Sunday, January 27, 2013

December 18th, 2012

Oh transfer week is always so stressful.. The anticipation is just
awful. And I'm sure it's been killing you too! So guess what...

I'm staying!!

I'm actually really surprised. I had been getting the feeling that I
was going to be transferred for a while now, and now I'm going to be
in this area till January 31st! And, oddly enough, Elder Bengtson is
leaving me! I'm going to be getting another missionary who, as always,
I know very little to nothing about. He's not brand new - he's been
out for (I believe) 5 transfers, so someone with a wee bit more
experience. It's going to be sad though - as quirky as he was, Elder
Bengtson is a really good kid. It's been tricky at times, but you
would not believe the changes that he's made. He's a completely
different person now. Not necessary 100% on the teaching side of
things, but he actually TALKS now! Everyone in the zone has noticed
it. I'm beginning to wonder if that's really the reason that he was
put with me in the first place. I've always kind of had a knack for
getting to know and talking to people; and we were both discussing it,
and both got the feeling that the reason I was picked to train him is
because I got him to come out of his shell. He's still pretty quiet,
but he'll actually TALK now! I'm pretty pumped for him - he was
worried that he'd have to stay in this area and lead the next
missionary that comes in, and he wasn't confident about the area at
all. Probably because it's huge.. I'm way excited though. We've
counted through our lists, and we've literally got 32 people starred
that COULD get baptized in the next couple months. God willing. :)
Pray for the best!

So can you believe the Christmas call is in a week!? I can't at all! I
really don't know details on the time... Sister Bright told us that
she's just going to let us borrow her laptop and use that to chat with
you guys. :) So it will be from the comfort of our own apartment. How
cool is that? I haven't opened ANY of my Christmas presents yet! Do
you have a preference on what time? We might have someone call you
guys and ask for details... If that's okay of course! Hopefully I
didn't lose the info for that google hangout..  It'll be so strange to
see you again! It's literally been an entire 13 months. Crazy!

In terms of the area, everything is going well. All of the ward
mission leaders were praying that I didn't get transferred haha. They
must have extraordinary faith. We just taught Reannah again yesterday
and she's now working towards the first week of January for her
baptism. I was with one of the Smithfield South missionaries when we
went to teach her and he was amazed at how prepared she was. So we're
all vouching for her! We're also going to (hopefully) start teaching a
part member family in Cove within the next week. And the Samoan
family. And a couple other teenagers in Lewiston that love us to death
- and they could be baptized in a heartbeat if they would go to
church.. Close. We're going to hit it hard next transfer and put the
pedal to the metal; as long as we don't run out of miles.. :)

Other than that, I don't have a TON to report from the area. Not much
has changed as things are still slowing down for Christmastime. Once
it all blows over things will be great. I've been thinking a lot about
the Christmas season lately, and it really is a time to change. I've
never been one to be incredibly excited about all the physical
manifestations of Christmas. You know.. The decorations, the Santas,
the lights, and most of all I HATE Christmas music.. But I am very
grateful for the message that underscores it all, namely Christ's life
and Atonement. Without the Atonement we would be stuck, effectively
'damned' .. Not in the condemned sense, but literally in the sense
that we could not progress. If we sinned one time we would not be able
to match up with the standards of perfection that go along with the
Celestial Kingdom. Because of Christ's sacrifice there is in reality a
way out. A way to overcome sin and to master ourselves. To fight back
against Satan. I've got this super boss spiritual thought going in my
head right now, but I'm tired and it's not connecting right... Flehhh.
I guess all that I'm trying to say is that it's starting to really
click for me as to the magnitude of Christ's suffering and also the
reality of the freedom from sin that results from it. So Merry
Christmas, everyone!

Mom - It was snowing HARD yesterday. Like, super hard. It dumped
nearly a foot in like, a hour. It was crazy - it was almost pretty
scary to drive on. At least it wasn't my Jeep, otherwise I'd be afraid
I'd tip.. Ryan's been teaching somebody and they're getting baptized?
That'll be a good experience for him. Tell Evan the 12 step program
doesn't exactly tailor to Pokemon.. How come Ryan OR Evan didn't write
me? Probably because they're waiting for Tuesday, huh?

Dad - Sorry to spoil the surprise.. I swear it was inadvertent. Be
nice to Nanny! So did you put in any requests for music at the dance?
Slash did any inappropriate stuff come up? I hope not! One of my
roommates at college told me about a church dance he went to where
they played a song, not knowing that it had a SUPER bad swear word in
it. So there goes the spirit.. :) I guess I can understand your whole
Zelda thing. You'll have time to catch up when you're old and gray
like Papa. Good to hear about Andrew and Ben - I've still heard

Sorry I didn't write too much. I guess you'll just have to wait and
hear from me more on Tuesday. :)

Love you!

- Elder Tyler Grant

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