Monday, January 25, 2016

"Pope for go"

Hello all!

A little background on my area: I am in the Colonial Heights/ Mt Tabor area in the Portland Zone. It is in he southernmost tip of the mission. This area is known to have some...interesting things to write in your journal everyday. There is a motto in this city - "Keep Portland weird" -and that is definitely the case. For example, we met this man and started talking to him about prophets. Then he was like "Oh yeah! I'm one! I'm actually the pope! Yannow, the one in Italy is just the Pope for Show, but I am...I am the Pope for Go!" Haha! Also in sacrament meeting, someone played a harmonica solo for a special musical number. In Colonial Heights, there is a huge number of less actives, around 500 people. Both wards have about 50-100 people at sacrament meeting and I got to help bless and pass the sacrament in both meetings. Also, the Colonial Heights building was built in the 1920s and it is SO COOL.

Oh and the "we" in that story is me and my new companion, Elder Clarke! He's been out for eighteen months and according to every single person I've talked to, he's the best guy on the mission- And that is true! He's really obedient and knows his way around. Everybody loves him and he talks with power too.

We live in a small cottage apartment in the center of Portland.  Please don't send mail to me here, send it to the mission office and they forward it to all of us.

Elder Eric P. Sims

Washington, Vancouver Mission
2223 NW 99th Street
Vancouver WA 98665

I've gained some weight.  I’ve had to loosen my belt. I've done sort of an "eat whatever is in front of you because everything else is new and food is comfort" type of thing, on top of no exercise. So I am changing that this week. I bought some turkey, bread, string cheese, lettuce, carrots and cottage cheese and almond milk so I should be doing better. I've eaten at two members homes and he first night we had soup in a bread bowl and the next night was homemade cheeseburgers. The members are REALLY nice and take very good care of us. 

Elder Clarke and I are doubled into this area, which means that we were both transferred into it. So we have just spent the last couple of days going through the area book and trying to visit everyone. I've got some practice knocking on some doors and teaching some discussions but for the most part, we've just been in the car driving to different homes.

I got a haircut today and it looks pretty nice. GreatClips asked for my number and then they asked if my address is still 95-1144... And I was like ouch. :) I haven't been homesick this week, but it definitely has been hard. I am still getting used to the schedule and I am really tired all the time. But the AP's said If you are tired, it means you are doing something right. If you are weary, then you need help.

The trip from the MTC was fast. We woke up at three in the morning and went on the train to the airport. Then we flew to Portland where we met the presidency and AP's. I love President Anderson (1st counselor to President Taylor). I got to meet Sister Taylor at dinner time. [Mom edit:  President Taylor was in the hospital after having surgery after his heart attack. He is recovering well at the mission home and plans to continue his mission!]

These iPads are SO GREAT. There is an area book app where it has all of the information and planners for us. It is really nice compared to trying to read someone's handwriting on a traditional area book. Also, I am able to listen to any general conference talk I want to in the Gospel Library app. After every lunch break we have, I turn on a talk.

We also email on our iPads. I can't read your emails during the week, but I have all P-day (10 AM to 6PM) to write you guys. But I can't "chit chat" either, like send short emails back and forth.

I am doing great. I know that there is no better thing I could be doing right now. The first week on the field has felt like an eternity and it's been hard to transition from easily cruising at the MTC. It's funny, I thought the MTC was hard haha. Every night when I crawl to my bed, I thank my Heavenly Father so much for giving me the strength to get through another day. I feel your prayers and I know I am being strengthened through Christ and his atonement. I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is on the earth again and the only way to find out if it is true is following Moroni 10:3-5. Read the Book of Mormon, and ask with real intent, willing to act upon the answer you get. Love you all. 

- Elder Sims

Eric and his companion

Eric in his ward building

Eric's apartment is part of this home

This is the general area Eric is serving in currently

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