San Antonio

San Antonio

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Texas-Size Spiders

So first I gotta crazy little story. So I had no idea, but apparently there are a ton of tarantula spiders here in San Antonio. In fact, this past week, Elder Vickery and I saw 3 of them! So the very first one we saw was so dang freaky. We were knockin down a street and we walk in to this porch, Elder Vickery knocks on the door and kinda turns a little bit and notices a giant tarantula sitting right behind my head just chillin on this brick wall!!! At first I totally thought he was kidding, but I slowly turned my head around and there it was, no joke but this thing was as big as my hand!! It was hairy, big, and downright scary... we took a few pictures with our little camera phone that we have (which was scary enough just tryin to get close to it), but I'm not sure if I'm gonna be able to send you any pictures of it.

But boy, I have never seen a spider so big in my entire life! I'm used to just the teeny little house spiders that we have back in Boise, haha. And then the other 2 that we saw, one was dead and one was alive - we think they were fighting - but the crazy thing is that we saw all three of these spiders in a matter of 2 days. We talked to our recent convert, Olga Ekcstein, about it and she said that she has a ton that live in her bushes in her front yard and occasionally they come out but not very often. She says that they mostly come out in the summer because of all the humidity, so we'll see if I come across any more this summer.

Bike Adventures

So family, I have some bad news... My bike was stolen. Ya, so here's how it all went down. Elder Vickery and I set our bikes against the fence of our investigator's yard, and went to knock on the door solely to check up on the investigator and see if we could set up a return appointment - so we didn't lock up the bikes. When he answered the door, we talked for a bit and he surprisingly invited us to come inside. Immediately, Elder Vickery and I began thinking of what we were gonna share or teach to this man, and we totally spaced that our bikes were unlocked sitting outside the yard.

After the lesson, we came outside literally 20 minutes later, and Elder Vickery turns to me and was like, "Elder Mangum, where's your bike?" That sick feeling just came over me, cuz we both knew what had just happened.... So I no longer have that nice new Specialized Mountain Bike, but I'll be getting a used one from the mission office tomorrow.

Ya, I feel really stupid but I've been focusing on living by the words of Kirby Heyborne: "In the Eternal Perspective, the nicer things in this life, just don't matter." But Hey! It's all part of the missionary experience! Getting bit by dogs, getting doors slammed in the face, getting your bike stolen. I'm just eating the whole experience up!

Editor's Note: Because of a replacement bike policy purchased before the mission, Madison should receive a new bike, but as of this posting, it has not arrived. :(

I crashed my bike!!! Haha so story time - Elder Berntson and I were riding down the street on the sidewalk actually, and we were flying down this hill. And as you go down this hill you have to make a quick manuever to avoid these wires that hang down diagonally from this telephone pole. We were going extra fast this time because we were late for an appointment, so we quickly approached these wires in the middle of the sidewalk and I went to pull my brakes a little to slow myself and get in control, and my brakes were out! Gosh dang piece of junk bike (I haven't received my new bike yet, I dunno where it is), so I do my best to slide by these wires, but I didn't quite make it.

My pedal on my bike snags on to these wires and makes my bike completely stop and I go flying over the handle bars! My face slams into the ground and it was one of those deals where I blacked out for a split second, and when I came to, there was a ton of blood dripping from my face all over the sidewalk and on my white shirt. It was tight!!! Heck ya it hurt and super embarrassing, but I looked pretty beast nonetheless. So in the end, I had some serious road rash on my cheek and a gaping gash in my left eyebrow. I quickly covered up the gash and put a ton of pressure on it to stop the bleeding, and we proceeded to go into the next apartment complex to find the elect in helping out Elder Mangum.

Haha after about knocking on 7 or 8 doors, the Lord was testing our patience, someone finally opened their door and uncomfortably let us into their house so that I could clean up my wound. We got it all cleaned up and put some neosporin on it and slapped a couple band aids on it, and then before heading out the door of this kind samaritan's house, we gave her a pass along card and told her all about the importance of the message of the Restoration. She'll get baptized someday. haha

Editor's Note: Madison is fine, a slight headache the next day, but no further mention of any residual effects. Thank goodness!

New Companion

His name is Elder Eric Berntson (like - you got 'burnt son'). He is a freakin beast! Get this, he's one transfer ahead of me, so he's been out about 6 1/2 months, and I'm at 5 months, so between the two of us, we've got about 5 transfers of experience - We're the young guns, baby! He is 6'4 and weighs 235 and has a full scholarship to play football at Utah State as a Defensive End when he gets back. Just a pure stud, he's from Logan, UT and here's some crazy stuff... he is the middle child of 5 kids, with 2 other brothers and two other sisters. His birthday is in January, AND we realized that we had talked to each other before, in the cafeteria line in the MTC right before he was about to come out here to San Antonio...sick right?

But gosh, it is such a blast!!! We are definitely relying on the Lord for help bacuse of the lack of experience that we have. But we decided that the Lord, President Cutler, and the AP's have enough trust in us to work together and have success, so we are workin super hard to prove that we can do everything that is asked of us. Even in just these past few days that I've had with Elder Berntson, we have grown immensely and are having just a complete blast doing it!!! Our motto is, "Grab life by the Horns and just do it". Man, I am so stoked to spend these next few weeks with Elder Berntson here in the Saint Cloud area. He spent his first three transfers on the border in a town called Eagle Pass, so his Spanish is solid and we are workin extremely well together.

Good grief, I am a missionary. I still find myself everyday, shocked that I am actually doing this. Sometimes we're ridin down the road and people honk at us, and I look down and realize, "Oh, I have a nametag on and am wearing a white shirt and slacks and a tie!" I'M A MISSIONARY!!! hahaha so sick hahahaha!!! I'm actually doin it!