Friday, August 24, 2012

Richmond, Utah

My oh MY it has been a crazy week...

For starters, on transfer day last Wednesday I got exactly an hour and a half of sleep. I went to bed on time and woke up in the middle of the night with a huge stomach ache, and proceeded to spend the next 7 and a half hours in and out of the bathroom with some of the worst throwing up and diarrhea I can remember. So I got up, completely drained, and went to the mission office to take the van up to Richmond. Not exactly the best start to a transfer, but it gets even better!

Our area is about 400 square miles (*gasp!*) and we cover 3 stakes. The Benson, Richmond, and Smithfield North stakes combined form our area.. And it's just enormous. It looks even more like Iowa than Tremonton did. We live with a single sister and we live in her basement - which is actually the biggest apartment I've had so far! It's really really nice... The only minor flaw is that there are quite a few flies since everything is farmland and we have a wheat field in our backyard. Oh yeah! I forgot to mention... We have probably the 4th largest area in the mission right now! Here's the catch: WE HAVE NO CAR!!! Yes. Seriously. I was pretty shocked to find out - 3 days before I got in the area the missionary I replaced was driving and hit a 25 pound rock at 50 miles per hour. He took out both of the passenger side tires and ripped off the oil pan. And then he got transferred to an area with a car! And he's driving again! And WE are the ones who have to suffer. I'm not going to lie... It's been extremely frustrating. Everything is so far apart that all we do is bike. We bike bike bike all day and get very little done. Just the other night we biked over 10 miles one way to an appointment, and 10 miles to get back home. It's exhausting, frustrating, and I feel like no matter what we're doing, the work is just crawling because we can't get anywhere. We biked 50 miles in the first 2 and a half days with our bikes. Hopefully they will be getting us a car this week - it's literally almost impossible to get anything done. We're still working but we're definitely running uphill at the moment. The Smithfield North Stake is about an hour and a half bike ride from our house. So we just spend so much time biking between cornfields and so little time proselyting... We're praying that they get our car to us soon!

As for my companion, luckily he's awesome. Elder Cox is from Arizona and he's been out for a whole 6 weeks now. And I must admit - I can tell that he was much more prepared to leave on a mission than I was. He's completely confident in teaching and talking to people and he's not overbearing about it... Being senior companion isn't as horrible as I thought it would be ha ha. Plus I have Elder Carron and Elder LaFond in my zone (my MTC pals!) so everything is just going to be awesome. I love Elder Cox and, Lord willing (and hopefully CAR PROVIDED!), we are going to have an awesome transfer.
It's been a fun week despite all of our challenges. And we actually had a baptism on Saturday! It was for a 10 year old girl named Mysteria. Yes, really. Her family has been meeting with the missionaries for almost 2 years to get her baptized, and every time they get close to her baptismal date the mom freaks out and cancels it. Over and over again. So it was almost what you'd call an eternigator - but she's 10! Hahaha.. But the baptism went very well. I still can't believe her name is Mysteria. If it's any consolation she goes by Mitzy.

Other than that, the only lesson we've been able to teach was actually last night. We're teaching a couple in their late 40's. They're both non-members and are working for a member in the Richmond Area helping him repair trailers. And they are just the most amazing people... They already gave Elder Cox a bike and they offered to give bikes to the missionaries in another neighboring area. They come from such humble circumstances. They're both recovered drug addicts of about 5 years and they're so humble it's crazy. David has already taken to reading the Book of Mormon and is now reading the Pearl of Great Price too. We met with them last night and invited them to go to the Brigham City Temple Open House... We're going with them Wednesday morning. I'm praying for them so hard. I just want them to accept the Gospel so badly... That feeling has come more and more for me. We're struggling to find other investigators since a TON of people are members... But with 3 stakes, things are bound to happen.

To answer Dad's question, President Hiers is such a stud. And I don't feel weird using that word to describe my mission president, because more than anything he just radiates this aura that he's there to do everything he can to help you. He hasn't made a ton of changes in mission policy - if anything he's even less strict than President Olson. He took away all of the minor mission rules (such as we couldn't drive on P-Day before) and said that we are strictly going by the white handbook. He's regularly going out of his way to attend as MANY convert baptisms as he can, which is huge. He and Sister Hiers are going out of their way to travel to missionaries areas to support the person being baptized. They both just bring such a strong spirit of friendship and warmness... I love them so much.
Mom - NACHOOOOOOO!!! I can't believe I'm already 20. It's crazy to me... 19 seems SO much younger than 20. But I had a pretty good birthday. The White's are absolutely wonderful! They brought my companion and I dinner and a cake! I love them so much... Do you guys facebook chat it up all the time or what? I opened my birthday box kind of early... Basically because I got the box on July 16th and my birthday wasn't until the next transfer. Thanks for all the random strange things. Are the shoes that were in there the ones that were on back-order way back before I left? I still have like 25 ties. I haven't bought a new one in 6 months.. I'm scared. I'm serving nearby Leven's again. I'm hoping I won't cave... School is started! CRAZY! The summer is just gone! I hope Evan has a good school year and Ryan too! I think the only thing I'm running low on on meds is Albuterol. I have lots of everything else.

Dad - You should email me a few pictures of the new truck! It sounds pretty sick.. Is the black one out of commission then? I guess I told you a bit about my new companion.. And about the mission president... I wish I could have been around for the arrival of so many cousins! I miss those days. Killer Bunnies is still just a horrible game hahaha. It's so ridiculously frustrating! And did you get the TV explosion on video? Bill Frank and Lorin Walker.. I bet Bill would make you some seafood chowder for the service. And I actually don't think I've ever met Lorin Walker.. I've just heard you tell me many a tale of your high adventure days.

Anyhow. Pray that we get a car so we can get some work done! I love you all! And tell Nanny I got the birthday package from her yesterday! :)

- Elder Tyler Grant

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