Leaves are falling all around...
Actually, there are NOT leaves falling all around. We were at a member's
home yesterday for lunch and when we left the kids went into the front
yard and started throwing little pieces of palm tree and grass in the
air. They were trying so hard to participate in the joyful autumn
tradition of piling up fallen leaves and throwing them in the air......
Yup, fall is not quite the same in south Florida.
Well, I don't have quite as much to write this week as I did last
week. Friday we had a multi-zone zone conference and it was so fun! But
the most random experience I had last week was going to synagogue! On
Friday night, Sister Spjut and I went with Stella to the Jewish shabbat
service. She doesn't actually go to synagogue, but she's wanted to for a
while...and since she doesn't like to go anywhere by herself, she
wanted us to come. And we were, of course, super excited for the
opportunity. It was a cool experience.
We had no idea what to expect, but it was definitely different from what
we thought it would be like. It ended up basically being a lot of loud
singing in Hebrew. We had prayer books so we could sort of follow along,
but I don't know how everyone knew all the tunes since there wasn't any
written music. The best part was right at the beginning...they were
singing one of the songs that had a lot of "lai lai lai lai lai lai" in
it and then the rabbi and the cantor (the singer) started going around
the room and grabbing people's hands and pulling them into this big
dancing circle. They came by our row and grabbed our hands and so we
ended up dancing through the synagogue with them! Super cool/probably
one of the more random things I'll be able to say I did on my mission. "So this one time, I danced the grapevine in front of a whole lot of Jewish people while singing in Hebrew..."
It must have been a funny sight, these two little Mormon missionaries
with their black name badges dancing around the synagogue. It felt like
we were straight out of Prince of Egypt or Fiddler on the Roof. I loved
So as you can see, it was a cool experience! The rest of the service
included a sermon-of-sorts from the rabbi where he talked about the
conflicts in Israel and about the story of Jacob and Esau. Then there
was a lot more singing and reciting in Hebrew. I've always loved the
Israeli modes of music, so it was fun to be surrounded by it for an hour
and a half. I also loved how traditional and historic it all felt. I
really didn't come out of it feeling spiritually uplifted or
enlightened, but it was fun to go. Afterwards they had tons of
refreshment in their social hall so we got to go and eat some challah
bread they passed around and eat cookies and stuff. They tried to get us
to drink some wine...but...well, ya know, word of wisdom and such....
(we took the apple juice instead.) They were all really friendly and the
rabbi came and chatted with us afterwards. Apparently he has Mormon
missionaries show up at least once a year to his services! He said he'd
never had girl missionaries come, though. So that was my little cultural
experience of the week. Definitely didn't expect to dance in a
synagogue on my mission. :)
Just a few other random tidbits...
--There's an old Polynesian
woman in the world who was in a movie with Elvis back when she went to
BYU-Hawaii! She showed us a picture of her with Elvis and told us about
how they would all sit around talking with him after they were done
filming and how he loved spending time with them because they were the
only girls who weren't falling at his feet "in love." So fun to meet
people and hear about the fun things they've done with their lives.
--Elder Edwards was telling us about the time on his mission when he got
to be in a Flo-Rida music video. Flo-Rida is a rapper and was randomly
filming a music video at an apartment complex the missionaries showed up
to one day. So apparently if you watch his music video "I Cry" you
might be able to spot two guys in suits & ties in the background.
And then when it was done Elder Edwards gave Flo-Rida a Book of Mormon
in which he'd written, "Hey Flo-Rida, this book is awesome. These are
God's rhymes." Oh elders.
--We were at the auto shop the other day for an oil change and this guy
looked at our nametags, then smiled and said, "Hey, I see you work for
JC." (meaning Jesus Christ) That's right we do.
--I got to feed
squirrels at the elders' apartment last week! The elders in this area
have tamed squirrels for the last 8 years or so and now the squirrels
just walk into the elders' apartment and come right up and eat food out
of your hands. One of my favorite pictures that we've taken so far on my
mission is one of the squirrel taking food from my hand...I'll attach
it to this email...
Love you all! Thanks for the letters!
(By the way, the squirrel picture was in a post full of pictures a couple of posts ago.)