Tuesday, April 23, 2013

April 22 Letter

First, and foremost, this new gmail compose message thing is the WORST. What a horrible surprise when I'm writing my family for the first time in a week!! C'mon Google!!!
Anyways, now for uplifting stuff.
Hello everyone!!!
Haha this was one of the craziest weeks of my whole mission! I'm just gonna jump to the chase: we got FOURTEEN new investigators this week! Now, a lot of times, we get new "investigators" when we go tracting, say we believe in Jesus and the Bible and that His church is on the Earth, ask if we can come back and talk more, and they say in a really bored voice, "yeah... sure. If we're home." But no, this week was LEGIT!
So first, on Monday night, we go out and contact a referral out in the middle of nowhere. And the weirdest thing happened. A nice, normal older lady came to the door. She asked if we wanted to come inside. We came inside. She asked if we wanted to sit down. We sat. She asked us if we had a message to share. We shared. She listened. She seemed to care. She asked questions. She read scriptures. Finally, when we were done, she committed to reading a couple chapters of the Book of Mormon and praying to know if they were true, and invited us back!! It was like how I imagined mission life would be! Haha so we are going back tonight to follow up. Hopefully it goes as well as last week! I'm a little nervous, because Elder Kelly excitedly called up the lady's son who had referred us to her, who then called his mom. When he called us back, I get the feeling that he was a little TOO excited with her, and that it might have pushed her away a little bit. But, hopefully all works well tonight!
Then on Wednesday, Elder Ivie came down to Warsaw for the day. He was there because he is our Zone Leader, but it was especially useful since he served here the first nine months of his mission. So we went and talked with a few people he'd known back when he was here. One of the families, in particular is INCREDIBLE! There are eight kids, ranging from eight years old to about 25, though the three oldest are all at college. But get this: They have family dinners every night and they have family prayer every night. The only downside is that they are VERY faithful Catholics. She kept calling herself a "daily-masser." Now I don't know if that literally means she goes to mass everyday (I don't even know if that is possible), but they are very, very involved in their church. Haha she said the funniest thing, though. After she told us that she loved it when the missionaries used to come over just to share faith stories, she said we could come over and get a glass of water whenever we wanted, then added, "Or a popsicle. Knowing what you guys do, I bet there are some days when you really just need a popsicle." Haha she even said that one day, they were in Long Beach, CA, and saw two guys riding bikes with white shirts, ties, and backpacks and they pulled over to give them a bottle of water and ended up sitting under a tree for an hour with them just talking about faith. SUCH a cool family! Even though conversion will be verrrry tough, she is more in-tune with the Spirit than 90% of members of the church, so who knows what's possible!
Hahaha then we met a lady named Dolly! She is 86 and is the absolutely funniest lady I've met in my entire life, I do believe! Ok, that might be an exaggeration, but she's hilarious. She broke her back a few months back, though, so we've been doing a bit of service here and there when we can find something to do.
Oh man... we have a lot of new investigators so I won't describe all of them just now. But those were some of the highlights.
Oh, I should talk bout these guys though! Yesterday, we started legitimately teaching a very neat family, the Zieglers. Apparently they'd had some contact with missionaries before, but clearly hadn't really been taught since they hadn't heard of Joseph Smith and thought we believed Jesus was one of the Apostles. But, he recently starting working with Brother Crater, who is one of the most all-star member missionaries I've ever met. Brother Crater actually asked Rob Ziegler if he'd be interested in taking the missionary discussions (kind of like what they suggested in Conference, huh?) and he said he would! We went over yesterday and had a pretty good first lesson with them, but more importantly all four members of the family agreed to keep meeting and actually start meeting at the Craters' house! I'm really excited about this opportunity because it's one of the only times (if not the only time) I've ever taught a whole family. I mean, I've met with whole families before, but never a classic sit-down discussion. It's so exciting! Haha plus, they have some of the coolest dogs ever, ten puppies, and a ferret. That's mostly beside the point, but still a cool sidenote.
Speaking of animals! On Tuesday, we milked cows!! I mean, sure, I've sat on a little stool and squeezed the udders into a bucket at Jensen Farm before. But I got to use the real milk-sucking machine this time! 80 cows! Haha granted, I did get kicked dozens of times, and one cow's poop splattered onto us.... but it was way cool! I think we're planning on doing it again in the future. It was good fun!

Hmm... what else is there....
Oh yeah! On Saturday, I successfully had the longest lesson of my life. We went over to Gila and Josef's at a little before four. We left their house a little before eight. Haha it was sooo cool though! We talked all about the layout of the Book of Mormon: what was before Christ, what was after, where each part was, what Ether is all about, the random spots where Mormon interjects and writes his own thoughts, etc. Then we talked all about the restoration of the priesthood, right down to the restoration of the different keys, like when Moses, Elijah, and Elias visited Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery in the Kirtland Temple. We talked about being able to discern if a prophet is true or false by their fruits (i.e. the Book of Mormon). I don't even know what else we talked about... but we obviously covered a lot. It blew me away at how quick time went, though! It kind of felt like a slightly long lesson. Maybe an hour and a half or so. Then I looked at the clock and was like HOLY..... Haha it was nuts! But I really enjoyed it! I love those guys!
Oh, and do you remember me talking about tracting in the middle of a blizzard out in Bliss when I was still in Freedom? When we happened across the girl who had come to church just a couple weeks before? Well guess what!? She got baptized last Saturday!! It's very exciting!!
Then this Friday, Mason, another one of the investigators in Freedom who I taught for a while, is getting baptized. We're actually planning on going to that one with David. A) It will be nice to see Mason's baptism. B) It will be nice to see everyone  down there again. And C) It will be way cool to get David to see a baptism! I'm pretty excited for all three things!
Hmmm.... I don't know what else there is to talk about, though. But, 'twas a fun week. I think I get a bigger thrill out of new investigators than I do with baptisms, in all honesty. By the time someone gets baptized, you kind of see it coming. It's a lot more exciting to have someone say that yes, they would like to learn more. That's a MUCH bigger shock! Haha
I love you, but I don't miss you!
Elder Allen

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