Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Jan. 7 Letter

Well, transfer calls came last night and.... I'm still in Freedom! Haha I'll be here seven and a half months at least now! And who knows, they might split the area next transfer (we are getting 29 missionaries from the MTC and only sending 12 home in the next two months) so Elder Jones and I might split and each run one of the areas next time.
Oh, happy six month anniversary by the way!! Woo hoo!
This week has been really weird, so I'm not sure what all to write about... We really spent most of our week going around to people who we've hardly met at all before and saw what we could get rolling. It was pretty successful, actually, but there's just not a lot of stories from it...
Oh, but we met a World War II veteran tracting! Haha we talked to him for about 20 minutes and set up a follow up appointment with him! He was way nice (a little weird... that happens when you're 86 I guess...). How cool would it be to baptize a WWII vet?!
Geez... we've been so busy, there has to be SOME story that I could share.... Crap.
Oh, we made some way cool progress with Ron this week! He's a former investigator from about 5 years ago that I've been trying to meet with ever since I got to Freedom, but nothing ever came of it. This Friday, though, we FINALLY had a real lesson with him! We first read Alma 32 with him and talked about how with everything we say, it will be up to him to plant the seed in his heart and just test it out. Since we read the Book of Mormon, though, we naturally had to explain to him where it came from, leading right into the Restoration. It was awesome, because the Book of Mormon brought the Spirit so strong it really set the stage for an understandable discussion about the Restoration of the gospel, plus it made the invitation to read and gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon all the more understandable.
That's one thing that really clicked in my head this week: the Book of Mormon. Krissa has been reading the Book of Mormon from the start, and has been progressing nonstop. Amy was reading the Book of Mormon and was progressing quickly; she stopped reading and stopped progressing completely. Amanda struggled reading for the first bit, and struggled really comprehending what we were teaching her; in the past two weeks, she's read from the middle of Jacob to the start of 3 Nephi and is now more gung-ho about baptism than ever before. Justin started reading the Book of Mormon and was baptized within a month, even though he'd been taking the discussions for 12 years. Kathy, despite health problems, has an incredible testimony because she's emphasized the Book of Mormon. Cora hasn't read the Book of Mormon since she was baptized and just won't come to church anymore. The Book of Mormon and prayer are where true conversion happens! The missionary discussion teach you what you're converted to, but the Book of Mormon and prayer are where the testimony actually comes from.
Oh, and we're starting to go home teaching now with the branch! There's a quote by Harold B. Lee that says "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.” We're hoping this will really help with our reactivation and retention efforts in the branch. It's really common here to have someone baptized, be super gung-ho about the Church, then get into the church and not have anything to do when they're here. It's pretty sad, really. Hopefully having us going on splits with members helps the home teaching really get going. (Right now, I think there are two members who consistently do their home teaching...)
Oh, we finally met with Roger Regnet this week! He has been meeting with missionaries for about seven years now, and says he trusts us more than his own family. One of the former missionaries who went home about six years ago is actually at his house for the week visiting, so that's how close he is with missionaries. Hopefully we can really get him progressing this time around. He's a way nice guy, just I have no idea where to go to get him moving forward!
Well.... I know this is a pretty boring letter, but I can't think of anything and have literally been trying to come up with stuff for an hour and a half.... so this is what you're getting. I'll try to do more exciting stuff this week!
I love you, but I don't miss you!
Elder Allen

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