So, this was a very unusual week. AWESOME! But very unusual. We had everything from looking for buildings that don't exist, to new missionaries mid-transfer, to lingual mix-ups, to run-ins with the police! It's been busy!
Monday evening was our search for the invisible building. We just couldn't find this thing anywhere!! It was so insane!.
Tuesday was pretty crazy. We had District Meetings, but they were in the early afternoon, rather than the morning because our Zone Leaders received a Visa Waiter from the MTC in the morning! So, now Elder H is with us, learning to teach the gospel in Virginia, but practicing Portuguese because he's going to serve in Brazil! Anyways, at district meetings, the Spanish Elders decided to mess with elder H so Elder P(from Mexico originally) pretended he didn't know any English, and Elder N(from Arizona) was his translator so he could participate in the meetings! It was hysterical watching Elder Hatch's reaction to this missionary from Mexico who had lived in the U.S. for 7 years and not learned a single word of English. It was so funny. At one point, we had just finished a "getting to know you" exercise, and we were all going around seeing what we remembered about each other. Elder P starts by pointing at me and saying "Elder HO" to which he was interrupted by his companion/interpreter "que es Elder Hodgson." E. P begins again: "Elder Ho" to which I replied in broken Spanish to "help him out," pointing back and forth between myself and the real Elder Ho and repeating our names. This continued until he was saying them with me. Then he points at me and begins once again: "Elder Ho" Elder N corrects him again and he just says "EL! El!" and he continues: "El tiene dos hermanas" and proceeds with an eyebrow raise. We all lost it. haha
that night, we had an exchange with the Zone Leaders, so I went with Elder L and Elder H, and Elder Ho and Elder R worked in our area. It was one of the busiest and weirdest exchanges I've ever been on! It started normal, and went well, then at 7, we met up with our ward to go out on a jumbo splits with all the ward missionaries, so we saw our own companions there, then they took the car to go to a different zone to help teach a lesson to an investigator that they're passing off to the proper area. Then we were all back together to re-exchange car and apartment keys. the next morning, we had a lesson with a lady, and Elders Ray and Ho needed a third missionary to make it a "kosher" visit, so they stole me from studies to go teach that lesson. Then, after, I fit in about 20 minutes of comp study with the Elders I was actually with on the exchange when they suddenly received a phone call to go do some emergency service! So we hopped in the car and drove off again! It was crazy! It was an awesome service experience though. The lady we were serving has cancer, so we cleaned her house a bit to make it safer to live in with the Chemo. She was in tears at one point saying how much it meant to her. She had people from all sorts of churches praying for her, but it was so nice that “our people” actually came and HELPED, for which she was very grateful. Before we left, we sang "Lead, Kindly Light" for her. It was very neat.
Last night, we had a fireside at which recent converts to the church spoke, and that was great. Very powerful spirit as they testified of the things they had come to know. I was also asked to play the piano, so I provided the musical number. It was fun to see a family there that I worked with in Vienna. Elder N and his new companion were there.
This week, while riding my bike in the dark in an area without street lights, and having it in my head from singing it, I really came to appreciate and better understand the hymn "lead kindly light." It was a neat experience, learning to trust this little headlight on my bike and relying entirely on it. "Keep thou my feet," the hymn says "I do not ask to see the distant scene. One step enough for me." I think that's definitely something I need to learn to do more in life. I've learned to trust a small light to guide me in the dark streets of Annandale, how hard could it be to trust a loving God, who is our Father, to guide us through the dark times in our life? We can't always see all of the road ahead of us (sometimes it seems like we can't see any of it) but we can be guided every step of the way if we will just TRUST in Christ and in our Father in Heaven. I've come to an understanding of this in the past couple weeks, and the best part of what I have learned is that I learned it through prayer and study and real pondering both at home, on my bike and in the temple. I encourage all of you to prayerfully consider how you can build trust with our Heavenly Father so He can guide you more effectively through this life we are all living.
Love you all! Talk to you next week! Hopefully still in Annandale! :P yep, it's that time again... Transfer outlines are in, and I get and send transfer calls tomorrow night! EEK! haha
Until next time!