"Well, this week marks the past the middle mark of yet another transfer, and the fact that I'm coming up on my nine month mark, ha, that's super weird, I'm still super young in the mission, but it's weird to see all these people that I've known here in the mission getting ready to head on home...
Anyways, for some cool updates on what's up in life and in the life of the investigators we have this week was pretty interesting. ... the father of the part member family we have is progressing quite a bit! He loves to meet with us and we were able to meet with him this last Thursday with his Home teacher and have an awesome lesson. We invited him to be baptized, but he didn't quite accept a date, nevertheless he says he's not running away from it. Then Saturday we went to the VC with him and his family which was super awesome! We were able to talk about eternal families with the temple right there with him and all his kids. He said it was an inspiring tour, we once again invited him to be baptized, but he's still not too sure about the date. ... It's going to be one of the coolest baptisms ever! He also came to church this Sunday with his family, once again just super awesome to see them all walk in together! He was even in a white shirt and tie and then he went to a general stake priesthood meeting with his son later that night, haha yeah, super ready, he just doesn't know it yet. He's going to be an awesome convert and super strong in the gospel!"
"[The young man who was baptized] is still doing well, he's got some struggles, but we've been able to help him out and teach some powerful lessons. He'll be ordained to the priesthood as soon as possible and we're really pushing to have him get a calling and home teachers as soon as possible!
Haha, ok then we had this super crazy experience! So after the hurricane we'd been driving by somebody's house and we saw that some tree branches had fallen on their cars and such. We stopped and offered to help but no one was home, so we removed the branches and piled them off to the side, took some pictures in case their insurance needed it, as well as to protect us, and then left a note with them. Nothing happened from it, but then one night we were driving by there and we had like two minutes left to do something and we didn't know what else to do, so we decided to stop by their house and see how they were doing. Turns out they're home and the father immediately invites us into the house. He knew we were the ones that had helped him and he was super nice! He introduces us to his kids, etc. Then he starts talking about how he knows all these things about the church, about the Book of Mormon, about Joseph Smith, about the Angel Moroni, etc. because his friends in high school were members. The whole time he's saying this, Elder Gleed and I are just thinking, man, this guy is super prepared! But then, ... he starts asking us about whether or not we believe we're saved by grace alone, or if we can "earn our way into heaven".... we calmly explain that our works bring us closer to Jesus Christ who is the person that then saves us and takes us to God. ... He starts complimenting us on our zeal for the work of God and such, and we're still kind of cautious about what's going on, but we're feeling pretty good about everything, and then he drops a bombshell on us! He calmly looks at us, looks us straight in the eye and says "I wish we had that much zeal for the truth, as you do... for a lie." Yeah, super crazy... Well we're kind of stunned that he's just told us that to our faces as we're sitting in his house with his kids right there, but we calmly look at him and begin to testify of the truthfulness of our message. We clearly and plainly state that our purpose is only to invite him to read and pray to know for himself because we know it's true. Then he keeps trying to bible bash us, but we calmly avoid it through testimony. Then he starts to tell us that we are not Christian. He explained that to him, if Joseph Smith was a prophet that means that God's work, Christ's suffering was incomplete and that God had to turn to a 14 yr. old boy to fix it for him. ... We explained the purpose of a prophet, etc. and the loss of authority, but the man just did not want to listen. Then he says to us that if the Book of Mormon is real it means that the Bible was not enough, and that thus Christ's suffering was not enough, and that what we were saying was blasphemy.... We again bore calm and sure testimony, of the reality of Joseph Smith, of the Church, of the Book of Mormon, and of our knowledge of Jesus Christ as our Savior, and then we left. ... Hopefully one day he will remember the testimonies we bore...
There's definitely no way that Elder Gleed or I will forget that experience, it was super intense, and full of the spirit. Luckily we avoided bashing, haha though the temptation was definitely there! Still, it was interesting.
Elder Gleed in four weeks has now been called Satan, been bashed by some Muslims, been called a Blasphemer, and faced down another ... guy that said that having prophets is denying Christ. haha, it's crazy, but it's sweet that he's getting so many experiences!
Then one other thing that was super amazing happened. Here at the Visitors Center we have these things called nights of Music and Inspiration where it's pretty much a music and the spoken word put on by the missionaries. Haha, because I play the piano I've had the chance to perform in a couple of them, and once again got to perform last night, but that's not the cool part. It was just an incredible night, easily the most spiritually powerful one that I've been to. It was focused on a journey through the life of the Savior and had narrations, testimonies, and amazing musical performances. The spirit was so so thick, you honestly could've cut it with a knife. When it finished and the closing prayer had been said nobody moved and everyone whispered, if they even spoke at all, because you could feel the spirit so strongly. It was an even more powerful witness to me of the reality of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and his mission for us. He truly is the center of everything we do in this life, and his atonement is literally all curing and all powerful. It was just an amazing opportunity to feel the power of Christ's atonement expressed in Music and pure testimony. It was just so incredible!
Then today we had a fall sports day as a mission. So we got together as a whole mission and played sports for four hours! It was awesome, we had a game called hero ball, which is soccer, ultimate frisbee, dodgeball, and capture the flag all the same field. Haha, it was super awesome!
Anyways, the mission is going super good, amazing miracles literally happen daily, and Elder Gleed and I are doing well. ... He's a super good missionary!