1. Get up at 2:30am Wednesday for bus ride to train
2. Hour-ish train ride to light rail
3. 15 min light rail ride to airport
4. Walk to terminal with all 28 of us and all our bags
5. Drop bags off at checkin
7. flight at 8:40am to Seattle
8. Flight to Seattle bout 3 hours
9. Land in Seattle, two hour layover
10. Flight delayed 45 minutes
11. Got to call home from pay phone!
12. Get on plane, 45 mins to Eugene
13. Land, meet mish president, grab luggage and cram into vans
14. Get to house, eat lunch, meetings, dinner, splits with missionaries
15. Went tracting, got a new investigator for that area (heck yeah all me)
16. Went to bed after at APs duplex.
17. Wake up, more meetings, head to nearby church to get trainers
18. elder Adams and elder Schick to serve in Veneta Oregon
19. Got iPads, got a car (frick yea) bags and my bike
20. 15 min drive to veneta, Adams and I are super chill, get to duplex (it's super nice)
21. Neighbors are converts and insanely cool
22. Clean up, unpack and get ready for a lesson and dinner. Walk 3 miles down thru town and highway to people's house. 23. Adams sees some dude walking, gives me a restoration pamphlet and tells me to talk to him. I was sketching out, Veneta is pretty ghetto and not crazy safe either but whatever
24. Talked to this kid, about 18-19, asked him how his relationship with Heavenly Father is. He says "not good, took a lot of family members from me." Then the spirit hit me and I talked about the plan of salvation and how families can be together again. He loved it. Gave him a Plan of Salvation booklet, and our number. He said he would love to talk about it. HOLY COW DID THAT JUST HAPPEN HOURS INTO THE FIELD?! IT SO DID! So we chatted a bit and we went our separate ways. Little to my knowledge Elder Adams had his iPad on....RECORDING THE FIRST LITTLE BIT OF IT. He showed me it....so freaking embarrassing but he was blown away at how that went. Seriously so cool.
25. Got to a part members house, moms baptized but her husband is an "eternal investigator". Humble family, small house on the roadside
26. Went to dinner at the young men's house and his family, very nice and pretty wild! Great people, young family of 5 kids
27. Next day we tracked. We are white washing (meaning two new missionaries in the same area) Veneta. There were two sisters before us, but they didn't really accomplish anything other than decorating the house. House was cute, but progress and investigators were slow. So we tracked (knocking on doors) and got 6 new investigators (meaning they took a pamphlet/ Book of Mormon/ or invited us for another appointment) by the end of the day, and a few service opportunities. For dinner we went to the ward missionary president's house in the ABSOLUTELY MOST GORGEOUS AREA CALLED NOTI (pronounced know-tie) so many trees, amazing smell. They are the Oiler family, oldest is 20ish, then 18, 16 and down to probably 9 with kids in between. Well to-do family, and they are HILARIOUS. Soon much fun to be around. Their 18 year old looks like a typical surfer dude. Tie dye, long hair in a bun, beard, plays guitar (and produces music, showed us his studio and he's actually very talented) he's a cool kid, were gunna use him for splits definitely.
28. Okay forget the number system I'm typing this stuff out.
Anyways next day (Saturday) we did some tracting again, met this really sweet girl named Unique (sick name, deff gunna name my kids that) that seemed promising. After lunch we fixed up our bikes, got mine together. First week or so is gunna be slow and a lot of tracting so we try to keep ourselves busy doing something productive. There is a near by library so I set up my Facebook account for the mission (it's limited to the area, can't post anything yet but that may change. Also no family/friends can be added at this point.) there's a zone conference coming next week so the rules on Facebook may change, we'll see.
Anyways walked back through the nearby park (always kids/teens there) and found a group of kids. Now, weed is legal in Oregon, and it's very plentiful. (Already found several dispensaries and a nearby local farmer) so these kids were lighting it up. Walked past, asked how they were doing. One girl lets out a flume of smoke and says "not good man, got drugs in my body" Elder Adams turns to me and we both like "LOL" and ask her if we can help with anything. They kinda chit chat, but then one kid started telling us "bye, seeya, bye" so we left the kids, wished them a good day and headed home. Then we hear a "EAT A D**K, F OFF" Elder Adams and I burst into laughter like "who is this kid, we even wished them a good day HAHAHA" we turned and replied "HEY LOVE YA TOO!" Then she flipped us off and we left cracking up. Mannnn the kids here are CRAZY. Did I mention they were maybe 13ish? Yeah, freaking wild man, LOVE THIS PLACE!!! Anyways head back, take a shower for dinner. A convert ward family dropped pizza off, wife was sick, no biggie. After, we swapped into some normal clothes, and went to the park to try to hit up some kids at the basketball court.
The park has a skate park, playground, field and basketball court. Adams played BBall for Dixie State his freshman year, 6'3 and can dunk with ease. So we met some kids, did some 3 on 3 for a while and got to know the neighborhood teens a bit better. There's some rougher kids, some not...as rough but they were cool and let us join in. Adams got this feeling after that one of the kids deff could use some work (they all could use work, but one stood out to him) he was very good at basketball (for a white kid, Adams can say that, he's white too lol) and sees a lot of potential in him. We'll work our way into them, slowly but we will!
Oh and did I mention all the weed? It's everywhere man, open doors and it's like WOMP wave of dank kush hits ya. It's crazy man, people here are crazy but it's hilarious. Ran into a guy who answered the door in swim trunks, tatted up no shirt, dreads down to his waist and greeted us with a hang loose "I believe in it all man, spirituality man, I believe all of it" but wasn't interested in the church. None the less, cool dude. Also had shrooms growing in his yard, now that's a treat! (Sadly, we did not partake, or else we would be tracting a whole new world) tons of black berry bushes, they grow like weeds here, but keep us energized cuz we pick em and walk. There's also Granny Smith apple trees everywhere, and one lady said we could take some off her tree, so we hit that spot up a lot for snacks.
Sunday- church is at 10:30, but we have ward council at 8, so we still up early doe. Finally got to meet the ward, small ward, about 150 people but they are all amazing people. The youth are very active, and the girls are not to bad for the eyes either (lock yer heart elder, lock yer heart) jokes aside, love the ward. After church we saw some kids we played BBall with yesterday, so we stopped buy in our suits, dunked on them for about half an hour or so... Well Adams did, I'm still bad so I talked up this girl sitting by herself. She's in 8th grade, plays soccer and we chatted about soccer and experiences while the boys played. I think she would take the lessons, we talked for a good 30 straight about a number of things, and extended an invitation to our ward chili cook off this Saturday. She might show up, but I'll get her a flyer if we spot her again this week. Such a sweet girl.
The thing about this park is its 90% rough kids. Like some wack teens, not gunna lie. But we've found diamonds in the rough, and they seem different from the rest. Yeah some are tatted, or maybe her shorts are too short, but there's a difference in these kids, and it's the spirit letting us know that these kids need to hear something. Maybe they won't get baptized, but at least they will have that seed planted. They also will have an example too look up too. Veneta is poor, it's run down, drug ridden and tough. A lot of these kids don't have support at home, which is why they are at the parks all day. Elder Adams and I discussed at length this topic, and came to a conclusion that we are going to work with these kids. Not all of them but the ones the spirit directs us towards. Because they see these two 19 year old kids, white shirts and ties dealing with all the vain filth spat at them, coming up and asking how people are doing. They see that. They also see us as we talk, play and get to know them. They see that we went to college, and actually finished high school. They see how we had our struggles and as we talk with them they see how we made it out, how we got to this point. They look up to us. I'm not saying this to boast but that's the reality of it. Here are these two Mormon kids, knocking doors then knocking hoops at the park. They see that we are real people, and actually care about them, and not just as a number on a baptism chart. They WAVED at us, stopped playing their game and came to talk to us as we rolled out of church in our suits. They have a relationship with us, and that's what we want!
Adams talked to the bishop (he also coaches the high school football team) and we got permission to use the church gym and invite these select kids over and work with them. Whether it be basketball, soccer (I might work with the high school goalkeeper) or homework, we are going to be here for the kids to set them onto a path of righteousness. We plan to make a deal with them that to work with them on school, BBall, soccer, etc, they gotta take the lessons with us (10-15 minute discussions at most) and to be honest I think they will enjoy talking about the gospel.
Ya know sometimes knocking doors is great, and "conventional" missionary stuff works, but being real with people, loving them and being an example is more attributed to the actions of Christ than knocking doors. Christ didn't knock doors, I'm pretty sure. He loved and served. He was the example. He thought his gospel as he did this. This is real missionary work, And they won't tell you that at the MTC.
Monday- were playing BBall at the stake center right now with the other missionaries in our zone, we have 3 sister pairs but they do their own thing so idk haha! Last night we met this Samoan couple who didn't let the missionaries in for 8 months. They took us in and fed us food (this is at like 8pm) and talked with us for an hour. Amazing little family with a cute little girl. He's big at hunting and fishing, and he gave us three HUGE fresh salmon steaks, so we're gunna smoke those with our duplex neighbors (converts) this week. They are way awesome.
I love it here, absolutely love it! People are crazy but each person is crazy different, and it's a blast!
Love you guys!
- Elder Schick
ps: I got an iPad so I'll type my day out each day, so expect massive emails! And lots of pics!