Monday, April 27, 2015

April 27, 2015

Just a note for packages, USPS doesn't give us any notices anymore if they drop off a package at our apartment’s management office, so if you send a package just let me know so I know when to check.

This past week was a bit hectic.  Had to drive the visa waiters to the airport at 4 am.  When we dropped them off there, we ran into Elder Murray's MTC companion.  I got to drive the truck though, which was fun.  I was a bit jealous they got to ride on a plane, I really, really miss flying.  

Later that day I picked up my new companion, straight from the MTC, Elder Zeng from Chengdu, Sichuan, China.  He's a funny guy.  In Chengdu, people eat really spicy foods.  He brought his own peppers to make his own "red oil" that's really, really spicy.  He also brought a packet to make the spicy hot pot.  We went to Subway and he asked for the most spicy sauce.  He said it was sweet, not spicy.  It's kind of fun seeing him transition to the US.  He tried his first root beer float the other day and thought it was okay.  It's great to have a testimony of someone who is really, really Chinese.  I think it's going to help the work in this area a lot.  

We spent 5 hours at the DMV on Saturday helping one of our investigators get his license.  He's got a baptismal date in two weeks that we're really excited about.

For some reason this past week, we've been eating a lot a lot of Chinese food.  It's really good and delicious, but too much! Elder Zeng lost 25 pounds in the MTC that he doesn't want back on, so we gotta stop all this food!

Elder Dyer with Elder Zeng from Sichuan, China

Airport at 4:30 a.m. - goodbye first son!

Saying bye to the visa waiters

All grown up!

Posterity (the Elder on the right was trained by Elder Johansen too)

Got the truck - yess!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

April 20, 2015

After long deliberation, I have decided I will not be returning to Brown after my mission. Instead I will be opening Dyer Barbershop and pursuing my dream of cutting hair... Just kidding! But I had a soft opening of "Cuts by Elder Dyer" in our kitchen yesterday.  Cut Elder Dalmer and Elder Carling's hair.  They have to look good for their new mission president in Taiwan!  They got their visas and Elder Murray and I will drive them to the airport Tuesday morning at 4 am! Fun stuff!

In other news, I'm training a new missionary again.  This time he's going to stay in this mission though.  Elder Zeng, from Sichuan, China!  Very excited for that.  

This week, we were walking around a neighborhood and this guy drives up and shouts, "Hey you guys LDS?" We reply, "Yeah." and he just shouts "BLESSED MAN BLESSED, YOU GUYS ARE THE BOMB." He then told us he was a convert of five years.  He had a friend that had just gotten off his mission and helped him feel the Holy Ghost and since then he's been "going around baptizing all [his] friends."  It was nice to have someone not shout [bad things] at us! Not like last time where, at the park, this girl in her 20s replied to our "if you see us around and need any help just let us know" with "I'd rather worship Satan than ask for help from you." 

Last week on Thursday, Elder Murray was on exchanges and we had dinner with a new family in the ward.  They told us to come around with Elder Murray on Sunday to prank him, pretend they were a very anti-Mormon family.  It was hilarious, we got there and Sister Garcia was asking Elder Murray how he can sleep at night knowing kids are dying and people are suffering and everything.  Elder Murray was pretty flustered, but we (Elder Carling, Dalmer, and I) couldn't suppress the laughter so we just burst out laughing.

Love Elder Carling's face

Mid-cut it looks like I am chopping his ear off 

Beautiful hair 1

Beautiful hair 2

Baking gone wrong...

Forest fire - pretty crazy actually

Chocolate strawberries

Monday, April 13, 2015

April 13, 2015

This past week we had an interesting conversation with one of our members from Shanghai.  When we were talking about his friend who's Buddhist, he started going on about how it should be impossible to be Buddhist in America.  He said, "If you're in America, you should be Christian, in China you can be Buddhist."  Interesting take on religion...

We went to the social security office to translate for an investigator getting her social security hard from political asylum.  When the employee got the letter from homeland security, she was all like "oooo I've never done one of these before."  A lot of our investigators have some really interesting ways to obtain American citizenship!  

We were in the park this past week talking to this woman about the Church.  She said our Church is false because we have extra scripture.  It's interesting to talk to Christians that aren't that familiar with the Bible.  Apparently I "don't even read the Bible" which was kind of awkward when I start quoting scripture to her.  Not that "Bible bashing" is good or that you should do it, but 'cmon I'm a 19 year old kid who knows the Bible better than you...

She said the Book of Mormon can't be of God because he wouldn't give us more scripture.  It just really made me appreciate the continued revelation we receive in this church, to us, "His words never cease."  I would be a bit more understanding if after reading and praying about it someone didn't want to hear more, but she was just going "la la la la la, I'm not listening."  It reminded me of this guy in Riverside who said if God came down and told him the Book of Mormon was true, he'd said to God, "Show it to me in the Bible."  Anyways, just something that made me laugh this week.

This week is Elder Dalmer's last week in America!  Next week we have to drive him and the other two visa waiters that are going to Taiwan to the Ontario airport.  It's going to be weird being in an airport without getting on a plane! This is the longest time I will have gone without flying in my life!

Chef Dyer in action

So gourmet - zoomed in

I promised a picture in front of the temple

With church members

Thursday, April 9, 2015

April 6, 2015

So yesterday was Easter Sunday, hope everyone had fun.  Everyone's got to check out and watch the video about Jesus, it's only two and a half minutes long, don't be lazy.  Also, General Conference was this past weekend so go see that on too!

Slow week because of conference weekend, lots of our time was taken up with meetings.  We did meet a woman in the park who was filing for political asylum because the Chinese government would apparently not be cool with her having her second child.  It got really awkward because she started breast-feeding her 2 year old while talking to us in the middle of the park...  It was weird...

One of our investigators seems to be having everything bad happening to him.  He got his debit card information stolen and apparently $60,000 taken off the card, used at a casino.  First of all, that's a lot of cash.  Chinese people just come here and seem to run into so many problems.  You wonder why they stay.  I guess clean air and clean food is that much of a benefit!

One of our other investigators who is actually doing really well here and said he's never going back to China told us why he quit smoking years ago.  He said he found out the Chinese government taxes cigarettes a ton.  For a 10 RMB pack of cigarettes for example, 6 would go to the government in taxes.  He said he hates the government so he just stopped smoking because he didn't want to help. I thought that was funny.  I guess any reason is a good reason to quit smoking. 

Happy Easter, remember Jesus died for you, sorry I didn't take pictures this week, so you can have some throwbacks. 

Our Chinese ukelele duo - we'll be famous!

We got up early so I don't look too good

March 31, 2015

Had a miracle baptism with Lawrence.  He was supposed to leave to Australia a couple weeks ago and was on date for baptism last month.  We visited him the night before his plane was supposed to leave to tell him about the missionaries in Australia.  Then the next morning when we stopped by at his house to talk to the other people that lived there about church, he answered the door! He said he wanted to stay longer in the U.S. and the things we had taught about families really got him (he was originally going to leave his pregnant wife for a couple months).  Anyways, long story short, he is now baptized, it was awesome.

When we were coming home from a meeting at the mission office, we got rear ended coming off I-15.  Very minor - Mulan didn't have too much damage, but it was annoying because he didn't want to give me his insurance information.  He just wanted to pay cash...

We got to go to the Temple this week, which was really fun. Pictures for that next week.

My testimony has obviously grown throughout this time.  The atonement is real, it's not only redeeming, it's empowering - through it we can do great things.  It all comes back to sacrament meeting though - it's different when you think about the suffering - not just physical pain, but the burden of sin that He had to experience because of justice.  Quite overwhelming.  I don't have those same black and white experiences as Ashley does though - so I can't tell you I've seen a drunk drug addict come clean.  

I was talking to a recent convert I baptized in Riverside the other day (I had to do a baptismal interview for someone who was getting cold feet and unfortunately it didn't work out). But he was telling me how different it is for Chinese people to accept something so usual to me.  It's hard for them to believe in God, to believe that they have a purpose here in life.  

Our investigators always say that us missionaries are so "pure" because we do not have any other motives than helping people.  Now we want to help them be baptized but it's interesting. Now is a time where 100% of my time and effort is put towards the people I serve, so it's really not a burden to me to wait 3 hours with someone while helping them register their child in school.  I don't have to answer emails, texts, or calls.  I can just be there and help.  Unique perspective on life.

Lawrence and Elder Dyer at Lawrence's baptism

Lawrence and his family at his baptism - he has a really cute daughter

Lawrence baptism group photo

Basketball clothes with breast cancer awareness socks - aren't you proud of me mom?!

Cheese plate - kind of

Fried green tomatoes

I made some parfaits

Planning pants!