Wednesday, May 25, 2016

May 23, 2016

So the thought hit me yesterday. I was looking at my Cadet staff picture a few days back, and realized that banquet was going to be the next night. That hit me like a brick wall. That staff picture is now a year and few days old. When I met with Mckay before reporting to the MTC, he told me that we and only 3 others of that staff were out of Vegas. I wonder where they are now?

What hit me even more was that after this transfer, which just began, I would've been out for a year. SAAAAaaaaaAAAYYYYyy WHAAAAAATTTT? Of course, the feeling will be more relevant in 6 weeks. Also, speaking of transfer conditions, Elder Painter and I are staying in Ephrata. And....I've been called to be a District Leader. In the brief job description that Pres. Lewis gave me over the phone, it sounds like the same as being a Flight Commander back at Palo. Looking forward to it! 

Matter of fact, out of the 10 of us in the District, 6 are getting transferred. However we will be receiving a certain Hermana (Spanish for sister) Juarez, who I think is from Redrock stake, the last time I remembered. So, it'll be interesting to see what happens!

In terms of what happened this week, let's just say that things were...emotional. For one, Jason, Eliana, and Joe dropped us. It hurt, a lot. Particularly since they did it by text message. Hopefully we can visit them this week just to make sure that that's what they really want, and if so, to end with a good note. The last thing I want is to seem like I was friends just for the sake of conversion. Because that is arguably one of the last things Christ would do. Some of the recipients of His miracles weren't interested in learning more, but He didn't criticize them for it. He did it all out of love, a love that I wish I could emulate.

We also ran into a couple of ...ahem, not-as-interested people. We went on exchanges Weds. and I experienced what it was like for the elders on the other side of main street. By the time we came back for lunch we had already had a Born-Again care-taker calmly (who took things as literally as the Pharisees did) tell us why we should leave our church. Testifying didn't really get anywhere. Our offering to do service for her ticked her off even more, and asking if she knew anyone else who could use help also ticked her off. She couldn't "imagine sending Mormons to anybody" for service. 
It took a long time to brush that last part off (particularly because of my background with KHAS) . But honestly, if I gave into a lesser man, I would've said that was discrimination. But who am I to judge? She was caring for a 101 year old lady, and I bet there was a lot on her mind. She had strong faith! And I liked that about her. We are all imperfect, and I pray that maybe one day she will be able to find peace. Who knows? Sometimes testifying went a loooong way.

There was still much good to report upon! Elder Painter and Oliverson  (I mentioned we were on exchanges) had an outstanding lesson with Alva and Bev. They are progressing so well! The Lord has such a great way to express love to his children. The memory of them finding us last transfer is still a miracle to me. Because it was. Sometimes reading Sis. Woods emails you send me I feel like I could be having so many miracles as well. But the beautiful thing about miracles sometimes is that you don't really notice them until later! They are all around us. The rocks, the trees, the grass, the breeze...As Alma said, "all denote there is a God" and miracles are a direct expression of His love!

We are also meeting with a gal named Tandra, a single mother who we regularly work with down at the thrift store. She has such loving faith, and a strong disposition to do good. Whenever we visit, she is so happy because she feels the spirit teach her heart peace. Recently a close friend, Bishop Pugh's mom actually, passed. And she told us how much she appreciates our message, and also our love and service. We also met with another lady named Cori, who kindly lets us visit. A question she had about Celestial inheritance led to a discussion of the Plan of Salvation, which she took really well! And we also met with another new guy by the name of Charlie, and while teaching him the Restoration, you could see the emotion of the spirit in his him. The members here are a wonderful bunch! In fact, one of their elders is coming home Wednesday! His dad, Bro. Cobb offered to give us a ride back after church and he seemed so ecstatic! I can't even imagine that part of the mission yet. There's still so much that needs to be done and accomplished!

Yep, God is good!

But in other places I find myself thinking about home. Of course, not to interfere with missionary mindset. I wanted to ask you to perhaps move the wii up the ranch as a replacement to the gamecube. I had a good run with that, and now I think it would be nice to retire it to a place where it'll still be used. Can't wait to hear how the rental season is going! Know that I love you Mom. I still ask myself sometimes where'd I be without you? I appreciate all you guys have done for me and my brothers and sister. I'll keep hitting it hard out here and you guys can still enjoy the blessings of our Heavenly Father back home!

Love you!
Michael