Monday, March 25, 2013

March 5th, 2013

So seeing as this transfer was only 5 weeks, it has already rapidly
come to a close... And I got a call from President Hiers last night
again. I'm going to be staying in Garland, but I'm going to be
training another new missionary! I'm actually pretty excited. District
Leader/Trainer is about as high as the responsibilities get so this'll
be a test of my stress levels and work ethic. I'm also nervous because
this time around will probably be an ACTUAL brand new missionary, not
one who served a trial mission first... Maybe it'll even be one of the
new 18 year olds! Haha.. I'll report next week. Elder Sherman is being
transferred south to Clinton. I'm really going to miss him. He's been
one of my favorite companions that I've had. We've gotten along really
well and have seen a lot of success in the work we've done in Garland.
He's going to become a senior companion (finally!) so I wish him the
best. He was worried because the assistants and zone leaders were
talking as if he was going to go serve with the APs for a transfer to
give him a boost. So he was stressing a lot about that... I think his
new assignment will be good for him. Like I said, I'm really excited
to train and hope that I can help this new missionary to become all
that he needs to be. Our zone is getting changed up a LOT - We're
getting Elder LaFond as our Zone Leader though! I don't know if you
remember him.. He was in my MTC district and was there for me when my
companion was an idiot.. Hahaha. So it's all looking up!

So yesterday we had a baptism, as you may have noted by the pictures.
Happy birthday, Mom! Have a baptism! :) The kid's name is Jaidan
 and we've been meeting with his family ever since I got
here. His mom isn't a member and she's been coming to church very
regularly for the past 6 months. Her boyfriend is a member, and
they've been working towards getting married, but there's been a lot
of fear. Jaidan decided to get baptized after he felt the Spirit so
strongly at the musical fireside. That's the amazing thing about the
whole situation. We've been teaching his family and he's sat in on and
off, but we've never pressured him and neither have his parents. He's
been praying and reading the scriptures on his own, and never felt
like he received his full answer. And when he recognized it for
himself, he came to us! But that's not even the end of the story.. On
Sunday he had his baptismal interview, and while he was being
interviewed I asked his mom the interview questions to see where she
was at in terms of preparedness. She's COMPLETELY ready for baptism, I
was blown away! She's wanted to get baptized for a long time now and
hasn't been able to since they've been trying to sort out the whole
"get married" thing... We left briefly to go get Jaidan his white
jumpsuit, and when we came back she and her boyfriend were all smiles.
RJ, the boyfriend, said "We were just talking, and we've decided that
we're going to get married. I'm ready - I'm tired of holding my family
back." They're going to go to the courthouse on Wednesday and get
their marriage licenses, and talk to the Bishop to plan their wedding
within the next few weeks! I am SO excited for them! They've come
unbelievably far in the past 5 weeks since I've been able to teach
them. They've been on super rocky ground and have been wondering if
it's going to work out for them... And Jaidan's decision to be
baptized has really just launched them to a new level. We helped them
move into a new house on Friday and Saturday so they've just been able
to start fresh in every aspect of their lives. Jaidan's baptism was
awesome. Both of his parents gave talks and Elder Sherman got to
baptize him. And now within the next few weeks Jaidan's mom will be
baptized too. On Wednesday he'll get interviewed to get the Aaronic
priesthood and he'll be able to bring it into their home. There's some
incredible things happening around here right now, and it's beyond
apparent that God's hand is in it. There are so many miracles that are
popping up everywhere.. Hopefully my new greenie will stay afloat. :)

I love it here in Garland. As questionable as I felt coming back here,
I can tell that this is where I'm supposed to be. I had a family we're
teaching tell me that they felt that I was "tailor-made" for their
family. Being a missionary is incredible.

Mom - I miss rain! And freezing rain I guess... But mostly rain! I
hope you had a great birthday. I can't believe how "over it" I am
about missing both Breaking Dawn movies. Oh yeah.. I can totally
believe it. I guess I missed the Academy Awards too. Someone was
telling us about the movies that won and were nominated and I realized
I hadn't heard of any of them. Far out. The mission office is selling
recordings of the musical fireside for 50 cents.. Should I get one? :)
Haha I'll pick up an order form tomorrow when I go to get my greenie.
I am feeling 100% again. It just bugs me that the hospital wasn't able
to give me even the slightest clue as to what was wrong. Doesn't that
bug you a little bit? I still can't believe Ryan is graduating!

Dad - Thanks for the catch-up diagnosis. FINALLY someone tells me what
happened. And no I wasn't particularly gassy that day. The talks on
baptism and the Holy Ghost isn't necessarily set in stone. Check the
guidelines in Preach My Gospel. It says "two gospel topics" ... :)
Baptisms are much more spiritual when they're brief-er. We're still
working with the twins parents and their older brother. I love
singing- the firesides have been a lot of fun to participate in and I
guess now I've seen fruits from them. I've been playing the piano a
lot more lately too. Playing at Jaidan's baptism was a way cool
experience. I expect I'm gonna love the new piano for sure. There are
a lot of foreign missionaries in our mission - I wonder if I"m gonna
get to train a missionary from another country? I still find it funny
that President Moriyama remembers you as the only missionary he had
from Nova Scotia. And I don't know if I deserve the praise of being an
"awesome" missionary yet. I'll let you know if I ever get that
feeling. I'm trying though. :) You may have beat Evan in pinball, but
you will never beat my Geometry Wars score. I really hope President
Faldmo is still the Stake President when I get back.

Anyways. Sorry for the short letter. Sherman has 6 months of people to
say goodbye to and I've gotta do laundry... Love you guys! I'll report
on my new greenie next week! :)

- Elder Tyler Grant

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