Thursday, May 22, 2014

[2/10/2014] Week 49: Cold Gear

Hey, hey!

This week was, again, awesome.

Elder Lovell and I just finished up our last week together. He is getting transferred tomorrow, and we don't know where.

But! We taught 13 lessons to investigators with members present! That's pretty much unheard of. Well, at least I have never been anywhere close to that on my mission. And Dustin now officially has a baptismal date of March 1st! Heavenly Father just keeps pouring out His blessings upon us.

On Saturday, I mentioned we invited Dustin to be baptized, and he said he'd pray about it. Well, on Wednesday evening, he called us and told us he'd received an answer to his prayer. How sweet is that?!

We had Mission Leader Council on Thursday, and it was awesome as usual. However! President is doing some crazy things! He told us he would be upsetting the leadership structure of the mission. This transfer we will see former zone leaders as junior companions and former senior companions transferred straight to zone leader areas. Elder Lovell is one of the few that was released from being a zone leader and reassigned as a district leader. Most of them are now regular proselyting missionaries. When President made this announcement, there was just an outpouring of the Spirit, and I know this is the right direction for the mission. It just makes so much sense! Now the more experienced missionaries will be more spread out, and, instead of a few strong areas here and there, many areas will be receiving a boost. More missionaries will have an opportunity to lead and administer than before. It's just so awesome! My new companion will likely be a missionary who just came from being a senior companion, so I will have some teaching (and learning) to do.

The Denogeans are doing wonderfully. We finished all the lessons with them, so we're going into detail on whatever topic we feel inspired to cover. Their date is still the 8th of March, but I think they may decide to move it up. Then again, Brother Denogean is the kind of guy who, if he commits to something, is going to be 100% sure he does it. They have both quit alcohol, tobacco, and tea completely and are currently weening themselves off of coffee, using less and less scoops per pot each day. When I mentioned that it had to taste horrible, his response was, "Yep. It sure does." I'm so proud of them!!

I think I've mentioned the Edwards family before. He is just returning to activity, and his wife is not a member, though she loves the gospel and can't wait to be baptized. They have a 6 month-old daughter named Ava, and a beautiful black lab named Danke. Anyway, Brother Edwards spoke in sacrament meeting yesterday, and it was awesome! He talked about how the gospel has helped him cherish his family and how the thought of depriving his wife and daughter, especially, of the gospel was just saddening. So they're doing great! She wants to be baptized in Utah where his family lives, so they just need to figure out when they can get the money to go down there, and she will have a baptismal date!

This week, it dawned on me that the hastening of the work of salvation is real. There were several days this week that Elder Lovell and I found we just had no time for anything as we were running from appointment to appointment. We haven't tracted in weeks! And members are continually telling us about people they've met that want to hear the gospel! This place is really every missionary's dream. I love it here.

In response to your email, the thermals Mom got me were mismatched - the bottoms from Wally World and the top from Family Thrift Center. But they work great! And I could use them still because it's windy/rainy/chilly - especially on bike - at least through April. Plus, there's next winter.

Seth and Brandon are both wearing my clothes in that picture. But they both look so dang good I just can't complain.

I'm super excited to hear about Christian. Speaking of, I heard Bethsy is going to Mexico?? Sick!

Outta time, outta breath. I love y'all!

As for a birthday/hump day package, sweaters and thermals would be awesome. I will also put in a request for a GPS. I know money is really tight, and those things can run pretty expensive. I've been fortunate enough to where my companion has always had one or the streets are numbered such that manual navigation is a cinch, but this area is a little different and my companion is leaving. If you could even find a super cheap, pre-used, old model on Craigslist, that would be great. But if not, seriously don't sweat it. I will figure it out.

I don't need much candy. You wouldn't believe the amount of desserts/sweets that get dumped on the missionaries. It's awesome, but two stomachs just can't consume it all.

I have a ton of pictures, but I forgot my SD card reader, so next week!


Elder Martin

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