Friday, June 27, 2014

June 23 Letter


Well.... Here goes nothing, eh? One more week.

Unfortunately (kind of), Ileana's baptism didn't happen this week. She is very ready, but I like the reasoning for waiting. Her uncle and aunt and cousins recently reactivated, right at the same time her mom did. So, she wants her uncle, Brother Torres, to baptize her. This was a little awkward at first, because we knew he was still smoking, but deciding if he is able to perform priesthood ordinances is under bishop's discretion, not ours. However, when she asked him, he was the one to bring up that he didn't feel like he would be worthy for it. So, not only did it save any potential awkwardness, it was neat to see him acknowledge the importance of both the ordinance and the word of wisdom. So, he set the goal to be off cigarettes in two weeks and do the baptism then! I realllly hope it works out, since that'll be the time when you guys are out here. Any later than that, and I don't get to see it! Haha. But, either way, she is doing great!

Hmm... really, compared to the past two weeks, this one was pretty tame. We had zone conference on Tuesday. It was all right, nothing too fancy. What was really weird, though, was at the end saying a farewell testimony... Haha it's one of those things that you know is coming for about two and a half years, but when it gets there, it's pretty strange. I remember back in the weeks leading up to my mission, people would always ask how I felt, and I never really had an answer for them. My whole life had been not a missionary, so I had no idea what to even expect. In Matt Call's words, "Pretty much your whole life up to this point ends once you get to the MTC." Ha, I recognize that reading that, it could sound dismal, but he didn't say it dismally, and it ends up being pretty accurate and not dismal in the least. Now, two years later, I feel like I'm right back in the same boat. I don't really know what to expect with the real world after two years of this being my world.

But this week is turning into a number of "goodbyes." We have a dinner appointment scheduled every night (I'm going to be lumpy...), and that is after a number of people intentionally did a goodbye dinner last week. Blech... I hate goodbyes haha. Transfers are hard enough for me, let alone getting transferred to Wyoming/Utah.

I am glad, though, that you are all coming out, because it makes it so that this whole week doesn't just turn into nothing but goodbyes. That will help, for sure.

Anyways, I am running lowish on time, so I will give a quick recap of the week! Haha besides... I can just tell you anything else in person.

We still met with Ileana a lot. She has been sick, so slightly less enthusiastic, but still pretty legit. Haha she was upset when she found out I was going home, saying, "But.... you're my favorite elder!" Ha then she complained to her mom. That made me laugh a good bit.

We also taught Jim again. I believe I told you about him last week. Anyways, we happened upon him a couple weeks back, longtime teacher and football coach, has lung cancer, really great guy. Well, we left him a Book of Mormon the first time we talked with him. By the second time, he'd finished 1 Nephi. By the third, he'd finished 2 Nephi. He loves what we have to say, but it is quite frustrating, because he keeps saying, essentially, "Yeah, that's a lot like what we believe in the Catholic Church." This is even things like premortal life and the kingdoms of glory. I really wanted to tell him that Origen got posthumously excommunicated from the Catholic Church, largely because of his belief in premortal life. But, Elder Moulton made a good point that he probably had some pretty far-fetched views of Mormonism beforehand, so it is catching him off guard that we are very much Christian. "Eventually," Elder Moulton said, "he will start looking for the important differences instead of the similarities." Unfortunately, he somewhat dropped us at the end of this last lesson. Yet, as we were leaving, he got the Book of Mormon right back out and started reading again! Haha, so they are planning on swinging back over in another two weeks or so. Giving him enough time to not be pushy, but still making sure he has the opportunity.

We also met with Randy! He is a frustrating case. He wants to do good... but is in a rough spot since he is on probation, doesn't have a driver's license, and has a less-than-supportive wife. But, what REALLY makes it frustrating is now he is even stalling on his scripture reading. He was soooo gung-ho at reading the Bible and Book of Mormon, but now he's completely tapered off of reading either. But, we are meeting regularly, again. So that is a good thing.

I also went on another exchange to Warsaw this week. We did a lot of the same things as last time, but this time around, Patti from Freedom drove out to take us out to dinner! To make it even better, she brought Debbie Jones with her! It was great to see both of them!

Buuuut, like I said, I'm running low on time. 

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

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