Monday, September 7, 2015

September 7, 2015

Hey Mom!

This week:
Getting pulled over, corny jokes, driving again, and...uh.....You know there's not actually too many exciting things that happened this week. 

Still, it was productive!

Glad to hear that the wood project went well. Or is going well to be more specific. I've never seen a tree brought down by wind, but your story did remind me of the scene in Where the Red Fern Grows where the Billy prayed for wind to bring down a tree, because he knew that God had helped him get his two hounds in the first place.
Unfortunately, I didn't receive your pictures, but don't worry! I've done enough wood parties to know all the shenanigans that go down there. Get it? Going down? Like a tree when you, when you....ah never mind. 

But yeah, I'm really glad that all my Valley buddies are on their missions now. Something tells me Coleman'll like Ohio. But did you know that one of the South America Missionaries is THE Aaron Stout? Imagine that! Aaron Stout, speaking Spanish in that heavy South West accent! He'll probably love it too.

Yeah, so we got pulled over this last week. Nothing huge, just got off on a warning, otherwise it would've been a $305 speeding ticket. Kempton was driving. He goes the speed limit now. We were late for district meeting because of it though. I was also able to drive for exchanges this last week. I'm not as bad as I remember. It actually felt really nice to be driving again. 

And yes, as if learning to missionary rap wasn't bad enough, now I'm coming up with really corny jokes. For example, ”What did the cocoa puffs say when it came back from the dead?” "That was a cer-e-al experience!"
I'll give you a moment to recover from your groanings.

Don't worry, we still had a good week this last week. We had the wonderful opportunity to teach the McClain family the plan of salvation. Man, Sister McClain is soaking it all in! Bro. McClain is learning at a slower pace, but still, we are incredibly blessed with these teaching opportunities. We were also able to teach the Acosta's lesson 1 this week. We decided to try them in the morning, and so we did that, and whadday know! All the family is there minus the oldest daughter, Alexandra. We gave them the invitation to baptism, and Sandra, the mother, gave a slow-nodded yes. So we have hope and faith that we can continue them successfully down that course. We were also given the opportunity to visit a number of less actives this last week! And while some responses were more positive than others, we were nonetheless to get new data that we can use to our advantage. Hooray for data!

Hate to say it, but that is literally all there is this week. We were short on crazy experiences, but we were super blessed to have all these teaching appointments. We were able to have three new investigators this week! And receive a few new referrals as well!

But still, I wish and hope the best for all of you. Remember that this the Lord's work and that we all have a duty to be examples and serve others, and also to help others return to the truth and come unto it

Love you all!

Michael


MICHAEL’S EMAIL TO TERRY

Morning Dad,

I've never failed at having a spiritual pondering over the sacrament. It's fascinating to see all the important symbolism along with the spiritual values that make it such a meaningful thing to do. I've seen one of the challenges in life for me has been focusing on the Savior during the process. Still, I'll have to look at that in the perspective you've mentioned, on being at that moment tuned with the spirit. 

It's funny. After being out here I've probably come more in two months than in my whole life on how necessary it is to look at things as other people see things. Especially teaching investigators. I guess my whole life I've taken missionary visits for granted. Then I come out here and realize how deep a connection that progressing investigators feel towards missionaries, and how much that missionary remains in their memory. That's probably one of my biggest fears now, or developing fears. That I would baptize someone, but then loose contact with them because I never saw them again. 

Still, there is always room for hope! Elder Kempton and I have been really blessed this last week but finding three new investigators. Elder Holt and I found them first, a family by the last name of Acosta, and this week Kempton and I were able to catch them all home, minus the oldest daughter, and we came in and taught lesson 1. I knew the spirit was working there, and I believe that they will come to know. But we are guides, and we hope the spirit can manifest itself to their family. Still, I pray for them and our other investigators daily.

I've also come to have a semi-pride check. We were listening to Uchtdorf's talk on grace that he gave last conference, and I pondered on what he said concerning how redemption isn't bought with obedience, but with the atonement. I had to look back on my life and consider that. It seemed like all through high school part of me was motivated to be obedient because I wanted to appear more spiritually strong than my peers, kind of a filler for my social weakness. Now I realize that I shouldn't have judged them, rather should've helped them with the atonement. I guess that's something I'll be doing for life, looking back to learn and live in the present and prepare for the future.

Anyway though, glad to hear that everyone was safe at the wood party. I'm not going to lie, I was kind of bummed not to be there. Work is always more fun when you do it with friends and family. 

Therefore, the mission is still fun! I'm surprised on how fast the weeks are picking up now.

Anyway, look forward to hearing from you again.

Love you,
Michael