Sunday, August 18, 2013

August 13th, 2013

I can't believe it's been a week already.. So strange!
This past week has been pretty amazing. T. got baptized on Saturday and that was a huge miracle. She's been struggling for a long time and has finally taken the necessary steps to seek God in her challenges. I'm super excited for her and so is the ward. Her sister said one of the prayers at her baptism and she's not a member. It was pretty funny leading up to it because when we were trying to sort out the baptismal program her sister wanted to sing a song at the baptism. And the song she wanted to sing was by Pink. We told her it might not be the most appropriate song haha. So when they were looking through the hymnbook for songs for the program, they picked the 3 songs that they knew: Joy to the World, Battle Hymn of the Republic, and the Star Spangled Banner. Luckily, we talked them out of those 3 songs and picked a few more that were baptismal appropriate. I got to be the one who confirmed her on Sunday. And then we spoke in their ward, and .. Wait for it .. I performed a special musical number! I played my own arrangement of "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" on the piano, and I'm super glad that I did. I've never used that talent before, but right after I spoke and then played the Spirit was SUPER strong. I'm pretty sure I've told you - I've been practicing playing songs by ear, and it's getting easier and easier. Actually when I got up and played I just made it up on the spot, which was risky, but it turned out awesomely.
So to get to your other questions, YES I'm on Facebook now! And it's been amazing, and super hard. I've never been one to think about family or friends so I haven't let that distract me. But when they invited us to start teaching them and diving right back into the middle of it all, I'm not going to lie.. It's been harder to focus for the last week than I've ever had before. But let me tell you.. It's working. I've taught 9 lessons on Facebook so far to friends and I've set the grounds to start teaching several more. I've been INCREDIBLY amazed at how willing people have been to hear me out, and I'm grateful for all of them who have listened and shared their experiences with me. I realized that I literally knew nothing about what any of my friends believed, and it's been cool to get on that level with them and talk about God and prayer and other Gospel topics. I got up in 3 sacrament meetings on Sunday and announced it to the wards that they need to become friends with the missionaries on Facebook.. And we're doing our best to encourage member missionary work within the area. But at this point, all of my successes have been in Storm Lake! Shocking, right? :)
Other than that, we haven't spent quite as much time with the investigators in our area this week. It's been one of the busiest weeks of my mission with planning and giving trainings, a busy week to be a zone leader! It's also funny how some people catch on to it a lot faster.. There are 8 companionships in our zone, and in the first week Elder Sillito and I taught 18 lessons on Facebook. And the other 7 companionships taught 4 lessons.. Combined. Haha so it's gonna take work! But this is truly opening the world to missionary work. I AM allowed to chat with you guys, but only about how to better do missionary work - either online or in person. I can encourage you to invite people to take the lessons.. Or I can talk to you about asking someone to ask me questions online. Did you know that 70% of the world is introverted? That is, they're not always super excited to talk to missionaries when they come knock at the door, but they're MUCH more comfortable asking questions over a computer screen! I've definitely seen that to be the case so far. I'm amazed at how open people have been with me and accepting of what I'm doing as a missionary. It's been a huge blessing because I don't feel like I really told anyone what I was going to be doing, and now I can 'prepare' them for my arrival by letting them know what's been going on! I've also invited like, 20 people to come hear me talk in church the Sunday I get home. Planting seeds! :)
Mom - Sorry to freak you out by being online all the time. It's been insanely weird for me too, and I've been thinking about home a lot more, but I think the transition is going to be a lot easier because now I'm telling people what I've been doing so they won't be super weirded out by me when I get back. I got the birthday package! Thank you! I'm going to HuHot today to celebrate. :) I still can't believe I'm almost 21. I messaged Ryan on Facebook the other day.. Didn't get too huge of a response from him. Maybe next time. How have you liked the posts I've put up so far? I'm trying to keep them brief, and full of testimony.. And not too preach-y either. But hey. If people get turned off by it, I'm going to be a regular person before too long, and they'll just have to get over it.

Dad - How come the stake never did fun activities when I was in Young Men's? All they ever invited me to was service. No wonder I didn't want to go! That sounds like it was a blast. Hope you took some great pictures. I almost went golfing today, but the guy had a scheduling conflict and couldn't take us. No doubt you will stomp me when I return. It seems like you guys have spent a lot of time in Nova Scotia lately! I miss that place.. And I miss all the people from there too. Wish Papa a Happy Birthday when it comes. I'm also super glad Ashley Faldmo decided to go on a mission - that's so awesome! I really hope President Faldmo doesn't get released in the next 3 months. I'd much rather have an interview with him than some stranger!
If you guys have questions about Facebook missionary-ing, then don't hesitate to ask me! Just know that it's going really REALLY well, and I'm enjoying it. You'd never believe who's been receptive to the Gospel. It's been a huge testimony builder to me that we can share the Gospel in a non-intrusive way and just because we think someone isn't prepared, doesn't mean that God hasn't softened their hearts and allowed the Spirit to touch them. The devil has been using the internet for a long time, it's time that we step in and take over! :)

- Elder Tyler Grant

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