|Me and Elder Julius|
Being in a car area is definitely weird. A lot more time to fill with missionary work!
Being a district leader means a whole lot more, but I feel a lot of love for everyone in my district already. That's something I have been praying for so that I can serve them all more effectively. The Lord is definitely helping me learn and grow in this experience, so I love it!
So far, I love the Seattle Hill ward. Everyone in the ward is super missionary-minded and always looking for opportunities to move the work forward. They're also really good about feeding us every night! Whoop!
Unfortunately, it's kind of an affluent area, so finding is difficult. We really need the members' help.
It's kind of crazy because one of our investigators in Shoultes moved from Seattle Hill, and their family is actually still here, and even on the Focus 15. The sister of a less-active in Marysville for whom I did lots of service is also a member of the Seattle Hill ward. At church yesterday, I recognized in the hallway a troubled youth who recently moved from Shoultes to the Eastmont ward, which is adjacent to ours. It's really cool to see how many connections I have with this area already. The mission president is certainly an inspired man!
From what I can tell, this ward focuses a lot on the rescue effort. It is a slight gear change from my last area, but I do enjoy it. I love helping others come back to the truth they once knew.
One of the coolest aspects of this week has been teaching with boldness. For some reason, I've been really bold and have been cutting to the chase with everyone we teach, asking effective questions of them to get the conversations going. It's been really cool to see how people react. While one might think that the interrogatee would recoil in defense, most of them have opened way up and been just as bold with their responses. It has helped us get straight to the concerns of those we teach. It's really cool! Now we just have to figure out how to help address some of those concerns.
There's this one less-active guy named Brother Buehler. Let me tell you: this guy is awesome! He's such a Seattleite hipster and he doesn't even know it! Dad, he says the most hip place in all of the Seattle area is actually Ballard now. Hahaha! Other fun fact: he looks exactly like Jake Gyllenhaal. He's so chill and just awesome. He also did some filmmaking in LA with some buddies of his like ten years ago.
I also met the Robinson's this week. They are an older couple, married for 64 years, converted shortly thereafter, and then inactive for 40 years! They've been visited for something like eight months and now they come to church pretty regularly. But the problem is, they don't really have a testimony of the gospel. Or at least, Brother Robinson doesn't. He keeps saying he believes Joseph Smith was a "really good translator, but that he wasn't actually the first leader of the Church, but the third or fourth." That "he may have translated by the power of God, but that don't necessarily make him a prophet." He also gets hung up on masonic stuff a lot. He has some crazy ideas, but we're workin' with him. He's so funny! Seth would love him. He uses phrases like "by golly" and "that sucker" all the time. It makes me giggle! We're gonna get 'em sealed in the Temple. I just know it!
Mom, when you write me a letter this week, make sure you write Leanne one first. She's having a really, really tough time. She's way down and needs as much love as possible right now. Here's a copy of this week's email from her:
"Dear family and friends,
I know you all open my emails to and hope to read about the greatthings happening in my mission. But I have to be honest with you all,this week just straight up sucked. I said goodbye to my companions,Sister T. and Sister Christensen, and that was hard enough in itself.They became some of my best friends and were people I could rely onwhen times got tough. Then I got my new companion, straight out of theMTC. Her name is Sister Durfee, and she is from Mesa, Arizona. She isready and willing to work hard, but she is also really shy and quiet.I feel like I have had the weight of the world on my shoulders thisweek. I have no idea what I'm doing as a missionary, let alone as atrainer. I want to do well, and I want to be someone who my missionpresident can rely on, but I've only been out for 6 weeks!! Also, wewere on bike week, so our transportation was pretty limited. Weaccidentally broke our phone, so we had little to zero contact witheveryone in our mission. Everyday has been so hard. And I can't evenimagine the fact that I'll be doing this for the next 16 months (todayis actually my 2 month mark exactly!) Every time I did teach a lesson,or talk to an investigator, or even a member, I'm on the verge oftears. Noone will listen to us, people slam doors in our faces and tryto do everything to prove us wrong, and sometimes it's reallyconvincing. There are even members here who tell us anti-stuff aboutthe church!
I need prayers and lovin' from you all. Because I can't do this alone.A handful of the members here have been really great to me, and havehelped me feel loved this week, but it's just not the same as it isfrom my own family and friends. I miss you all a lot, and I love youall even more.
Your somber southern missionary,Sister McBride"
I love y'all! You're all in my prayers!