Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 13:35:19 -0700
Good afternoon family!
I hope all is going well for everyone. That park in Seattle sounds like a lot of fun! And tell Logan congratulations for me.
Guess who I ate dinner with on Saturday? I ate with the Pugmires' niece and her family, the Nelsons! I thought that was pretty cool! To be honest, it was another slightly disappointing week in terms of missionary work. We just haven't been able to meet with our investigators, or get them to come to church! And our closest investigator dropped us, which is never fun. But there were definitely good times as well. Last night, we taught a lady (in English), who has read the Book of Mormon, and believes that it is true, but she hasn't been baptized. As we taught her, I truly felt the Savior's love for her. We also taught this couple, where one is from Spain, and the other is from France, That was an interesting lesson, because apparently, people in Europe don't talk about their religion at all, but here in Utah, people talk about it all the time (both of them are school teachers). We didn't really get anywhere with them, though. I think they just wanted to learn more about religion. We also met a 16 year old kid who calls himself an Atheist, but he is really open to talking to the missionaries, so I hope we can help him to see that there really is a God who loves him.
On Thursday, we went to the mission office for a training meeting, President Chambers taught about the events leading up to the First Vision, out of Joseph Smith History. The Spirit was SO strong! Then we did role plays.
Last night, we had a stake priesthood meeting, which went really well. One kid who spoke is awaiting his mission call, and he compared life to an event on the track, and how "For the Strength of Youth" is like the blocks that you plant your feet in at the beginning. He made a joke that he thinks FTSOY should be called "For the Strength of Zion", because the principles apply to everyone, but he can't compete with the First Presidency. I thought that was pretty funny!
We met with one of the bishops in our area to talk to him about Hispanics in his ward area (which is like a neighborhood here in Utah!). Afterward, we were looking at the missionary board for that ward, and they have an Elder Tyler Haws out (for those who don't know, one of BYU's basketball players is named Tyler Haws). It wasn't the same one though.
On Saturday, we were tracting, and we met a member who told us about how the people in New Zealand are descendants of Hagoth (Alma 63). Apparently, the Maoris had forts that were built the same way as the ones built by Captain Moroni. Also, their funeral ceremonies are similar to those of the Lamanites. He told us about one clan leader, who was deciding which religion was the right one for his people, because at the time, the Catholics had come and were trying to convert all of the Maoris there. This leader said something to the effect of "Our religion is not here, but far away. But they will come to us two by two, speaking OUR language, and eating OUR food, and they will raise their right hand to the square when they pray." That is so cool!
Also on Saturday, I had the opportunity to give a blessing to the daughter of one of our investigators. She is 19 and pregnant with her second child, but when we told her what a blessing is, she said she really wanted one. I never really expected someone who is not a member, or even an investigator, to care for a blessing. But I truly believe that she showed her faith in the power of the Priesthood just then.
I believe that is about it for this week. Sorry it is not very organized. The weather the past few days has been great! It snowed on Monday night, but yesterday and Saturday were really warm, and the air was clear, so the mountains were gorgeous. I got my hair cut this morning! Someone in our stake has a salon in her basement, and she cuts missionaries' hair for free, This morning, the Scouts here came around and put up flags in every yard in the neighborhood where we live. It looks amazing! Today, for our district activity, we are throwing colored corn starch at each other, so I'm pretty excited for that. I will probably start driving tomorrow or Wednesday, because Elder Erazo's license is expiring. I haven't driven in 2 1/2 months! Well, I want you all to know that I have a firm testimony in Christ, and in the gift of repentance that he has given us through His atonement. I am grateful for the opportunity I have to share the restoration of His Priesthood and His gospel with others.
Elder Jared Weller