Friday, March 4, 2011

Austin - Madison Wisconsin - February 28, 2011

Dear family y amigos,

This was another solid week, although we got more snow dumped on us. If I learned anything on my mission it's that I'm going to live somewhere warm and where the sun never goes away. There's some pretty crazy stuff happening in the zone. Our zone leaders do something pretty cool which is that if we have a "Milwaukee Miracle" then we text in to our zone leaders then they forward it to the rest of us so that every else in the zone can be up-to-date with what is going on in the zone. This week we had a few investigators move up their baptismal date. Elder Partis and I found a couple new investigators and added another baptism seeker named Joaquin. We set a date with him as well and we're pretty excited with all the work we have had the last few weeks.

Every Wednesday we do two hours of service at a food pantry. It's at a Catholic church and we always get plenty of attention every week from all of the volunteers there who are all Catholic. We are pretty hot commodities there because probably a third of the people that go there for food are Spanish speakers. We translate all over the place there and help serve the Spanish speakers. Having been in Milwaukee for seven and a half months I know everyone there really well and I've made some pretty good relationships there. Particularly, with one of the managers of the pantry, Fred, I've developed a pretty good relationship. Last week he invited Elder Partis and I to go eat at his house after service. It was a way cool experience. Fred is such a cool guy and has a pretty sad story - he has taken a dang big hit from the economy because he works in real estate. Nonetheless, his home is huge and beautiful and his family was way cool. I asked me the day before what we wanted to eat and I told him, "I don't care. But something American!" I heard him over the fun say to his wife, "Honey, they want Mexican. Tacos, enchiladas, burritos --- the works." haha. But they made a delicious Shepherd's pie type thing with apple pie, gosh dang it, it was so good. We had a way good lesson with them, as well, after the dinner. I'm not going to say they have any plans on being baptized any time soon but I definitely learned a lot of stuff about the Catholic church that I'm glad he cleared up and I'm positive they better understand the restored gospel. Fred at one point even admitted that possibly both of the churches are true, that the Catholic church is derived from the priesthood line of the east and the mormon church from the priesthood in the west. I'm definitely hoping to get another good meal out of them later ha.

Other than that our investigators are doing decent. A lot of them had hard weeks with the snow and are seeing more and more temptations from the devil, but we're going to keep working with 'em.

Elder Partis and I have a way cool week planned out with delicious lunches at various places and a dinner appointment every day this week. We're calling it food frenzy week. Because I think I'm getting transferred at the next transfer and I've always wanted to eat at some of the restaurants around here including a couple Mexican places, a secret Peruvian restaurant (you have to be Peruvian or know a Peruvian to get in), a Polish Deli and a Brazilian churrasco. Soooo it's going to be a food frenzy. I didn't even realize we had a Polish deli half a block away! We went there one time for a lunch and it was way good. Also, apparently the southside of Milwaukee used to be FILLED with Polish people in the seventies and eighties but they've pretty much been ran over by the Mexicans coming in. I've managed to not meet a single Polish person since I've been here but last week I met my first one on the street (incidentally I thought he was Mexican when I contacted him in Spanish and he told me in broken English, "Sorry, I don't speak English" haha) and then we ran in to a bunch of them at the Polish deli. I'm pretty sure the old ladies there were talking about us being our backs. I saw them whispering and pointing at us. I think they were trying to arrange marriages for their Polish daughters. Not sure.

Much love,
Elder Papritz

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