Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October 2nd, 2012

Hey hi surprise!

This past week... Has been crazy! As much as I stressed and worried about getting a new missionary, my brain still hasn't completely adjusted to it yet.. But hey! My 'son' slash trainee is named Elder Bengtson and he's from Las Vegas, Nevada. And they gave me the quietest, shyest missionary they had! Hahaha.. What were they thinking? :) Only joking! I breathed a sigh of relief  when I learned that he's actually not brand new! Well he is... But he actually served a 2 month trial mission in Las Vegas before he went to the MTC. He's still brand new to the mission field around here, and I think the biggest adjustment for him has been just trying to open up to people as himself. We're having a LOT of teaching opportunities open up around here and we have a lesson with 4 nonmembers set up tonight. So he'll adjust. It's just a scary thought to know that I'm the one who he's going to remember as hi trainer. Everyone has to love their trainer! I absolutely loved my trainer and a lot of the habits and beliefs that I have about success in the mission field have stemmed back to the experiences I had in my first transfer with Elder Scoggin.

Well, for starters we had a zone conference all day yesterday. President Hiers is so awesome. I've been told by some people that the people in Salt Lake have named him as one of the top 10 mission presidents in the entire church right now. His vision for the mission is so clear and makes so much sense. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely loved President Olson. But I feel like President Hiers is what the Ogden Mission needs right now. Instead of laying the hammer down and trying to place a lot of rules that will 'fix' behavior, he's come in and tried to shift the focus of why we are here as missionaries and our purpose. Serving a mission shouldn't be there to restrict and to enforce, but to promote growth and alignment with Heavenly Father's will. A lot of what I've heard about the new Salt Lake mission is that they're buckling down on rules incredibly hard and the missionaries are really struggling. But President Hiers has come in and asked us to take a step back and discover for ourselves what things need to be adjusted in the mission in order to best represent Jesus Christ in our calling. I'm probably not explaining this very well. But I know that the changes that we're going to be making in terms of boosting obedience and streamlining our purpose are going to bring miracles.

And we just had two miracles last night! We had a lesson set up with the family that I had told you about who has been going to church regularly for a long time. We visited them and the daughter asked us to come back in a little bit because they were having dinner. However, when we returned she came to the door again and said "We're not ready right now. We don't want to be baptized anymore." I asked her why she had been going to church every week and she said it was because she loved the feeling there. But when I tried to expound on it, she said "Sorry" and closed the door. Defeated, we started walking back to our car... And we saw a man walking from the backyard beckoning to us. We didn't know who he was at first, but we soon learned that he was the father of the family, and he is NOT a member of the church. He came up to us and said, "Please. Don't give up on them. They need you right now more than they ever have. I've been praying for my family every night that they will realize that they need to be baptized and invite God into their lives." With tears in his eyes, he then bore his testimony of the church who he's not even a member of. The Spirit was so strong - he said that he knows that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is what his family needs to overcome their struggles. We set up another lesson with them for Thursday. I was so humbled by this man's faith. He has been going to church for a long time now and has a testimony that it's true and his family needs it. I was almost brought to tears myself.

Immediately after this experience, we went to another family who we had met last week. It was a single mom and three teenage kids who have been going to activities on and off for young men's and young women's.. When we visited last week, the mom was SUPER hesitant about letting us in. We were only able to set up this lesson because we agreed to just teach more about Jesus Christ and not try and push them to be baptized. She told us she would completely support them if they decided to be baptized, but they 'weren't ready' and wouldn't be for a while. Last night we had a mini lesson with them, and the kids just LOVED it. They knew the answers to almost every question, and it was actually a lot of fun. I felt like it was one of those moments where I knew I was called to the Ogden Mission for my personality and not just throwing a random dart at a board. After the lesson the kids were like "So.. Are you guys going to be our missionaries for the rest of the time we live here? Because you guys are awesome!" They committed to pray every morning and night and even to come to church! I think we gained a LOT of trust with their mom - she was scowling at the beginning of the lesson and seemed uncomfortable that we were there, but by the end she was laughing and answering questions, and we ALMOST got her to say the closing prayer! Next time! :)

Mom - After "Ctrl + F"ing your last letter, I have concluded that you asked 14 questions. Gah! Okay.. Down the line... 1) I saw Joseph outside the Wal-Mart in Logan! 2) I recognized him.. He didn't realize who I was until I told him. He said it was the long hair... 3) I guess I was happy to see someone from almost home! It was pretty weird nonetheless. 4) Yeah I figured I would be staying in Richmond. 5) USU would be an awesome area because its like, all RMs who invite their nonmember roommates to tak the lessons anyway. Especially at this point because it's the beginning of the semester! You just walk around and talk to people all day. 6) We still get fed 6 nights a week in members homes. 7) Each ward out of 28 gets a night. So it's approximately one ward per month. 8) We ARE the only missionaries for those 28 wards. 9) We may be going down to Salt Lake for the Saturday afternoon session, but other than that we don't know where we're watching conference. We got invited to go watch with an RM and his nonmember friend, so we might go there. 10) Star Valley feels like it was literally a week ago. It's so crazy! 11) I'd like to see the Salt Lake temple for sure, and Brigham would be sweet too. And Bountiful. 12) I've been studying in 2 Nephi lately and I'm about to hit the Isaiah chapters... Gah! 13) I haven't been running a lot since the MTC! But I still workout (sometimes!) in the morning. I'm not getting fat yet!

Dad - Haha.. I have had my noob for a week! And the fact that I don't have to speak Japanese makes it a bit easier. Are you still in contact with your trainer? Or the missionary that you trained? Actually... Are you in contact with any of your mission companions? If you needed to talk to Pres. Moriyama I can get you his address :) Haha. The non member family is still iffy.. Not sure if they're worth working with right now. But we're still praying for them. You guys still seem to be having a lot of baptisms in Storm Lake! When I come back I'm not going to know anybody! I'm glad the little branch is having so much success. I kind of have to go.. But I'll get back to you with more questions next week! :)

I love you all! If you feel like rebuking anyone who hasn't written me in a while, feel free.. But don't tell them I sent you! :)


- Elder Tyler Grant

No comments:

Post a Comment