Thanks much for the pictures of Ole' Smokey and the Bronco. Sometimes I'm still surprised at how much people seem to love that car. I remember during my week in-between missions Dad and I took the Bronco down to Ashton's for a haircut, and on our way out some Hendertucky-Redneck in a beat-up jeep drove past us yelling out the window "It's Gorgeous! Keep up the Freedom!" Heck, I remember when we first hauled the frame from Cedar down to Vegas and folks at the gas-station in Mesquite were admiring it then.
But, there will be plenty of time to drive it after the mission. Right now we are stuck with a Chevy Cruze that we share with another set of Elders. Our cars are set up with funny little "tiwi" devices that verbally attack us whenever we do something wrong on the road.
Anyway, the past week in Ephrata passed generally well. But John was baptized! It was such a phenomenal experience for him. Only a handful of the ward could make it, but the spirit's presence there was fantastic! John's come a long way from his past life, and he truly now has a sincere desire to follow Christ to the end. It's incredible to see what the atonement of Christ is able to do for all who truly desire it. He is there, and He wants us to be happy. But He also wants to be certain that after He blesses us, we would still follow Him. Hence trials and tribulation. We can't control sometimes the down moments of our lives. But we can control how we react to them. And it's through Christ that this response to distress can turn into a change for good.
That event that you helped with was probably a zone conference. We had one this last week in Moses Lake, which has an incredibly nice climate. There was a lot of spirit there as well, and a lot of commemoration for the Savior's last week on Earth. Truly beautiful, the prophecies and the law that was fulfilled in those final days.
To my joy/surprise, Elder Beatty was there too, but he was absolutely without strength. I don't know if I ever mentioned that he has a rare kidney disorder that's very serious. I guess the week before it got to a point where a member down in Goldendale brought him up to the mission home. They're sending him home for medical. I was crushed, but at the same time glad for him. It took a lot to take him down, but he'll be alright.
On another experience, we contacted a referral, a couple named Marla and Marty, and were able to teach the Restoration to them! It was great! Additionally we got to meet with Emily with Bishop this past week. She's another investigator, and after teaching the Plan of Salvation, we extended a commitment to be baptized. And after explaining how the Holy Ghost works with regards to conversion, she said that she would once she felt that it was true! All in all, the work is going well.
I also forgot to mention a fun little detail a few weeks ago. There's a street in our zone where a certain homeless cat follows us around. We call him Tag, like Tag-along. But we didn't see him this week, so he's probably being a gangsta-cat somewhere else.
But anyway, great to hear that Justin's going to Cali! That'll be a culture shock for him. When's he leaving at? It's great to see all the friends I know head off on their missions as well. Because it truly is one of the most evolving experiences you can feel, ever. And I know that feeling of rising above the natural man comes because of the Power of God that comes to those who truly dedicate themselves to his service.
Still, where would I be without you Mom? I still ask that sometimes. Know that I love all of you and I really appreciate you guys's prayers. Always remember to be charitable!
Love you all!
P.S. got some pics from the baptism, along with my final pic with Elder Beatty. I don't think I need anything too soon. But I'll let you know if anything does come up.