Friday, June 13, 2008

Zach's Journal: Arriving in Oregon 5/7-5/11

May 7, 2008
Yesterday we landed in Eugene’s tiny airport. After meeting President Fugal and the AP’s we got our luggage. The AP’s took us on the “scenic” route back to the mission home. We took some pictures and had a good lunch.
I loaded up in a truck with Elders Baucom and Lunt. We were taken out to our first area: Bend. The driver was a Brother Mabe. He had a half-hour’s worth of something to say about everything. Nice guy though.
It was weird to see the rapid change in scenery on the 2.5-hour drive to Bend. People told me Oregon was diverse, but holy crap! Eugene was green and foresty. It looked like anything that sat still for more than a day grew moss on it. We got up into the mountains where it was snowy. Then we came down in to dry pine forest, and eventually a desert-like area.
My trainer is Elder Cofffey. He’s pretty awesome. We’re getting along classically, so far. He bought me dinner at Arby’s last night. Super cool.

May 8, 2008
This morning was a little overwhelming. In our companion study I found out how much memorization I need to do in this mission, including 50 scriptures. Then we did weekly planning. Holy crap! Then we went tracting.
At the end of our tract, before welt, we did one more house. The man was outside. He knew right away we were missionaries. He chatted with us a bit and asked us where we’re from. He seemed surprised when I said Minnesota. He’s a Minnesotan too! He invited us in. He had a great home. He’s a pastor, but he’s more in touch with God than most of his line of work. We answered some questions he had about the Book of Mormon and our beliefs. We left him with a copy of the Book of Mormon. He seemed interested I reading and praying about it. We’re going back next week to follow up with him. His name is Jim. He’s in his 60’s. A good man, and amazing storyteller. I’m praying for him.

May 9, 2008
One thing about the mission field I’m enjoying is the morning. What the heck, right? Not the waking up part. But like, at the MTC I woke up around 6, got in the shower or waited for a shower, and by the timeI was ready, we rushed off to the cafeteria and on with the day. Here I have a little more time to build up a good head of steam. Like right now. It’s 7:12 a.m. Personal study is at 8. I’ve been up since about 6. I’m showered and pretty. I’ve had breakfast, and even read a talk by Spencer W. Kimball.

May 10, 2008
I’ve been away from home for a month. Weird. I’m badly sunburned after a day wandering Bend. We did some serious walking today. Met a guy, like 6’4”. I think he could kill both me and Elder Coffey in one punch. We have an appointment to teach him a week from tomorrow. I’m excited. Okay my sunburn’s not that bad.
Today I was looking at a lamp in our apartment. I asked “what’s the deal with this lamp?” Elder Coffey just stared at me. I asked, “why is it here? Where did it come from?” and Elder Coffey said, “And where is it going? I have the answers to all these questions.” And we just sat there laughing at our punchy missionary selves.
Elder Coffey got his homeward bound itinerary today. He said it’s weird because this means he’s actually going home. This is my first area, and his final area. But it was also his first. He came back to train me. It’s a weird full circle thing.

May 11, 2008
I don’t know if I mentioned before, we met Sister Payne, one of the sister missionaries from The District. This is significant now, I promise. Her little brother, Elder Payne, is one of the AP’s here! Small world, especially in this church.

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