Monday, November 30, 2015

BBQ and Houses Made Out of Bottles

Monday Nov 16, 2015

"So honestly this week was pretty exciting. There was a lot of fun things that happened that filled up the week and made it fly by. 

After emailing we picked up the other elders and then went to Vidor to meet with the Vidor ward. We saw a bottle house, which is just as it sounds-a house made out of bottles. Elder Lawrence was trained in Vidor and this house is no easy task to get to. We had to travel over huge logs and fences and through mud. It's weird cause not very many people know about it because you have to travel through the thick swampy woods. It is so beautiful and at the end I will post some pictures of the bottle house.

We then went to a BBQ place in Vidor(* note from mom: Small world-Bro. Hogge's son-in-law runs the Barbecue and it is called Wrights Barbecue) The owner is a member so his staff is well trained. When a missionary comes in they give them major discounts, so I had ribs which were super good, fall off the bone. The mac n cheese was pretty good and the I had the best banana cream pudding I have ever tasted. Honestly, I don't know what was in it, but it was definitely celestial worthy. Also the restaurant on the inside is super cool because it has all these old poster and toy car collections and they were playing country music. Honestly, I liked country music before in Utah and down here I love it. When it came on in the restaurant we all started to sing and there is always people smiling. 

We then went up to meet the Vidor wards and played some soccer and basketball and then we went outside and had a water balloon fight and a slip n slide. Don't worry, we didn't go swimming but we got a little wet. Also we brought the slack line and honestly we are getting a lot better at it. After that we talked with everyone.

We went to a members house and we asked him if we could have a bonfire. He said ya and got on his huge tractor. He went down the road and then came back 5 minutes later with two fully grown trees in the claw of the tractor, so we grabbed chainsaws and cut up trees while he took his tractor and grabbed two more trees. We stacked them super high and then he went into his house and grabbed a gallon of gas and pours it on the pile. Let me tell you that mountain of wood went up real quick and it was entertaining.

The next stop during the week was St Mary's Catholic Church to serve in their soup kitchen. A lot of people talked to us and asked us questions about our church. We were asked about 7 times if we wanted tea or coffee. We said we couldn't and they were a little freaked out. They fed the volunteers first and then everyone else. They asked if we could eat cake or drink lemonade, or eat nuts. A bunch of questions. It was good. The spaghetti was super good because the person who made it is Italian and they are always super good cooks. All the people came in from outside ( there were over 150 people). They asked me to say the prayer so I said a prayer in front of the huge crowd. The priest then said the 'Lords Prayer" and Hail Mary and he thanked the veterans. Then we served people and I took a picture of this statue against abortion. 

We had a zone conference this week and we had homemade Cafe Rio. The sisters had all the salad and we were left with rice and beans but hey, it is only food. 

It gets dark at 5:30 now. It is like pitch black, not just dark. So we are doing Hour of Power in this neighborhood and it is pitch black. We are going to these houses and then we hear growling and these two dogs come out and are growling at us. We go to the other house across the street and we hear a dog over there barking. We skip two houses and go up the driveway of the next house and suddenly Elder Hunter says, STOP. I stop and then I hear this noise through the grass. I look and one of the dogs from the other house is charging at us. The problem is we can hear it but we can't see because there are no lights at all. I am getting ready to brawl with this dog and then he gets about 10 feet from us and growls and barks and starts to snap at the air. We call it quits and the thing that I've learned is to never run away from an animal, so we start walking backwards and the dog is still barking. The other two dogs come over and trap us in the driveway. One of the dogs is polar bear looking and a german shepherd. We start going to the side and we are still far away from the car. It takes forever but we make it close to the car and the first dog comes with a foot of me and bites the air. I grab my Book of Mormon and step at him and pretend to swing at him. ( which I realized if super stupid and it was in the moment) But I did it and he jumps back. The problem is that now instead of a stranger, I am an enemy. He stays back and then comes charging forward so I do the same thing because now I have to. We are about to the car and I tell my comp to get in and open my door. So he does it and I am standing there swinging at the dog and he jumps back. I book it and the dog chases after me and I dive into the car.I am about halfway in and I look just in time to see  the dog to open his mouth  to bite my shoe but my comp presses the gas so I fly away from him and get fully into the car and into safety. While my comp was driving away the tiwi is shouting agressive driving and slow down, so my comp is racking up tiwi points just for getting me to safety. So for the record, I have been chased by 3 dogs but this is by far the closest. My comp said he has gotten bit by a dog more than once. I asked him how bad it was and he never answered but I am guessing a batman band aid wasn't enough.

The week got better because we met with a investigator that we couldn't get a hold of and she has been reading the Book of Mormon. That is great and we have set a time for her. We take pride in our small steps. Alma said it best, Alma 37:6:  "Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise." After that we went to another investigators house and her daughter invited us in and we talked to her mom, the investigator and then we did some service and talked to her for about an hour. She told us she didn't want to keep us long but would we please come back so we said "yes of course! I found out in Orange that they only believe in Choc filled donuts because I bought some donuts that said they were raspberry and lemon filled and biting into them, they were choc filled! That was one of the most disappointing things that I've experienced on a mission is biting into a choc donut thinking it was raspberry. I was depressed for a good hour. Spent $1 on disappointment. You know, I can't even talk about this, I'm done for today.

We had this Special Angels rodeo that we served at today. It was way fun. It is a rodeo for special needs children. We filled out a form about a week ago and then we walked in to volunteer. They pulled up our names and everyone was a buddy except for me. They sent me to games and I was in charge of this football game and it was fun. You throw a football through a tire. I was trying to be the funnest one there and I think I accomplished that because my line was the longest. Not because I was slow but because everyone had a good time. Even the people who couldn't throw because of their disability. I tried to make it fun for them. Then I was switched out and didn't have a job so I went back to the volunteer station and so they had me be a buddy. I got this sweet kid named Harold. He was probably the most energetic kid I've ever seen. I had to hold his arm to keep him from running around. He was so funny and just a great kid. He dad was Mexican and I think his mom was part. Sometimes Harold would talk to me in Spanish. Most of the time I could not tell what he was saying but I would respond in Spanish, "Are you excited?" and he would laugh and smile. I probably said that about 25 times. I walked around with him for about an hour and a half. Then his parents came and picked him up. 

Trump came to Beaumont so that was cool. We wanted to go see him but as a missionary, it is not possible."
Elder Saunders
Entrance to the Glass Bottle House Vidor TX Nov 2015

Inside of the glass bottle house Elders Wood, Lawrence, Saunders, Hunter
Vidor, TX  Nov 2015

Another view of the Glass Bottle House Nov 2015

beautiful glass bottle house in Vidor, TX 2015

Special Angels special need kids rodeo in Orange, TX L-R Elder Saunders, Elder Hunter, Elder Lawrence,  Elder Wood. November 2015

Special Angels rodeo in Orange TX. Sister Wilson, Sister Madsen, Elder Saunders, Elder Hunter, Elder Lawrence, Elder Wood. Nov 2015

A cool sign at the Bottle house in Vidor, TX November 2015

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