Wednesday, June 1, 2011

First Week in Olney

"So, what to say, this week has been a pretty good one, but a little longer feeling! Some pretty cool things happened this week... [My new companion, Elder Lee] has a lot of faith and a lot of fire, so hopefully we can keep that burning for the whole transfer. He says he's prayed a lot and feels like we should set a companionship goal of 12 baptisms. I admit, I have faith, but perhaps not that much faith... It's crazy, and it's definitely possible if the Lord decides to let it happen and if we're 100% obedient, but still it sounds crazy! Nevertheless I've definitely been trying to pray for more faith and the Lord's been blessing us.

We found a family this week that accepted a baptismal date on the first lesson, as well as another girl! Crazy! ... Still, awesome! Other than that it took us the first couple days to really determine how to work the area. The first day we spent a lot of time knocking and just talking to people, which is good, but if there's one thing I learned from Elder Castillo it's that we have to work with the members! Consequently we switched up the way we were working and it got a lot better, we started finding people, and hopefully we've planted some seeds in the members that will result in some super cool references within the next week or two.

The area is a lot different than Langley Park though. Number one is that it's huge, it probably takes 45 minutes to an hour to drive from one end to the other, second would be that it is a much much higher class area than Langley Park. Consequently there are less Hispanics, and a lot of white people with houses. It was honestly kind of a culture shock for the first couple of days, haha being in houses was super weird! The District is also a lot different. Elder Lee is District Leader and then we have two companionships of English missionaries and another Spanish companionship. Two of the companionships are sisters as well which has added a new dynamic to the district. ...for some reason the Sisters really do have more of the spirit than Elders it seems... The ward is different as well. It's a little smaller than Langley Park, but from what I've seen so far the members seem to have [strong] testimonies founded on scripture study... They also love the Elders because last transfer was the first time they got Elder missionaries for a couple of years, so we've been fed a lot! Definitely saved money on food!

Other than that not too many cool things have happened, the District is doing amazingly, no doubt due to Elder Lee's incredible faith! The district has 13 baptismal dates on the first week of the transfer, it's slightly ridiculous and amazing!

Oh, one other super cool thing happened! I don't know if you remember me telling you guys about...the guy I'd been teaching in Langley Park that has the girlfriend that's a nonmember that was going to be baptized soon. Well, he didn't get baptized this last week, but he's officially being baptized this Sunday! It's super exciting, and I hope it's not selfish, but I was really excited because apparently he asked if I would baptize him! So I'll be able to baptize him this Sunday! It's so amazing! It's been incredible to see him change as we've taught him the gospel. A light has definitely come into his life, and it's so cool to see him look forward to one day going to the temple, having an eternal marriage and an eternal family. Not to mention the fact that he definitely needs the Holy Ghost in his life. He's experienced so many sad things, and as he's told us many times he just feels weighed down, tired. Not bodily tired, as much as spiritually tired. It will be so incredible to see him receive the Holy Ghost into his life and to see that burden be lifted! Ah, when I heard the news it immediately made the whole two years worth while if just [this man] had come to know Christ, and the [family in Langley Park] should be being baptized soon as well! I hope I never lose the joy that comes from seeing people be baptized."

"Hm, that's about all I can think of for this week though. It's been an interesting one, having to get to know an area again, trying to build relationships with the members and everything, still, it's been good! Hopefully I can find some of the faith that Elder Lee has and we can do our best to have twelve baptisms happen (by the way, we had no investigators when I got here, hence why I lack/lacked the faith) yeah, I'm working on it, still, I'm definitely going to do all that I can to make sure that it happens if it's the Lord's will!"

"...the work is great, and the church is undoubtedly true. I thought my testimony was pretty strong when I came out, I thought it was pretty strong when I left the MTC, little did I realize how much it can just keep growing. This truly is God's work, and it really has changed me, though you probably can't tell too much just from my letters. While I still have a long way to go, I'm grateful that the Lord is helping me progress, and allowing me to help his Children progress as well! Ha, you should all pray for me to be humbled though, I need it."

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