Monday, August 18, 2014

First week in Spokane

Hey everyone!

So the first week has been super crazy!

My apartment is.... decent, some of the neighbors are pretty iffy though. Every night we have to be in the apartment before it gets too dark or else there will be druggies outside. Some of them were eyeballing my bike and it kinda made me nervous!

So far I've been bit by a dog, saw a swat team drive by for a drug bust, talked to homeless people smoking weed, helped someone move out of an... interesting situation, and rode my bike a ton and learned a little Russian! The members take really good care of us, we have meals planned for almost every night. my area isn't huge, but it is big for biking.

Elder Griffin and Elder Lyden (daddy!)
So Sunday morning we were riding around inviting people to come to church and guess what, we stop to talk to some people and their dog comes up to me and bites into my shoe! Then it went for Elder Lyden! It was funny, it only kinda hurt, didn't get through my shoe though. It was a really cool little example of how Heavenly Father cares about the little things, I almost wore my Hushpuppies, which are thinner leather and not as tough, but I decided to wear my other ones because it was Sunday and if I had worn the Hushpuppies I probably would've taken a big chunk out of my foot! But it just left a big dent in my Sunday shoes leather instead! It was awesome!

On Saturday, we were teaching a lesson at Roberto and Keala's house, which is on Boone. probably the most dangerous area in Spokane, definitely the most ghetto apartment Iv'e ever been in, and right in the middle of the lesson we hear a police car, and it was like okay. and then two and then we look out the window and see a swat team tank truck, 3 under cover swat trucks, 2 police cars and 3 undercover police suv's driving by! It was just like =O

On my first day, we went fear-busting and we went to "mission park" in downtown Spokane. Elder Beckstead decided that it would be good to go talk to the people there and so we walked around the park talking to homeless people and half of them were super high! it was crazy! everyone was super hardhearted though and we didn't have any good contacts, but I invited 3 high homeless people to be baptized! They all said they already had been and therefore didnt want anything to do with us. It was pretty funny!

Elder Lefler, Barbakov, Lyden and Griffin
My first night out here, we stayed in some member's homes, it was..... very interesting!
It was like a house of of a scary movie, complete with creepy porcelain dolls and random South American relics! It was way strange! It was super hot in the room I stayed in too, and at most of the windows they had the dolls perched so that they were standing in the window! it was creepy! the members were really nice though. they made us cereal for breakfast ha! But seriously, they were really nice.

During my first day in my area, we were called to help do a service project and when we called the guy, he said "Thanks so much! Just to warn you, you are walking into a highly volatile situation with crazy B***** from H***" and we were just like.... never accept a service project from the sister missionaries! haha! it wasn't actually that bad though, i guess the guy was moving out of his abusive girlfriends house, it was pretty weird. he had about 1000 pounds of ammunition in the basement! And there were buddah statues everywhere inside and out, so no Idea what the deal was with those people. it was pretty crazy!

Then later that day, we were riding our bikes through another not so nice area of our mission and a guy named "trip" riding a bright orange bike saw us and decided he wanted to talk to us, and so he followed us around talking about "only God can divide infinity, but if we have faith than we can divide infinity too! it says it in Corinthians and.... Etc Etc" it was super weird! and Elder Lyden, being the stud that he is decided to just start teaching him the restoration discussion and the guy kept rambling and i was just sitting there confused! it was pretty weird and funny!

At the end of that day, we were pretty discouraged cause none of the people we wanted to talk to were discouraged, but then we decided to talk to a guy sitting at a bus stop! his name was Sean, presently homeless, but he was super excited to learn about the gospel! he accepted a BoM and a restoration pamphlet and we're hoping he'll turn up soon! 

Bryce's bike
Also during that afternoon, we were riding our bikes around and found a guy named Dave (there are daves out here everywhere!) sitting on the side of the road dehydrated and stuff, we stopped and talked to him, and then we felt prompted to go and buy him some water from a 711 nearby and he was so very grateful! It made me feel so good to help someone in need! We were literally an answer to his prayers!

On Tuesday, we went to Russian lessons to support the Russian elders and sisters with their efforts to spread the gospel, it was crazy and I didnt understand most of it, but i'm sorta getting some of it. they do it every Tuesday evening at the chapel. it was just way random when i found out about the Russian companionships, apparently they can tell what houses have Russians in them because they have a vegetable garden and sunflowers in their front yards instead of flower gardens like most houses have..

Durning DL training meeting, I had to go on splits with some other elders who lived in "sherwood forest!" how random and hilarious was that!? it made me laugh and i need to get a picture with the sign sometime!

We had our media blitz on Saturday to combat the Book of Mormon Musical, which apparently bashes missionaries, so we were taking a bunch of pictures of missionaries doing what missionaries do! it was pretty nice because we had members giving us a ride all day Ha! and we did a bunch of service too! It was tons of fun! I had the opportunity to give my first blessing and i think it went well.

Spokane is way interesting! it's like cedar mountain, st george, las vegas, park city and salt lake city combined into one big city! its crazy! It's like cedar mountain because you'll be driving through the woods and just see houses throughout the trees, instead of cabins. it's way weird, like people are just used to seeing deer and elk and wild turkeys roaming through their yards!the big city, like down town is like vegas and park city because everything is so beat up and ghetto and there's random homeless people everywhere! but it's super weird because there are just huge forests everywhere around the city! also it seems like everyone and their dog smokes here! not to mention all the illegal stuff as well. 

Random side note though, I have been randomly cleaning the apartment and i kinda enjoy it? it's really weird!

Sorry my timeline is way confusing! it just seems like the days blur together!

Sunday was weird, We went to church and the ward was so small compared to ours back home! The chapel was about half the size of the Telegraph chapel and the seats were only half filled! I couldnt believe it! Unfortunately we didn't have any of our investigators come to church, but a lot of the less actives came and that was really good. 

I've decided that I love bus stops because its the easiest way to talk to people. They're everywhere and people pretty much are stuck there waiting so they are willing to chat! It's fun having a captive audience ha!

I think that's pretty much everything exciting that happened this week! 

Hope everything is well at home! love you!

-Elder Bryce Griffin

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