Tuesday, November 6, 2012

October 30th, 2012


Guhh.. I always forget my planner.. Why on earth do I do this to myself!? Quick note - I got the Halloween package last Friday! I'm currently wearing my orange iPod watch... It's so bright! Maybe, for conservative-ness sake, I should have a black one instead.. I can get away with the orange one right now because it's Halloween-y... But a black one would probably be more appropriate for every other time of the year. :)

Well guess what? Tim is getting baptized this Saturday! We just got him cleared and interviewed yesterday and he's good to go. I'm continually amazed by how prepared some people are. Heavenly Father is in charge of His work, that's for sure. We can do His work our way, but it rarely produces fruit. When someone is ready, they will come. Not that we only teach people who are completely golden.. But when a person exercises their agency righteously to seek us out and truly seek the covenants and blessings attached that Heavenly Father has for us, that is when they are converted. His uncle will be baptizing him and he's just so excited... His fiancee... I mean wife... Is also becoming more and more active as he's making the journey towards Christ. With considerable faith and a touch of a miracle (praying for this one..) we'll be able to start teaching Tim's grandparents as well, as they are both non-members. They're 85 years old, they pay tithing to the church, watch conference, and they've even lately been asking us to give blessings in their home. Just yesterday after Tim's interview his grandma asked us if we would give Tim a blessing before his appointment with the cardiologist the following day. The first time we gave a blessing in their home, his grandpa told us "That was amazing. Sometimes you question your faith and wonder what's really true, you know?" Everyone got silent, and he quickly recovered and said "Uhh... He's testing me! That must be it. Seeing if I'll stay true." The Spirit is working on them. Hopefully at Tim's baptism there will be some crazy change of heart. That would be pretty cool!

We also had another yo-yo referral.. And by that I mean we showed up at the church to go to the restroom and the bishop called us over. It was mutual night, and he pointed to a kid playing basketball and said "Robbie wants to be baptized." The kid came over to us, introduced himself, and said he's been thinking about being baptized since he was 10 years old and he's almost 16. They were meeting with the missionaries down in Ogden before they moved to Richmond and he was going to be baptized there, but they moved and it didn't happen. So we set up an appointment with him, and when we showed up, we realized it was a new-move-in family we'd been trying to meet with for the past several weeks, not knowing that Robbie was even there. But when we got there, Robbie came to the door and was about to let us in, and a voice in the back said "I'll take care of it." His grandpa then came to the door and tried telling us that the Boy Scouts sent us and that the church is working with the scouting program to bring more 'recruits' into the church because 'we're running out of money' ... He then told us to do our missionary work, but not there. I hate Satan. We tried talking with him for 10 minutes, and he kept bringing up the strangest, most irrelevant political points that had convinced him that the church was merely a good business and had nothing to do with Jesus Christ. I bore my testimony to him, and he shot me down. It was so frustrating - there are people who are ready to be taught but they can't be. I hate it. We'll keep trying, but it kinda completely sucks. There's another family over in Lewiston who has been going to church actively for about 9 months now and there are 3 kids (17, 15, and 14) who are completely involved in the youth program who want to be baptized. Their mother actively attends church with them to and she wants their family to be sealed together. But - the dad, who is at the moment living in Wyoming and is stone cold less active, refuses to let them be baptized and won't give his consent. There's a lot of that in Utah.. I guess all we can do is just keep pressing on and hope that the work moves with us.

So! The fireside! Was pretty sweet as well. We sang "The Spirit of God" again and that was about the highlight.. Too bad we sang that one first. Everybody loved it, but I can't help but pick apart the things I knew could be better haha. Maybe I need to be more appreciative... :) There were a lot of very strong testimonies borne, and hopefully hearts were touched. I still miss being in choir. I never realized how musically involved I was... Band, jazz band, choir, all state, musical theater... It all adds up. I've taken up to trying to play the piano more often whenever the opportunity is presented. I'm still on the lookout for more music for Ryan, and I may have a few winners... Maybe for Christmas. :)
Mom - Thanks for your thoughts.. I hope that's the reason I'm being transferred and not just because I'm being punished. :) Finding people to teach is hard - especially because the only reliable way to do it is to build trust with the people in the area and show them that you're there to work.. But right when you get them to the point where they trust you enough to give you referrals and they start becoming solid and keeping commitments, they've swept me to another area to let someone else enjoy the fruits of what I've done. Which totally sucks. But I guess I'll have to keep drawing from the fact that I know that I'll be sent where I need to go. That there are lives for me to touch. Fingers crossed I'll stay nonetheless! I'm glad to hear Evan is doing so well in the musical.. You're hosting the whole cast at the house?? How? Oh fun fact - it snowed last Tuesday and hasn't snowed since then.. When's it gonna snow in Iowa? I'm surprised Evan hasn't given me a 14 day forecast lately... Ryan's sleep schedule sounds like a mess. Is he still working at Faith Hope & Charity? He has literally sent NO form of communication to me since like.. April. I can't tell if he LIKES the music I'm sending or WHAT'S going on in that kid's life right now. Punk! A year has gone by already? Not quite. Not thinking about it. :)

Dad - Spanish branch! I've never been to one of those.. But when I was on exchanges with the Spanish missionaries I realized just how little Spanish I know! Well.. I could pick up on the general idea of what was going on, but no more than that. The funny thing about tracting with the Spanish missionaries is that it's almost no different than a normal day - except if a white person comes to the door then I talk to them and if a Hispanic person comes to the door I stand there and smile. :) Heidi got her patriarchal blessing on Sunday! I think she's pretty much graduated from the "less-active" category by now! Haha.. Hopefully Ryan will see the benefits of having that road map to the rest of his life and see beyond his circumstances right now. Evan getting his patriarchal blessing would be very cool. A member family a while ago told us about a boy from their last ward they lived in who had autism, but he wanted to get his patriarchal blessing. In the blessing, he was told that in the war in heaven, he was one of the spirits who personally escorted Lucifer out of the host of heaven. Special spirits indeed! Have you ever considered taking a trip back to Japan? I'd love to go back with you someday. Just to visit some of your old areas and branches, see if you remember anyone! Take me! I'm sure you've toyed with the idea.. That will have to be second on our "to-do" list when I get home, second to Zion's National Park's slot canyons, of course!

I love you all. Keep up your prayers, stay strong, and have a safe Halloween!

- Elder Tyler Grant :) 

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