Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September 4th, 2012

Hello family! Friends!

It's been so strange.. As I was coming to the family history center today, I couldn't remember for the LIFE of me what I had sent you guys in the last week.. I think the longer I'm completely immersed in the mission field, the more the weeks just blur together. It's almost just one big smudge in my mind... Hahaha.

But! Last Thursday we WERE able to take Heidi to the open house! She is the lady we have been working with who referred herself to us... We drove down to Brigham City and met her there. It's pretty sweet being a missionary - it's almost like a VIP pass and we don't even need tickets to show up to the open house! Well actually nobody does... But we have kind of that VIP vibe. Hahaha. As we walked through the temple with her and her 4 year old daughter, they were both incredibly quiet and reverent. Going through the second time was also pretty cool for me.. Since they have so many people going through every day, they kind of rush you through the whole open house. You're basically walking walking walking from start to finish with very little time to pause and just look. But on the second time through I did notice a lot more of the intricate details that go into the house of the Lord. At the end of the tour, she had a LOT of questions about everything she had seen. We did our best to answer them, and then lo and behold, the Primary President from her ward showed up! She walked over and talked to her for a while, and Heidi said "I'm so excited! I just want to go through the temple so badly!" It was just an awesome day - I'll send you pictures if I brought my cord. I haven't exactly checked if I have it yet.. Oh! Fun fact - I think I told you last week that she had been calling in sick on Sundays so that she could go to church. We texted her yesterday morning and asked her if she was able to make it to church and if she was going to get in trouble for work calling in 4 weeks in a row. She sent us a message back saying "I officially have sundays off! :) My doctor is Mormon so I got a doctor's note!" Miracles happen when you're trying to do what's right!

On Friday we had a far less miraculous experience... Normally in the mission, they buy the cars new and then trade them back in once they reach 50,000 miles. Ours had about 62,000 miles on it, so it was ancient by mission standards. :) So we got a call from our vehicle coordinator saying that there was a brand new car for us waiting at the mission office. So we headed south, through Logan, past Brigham City, and were ALMOST to Ogden... And in the middle of the freeway at 65 miles per hour, our car just shut off. The accelerator stopped working and the engine light turned on. We pulled over to the side of the road and called the mission office. Our car wouldn't start either. Unsure of what to do, our car started again and we hesitantly headed off... But a mile down the road the same thing happened. And then again. We got the car to start one more time and took the exit off and took the first street toward the mission office we could find, which was kind of a wind-y middle of nowhere back street. And, wouldn't you know it, the car shut off again. Except this time the power steering and brakes both went out... At this point we knew that it was far too dangerous to try and drive again, and had to try and direct the vehicle coordinator to us (which we had a REALLY hard time doing since neither of us knew where we were) and he picked us up and sent us on our way. So now we're driving a brand new 2012 white Toyota Corolla with 500 miles on it. Her name is Phoebe :). Hahaha.

So we had been told by a lot of members in one of our wards that there was an almost entirely non-member family that had been going to church for about 3 months every single week. And they decided it might be a good idea to refer them to us... Wow. I love members. Every single time we ask people "Do you know anyone who could benefit from the message of the Gospel?" everyone tilts their head... Thinks briefly... And then tells us their neighbor is less active and they haven't done their home teaching. No one tells us about these completely golden people! The family has a mom who is a member, and then a husband and 3 kids who aren't. All 3 of the kids (who are 18, 15, and 11) have all been asking their friends how they can be baptized. The only issue is that some missionaries went over to their home in the past and offended them - so the dad is extremely hesitant and apprehensive about missionaries just showing up at his door. So we had planned to show up at their ward on Sunday and introduce ourselves to them. We fasted all day Sunday specifically for them... And the one Sunday we went to their ward, neither them nor their fellowship family were there. We were pretty disappointed. It's such a hard balance and extremely hard to understand and be patient with those type of things, but I realized that if every time a missionary fasted for a family they had a miracle and got baptized, the church would be much larger by now. It's the same thing with prayers - if every prayer was answered exactly how people asked for them, the world would be a MUCH different place. When we pray or fast, we are not commanding God. We cannot say that just because we skipped breakfast and lunch that Heavenly Father will do it our way that day. Everything involved with missionary work is building HIS kingdom; so everything is HIS will and not ours. When we pray or fast, we are merely provided Heavenly Father with a channel whereby he can fulfill his purposes. It is dependent partially on our faith and willingness to do His work and not our own, but at the end of the day, we do not have the power to change His plan for us. Everything happens when it happens for a reason. I feel I understand that at least a little bit better now.

Mom - I am very glad that you got my pictures! They didn't take that long to write out.. I write down descriptions over time not all at once! :) Is it a pretty good system? Your  questions... 1) The Caziers were ward missionaries for the Salt River Ward up in Star Valley. They had a son on a mission that got home the week that I left the area and they were helping us fellowship a few people in their ward including a lady from Turkey.  They also owned a feed store and we helped them every Tuesday unload their huge palettes of pig, sheep, dog, and cat food. :) 2) The FISH were intended to be a birthday present for one of our zone leaders. We had it all planned out to get all those fish and put them in their bathtub.. But it was one ONE day that they locked their apartment and we couldn't get in. So we kept them as pets for a while.
 I don't know if I met Elder Jones mother. I am not serving in Logan - there are like... 12 sets of missionaries in Logan. If not more. OH!! I got the package from you guys - tell Evan his drawings were AWESOME!! And tell him his next three pokemon assignments are Alakazam, Gloom, and Miltank. And tell him the next time he sends me pictures to send me what pokemon he wants ME to draw back to him! He forgot to give me an assignment! I haven't been to Leven's yet. Maybe today. It's literally across the street from where we are right now. Tell Ryan that he's awesome and to rock out in Seussical. :)

Dad - I think that our little white Corolla outclasses your huge man-truck! Well.. Probably not. Have you given your truck a name? It's kind of a custom in the mission to have names for the cars. The Star Valley car was named Molly. The Tremonton car was the Lunchbox Avenger. And now Phoebe the Corolla. I don't envy you in biking! Actually I really don't mind it. I was enjoying it a lot in Ogden.. It was just extremely inefficient and I felt like we were getting so little done. I've never taught an Agnostic Buddhist. We're teaching a family of born-again-Christian-esque-saved-by-grace people right now and it's proving challenging enough! There was only one anti-Mormon guy at the corner of the temple in Brigham. He looked super lonely and was actually kind of a dork.. Very closed minded. Not willing to listen. I've heard that there are a lot of those at General Conference. Hows Lorin Walker doing? :) D & C Section 122 is one of my favorite sections. It's just an amazing section to share with investigators or less active families who are going through trials. And that is a LOT of babies. You have almost delivered the entire town of Afton, Wyoming. Congratulations. :)

I love you guys! I'll send you a few more pictures as I have newly discovered my camera cord in my backpack. Enjoy the pictures that I sent! Have a wonderful week!

- Elder Tyler Grant