Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September 2 Letter

You know you've been in the New York Rochester Mission for a long time when you start a weekly letter by writing "Well, this was a pretty bland week, in all honesty," only to then remember that you went to the Sacred Grove and Hill Cumorah as part of that bland week. Haha the things we start to take for granted...

So I guess the site trip was pretty cool, haha. We went with Josh, who is the less-active guy we street contacted a while back. He had come to church for two weeks in a row, and had pretty much decided for himself that going to Palmyra again would be a crucial step in his spiritual growth. It was actually one of my favorite site trips, because we didn't try to do everything. We just went to the Cumorah Visitors Center, watched Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration, and went to the Joseph Smith farm, where we toured the cabin, skipped the frame home, and just spent about an hour walking around in the Sacred Grove. It was pretty neat! We told Josh to look for a place he felt most comfortable within the Grove and just take some time there for himself. Well, he did it, and he said he had a very good experience. Sorry... that was an anticlimatic way of explaining that, but I don't really know how else to do it haha.

The other exciting aspect of this week was yesterday, when Zach was confirmed! But, again... there's really only so much I can say about that haha. 

So, this is turning really quickly into a really pathetic email. See, we finally had a lot of meal appointments this week, which most missionaries view as great. But here's really how meals end up going for us: They can't have dinner at5:00, so we agree on 6:00. Really, they shouldn't have agreed to 6:00, because with work they can't really get things ready until 6:30. We finish eating around 7:00-7:15, and proceed to give a thought. If it goes well, this "thought" turns into a conversation and ends at 7:45. At which point, it is time for us to go to the bus stop and make our way home. This week we had a dinner just about every night, which essentially meant that by 5:15, when we started making our way towards dinner, our night was done aside from an occasional street contact along the way. When you are doing 3 1/2 hours of study each morning, that means our work day is only from about 12:30-5:15. Haha I am definitely appreciative that members are welcoming us over now, but it just definitely makes it tough to visit or meet any investigator who needs to be visited or met after they are done working.

I guess we did have a very cool first lesson with Michael. Michael is quite a miracle find from a few weeks back, when I was out of the area on an exchange. We were all going to meet up at a dinner appointment, and the other group of missionaries decided to tract to fill up the twenty minutes they had before dinner. Well, they tracted all of one door, because Michael answered the door. He used to be a homeless alcoholic, but bit by bit started really getting his life in order, all by relying on God. He was really excited about having us come over and even about coming to church, but this is really the first time we have been able to sit down and talk with him. We talked a lot about his past. We emphasized that in his life and the lives of those around him, people knew what they should do, but found ways they thought would be more effective, and compared that to the numerous apostasies in the Bible. Then we watched the Restoration movie, which went great. Haha, his first statement after it was over was, "Hm, I like that one." He had to leave pretty soon after it was over, but we testified that it was because of that story that we were out here on missions, and we invited him to read the Book of Mormon to gain a witness for himself. He pretty enthusiastically accepted and he actually asked us if we come back to teach people a few times. So, we're looking forward to that! 

Well, we arranged with some rich guy to play at his tennis club (clay courts!) for free this afternoon... so I've gotta book it. Sorry for this being such an insanely short and boring email. I can currently think of maybe one or two stories I haven't shared.... but just be looking at my blog for one of them! 

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

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