Well another week has come and gone in West Point, Utah. Things have been cold. There were a couple days where it was so, so windy. I do NOT like the wind. It wasn't that cold outside, but the wind made it pretty bad. There were a lot of fences blown over, and people staying inside, but luckily we have a car so we really can't complain.
So the first thing to talk about is the Kristainsen family. I am not exactly sure on the spelling, but it is pronounced like it looks. They are from Denmark staying with their godmother. She is from England and lives in our stake. They will be here until January. They are looking for a job right now so that they can stay. They only way the job will work is if it is something that one of them can do that an American wouldn't be able to do. They have to show they will not just take away an American job from a citizen here. Fin can drive all types of big trucks, so they are looking for something like that. If they don't find something, they will fly home and then come back again for vacation. The kids do not go to school, so they are home all day everyday. We met them at a dinner appointment and set something up. Fin didn't believe in God, but they like going to church with their godmother, because they feel welcomed here versus in Denmark; the churches there are mean and don't allow kids (they have never tried the LDS church in Denmark). Anyways, we have had three lessons so far with them (I forgot to mention them last week), and they have a baptismal date for the 14th, but it is shaky. Fin really did not want to go to church every week and had no interest in religion, but his heart is softening. He is just worried about our "no beer" rule though, but we will get to that later. There is a man that speaks Danish in our ward that comes to translate. When he cannot make it, we found two returned missionaries that served as companions in Denmark that came and taught with us. It is kind of crazy translating back and forth, but it is fun. They are a good family, and they like us. We are going to do a better job of daily contact and reading with them. They read their Book of Mormon, and we read ours and talk about it. Sandra is really playful and likes to come up behind me and tap my right shoulder then run to the left. She does that the entire time we are there. She is cute and doesn't understand anything we say. She is the only one not old enough to be baptized. Their accent is really cool, and they have taught us 2 or 3 Danish words.
So last week, I had been sick and pretty quickly I lost my voice for a couple days. There was one point in a lesson that I was talking and just stopped mid sentence and couldn't speak anymore; it was really weird. I just had to look at Elder Harper, and he taught the rest of the time. That was kind of a pain; especially, because I felt ok. So I kept working, but people think I am deathly ill and are afraid of me getting them sick. I am almost over it now, lots of water.
So we taught Gavin another time and invited him to baptism. I can't remember if I talked about him. He is the really mature 12-year-old with a single mom who doesn't ever want to go back to church. Well, I guess we scared him when we invited him to baptism; that's what his mom told us. (She did it very nicely.) So we are going to go slower with him and help him learn everything first. But he did get an answer and found out that God is real. He was with his dad this weekend, so he didn't make it to church, but hopefully he will this weekend.
Everyone else we teach is so hard to find, and we talk to them maybe once a week. They are Brother Mooney, the two Hennifer kids (I still have never met them), and the Everrit family (the wife and kids aren't baptized, but the Dad is). People just don't have urgency and are so, so busy. During the day, it is really hard to figure out what to do. We just drive to people on potential lists, and they either aren't home, or they are really not interested. The real success comes from evenings when we talk to members and get an occasional referral. There is so, so much less active work to do here, and we do a lot of that. The Lathem family agreed to start paying tithing which is big news.
Yesterday, all the zone leaders in the mission got to update ios7, so that was supposed to be a big deal. It took FOREVER and now we have less room for Mormon Messages, so I want to go back. None of the features that are new really apply to us; things are just more white and shiny looking.
It drives me CRAZY to have to use the area book app; there, I said it. I have tried to be open minded, but I just want a paper area book and paper planner back so badly. I miss being able to write things down quickly and feeling so accomplished updating my area book every night and putting all the progress records in order and seeing how things are moving. Now our progress records are in a pile on a desk in our house and the teaching records are just online to where you can't look through them all quickly. I thought I liked technology, but I am old fashioned I guess. I wish we could use paper. The good thing is most missionaries didn't update area books at all before, and now they do.
The biggest issue for me rather than an annoying thing is I never set goals now. In the app, it's on a different page, and it doesn’t come up, because we have to program in all our activities. So I schedule more now rather than planning and praying. I am the outcast in the mission everyone else really likes it, so maybe I just need to figure things out and get used to it, but for now I will pout.
My watch broke this week. The knob popped off when I caught it on the fridge handle. So I will bring it to a jewelry place today. I hope they can fix it, but I don't think they can. The metal broke so as long as every month from now on has 31 days, and we never have day light savings, I should be ok.
Theresa!!! She is the really good news. We had a couple lessons with her this week. The last one we pushed for a baptismal date. She said it was a big change and really wanted to wait until spring. I showed her the Mormon Message "Choose This Day" and talked about getting the blessings sooner rather than later and invited her to pray about it. Her husband, Garland, was still sick and wouldn't go to church. She has always said she will never go alone. I asked her to pray about that, too. She went to church! All by herself! Well, with some members that picked her up, but she still decided to go. Then she pointed at me and said, “We need to talk.” I asked her why, and she said because she figured out a date and she wants to get baptized in January. It's not as soon as we would like, but that's ok. She has been considering the church for 50 years, a couple extra weeks are fine with us. It's better than spring. So pray hard for her that she stays strong and keeps reading The Book of Mormon.
So, also pray to bless us with creativity. We need some more ideas of things to do. We are teaching the youth this Sunday of a ward and are supposed to be getting them excited about missionary work. The members are so awesome. They all love us and want to help even when they don't really know how. I love them all. Pray for them to find missionary opportunities.
I am sorry I am giving you so many things to pray about. Investigators take priority; if you have a few extra minutes, include the members, then if there is time pray for President and Sister Hiers, and if you really have time, you can pray for me, too.
It's my Grandpa's birthday today: happy birthday!
I wish I could be there for Thanksgiving. We have two appointments set up. We had to say no to several others with some unhappy moms that we aren't going to their house, but we can go for leftovers. I am really trying to work on gratitude. It is just a coincidence I am working on it this week. We went to go see how Erin was doing, and her parents said they were cutting off a turkey's head, so we went to go help with that the next morning. We are going to their house for thanksgiving in the evening, and we got them to invite the Kristainsen’s!
The zone has been good. We played dodge ball for exercise time one morning and half of them didn't show up when they begged us to put it together. Today, we don't have too many plans; really, just get our big house clean, go grocery shopping, and eat a Costco hot dog. The house has been warmer with the space heater and three extra blankets, and yesterday, our land lady got a new washer! So I got to do laundry this morning; that is pretty exciting.
We still are eating a lot, but potatoes are getting less and less appetizing. I hope I don't ruin it and not be able to eat mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving. I am pretty hungry right now talking about food.
Our stake president is awesome, our meetings with him make us feel great about ourselves. He just sees things and makes sure they get done and always encourages us. He is a great man I wish he was a mission president, he dedicates so much to missionary work and helping others to do missionary work. With him on our team things are looking really good. This area moves slowly, but it moves. I really do love it. I hope to spend some time here to be able to see the progress.
Well, I hope everyone is well. I refound out that The Book of Mormon is true this week. I know it is true! I am positive. That is one of the things I know the most about this gospel is that The Book of Mormon is true, and it came forth just how Jospeh said it did. It's amazing to believe I haven't seen any other evidence, but I just know it. I love my mission, more than I can say. I wish I could be here forever and just take breaks once a year for Thanksgiving in the south. I love you all!
PS I love you, Mom! So much! I am sad to hear about Grandpa Gene, too. Thanks for telling me. I wish I could go see him, but I guess that's selfish, too. I will pray for him. Tell him I know all about the cheese factories, I have just never made it up. I need to though! And everyone in West Point really likes to shoot the elk…lots of hunters here.
I am learning some things about working out here, too. I still have lots to go to figure out how to get members motivated when I myself am not a very good member missionary. I will keep thinking about it…I'm so proud of you and all the missionary work you are doing. I have brought you up in several different dinner appointments; I talk about you a lot, actually, and what a good missionary you are and everyone needs to be like you.
I don't need Christmas decorations. I'm sure our landlord will do that. We already had a really nice family offer Christmas Eve and Christmas Day at their house, and I spotted a big mac computer at one house, so I can use that to facetime. It is still a ways away though.
Love you lots, Mom, I miss you a ton! And I will miss everyone on Thanksgiving, so enjoy it for me. I love you!