Missionary buddies

Missionary buddies

Monday, December 23, 2013

Last week's email

Hello everyone!

What an excellent week! So much has happened, I don't even know where to begin! We've seen miracles this week and I know that the Lord's hand is in this work.
On Monday evening, we had a lesson with Brenda. We were a little bit bold with her, and told her that if she didn't get married to Gary (her boyfriend) or separated, and if she didn't stop smoking that she couldn't be baptized. The Spirit was really strong during our lesson and we could tell that she was really pondering hard about what we had taught her. After her lesson, we went to Brother Allen's house to talk about some things. Before we left the Allens' house, Elder Wallace said a prayer. Right in the middle of his prayer, the Allens' phone started ringing. Elder Wallace kind of cut the prayer a little short so they could answer it. Brother Allen answered the phone and said, "What? You're getting married!? I'm sitting right here with them, you can tell them if you want." It was Brenda. After our lesson she decided that she was committed to be baptized, so after living with her boyfriend for 7 years she was going to finally make it official and get married. We were pumped!! It was one of the craziest things that has happened to me on my mission; it was just like on the Best Two Years. Little did I know one of the job titles of a missionary was wedding planner.
The next morning, she called us during our studies and said, "I threw away my cigarettes last night, and I can tell you right now I'm not going to buy another pack. I can do anything I put my mind to." We couldn't believe it! Two miraculous calls within 12 hours of each other. But of course the adversary wasn't going to just give up. Right after she made her decision to get married and baptized, her family started giving her some major opposition. Elder Easter and I used to call the road she lives on "Jerry Springer Road" and a lot of that is because of some members of her family. We dropped by on Tuesday during the day, and her granddaughter freaked out. She's 18, living with Brenda (or at least she used to), and going through a divorce. Yeah, 18 and going through a divorce! Did I mention how being on a mission has made me so much more grateful for all of the blessings in my life? Anyway, when we dropped by, we mentioned her wedding plans. And her granddaughter said, "What!? You're getting married because they told you to!? I can't believe this!" Brenda said, "They didn't tell me I have to do anything, this is my choice." Autumn said, "Yeah, right. I heard them last night that you can't get baptized if you're not married! I don't believe in your religion!" and she stomped out. We told Brenda that it was completely her choice, but that we knew being baptized into the church would greatly bless her life. When we were driving home from Terre Haute around 8 o'clock that night, she called us again. She was crying on the phone and told Elder Wallace that she didn't think any of her family was going to go to her wedding. Her granddaughter had thrown another tantrum, yelled and screamed, and spilled a pot of boiling potato soup on her sister's leg. Brenda told her to get out of her house, and Autumn stormed out. Not only that, but her son started to give her a hard time as well about her getting married. It broke our hearts! We hurried over there and said a prayer with her. She said that she wasn't going to let it get her down and we told her to stay strong and keep doing what she's doing. She has such amazing faith, it's incredible. 

On Wednesday, we had a lesson with her daughter and granddaughter (her good family members) and it turns out they both want to be baptized as well! They are now scheduled to be baptized on the 25th of January, and Brenda's scheduled for the 11th. They're names are Barbara (Brenda's daughter) and Ashley (Barbara's daughter). So, we're going to have three generations baptized! We're so excited. I'm just scared that at the end of the year I will be leaving since I've been here a little while. It makes me sad because there's some really exciting things happening here the next few months.
On Friday, I had an exchange with Elder Howell, one of the elders in Linton. I learned a lot on the exchange, and we had some adventures in Linton. Linton's a small town in the middle of nowhere. (worst than Brazil, surprising I know.) The famous thing about Linton is a sign that says, "You'll like Linton". I like Linton, but I'm not sure it'd be my first choice of places to live... haha.
On Saturday it snowed a little bit more, so Elder Wallace and I turned into snow shoveling ninja's and shoveled a bunch of people's driveways. Because of that we were able to get in contact with a few of our investigators, Ken and Mona, and Sue. So that was good! Plus it was good to get a good little exercise snow shoveling crazy fast.
Speaking of exercise.... I'm not getting much. Haha I've gained 10-15 pounds. A combination of Hoosier cooking and hardly ever getting a good workout is starting to take it's toll on me. Elder Wallace and I did the math, and at this rate I'll come home at about 205! :) Haha don't worry I won't let that happen... I hope.

To end this week out, we had a great day at church yesterday. Brenda and Barbara came to church and had a great time. Ashley wasn't able to make it to church, because she's the one who got the burns on her leg from the boiling potato soup and her leg wasn't feeling too good, but hopefully she can make it next week. We had some good Christmas talks and a good lesson in gospel principles. It was probably one of the best church services for investigators yet.
We've got our Christmas plans figured it out, and the members have been fighting over where we will go on Christmas. We get so much support from the members. I also get a lot of support back home. Thanks so much for all of the cards. Please let the ward know thanks for the support also. I've gotten a few cards from members in the ward. Thanks so much for the support, I couldn't do it without you!!
Have a great week! I hope all of you try to find ways to share your testimony during this season where the Spirit is so strong. Look for opportunities to serve your brothers and sisters, because that's what the Christmas season is all about.
I love all of you!
-Elder Tom Hill

No comments:

Post a Comment