Sunday, August 18, 2013

July 21st, 2013

Hey everyone! Hope Canada is wonderful - I'm not sure how long everyone was staying there, but I presume if you're all still there then all is well!

This past week has been another awesome building week. We're re-committing a lot of people who we had picked up to baptismal dates, and they're looking a lot more solid now. Not all 8 of them, but we've got 2 if not 3 right now who are progressing perfectly along towards their baptismal date. There are a ton of things going on right now, and we're going through again and tracting out all of the apartment complexes in the area to try and find those who might have slipped through the cracks. We're going to commit one more person to baptism tonight and two more tomorrow. Keep on praying for miracles! Because they're definitely happening right now!
There's a family that we just met who is amazing. They're one who has just resurfaced from all of the new Ward Mission Leaders and stake leaders being shifted around so much lately. They just moved into the ward a month ago from somewhere in the Ogden area, and they're here to make a fresh start. Both of the parents are members and have firm testimonies of the Gospel, but where they've lived for the past 6 years has just had them completely down. The ward was cold and uninviting to them, the bishop basically ran them out of church one day, and no one came and visited them. They have been waiting for the opportunity to move to a new area and start anew, and they just moved to Brigham and have been to church every week since they moved in. Since they have been less-active for 6 years, they have 3 children who are baptismal age that have never been baptized, and we're going to start teaching them on Wednesday. It's just amazing when we take a step back and look at just how the Lord prepares people to receive the Gospel. This was a family who was longing to come back, but didn't feel that they could because of the attitudes and actions of others. And now because of the examples, love, and fellowship of the ward around them they're coming back full-force into activity and they're loving it. Isn't it crazy how much of an impact we have on other people's salvation? That reminds me of something Elder D. Todd Christofferson told us when we were in the MTC. "This is the Lord's work.. It is astonishing how privileged we are that he even LETS us be a part of it." As missionaries and members of Christ's church, we have a remarkable impact - for good or bad - on the strengthening and supporting of God's children all around us. Shouldn't that be viewed as a privilege? That God entrusts us with just a little piece of "His work and His glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" should be viewed as an amazing blessing and opportunity to serve and to love.
As for my new companion, Elder Sillito is just awesome. He works super hard, he's super hilarious, and he loves everyone that we meet. Have I mentioned how great it is to have zone leader caliber companions for once? :) We've been working really hard to build up the zone unity as well as keep the focus on our teaching pool, and we're definitely being blessed for it. Oh - I guess I haven't told you yet.. Elder LaFond's new companion is from Australia and he's SUPER foreign.. Straight off the boat! Hahaha.. Well.. Funny story. He came to District Leader Training meeting Friday morning complaining of sharp stomach pain, and they went to the hospital and he definitely had appendicitis. Welcome to America! 2nd full day in the mission field and he had to go into surgery and have his appendix out. So we spent all day Friday in the hospital and running back and forth grabbing his stuff. He's recovering now, and he's doing well. We decided that it was a curse from God that Elders weren't supposed to go into Malad and that the sisters were supposed to stay there.. Or maybe not. :P The zone is doing okay - we had a really good zone study on Thursday and set a bunch of transfer and zone goals.. I love being a zone leader. It's definitely a lot of work, but you get a lot out of it and there's a lot of satisfaction to be had by helping and serving and teaching other missionaries. I really hope I get to stay a zone leader until the end. A lot of missionaries want to finish off by training a new missionary, but I think I'll pass on that one.. I don't think I could handle a C. Part Two.
The first week of the transfer is always the slowest because of how many meetings and trainings we have to plan for and attend. We've got zone conference on Thursday and I think after that we'll be free to work our area and devote more time and attention to our investigators... They're gonna need it! We've set our baptismal goal for the transfer, and we're hoping to even exceed it with all the amazing things that are happening. Have I told you that the Brigham West Stake is amazing? I sure hope I have. It's definitely been the highlight of my mission so far, and I hope and pray it only goes ever upward from here. Elder Sillito and I are teaching well together and are developing a lot of good relationships with the leaders and investigators, and I'm glad I have a companion once more that I can rely on to have my back if I ever get stumped!
Mom - Jacob Olson totally left, huh? I can't believe there are so many missionaries leaving from our stake! And people that I know! I just found out that Caroline Luebbert has been in St. George for 3 months, and that Ashley Faldmo is leaving soon, and Eva Claren now has her call, and now Chelsea Fraser? AND Matt Kelly? Ryan's next! Hahaha. I got your letter with the article of Steph Emery's wedding. The world really does keep moving along. How did Evan do on the trip? Did he mostly just keep to himself in the basement and play Pokemon? :) Don't you miss the smell of the Halifax Harbor?
Dad - No letter from you this week, but I assume it's because of vacation/hospital rounds/all the ailments of life.. Or something like that. I'm over it. Hope you had a good vacation. :)
Love you guys! I'd write more but.. I can't. I'll have lots more to say next week when we're planning for all of our potential baptisms. It's going to be a sick transfer!
- Elder Tyler Grant

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