Probably the most exciting news I have is actually from the day of my last email. I'm debating whether to write about it now, in chronological order, or save it for the end. But.... because I've rambled on about it already (I really don't know why I always write my thought process down, I'm sorry if it's irritating to read), I guess I will just talk about it now.
We went on exchanges with the other elders in my district on Tuesday, which was really good, because well... my current companion doesn't really talk much. So it is really nice to have a second testimony as we teach. So I was with Elder Munnerlyn and we went over to Amanda's house to talk to her a little bit. As we got going, I asked about how her Book of Mormon reading was going, even though I knew she was reading just about every day. We got talking, though, and I hadn't realized she's already just about through Jacob! Holy! Anyways, we got talking about things, and Amanda kept talking about how much nicer days are when she reads the Book of Mormon or goes to church. We explained that that is because she can feel the Holy Ghost when she does these things, and we lead in to talking about how after baptism she can have those feelings with her always as long as she lives worthy of them. "I need that," she said almost instantly. Haha well, Elder Munnerlyn asked her if she believed this was God's true church, which she said she did. Sooooo.... she's getting baptized on December 8! Haha now for the awkward conversation this week.... She's the one whose boyfriend lived with her until he went to jail about a month ago. Well, he gets out on Christmas Eve, and as of now I'm sure is planning on moving back in with her. Well, obviously that and the Law of Chastity don't really agree... So, we get to talk about that and see what her plan is as far as that goes. I honestly don't know if she'd prefer getting married, having him move out, or just not being baptized... Oi vey... Missionary work is weird sometimes.
We also had a way cool conversation with Krissa that night. We first talked about the Word of Wisdom, which we'd awkwardly left a pamphlet about. Like most people, she asked us about the purpose behind the coffee and tea rules. At first I was a bit nervous... but man did I relax when she said that she'd already stopped drinking coffee just because she read that! Haha, I was blown away. That doesn't happen very often. We then brought up baptism with her, too. She is still a little hesitant, and did say that it is primarily because she would rather be baptized with Matt and Marcus coming along with her. We talked with her a little bit about how she'll have the opportunity to serve as a lifelong missionary for him if she's baptized and lets him see the change in her, which I don't think she'd really thought of before. I then asked her if it would help if she set a date as a goal to be baptized, whether it was the end of this month of the middle of June, and I loved her response: "Well... there's not much point in that. If I were to set a date, it might as well be today." Hahaha clearly she knows she's ready, she just needs to move forward! It'll happen soon enough, I'm sure. It's hard to maintain patience and not be pushy, though, let me tell you. You see someone so ready and it takes all you have to not sit there pleading with them!
Well, my companion leaves next week! It's crazy to think it's already been almost a whole transfer since I wrote about him coming here. Haha one of the elders in my district had talked about how you only think your first two transfers go fast until you've had a transfer afterwards. I don't know if my phrasing there made any sense.... Anyways, time flew these past five weeks!
Oh, Thursday was way cool! We had a specialized training with President Christianson at the Peter Whitmer Farm. I'd never realized what all had gone down there! The Church was officially organized, the Sacrament was first performed (in this dispensation, at least), the Three Witnesses became the Three Witnesses, twenty sections of the Doctrine and Covenants were written, and the completion of translating the Book of Mormon all happened there! Haha you would never guess it, though. It's out in the middle of absolutely nowhere! I wish I were in the Fayette Ward, though, because their meeting house is right on the farm! How cool is that?!
But, the training was based on this crazy Christmas campaign the church is going to start on November 26. Get ready for it! It's going to be awesome! They are going to flood YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, etc. with ads, add a page to Mormon.org all about Christmas where you can download Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas music for free, send free eCards, you name it. It's all based around the theme, "Christmas is Jesus Christ." It's awesome. Get ready.
Hmm... it's been kind of a slow week though, aside from Tuesday. We spent all freaking day yesterday in meetings, which wasn't any fun. Saturday was kind of cool, though. Not that a ton was accomplished, but we just went to a few people who we hadn't seen in a while just to talk with them again. We ended up having five different conversations that were all over an hour! Haha I'm going to miss being able to do that in a couple years.
Thanksgiving will be pretty funny this year. We weren't really sure what to do with our time, but house after house kept inviting us to dinner.... Soooo, we decided what the heck, we'll just go to all of them! So far, I think we are at four dinners. We'll see where else. Man am I glad that I'm in an area with members in the branch (and even some investigators!) who like us! The Cattaraugus elders had to ask someone in their branch if they could come over! Haha, oh Freedom, how I love you! Haha and oh diets... how i'll love you soon..... :/
Well, I've been thinking a lot this week and I guess I'll just throw my plea into here. Please do your home teaching! Harold B. Lee once said, "Missionary work is but home teaching to those who are not now members of the Church, and home teaching is nothing more or less than missionary work to Church members." As a missionary, I have definitely learned the truth of this! It is soooo frustrating when new members fall away from the Church within months of their baptism. As missionaries, we try to keep relations with new members, but we can only do so much. Gordon B. Hinckley included having a friend in the Church--primarily through home teaching--as one of the three most important things in keeping members active. One of the most common things I've heard when visiting less active members, whether they are recent converts or have been members since they were eight, is a feeling that no one in the Church really cares if they are there or not. Can you believe that?! People literally think you don't really care if they come to church or not! Preach My Gospel says pretty bluntly that there is no point in baptizing people if they aren't going to keep their covenants after baptism. PLEASE do your part in helping people keep their covenants and stay active in the Church! The missionaries in your area would highly appreciate it, I promise.
Haha that was a pretty irritated rant... I can't end on that. Hmm... Oh, Go Aggies! I'm ridiculously jealous that I don't get to see them play football well... Oh well, I'll get over it I guess. Haha serving the Lord and stuff, you know.
I love you, but I don't miss you!