Tuesday, October 9, 2012

September 25th, 2012

Oh hey transfer day! How are you doing?

So! The good news is that I'm staying in Richmond! Elder Cox is being transferred to the USU campus to serve there... I'm so pumped for him - that's an amazingly fun area and so much missionary work gets done there. But! In scary news, I got the transfer call last night... And by that I mean the assistants called me about leadership. I'm going to be training! Ahh! Tomorrow I'm getting a brand new fresh-out-of-the-MTC companion. Isn't that a scary thought! I'm pretty scared and definitely nervous. Everything that he thinks about missionary work initially is going to be based upon my attitude and my abilities. But I'm also extremely excited - this is going to definitely be a circumstance where the Lord doesn't call who is qualified, but he qualifies who he calls. I can't even imagine how different this is going to be. It's going to stretch me in ways that I am definitely grateful for, and I think I'm going to be praying a whole lot more. So if you could pray for me as well that would be awesome. :)

On Sunday was the dedication of the Brigham City Temple... And it was awesome. They broadcasted it to all the local stake centers in the area and essentially turned all of them into 'extensions' of the temple. That is, to see the dedication broadcast you had to have a recommend. They also did 3 broadcasts so everyone could have a chance to attend.. It was one of the neatest experiences I've ever had. For one, the apostles are a lot more laid back when they're not in conference. Boyd K. Packer, L. Tom Perry, and Russell M. Nelson were all there and they were just addressing each other by their first names. It was just pretty funny to hear Elder Packer talking and then turn to his left and say "Isn't that right, Russ?" Hahaha. The dedicatory prayer was amazing too. The Spirit in the room just exploded as the temple turned from just a pretty building into a sanctified, dedicated house of God. That whole "Hosanna Shout" thing was kind of strange... But it was just awesome because Elder Packer grew up like 2 blocks from where the temple was built. He was just so touched and excited that there was a temple in his hometown - he said that when it was announced to him that there was a temple that it was his 85th birthday.. And he prayed to Heavenly Father that if it be His will he would be able to live to see the dedication. I love Elder Packer - I hope he sticks around for as long as he can.

Working with less-actives can be extremely frustrating, but I got a letter on Friday that made it all worth it. Heidi has officially quit smoking and is working with the bishop towards the temple. She wrote me a note that almost made me cry. She basically thanked me for all that I had done and said that I was the reason she was where she was today. She bore her testimony to me and said she couldn't wait to go to the temple and hoped that I could come with her. I know that she is one of the reasons that I was supposed to come to the Ogden mission. She told me she had been approached by 2 or 3 other sets of missionaries and after talking with them she fell deeper and farther away from the church.. But when we showed up it was exactly what she needed to get up and get going. I may send you the letter so that you can keep it somewhere... I love being a missionary so much. Even if the area has been kind of slow and I may feel like I'm not accomplishing all that I could, Heavenly Father blesses us with those tender mercies that lift us up and help us to carry on. In the past week we've gotten 2 member referrals; one for a whole non-member family who wants to take the lessons and one for a German exchange student who bought a German Book of Mormon on her own and has been reading it. I know that if we, on our own, can't find the people to teach, that they WILL find us. But only if we are doing what we are supposed to do.

Which reminds me - last Wednesday we had an awesome training in district meeting that talked about a lot of the new overarching principles behind the mission change. Many of us realized that we had been looking at it wrong. We are NOT here to be full time home teachers. But the people who have fallen away from the church NEED those saving ordinances to experience the joy and fullness of Christ's Atonement. Baptism is the only way that we can unlock the Atonement. And while I've never been crazy about the idea of baptizing 9-year-olds, baptism IS the gate that they must enter to return to Heavenly Father. It is a saving ordinance and there is no shortcuts. If the window is there, we have to seize it. Anyone can benefit from the gift of the Holy Ghost. Christ suffered for our pains, afflictions, sins, guilts, all so that we CAN utilize the Atonement and be forgiven. And we cannot fully access the Atonement without the ordinance of baptism. Christ showed us the way. I'm excited for this next transfer and for what Heavenly Father has in store for me and who he wants me to become.

Mom - Yes, they deliberately tricked us into going to the concert.. Because after the fact they asked us what they thought and wanted to discuss our feelings on what was said. So we have a lesson with them tonight.. Cool. I'm glad you got the e-mail from Sister Allen! She's a member family that we had dinner with last night, and when she asked us what our mom's thought about us serving in Utah, I told her that people liked to take pictures of us and send them to our moms. And she jumped ALL over that idea... Hahaha. I've studied my patriarchal blessing several times since I've come out and keep finding different things that I now recognize have been promised blessings all along that I was unaware of. It's so awesome. While I would love to write to Evan this week, I MAY not have time to.. So if he doesn't get one then tell him I promise I will next week. I'll try my best though. I saw "17 Miracles" on Thanksgiving last year in the MTC haha. It's a pretty awesome movie! Kim never sent me my white pants!

Dad - I don't notice it while I'm typing, but as I go back and re-read some of the things I have read, even I am amazed at how my mind seems to seamlessly interweave all of my thoughts, feelings, and experiences into one complete letter. Because honestly all I do is type and the words just kind of come to me. Luckily I don't have to think about typing too much. :) I usually spend about 45 minutes writing my letter to you guys... Cross referencing events from my planner and my memory as well as the questions you ask. I can't believe you had 122 people at church! Gonna have to start opening the overflow if you're not careful! That's so awesome.. I wonder how big it will be 2 Novembers from now? Thanks for your advice on the dead areas. It seems like that keeps happening to me, and I guess Heavenly Father is just trying to mold me into the instrument that HE wants me to be to touch the lives of those in the areas I serve in. Oh - the guy from the anti-concert told us that he was a zone leader most of his mission and that he served faithfully even after he realized he had been "saved." Which makes the story kind of unbelievable. Also - how can you disregard the priesthood? That is the part that I don't get. I'm going to send Ryan another song as SOON as he writes me something back! And I promise it will be more difficult this time! :) I've got a really sweet one in mind if he acquiesces to my request!

I love you guys! I'll continue to take lots of pictures of my mission adventures, including my new "greenie..." :) Training is scary, but I know that it's happening right now because Heavenly Father feels that I am ready. And I pray that I will be!


- Elder Tyler Grant

No comments:

Post a Comment