Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April 14 Letter

Wow! A successful week!! Haven't had one of those for a while!

This week, we met with Nona, Randy, Cassandra, AND Vinnie. Then Shane and Sandy came to church and said that we could (hopefully) meet up later this week. And Michael, the man from Buffalo I've been working with online, is starting to really recognize the importance of cracking down on Book of Mormon reading. All in one week!

So, Nona. She was the lady who I helped shovel her way into her van a month or so ago. Well, we finally got in with her again! We talked about all sorts of stuff at the start, but then we watched the Mormon Message "Your Potential, a Your Privileges" by President Uchtdorf. We then connected that to the Restoration, emphasizing that we have divine potential that can only really be tapped when we get as absolutely close to the Savior as possible. We can develop relationships with him in all sorts of ways, but the fullness of the gospel and the ability to make authorized covenants bind us closer to him than anything else. It went super well, and we were able to just go right through all the points of the restoration nice and easy. Then, when we invited her to read a chapter from the Book of Mormon, her response was, "Should I do that right when you leave?" Haha it was pretty great! Then when we invited her to be baptized, she said she'd always wanted to be baptized by immersion. Ha she didn't necessarily say she would be baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS, but still. MUCH better reaction than we often get :)

Then Randy finally met with us! First time in six weeks! We mostly talked about him and some of his family struggles, but really highlighted "let your light so shine" to him. He desperately wants his wife and kids to be more God-fearing, but I'm afraid he might come across as critical or demoralizing to them, so we're trying to help him teach with his actions more than anything else. Overall, though, it went great! And he is planning on meeting on Saturday again, hopefully this time with his wife there!

And Cassandra! We met with her yesterday, FINALLY. We talked a lot about her son who she is really worried about, but really emphasized the need for agency and how we can never force someone to make correct choices. But then we kind of transitioned into a Plan of Salvation/Gospel of Jesus Christ combo lesson, really digging into the Book of Mormon. Haha she isOBSESSED with the Book of Mormon. We'd asked her if she'd read from it in the month or so it had been since we saw her last. She hadn't, except for Mosiah 3:19... which she reads everyday haha. Well, as we read through things in 3 Nephi 27, Alma 42, and 2 Nephi 2 today, she was just getting more and more and more excited about it all. She was highlighting verses, making me reread the parts she liked, putting bookmarks all over, the whole shabang. Then she kept commenting on how much she liked the book. Haha it was like she didn't know how to express how much she liked it, and so she just kept saying that she liked it a lot. Haha she even invited herself to come to church with us sometime. Haha of course that's not the slightest problem, but it just doesn't happen that way... ever. When we wrapped up, she excitedly asked, "When are you coming back?"

Next up: Vinnie. Haha I probably shouldn't have saved him until the end because I don't have much to update on him. He found a house in Pennsylvania that he is probably going to buy and move into in about a month, so that has been taking up a huge chunk of his time. But we talked to him briefly about his Book of Mormon reading, and he says he's been reading it pretty regularly. "Yeah man, I like it. I think I actually like it more than the regular Bible. It's just, I dunno man, easier to understand and it makes more sense." Haha I don't want him doubting his testimony of the Bible, obviously, but the fact that he says that shows that he is taking the Book of Mormon seriously which is exciting. Hopefully we'll get somewhere more concrete with him before he moves so we can hand him off pretty safely to the PA missionaries in his area.

And finally Michael. As I said, he's finally catching on that he needs to read the Book of Mormon instead of just things about the Book of Mormon or the church or who knows what. Haha still, he has his questions. Hahaha he recently wrote Sandra Tanner of the Utah Lighthouse Ministry - one of those great organizations out to save us crazed Mormons - with one of his questions, to which he then had me respond. Haha I was able to respond pretty easily as she didn't give him anything that hasn't been asked and answered a hundred million times. However, Michael May now have entered an elite group of investigators who go as far as writing some of the world's best known anti-Mormons AND an Apostle in order to truly gain both perspectives hahaha.

Hmmm.... Other interesting things to say.... Hmm.

Oh, I know I already told Mom this, but I got into Huntsman Scholars, again! And I got ahold of Marsha Hunt from the USU geology department and asked her if I could do their yearly alumni newsletter again, and she said the department head was excited to hear that I was still interested in that! And my class schedule is pretty much finalized! I just have to decide if I want to take a tennis PE class or not... It sounds like a ton of fun, but takes up four hours a week for half a semester. Oh well. Point is, I might actually have a future! 

Oh yeah, and I'm 21! How bout that! Haha thanks for the presents! Pants fit, tie's a good one! I'm halfway through the book, and we've listened to the CD at least 20-25 times. Oh, and Emily, the cookies are gone. Haha so much for losing all my blubber before I came home.

So, here's your task for this week! The Church is doing a big Easter campaign called "Because of Him." There's all sorts of cool YouTube videos and whatnot, but the even better part is everyone is posting a real short testimony of Facebook using #BecauseOfHim. For example, "#BecauseOfHim I am able to make my weaknesses into strengths" or "I know that my family will be together forever all #BecauseOfHim." So, you all surely have a Facebook... So do it!

Well, I'm blaming our random spurt of success on the good weather, so pray that it sticks around! Two Sundays ago we cancelled the last two hours of church because no one could get to the chapel because of the foot of snow that fell overnight. Yesterday, it was 87 degrees!!! (According to our car, at least.) Keep it there!

I loooove you, but don't miss ya!
Elder Allen

-- I spoke too fast... 75 degrees today.... 1-3 inches of snow forecasted for tomorrow

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