Monday, November 5, 2012

November 5 Letter

So let it be written, so let it be finally freakin' done. Justin Lingle is now a baptized and confirmed member of the Church of Jesus Christ! And what an awesome night it was! All of the missionaries who have taught him and are still in New York came down, as well as a bunch of their companions, so there were eleven missionaries in one room. Then, he's part of the biggest Mormon family on Earth, so we couldn't even fit everyone in the primary room like normal and had to move into the chapel. Possibly the coolest part of the whole program was when all of his nieces and nephews and his son sang "I Am a Child of God" together. About 15 kids from ages 3 to 19--pretty powerful! Here's the picture of all of the missionaries who taught Justin, along with his wife, Tanya, daughter who was also baptized on Friday, Savannah, and his son, Buddy.

Oh, happy four month anniversary! Haha I've come to decide something. Time is definitely only going to get faster from here. When I got to New York, a new Assistant was called, and I was told he still had six months left. Even just to me, I'm more blown away that he's gone from six months left to two months than I am that I've gone from 24 to 20. Haha time seems to get more and more significant as it goes on.

Goodness, I'm jealous of any of you at home who get to vote and watch the news all day tomorrow! It's going to literally kill me to have to wait until Wednesday at Noon or so to even know who won. Gah!!! So ridiculous! Just remember to protect your liberty!!! Pleeeease!

Anyways, more mission stuff...

Well, I guess I should follow up on last week's fear of Hurricane Sandy. I think the worst damage I saw out my way was the lawns were just covered with leaves. Yeah... kind of a let down actually. I didn't want to die like they were predicting, but I hope for at least a good heavy rainstorm! Luckily they let us free the next morning, which is good because I'm not even sure if it rained at all that day.

Then on Wednesday we had our p-day since it was Halloween and President didn't want us out on the streets for Halloween. Personally, I wanted to go tracting then. Just imagine how many people would actually answer the door for us! But alas, obedience and whatnot kicked in, and instead we went to the Palmyra Temple with a family from our branch who was doing the temple work and sealing for their son who was killed in a car accident a year to the day before his work was done. It was very cool to be there for, first because I haven't done an Endowment session for over four months now, and second because just obviously it'd be a cool thing to witness a family being sealed to their son! 

Yesterday, we finally met with Amy and her kids again. We talked about the calling of a prophet, the purpose of commandments, and then about eternal families for a while. Again, we had about ten people at the discussion, which makes my job super easy because people end up just bearing testimony left and right. It's actually a discussion like it's supposed to be instead of just us giving a lecture! Haha, it was definitely a really cool conversation though. She just needs to accept that she is ready to be baptized. She was talking about how she definitely does want to, but wants to wait for a more perfect time. She acknowledges that she doesn't need to be perfect to be baptized, but she is waiting for the perfect situation. Finally, Sister Forester let her in on a secret: That time isn't going to come! She told Amy that Satan is going to work like crazy to keep her from feeling comfortable with baptism and that things were never going to be perfect. What will unquestionably help, though, is having the Gift of the Holy Ghost and having the Spirit's constant comfort to help Amy get through those imperfect times. It was so important for that to come from Amy's friend instead of us. Ha it was a really awesome lesson though. We had visited her earlier in the week, and both Elder Frost and our new senior missionary, Elder Western, asked me why she wasn't already baptized when we came out of the house. Hopefully she'll crack down on it soon!

Krissa is in much the same boat. We've invited her to be baptized, and she's been thinking about it a lot. She comes to church every week, she reads the Book of Mormon every day, she even came to Justin's baptism! She has a testimony and doesn't even deny that she does... she just won't commit to baptism. I think Matt is causing a lot of her apprehension. Even though he says he will let her do whatever she wants to, him not doing it with her leads to some reasonable worries. Grrr.... Both Amy and Krissa are just so ready! I wish that everyone was like Mosiah 18:11. Missionary work would just be so easy!

Haha sorry if I seem very scattered in this letter.... I was through about four paragraphs when I looked outside and saw snow. That made me really furious, so I stopped writing so I wouldn't sound too grumpy. Instead I wrote President Christianson, which may not have been the best idea... Then, I was halfway through Amy's paragraph when Amanda and the girls walked in. Kaylee and I had a miniature boxing match, then Melody and I went and did puzzles. But hopefully now I can write without distraction! Haha I feel like my big emails have really decreased in excitement lately.... sorry about that!

So, I just need to say it: I love tracting! I swear it's everyone's biggest nemesis out here, or in any mission, really. But I think it's the coolest thing ever. When am I ever going to be able to knock on someone's door, and say, "Hi, I'm Bracken, and this here is my friend. I haven't ever knocked on this door before so I just wanted to introduce myself. What's your name? Well, nice to meet you, so let's talk about the things so personal about you that no one else ever brings it up!" Haha, it's just never going to happen haha. Especially to have people actually invite us in! I wish that it was like the olden days when unexpected visitors were normal... 

On Saturday, for instance, we were tracting for about three hours. We just did one street and we met Cory, who has three girls, hasn't ever been very religious, but thought it sounded really interesting to be with his family for all eternity and is talking to his fiance about meeting with us in the future. We met Amy, who has four daughters and a son (plus her son's friend, who she says stays there pretty much all weekend), lives in her grandpa's old house on his old farm, has been out of work for quite some time and would love talking to us just because it will give her something to do. Then, we met Toby! Haha what a guy he is! We knocked on his door, and just heard from inside, "Come in!" We timidly opened the door and introduced ourselves. Well, one thing lead to another and we were there for the next two hours talking to him and his wife! Haha he is a recovering crack addict and alcoholic with three sons who came to realize real quick that there is some higher power out there and that there has to be a purpose to this life when he was going through rehab. In those two hours, we went over the entire Plan of Salvation, half of the Restoration, read all of the Articles of Faith, and committed him to come to church next week! Haha I don't get why people complain about tracting! 

Except... it's cold now. And it gets dark really early. Everyone should pray that Winter gets over in the next few days... or at least pray that I can survive it!

Actually, pray for something else. I was reading Mosiah 24 this morning, where it talks about the Nephites and former Mulekites after Mosiah read the records of the Mulekites, especially the words of Abinadi. It says in verse 10 that they thought of the "immediate goodness of God," but yet in verse 11, it says, "When they thought upon the Lamanites, who were their brethren, of their sinful and polluted state, they were filled with pain and anguish for the welfare of their souls." Alma 6:6 reads, "The children of God were commanded that they should... join together in fasting and mighty prayer in behalf of the welfare of the souls of those who knew not god."

If there's one thing I could really use you to pray for, it's for all the people in my area who don't understand God and haven't received His restored gospel, yet. Your prayers make my job a lot easier!

I love you, but I don't miss you!
Elder Allen

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