Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Feb. 11 Letter


So it was quite a week for sure. Lots of random updates about investigators to tell you!

First, we'll get the two downers out of the way:

Unfortunately, I don't think Krissa will be getting baptized this week like we hoped :/ We finally got to talk to her on Monday about things, and she says she wasn't feeling ready yet, but for a different (and maybe more reassuring) reason than before. Where a few months ago, her goal was to be baptized before I was transferred, now she's worried that that goal is making her do it for me instead of for her. It's one of those crappy situations because you can't really argue against her at all, without playing into her worry, but yet she's really been ready for baptism for about three months by now so it's not like we're rushing things at all! Grr, I'm so frustrated by it all!! I don't know what else I can say to her to help her realize her own readiness...

Then, the second irritation. Amanda was baptized last Sunday, right? So her confirmation should have happened this Sunday, right? Well.... her ride didn't freaking show up yesterday. No call warning her or anything... Sooo now it's put off another week. Personally, I don't like Sunday baptisms anyways because we have to put a confirmation off for a week; two weeks, though, is just ridiculous. I was so peeved!

Now for some happier news, haha!

We set a baptismal date for Jesse!! It's pretty tentative, because he still hasn't even made it to church once. But, he's read quite a bit of the Book of Mormon and says it seems pretty obvious that it is the word of God. Now it's just a matter of getting him to church!

Also, we found a very cool new investigator named Stephanie. She is actually a former investigator from about a year ago who we called up last week. She gave us a call on Saturday in a complete wreck talking about how she wanted to see her kids.... uhhhh what? Haha I wasn't sure what she was talking about, but we set up an appointment with her for that afternoon to go talk to her. Apparently she was in a pretty nasty divorce a couple years back. Although things seem to have settled down quite a bit since then, she doesn't have any official visitation rights to her kids. Her ex-husband lets her see them every couple days anyways, buuuut she also suffers from manic depression, so sometimes that isn't even enough. Haha I know it seems like we always teach slightly crazy people, but she's way nice! We went in and taught her the whole first lesson, set up a follow up appointment, and even invited her to be baptized! (She said she would, but didn't want to set a date quite yet.) What's the coolest about her is, even though she's definitely not in the best living conditions right now, she definitely wants better. That is pretty rare in Western New York. It seems like most people don't want to do anything that might take work, but that isn't an issue for Stephanie, as far as we can tell. Hopefully this keeps going somewhere!

Then, the most exciting update! I don't know if I told you much about Debbie last time, but I'll fill you in! She is really good friends with a recent convert family, the Ciszak family. She has been coming to church for months now, but was always a bit antagonistic about some things. But these past few weeks have been AWESOME with her! We've taught the Restoration (about four times, in all honesty) and it's really all starting to click for her. She agreed it seems really weird that we'd have prophets throughout the history of the Earth... until about 100 AD. It was funny, though, because she ended up arguing in favor of us without even realizing it. See, yesterday, I gave a talk on the Restoration in Sacrament Meeting. I put a pretty big emphasis on past dispensations and the Apostasy. Afterwards, when we were talking to her, she said, "If there have been so many restorations throughout history, don't you think that things would get changed each time?" What a perfect introduction to why it was necessary for a restoration from God rather than a reformation from Biblical scholars! We talked about how things are definitely slightly different in each dispensation (for instance, Joseph Smith was never taught how to build an ark and Moses wasn't taught about how to avoid pornography on the internet), even while the overall message is the same: Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the world, we are Heavenly Father's children, and through Christ's Atonement (whether in the past, present, or future, depending on the dispensation) we can return with our Father. It was a phenomenal conversation! Then, we got to break down 1 Nephi 8 with her and the whole Ciszak family. It was way cool, because we had Debbie, Patti Ciszak, Dougie Ciszak, Monica Ciszak, and Danielle Alexander (one investigator and four recent converts) all gathered together to read and discuss the meaning behind Lehi's Dream. It was awesome!

Well, by next Monday, I'll know whether I'm staying in Freedom for another transfer or not. Yesterday, Patti and Debbie actually called President Christianson and requested that we both stay out here hahahah. I don't know if that has any sway over things... but hey, one can hope! Haha I've been here forever now, though, so we'll have to see.

Oh! Funny story! We were supposed to have Zone Conference at the Hill Cumorah on Saturday. But on Friday, we got a call because the storms were so bad out that-a-way, so they postponed it to this Wednesday. Problem is that we had nothing to do on Saturday... but luckily, there was an annual deal called Winterfest going on all weekend! So, on Saturday, we entered ourselves into the 5K. How is this proselyting, you ask? Well, because we wore running shoes, shorts, and a shirt and tie! Haha we had a TON of people ask what the heck we were doing, and we even taught a lesson! When getting permission to do it, we described it as "glorified street contacting." Haha we had a lot of members of the branch ask us about it, too. It was way funny! 
I got third in my age group, even though I'm ridiculously out of shape! Mariah Owens made the sign for us. Ha she was the one Elder Inkley and I made a sign for her volleyball game.
Oh, here's a cool quote from President Miess' talk yesterday in church:

"God's revelation to Adam did not instruct Noah how to build an Ark. Noah needed his own revelation. Therefore the most important prophet so far as you and I are concerned is the one living in our day and age to whom the Lord is currently revealing His will for us. Therefore the most important reading we can do is any of the words of the prophet contained each month in our Church Magazines. Our instructions about what we should do for each six months are found in the General Conference addresses which are printed in the Church Magazine." - Ezra Taft Benson

Have you ever thought about that? Think if Joseph Smith were going to talk somewhere or if Moses were going to speak at a Stake Conference. What would you give to be there? Why not do the same with the modern prophet? 

Well... have a splendid week, and write me!!!

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

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