Tuesday, March 28, 2017

March 27, 2017: Email to Mom

Got transfer doctrine at 10:33 p.m. last night. I'm staying in Indian Springs! I'm excited, but I've also got the kind of “left behind” feeling going on. I'll have Elder M. Smith (one of five Smiths [in the mission]) as my new companion. He's been my zone leader before, so that'll be cool to work with him again.

Paintball was super fun! It definitely hurt, though. I would've considered wearing a little more protection, except for it being really stinking hot that day. It was fine, though. We played a capture-the-flag-type game and some normal team vs. team. It's definitely a funny change going straight from having Nerf wars banned to playing paintball. President Mansell just had shoulder surgery and he still jumped in.

Just a little while ago, one of our part-member families took us out to a hibachi grill called Osaka. The sushi was AMAZING! It's definitely different from any that I've tried before. Our server was pretty funny with his whole cooking routine. I'm definitely grateful for the amazing members of this ward and the kind people in the area.

Missionary work was pretty normal this week. S. is still progressing and has found tons of good friends in the ward.

Love you, Mom.
Elder Rice

I don't think I mentioned, but we did this on some past p-day. It's called “Flying T” and it’s pretty much the same thing as Top Golf.

Some guy's amazing gun collection (tracted into him)

[Paintball injury] Definitely looks better that it did earlier.

Monday, March 20, 2017

March 20, 2017: Emails to Mom & Dad

Email to Mom

Today we got approved to go paint-balling! That's the first time in the whole mission that's been allowed!

The rest of the package [you sent] was completely in tact and everything was great! Thanks again, Mom. And thanks for the science experiment. We'll see what we can do.

Well, this week has been pretty swell ... a few receptive people, lots of bashers. They all claim to be well versed in the Bible and that all these other churches don't know what they're talking about because they don't read the Bible or try to understand it. And then they go after our church. I don't think they realize how we work. Almost all scriptural arguments I've heard on my mission make pretty good sense and plenty of verses can be taken different ways. Our stance is equally convincing as all of those that I've heard. We just want to open them to that idea, share our point, and ask them to pray about it. No bashing, no commitment—we're not trying to bust down their door and cram religion in them.

It was actually still a pretty good week. We're pretty good at averting bashes. Side note, I traded a Muslim man an Arabic Book of Mormon for a Quran this week. I think I remember you saying this, but it seems like its just a rule book with abbreviated Old Testament stories. Kind of interesting, but nothing really new.

Love you, Mom!
Elder Rice

Email to Dad

I saw this dog that reminded me of Inigo this week. When we biked by he was scrabbling at the window of the house trying to get out and see us, and we passed by there a few times. The last time, he busted through the window and just kind of hung there in shock, looking around like he was thinking, "Now what?" I'm sure the owners were happy about all that.

We've got another baptismal date set with a kid named S. for early May. He's really excited and has even been using the normal Book of Mormon instead of the children's comic version. He picks up stuff pretty quickly, but we'll still have to review some.

I've really been trying to pick up in my journal writing. Lately it's been lacking a little. I was trying to pick back up a few days ago and started looking back on what I already wrote. I had nearly forgotten about a bunch of it! And it wasn't small stuff either. Scared me into keeping a better journal, because I don't want to forget all this. It makes me kind of wonder what kinds of things I forgot about before my mission.

So where's the high adventure at this year? I heard you guys had an awesome hike out somewhere in preparation.

Love you, Dad! Have an great week!
Elder Rice

Monday, March 13, 2017

March 13, 2017: Emails for Mom & Dad

Email for Mom
I'll definitely be studying how President Monson goes about his story telling, because I'm trying to figure out exactly what situations call for it and how I can use stories while still having my companion be able to teach. Right now, I'm just using a lot of analogies.

Speaking of object lessons, we've been doing a bunch for a family in the ward with young kids for the dinner message and I've run out. We've done one with matches in a glass cup that sucks in water. We've done the baptism one with the pepper in water and dish soap on a Q-tip. We've done the three knives on the three cups. I won't go into too much detail with the lessons that go along with, but the whole family loves the lesson/science experiment lesson. If you or anyone else knows of a cool one or maybe an interesting experiment we could put a lesson to, let me know please!

E. and R. are both integrating into their wards perfectly. I'm confident they'll be lasting members and we'll continue with the new member lessons, and with Ethan driving his sister to church, I think she might recommit to baptism. It's looking like we've got another baptism lining up as well with another investigator, S. He's 9 and has been coming to church with a member and loves it! He's been asking about baptism for a while and his mom gave the go ahead for him. He's super pumped, but we're also being careful that he knows what he's getting into. He seems to know quite a bit though.

Almost forgot! Thanks for the package, Mom! It was awesome/interesting. The seaweed stuff was a weird, kind of good, snack. The guava juice was delicious! Still haven't made the noodles yet, but I'm planning on it today. The olives exploded in the package, but everything else was fairly intact, just smelled a little olive-y.

Love you, Mom!
Elder Rice

Email to Dad

Well, I'm glad your [sore] throat isn't anything serious. Being here in Oklahoma has been awesome, but it's making me paranoid about illnesses. It seems like everyone goes in for a cough and then it turns out they have cancer in their face spreading to their eyes. It also might just be that it's kind of an old ward here in Broken Arrow.

So, I got a checkup at the dentist. Only one small cavity and I've got it filled already. Pretty good, since this is the first visit on the mission. The Listerine anti-cavity mouth wash really works.

28 seconds!

Love you, Dad! My comp is ready to leave.

Elder Rice

Monday, March 6, 2017

March 6, 2017: Emails for Family & Mom

Email 1: E. and R.

So the baptism went pretty well this week! We got everyone we needed, and I got to put together a talk on the Holy Ghost. We had Elder M. baptize R., and E.'s grandpa baptized him. Kind of got intense when the bishop announced that our mission president was sitting in the audience, but everything went smoothly.

Email 2: A Little Underdone

I accidently clicked the send button before I was done, here's some more photos and the rest of my email.

Interesting thing happened on their confirmation day. The bishopric was released! All of them bore their testimonies and congratulated E. and R. on their decision.

A member made the most amazing pancakes last week for dinner—bacon and cheese pancakes! I highly recommend them.

So I've heard multiple different answers about the length of a tie! It doesn't help when I see other missionaries with the varying lengths, either. So I just shoot for the tie to at least touch the buckle and to not go down past it.

Love you!
Elder Rice

Email 3 for Mom

Looks like Nathan took a good photo [for mission papers]! Sister Mansell was just saying the other day that that's the picture that the General Authorities see, shows up for you on your missionary portal, and a few other things that I can't remember. She retook all the missionaries’ pictures, because there were quite a few weird ones.

I don't have much to add that wasn't in that other email. The baptism was amazing and afterward we had interviews with the mission president. He mentioned to me it would be interesting if I used my story skills in teaching situations.

Here's my only other picture. It’s of me and a member and a gigantic apple.

Love you, Mom!
Elder Rice