Sunday, January 27, 2013

January 8th, 2013

Hello! :)

So this past week has been pretty awesome. That is, the area is
finally at the point where a lot of the people who were on the
potentials list we're FINALLY WORKING with them. We've had at least
one lesson every single day for the last 9 days, all of them with non
members. I think my mental clock is still completely off from
e-mailing you guys on Thursday. So I'm going to try not to e-mail
about anything I covered last week...

On Sunday, we had a lesson in Smithfield, which is almost shocking in
itself. Smithfield is extremely member populated... A lot more so than
Richmond or Lewiston. So when we went on visits a few weeks ago with
the ward mission leader and stumbled upon the family I told you about
on Thursday. The ward mission leader invited them over for dinner and
a lesson and invited us along too. They recently moved from Oklahoma
to Lewiston about 6 months ago because her mother was living there,
and then moved to Smithfield shortly after. They've had several
experiences with prayer that have led them here - and they know that
God has led them to this point in their lives. The husband has been
reading the Bible straight through to learn more about Christ and his
Gospel. They've also been amazed at the warm welcome they've received,
and were extremely excited to see the prominence of strong family
values and programs that enrich the family, so their kids have been
going to Activity Days with the primary and are soon to be enrolled in
scouts. Having the lesson in a members home was just awesome. Both our
ward mission leader and his wife are both RMs and throughout the
lesson they tied in principles we taught to experiences they've had
and ways that they've been blessed. They were also both there to bear
testimony of the truthfulness of what we said. There were a lot of
questions asked and the non-member couple was very vocal and open in
their responses. We shared a message about the Book of Mormon and the
Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and invited them to pray
about it, and they accepted. It was honestly one of the best lessons I
can even recall... The importance of having a member in the lesson is
so overlooked. And I look back to before my mission and think about
all the opportunities I could have had to share the Gospel with all
those around me. There was a statistic given in one of our zone
conferences a while back that said that 1 out of every 1000 people who
the missionaries tract into will accept the message and be baptized.
However, the statistic jumps MASSIVELY when instead of missionaries
going and meeting them, people are invited by a friend or neighbor.
Can you guess? It jumps to 666 out of 1000. That is the reason why I'm
so grateful to be serving here in Utah. There are so many good people
willing to invite and share this simple message with their friends of
other faiths. Truly we are all brothers and sisters. And I love it
here. :)

Also - I took my meds early this morning.. So I'm a bit spaced out
right now. I'm having a hard time focusing on this letter. But I'll
keep truckin' through it for you...

Just yesterday Reannah got interviewed for baptism, and she passed!
Not that we were worried she wouldn't.. The only issue we faced was
getting permission from her dad, and he said that she could. We also
JUST found out that her dad isn't even a member at all! That would
explain why he's been so uninvolved, I guess. Reannah is so solid -
she's had a pretty crazy life so far and has had a lot of challenges.
But she's embracing everything that we teach her and everything that
her grandma has showed her in taking her to church. The young women
have received her warmly and she still wants to do baptisms for the
dead. We actually just learned not too long ago that Maya Lopez went
and did baptisms for the dead for the first time a few weeks ago.
There is so much work going on right now in this area - all the
members are on fire. I've never seen missionary work run so smoothly
before in my whole mission. Everybody here just gets it. I dread the
day that I have to be transferred somewhere else. Honestly the first
day I got here the work was at a standstill. And now we have a
teaching pool of 17 people with more on the way. Yeah... That usually
means I'm about to get kicked out.

Mom - I'm so glad to hear you've been able to maybe relieve some of
that stress from two teenagers and seminary! Haha.. That resort was
pretty awesome after all. Lots of pools. It definitely needed more
ping pong tables! And it's pretty weird that 3 of the missionary calls
have already been made. They're staggered in almost the worst possible
way haha. After the last call you won't see me for 6 whole months!
Evan's reading the Book of Mormon now, huh? Legit! You're kind of a
speed reader... We've been using that as a technique to get people to
read the Book of Mormon. Usually using Harry Potter as the example.
"If you read Harry Potter in 6 hours... Do you think you could read
the most important book you'll ever read in 2 weeks?" Bam. It's
actually gotten a lot of people reading! Don't even START talking
about movies! I'm not even close to done yet! :) I'm still Journaling
every day. Well.. I miss a day here and there, but I always catch up.
Every day of my mission has been written about. I think the thing that
I have drawn upon the most to add to my talents as a missionary is my
ability to just.. Talk to people. Communication is way easy for me -
what takes practice is taking what someone else says and linking it to
a principle in the Gospel. But from week 3 in the mission field with
Elder Scoggin we were teaching about 50/50 of the time. That doesn't
happen very often. After 3 months with Bengtson it was probably like
90/10 at most.

Dad - I'm glad you had an awesome trip. I remember when we went
snorkeling out on that dead looking reef (I believe that was in St.
Maarten's) where the coolest thing we saw was a garfish. I've never
had the courage to swim 25 feet down.. Too much water pressure, not
enough lung capacity! Shocked by a stingray, huh? Careful. That's what
killed the mighty Steve Irwin. Crikey! Hope Rick is feeling better.
Poor guy.. So Uncle Chris is doing fireworks full time!? That's
probably like.. his dream come true! I know he had some some
shows/things as side projects (I think) but they're going to make this
one official, huh? That's still pretty awesome. Maybe he'll hook you
up with some shows! Then again, set up and lighting them off is
probably far less impressive than being able to watch from a distance.
It'll be sad if they move from the house they're in! I like that house
a lot. I feel like it's been a while since I've been there.. Best of
luck with all the stake young mens president stuff and things.

I love you all! Keep up what you're all doing. Whatever that may be.
Bloom where you stand. :)

- Elder Tyler Grant

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