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Monday, July 6, 2009

PLEASE don't feed the bears!

Hey family! This week wasn't quite as eventful as the others, and the work this week was really slow, but I still had some good experiences. President and Sister Dance didn't get in until night on the 4th so we didn't see them until Sunday. The 4th was a hard day. I missed you guys a lot. There were a lot of people in town, and so Elder Norton and I walked through town around all the celebrations so that the people could see us out and about and hopefully talk to us. We didn't think it was the best idea to try and talk to people in the middle of town with a fair going on and them enjoying time with their families, so we drove to Allison Point where we fish so we could try and talk to people there and see how the fishing was.

President and Sister Dance got in Saturday night and we spent Sunday with them. They are really amazing people. It took I think three full hours to get our interviews done with them, but it was good to see other people from the mission, especially the Mission President and his wife. We don't see other missionaries as often as most do in Alaska because we are more remote and harder to get to. We thought that President Dance might close Valdez because it is so slow, and everyone here has been tracted in to and talked to multiple times because the town is so small, but he thinks Valdez is an amazing place and that more work can be done. I think I will definitely be here next transfer, but we will see about Elder Norton. In my interview, President told me to go where the fishermen and the boats are, so I told that to Elder Norton and I think we will do that more now. Anyways, now on to the good stuff. This week was definitely a bear watching week. The Pink Salmon just got in a few days ago, so the bears are in. We decided to drive to Allison point to check out the fishing on Tuesday, and on the way we saw a big grizzly bear in the grass by the mountains off the side of the road. We stopped to take some pictures, and just so I can scare you on how close we got to it, I'll include some pictures in the email. At one point, we were only about 10-15 yards from the bear. It was AWESOME! There was a ridge between us and the bear, so it wasn't too bad, but my heart was definitely pumping faster haha. I know missionaries tend to not tell their families about these kind of things but what's the fun in that? I didn't think I would ever get that close to a bear, but it was so worth it! That's just how hardcore Alaska missionaries are, or at least the ones in Valdez.

We have been searching for people to teach, but it's been harder and slower. We have been tracting in town and the people have more money and are less receptive. We tracted into one lady that has Native American background, and said that one of the stories her forefathers told her was that a man who came back from the dead visited her people and spoke to them. I showed her John 10:16, and we are having her read 3 Nephi 11. She really connected with the fact that the Book of Mormon talks about what her forefathers told in stories. Hopefully we can teach her more. Well that's about it for this week. I'm positive that next time I will have more things to write about because we are going to try extra hard this week. I love you guys!

Love MAT