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!
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