Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Email veintitrés: Sweet is the work

January 23, 2017 
Howdy folks! Let's start off with weekly shout-outs! Shout out BEN VANCE (Vance refrigeration™) for getting his mission call to TAIWAN! What a champ! (Soon to be Elder Vance is the one who got me saying 'champ' all the time). Shout out to my bestie Elder Stalling for baptizing last week!  And by the way, he was best man at his investigators wedding, getting in some practice for when he's best man at MY wedding. Shout-out to my wonderful amazing beautiful mother for being awesome and toughing out a fractured spine! #mymomistougherthanme. Shout-out to my big Sister Jenn for turning 29 for the third time! What a champ! Shout-out to ABIGAIL for writing me two weeks in a row! She is the cutest! Thanks for reminding me to work out!  

Speaking of which, I forgot to mention this but we actually have weights at our apartment! We have a bench press and barbells and dumbbells and all that good stuff! I've actually put on 15 pounds of muscle since I arrived in the field! My goal is to put on 15 more in the next 6 months! I'm right around 175 right now, still super skinny, but I'm getting there, I'll have that Chris Evans body in no time! When I left on the mission I looked like Steve Rogers, I'm hoping by the time I get home I'll look more like Captain America.  

Elder Toomer by the way, is BUFF. He played football in high school, probably could've played college but he ruined his knees. He is super strong. Every morning when we lift he puts me to shame. It's funny because he always talks about how he wishes he was tall like me. This week!

Tuesday we had Zone Conference. Funny Story. I assumed it would be in Conway, just like it always has, but our District Leader Elder Janes thought it was at the mission office Stake Center in North Little Rock. Conway is about halfway between North Little Rock and Russellville. We passed Conway and I thought to myself: "...huh...guess it's not in Conway" without saying a word to anyone else. We got to the mission office...uh was in Conway. We walked into Zone Conference, our entire District, 30 minutes late, with the eyes of President and Sister Wakolo, the APs, the English Zone Leaders, the Spanish Zone Leaders, and everyone else on us. I learned I should probably speak up next time something like that happens. Oops.

After Zone Conference ended, we had exchanges with the Spanish Zone Leaders. Elder Toomer went with Elder Jorgensen in Little Rock, and I got Elder Sweeten! Elder Sweeten is incredible. If you've ever read be the fourth missionary, Elder Sweeten is the fourth missionary. He served in English for about a year and a half, and he switched to Spanish just a couple transfers ago, so his Spanish is pretty rough, haha. But it doesn't even matter. I watched him talk to Hispanics and say super silly stuff, that hardly made any sense, things I felt tempted to laugh at, and what he said made that person feel the Spirit. That's the difference between him and me. He is more powerful with his broken Spanish because he truly understands how the Spirit works. That's truly what the gift of tongues is. He also really helped me with planning, that was my weakness. 

Tuesday night I took Elder Sweeten to go see S&T. Such a powerful lesson! We finally figured out why they were so scared about baptism. They basically thought they had to be perfect after baptism and never make big mistakes again. So we taught what really is the purpose of baptism, and how repentance works. Elder Sweeten really knows his Book of Mormon. We committed them to be baptized February 4, which is super soon and they still need to get married. T was going to propose this last Saturday but he wanted to do it in the Church but the English Ward had an activity going on.
Pray for them.

Elder Toomer and I in total set 4 baptismal dates. The others were L and J. L&Ir are the couple we found who let us in on the spot and fed us. Ir didn't want to accept a date but she said she would be baptized. J is our age and graduated last year too. He is super open and very prepared.
Sunday S&T came to church! This week was a super good week numbers wise, we taught about 15 lessons in total and set a new record for member present lessons: 3! It's not much but we are going upward!

There have been a couple times this week where I've just smiled to myself and been grateful to been here, grateful to be experiencing all of this. I know this truly is precious time and I can feel my attitude changing little by little. I know this mission is the greatest thing that could ever happen to me.

The Church is true, Book is blue, sweet is the work, and there's a lot of it to do! 
Love y'all!

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