I love getting your emails every week. I love hearing from home. It is weird to think about Spokane getting colder when it is still 85 degrees here. Although now it gets dark by 7:30 here, and it almost rained once!
This week seemed like it was jammed packed. I know I’ve said this a million times, but the weeks really do feel like days sometime.
I didn’t get your package yet! It’s probably here, but since all of my mail gets sent to the mission office, the Zone Leaders have to bring it to us and they forgot to check the mail this week. =( I am very excited for it, though.
So, Malcolm was supposed to get baptized this weekend… but BAD NEWS. We were struggling all week with helping him stop smoking. He said he wanted to, he told his Mom so she could help him stop, he didn’t even own any cigarettes, but he always found a way to get cigarettes! He didn’t even buy them! He just asked people for them. It was kind of frustrating. To make matters worse, yesterday we tried to go teach him and he told us he didn’t want us to come by anymore. We’re not exactly sure what changed, but he has never really had to keep commitments in his life. He already struggled with motivating himself to do anything, so we’re guessing he just felt like we were asking him to do too much.
Even though Malcolm dropped us, we met two people at his apartment complex that we are super excited about. The first is a girl named Sarah. She just moved to the complex this past week from Salt Lake. She is 18, I think, and has been a member for three years. She has had a really, really tough life and she fell away from the church almost immediately after joining. Despite her trials, she wants to come back to church and told us she knows now why she moved to Long Beach… that it was so she could come back to church. She desperately wants to serve a mission. And Kimmie, get this. She went to Heritage High School. And she was in a drama class. And you were her teacher. WHAT? Crazy small world. She said you were a great teacher and everyone loved you. And she says hi. The other person we met at that apartment complex is named Gerard. He lives next door, but he is friends with Sarah. We were teaching a lesson to someone outside the apartment complex (and it was a terrible lesson. The guy we were teaching was tweaking on drugs), but Gerard walked up, listened for a while, and then said, “How can I get baptized?” I’m pretty sure nothing exists that is more exciting for missionaries. We taught him twice this week and he came to church this Sunday even though his friends that were supposed to take him told him they didn’t want to go.
We have an investigator named James who is awesome. We have been teaching him this whole transfer, but at the beginning he said he just invited us in to make fun of us and laugh. As we kept teaching him, his perspective slowly changed. At one point in his life, he was doing almost every drug imaginable, but now he teaches an addiction recovery group. He really wanted to know if everything we said was true, so he told God to give him an answer at church on Sunday so he could move forward. He really didn’t want to stop smoking, but we told him that he really had to show Heavenly Father he was willing to make sacrifices to find the truth. We watched the John Tanner movie and the message of sacrifice hit him really hard. He promised us that he would swear off cigarettes and coffee until God showed him that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. He loved church on Sunday and said he felt like everyone was speaking directly to him, so we’re extremely excited for him. He is getting baptized on September 29 and is beyond excited.
We’re also teaching a lady named Alex. I might have told you a little about her before. She is an African American model with a blue super short hair. She is awesome! She has changed so much in her life to follow God’s plan for her. She was having trouble believing that the “Norman Book” was the word of God, but she told us at our last visit she was mocking God if she expected Him to answer her questions if she wasn’t even reading and doing everything she could to find out for herself if everything is true. We brought a member to her lesson that was inactive and we had never met, but he was so powerful. He answered all of her questions perfectly and showed Alex that we can live difficult, imperfect lives and still be happy. She told us that she knew that all the members we brought were meant to teach her something specific. It is amazing to see her life change as she realizes her potential as a Daughter of God.
The last investigator I want to talk about is Kyle. I may have mentioned him before, but his story is miraculous. He grew up working his way up to the top of major Utah gangs, was in prison for 15 years, killed a man as a teenager, has done more drugs than he can count, is an extreme video game addict, and is a tattoo artist. We have been teaching his excommunicated wife at the request of the Bishopric, and he told us last week that he wants to be baptized. He wants to be the one to re-baptize his wife. He is excited to be sealed to his wife in a year. And he is getting baptized on the 5th of October. He stopped smoking and took all the pornographic posters down off his wall. His wife is kind of in shock, because when they got married he said that he would never stop believing in his Pagan Gods (which included Thor and Loki). His life is truly an example that the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is for EVERYONE. If he could change his life to have the blessings of the gospel, than anyone can.
I don’t have time to respond to everyone individually. I love you Mom and Dad! Have a great 30th Anniversary. I hope Grandma and Grandpa are doing okay now that everyone is gone. It is a blessing that they have family close enough for them to help them. Grandma Mooney, I’m trying to find time to help our ward organist, but he’s pretty busy! Tyler. I kind of miss YSA activities… good thing I’ll still be single in two years. Kimmie and Dave… Gosh! Hyrum is growing up so dang fast. You should send a picture. and Dave, it’s amazing to see how technology really is here to fulfill God’s purposes.
I love everyone!!!