Wednesday, July 4, 2012

June 12th, 2012

Hey everyone!

How's everybody doing!?

On Thursday we had interviews with President Olson, and I felt.. So much better after talking to him. I know I'm not perfect, and I've struggled with knowing that I'm doing all that I can do in every situation. The counsel and answers to questions that I had have been a much needed boost over the past week.

So this past week.. I've learned a lot. Like.. A lot. I've truly come to understand that Heavenly Father places us in different situations and different areas so that we can learn things when he needs us to learn them. So let me start by saying this: in my first 4 transfers, I struggled a LOT with getting up on time, and a lot of times I was never nearly as diligent or obedient as I knew I should have been. And despite that, I felt like we still had success. I was still learning how to teach, how to study, and how to live and learn from companions. But this transfer... I've been much better at getting up on time - almost. For the first few weeks, I was getting up at 7:00 AM instead of 6:30 AM, since that first half hour is for exercising and since we walk so much every day I didn't see it was important. I've been exhausted at the end of every day, so that extra half hour of sleep seemed logical and justified for me. But this past week we've been frustrated with appointments falling through, investigators being insincere, and many other things. So on Saturday I made a firm resolve: Heavenly Father wants us to be obedient in every circumstance, so I promised Him and myself that I would begin getting up at 6:30 AM. And do you know what changed? I'll tell you..

On Saturday we did our weekly planning and then headed off. The very first house that we visited (which was supposedly a former investigator) turned out to be a wrong address. But the lady invited us in, told us she was a member, and then said she had a 15 year old grandson and an 8 year old granddaughter who wanted to be baptized [lets count the investigators/referrals : 1 & 2]. We walked a little further down the street and talked to a young women's president, and she gave us a referral for a non-member 14 year old girl named Rosi who went to girls camp and expressed interest to be baptized [ 3 ]. The zone leaders text-ed us that day and set up an appointment with a 79 year old lady named Frances who's children are members of the church who wanted to meet with us [ 4 ]. That evening we tracted into a 21 year old lady named Kristina who was extremely excited to see us and set up a return appointment immediately [ 5 ]. On Sunday at church, one of the bishops came up to us and said there was a 40 year old lady named Kira who was getting married to a member shortly and wants to be baptized [ 6 ]. At correlation meeting after church one of our ward mission leaders told us about two former investigators who nearly got baptized in the past who wanted to meet with us again [ 7 & 8 ]. On Monday we went visiting some former investigators in some apartments, and ran into two separate people named Mike and Tiffany who have met with missionaries before and invited us immediately back [ 9 & 10 ]. We visited a young women's president in another ward and she told us about a 14 year old girl named Hayley who went to girl's camp and wants to meet with us and her less-active family may want to come back [ 11 ]. The zone leaders then set up another appointment with a newly moved in part member family in the trailer park for tonight [ 12 ]. And then we got ANOTHER referral from a family who's in the bishopric with a non member husband and daughter who have been going to church [ 13 & 14 ].

Yes. Really. We've picked up 14 potentials and referrals in the past 3 days. It's been INSANE! This is one of those times that I know the Lord has been withholding blessings from us because I chose to justify my actions, and when I "experimented upon the word" as it says in Alma, he decided to shower us with success. I can't believe how blessed we've been. Who knows if every single appointment will go through or if every person who came forward will end up being baptized. But I know that the Lord is preparing people and he wants to guide us. After all, it is HIS work, not ours. As it says in D&C 82:10 - "I the Lord am bound WHEN YE DO WHAT I SAY, but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise." I know that this wasn't just a coincidence, or to be exact, 14 coincidences. It is his PROMISE to us that if we are being obedient to the commandments and following what the prophets have counseled us to do that he will bless us. I just think this time he was a little blunt with us just to prove a point and say "See what you've been missing out on!?" It's been incredible.

I'd write more, but I'm pretty sure our ride is coming to pick us up in a few minutes, and I feel it'd be rude to keep them waiting.. so I'll answer your questions quickly.

Mom - Ketchup chips would be much appreciated! And yes I drank the peach juice you sent me. I need more Advair, albuterol, and concerta.
 I can't believe you slept in a tent. You've NEVER slept in a tent. *high five!* Tell the Radford's I say hi. And those JW girls didn't come to our church last week! We were disappointed.. but we'll follow up with them. Girls in Nova Scotia? Uhh.. Tell them I love them :). That'd probably cover it..

Dad - I'm pretty sure I'm gonna have to learn to drive the vette when I get home.. It's long overdue. I can't believe you stole my shady trees. But I'll get over it - it's less sticks to pick up. Did you ever have any punk companions on your mission? As in ones that were fed up with working or maybe not as obedient as they could have been? You really didn't talk about your mission much, after all.. Haha. The excommunication JW process sounds horrible. But it's not easy to come back to ANY church after you've fallen away by choice or excommunicated. I've seen that time and time again - a lot of people WANT to come back, but lack the courage or motivation. Read that talk by Bishop Edgley from last conference and you'll know what I mean. And actually, in the past week (speaking of the Lord placing us in people's paths..) there have been 4 opportunities we've had to give random people blessings, whether they've flagged us down from their porch or picked us up on the side of the road. Unplanned opportunities to serve are everywhere.
Okay. Our ride is like.. Here. I love you guys!

- Elder Tyler Grant :)

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