It's been an exciting week. We have been continuing work on our ASL video. We need to get original music so that we have no risk of lawsuit if we ever post it online. So we've been asking around for pianists. The name of a member in our stake came up, so we gave him a call. He was happy to help us, and we set an appointment to come to his house. We received a call the night before from one of the Spanish Elders saying that he needed to get his bike fixed at the shop. Fortunate for him, the shop was on the way to this man's house.
So the next morning, we got to the shop, and they started looking at the bike while we browsed the shop. The bike guy comes over and starts talking about how they really need to train us about basic bike maintenance and repair before they send us into the field. "You guys destroy bikes!" was his forceful statement. And it was met by hysterical laughter from all of us (except the one with the broken bike). This poor Elder is a regular at this shop. He has been in there for more repairs than, I would say, the rest of us combined. The guy began to explain that the front derailleur is demolished. Upon discovering that he couldn't even describe it well enough, he decided to show this missionary. He took the missionary behind the counter to another bike that they were tinkering with to show him "what the front derailleur is supposed to look like". He then stated, "Let’s go look at yours. This piece should be on the other side of the chain. I don't even know how it could have gotten to be like this...this is all supposed to be one piece of metal. Yours is two..." The whole while this is happening, the other three of us are dying of laughter. Especially because the guy pointed out that the missionary had only had this bike for a month.
Anyway, we continued on to the man's house, excuse me, mansion. What the man had that told us about his piano skills completely undersold him. This man was beyond fantastic. He was able to do exactly what we had imagined from the begging of planning this video (and with these types of things; that never happens). Even better, he called on friend of his that has a recording studio (we learned later that this place normally costs around $42,000. to rent for an hour). Anyway, he tells the friend that he has a bunch of young missionaries from the Church that need some help recording. In his words, "You can either join the Mormon Church by letting these boys baptize you, or you can let us use your studio." So we will get to use his studio but we'll work towards the other option as well. We may even be blessed to have a violinist that studied at Julliard and performed with the New York Philharmonic. She's a member in a different stake. Oh, and did I mention that her violin is over 400 years old? I feel like the video itself is going to pale in comparison to the music within it but we are so excited.
One of the coolest things that happened this week was on Saturday. We didn't have anyone signed up to feed us, so we called one of the families that said they wouldn't mind having us over on short notice. But he was out of town and she was sick. We didn't; however, feel the urge to call anyone else. So dinner time came, and we drove around looking for a place to eat. We found "The Pizza Buffet and much, much more". The name of the establishment alone would have turned me away in a different situation, but we felt like we should eat here. We went inside and paid for the buffet (which came out to about $8 each) and started to look for a place to sit. My companion felt like we needed to sit all the way at the back kind of close to the arcade so we did. The food was bad; really bad but while we were eating, Elder Clark looked back into the kitchen area that was only visible from where we were sitting. He saw some cabinets and there was just a little space between the tops and the ceiling. In that little space, he could see a picture frame that contained a portrait of Jesus, the same one that we give out to people. This sparked our interest and we began to see why we needed to be sitting where we were. Before leaving, we asked the manager about the picture. She replied that it had been there since they first opened 8 years ago. We explained to her that it was the picture that we receive from the church to give to people. Then everything clicked together. She remembered that her grandmother had 2 missionaries come and bless the restaurant before they opened and that they had given the picture to them. We asked if she would like to know more about the church and she expressed that she knew very little and was willing to learn about it. So, we spent a total of $16 for food that was not kind to me later that night but It was very much worth it to me to be able to find this young woman who is seeking the truth. As it is said in the scriptures, "the worth of souls is great..."
I can tell you that we, as missionaries, are guided daily to find those who want to know more. I can also tell you that you can receive the same experience if you ask for it and as you look for opportunities to share what you know to be true.
I love you all and I miss you dearly. May God bless each of you.