Thursday, May 22, 2014

[2/18/2014] Week 50: The Light is Intense

Well, it's been a great week! I have a new companion -- Elder Logan Jones of Springville, Utah. This is his first transfer as a zone leader and he's just a transfer younger in the mission than I am. Which is weird to say because I still feel like I'm new and "learning the ropes".

I learned this past week that Blaine is actually part of what they call a "rain shadow". In other words, we get less rain than any of the surrounding areas for whatever reason. We're shielded from it somehow. So that's why we've been so spoiled this winter as compared to "normal Washington winters", which are in reality probably still going on outside of my proselyting area. Seeing as I'm on bike these days, I feel really blessed! Anyway, it happened to rain quite a bit this past week, but I have rain pants and a rain coat, so really, I stayed warm, dry, and giddy as I watched the rain cascade over my bike helmet visor between teaching appointments.

Tuesday was the day of transfers, so that was when I got Elder Jones from Mill Creek and we headed back up to Blaine (1.5 hour drive). Immediately after arriving home around 6, we had dinner with a member of the bishopric, and two teaching appointments that followed. We got in by 9, and seeing as zone meeting was the next morning, we had to plan for that, which kept us up till a little past 11. Elder Jones got a feel for the life of a zone leader right away!

Zone meeting was awesome. As always, since we planned and prepared prayerfully (p-p-p), it flew by like a dream and seemed to be effective and edifying for all the missionaries in our zone.

Every companionship in our zone was changed this transfer. One of the zone leaders from Snohomish last transfer is now a junior companion in Lynden, so I look forward to seeing what effects President's upheaval of leadership will take on what is typically rumored to be the "deadest" area in the mission. As of right now, they're already soaring in finding and teaching.

On Thursday, we conducted an exchange and I spent the day in Blaine with Elder Knight, who is on his third transfer in his second area. We had a blast, and though I was a little apprehensive about planning on my own for the first time in a while, Heavenly Father helped us come into contact with an miraculously high percentage of the potential investigators (one of whom became a new investigator) we had included in our plans. And it was a beautiful day. That was a blessing because Elder Knight forgot his helmet in Ferndale, so we walked all day long (the sister missionaries in Birch Bay lost their car recently, so they use ours for proselyting when we don't have zone leader-y stuff to do).

Elder Jones and I get along really, really well. He's actually the companion that Elder O'Rullian had in Anacortes, WA before he was transferred to Seattle Hill with me -- thus, Elder Jones was the missionary that stressed Elder O'Rullian out with extreme obedience and hard work. This is good for me, because I like having companions that are extremely obedient and hard working!

As for Elder O'Rullian, I saw him at transfers, and he is still hanging in there, which I was glad to hear. I have worried a lot about his well being since I left Everett. He knows he wants to finish out his mission, but he is considering transitioning to a service mission of some sort as proselyting gives him lots of anxiety, which yields depression.

The Denogeans are still on track for the 8th. Dustin decided to move his date to the 8th so that Brother Broyles can be there--he has National Guard training on the weekend of the 1st.

We had a lesson with the Edwards' on Sunday night, and there we learned that Kellie wants to be baptized here in Washington (originally, the intention was Utah, so that her husband's family's convenience) because she wants me to be there. She feels a special connection to me and feels I have taught her a lot. This information came as a huge surprise, but it also really humbled me to know that I really am placed here in Blaine by inspiration so that I can serve as a tool in the Lord's hand.

We're teaching a 12 year-old young man named Darien, who at this point in his life, as already experienced much trial. His parents are both out of the picture, and he lives with his grandparents, whose daughter and son-in-law, the Worlands, are active members of the ward. Actually, Brother Worland is the young men's president. Anyway, Darien is bullied at school and finds it difficult to make friends and feel socially accepted. I think he looks up to the missionaries a lot and has really taken to the Book of Mormon and the doctrines we teach in general. He is especially drawn to the idea of the Priesthood -- "being able to hold the power of God in you".

Christian, thanks for your email! I seriously cracked up pretty hard at a lot of what you said, which made me really miss you. It sounds like you're living a pretty sick life up at the Academy, and you're really making me want to go there. I had no idea you got a gun! That's awesome. I feel like that's something I'll be seriously looking into when I get back, so I'll need some advice. I'm glad you've made the decision to serve. I can't tell you everything is going to work out perfectly when you get back, but I can tell you the Lord will take care of you and that you'll have experiences on your mission that the thought of having missed out on them will bring you to tears.

Dude, Brandon is freakin' hot.
Seth, that face.
Margo, you're a pro. I can't wait to hang out with you and hear you tear it up on the French horn!

I love y'all! Take it easy!

Elder Martin

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