Nathan’s Cursed Scriptures

Hello world.

This week was really busy. Lots of weird things happened. Luckily I spent the time to write down things I wanted to talk about in this email, so it should be more eventful than usual. I have a lot to write about, but at the same time, I don’t really.

Also, it’s really quiet here in the Family History Center. Just us. No other missionaries here currently. Usually they’re here by now… (Where are they?) Maybe they went and held a zone activity without us. What a lonely situation… But not really because I spend 24/7 with another person. What is loneliness again? I don’t remember. I forgot what it’s like to be alone.

Forgive that tangent. Just kinda weirded out by the fact they haven’t shown up yet.

This week we were able to go on exchanges with the Assistants! Working in Oakland is one of the best things. It’s so fun and crazy. The strangest people live in Oakland. While I was on exchanges with Elder Roberts, we had a meeting with President Frandsen to prepare a training for zone conference. It was really weird to be behind the scenes and see the upper administration of the mission firsthand and be able to participate in it.

Us with the Assistants. Elder Mason and Elder K didn’t get the “serious face” memo.

Elder Roberts and I got a lot done in Oakland that day. We were able to teach a really solid investigator of theirs, and we spent time tracting in East Oakland (the really bad part of town) during the afternoon. That was neat. Nobody was home, though… People work too much in Oakland and San Francisco.

Elder Roberts and I.

A very blurry photo of the Oakland skyline.

Before we started exchanges, a member of our ward named Carrington overheard Elder K muttering to another member about how we didn’t have time to eat a proper dinner that night and Carrington decided he needed to do something about it. On our way out to go meet up with the APs, he made us stop at Taco Bell. Before I go on, take note that Carrington is half Mexican and half African-American, BUT he behaves and looks and eats like a Polynesian. So, with that in mind, instead of going in to buy us a couple of burritos, he came back with TWO boxes of TWELVE tacos each. Daheck?! It was pretty funny. What a guy. He’s pretty funny.

On Wednesday, we went to do service with the Brentwood 1st sisters at a senior center. We helped out with an arts and crafts class, and it was pretty entertaining to hear all the old people making funny comments. The second we walked in, they asked the sisters if we were their boyfriends. Pretty awkward, right? Well, one of the sisters, Sister Tripp, was asking me when I go home. Come to find out we leave the same transfer. She said, “Hey! When we get home, we can be friends, right?” and one of the old ladies asks, “You mean, be his girlfriend?” Let it be known that we won’t be doing service with sisters anytime soon. Don’t need an emergency transfer to happen, hahah.

Wednesday night, we went out to visit less-actives with our Ward Mission Leader, Nathan. Nathan is a super cool guy. We go out to work with him weekly. He’s the guy who hunted wild hog and made pulled pork with it. Anyway, we went out on visits with Nathan on Wednesday. We usually go out once a week, and sometimes we have little success in catching people at home. We’ve come to the frightening conclusion that when Nathan brings his scriptures to the door, people are not home. Every time. When he does not bring them, they are home. It’s really weird. Just kind of a weird thing that happens every week…

Nathan’s a funny guy. He served his mission in Georgia and always has funny stories about weird things that happened there. We work with him a lot. He reminds me a lot of my friend Mark Devey from home… He just has a funny perspective on life and we enjoy his company. He’s a great WML.

Now that I’ve wasted your time with so much random, useless stories, I’ll share something actually worth your time. We had MLC on Saturday, and Elder Carl B. Cook of the Seventy visited the mission to give a training. Elder Cook talked a lot about the importance of teaching repentance. It was a very edifying training, and I found it interesting to discuss the importance of repentance in conversion. As we repent, our conversion is made manifest as our heart is bound to the Savior’s. Repentance is so crucial to conversion. It’s so important for us to teach investigators how to repent and why we need to repent. When they internalize and apply that, they truly come to know the Savior. It’s a powerful principle and one that is truly misunderstood! Our mission president always says that repentance is the most hopeful word in the Christian vocabulary. He’s right! It truly is.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve here. Lots of good things are happening. Love you all! Have a great week!
~Elder Pike


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