Tuesday, June 4, 2013

June 3 Letter

Guess what! I learned some things this week!

1) When you are leaving the church at 9:20 or so to try and get home on time, you are considerably more likely to get home on time if you DON'T lock your keys in the church! A two mile walk home takes much longer than a two mile drive.

2) While warming up a spoon in the fire of a stove burner so that you can scoop ice cream easier is a reasonably effective idea... Using that same spoon to eat the ice cream with is definitely not. You know how you feel when you drink hot chocolate that is too hot? When your tongue is burned? That's how my entire tongue and roof of my mouth feel, plus I have 2nd degree burns on my lips. Hahaha should've thought that one through better hahaha... Now NO girls are going to kiss me this week ;) hahaha. But really, it hurt. So don't do it.

Hmm... missionary work from this week. Haha it was service extravaganza this week, that's for sure. We spent two different mornings/afternoons cutting, moving, and/or stacking wood. One of them was at the Parkhurst's, which are the parents of Sister Tozier (the house we called from on Mother's Day). Sis Tozier has been trying to get the missionaries over to her parents for years now, and it hasn't worked too well. But hey! Everyone wants service done! Haha we had a real good conversation with them, too, and they are having us back over this week to do more. Sooo, hopefully it turns into a teaching opportunity somewhere down the line. Hahahaha also, we were talking about the animals he has on his land, including some ducks. He called them "New York Ducks." Haha think about what that might mean, and I'll tell you the answer later! hahaha

We also did a bunch of wood over at the Livingston's. Fran Livingston is a member who hasn't come to church in some time. Her husband, Gil, isn't a member, but will come to church with Fran usually when she does. He hasn't ever taken the discussions, but has read all of the pamphlets which are basically the lessons in less conversational form. We had a really good talk with him while we were there. Well.... I had a really good talk with him while Elder Westwood was using the chainsaw... I felt kind of bad leaving him hanging, but Gil and I were having a really good conversation! In the end, as we were leaving, he said, "You should try to convince Fran to go to church tomorrow." "If she does, will you be there?" I asked. "Yeah, of course!" he replied. Unfortunately, I think she wants to go to church considerably less than he does, for some reason, and they weren't there.... but still, we are making some exciting progress!
Haha but really, people and their freaking agency!! This week we had FIVE people committed to coming to church. FIVE people who flat out said they would be there. We also had four others who said they would try. Know how many were there? One. Grr... I get so frustrated on Sundays! Reading, praying, or any other invitation that we give, they can accomplish anytime. Church, there's kind of one time that they can do it. Annnnnd, they don't. Haha it is so aggravating! JUST COME TO CHURCH!!!!

Anyways, now that that's said, I'm trying to think of some other people we visited. Oh! I should probably say the one person who did come to church was Ally! So it was her first time and as far as I could tell she enjoyed it! There's some crazy family drama, though, so it will be interesting to see what all goes down there in the near future.... but for now I am very optimistic about working with her!

The other day we got a call from Jay. He's the one who randomly came up to Elder Kelly and me about two months back asking about baptism. He's been bouncing back and forth from Geneseo to Warsaw, which has made it almost impossible to meet with him, but he is finally moving back and staying in Warsaw! He's an interesting one to work with, because he doesn't seem very willing to follow up on any commitments, but yet he has, without fail, let us know every time he's in Warsaw so we can meet up and talk. It's been frustrating to figure out quite what to do with him haha.

Then there's always Dolly! We went there a couple times this week, and I think it's starting to click what we mean by "this is the true church." She kept on telling us that she already knows that Joseph Smith is a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true... but yet she went to her church on Sunday. Without being harsh, we tried to pretty straightforwardly explain to her why that doesn't make much sense. She wouldn't pray with us there (haha I tried convincing her to for a solid 15 minutes), but she committed to really praying to know for herself last night. We'll make it over there in the next couple of days to see how it all went! I think she'll need to pray with us there, though, so that we can help her recognize her answer... But we'll see how things go.

We had probably our best discussion with Renate on Tuesday. At first our reading went almost exactly the same as it always does: informational, but not incredibly enlightening. But then we started talking about the Holy Ghost. She told us that she didn't think she'd ever been prompted by the Holy Ghost before, so we helped her recognize multiple times in her life that she had. Now, I hope she can put two and two together and start recognizing the Holy Ghost answering on the truthfulness of the gospel. Buuuut, she's kind of stubborn (haha she's 73, German, and a woman, what can you expect?) so it will probably take a little more teaching than that.

Tonight, we're going over to Amy Vrooman's house for what hopefully turns into a tradition. We were over at her house earlier this week to give her a blessing, and apparently when her two-year-old son, Grant, found out we were there without him, he was pretty mad. So, I suggested we just plan on weekly family home evenings there! This'll be great, because a) family home evening is important for young kids, b) it'll be really good for her whole family since her husband is usually working on Sundays, and hopefully her sisters make it on occasion, c) I love Grant!! haha Amy says he and I are too similar..., and d) it'll be good if this can stick so that we can take people we're working with over to her house with us on occassion. It'll be like the Owens family: Warsaw Edition!

Well, I should probably go. We are helping a less active lady move today, so we have a lot to take care of in the next two hours... Then tomorrow we have zone conference in the Sacred Grove, so that'll be way neat. It's President Christianson's last one (he leaves in less than a month... holy crap!), so it'll be interesting. Apparently, he's planning on BIG changes this upcoming transfer. His exact words at one of the other zone's conference were, "We're doing transfer meeting at the Hill Cumorah, and everyone's invited. Because, well... almost everyone will be getting transferred." Haha I guess he wants to get everyone exactly where he wants them before President Francis comes in! It'll be interesting for sure! 

Hey! You should also read some of my new blog posts from the past week or two!!

This one is from Orson Scott Card, but it is a VERY cool look at the adulterous woman. I liked it a ton: http://brackenallen-thinkonthesethings.blogspot.com/2013/05/a-new-look-at-adulturous-woman-in-john.html

This one is about why we keep commandments in the first place, and the danger of getting to nit-picky with them: http://brackenallen-thinkonthesethings.blogspot.com/2013/05/commandments-all-you-need-is-love.html

And this one is about how patience perfects us and refines us: http://brackenallen-thinkonthesethings.blogspot.com/2013/05/patience-unto-perfection.html

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

P.S. Why were his ducks New York ducks? "They are both male, but they don't seem to realize they're both male. My wife hates it when I say that." Hahahahaha
And here are a bunch of pictures of Warsaw that he sent along this week!

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