Sunday, August 18, 2013

July 30th, 2013

I've already been at the computer for like, an hour and a half sending pictures and writing essays.. But here I am resolve firm as ever, and admittedly fading.. But I shall write you a letter nonetheless!
This past week has just been amazing. I sent a picture of the two baptisms we had last Saturday. This is the family that we found (miracle!) about a month ago and we've been teaching them consistently since then. The parents are working towards being baptized but it's going to be more long-term, and they were in full support of the two boys being baptized. Elder Sillito and I were privileged to be able to baptize them. There was a super good turnout from the ward at the baptism and we even had one of our supposed 'less promising' investigators come and see it. As a result of the baptism, she had such a good experience that she came to church for the first time in like 6 months, and accepted a baptismal date for August 10th! We have another baptism coming up this Saturday for a kid we've been teaching since I got to the area. Have I ever told you guys that I love this stake? The biggest miracle of them all is that, and I'm sure Dad can attest to this, we've been having a really hard time getting people to come to church. Usually we'll invite 8 or 9 people to church and 2 or 3 will show up. But this past Sunday, 8 of the 9 non-members that we invited to church totally came! Literally everything is falling into place perfectly, and I know that God is behind it.  I am seriously SO grateful that I was called to this mission. I'm sure many people laughed, as I did, when I got called here.. But the work in the Utah Ogden mission is incredible. Elder Russell M. Nelson said that Utah is the center of the church, and as such should lead the church in baptisms, activation, and retention. We're giving it our best shot!
There's a  non-member lady that we picked up last week who was a media referral.. And honestly when we got the referral we were less than excited. It was a lady asking for her bishop's information so she could get help through some hard financial times, and we assumed she was a less-active member of the church. When we went and visited her she turned out to not be a member after all. Not only that, but she has been reading Gerald Lund books about pioneer history and wants to do her family history. We invited her to church and she came, we presumed just to meet with the bishop.. We taught her the Restoration the next day and she felt the Spirit, but when we invited her to be baptized she was frightened. Afraid we had lost her, we showed up at church the next week, not expecting her to have come, and there she was! Not only that, but guess what the two talks in church were on? The first one was on pioneer history.. And the second one was on genealogy work. Don't you love it when God answers prayers? We taught her again yesterday and she has been reading the Book of Mormon. We taught about the Atonement and again invited her to be baptized.. And, she turned us down, but she's understanding more and more. The part that's bugging me is that she IS feeling the Spirit, and she KNOWS it's true, and she's fighting it! Haha.. She's a southern Baptist lady, so I guess you can't blame her for being a wee bit stubborn. :) When we taught her we felt prompted to tell her that her family who had already passed away was waiting for her to do their temple work, and that hit her pretty hard. We're meeting with her at the Family History Center here in Brigham on Thursday, and she's progressing super well. I can definitely say that she is one of the tender mercies of the Lord that he's blessed us with for working diligently. This has already been one of my most memorable transfers of my mission, and it's only halfway through. I dread the day that they transfer me out of Brigham West. We're praying in faith that we will reach our baptismal goal, and with a little extra effort, it looks like it's totally gonna happen. :)
Mom - I definitely got my box of chips on Saturday! And I've already eaten two of the bags. Hold me back!! I believe that all of the BYU information is in and processing, but you might want to double check. Am I going to be rooming with Andrew or what? :P I'm glad Ryan went to church again and is looking into a Patriarchal blessing. That will definitely help. Is Nanny really going through a divorce? Yikes. Maybe I'll have to try and shoot her a letter. I've got a full two transfers and 3 weeks before my release date. Still plenty of time to do lots of good things! You're allowed to come out to Utah for weddings and stuff. It's not like I'm everywhere in Utah at once!

Dad - I did get your real letter and it was much appreciated. The more I think about it the more I realize you're probably in much better shape than me. All those hiking trips would probably get the best of me. I'm sure you will have plenty of pictures to share with me. I just burned a bunch of pictures onto CDs and will be sending them home within the next couple of days. I used the doctrine in the talk you sent me about grace in a lesson on Sunday, and the guy was pretty much bashing with us about grace.. I hate people like that. He's literally not open to the Spirit and not open to learning. But at the very least, my understanding of grace makes a lot more sense.
I can't tell how long this e-mail is, as I'm on a different computer than I am accustomed to and I'm unsure of the length. If it's not up to par, I'll try harder next week. My brain is just fried from all of the essay writing and responding I've had to do. I'll send pictures of this Saturday's baptism next week, and hopefully one or two more in the weeks to come. I love you guys. Thanks for all your love. :)

- Elder Tyler Grant

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