Tuesday, July 23, 2013

July 22 Letter

Hello there!

Before I talk about Pageant (which was great!), I'll talk a little about Mormon Night at the Batavia Muckdogs since it came first chronologically. Ha, really, I don't have a whole ton to say about it, though. The missionaries and a few other members of the Rochester Stake Choir sang the National Anthem. It went well, except they should have realized that missionaries don't really know how to sing in harmony. Then came the game, with Vern Law, who was apparently pretty good back in his day, came to sign autographs and whatnot. (He is a member of the Church, which is why he was pertinent to Mormon Night.) He signed my Book of Mormon for me! Haha

Now Pageant. It is incredible! Pretty much the whole story line that it walks through is people are wicked, so God sends another prophet to redirect the people's thoughts to the Savior. It happened with Lehi in Jerusalem, Nephi with his family, Abinadi with King Noah, Samuel the Lamanite with the Nephites, Jesus Christ himself, and finally with Joseph Smith. While really the whole thing is amazing (especially when Christ comes, as you can see in the first picture of Pageant - He is the glowy white thing), I always loved at the end, when Joseph Smith is talking to a group of early saints, giving a VERY quick recap of each of the prophets discussed, he closes it quoting Doctrine and Covenants 76:22, "And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!" It is fantastic!

So, I'm trying to think of stories to share from it. Haha one of my personal favorites came on Friday night, which really turned into the biggest bummer of a night. We were sitting there waiting for it to start, but all of the sudden a huge storm started coming in. The wind picked up without much warning, blowing away all of the shade tents. Oh wait... that's not true. It just blew away three of the tents, leaving about ten others. Interestingly enough, the anti protestors didn't have a single tent still standing, while the Church and its members didn't have a single tent blown over. Haha to make the situation even more comical, about a dozen of us ran out of the fenced in area out to help the protestors put away their tents, meanwhile one of the protestors said through his loud-speaker "You think this is bad, Mormons, just wait until the wrath of God comes in! This is just a little wind! Just wait 'til God's wrath come upon you!!!" Hahaha ohhh man, those guys. Any time I saw them, I would just sing "Traitors and ty-y-rants now fi-ight him in va-a-a-ain..." Unfortunately, Pageant did end up getting cancelled that night.

But all around, it was a very good missionary experience! Jimmy and his girlfriend came, and now she wants to take the discussions with him. Justin and Shauna came, and we had an incredible conversation about why we keep commandments on the drive up. Dolly came, and then yesterday she came to church! It was all just great!

Plus, all sorts of cool people were there! Jon Bytheway was there, although I never got to meet him. I did, however, get to meet Jeff Flake, Arizona's senator! I never even realized that he was a member of the church, but lo and behold! Then I also saw Ken Avery (maybe not quite as famous as the first two) and Scot Marsden! It was great.

Hmm, I really don't have a whole lot to talk about, since our schedule was pretty much wake up at 9:30 (because we were getting back so late from Pageant, President asked us to get our full eight hours of sleep), get ready and study until 1:00. Eat til 2:00. Visit one or two people until 4:00. Head back up to Pageant.

Oh, I guess I could talk about Jenn, though. That's been an interesting go this week. We went over and had a great conversation with her one afternoon, then got a text from her last night, saying she and her boyfriend had gotten into a big argument about the church and that she had a whole slew of questions for us. That slew was 50 questions from online, that were all answered here: http://en.fairmormon.org/50_questions. We walked through about six or seven of them, and she really quickly started realizing that they were silly. We then got permission from her to just go and print off the answers, since I knew FAIR had already answered them all. So in the end, the anti-Mormon crap didn't go very far, but it did open the door to a couple other concerns. First, her boyfriend clearly does not view the Church favorably. Second, she is going to have those anti scars for a long time. It's some brutal stuff, really, and will dwell in her mind for quite a while, I am sure. 

Luckily, on the bright side, it was very reassuring that she did want to ask us about it, she didn't just take it at face value and say enough with us cultists. That was very good. Plus, while we went to the library to print off the answers to her questions, we asked her to listen to a couple different Conference Talks. When we came back, not only was she listening, but she was taking notes all the while! Hopefully she sticks with us, and will pray to get her own testimony, not the testimony of either the missionaries or of Counter-Cult Ministries.
Then today, Elder Westwood needed a haircut, so we went to a former investigator's house who cuts hair. I don't know if she ever really investigated, or just made friends, because she really didn't know much about our beliefs. But, we ended up having a wonderful conversation about the Plan of Salvation, especially about post-mortality. In a couple weeks, she said she wants us to come back to talk a little with her about Joseph Smith. I'm stoked!

Well, like I said, that's about all I have this time. Buuuut, I'll talk to you later!

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

Elder Allen

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