Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Learning to ride a bike, maybe...

Hola Familia!
What a week it has been!  I have had a lot of experiences this week that have been amazing and others that have been insanely crazy.  I only have a short amount of time to email so I am going straight to the stories this week.
This last week I got to do temple service in the Salt Lake City Temple.  In all honesty, being a visa waiter and the few amount of times that missionaries are asked to help, I was very lucky to be able to go.  Wow, what a blessing!  They had a temple worker devotional in the Solemn Assembly room of the temple which is where the General Authorities meet before General Conference to prepare.  It is a huge room in the top story of the temple that looks relatively like a stadium with many, many seats.  They asked us missionaries to help take down the chairs and store them and then clean the baptistry.  The whole time I was in the Solemn Assembly room I was taken aback by the beauty and elegance that went into the 40 year construction of the temple.  I could not help but think about the many consecrated hours of service and selfless talent that was spent to make every inch of the House of the Lord such a work of art.  The Solemn Assembly room especially.  As we put away chairs, swept, and vacuumed, I decided that I needed to put as much or even more care in the way I cleaned the House of the Lord as the people building it did.  The early saints of the Church went through SO much in order to build this temple and bring such an amazing blessing to each of our lives.  I thought about this pretty much the whole time I was cleaning and tried so hard to work just as hard and meticulous as the early saints!  I will never forget the wonderful peace and joy I felt as I went about cleaning the temple.
So, Elder Fuentes and I are in this ginormous area in the South Salt Lake Stake with only our own two feet to get us around.  However, we talked to the Stake President about how usually there is a car in this particular area and that without one we were wasting tons of time walking from place to place.  He really likes Elder Fuentes and me because we have been working as hard as we can and so he went out and got us bikes.  He got two bikes donated and then paid to have them repaired.  Grateful to have a faster way to get around, we started this week proselyting for the first time on bikes.  HA HA, E. Fuentes and I have had some pretty crazy adventures already on the bikes.  First night that we were out riding we got in a wreck.  The streets are really dark and some person put a gigantic pile of leaves in the middle of the bike lane of the street.  I was in front and saw it but it was to late to stop and mowed right through it.  I didn't know what it was other than a pile of something and seriously thought I was going to die for a good couple seconds.  On the other side of the pile, I breathed a sigh of relief while looking back to see if E. Fuentes made it through safely too.  He was not as lucky.  As I turned my head around I heard a grunt and a bike crashing to the ground.  I ran over to my companion who was face down in the pile of leaves.  I helped him up, brushed him off, discovered that he was fine, and we both started laughing hysterically!  We both wished that we had had a camera to film my reaction and his enormous tumble.
Then the next day, we were pedaling down the street and E. Fuentes was telling me how wobbly and unstable his seat was feeling.  Not knowing exactly what to do about it at the moment we just kept going.  At the next stop light, we were coming to a stop when E. Fuentes's seat came completely of the bike!  We then had to spend the next 30 minutes trying to figure out how to put on the seat and then do it exactly right so it didn't happen again.  We have many other problems with the bikes and have almost decided that they might be more trouble than they're worth.  We just laugh a ton as we recount our experiences to other missionaries in the Zone.
Well, I just ran out of time...but I wanted to quickly add that we had a great week and found many more great families to teach!  We are working so hard and see the hand of the Lord every day!  I love missionary work and thank Heavenly Father every day for the opportunity to be a missionary!!!  Thanks for the all the wonderful letters!  Aunt Mindy and Uncle Brandon, I really appreciate the letter you sent me.  Thanks for thinking of me.
Elder Janis