Sunday, January 1, 2012

Surgery, baptism, branch (Dec 20)

From Derek's December 20 letter home:

Well, here's an update on the finger/crash incident. The "surgery" went well, it only hurt that first night so I only even ended up taking one pain pill, and all is doing well. It's just starting to get annoying because it is literally impossible to bend my finger! Not to mention the fact that the whole finger incident kind of owned our time for a lot of this past week, which was kind of depressing, nevertheless God provided some sweet miracles for us as well!

"First of all, [the young mand] did get baptized this Sunday!!! Man, that was the coolest thing ever! Especially because we didn't think he was going to be baptized at all after he dropped us, but we found that he has made a lot of sacrifices to be ready for his baptism, and because of that he is truly converted. After learning about the law of chastity he told his girlfriend and she dumped him because of it. He also had some issues with coffee but after a fast and a blessing he's now been clear of it and he's doing super super well! Haha after the baptism he also randomly pulled out this white shirt and slacks to put on which he's never done before! He looks like a full fledged member! It was awesome, and we're super excited for him, he'll be a strong member, we'll just have to keep supporting him!

"You should also know that the branch here takes very very good care of the missionaries. For Christmas they gave the missionaries a TON of food! Yeah, it was a ton, it was a big blessing, and they truly do look out for us. We've also had a cool experience of running into this member that is inactive because she didn't know where the church was, she happens to have a daughter who is also an inactive member who happens to have two little kids that aren't members but can be baptized! For a missionary that's really really cool! ;) It's cool though because the daughter had rebelled against the church when she was younger, but she now sees the blessing the church can be in her life and in the life of her growing children, so we have a lot of hope for them!

"Let's see, [the intellectual woman] is still having issues... We had a very direct lesson with her, she has a very strong desire to know if this church is true, and so we talked about the qualifications for receiving an answer. Faith, asking, studying, and real intent. We really focused on real intent because that is what she asks. We explained that God was only going to give her an answer if she was willing to [act] on it. So then we asked her if she was willing to test God and keep the commandments and be willing to follow them after her answer. She almost blatantly said no, so we'll see, it's super sad, but we may have to drop her... She's grown so much, but she's just not quite willing to give herself to God...

"Other than that not too much happened, though transfers brought some interesting news! Elder White is now in Olney and my new companion is (Drum roll please) Elder Steer (Pronouned Stir)! Yeah, it was crazy because Elder Steer is a new missionary, I was called to train again. It's funny, I definitely didn't think I would train again, and you'd think that it would be easier the second time around, but it's not. I'm still fairly nervous, and feeling the pressure very strongly, but hopefully I can help him and learn from him. He's from Logan Utah, he graduated in 2011, that's super weird, and he seems like a good missionary.

"To answer your questions [about the accident], my companion was behind me and super scared when he saw it... He said he thought I was going to die as well! The left hand index finger is broken. Unfortunately the driver didn't stop, super lame! Some guy yelled at me for being dumb though and then a few others were concerned. The pain was about the same both times, but I didn't have any painkillers when I broke it."

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