Friday, February 8, 2013

February 5th, 2013


It's already almost been a week here, and it's still super strange to
be back! I haven't visited a ton of people from when I was here last
time, we just drove by the White's just in time for a snowball fight..
Other than that we're trying to stay busy and focused on the work in
the Garland Stake. Luckily, we're back to 8 wards again! A very
gracious change from the 25 wards we just had in Richmond. There's
not... a TON of work going on right now. But it's better than what
I've been transferred into in the past. Once again I didn't get
transferred into any investigators who are getting baptized right off
the bat. But hey - that would be too easy. :) There are a lot of
less-actives in the area and that means there's a LOT of reactivation
to do. And along with the reactivation there's a lot of youth who
haven't been baptized because their parents have been inactive. The
leadership is pretty good around here. We're gonna have to fire them
up a little bit more to get them to keep up with the leaders in
Richmond, but that will come with time.

My companion's name is Elder Sherman and he too is from California.
That's my 3rd one from California! I haven't had a single companion
from outside of the United States yet. Arizona, California, Texas,
Maryland, Tennessee, Arizona, Nevada, California, and California. Not
a ton of variety. :) Elder Sherman has been out for almost 11 months
now and he actually TEACHES! What a relief! I went on exchanges with a
missionary in Smithfield before I got transferred out of Richmond and
he told me it was pretty obvious that I'd been carrying 95% of the
weight of teaching for the last 3 transfers. So to come into an area
where my companion knows everyone and has a good relationship with the
leaders and investigators is super nice. We're still digging to find
work. But it will come with time - I'm really excited to be serving
here even though it's pretty weird. We actually don't live in the
Garland Stake - we live LITERALLY right across the street from the
Tremonton South Stake boundaries.

So! I had to give my first district meeting yesterday! It was pretty
intimidating - I never thought I'd see the day where I'd be standing
in the shoes of the leaders when I came into the mission. I had to
prepare a training for my district, and obviously it didn't go 100%
smooth because it was the first run through. I'll get better at it -
I've never had a problem just getting up in front of people and
talking. I'll just have to be sure to be prayerful in considering the
needs of the missionaries in the district. I'm the district leader for
3 Spanish elders and 2 English sisters. So it's a relatively small
district. Our zone leaders are pretty awesome. One is from Alberta and
one is from England. Both of them have been out in the field less time
than I have, so they're both pretty rock solid. I'm also running out
of things to say.. I'm distracted. Like always. :)

Last night we got together as a zone at a members home in our area and
had a huge communal shirt burning! 3 people in the zone hit their year
marks and burned shirts and 2 of them hit 6 months so they burned
ties. I don't know why missionaries do that..It just happens! I think
Dad already mentioned that he never did that while he was on his
mission. Probably because it would take too long to send replacement
shirts all the way to Japan. I also got all my pictures burned onto
CDs so I'll be sending them off in the next few weeks. I got those
hymnbooks a while back. I have too many non-white shirts and stuff now
so I've just gotta ship off a box your way. It was almost too much
work to pack. I've been pretty good at not being a pack rat with
collecting worthless things. :)

Mom - All the way to Romans, huh? Does this mean you're not like 4
months behind this year? :) Thanks for the quote. I'll have to save
that one.. I can't believe Sister White already sent you pictures.
She's too diligent! I gotta watch what I do around here or I'm gonna
get tattled on.. Hahaha. Heidi is about 35 minutes away over the
mountain in Richmond. I'm not worried about her - she'll stay strong.
Your list of my areas is correct! I've been in nothing but small towns
except for the 3 months in Mount Lewis - and that was when I got
transferred into 1 investigator and no other work. Pretty irregular
actually. Most missionaries spend more time in the city. I guess
they've figured out that this is what I'm good at! Is the Storm Lake
Branch still huge? I'm also impressed about Evan's praise of the Book
of Mormon! He must really be taking this seriously. My scriptures are
almost marked to death! It's almost hard to use any other scriptures
since I know mine so well.

Dad - You were pretty spot on on the callings of a district leader. We
have to give a once a week training to the district, get trained by
the ZLs once a week, collect and report numbers to the ZLs, go on
splits occasionally with the Elders in the district as well as the
ZLs, and then I'm responsible for interviewing baptismal candidates
and determining if they're ready. So that's probably the part that
scares me the most. I'm still just a normal missionary, I just have
more responsibilities and more opportunities to serve. I really like
that interpretation of D&C 4 vs Moses 1:39. It just goes to show that
our interpretation and understanding of the scriptures continues to
grow the more we read and study them. Maybe I'll use that in my next
district meeting! The missionaries in the district are pretty awesome
- the sisters might be a little high maintenance but I'll manage. The
3 Spanish Elders are all hilarious - one is from Atlanta, one from
Mexico, and one from Panama. So there's a huge mix of personalities
and cultures. Best of luck on the temple-every-month goal!

I love you all. Sorry this letter's a bit short. I'll write more this
next week - we've set up a lot of lessons and have a lot in the
upcoming days. I love it here - thanks for your support!

- Elder Tyler Grant

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