Monday, March 28, 2016

March 28, 2016: (No Subject)

Thanks for the Easter package! I offered a few times, but no one seemed to want any candy. (They're all trying to go on a diet.) But I've been doing really well about portioning sugar and making things last so I won't eat it all in three days. Speaking of which, I'm glad to hear your diet is working, Mom! It always seemed like you guys didn't get the results that you wanted out of it so that's great to hear. I've been sketching in that book you sent, so I'll actually have something to send back to you guys.

So, working with the ward auxiliaries has really helped a lot. We had quite a few less actives come to church last Sunday (though it was Easter), and we've picked up a lot of new potentials and new investigators. Things are still a little slow, but its definitely picking up! Also, we're not really tracting the same street twice. We're just dropping a few fortune cookies at some houses on the way to an appointment, so it shouldn't cut too much time.

On the way to do a little finding, some guy in a really nice Lotus drove up to us and at first I thought he was a member or just a nice preacher stopping to say hi or something. Nope. We got raked over the coals on some long rant. We weren't too bothered by it, especially considering immediately after there was a youth of a less active in our ward that we had met with who biked up to us and told us about how he decided to drop atheism and Buddhism and become Christian! He met with his grandpa who spent some time discussing with him about it. His mom also said that some of his best memories are with the missionaries, so we'll have to look into it.

After that, we tracted in a trailer park and as it turns out, we tracted past the house where the guy with the Lotus lived. He and his friend came out and anti-ed us again. He actually kept us just long enough to run into a mother and daughter that were just getting home. They're our newest investigators now. Funny that something bad was immediately followed by something awesome both times.

As for finding through members, we've been meeting with a less active, Brother C., who does this thing called Dagorhir, which is like medieval fighting turned into a sport almost (super nerdy, but cool at the same time). We actually ran into him and a bunch of other people at practice and we talked with some of the people sitting and watching. One lady's mother was a Mormon and had missionaries come visit her quite a bit. She said she'd be willing to listen to the lessons if we came back next week.

No need to get me an absentee ballot. I'd only know a few people to not vote for.

Happy Easter! Love you guys!
Elder Rice

Monday, March 21, 2016

March 21, 2016: Rices

So all that tracting and street contacting didn't avail much except for a bunch of referrals for the other Edmond missionaries. That's okay though, because we found someone really awesome AND in our area at our apartment's Easter egg hunt (our apartment actually isn't in our area). We also colored an Easter egg picture to look like a Book of Mormon for their drawing contest. Didn't actually stay for the hunt though. Just got some potentials and left.

So to fix the whole tracting problem, we decided that we needed to work more with the ward. We set up an appointment with the bishop and he gave us a great list of less actives, part member [families], and few member families to focus on. We're going to be doing a lot of work with auxiliaries as well. Also, why don't home teachers take up the offer to have missionaries help with home teaching? I'd actually like to know.

So we had dinner yesterday with a Sister R. When she saw my tag and heard I was from Kaysville, she knew right away that we were related. She's the niece of Grandpa Rice and actually came to the funeral. She really liked how all the sons got up to talk and loved the BYU fight song being sung at the end. She's way nice and we talked about family history for a while and about Grandpa's family. I think she sent something to Mom through Facebook. She's also a beast at running and biking, and showed us only two handfuls of the medals she's won in those (she's really competitive). She also had an awesome referral. She says that she's already said at times, “There's nothing really keeping me from joining your church.”

So we had a great idea for tracting. The past week I bought a box of fortune cookies and have been opening them up a day at a time. Elder A. opened up a cookie that said something like, “A great opportunity will knock at your door. Open it.” We were thinking that it would be awesome if we could drop a bunch of those in mailboxes the day before we came and tracted into them! We just don't know where to get personalized cookies.

I didn't even think about the camera date! Now it looks like I'm some apostate scrub! Oh well, I'll fix it later.

Love you guys! Remember God lives and loves you, and watch the new Easter video the church put out! #Hallelujah

Elder Rice

P.S. Always pray before you eat your fortune cookie. It doesn't work if you don't.

Sister R.'s family tree made by Annie Rice. She's Margaret Rice's daughter.

March 14, 2016: NONDESCRIPT TITLE

Well, the first full week of Edmond was really slow. Every area is a little different I've heard. I have hope, though. I've heard that in the past Edmond has been the "promised land" for missionaries, so all we have to do is work hard, stay obedient, and work with the ward, and we should see some real improvement. Looks like we'll still end up doing a lot of tracting though, looking at previous missionary's work.

I sent the apartment number in another email, but it’s 102.

Also, Mom, you said that Grandma and Grandpa have sent me a few emails awhile back. I haven't received them. Are they sending it to the right email?

Mom's haircut picture is blank, but that's okay. I'm sure it’s glorious to behold.

Thanks for the S.U.C.C.E.S. email, Dad. I don't think I need three hours worth of it, but I'd definitely like to see more.

Your missionary talk story reminds me of a joke I heard in Shawnee:

There was a Preacher who had passed on a while back who found himself at the waiting room before the pearly gates. The man was a little nervous, even though he was surely a holy man. Peter came in and rewarded people one by one with their gifts before they entered their final destination. The line dwindled until there was only one man ahead of him.
He was a short, Hispanic man who wore a taxi driver's nametag that said his name was Pablo. He was a simple man who had taxied all his life and had a few vices such as smoking and every once and a while grabbing a drink on the job. Peter came up to Pablo and said "Oh, Pablo, we've been expecting you!" and handed him a scepter and crown and let him through a door to a crowd of cheering angels.
When the preacher saw this, he was no longer nervous, saying to himself, "If he that's how he was received, how great will my reward be?!" Peter came in and came to the preacher. "Oh, we've been expecting you as well! Here's your reward!"
The preacher was shocked to find a tattered traveler's cloak and a staff, and the door opened to a dreary wasteland. "What is this!? How did I get something so bleak when that man in front of me got what he got?! I gave sermons every week!"
Peter replied "Oh, well see, we don't judge based on works, we judge based on performance. Whenever you gave a sermon, as long and eloquent as they were, everyone fell asleep. Whenever anyone taxied with Pablo, they prayed their hearts out the whole way!"
I hope I told that well enough. It was pretty funny when I heard it first.

Here's another one I heard here in Edmond: What do you get if a man is dyslexic, agnostic, and an insomniac? A man who stays up all night wondering if there really is a dog.

Love,
Elder Rice

Here's a few photos:

We're crammed with all the suitcases in the back of the car.

We found a super cheap place to gold on p-days. I don't know how we
managed to get a hold of golf clubs, but they're in our apartment.


Monday, March 7, 2016

March 7, 2016: Deja Vu

Coming into Edmond is a lot like when I came into Shawnee. The work was at a slow point. But it’s actually not too bad! I actually know what to do and Elder A. and I have been seeing a lot of miracles! We got the first investigator in about a month on the first day out, and even though we can’t seem to meet any less actives, all the people we meet along the way are really prepared and we’ve gotten a lot of really good potentials from street contacting! Elder A. and I are getting along pretty well. I didn't think it would be a problem anyway.

We met a really awesome potential from Nepal, in an apartment complex, played a game of jackpot with some of the neighbor kids outside, and met an old potential after weeks of being unable to contact them, all within 20 yards. I'm really surprised how much kids like the pass along cards!

I hope Inigo still likes those pigs [toys] when I get back! That sounds like a ton of fun!

I don't know what else, to say about it. I haven't been here even a week, so maybe I'll have something new next time.

I just realized Elder A. used my camera cord for the photo printer back at the apartment and I forgot to grab it. I've got photos though, so next time there'll be some.

Love,
Elder Rice