Monday, July 13, 2015

July 13, 2015 - Elder Biehn Goes English for a Day

Hey everybody,

I'm writing this email pretty early because it doesn't look like I'm going to have much time today. Me and some of the other elders in my zone are planning to go into DC today and walk around the museums. So, it should be a fun day today.

Well, another week has come and gone, and it seems like time is really starting to fly. This week went by so fast and I can't believe it is already Monday again. There was a bit of changes that happened this week. For starters, I went on exchanges with the Zone Leaders. An exchange is where we trade companions for the rest of the day, spend the night, then we switch back the next day at around lunch time. So a full 24 hour period. I enjoyed it because I got to go to a different area and be an English missionary for a day. It was tough at first because I'm so used to talking to people in Spanish, I didn't know what to do in English. So my companion for the day was Elder Peterson and he had decided to do some tracting that day. I got a taste of what real tracting is like. I am blessed to be in the Spanish program because when I would tract, it wasn't so bad. Hispanic people would at least have a conversation with you if even if they really didn't want to. They are at least polite enough to talk to you. I have to give props to English missionaries because these people don't care in the slightest how you feel. We came across this one lady and this is how the conversation goes:

Us- "Hey! How are you doing today?"
Her- "Great. What do you want?"
Us- "Well, we're missionaries for the chur-"
Her- "I'm already Christian and I know all about you Mormons and Joseph Smith and your so called bible and I'm really not interested. Now go away."
Us- "Well would you be interested in doing family history?"
Her- "No. I don't want to talk to you anymore."

That is pretty much how every contact was for anyone who opened the door. Every time, me and Elder Peterson would just look at each other and either laugh or just shrug it off. Then for good measure, we left one of our pass along cards on their door.

There is good news though. Later that day, we were trying to check up on some less active members. We had a car and were driving through this neighborhood to try and find parking when I spot a Hispanic family. We hadn't found parking yet so we weren't able to talk. However, as we were walking back to where they were, they weren't there anymore. I was kind of bummed but as we kept walking we saw the dad getting stuff from his car. So I approached him and started to talk to him in Spanish. My one day in the English program and I'm still teaching in Spanish. Anyways, I was able to give him the abbreviated Joseph Smith story, place a Book of Mormon (Spanish of course), and invite him to church. The best part was that he had been looking for a church to attend and it just so happens that we ran into him. It was a good moral booster because I can teach a lesson on my own in Spanish. Elder Peterson told afterward that he could only understand a word here and there but he did hear "domingo" which is Sunday. So he was like "sí! Sí! Domingo." We both got a laugh out of it afterward.  This really makes me appreciate how much Spanish I have actually learned.
Visiting the museums in Washington DC on p-day. 
The National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC.

There's a ton of other stories I have from just that one day. So it was pretty eventful. But it helped me realize how blessed I am to be in the Spanish program, even if it is difficult at times to learn Spanish and communicate with people. But they understand that I'm white and that I'm still learning Spanish and they are really nice about it. So, I have come to the realization that white people are really rude. Haha. That is why everyone in the Spanish program refers to them as "scary white people." I'm just surprised that people, MY OWN PEOPLE, would treat someone like that, lol. But it was pretty much everyone who would do that so it doesn't really matter. In fact, these middle-eastern people were walking down the side walk and we were walking towards them. They see us and, without missing a beat, turn around and start walking the way they had come. Honestly I was tempted to go chase them down and talk to them just so I could ruin their walk they were having. Haha. But I didn't, oh well. Overall, the English missionaries have it pretty rough and I'm grateful to have been able to experience what it's like so I know how good it is to be Spanish speaking.

Have a great week and I'm off to DC to look at some museums. Woohoo!

Elder Biehn

Nasty shrimp with the head still on it and the eyes were bulging out. Ugh nasty.