Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November 27th, 2012

Hey everyone!

So... I had another "only in Utah moment" last week. It was pretty crazy - we've been told about a part-member family from Alaska who moved into the ward in early October. And they've been faithfully attending church every week, the husband is a member and the wife was supposedly a non-member. So when we got the green light to go visit them, we weren't sure what to expect. Especially because we had talked to some people in the ward about them and were shocked to find out that the wife, who was supposed to be a non-member, not only stays for all 3 hours of church but answers questions, takes notes in relief society, and volunteers for prayers. Uhhh... And when we visited them, she answered the door and invited us in. We got talking to them a little bit and she started telling us about how when she was in college in Washington she used to feed the missionaries all the time. And it didn't feel right to just ask her if she wasn't a member because she gave us exactly zero reasons to believe that she wasn't! It was so mind-blowing. We had to leave for another appointment, and we never got to ask. Luckily, they offered to feed us for dinner and that gave us another opportunity to just drop in on them, and only the wife was home. So we set up a dinner, and I just said "Okay.. One last thing, and you can call me crazy, but.. Are you a member?" Luckily, she wasn't even taken aback. She said that she wasn't, that she's been investigating for 2 years now and she'll probably get baptized soon. Yeah... It's those types of people that I'm convinced I wouldn't have met in any other mission. And they moved here from ALASKA! Haha what the heck?

Other than that, this past week has been another big week of just straight up following up on referrals. People really trust us here and we've just been doing all we can with the names that we've been given. Things continue to roll forward and upward. We've still got 2 baptisms rock solid for this Saturday. In terms of the rest of this transfer, I'm not sure how many baptisms we'll have.. But, at best, this area is now "set up" with a ton of potential investigators for months to come. We have over 20 people who COULD be baptized before the end of the transfer. And, whenever their situations click and they become available, they'll follow through very quickly. I'm just glad I got to stay for this 3rd transfer. I still know that I'm not going to be able to see all the work I've put into this area through. But I've felt over the past 3 weeks that there have been numerous situations where me knowing the area, bishops, ward mission leaders, and everything else has been accelerating the work. I don't know if I've told you this already.. The longer I'm out the more and MORE I realize that I've been blessed with an EXTREMELY good memory. I can tell you right now who all of our bishops and ward mission leaders are, which less actives and nonmembers live in each of their wards, who's fellow shipping them, and what their situation is. I can tell you the missionaries who have been in this area for the last 2 years and which members liked which missionaries and who had success and who didn't take it seriously. I can tell you all of the recent converts for the 3 stakes for the last year and which missionaries were there when they were baptized. I don't make a point to memorize all this information - it just.. Sticks. I don't know why. Other Elders as well as ward mission leaders keep pointing it out. There have been countless times when a ward mission leader starts to talk about a person who the ward is working with and it just pops into my head the name of who they're talking about, which I had read from an ancient teaching record from 3 or 4 years before. It makes me think that that is one of the reasons why I'm here. It takes a lot to memorize 27 bishops (Jessop - S3rd, Williams - S4th, Jensen - S8th, Smith - S9th, Davis - S12th, Pitcher - S19th, Spendlove - S22nd, Nielsen - L1st, Buttars - L2nd, Jorgensen - L3rd, Chesley - L4th, Hogard - CO, Christensen - CC, Hall - CI, Baggaley - R1st, Whitman - R2nd, Jensen - R3rd, Pratt - R4th, Creech - CR, Ballard - B1st, Maughan - B2nd, Baldwin - AM, Walquist - N1st, Hodgson - N2nd, Sommers - C1st, Goodey - C2nd, Andrews - TR) but I had them all down after about 2 weeks. I could give you all the ward mission leaders too if you want. :)

Mom - I logged on 2 minutes before your e-mail.. So I got it before I started writing. :)   Yeah he sounds a lot like the guy we're dealing with. And sadly it's kind of a brick wall. We're doing what we can, but we can only work from a distance. Something about the name tag makes us threatening when we show up at the door. We don't go to the temple a ton anymore.. We got it changed so we can only go once a month now. Our priority is doing work on THIS side of the veil. Haha how did we have dinner with the Whites? They called us and invited us first! They called like, 3 weeks before Thanksgiving and said they wanted us to come. So they came and picked us up - we met them in Logan so it was less than a half hour away. It was pretty awesome. I found out that one of the sister missionaries was in Matt & Zack Kelly's ward at BYU-I and she TOTALLY knew who they were! Small world moment! That's exciting that everyone is coming for Christmas. How many areas are there? I'd venture to say about 100. There are about 200 missionaries in the mission right now - when all the new missionaries start coming in we're looking to have about 250. And I got my "care" package! I have already worn the tie with raving reviews. And I have my Christmas package already... I'm not going to open it! I guess the office changed their mind about holding onto packages.

Dad - One thing that I thought that you might enjoy.. We've heard from several people now about a new 'clause' that they're slipping into the mission calls! To preface this change, let me just say that China has just recently gotten a brand new less-communistic prime minister. I've heard of this clause appearing on 4 or 5 mission calls now, from anywhere from Vancouver to the Philippines. And what it says basically is that they will be assigned to their mission in their mission language and it is estimated that they will serve for 2 years. BUT!! If China opens up to missionaries, they will be asked to serve a THIRD year in Mandarin Chinese in China. How crazy is that? The Lord.. Is hastening his work. 
You were on the winning team for the Turkey Bowl! We had kind of a zone football game on Thanksgiving day and sadly I was not on the winning team. Are your gerbils still alive? And I got your email regarding the "hangout" information.. What time are we gonna plan this for? The part that sucks is that transfers are on the 19th so if I get moved to a new area I'll have to hustle and find a place to chat with you guys. But we shouldn't be too restricted on time, especially because Christmas is on a P-Day this year. :) And Ryan didn't send me an e-mail. Baby steps, I guess. So did you ever teach English classes to try and find investigators in Japan? I've heard from many people telling me that they had a lot of success doing that. I know you street contacted a ton.. Just wondering if they allowed you to do that.

Anyways. I love you all! Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving. Keep praying for miracles! :)


- Elder Tyler Grant

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