Monday, May 2, 2011

Austin - Kenosha Wisconsin - May 2, 2011

Dear Family,
a pre-note: it says to only email friends in the white hand book. In an effort to be more obedient I'd be cool if you could forward this to Katelyn and Melissa. They are pretty much the only other ones I add anyways. Practically family but just a technicality.
Well, Elder Kelly took off on Wednesday. I had a very nice trainers' training before getting my new companion and then we along with the other trainees and trainers had another training with the President and Sister Jones and the Assistants. They mostly focus on expectations and then we practiced inviting people to be baptized. Then I drove with my new companion, Elder White, Kenosha. It's also been tough because my Crohn's has really been acting up and I hurt my back pretty bad too. So I was hunched over and limping around the whole day and I got a couple good teasing from the missionaries going home and even President. My backs pretty much fine but I'm getting preeetty bad and frequent Crohn's pains. It's the good ol' joke around the apartment too. Any pain is Crohn's pain now. If someone hurts their ankle or stubbed their toe or cut their finger, "Ahh, my CROHN'S!" haha
I'm way excited to be training again and I love my new companion. Such a nice, soft spoken missionary from a tiny town in N. Carolina. He is the only active member in his family (his going on a mission has reactived his parents and is reactivating his older brother that didn't serve a mission) he is the only one in his family to go on a mission. He wasn't even planning on it but one of his friends really got him thinking about it. I'm glad he made the decision and that I get to train him. He also has an autistic brother (pretty severe) and he even told me that he has undiagnosed slight autism (he tells me from his own prognoses haha). At times he can fumble with his words and often not like looking at peoples eyes when talking to them but I've learned a lot from him and I love him as if he were my own son.
He is also just about one of the worst bike riders ever haha. We had some pretty funny moments getting him on a bike the first time "in 9 years." We ride bikes every day and he's on a big ol' mountain bike and I'm on a sleek rode bike and he has to peddle his little legs 5 times to keep up with one of my peddles (he's not that short, just like 5'7"). But we are having a riot being on the streets talking to random people and knocking doors. We went to go contact this former investigator but we knocked on this door and this 25ish year old lady answers it with one eye worth of makeup on, she says to us (Oh I thought you were the pizza man) then we looked behind us and the pizza guy drove up. We waited for the transaction and then she invited us in to eat some. She was a brash-spoken lady who just got out of jail and was on parole, she let a few cuss words slip but would quickly apologize. She loved telling us all of her offenses and problems in life. It was pretty fun to talk to her despite the interesting circumstance. She told us her parole officer would be proud to hear that she had talked to mormon missionaries. But she actually is a really nice lady with a soft nougat center. She has two twin boys from a Mexican husband that used to beat her. We gave her name to the English Elders and hopefully they'll get in contact with her and she will actually do something to change her life and not just be amused by it.
We had a pretty sweet encounter with this old investigator. Her name was Sylvia and she told us that she never wanted to meet with missionaries again because she was offended by one of them. After quite a while of talking to her we softened her up. Then she went in to the other room and her little girl was in the room just staring at me. She reminded me of Alaina (about the same age) so I decided to show her my family photos. Sylvia walked back in and saw the pictures. I showed them to her and she told us how her daughter loved EVERYTHING about China and wants to learn Chinese and got here and learn kung fu. I told her about my family and she just fell in love. I bore strong testimony about how I have such a happy family only because of this gospel. She was really touched and by the end of it even invited us back. It was an intense interaction, we thought we were just going to lose her even though we had prayed and prayed over the area book for who we should visit and we felt really good about her. Especially Elder White was excited to meet her and when she said she didn't want anything to do with us I felt devastated. But I'm glad it worked out.
I got to go, we haven't an appointment soon.
Much love,
Elder Papritz

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