Sunday, August 18, 2013

June 11th, 2013

Hello, everyone.

This week has been trying once again.. Not as a companionship, but with the zone and with the area. The teaching pool is pretty low because of dropped investigators, baptisms, and people moving. And it's not just even in one ward, it's across the stake. There have been SO many changes with the leadership... We've cycled 3 ward mission leaders, 3 bishops, and a high councilman over the last 2 weeks. So everyone is just getting back on their feet and fired up to go again. We've got splits set up for the next 4 nights straight... Planning on working this stake into the ground. Two of the nights are going to be with ward mission leaders, one night with a priest, and tomorrow night President Hiers volunteered to come up to go on splits with us. AKA tomorrow night I'm going to take the mission president around with me for 3 hours setting up lessons, contacting referrals, and tracting while Elder LaFond and Elder J. go teach our 3 lessons we have set up already. It's going to be a super draining week, but we're literally giving it all we've got right now. We had a slow week last week as far as teaching investigators, and had taken to teaching a bunch of less actives and excommunicated members as fill-in-the-gaps work.. Which was super frustrating because instead of finding new people to teach we were doing basically less-active home teaching and made very little progress. When we ran out of investigators they just dumped a bunch of busy work on us, and we're always glad to help, but most of it was kind of dead-end work. We don't have a single person with a baptismal date right now, but so far we've got lessons set up with 5 or 6 potentials who haven't been baptized and the next 4 nights are strictly for finding.. Hyperinflate the teaching pool! It's worth a shot anyway. 
A couple of the nonmembers that we're working with are just absolutely crazy. There's a less-active guy who lives 3 doors down from us in our apartment complex who struggles with depression a lot.. And he has a roommate  who's 70 years old. His whole family has joined the church and is insanely active and happy, and he's struggled with alcoholism and .. well .. he's like one of the most closed off people I've ever met. Plus every time we talk to him he's completely drunk.. Hahaha. The other night we tried to teach him a bit of the Restoration, and when we talked about God being our Heavenly Father, he said "You guys have no idea who God is... But I do." Puzzled, we tried to pry him for an answer. "I'll tell you, but you'll freaking flip out of your chairs." Wait for it... Wait... "God is nothing but a bunch of aliens. They came down to the Neanderthals and abducted them, deposited alien DNA in us, and that's why we're made in God's image. Then they built the pyramids in Egypt and Peru. Also - the Bible is a load of BS. Read the epic of Gilgamesh and you'll see.. Noah made that whole story up about the ark." I was trying so hard not to laugh.. He then told us the reason he won't join the church is because of the Sand Creek Massacre, where he says Brigham Young single-handedly killed 200 innocent pioneer women and children and raped them. Yeah.. The guy is pretty crazy. But hey! The Spirit can touch even the hardest heart, right? Right? I never realized until my mission just how many crazy people there are in the world. Most of them are crazy because of drugs.. Were you aware that so many people are on drugs? I don't get it. Drugs are such a waste and it is, has been, and always will be a dead end street. We're on the lookout for a ton of new investigators though, and I know that we'll be able to find them with the Lord's help as well as the amazing leadership in this stake. We're just hitting up our new ward tonight on visits with the Ward Mission Leader to get a better idea of what kind of potential investigators may be hidden there.. Pray for miracles! We sure need them!

The trio is going well though. We've gotten past the awkwardness factor and we're all getting along really well. We're still confused as to why Elder J. was called to be here because he's really not that bad of a missionary. He's been out now for 8 months, and honestly he just hasn't been given a shot. He was trained by a super disobedient problem missionary and has had tough companions since then. But all things considered, he's held out pretty well. The zone is struggling pretty badly though. I think I told you before - we kinda got handed a toss-up of disobedient, socially awkward, and unmotivated missionaries at transfers, and are dealing with several issues within the zone. Remember how you told me that the Lord stretches us? I sure do believe you. There are 4 Spanish missionaries in the zone and they're supposed to be splitting up and using that to their advantage to get twice as much work done.. But instead they wrecked their car and have just been wasting time either at their apartment or just walking around as a foursome.. Another set of Elders has just been complaining and sleeping in... Another set just lost their car at the same time as most of their investigators just magically disappeared... One of the sister missionaries we have in the zone now is absolutely mental. As in, she came into the mission with extra information for the mission president warning him of how psycho she is. So, like I said.. We're working through a few problems right now. As well as trying to jump start our area. And work in a trio. Lots of prayers on this one! Sometimes I sure am glad I have ADHD so I can have so many trains of thought and objectives in mind.

Mom - For the record, I totally wrote that BYU essay last week. So all I need now is an interview from President Hiers.. Which I should probably get the ball rolling on that. Oopsies. Girls camp is the best for missionary opportunities.. Like, 95% of nonmember girls who go to camp have a strong experience with the spirit and end up meeting with the missionaries. Sick, huh? We're probably going to HuHot again today. Also - any idea on how much money I have left on my personal card? Because I used it at the end of last month for the first time in a while because I ran out of mission funds, and I literally have no clue how much I have on there. I'm super bummed that I won't get to see Matt. But it's for the best possible reason, and we'll just have to wait another 2 years to play Digimon. No biggie! I had thought that Ryan had gotten better with going to church and stuff. Oh - is there any way you can like.. Make my blog more private? I know it's great for all the members of the branch and friends to read it and stuff.. But if any missionary in our mission looks up "utah ogden mission" on google then my blog comes up. And I don't really want anybody reading it since it's kind of like a journal in that way.

Dad - Evan blessing the sacrament! That.. Will be quite a sight. We actually had to bless the sacrament in one of the wards we went to on Sunday because they only have 1 priest in the ward. It's a SUPER young ward.. They have 1 priest, 60 in the nursery, 4 primaries... It's freaking insane. I was joking about the whole AP thing. President Moriyama didn't fancy you THAT much, huh? :) The APs that we have had are usually awesome.. With the occasional guy that you just hate to love. I'll be sure to look over that talk as well.

I hope you all know that I love you. The work is picking up, and we're doing as much as we can to get it there. I'm not QUITE at wit's end yet, but I may get there over time. Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things THROUGH Christ which strengtheneth me." I'm so grateful to be doing God's work, and I know that if we do it His way then we are entitled to His help. So I'll make it, even if it kills me. :)


- Elder Tyler Grant

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