Monday, February 4, 2013

Feb. 4 Letter

Dear Everyone,
It finally happened!! Amanda got baptized yesterday! Haha even that came close... She had a baptismal interview scheduled for Thursday (the Assistants came down from Rochester for it and everything), but she was a no-show. She literally wasn't anywhere to be found. I called her 14 times in the space of 80 minutes, and texted her an extra four or five times. Elder Western went to her house to pick her up.... nothing. He honked, knocked, called... nothing. We were so confused!
I finally got a hold of her later that day, though, and apparently she was sick all morning... and wanted to put of the baptism another  week. Elder Jones and I thought about it, though, and said, "NO!" haha maybe a little nicer than that, but it had that point. We told her that there wasn't any point in putting it off any longer, and that we should just go for it this Sunday like planned. And, long story short, she agreed! She requested a blessing so that she would be healthy be Sunday, so we went with it, and welllll it worked! She was baptized!
It's been a crazy road, for sure. I have never met anyone with as ridiculously rough of a life as she has had. I haven't ever taught anyone who has had so much crap come up as we were teaching her. But then, Elder Wilcox, who interviewed her, says he's never interviewed someone so prepared. Quite the day yesterday!
And I got to conduct my first meeting ever! Yay!
We also started really focusing on teaching a lady named Debbie. She's really good friends and actually lives with a recent convert from about a year ago, and has actually been coming to church just about every week for months now... we just never really thought to teach her. But then a couple weeks ago, we went home teaching over at Patti's (the recent convert), and Bro. Duncan, who we were with, slowly transitioned the conversation from Patti and her kids to Debbie. And... it ended up being a crazy arguing match that went nowhere. So we left figuring we wouldn't teach Debbie for months at best.
But then, last Sunday, she went to President Christianson's fireside! .... and we got there ten minutes before it ended and got almost nothing out of it.
Nevertheless, God wasn't dropping her! The Stake President came out of the chapel and somehow started talking to Debbie all about the fireside and the Book of Mormon and about using Christ's Atonement. See, Debbie's dad died instantly in a three-wheeler accident when she was eight years old, and her faith has been dramatically shaken ever since. But, President Pace nailed it, by having her read Jacob 2:8, and then talking about Nephi and Lehi's relationship with each other and how much Nephi looked up to and loved his dad. He then committed her to read from the start of the Book of Mormon until Nephi grieves over his dad's death. Well, she's been reading! Yesterday we went over her reading (she doesn't like that it always says, "And I spake unto him," and "And it came to pass" haha) and ended up having a really awesome conversation about what it would take for her to develop faith again. It was pretty awesome and I really think she's going to progress really quickly now that she's decided she's willing to at least try and know God again.
I'm getting nervous about Krissa, though... We are less than two weeks away from her scheduled baptismal date, and things are just adding up on top of her. We haven't met with her for eight days now, and her responses to texts and phone calls are taking longer and longer. We have an appointment with her tonight, thankfully. I think it might be the make it or break it lesson as far as next Saturday goes. Elder Jones and I were talking about it last week, and we think we realized a huge error on our parts. For a while, we have focused on clarifying little details, which has lead to us talking very logically. What's happened is we've focused on minute details of tithing, the Word of Wisdom, baptism, and other commandments, and completely abandoned the Spirit and the major focus of our purpose. Hopefully we can swing things back on track tonight.
Haha so, I got an email from Dad last week that asked if we get lake effect snow. Well, maybe these pictures answer the question:

Ha on Wednesday, we actually had a record high for the day. We hit the 60s!!! And then came Thursday.... where it snowed from 10:00 until about 1:00 on Friday without stopping. We went from having no snow on the ground to about two feet or so quite quickly. IT SNOWS FREAKING SIDEWAYS HERE!!! I can literally say that I have survived a legitimate blizzard!
Welllllll... there's a lot of missionaries anxiously wanting this computer, so I'd better take off!
I love you all, but I don't miss you!
Elder Allen

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