Saturday, May 11, 2013

April 30th, 2013

Now that several people are e-mailing me... I write all of them first. And then I save the biggest letter for last... Maybe that's why I'm so unmotivated. Also... Evan's hair! What the heck! I'm actually fairly sure I'm not a huge fan of it - I'll side with Mom on this one. It just looks so different.
Well hey! Let me look through the planner and re-cap the week... Oh yeah. So a couple of our baptisms got pushed back, so that's frustrating. We were supposed to have like 10 people at church on Sunday and only 2 came. And we were fasting as a zone. That was really discouraging. 3 of the most solid people we have kind of flaked out. Actually one of them showed up to church late and said that they don't want to be taught by us anymore.. Which hurt a lot initially. But when we took a step back and saw the big picture, it was actually probably for the best. We were teaching a single mom and her 11 year old daughter, and the mom is on recovery from a life of very heavy drug use. We went in and taught them about Jesus Christ and baptism, and I guess they felt overwhelmed to an extent.. But. The flipside of the story is that the mom hasn't been active in the church for over 30 years and now she's coming to not just sacrament, but relief society and Sunday school too, and she loves it. Her daughter has a few social difficulties, mostly stemming from being raised in such a difficult and transient home, and when she had gone to church in the past she hated it and wouldn't leave her mom's side. But now she is absolutely loving primary and has made so many new friends who are all welcoming her with open arms. It's really cool to see when a ward accepts absolutely anyone and brings them in as one of their own. Instead of just coming into sacrament and sitting down, almost everyone in their ward walks around and socializes and welcomes the new people they may not recognize, and sits by them. Which is actually very rare. SO it's probably the best thing for the situation at this time. We also just recently cleared up some problems with 2 other girls that we're teaching who for some reason all the sudden stopped meeting with us.. We found out that someone in their ward offended them because they suggested putting up her granddaughter for adoption... But we sorted it out! It's been a crazy up and down week. But I guess that's pretty normal.

The zone is doing a lot better. The amount of lessons taught last week doubled and then some. We're just trying to lead everyone by example and are trying to give them tools that they can use to further progress the work in their areas. Being a zone leader is pretty stressful, actually.. I'm sure Dad can testify to that. It's really cool to be able to help out the zone, but it's tricky because we live in Brigham City and most everyone else lives in Tremonton. We've spent most of today moving Elders around into new apartments because some of them were too small and crowded... Disassembling beds, moving mattresses and dressers... It's been quite the P-day. I think we're making a difference though. It's just been awesome to be able to serve with Elder LaFond. To see where we're both at now in our missions is just incredible to me versus day 1 in the MTC. We teach really well together and are finding a lot of new people to invite closer to Christ. We kinda had a lot of lessons cancel last week, but we've set up an equal number in return. God knows what he's doing! We're going to start teaching my first real black investigator tonight! Hahaha... Sorry. I had to throw that in.
We had a zone conference last week and I think that gave us a needed boost. Especially because last Wednesday we had 6 lessons set up and we only taught 1 that we planned for.. Cancellations just happen sometimes. People have lives! In exchange though we had planned to go visit a former investigator, a girl named Nevaeh who is a HUGE Justin Bieber fan.. And when we had dinner that evening with a family with a 16 year old daughter who was a self proclaimed "BeLIEBER" ... We knew what to do. We brought her with us and she and Nevaeh hit it off right away, and we taught a lesson on the spot. I have no doubt that it was no coincidence - once again, God knew what he was doing! We've never been promised that we're not going to face trials, frustrations, and difficulties.. We just have to have the faith to see it through and pray for blessings on the other side.
Mom - Zion indeed! I really love it here, Brigham City is a lot better than I expected it to be; especially with all the work going on! Joe is getting married this Saturday to his girlfriend and baptized next Saturday. His enthusiasm for the Gospel is incredible to me still. Is Tayler graduating from seminary? Haha that's so sweet! And I can't believe you got a new car! The Trailblazer was a great addition to the family... It will be missed. Like I said earlier, I'm not a huge fan of the newly founded "bald Evan" look. It looks so strange! I miss my long hair a lot. I'll probably grow it out as much as I can. Maybe a beard too. How would that look? Hey guess what?? They're building a HuHot here in Logan! Just over the mountain! I don't know when it will be finished.. But we drove past it the other day and my jaw dropped to the floor. I didn't know they even had those out here. I bought a $5 wal-mart watch and it's working out great. But if you want to try and choose one for a surprise I wouldn't hate it. By the way; I haven't gotten any ketchup chips since Christmas! Whats the deal!? Hahaha...
Dad - The area is just amazing. The ZL responsibilities have to be squeeeeeezed in here and there. We had a rough time preparing our first training for the zone, but the last one we prepared came out much smoother and we fit a lot of really cool doctrine behind it. I've also found that now that I'm a ZL, I can really see just how much other missionaries (admittedly including myself at times) really do have struggles with companions, areas, and work ethic. The zone is getting better though and the number of lessons and investigators with baptismal dates is slowly rising. Was serving as a ZL difficult for you? WHY DID YOU SHAVE EVAN'S HEAD!? IT LOOKS SO DIFFERENT! Shave your own head!
To kinda close this off.. And I don't know how long this is, hopefully not too short.. I just want to say that I'm happier than I ever have been. My companion is great, our investigators are awesome, the leaders here are awesome, the new responsibilities are challenging and rewarding, and my prayers are constantly being answered. Not everything is going perfectly, and it never will. But I know that we're being blessed for being more obedient, diligent, and trustworthy than I've ever been before. I love this work and I'm so grateful for the chance that I have to be here. I can't imagine where I'd be if I wasn't here.

I love you all! :)
- Elder Tyler Grant

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