Saturday, May 11, 2013

April 9th, 2013

Hey! So.. I'm afraid this might not be the longest e-mail I ever write
to you. Probably because I'm distracted or something. But, I'll tough
it out like always. My brain doesn't feel like it's firing on all
cylinders today. In fact it feels like it's fizzling and dying.

So this week has been about the same. We're having SO many
cancellations lately and its extremely frustrating. We'll have close
to 15 or 20 lessons set up per week and we've only been teaching 3 or
4 of them because people are sick or another excuse. It sucks because
at that point there's nothing you can do. You can't force them to meet
with you.. And it's hard to tell if they genuinely are busy or if
they're just trying to dodge us. Either way, it sucks when you feel
like you have all the right motives and you sincerely want the best
for the people you teach, and I KNOW the Gospel is what is going to
lead them through the crazy things in their lives... But only they can
accept it. There are so many problems in this world and I can see a
lot of the direct effects of the degradation of the family. Divorces,
couples living together without being married, single parent homes,
mixed families with custody issues... It's all really hard to see, and
a lot of people can't see through all the junk in front of them to see
that Christ CAN help them. They don't have to walk through this life
alone - he lived his life to be an example and a pattern and he has
already overcome the challenges, trials, and sins we will face. All we
have to do is have the faith to turn to him and humble ourselves to
the enabling power of the Atonement through repentance. People can
change, transform, and become what God sees them being. They just have
to allow themselves to let go of the chains that hold them down and
let Christ make up the difference in what they lack. I just want to
see them happy so badly.. But they can't be changed against their
will, and we can't show them how to access these blessings if they
keep cancelling. This just feels like the most cancellations I can
remember, and it's been pretty consistent for the past two weeks. I'm
wondering if it's me that's the problem. I can't help but look
inwardly and see if it's my shortcomings and flaws and attitude that
may be getting in the way of the eternal progression of God's
children. Maybe it's both me and my companion. I hate feeling like I'm
not fulfilling my purpose.

I did learn a lot in General Conference. We didn't get to go down to
Salt Lake this time around, but we were able to watch all 5 sessions
and take vigorous notes... There were so many talks that seemed like
in one way or another it was God answering my questions through his
servants. I was able to gain a lot of revelation for myself to face
the challenges I've had and that the area is having. One of my
favorite talks was in the first session by Elder Craig A. Cardon who
talked about repentance and forgiveness. As you may have been able to
gather from my thoughts before, that's what I've been thinking about
the most lately. To have the knowledge that sins CAN be forgiven and
that the burdens of guilt that come from walking contrary to God's
will can be healed and lifted. We taught a guy last night who told us
the reason he wanted to meet with us was because he knows that he's
screwed up in the past and he wants God to help him get on the right
path to forgiveness. THAT is what the Gospel is all about. It's not
about how active you are in the Church, what calling you hold, or how
many times you've read the Book of Mormon.. The central focus of the
message of Jesus Christ is that when we draw near to God he will visit
us with his Spirit, and show us the way back to him. I know that the
Atonement is real. There isn't a doubt in my mind that when we ask for
forgiveness and offer up a broken heart before our Heavenly Father and
sincerely desire to change, that he will help us. He will always help
us. Christ has ALREADY paid the price. When we utilize his Atonement
and apply his teachings in our life we will reach our full potential
as children of God. He wants us ALL to return to him, and it is up to
us who have received his Gospel to share it with others. I don't know
if you all noticed it, but there was a huge overall theme from
conference about missionary work and teaching our friends. I'm so
indebted to God for all the experiences that he has blessed me with to
teach people and to show them the path they can walk, and then to
watch them do it. Missionary work is a calling for everybody, not just
those with the name badges. As Elder Andersen said, paraphrased, even
if you do not wear a full-time missionary tag, it is a good time to
paint one onto our hearts.

Other than that, there hasn't been a ton of amazing breakthroughs with
the people we're teaching. We're going to start teaching that lady who
we called as she visited the crash site of her dead nephew... We have
a lesson set up with her for tomorrow - fingers crossed. A lot of the
families we've worked with for a long time we haven't seen for like 2
weeks because of spring break. So we're going to try and pick up with
everybody again soon. I'm still working with Elder Curtis.. Things are
still improving. Just polishing - I honestly kind of hope that I get
transferred out and that he gets a companion who is the complete
opposite of me. I look back to when that happened to me and though I
didn't appreciate it at the time, I learned a lot about myself and
about how to run the area on my own. I really think it would help him
a ton to be able to do the same. Fingers crossed, pray for miracles!

Mom - The new and improved method of sending packages is that you HAVE
to send it priority mail, otherwise I have to pay for it. I had to pay
a hefty $21 for my Easter package.. Ouch! Oh! And one more fun
thing... The mission policy just changed officially and we are now
allowed to EMAIL friends! Hey surprise!! So if you could get me e-mail
addresses for a few people.. That would be the best and a half! I'll
attach another e-mail with a list of a few... Missionaries have been
e-mailing friends for a long time but I've chosen not to to try and be
obedient. And now it's encouraged to keep in contact with them through
e-mail. So I guess I'll give it a whirl. Glad you had a safe trip to
B.C... Did you snag some chips for me?? :) And I've actually e-mailed
Andrew Olson this week and talked about rooming with him for the
Winter Semester at BYU, and said he's all for it. So if you want to
start talking to Mrs. Linda, that would be great. I'm pumped for
Jacob, and Chelsea too! I was wondering when some of my friends were
going to start getting mission calls already... Sheesh!

Dad - Your letter, however brief, is nonetheless greatly appreciated!
Haha.. I get to pride myself in having loving parents who continue to
write me letters faithfully every single week! It really is awesome
that you both have kept it up so consistently for so long - keep it
up! :) I've had several tricky companions to this point, and I hope
that the end of tough companions is near... I just want a beast-mode
companion for a change! How is uncle Bliss doing, by the way? I
haven't heard anything from him or about him almost at all. He served
in California, right? I hope you are able to catch up on the
much-needed sleep you are so obviously lacking. Keep truckin' along,
uber puffer goober fish. You are the beeeeeest....

I love you all! Stay positive, and I'll let you know on transfers next week! :)


- Elder Tyler Grant

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