Monday, September 13, 2010

Austin - Milwaukee Wisconsin - September 13, 2010

Oh, how is it going family??
 
I'm doing just chipper today. Cool story: We were doing our laundry today and we put our stuff in the washer and then went back to the apartment to study and then we went back to switch them to the dryers. Before I could put a quarter in to the dyer the power went out. Elder Cook hadn't put any money in either but I felt bad for the lady that had 3 loads full that were still wet. So I noticed a phone number on the "employees only" door and so I called it. It was one of the workers and I told them the situation. They came in, they were a couple of ghetto old white folks, the lady came in on fire. She was complaining about the mail man and the electrician and this and that, while Elder Cook and I were just sitting around waiting for them to figure it out. She then came up to the lady with the four loads of clothes and started talking to her about how long she had been waiting, how much clothes she had and how much money she was going to need as compensation. I looked over and noticed the lady just looked scared and confused. I was on the other side of the laundry room but I yelled over at her, "Habla espanol??" She looked over at me soooo relieved, I started translating for her and the lady gave her the money for her clothes and told her that she'll have to find another landromat. It was tiiight!! I totally used my skills and saved that girl's behind. I'm sure she thought that the old lady was like yelling at her or something, I definitely felt very cool after that. Also we were talking afterwards and she was asking me what the situaton was or why the lights went out, I noticed she had an accent and I asked if she was from Puerto Rico and she said yeah, and said that she has only been in America for a month! She said it's been crazy being here, trying to find her way around. Also, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans can sometimes look like they're African American so that's why I even had to ask if she spoke Spanish, it wasn't completely obvious that she was latina.
 
So that was just this morning so I'm feeling pretty good right now. Also, on Friday we were riding back from a siick dinner appointment where this Mexican straight up made us the siiiiickest chinest food ever. It was seriously PF Chang status. We were all joking around with her so much saying she cooked better than the Chinese people themselves. For the lesson after that dinner appointment we literally gave it laying down because we were so UNBELIEVEABLY stuffed. I dont' think I've ever eaten so much in my life, I could barely ride home. But on the way home I got a phone call from a member of an English branch more north, and he told us how his neighbor died and that the burial was going to be tomorrow (Saturday) he had already spoken at the viewing and talked about the Plan of Salvation and other good stuff but told them he couldn't be there for the burial but that he'd send missionaries to be there and dedicate the grave. We got to the chapel (it wasn't a chapel from our church, and the family weren't members) but we were just waiting for the family to arrive and I was walking around and I walked in to one of the chapel rooms and the casket was straight up in there, opened. I looked around like I had walked in to a room I shouldn't have been in. But I walked to the front, toward the casket, and just kind of looked at the body for a while. It was pretty weird. That was only the fourth dead person I've ever seen. But the dedication went so well, and the family was so sweet. We also sang Be Still My Soul and it was definitely a tear jerker for them. They tried to even give us money afterwards but we declined, but the sister of the deceased offered us dinner this week out of gratitude and we accepted that. She said she's going to make us Puerto Rican shoulder roast or something like that. I'm excited.
 
So I'm planning on playing volleyball today, that is going to be the tester to see if the medicine is working well. I'll admit when the Chinese food passed by the sore part it definitely hurt. I think I feel better in general, I definitely feel better in the mornings but I sometimes still get some sharp pain, but not as frequently. Also, I've doing hard work trying battle of a cold, I think. I drink herbal tea (from Chile! I got it from a member in Madison) every morning and take a nap every day and take ibuprofen. I'm super worried about getting sick since the new medicine should be lowing my blood count. Hasn't stopped me yet.
 
La obra misional (the mission work) is going so well. We are meeting so many people, this next week is going to be way excited to follow up on them all. The whole branch is getting excited too about missionary work, by feeding us and telling us about their friends. It's really been a change from a few transfers ago, the older missionary here tells me.
 
Oh yeah! Pentecostals! So we run in to a lot of Pentecostals here and ..they don't like us very much. They always give us a hard time and preach fire and brimstone to us and try to belittle us. They always seem to have their brows furrowed and have a finger pointed at us when the talk to us haha. But we were waiting for a bus and this lady that didn't have any front teeth and very thin hair was teaching us the Pentecostal way, she asked me if I'd been saved and I told her it's been 2 years since I've been saved and I told her I love my savior and that Jesus is everything to me (ya know, talk to a Pentecostal in a way she'll understand) she was surprised but quickly moved on she was talking and talking about how we're Mormon and then she kind of paused and then pointed at me and said, "I think you know deep down inside that Jesus wasn't Mormon." I let that sit for a while, thought about my answer carefully and replied "...you're right. Jesus wasn't Mormon. Mormon was a second century prophet in the Central Americas." Haha, Elder Cook told me later that he had a hard time holding it together after that.
 
The Dominican army is going well. We got fed some delicious Dominican chicken, rice and potatoes, from Hermana Mercedez, it was a weird mixture of Island and Cajun, but super good. We hoping to start teaching their neighbors who are also Dominican, my army will continue to grow. I saw Hermano Santana pay tithing at church yesterday and he should be getting a calling. I'd consider that a successful reactivation.
 
Send those packages!
 
I don't think I have anything else. Take care this week.
Elder Papritz
 

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