Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December 17 Letter


This week... was kind of a downer in some ways haha. We had a lot of people cancel appointments (if they were even nice enough to let us know they couldn't meet), not follow through on their commitments, and who knows what else. It was pretty frustrating, actually haha. Especially when someone ditches an appointment when it's dark outside and we can't tract. We kind of sit there and say, "Well...... now what?" It's ridiculous. Haha it also definitely changes the emphasis of weekly planning. We went through all of our investigators and essentially started from scratch on deciding who was worth special emphasis. It will make the next couple weeks especially interesting to see what comes of some of our "investigators" who for a while we would just stop in on every few weeks in hopes that something had developed.

It wasn't all bad, though! We had a really cool meeting with Krissa, where we went WAY in depth on the Restoration. We read scriptures left and right, from the apostles predicting the Apostasy to all about Joseph Smith's account. Sister Owens also came and gave her testimony of the importance of having the restored gospel in her life, even though she'd been Christian all her life. It was a way cool lesson! In my opinion, it might have been one of the best! Plus, at the end, she said that it is her personal goal that, if she is going to get baptized, she is going to do so before I was transferred!

We also had some cool luck with contacting random new people we'd been referred to. They're hard stories to explain, though.... haha I have tried phrasing them about three different times, and I think I am now just giving up on it. Haha we have three new investigators this week, though, all referred to by members or other missionaries. It's definitely a cool feeling when you knock on someone's door, and they say, "Oh, I've been waiting for you!" Hahaha that happened once this week! Haha

It has really been a weird week, though... On Thursday, Elder Jones wasn't feeling well, so we spent about half the day inside, which made it feel like we had two Tuesdays. (For those of you in the real world, a Tuesday after P-day is very comparable to a real person's Monday. It is pretty hard to feel motivated for a good chunk of the day.) Haha I feel like I'm being such a downer in this email! I am sorry, I promise! I just can't think of much that went on haha.

We did do a lot with less active members, though! That was good! The funniest was the Bradt's house. It's way out in the middle of nowhere, so we don't go there a ton, but we did on Friday. We knocked on the door, and Pinky Bradt came to the door and said, "Hmm... sorry guys, this is kind of an awkward time..." It was 2 o'clock, so I was kind of confused about what would be a better time. Then we heard her husband, John, holler, "Oh, let them come in!" As we did, we realized they were in the middle of eating. Haha not only were they eating, but we'd actually walked in on John's birthday meal, but he invited us to sit and eat meatloaf and spaghetti with them (he admitted himself that it was a very odd combination). They're a really frustrating family to have in inactivity... He has been the branch mission leader, the Young Men's president, and a handful of other things and everyone says he was just the most active person ever. When he was Young Men's president, Pinky was Young Women's president, and they would take the youth all over the state on their own expense to see all sorts of cool things, from NYC to Niagara Falls. It seems he gives a different reason for falling away from the church to everyone he talks to, though, so no one really knows the full reasoning. It's really too bad, though.

This week is going to be interesting, for sure, because we are going to be putting our new plan in action as far as who to focus on. Hopefully it goes as well as we think it could. If not... we'll have another brutal weekly planning session once again!

I'm WAY stoked for our Christmas week, though! Haha for one, we're spending half of it with my favorite family out here, Matt and Krissa. But our schedule is just going to be awesome. On Monday, we're going to a Christmas Eve breakfast that a man in Cattaraugus (the next area over) has put on for the missionaries in the district since 1982. Then we'll go over to the Owens' for pretty much the whole afternoon and a good chunk of the evening, where we will have a ginger bread house competition, caroling, and who knows what else. Then we are going over to Sister Forster's house for the rest of the evening to play some games and whatnot. Then, on Christmas, we're spending just about the whole day with Matt and Krissa. They come home at about 1, and we're going over to hang out, call home, watch movies (President Christianson allows us to watch animated Disney movies on Christmas!), and eat dinner. We were planning out dinner, and Matt said, "Look, it's Christmas. It's not supposed to be a day that everything is awesome until you eat. We're going to eat well." Haha so we're having T-bones and potatoes and whatnot. Then, we've agreed to help him the next day to replace the tiles in his ceiling; our job is to catch the debris falling down in a garbage bag haha. Then of course the next day is the TSO concert! Haha it'll be quite the week. Just hopefully the week leading up to it (this week) is more eventful and exciting than the past week has been haha. 

I have been doing a lot of studying on the concept of grace lately, and whether good works precede or follow our faith. Still haven't come to one conclusive answer because more and more, it's becoming obvious they kind of work hand-in-hand, but I am still trying to figure out a more definitive explanation of how they work together, and what should receive emphasis where. Anyways, that is useless, except that you should all go read "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox. If there's one good talk on grace out there, it's this one. So do it!!

Also, since I can't post these type of things on Facebook anymore... I wanted to share this picture with someone :)

(The picture obviously goes here).

Oh! And check out my blog! A few recent additions are a list of some of my favorite scriptures, as well as a whole bunch of Christmas thoughts! Check it out and have fun! Woooo blogs!

Annnnd write me! Please!

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

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