In-Field Week 11 – Caught with Corona…virus!

Well, well, well. Look what the cat drug in. It’s my weekly! Here’s a secret: the weekly email is like a delicate dish, you have your specific ingredients that need to all be cooked to perfection. Different temperatures, different times, you get the idea. Well, my dish involves throwing it all together at once, messing it up with a spatula (aka slap whacker), nuking it in the microwave for safety, and seeing what the end result is. And look at that, you’re reading it.

Lunes was día de preparación! We played some card games and called home. I promise poker was not involved ;).
That night, we had noche de hogar con Hermana McCord! We had quite a few people show up and got some new people out of it! Also, there was food because why not.

Martes, to sum it up, the morning was not successful and the afternoon was scattered with contacting. So that’s how that went.

Míercoles was certification! So new missionaries go through 12 weeks of training so they know who to teach the lessons and not offend people (essentially). At the end of those 12 weeks, our mission has a certification where you demonstrate what you know. So we drove to Kingwood and, well, I failed (jk, I passed). Also, I got to see my CCM travel group together for probably the last time. Qué triste!
Afterwards, we sent it to the south of the mission for a doctor’s appointment for my foot! More on that later. We finally got back to Port Arthur at about 7:30pm. What a long day of travel.

Jueves started out weird, and just got weirder as the day progressed.
First, we went tracting and while we were, the street we were tracting on was awfully quiet. Don’t worry, a horror movie did not start while this was happening. We did end up trying to teach someone but they cut us off halfway through the lesson. Oh well, things like that happen.
Then we had a member take us to a buffet with his family. That was a party until we went to walk out and the lady told us “thank you” and I said “De nada”. I completely forgot English in that moment. Worst part was that she was Chinese and probably didn’t understand.
Later, Elder Trent and I were trying to roleplay and we were having a hard time staying awake (I wonder why).And then things got interesting. First, we got an email from our APs telling us that one of our Hermanas passed away last night. I’ve talked with her on multiple occasions before and it was really saddening. I honestly can’t imagine what it must be like for her family and those who knew her better. My sincerest feelings go out to her family.
After that, we were in a sad spot and I think that we got some spiritual strength to press forward because some miracles started happening. Next, we met a guy named Marvin who was really quite interested in the gospel. He didn’t have time right then, so we scheduled to meet with him next week.
Then we went wandering down the street. And I mean we literally wandered; we had no idea what we were doing. My foot was giving me pain and I wanted to go back to the car but something kept telling me to push forward. So we did. Eventually, Elder Trent felt impressed to stop at this house. It honestly looked like no one was home but we went and knocked it anyway. This lady named Ana came and talked with us for a few minutes and we began to share about the First Vision. Then her husband pulled up. Uh oh. Just kidding. He asked us what we were doing, we explained, and he invited us into his house right then. We taught the Restoration and they accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon! They are a family that is absolutely ready for the gospel in their lives! And so we invited them to church as well on Sunday. Or so we thought.
We got back to our apartment and received this email from the church telling us there’s been a change. Hmmm. Basically, there are no church gatherings of any kind now to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and this includes sacrament meeting. So we’re not sure what to do about this quite yet. But there was something we were pretty sure of: both of us had Coronavirus. Basically, for us, it caused some scratchy throats and feeling drained of energy at 6pm three nights in a row. So yeah, we got caught with Coronavirus.

Viernes we got together and had district training with our ZLs! It was pretty fun. Really, there isn’t a lot to say about it that would be of any interest to you so we’re just going to skip it.
Later in the day, we began to clean out Area Book. What that means is we start going by people that we have in our contact manager (an app called Area Book) and seeing if they’re still keeping commitments, and/or are wanting to be taught. If not, we drop them from our list for a period of time. Well, we started that today and went by some interested people but they weren’t home. Then we went by this other yellow dot and she was home. She was about to fly to California because her sister had recently passed away :(. But she really liked what we shared about the Plan of Salvation and said we could come by at a later date when she was there.
Next, we met the most weathered and most stubborn guy ever and it was great! He’s spent like 21 years in prison (I don’t remember why) and he has been through a LOT. Anyway, he noticed the Book of Mormon before we had even introduced it and he asked what it was. We explained and asked him to read Mosiah 10:3-5 and he started reading the entire chapter. Well, he got to like verse 7 when I asked him how he felt. He said he felt great, that he loved it. Right then, he got a call from a friend and ON THE CALL told him “yeah, I’m reading the Book of Mormon and it’s really good.” So we gave him our number and left him to read the book.
Next, we went to a lesson that ended up leaving me saddened, which lessons are not supposed to do. The scene is two baptized children that don’t care about it, a dad that we’re pretty sure is constantly drunk who also doesn’t care, and a mom that we’ve never met.
Then we had a video call with Rubicel! That’s the first time either Elder Trent or I have had that happen. It was short, but good nonetheless!

Sábado we went to teach a lesson to Humberto. He was leaving just as we were arriving. So we stopped by Nico and Mercedes instead. They were really glad we showed up and started telling us about some personal family matters. It’s a really rough patch for them and completely explains why last time we were there Elder Trent was prompted to give a blessing.
Later, I went on blitz with one of our ZLs, Elder Topham. This is always interesting because our ZLs are English speaking don’t know any Spanish. So we went to Yocasta and Julio’s but they weren’t home so their son answered. We talked for a minute then moved on. We moved to Fransico, and he wasn’t home either. But a relation of his was (I don’t remember the specifics) and he spoke English! So Elder Topham and him had a nice conversation and invited him to the YSA. Then we went to Mario’s but someone else named Angel answered. This conversation was completely in Spanish and done by me. Scary! Nah, it was awesome. Total gift of tongues moment right there. But I’m nowhere near comfortable enough to be a trainer. We’ll see what happens next week.

Domingo we went to church. De hecho, nope. We didn’t have church. This hasn’t happened before so we didn’t know what to do. But it’s all good because we had a video call with our branch president, his counselors, and the relief society president. Basically, it was a coordination meeting about what we’re supposed to do during this virus outbreak. Nothing has changed regarding missionary work. It’s still “go out, knock doors and don’t get sick”. So yeah, we’re just chugging along.
To make it short and sweet, we had a lot of contacting and small teachings throughout the rest of the day.
One thing I will elaborate on was our lesson today with Yuli. We were originally going to have it in-person but we ended up at this members house and asked him if he could join us for the lesson. He said he couldn’t and out of nowhere, we asked if he could join us on a video call with her instead. He agreed to that, amazingly. So we texted Yuli and she agreed to having a video call as well. We ended up having an hour long lesson with her over a WhatsApp video call. So yeah, that happened.

For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after he had risen from the dead; and he showed not himself unto them until after they had faith in him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in him, for he showed himself not unto the world.

Ether 12:7

This was a scripture I found during personal study and it really hit me. When we think of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we think that basically everyone knew about it. But they didn’t. At least, not right then. He showed himself to them after the had shown faith to him. I find that to be a really good reminder that faith is the action that is required before the miracles begin to show.

Foot update: I know a lot of you are probably wondering what is going on with my foot. I keep talking about it vaguely so here’s what’s up. I rolled my ankle hardcore back in Broadway (like week 4) and they put me in a boot. Well, I still have the boot and it hurts more than before. At my doctors appointment this week, I was told I needed an MRI so they could determine what is was exactly. That’s going to be happening this week so I’ll keep you all updated as to what is going on.
TL;DR I’m broken and don’t know why

Fun(ny) things:

  • Elder Trent: “Tu hablas Thackanese, yo hablo Trentish”

P.S. Also, next week is transfers so I will be emailing on Tuesday, not Monday.

Elder Thacker