Sunday, May 25, 2014

[3/11/2014] Week 53: Baptism and Planalyzing

The Denogeans with Bishop Jenkins and Brother Broyles.
This week was pretty incredible. It was a baptism-filled week for sure. The Denogeans' baptismal interview was on Tuesday night, Dustin's was on Thursday night, and Kellie, who decided suddenly to fly to Utah on the 12th and be baptized there, had her interview on Saturday afternoon following the baptismal service of the two aforementioned parties.

The baptismal service was, in a word, glorious. The Blaine ward really blew my mind in how many people came out to show support. We didn't have enough chairs in the Relief Society room to seat everyone. A lot of people have been waiting on the edge of their seats to see the Denogeans baptized ever since we first started teaching them. I love to see a ward family so involved, invested, and in love with missionary work.

Dustin with Bishop Jenkins, Brother Broyles, and Brother Gallant.
Dustin's progress, on the other hand, was a little more under the radar, but I think that's the way he liked it. He already has a close set of good friends in the ward and stands up for the Church wherever he goes. He's even got a fisherman friend, Ryan, who is interested in meeting with us!

We witnessed and participated in the confirmation of all three converts yesterday morning during sacrament meeting, and the ordination of Adam and Dustin to the office of a Priest in the Aaronic priesthood during the second hour of church. Words really can't describe the joy and satisfaction I have felt over the past week and the past two days especially. It's just magnificent to watch real growth in the Church occur, to watch people's hearts change and witness a trend of increasing joy and satisfaction in their own lives. I just don't even know. And to think that I have year left to improve upon what I've already been blessed to accomplish. What more could there be than this?

We also had Mission Leader Council this week, where we were visited by President Shawn Moon of the Provo Utah YSA 10th stake presidency, (a.k.a. Sister Bonham's brother, a.k.a. Executive of Something-Or-Other at Franklin-Covey). We learned a lot from him about "creating a mission for our mission". That latter "mission" was used doubly to represent the organization we form here in Northwest Washington as well as the 18- to 24-month experience we are granted during this time of our lives. Quite Franklin-ly, I was sent away inspired and motivated to set goals and more seriously evaluate my purpose here and why the Lord needed my talents particularly. I have a lot to think about.

Birthday pictures at the Poll's house
I really love to hear about the family. I am sorry to here about Seth's downturn in health, but enthralled at his sudden upswing succeeding a priesthood blessing. These things ain't just coincidences, you know.

That Brandon is wrecking shop on all of his tests inspires me. I'm a little nervous about going back to school and having to brush the cobwebs from the already minimal piles of knowledge concerning calculus and physics and literary elements within my brain. But! All is well; I trust that I will have the Divine aid I need when the time comes to study again. After all, I'm doing what I need to do now.

I turn 20.
On that note, Brother Meaker in the Blaine ward bishopric had a lot of good to say yesterday about Western Washington University in Bellingham. It was a convincing argument, and I was hoping that you, Dad, could take a second look at it. If you could Czech out their website/credentials/whatever else and tell me what you gather, that would be awesome. I want to start slowly thinking about school and things. Towards the end of my mission, I'll be allowed to apply to schools on p-days, so I'd like to start gathering information soon. Also, could you find out whether I might qualify for in-state tuition here in Washington since I will have lived here for two years?

Christian's emails are suddenly arriving with more consistency and substance each week. I enjoy this. However, I'm going to need an update on the status of his mission papers each week. Thank you.

Biking in the pouring rain is the best!
Mom, your dreams and goals are becoming reality! There seems to be a pattern in the Washington Everett Mission of goals being accomplished, hype being raised, complacency instilled, and then a drop in progress again. So be aware! You're on a good track, so make it an escalator and not an elevator. :p

Margo, I'm glad to hear you're doing well at band. When you get to high school, remember that Mr. G is really a good man, who is very passionate about what he does. Disregard what you hear from other students or even what you may gather based on your first impressions of him. Do your best to humble yourself and work with him to help accomplish his vision of the band program. If you do this, you will always have a blast.

I love y'all!

Plus a picture of me right after getting in for the night. It was kind of a rainy and windy bike ride. But so much fun!

Elder Martin

PS: Oh! And someone from home sent me a shirt and tie in the mail for my birthday. They ought to know that the shirt fits perfectly and it's definitely my favorite shirt out of them all. And the tie is super sweet. Thanks so much!

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