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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

August 14, 2017 - Suicide Race

This week has been a pretty awesome week! Full of a lot of
neat experiences and a lot of exciting things. 

The 4 elders at the stampede. Me,
Elder Shoemaker, Elder Nielson (my comp),
Elder Woodfield
To start off here in Omak there is a stampede that is pretty well known throughout the world (I guess). It's famous because at the end of every night, they do what they call a suicide race. Basically, they take 20ish horses and their jockeys and run them straight down a super steep hill, across a river, and into the rodeo arena. It's apparently pretty wild, and there are no rules, so there's punching and fighting the other jockeys, and no one is going to stop if you fall off your horse. I guess they have had to put some horses down because of broken legs, and a lot of people have been sent to the hospital to get some serious surgery done.

So, this week there have been so many people in our two small little towns. I've been amazed at how crowded it's been up here. I feel like the population has doubled since the stampede started. Well we asked President Lewis if we could go check it out, and he said yes!! He gave us permission to go see the rodeo and the Suicide Race. We went on Thursday evening and it was super cool. It was definitely a different experience but it was a lot of fun. I took a video of the suicide race, but it's not great quality. You may have to look one up online for a better vid.

This week we also got to teach Josh and Angel some more.
​This a pic of the suicide race hill.
Sorry you can't see it super well.
Angel is doing super well! He's progressing towards baptism really nicely and has really been changing quite a bit. This week we had to move his baptismal date back a week to the 26th of August because he's going on the high adventure this weekend with the boy scouts. It'll be super good for him. He'll get the chance to have some nice father figures in his life, and he'll get to meet a lot of the other boys. We had a chance to talk with his mom yesterday and she says that she has seen a lot of changes in him, he doesn't get angry as much, and when he does get upset he doesn't react as intensely as he used to. So, he is looking super promising for the 26th.

Josh is doing awesome! We had a church tour with him this
A huge hornets nest that was
bigger than my face.
last Wednesday, where we got to show him around the building so he could feel more comfortable. Then he came to church on Sunday! He said he liked it quite a bit and he told us he is planning on coming back. We also had an awesome lesson last night with him at the Berthelson's home, where we taught him the Restoration and committed him to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. With him having more of an agnostic/atheist background we focused more on him being able to receive an answer that God exists by reading and praying, rather than knowing that the church is true. He told us last night that he's been having an inner conflict with himself with what he should follow. Should he return to his old ways? Or should he follow the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Pray for him to be able to choose God!

This was at the stampede. They did this wild horse
race thing. I guess none of those horses had ever been
ridden, and the had to stop them, and mount them and
ride through some barrels. One guy got stepped on
real hard and probably blew out his knee. It was gross.
Oh, Angi is doing better. She still hasn't come to church, but she's picked up praying again, and we had an awesome lesson last night with her about reading and she really committed hard to reading every day. She seemed a lot happier last night as well. Hopefully with time and patience she'll turn things around and find the path again. Keep praying for her! She needs it!
Elder Miles
Washington Yakima Mission

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

August 7 2017 - A Lot Happened

OK so a ton of stuff happened this week and I'm honestly not sure if I have enough time to write about it all. 

This week we had another MLC down in Yakima but it was a little different than usual. We spent the night before in Wenatchee, but instead of returning to Omak Tuesday night after MLC, we stayed in Yakima to go on exchanges with the Assistants. So that meant I got to be companions with Elder Allsop again for the day!! It was so cool. It felt like nothing had really changed except I had no idea who any of the people were that we taught.

So, because of MLC and exchanges, we didn't do any work in our area until Thursday. Monday was P-Day, and then we drove to Wenatchee, Tuesday was MLC and Wednesday was exchanges and driving. So, the beginning of the week started off very different, but the weekend finished out with a lot of surprises. 

First off, Angel is doing super well. I guess he has been changing a little since we've started working with him, and now his mom is starting to investigate the church as well!! She even came to church on Sunday! It was so awesome to have them at church. They both really enjoyed it and we're super excited for them. We had an awesome lesson with them on Friday at a member’s home and taught them all about repentance and change. After the lesson Angel's mom, Alayna, thanked us for the lesson. She said it was perfect for Angel. Teaching them is super interesting. Angel definitely prefers to speak English, but his grandparents, who are the members, speak little to no English, so our lessons are kind of mostly English with a little mix of Spanish. 

Josh is still doing well. He was sick all weekend and we were gone at the beginning of the week, so we haven't seen him at all this week. He's a cool kid though. He has a lot of good desires. Hopefully I have a better update on him next week. 

The biggest and craziest stuff from this week has to do with Trinidy and Angi. On Saturday, we had a lot of lessons fall through in the evening and we thought "We should see if Trinidy wants to have a lesson." So we sent her a text and her response was "My mom just kicked me out of the house." We were shocked! Thankfully she went over to the Bauer's house, who are basically her second family and also members, and we were able to meet up with her there. We talked for a little and she told us her mom and her got in a big argument and she was "kicked out." So, we had a short lesson with her and watched the video "Live by Faith, Not by Fear" on lds.org. Highly recommended by the way. Then her brother's girlfriend showed up, picked up Trin, and they left. She stayed the night in Omak and came to church on Sunday, but after church she left with her brother's girlfriend to Cheeney, which is a city over by Spokane, and out of our mission boundaries. We aren't quite sure how long she'll be over there but we know that she should be coming back after a week, at least for a little. It doesn't seem like her mom actually kicked her out but Trin seems to be overreacting about something. She is going to try and get an early emancipation, which would be absolutely crazy. So, keep her in your prayers! She's super stressed right now and could really use the help.

Angi also has had a rough go recently. Still hasn't come to church since she was baptized, and she has  been trying to avoid us, but last night we finally caught her at home and sat her down to have a good chat with her. We told her to be completely honest with us and that she didn't have to worry about offending us. She explained to us that she feels super empty and depressed and had been looking for instant gratification. She said she doesn't care about life anymore and that she feels like she has no reason to care about anything. It got pretty intense. The spirit was super thick and we had the chance to share some serious testimony last night with her. We bore testimony on the importance of keeping the commandments and how that makes us happy. How she is a daughter of God, and a ton of other things. The spirit was super thick in that room and my testimony grew tremendously. It was probably one of the most spiritual lessons we've had with her. The last time we had a deep conversation, like we did last night, was a turning point for her in the investigation process, so I'm praying so hard that it's the same right now. Please keep her in your prayers as well. She desperately needs it. 
Elder Miles

Washington Yakima Mission