Sunday, January 27, 2013

January 15th, 2013

Hey. Hi. Hello.

So, I think it's just because I've been here forever.. But it's
getting harder and harder to stay on top of being motivated to write a
really long letter about the adventures in Richmond every single week.
Nevertheless - I shall persevere.. Also ... I need to put together
that Christmas box still. I've got a lot of the things together, I
just need to pick up a few more 'stuffs' and then it will be on the

So! Reannah is getting baptized this Saturday. She was going to be
baptized by her Uncle, but upon finding out that missionaries can do
it too, she asked me to baptize her. Which is humbling... And
exciting! I've only ever baptized one person before, and that was back
in the Star Valley days. So it's been a while! Everything is set to
go. Mostly. I don't want to jinx it... Also Reannah's grandma added me
on Facebook. So if you're following that, mom... Then that's who Lori
Thayer is. Also - have you put up any pictures yet!? All signs point
to probably not yet. I remember you asking Ryan to help you with that
like, 3 months ago.. But my gut feeling says it hasn't happened yet.

Most of our teaching appointments cancelled this past week...
Everyone's getting the flu. Except for me! Hopefully I didn't jinx
that again. So it's been kind of a drag of a week. We've got multiple
lessons set up for tomorrow, and we also have a zone conference
tomorrow. We were supposed to have zone conference last Friday but
they cancelled it because of a snowstorm... Let's put it this way. Our
mission president took two and a half hours to drive from Brigham City
to South Ogden. And its MAYBE a 30 minute drive. Tops. So it was
snowing pretty badly. He actually sent out a mission-wide text telling
us that we weren't allowed to be on the road with our cars, and to
cancel all our lessons and park the cars for the night. Which would
have been okay if we didn't have two lessons that night and we live in
LEWISTON... Which all the houses are far enough apart that it wasn't
even effective to go out and walk. So we spent all night cleaning and
updating our records.. What a drag. Like I said.. It's been slow.

I'm still mostly studying from the Book of Mormon lately. It's just
such a powerful book. Anyone who doubts its divinity hasn't read it or
hasn't put it to the test. To go along with the Harry Potter challenge
from last week, it actually works! Maybe it's something to try on your
seminary students... Why is it so easy to put so much time into
reading a fiction book like Harry Potter where we can read it all in
one sitting, but we never commit to the Book of Mormon with that level
of zeal? Especially if we consider the questions that the Book of
Mormon answers. Can Harry Potter teach us how to have a relationship
with God? Or even testify that God exists and cares? What about how to
live with our families for eternity? How to seek joy in the midst of
trials... How to overcome guilt, shame, pain, and anguish... How to
avoid transgression and addiction... If it's true, it is the absolute
most important book anyone will ever read. And that's the amazing
part. It has a 100% guarantee that if you will read it, ponder it, and
go straight to the source - that is, ask God if it is true - and TRULY
desire to know, having real intent or the willingness to act upon the
answer we receive, God WILL answer our prayer. With a fireworks show?
No.. But with the 'still, small voice' ... With the witness of the
Holy Ghost. Which, if we are listening, is more powerful than any
logical or worldly approach to convince someone of truth. It is a
messenger directly from our Heavenly Father. It will testify of truth.
I know it will, because I've felt it. I've felt the Spirit testify
through me as I share that message with the people I've taught.
Everything.. EVERYTHING.. Teeters on agency. If an individual won't
exercise the faith necessary to take upon themselves the challenge
issued by Moroni. He urges us to read, ponder and pray. And reap the
blessings, peace, and comfort that come from knowing the truth of the
restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Mom - I don't know what my greatest challenge has been. Everything is
a challenge, but that doesn't mean that I don't love it. Having a
companion that doesn't work with you is extremely difficult. But I try
not to let that get to me. Tell Mrs. Mergen that I approve the
missionaries message... :) Evan sounds like he's way ahead of me
taking me up on the Book of Mormon challenge! That's so sweet. I
haven't gotten a care package... Or mail, in a while. But I'm over it.
And I don't know how Aunt Tammy hasn't figured out my issue with
ketchup chips yet. It's only been a 20 year problem..

Dad - Joseph F. Smith was a boss. Actually I'm pretty sure that all
the prophets were. But it's always good to hear their beastly stories
from their youth. Can you imagine going on a mission at 15? No thank
you. :) Honestly, thinking about leadership... Sadly a lot of the
missionaries who get leadership early in our mission all comes down to
two things. First of all, the missionaries who spend the most time
getting to know the leaders, hanging out with them, etc. Secondly,
most of the missionaries who serve close to the mission office or
really get to know the mission president.. And I've been over an hour
away from the office for 8 of the 10 transfers I've been out. And I'm
not one who aspires to leadership. I know that as long as I'm
fulfilling my purpose and doing what I'm asked to do that I'll be
called where I'm needed. There are several missionaries who have been
out less time than I have that are already zone leaders... But, and
I'm sure you've seen this, most of them are the ones who put on a
really good show for the mission president but are fairly two faced.
And that's not what I'm about. I try to stay real... And if that means
getting sent to broken areas with tough companions for the rest of my
mission, then so be it. I'll do what I'm asked, I suppose. :) Actually
several of the leaders that I've talked to have asked me why I'm not
in leadership, saying that I should be. And honestly, it pretty much
because I fly under the radar. I don't make a spectacle of myself, and
I try to stay humble. Our zone leaders are awesome guys. Sometimes we
get pretty showboat-y leaders who make themselves all high and
mighty.. But ours are pretty legit.

I love you all. Have a good week!

- Elder Tyler Grant

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