Wednesday, May 29, 2013

May 28 Letter

Good Tuesday!
Oh man, 'twas a fun week, for sure! Except for the stupid, stupid weather. In Utah or Arizona, it seems that the transition from Winter to Summer (what some might call "Spring") was a slow but sure, gradual transition. You know, one day it might be 50, the next day 51, the next day 54, the next day 59, the next day down to 56, but then up to 60 the next. Not here. Here, the transition is more like a deranged, bipolar fight between freezing and hot. It's like 80 for four days in a row, then suddenly we wake up to 40 degrees and pouring rain, which sticks around for three days, and all of the sudden we're in the high 80s again. It's absurd!! Haha but whatever... I guess if that's the low point of my mission, things are going pretty good haha.
But let's see.... What shall I write about...?
Well, the other day, we finally met Brady! Brady is a former investigator who for a while was planning on getting baptized, but had to wait for his probation to finish up. Well, instead, he ended up going to jail for a year. He got out over a month ago, and instantly every missionary who had ever met him was pleading with us to get over and meet with him. We kept trying, but he was never at home and was never giving us a call like we asked his mom to have him do (he is living with her temporarily). He wasn't even responding to any Facebook messages from the missionaries who already knew him. After a while, we kind of set that on the back burner. Well, last week, Elder Ivie, our zone leader who met Brady while serving in Warsaw, ran into Brady outside when Elder Ivie was here for a fireside. Elder Ivie got us in contact with him and we finally met with him this week! He is definitely shy, and isn't an inch away from jumping into the font, but he is definitely down with meeting with us again. Ha there is only one unfortunate part. Since Brady didn't take a Book of Mormon into jail with him, Elder Kitt arranged to have one mailed in to him. And it came! The downer part of the situation is that it was in Swahili.... Haha on the bright side, Brady did keep it, and actually read parts of it as "prayers" whenever his cell mates were upset hahahaha. Hopefully we can get him into a more understandable version soon enough!
We were also able to get in contact with another person we've been looking for ever since I got here. Lee's a less-active member, who was baptized about 25 years ago, and actually moved to Utah for a while at the suggestion of the missionaries who baptized him. About ten years ago, he moved back out to New York, and has been sporadic at coming back and forth to church. Well, recently, he moved from one part of the branch to another, and the entire branch lost contact with him and had no idea where he was. Elder Kelly and I had tried really hard to find someone who knew where he was, but we got nowhere. Well, I was going through our phone the other day, and it turns out we had his cell phone number saved in there from who knows how long ago! I called him, and he pretty excitedly invited us right over! We went out yesterday, and ended up talking with him, his daughter, and two of his girlfriend's daughters for a good hour and a half! We didn't talk about too much churchy stuff, aside from how long he'd been a member and whatnot, but after he'd given us a tour of his house and talked about his job, our families, his dogs, and everything else, he started talking about his girlfriend, who moved in with him last year. "Yeah, she should be Mormon," Lee said. "Well, I should be too. A more active one, that is. I figured that's why you two were coming out here, to yell at me!" Haha we figured that apparently we didn't have to!
After we went to Lee's yesterday, we went over to Amy Vrooman's house. She's a mostly active member, whose husband is an iffier-level of active member, but it's mostly because he just works a ton. We go over there pretty often for dinners and what-not, so it was nothing unusual for us to be with her. What was different, was instead of going over to her house like normal, we went to her parents' house. Her mom and one sister haven't gone to church for who knows how long, and her dad, other sister, and adopted sister aren't members. We went over and mostly just hung out with them, but Amy thinks there's a lot of potential for us to start teaching her adopted sister. Apparently she had a really hard life before Amy's parents took her in, and Amy thinks she'd respond really well to feeling the love and comfort from the Spirit. Then, hopefully if she comes, it would be pretty natural for the rest of the family to start activating themselves again!
Dolly is also making some interesting, yet very exciting progress! It's hard to tell what she picks up on and what she doesn't, sometimes, because she kind of just looks at us with the same face the whole time we talk to her. But a few weeks ago, we introduced her to Elder and Sister Woodworth, who have spent a bit of time helping her clean her house and giving her rides and stuff. Last week, they were taking her grocery shopping. On their way, she asked if they could take her to see the church. They figured she just wanted to look from the outside, but she really wanted to see the chapel. Even more, once they got inside, she asked if they would show her the baptismal font. She asked Elder Woodworth, "If I got baptized here, would I have to come to church here?" Haha apparently we skipped over a small detail, there. It's hard to teach someone in such small little chunks and make it all link together. The point is, though, she's really thinking about this stuff! It's awesome!
Yesterday, we had a Memorial Day picnic as a branch. Not as many investigators came as we had hoped, a few really cool less-active members came which was very good. We had some real good talks with a number of people while we were there!
Well.... I'm kind of at a loss of other things to write about. Hopefully I kept you somewhat entertained! Haha
Oh wait! One more thing! Nick Strollo, a member out here in Warsaw Branch, just opened his mission call last week to the Utah Salt Lake City South Mission, which is really more in Wyoming than it is in Utah - including Green River! Haha so look for an Elder Strollo starting in late July!
I love you, but I don't miss you!
Elder Allen

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