Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October 27, 2014

I'm most likely getting transferred next week on Monday, so my address will be:

Elder Dyer
5900 Grand Ave.
Riverside, CA 92504
Until I know my new address

This was probably the slowest week on my mission.  We had a record low lessons taught - partly because we weren't getting into people's houses, they either weren't home or not answering the door and partly because Johansen and I were sick for part of the week.  It was not fun - not teaching people.

One of the fun parts, was one of our investigators, K. is feeling a lot better health wise.  When we visited her last, after we gave her a blessing last week, she said, "That stuff you put on my head really worked, because I've been feeling great this past week."  Miracles happening with her.  And she's really excited about learning more about the church.

One of the reasons we got sick was probably because we ate tons of spam for lunch (sorry mom).  I used to get spam and rice at Raph's house so I wanted to make it here. I felt like a chef wearing an apron the aunties sent.  It tasted delicious, but afterwards we felt really really sick.  So probably not a good idea.

Other than that, very slow week, not much happened.  It's Johansen's last week in the mission, so that is bittersweet for him.  

I finally got my Chinese nametags!

Johansen and me on his second to last P-day with his Real Madrid birthday present from me.

My Halloween costume for next week! 

Ready to make some spam!

Still happy with my spam! (for the time being)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

October 20, 2014

Just a heads up, I might be transferred at the end of this transfer (November 3rd) so my address after that will change.  So if anyone is sending anything that won't get to me before then, send it to:

Elder Jacob C. Dyer
5900 Grand Ave.
Riverside, CA 92504

We got a visit this past week from a General Authority of our church, Elder Evans.  He talked about a lot of stuff, but my favorite was his discussion on forgiveness.  His main idea was, "just let it go."  Sometimes in our lives we hold grudges, we have bad feelings about our peers because of something they said, something they did.  But those feelings don't help us at all. In fact, they hurt us.  It's like we're intentionally inflicting pain on ourselves for something someone else did.  We can't control other people's actions, but we can control our own.  It can be so hard sometimes to "just let it go" but when we eventually have the capacity to do that, it's a huge burden lifted off our shoulders!  One of the other things he said was that we no longer have to get OYM's  - our requisite 10 people we talk to (per person) each day.  Instead, we have to "talk with everyone," not "badgering" people, but just being friendly with everyone.

One of the low points of our week was our investigator K., falling off baptism date.  Her dad told her to check out some other churches before getting baptized.  I totally understand waiting and making sure this is the right decision.  But she has told us this is the right decision for her, she's felt the healing power of the Holy Ghost and Jesus Christ's Atonement, so it was a little frustrating.  She's doing a lot better health wise, so that's a plus!  We gave her a priesthood blessing and she's been feeling way better, so that's another testament to her.

We went to this huge Halloween party our Bishop has every year.  There were about 250 people there – lots of Mormons but lots of non-members too.  Everyone kept asking us if we were real Elders, real missionaries.  It was fun! I lost count of how many of the little girls were dressed up as Elsa from Frozen.  

The other day, we had to leave early to go to Elder Evans.  It was still dark outside, and 59 degrees Fahrenheit.  I was absolutely freezing inside my car. I must have already adjusted to California weather because in Rhode Island, that's quite pleasant. I'm going to be bundled up tight if it drops below 50...  At least walking around during the day in this weather is perfect!

When we were over at the home of E., our 81 year old investigator, I asked him if he liked baseball, and he was like, “oh yeah there was that one guy on the dodgers.”  I was like “Sandy Koufax?” and he was like “no it was like, Jackie Robinson.” I was like ”OH MAN you're old...” 
One guy at church, whenever he says hi to me, he's like “ni hao” and bows to me, so funny.

Love you!


Elder Dyer eating "Frutas Frescas" in Mira Loma (mini Mexico).  Pretty much fruit with chili, lime, and salt.

Elder Dyer and Johansen preparing for P-day soccer

October 15, 2014

Our job as missionaries is to invite people to do things.  We obviously can't force anyone to act, so we just invite.  And it's frustrating when people don't keep their commitments because it means we're not progressing with them.  Lots of disappointments on missions!

The interesting thing about having gone to a year of college before my mission is that I'm around lots of people who only know what high school is like – all good fun.

I was at the mission office the other day for interviews with the mission president, and it was so funny listening to the senior missionaries talking about their "grandbabies". Each of them were sharing pictures.  At the mission office I got a chance to watch "Meet the Mormons", a new documentary that is out in theaters.  EVERYONE GO SEE IT.  It was so good, it was just like a documentary about 6 very different but very interesting people.  I loved it! 

One funny thing about the church buildings is that police cars seem to gravitate to them, to just chill out in the back where nobody can see them.  One time we walked out of an empty church building on a weekday, and there were two police cars just chilling out back, they were just talking.  I guess Mormon churches are the place to be! 

We got to visit the temple this past week.  So we drove out to Redlands and got to visit the Temple.  I spent a lot of time in the Celestial room, beautiful.  I was there for a long time just pondering, beautiful interior and you can really feel the spirit! Afterwards we went to Cafe Rio and I got to try it for the first time! It was good!

When we walk around neighborhoods, we talk to a lot of people and ask if we can pray with them.  One house had the parents and two small girls (the older one 5).  When we asked them if there was anything in particular they wanted to pray about. The older one blurted out, "I want to be a mermaid with a real mermaid tail" (Halloween's coming up).  Her mom explained she can dress up as Ariel, but it won't be a real mermaid, so she said "fine I want to be Elsa [from Frozen] with all her powers."  It's funny the imaginations of children. 

We went to a senior center to feed a bunch of old people (around 60 or 70), and it was super fun.  We started in the kitchen, prepping food and getting it ready to serve. Then we had a food line where we dished it all up.  It reminded me of summer music festivals at Sisters' Pantry (I was really fast). There was some congressman there and the mayor of Riverside.  When they had us go to the front to thank us, they had us say where we were from. When I said China, they started cheering. It was pretty funny.

Our work with our progressing investigators is slow.  K., the one who's been in remission from cancer for 4 months fell and hit her head.  She had a minor concussion, chipped tooth, and half her face was black and blue.   Crazy... Then she was back in the emergency room a couple days later for something else.  So lots of work with her if she's going to make her November 1st baptism date.  We're going to give her a Priesthood blessing, so hopefully it helps!

Elder Johansen and Dyer at the Redlands temple

Elder Jacob Dyer's language study notebook, a great conversation starter (and yes he got the two sides of the river flipped, but he wanted Pudong on the front cover).

Redlands California temple

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

October 6, 2014

As missionaries, we try to help as many people as possible.  We saw this guy who looked like he needed a hand in the Walmart parking lot.  Turns out he ran out of gas, so we went to fill him some.  When we came back, his friend with a cigarette in his mouth spilled about half of it trying to fill up the car.  But apparently that's not dangerous because static electricity has a higher chance of causing a fire than cigarettes (?). I thought that statistic was fishy.  Anyways, afterwards he asked, "why'd you guys do that," great opportunity to show him we care, just trying to spread the love. 

One of our new investigators we found from a miracle.  The other Elders in our area referred her to us and we visited.  She's been through so much - cancer (in remission 4 months now), broke her back in 3 places from a car crash recently, husband divorced her because of the cancer, and now she's incredibly weak.  She has this huge 220 pound bull mastiff that drools like CRAZY.  We taught her how Jesus Christ can bring healing to her life, and she was crying. 

When we gave her a Book of Mormon, she said she couldn't give us a donation, she didn't have the money.  We told her that it's free, and she just held it super close to her - she loves it.  It's amazing the people that have been prepared for us to visit.  When we talked about baptism, she asked when we were having the next one.  She's now on date to be baptized on November 1st.  She's excited for it.

At general conference, I met this investigator of the Chinese speaking Elders from XuJiaHui, in Shanghai.  I surprised myself with my ability to carry out a conversation in Chinese.  It's nice to meet people from back home!  

One of the guys we visit, who has the jeep, and plays golf surprised us.  He used to play with Tiger Woods in Junior PGA, he was in the top five with Tiger.  Apparently he can drive further than him!  It's amazing the kinds of people you meet.  We love to visit him, super chill guy. 

Elder Dyer with birthday gifts from friends in London on study abroad (Elder Dyer's favorite English football club is Arsenal, hence the team scarf)

Sunsets are nice in the hills of California