Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July 3, 2012

Hey folks. People. Nouns.

What's up? Man.. I think it's gonna be another case of me having a TON to say but as soon as I sit down at the computer and completely blank out as to what I was going to say. Blast.. Well.. Here goes nothing.

Happy Canada Day to everyone! It's so weird. I wished a lot of people a Happy Canada Day and literally every single one of them had no idea that it was a holiday at all. I was almost offended, and then I realized that I don't know any holidays for other countries either. Except Cinco de Mayo. And for some reason the United States has adopted that one as a holiday too. Trust me, I know. When I was in Star Valley there was a sale all day on hardshell tacos to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. It's the closest thing I've ever had to Taco Tuesday since I left.. It was depressing in a way. I'm learning that the 4th of July is a lot like every other holiday while you're on your mission.. Nobody wants to meet with us leading up to it or on the day of. So it's been a slow past few days, but for the 3 days after the 4th of July we have a TON of lessons set up. Including one with the girl named Miki I told you about last week. She rescheduled last minute so we didn't get to go teach her last week, so we're teaching her today.. Keep her in your prayers!

Oh man.. I love Ogden. There are so many crazy people around here. Elder Daly and I calculated it the other day.. In our area, small as it is, there is probably less than 15% of the houses in our area that contain active members. That is WAY low! Just in the west half of our area alone, there are over 550 apartments, trailers, and duplex's that have an incredibly high turnover rate, and are FULL of nonmembers. The only great thing about being so close to a holiday is that EVERYONE is outside. So we've picked up a ton of appointments and contacts by walking up to people's barbecues, lemonade stands, and other things. Would you believe I haven't been sunburned even once? It's been over 90 degrees every single day for the past two weeks.. I have a ridiculous farmers tan. I have a tan line (contrasting between pale and super dark) halfway up my neck where my collared shirt goes. I have a tan midway up to my shoulder.. and my personal favorite, is a perfect white strip where my watch goes every single day. It looks fantastic. Pretty goofy actually. But I'm way proud of it. But as I was saying about crazy people, you never KNOW who's going to listen. We ran into a lady last week who on first contact seemed radiant with the spirit and wanted to learn, so we set up an appointment the next day. She wasn't there when we went by again.. So we asked her neighbor where she was. She had just gotten evicted from her apartment that morning because she blew up her pipes with fireworks. Not only that, but her neighbor told us she smoked heavily, drank heavily, and was married to a woman! How golden can you get!? Hahaha.. You can't go in with preconceived notions though. Anyone can change. If we tell ourselves there's no hope for them, we cannot truly believe in the power of the Atonement. Anyone can change. Miracles can happen. As somebody told us this week, two people can accomplish ANYTHING... As long as one of them is Jesus Christ. I know that to be true; people can change. It's tough that we can't change them against their will sometimes.. But that's Heavenly Father's plan and it was the only way we could truly experience joy.

We've also done quite a bit of service this past week.. I love doing service. It softens peoples hearts no matter who they are or what their opinion of the church is. In the past week we hooked up a computer and moved two desks, helped a FedEx guy unload over 40 packages, drained and moved a waterbed, and installed a light fixture not knowing they forgot to turn off the fuse.. So we installed it on a live wire with absolutely no electrical experience. But it worked! Probably some earnest prayers were answered on that one.. The weird thing is, before you go on a mission, there's no way you can comprehend just what serving a mission is. If you add up the components, it doesn't sound like fun at all. We go around for 10 to 12 hours a day in the 90 degree heat talking to strangers about God. We also help people move in and out of homes, teach church classes, get doors slammed in our face, live with companions we may not get along with (and we don't get to choose..), and all this for what? We don't get paid.. In fact, we pay almost $10,000 for the opportunity to do it. And despite all those factors, it's the most rewarding experience of my whole life. I can't even explain it. But I know that this is where I'm supposed to be at this time in my life. Words can't adequately describe how I feel all of the time. But it's amazing.

In other news, I finally started carrying the step counter around with me.. And we were shocked! The first day we brought it with us, we walked 12 miles (over 22,000 steps) and the day after that we walked 14 miles (over 27,000 steps). We didn't even KNOW we were walking that much. But it would explain why I'm losing weight.. Haha. My legs are stronger and my tummy is smaller.. Hoorah! I also got my scriptures engraved last week! It only cost me $2... Can you believe that? Welcome to Utah.. Also - Can I get Ben Olson's address? I've been meaning to write him a letter to see how Brisbane is nowadays.. Oh! And President Hiers has officially taken over! Which means the reign of the Olson's is over. The mission is also officially split now. Last Tuesday we DID make it to the trampoline park, and it was exhausting.. But oh so worth it. I re-perfected my backflip (which I haven't done in years) and played trampoline dodgeball. I love P-Days.. Haha.

Mom - You guys are already leaving Canada? That went so fast! By the way - I already received and consumed both bags of ketchup chips.. It was a much needed surprise! I haven't gotten any meds yet.. But if they're on the way then I believe you. I actually haven't had any of those general authority walk in the sacrament meeting experiences yet.. They happen a lot down in Bountiful, but that's in the other mission now. That's also way cool to hear about Evan's experience at the temple! But when the Brigham City temple starts its open house (August 18th!) then we get to go check that one out. July 4th is a tough day for missionaries.. Not sure what we're gonna do yet. And there is actually no chance of me serving with my MTC companion again! Because he's officially in the Salt Lake City mission!
Dad - Quizno's in the airport is not only a terrible idea because it's sketchy as can be, but it's also like.. $10 a sub! How horrible! That would never fit in the missionary budget haha. Oh the cottage.. It's never going to be the same as Affie and Papa's cottage, but it's as close as we have right now. I would have LOVED to have been there in the heavy rain. Utah's rain is so weak. It's only rained one day that was even close to a pretty good rain.. But it just doesn't STORM around here. I miss it a lot. Was Ryan disappointed he didn't get to eat lobster or the fact he didn't get to cuddle with them? I also miss donairs and donair pizza. Next time! In 2014! Maybe! That's so far away! I wish you guys the best of luck on the high adventure trip. I hope that Ryan enjoys it as much as we enjoyed the trip to Colorado. Find some boulder labyrinths and he'll be content. I too was stunned Jon Schmidt showed up, but then again he DOES live in Bountiful. Actually last time I checked he was a high councilman down there. And he puts on some amazing firesides.

Anyway. That was my week. I hope you all make a smooth recovery from the greatness of the Great White North. Talk to you next week!

Love you all!!

- Elder Tyler Grant

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