church. Anyways all our investigators are goin to have to Learn two brand new faces that are going to be teaching them, I cannot imagine that being the most comfortable thing for them. Oh well hopefully when she gets
baptized I can go to her baptism. I guess I was just here to plant a few seeds.

There wasn't much exciting stuff going on early in the week. We had no
lessons planned so it was meant out to be a little bit of a rough week. It's hard to not let numbers effect how you feel as a
missionary. You do all this work, and you literally see no fruit of your Labors. But then me and elder burk went on exchanges. We had planned to make it a killer day. A whole lot of tracting and trying to teach lessons on the street. Our original plan was to go to a park and
draw out the doctrine of Christ in chalk and talk to people about it... Well there were literally no people at the park. So we decided not to do that. When you go out as a missionary you get to find. I
mean that in multiple ways too. You find people to teach, and you also find a lot of cool treasures. That day we found: a love letter in Spanish, a drill bit, a magic card, a fish line with hook and 3 weights, a coconut, 3 arrows, and some pennies. We found so much awesome stuff that day haha. We also killed it with our stats. We got 3 other lessons on the street and 26 OYM's. Which means open your
mouth and talking to people about the church and leaving them with something to do.

All the stuff we found 

Awesome analogy that deals with music:

"If you put sheet music in front of someone who doesn't play much
music and you play that music for them a couple of times, they are bound to get a little bit of the point of what it is supposed to be like. That is how the world is without the Book of Mormon and prophets. We all know a little bit and understand somewhat how the gospel works, but we need that conductor to help us along the way. He can show us how to read the music and play it in harmony with the rest of the band or whatever. The prophet and Book of Mormon are crucial, without them we would not know where to go with our lives, or how to live the gospel of Jesus Christ."

I had guarana for the first time ever today! It was super good, it is a drink from Brazil. They have it in all world markets right now because of the World Cup. Try it out. It is unexplainable and delicious. Speaking of Brazil my Portuguese is starting to fall off.
It's hard to keep it up when you aren't around it at all... It's kind of frustrating, but I keep trying to study it daily for at least a little bit.

Me and elder archibald got something awesome this week! We got Luchadore masks! They are so awesome and I will definitely send you a picture. We got them from this huge Mexican flea market with a lot of awesome stuff there.

Anyways, then we went over to Cynthia's to tell her we were both leaving. She is super bummed. She is awesome. She gave us a huge stack of CDs that were all gospel music. I cannot wait to listen to them. They seem way awesome. There is so much soul involved with that type
of music. I love music in general though so there's that.

Something was brought to my attention yesterday that I think will help me out a lot in my mission. I may not be making a direct huge effect on the people I'm interacting with now, but you never know if that little seed you planted is going to grow into a huge family tree. My
actions could really change someone else's life down the line, I think
that will give me more strength down the line.

The palomos are definitely a family I will have to come back and see once I get off my mission. They have literally been my family while I've been here, I am so sad to leave them behind. But I know that I
will see them again. Another family I will for sure have to see when I come back is the parsons. They are out of town! And we probably won't see them before transfers... So that really stinks ... Hopefully we will be able to, but who knows. I don't know if leaving is ever going to get easier... We will see.

Me and brother palomo (Ulbe) I will miss my guitar buddy.

Love you all a lot, and I really do miss you. Hope you're doing well.

Elder Hamrick

My district!
Sister Taylor, sister Gomez, elder olschewski, me, elder archibald,
and elder burk!

Monday, June 2, 2014

I guess I have a lot to write?

June 2, 2014

So this week kind of went by really fast, and went by really slowly. I will still be amazed at how time works on a mission at the end of my mission. It doesn't really make sense at all to me haha. Anyways it
was another pretty slow week. Not a whole lot of lessons... And just lots of trying to find people. Not much is really happening with our teaching pool right now.

Last p day was way fun! We went on a hike to the top of multnomah falls. It was so pretty. I just love nature, and it gives me a chance to take some fun photos. I will send a lot this week so you can just
see a bunch rather than just a few. Anyways Taft palomo took us up
there. After we were done we all went back to the palomos and just hung out there the rear of the day. It was a lot of fun (there should be some pictures on Facebook of what we did)

On Tuesday nights we play volleyball with the elders quorum to get some of the less actives to enjoy spending time with their quorum.
It's really sad to say this, but I kind of suck at volleyball now. Not really sure what it is. It's really sad actually. I feel dumb playing
it now. Hopefully I will get better.

This week I have been trying to get a lot of lessons on Facebook and
Skype. And it is actually working out really well. I had a great Skype
lesson with a  friend from back home, and we should be doing another
one sometime in the near future. I am so thankful for the chance to be
able to do that. Maybe that's why I am still here in the us. To teach
friends from back home through Facebook. I'm always going to be
looking for reasons why I am here, it is just a cool thing to see.

Someone died in the mission this week. I didn't know her, she had some
tooth infection that led to sickness which killed her. That's so weird. You never know what's going to happen I guess. It's sad, but I know she is so much happier now. Dying in the service of The Lord is probably a great feeling. I would think.

We talked to this guy who was a newspaper man, he seemed really
interested and told us to come back to the place where we talked to
him at. Well when we went there he wasn't there. But this place was
super sketchy. We walked to the front of the building, and it was completely abandoned. Absolutely nothing inside it. So we went back to his jeep which was from like the 1970's and and on the side of the building,  it was backed into the doors. Well we knocked on those
doors and nothing happened except this mangy little dog barking from a
pile of clothes inside his jeep. He was in a cage. Or kept getting more and more sketchy as time went by haha. Then out of nowhere a huge semi backed into the loading dock of the abandoned building. I have no clue what they could be loading or unloading for a building like that.
The guy got out and ran to the back to some weird back door. It was
sketchy, we haven't been back since.

I am always trying to find better ways to start to talk to people. So
we will see if I succeed or not. I am tired of looking like a robot and seeming like a robot to people who drive by or even talk to us. I am continuing to try to be like myself and not just some missionary. A
former member walked up to us and gave us $15. It was so random, but
greatly appreciated. When you see the missionaries, show them love,
and your appreciation. It means a lot. We may not be making a difference with the people we are teaching but we can hope we are making a difference in the ward with the members.

Speaking of new ways to talk to people. Last night we tried bringing
the guitar with us to talk to people. You would be amazed at how well
or worked. We were just walking from the apartment to the palomos. And
one of our investigators stopped us! She told us to come back to the
apartment and play and sing her a song. So we did. Her husband just
barely got back from the hospital and she needed help with him too.
She had even been thinking and praying of us before this happened, and
God placed us right in each others paths. As we were doing that a man
came by and told me to stop and "play a tune" so I did. He is a musician. He said that I had a really awesome voice and he liked it. He also told me that I was pretty talented. We will be meeting with
him sometime soon this week so he can teach me some guitar skills and
we can jam. Then I can teach him some gospel skills. We went back into
our investigators apartment and sang her and her husband a song, they
loved it. But she told me something that made me feel something I will
never forget. She told me to sing with confidence that what I will be
singing is going to help bring out what message and feeling God would
have me. She said that I should sing out and I will be used for that
talent to help people. She was super adamant about it. It made me feel
great. Every person that we talked to the rest of the night actually
enjoyed talking to us. It felt good. Maybe we will have to do that more :) I wouldn't mind.

We went and did some service for this Haitian family! They had so much
stuff.. It was crazy. I have no clue how we did it but we organized his garage! We had to deal with mouses again. It was... Fun. He was awesome though, he was 75 has 15 kids with the youngest one being 3... And another on the way... It is so weird haha... But it was enjoyable
then they gave us some Haitian food! Soooooper good. Then we did some
more service. I found out that I am a pretty dang good hedge trimmer.
I made to spheres and an umbrella out of a bushes. It was pretty fun
and enjoyable. All of this was on exchanges with the zone leader.
Afterwards we went trying to find people. Well we went to a place
where there was no houses, but it was beautiful. I enjoyed it.

I finished the Book of Mormon again! I am so glad. It has given me so
much power for the work that I am doing. I have no doubt that it is
true, I have no clue why I didn't read it much before my mission, but
I regret it, I know that it would have helped me out so much.

I love the movie ephraims rescue! We watched it with a less active
member! It is so empowering and I absolutely love it. I want to watch
it again and again. It was super sweet.

We talked to a crazy homeless former member girl... All she talked
about devil worshipers.  She thinks that the whole government is devil
worshipers especially the bush family, she also thinks that Katy perry
is one too. Also she thinks that the government is controlling the
Yellowstone stuff.. She thinks they will kill us all soon. It was weird. Then this guy was just singing super loud, so of course we had to talk to him! He was awesome haha. Gave us some advice for finding
our lovers.

Speaking of lovers... One of the yw likes me here... Not sure who but
it's one of them... Just love it when I attract 14 year old girls... Haha it must be the hair ;)

Me and brother Paloma wrote a song last night, and we might be
rerecording it and maybe putting it somewhere... I don't know though.
Anyways. Next week should be good. Who knows you can't really ever
tell as a missionary. Just gotta keep doing the work, and keep trying

Love you, I really do miss you.

Elder Hamrick