Hey yall! I had a great week!
This area has been dead for a while. That’s why it is seen as banishment. Except for Elder Seamons first baptism, there hasn’t been a baptism here for over 1 1/2 years. He was with his trainer for 2 transfers. I got here and Seamons was ready to work! Which is great.
So we have worked really hard this week. Every day this week, we had appointments all day long. We set them up, got a member to come with us when we could, and just kept going. We went from appointment to appointment for 3 days straight. It was exhausting. We had some amazing numbers. (Each missionary companionship set goals for things like the number of people they will proactively contact, the number of lessons they will teach, etc.) President was excited for me and Seamons to be together here, so we decided to make it good. And this week it went very well!
We baptized Ronnie! Taught him all week, and he quit smoking! He is a huge, tall 69 yr old man. Lonely at the retirement home we have been there every day for two weeks, so now everyone in the whole retirement place loves us! We walk in and tons of old women call to us. I love them! Ronnie can barely hear or understand us, cause he is kinda in his own world. Every time we leave, we just can’t stop laughing cause he is so funny. Even though he can’t completely hear, what he does comprehend is changing his life! The change is so cool!
We go to baptize him, and I was gonna do it. But I needed help cause he can’t hardly bend. So Elder Seamons and Bishop got in and helped. During the baptism talk, he kept replying and talking about his tent revival baptism in ’73 hahahaha. So we were all already giggly, then we go to baptize him. The font had problems, so I get in first, and it is not even mid thigh and its freezing cold. I look up cause it shocks me and everyone is just staring at me. Fred steps in, and yells, “I thought you said it would be warm!” haha his hearing aid is out so he is pretty much deaf.
We had told him before, that he needed to kinda sit so we could dunk him. So when he gets to me he starts trying to fall into the water. I grab his arms and put them the right way, then he tries to do it again. I keep telling him to stop, but he can’t hear me. So I am laughing, and yell, Fred! He finally hears me, and stops. I raise my arm, and I start saying the prayer, and he realizes I’m talking, but can’t hear me, so he turns and stares and smiles at me, not understanding me. So, I kinda laugh through the whole prayer, and my bishop is next to me trying not to laugh. We put him under, and his feet shoot out, and into the corner of the font, so we barely brought him back up. It was a tough time. I feel bad that I was laughing, but it was the funniest situation.
Zach is ready to get baptized, but we don’t think his parents will let him. We had an amazing lesson completely directed by the Spirit. I knew I was supposed to tell him a scripture story that related, but I didn’t know what I was supposed to say. Ammon was the only story that came to mind, and so I said, well, if that’s what I am supposed to say, I might as well try and it will work out. So I did it, and somehow, it was exactly what he needed to hear. It led into some other amazing things! So, we decided to pray and do everything we could to have him baptized on November 9th. His 18th birthday. We asked everyone we know to pray like crazy for it. I pray for a miracle every day all day. Ya’ll please pray for him to! We need a miracle!
We had some other great lessons and experiences. Cant’ write ’em all in here. Pretty much, Jesus is amazing and saves people. We are just here to tell people!
So, the weather here is amazing. I love this town. We have an amazing ward! We get fed every single day. And go to the cutest 50’s diner once a week for free. Since everyone is retired, we can always have someone go to a lesson with us. Went to the beach near the bay and I could see Canada, Mount Baker, the San Juan Islands, and boats! So pretty. There is this little sand bar that goes 5 miles out into the ocean, and is still getting bigger. We are going to walk to the lighthouse at the end today! And we are going to go to a driving range for a while today. Can’t wait!
I complain about the cold a lot. At least its not usually wet in Sequim. The other day when it rained, I kept complaining, and then I started seeing snow. I started jumping around a yelling cause I was so happy that I now knew that I wasn’t crazy, that it literally was freezing cold and I am not a baby!! Then I realized, I was standing next to a chimney, and the ash was falling down. I felt stupid. 😦
There is this cute little gym called Sequim Gym that a member owns that is like a half mile away from our apartment. We go for free! So we get to go every day. Weights rock. I’m only gonna say this once so Mom can make fun of me, but I’m getting strong! You’d be impressed Momma! Hopefully after 3 months of being here I will be Josiah;)
And on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, there is this group that plays basketball at the high school. About 15 people. We get 2 gyms, so we usually have 2 5-on-5 games going and winners play winners. We play from 6 to seven. I love it. Probably the most talented group I’ve ever played ball with. There are a number of old guys that play. Actually, most are older than 30. There’s a few guys older than 60 that are way good. I haven’t played in forever so this makes me happy! We have an investigator that goes so we get to see him a lot!
My first week out here, I hit a weird point. I realized, that when I think of my times with Elder Muirbrook, they are memories, just like my times back home. It scared me. And now I don’t feel like I’m on a mission away from home. This is my life, and this is what I do. I don’t feel like I have ever done anything else, and I feel like it won’t end. I no longer think about waking up at 6:30 every day, or think about doing my 5-7s. It’s just what I do. My life is this! I hate to say it, but I don’t miss home a ton. When I think about it, I miss my family and friends a tonnnnn, but I don’t think about it too much. I just kinda work all day…… If someone tried to make me go home, they would have to kill me first! I’m here to stay! And time is going by faster, especially since my companion is great and we are always doing stuff!
My comp is awesome. We are very alike. We enjoy almost all the same exact things, and he is like me! We are both pretty much happy all the time, and nothing really makes us mad or gets us down. So, We don’t irritate each other much at all. We have fun together. And teach well.
So, I realized, other than being pretty good with people I do something else well! I teach well. I am not one of those missionaries that is incredible and just stuns people, but I do alright.
I found out the way to do it. Most people, have one way to teach a lesson, and one way to answer a question, and they stockpile all these speeches and answers in their mind, and bring them up when needed. But, I figured out something much more effective! Stockpile the information then choose what to say. When someone asks a question, I think of all the scriptures and stories I know that have to do with it, and explain it to them using the scriptures and stuff to support it. That way, every time I teach or explain, it is different.
I have been blessed with understanding people well. People will voice a concern, or ask a question, but their real question or concern is completely different. Not a lot of people really listen, and so they give their prepared answer, and it isn’t what was needed! So I try to listen really hard, to them and to the Spirit. All my companions and others have told me how simply I teach and talk. Sometimes, it amazes them that something could be put so simply. I didn’t realize I did this. But I figured out why! I might not be elegant in my speech, but what I say can be understood easily, and the way I try to say it is in a way that they can connect really well to what I say. My job is to give them the information and testify, and then the spirit does the rest. So why get in the way of the one who really does the convincing? Because I don’t usually say the same thing the same way every time. It might come out slower, and not perfect, but when it is simple, and easy to understand, it is easier for them to detect truth! Rather than throwing all these things that can make it sound better and make one more convincing, just say it simply.
I don’t know if all that made any sense, but that’s how I try to do it! It’s kinda interesting to see what will come out of my mouth. But, it works! haha It is funny to see my comps face after I teach a lesson on the doorstep. Augustine one time was like, whoa, what the heck happened back there. That was…….so simple.
I love yall a ton! You’re the best. I love the letter and CD. Made me so happy. Got a great package from the Golds. Looks like Tiffany is still waiting for me. Good for her!! Roll Tide! My companion is a huge LSU fan and we get in debates all the time. Looks Like LSU is the only team that can stop Bama. And we can’t watch it. Bama better win!