Things are finally starting to pick up for us in the field. Everything is getting back to its usual pace and we've been able to start working with a lot of follow ups and our investigators more closely. This is really exciting for me because working with people one on one is when I feel like I'm making the biggest difference in someone's life. Perhaps I'll share some of the people we've been working with.
I've told you a little about Crawford I think. He's The black hipster who's 56. He has a goal that by February 1st, He'll know if the Book of Mormon is true. He's come a long ways and shows up to church every Sunday he can! Also he makes Gospel Principles class a riot! Too funny.
Then We have Jason and Kim. Jason got in contact with us the week before Christmas. His mother was a member but his father who was a Baptist was really controlling and they didn't get to go to church much. But from those early memories he knew that the church helped people. Kim is expecting in 2 months and Jason, who was injured while serving in Iraq hasn't been able to get enough hours between the job he's working now and his duties in the Military. They we're low on food and had been warned that their power was going to be turned off. It took us a while to get him in contact with the Bishop because he was crazy sick with the flu. Its that time of year and most people have come down with it. I've always had a good immunity to sickness but I really think that the reason I never got it this year was due in part to the flu shot I got before coming out. Anyways, They finally met with the Bishop last week and said they nearly broke down when he said the Church would help. Jason and Kim have always been firm believers in Christ and have been wanting to find a church to go to since they moved into the Roanoke Area. Because of their situation they've been humbled greatly and recognize the need to make church and Christ a Priority in their lives. They are super receptive to what we say and the coolest part is that when they went to the church to visit the Bishop they said that the moment they entered the building they felt something different and felt at peace. Its so cool when investigators get chances like that to feel the spirit and it makes our jobs much easier as missionaries. The Lord has prepared this family to hear his Gospel. Jason asked us the other day if we were allowed to take field trips. He wants to take us to a US ARMY Base and show us around what he does. Its a pretty big stretch that it'll ever happen but he also said if the mobile command unit ever comes through Roanoke he'd show us inside. You can control satellites and get a live feed!! Like google earth in Real time video!!! So I'm really hoping we'll get that opportunity.
We have a few other investigators who we've just started working with too. George Van Dyke, Who is apparently Dick's second cousin is a man who we just started seeing. He follows a masonic order currently and has some pretty interesting beliefs but he's really friendly and loves talking to us.
Then there's Lloyd, who lost his legs from Diabetes, but is still filled with high spirits all the time. He's also a musician and used to travel around with his wife doing shows. Because of his close calls with death he feels like theirs something more out there for him. He thinks that God probably sent us to him, which I think is pretty cool, because thats what we think too! Anyways those are just a few of the main ones right now. I'll keep yall posted if we get any who are progressing well.
I got to go on splits this week as well! Two in fact. First was with Elder Call in the Salem area. Salem area is currently a bike/walking area, and thats exactly what we did. We got dropped off on the far side of town and tried to go to a few appointments and visit some follow ups. But of course all of them fell through and we ended up walking at least a good 4 miles around town. Thankfully its not quite as cold as it is at home. We did have an appointment with a man that night who's been investigating the Church for nearly two years now! He knows basically all of the Doctrine and is just working on finding out if its what God wants for him. We mostly talked with him and tried to encourage him to continue to read and pray. His diligence reminds me of Brigham Young's. Apparently it took Brigham Young a few years himself to know if the Book of Mormon was true. His family started joining the Church and slowly he came in more and more contact with the Book of Mormon till finally he did what was necessary to receive an answer. I love learning about church history Especially as I think more about my own Ancestors who were a part of that. The Other transfer was in my own area with Elder Fisher. We were able to help a member move some things in her house, and then she made us Brownies! Service does have its rewards, and they are sweet! The big meeting of that day was with a man named Tony and his Wife Michelle. They were a family we tracted into before Christmas and gave us a book and invited us back. The book was called "Claiming Christ" and was a Debate between an evangelical and a Mormon Scholar who talked about the differences between their beliefs about Jesus. I was able to skim a portion of it and to my relief it was not as bad as I had feared it might be. It was actually a great example of how we can get along even with our differences in beliefs. Tony and his family are awesome. He Loves the Bible like crazy. They hold the Sabbath on the Saturday just like in the old testament and spend a good part of their day reading scriptures and studying with their little children. It was a little tough when we tried to share the Book of Mormon with him. Like many people they find it hard to accept even the Idea of the Book of Mormon, which is funny cause they often have little idea of what it actually is or how it came about. They just know it as the "Mormon Bible". In any case we had a good discussion with them and he's more than willing to have us back to talk more.
I'm so pleased to be serving out here. Working with people makes all the difference. I'm not gunna lie there's a lot of hard times and unpleasant things I've had to do. Home would be so much easier. But its seeing the change in the lives of others that keeps me strong and lets me know that my decision matters. It helps me carry on each day. Mail helps a lot too! Knowing that their are people back home who love and support me makes a world of difference. I love all of you! I keep you in my Prayers. And I can't wait till I'm back and hear Pres. Carter say "Its a Great Day in the Kingdom!"
Till then I'll miss ya,