Wednesday, March 20, 2013

March 18 Letter

Hello everyone!

This whole week has been a blur, so hopefully I can hit some of the more important points haha...

We've been having some awesome lessons with the Regnet family over the past few weeks. I know I've probably given the whole lowdown on them already, but I can't think of what I have an haven't said, and don't feel like checking up on it... so I'll wing it. But the parents, Roger and Josette, have been talking with the missionaries for about eight years now. They have two kids, an 18-year-old daughter and a 21-year-old son, as well as two foster kids, one who's nine, the other who's 12. Also, Roger's dad has been staying with them, trying to get over some VERY strong addictions and get his life back together. What we've found is that Roger's dad is much more willing to sit and talk to us, but much less willing to act on any of his commitments to read the Book of Mormon or anything, and it's really hard to keep his focus on any one thing. But what we've noticed is it's a lot easier to talk to his son when we've been there talking to the dad for a while. So we'll talk with Roger Sr., then slowly transition over to Roger Jr. This week, though, got even more exciting! We were talking to Roger Sr., and it wasn't getting anywhere. We then started putting some insulation up in the garage with them, and he started asking us some really solid questions about the Plan of Salvation and why we're on the Earth at all. It was very exciting to be able to teach him something that he believed, but hadn't ever heard taught.

SIdenote: here's my new blog post on the Plan of Salvation!

Then, after that, I started playing frisbee with Jesse, the 9-year-old, and talking a little with him about his beliefs in God and whatnot. We talked about Noah, which is his favorite Bible story, then I told him about Daniel and the Lion's Den. I asked him if he ever had to spend the night with lions, which obviously he didn't, but then followed up asking him about other scary things he's had to do. He talked about some nightmares he regularly has, and asked on his own if praying would help him there. I am so excited to see what happens with that family! We're planning on bringing the branch president with us on Wednesday, and hopefully going to Palmyra with them pretty soon. I'm way stoked!

We've also had some surprising success with Jim Myers. Elder Thueson connects with him in ways that none of my companions nor I ever have been able to. We've spent a ton of time over there helping them collect and boil maple sap to make into syrup (which has been a way cool experience to help with). Whenever we're out and about gathering buckets or anything, Elder Thueson is able to strike up some conversation that is at least moderately gospel-oriented. But this week, he straight-up asked Jim if he had any questions about the church and offered to answer any of them without pushing him to go on. Jim agreed! They haven't really talked much, but now Jim's dad is about to pass away after years of fighting cancer, so surely even more questions are going to be coming up. It will be very interesting, no question.

Meanwhile, while he's been making progress with Jim, I feel like Kelly and I have had a lot of progress. Where Elder Thueson is really good at expressing feelings and connecting the aspects of the gospel to real life, I tend to look at it almost academically, which really bites me in the butt sometimes. But, with Kelly it does a lot of good, because we can have some really in-depth conversations about the scriptures, and learn tons from each other. Well, I learn tons from her, and every now and then help her learn something. The important part, though, is that she's seriously considering going to get her endowments in the next month or so! That's like 10000 times better than a baptism!!

I'm getting way nervous about Krissa. We've kind of gotten as far as missionaries can really get her without her getting baptized... but she won't. We don't want to lose our relationship with the family, but I don't know what else to do! Even worse, she hasn't been to church two weeks in a row, now.... Grr!! It's so disheartening! I can't think of what else to do!

Well, I am about 99.999999% sure I will be transferred a week from tomorrow, so IF you are thinking of mailing anything to me, make sure you send it to the mission office in Pittsford, not my apartment. President Christianson flat out told me I'm being moved... :/ It's kind of a bummer, and I don't know how to take it. I'd really rather just stay here the whole two years. I am also realizing how people get so trunky when they are about to go home. I'm just going from one area to the next and am noticing a difference in my drive to work as hard. It's really bad.... But whatever, I will just power through it for a week!

Speaking of President Christianson, he's going home in a few months (which is realllllly depressing :/ ), and we are learning a little about President-elect Francis! He is from Southern California, and - get this - has two sons on missions, two sons in high school, a son in middle school, and a son in elementary school. All four of the younger ones are coming with him. HOLY CRAP that'd be tough! It's insane!!

Wellllll.... I hope I gave you a little to feast upon!

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

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