Monday, July 28, 2014

Charlie Chaplin in Chester County?

Let's talk about my weird craftiness, and the awkwardness that ensues. So, apparently I just work with coconuts, but anyway, I wanted to make a bowl out of this coconut. It rested flat, and had broken along the edges relatively even. So I've been sanding it down, and sanding it down some more. Finally, last week, I got it to the point where I thought it was finished. Then I realized I wanted to use some sort of finish to kind of seal the deal and make it look a little better, so we went to the store to get some wood stain or something. Alas, the store didn't have wood stain, so, my backup plan? Clear nail polish. I however, am not well versed in nail polish, and it turned out to be more complicated than I had anticipated. In the end, I resorted to grabbing all the nail polish bottles with clear insides (there were more than I thought there should be) and just having the lady at the register help me out by telling me what each one did, and how they would look after drying. Needless to say, she thought I was a bit crazy. Nevertheless, I polished my coconut, bleached the inside, and now I have a little candy bowl.

While we are on the topic of awkwardness and photos, this sometimes happens at district meeting... 

Also, Welcome to Coatesville! The bane of Chester County!

The rest of the week was filled with fun and awesome missionariness. Including, but not limited to: teaching investigators in Kenya over Facebook (that time difference, it's getting in the way), having wonderful conversations with British families, meeting French speakers, lots and lots of lightning, going on exchanges with awesome elders, being hounded by hounds while trying to conduct a baptism interview, petting some goats, and waiting 5 hours for an oil change.

So, life is brilliant.

Elder Horne

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Lost Phone

Hello hello hello.

Just a heads up: Elder Vickers and I are awful at taking pictures, so you are about to see a lot less of them. Sorry. 

So, let's start off with some fun miracles before I get into the rest of the week. 

~ The Lost Phone ~

This past Thursday we had just finished weekly planning and were leaving the church. As we were driving towards our apartment for dinner, I felt that we should go to Wendy's for dinner instead, so we looped around and started heading that way. #Miracle1

While ordering our dinner at Wendy's, we suddenly realized that we didn't have our phone. We had left it on the windowsill in the primary room where we were planning (so it could get signal). Now, we are the only missionaries in the district that don't have keys to the church. The rest of the district had left or were about to leave the chapel when we did, so we doubted anyone would be there. That's when we remembered the Rutledges. They had keys to the church and had told us we could stop by any time to use them. They also happened to live right next to the Wendy's. #Miracle2

We drove over to their house with our food, to see if we could use their keys, but nobody was home! We decided to sit outside on their porch and eat our dinner, in the hopes thar they would show up. Shortly after saying a prayer, a slightly confused and amused Sister Rutledge pulled up! #Miracle3

We then headed to the church, where we found our phone, and realized that we had left one of the back doors to the church unlocked from earlier that day. So we locked it back up, and made it home in time for splits. #Miracle4

What I find so cool about this experience, was that we were able to witness so many miracles just lined up one after another. We could have just been enlightened and remembered we had left a door unlocked, but then I don't think we would have recognized the Lords hand in that. This way, we were able to see clearly the candy trail of miracles that we were following. Which is almost another miracle in and of itself. 

Then, we ended the week off great with the Williamsons. Usually we work, eat, teach, and run, but on Saturday we were able to enjoy the fruits of our labors! I tore up some old wooden thing (just prying up all the planks), and Elder Vickers chopped up the wood. Then we burnt all the wood and were able to roast marshmallows on the fire! It was a blast. 

Last but certainly not least, the newest edition to my plant menagerie: Bonsly! 

Those coconuts are actually balancing on each other. 
I don't know how I manage these things...
(I transplanted him into something I thought was cooler)


Elder Horne

Monday, July 14, 2014

Transfer Miracles

Just when I thought transfers couldn't get any more wild... So, last week I mentioned how we thought (and not only thought, were told) that we were getting spanish sisters to replace the spanish elders. Well, change of plans and they ended up putting english elders into the spanish group with a ton of spanish investigators. Just when I thought President Anderson couldn't get any more unpredictable... Long story short, we got english elders, but then a spanish sister just came into the mission, and they are switching apartments today. Transfer madness. (So in the end we still got a Hermana anyways)

Speaking of transfers, they happened! Elder Murphy is off in Delaware (I totally called it) with a brilliant companion, and my new companion is Elder Vickers! Flash back to last fall, Elder Vickers and I served in the same district when I was still in Jersey.

The Atlantic City District, back in September. He is the balding one in the top right.

Now we are serving together! He is from Centerville, UT and has been out for a whopping 21 months! He only has this transfer and the next. Good thing he isn't trunky. So, we think that I will either stay with him until he goes home, and then for another transfer with someone else, or that I'll leave after this transfer. We'll see what happens! Anyway, we're excited, it's going to be awesome.

 It was sad saying goodbye to Elder Murphy, he was such a good companion, we had so much fun together, and we were both able to grow a lot from these past two transfers. He's going to do fantastic in his new area, I have no doubts.

We also had to unexpectedly say goodbye to the Scanlans!! That was no fun either, they are going back to Montana. We are going to miss them! They've had us over for dinner so many times, and we have had so much fun. Elder Vickers only got to see them once. At least we'll be able to stay in touch on Facebook!

Sister Scanlan gave me an autographed set of her children's books!

Other than that, we had a pretty good week. First week with a new companion is always a bit of a roller coaster, but it always ends good. Just working working working! This week the district has been focused on recognizing miracles, so I write those down every night, here are a few:

- A member gave us ice cream (sisters)
- Both goldens (we have two brand new missionaries in the district!) extended a baptismal invitation their first day, and both people accepted.
- Sisters were late to volleyball, and we were able to have a really power lesson with a less active member.
- A man who just moved here from Mexico came to church on Sunday, saying that he was just taught all the lessons (in Mexico) and wants to be baptized.

Miracles are everywhere in the Lord's work, and in the details of our lives, we just sometimes need to be better at recognizing them!

Elder Horne

Monday, July 7, 2014

'Murican Mini Golf

This week, was fantastic.

On Monday, we went to this little glow-in-the-dark mini-golf place that was tucked away in the middle of nowhere. Sorry none of my pictures are very good, the flash took the glow away. It was a lot of fun though, I even managed to get  a hole-in-one

Jack Sparrow pirate

Hurray for white shirts!

Really happy pirate

Birthday cake!

Hole in ONE
Throughout the week we stumbled across this random hidden treasures:

Saw this on the side of a building in Coatesville

We were tracting and saw this dead bat on someones door. Oh, abandoned houses...

We ended the week off with a fabulous 4th of July. Our district went to several different parks where they were having Independence Day celebrations, and drew with chalk! I have never before done any "chalk finding" but it was a lot of fun. We made a big American flag, the Constitution, and the Liberty Bell. Next to the American flag we wrote, "I Love America because..." and let people come up and write different reasons they love America! A member and her friend also came by and made this brilliant thank you note. It was a really neat opportunity to talk to people as they were walking by, and immediately have that connection that we could discuss with them. People were very friendly, and it was nice to get a more positive rapport with the community.

The District

Helping color


Messy chalk fingers (and pants)

Afterwards we went and had dinner and played games with some members, and it was so much fun! President gave us permission to stay out an hour past our bed time (which was super weird) so that we could watch the fireworks with members. We ended up playing mancala and some card games while watching one of the Christmas Mormon Tabernacle Choir concerts. It was great!

Right now we are dealing with transfer madness... Elder Murphy is leaving and I am staying. The  other Elders in our district are leaving and we think they are being replaced with Spanish sisters, which would leave my new companion and I to be the only elders in a district with 6 sisters. It's already pretty crazy since we have more sisters in our zone than elders. Next week I'll let you guys know about my new companion, and if we are overwhelmed by sister missionaries (we're lucky they are awesome)!

Elder Horne

PS our zone is fantastic