Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Letter from October 12th

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Surprisingly, the library is open today even though it is Columbus day. I guess the Lord really does love us.

Yes, I am staying warm and toasty. Actually a lot of the time I am too warm since they have turned the radiators on in our apartment and we don't have control over them, so on warm days like we have had the past few days, it gets hot. I enjoy the warm days, though, because I am sure there are not many of them left. I don't need sweaters or under armor, I think, but I will probably need thermals before too long.

Good job Cody for shooting the grouse. It sounds like the cabin was fun. How did you find the grouse?

So how long has Mac Evans been back? That is cool that he can bear his testimony in Farsi. I am glad that Eric is doing well. It should be pretty hot in Honduras, right? Does it get cold there? Will he have to send back the thermals and sweaters before he leaves the MTC?

Good job on not messing up while conducting relief society. I'm sure that was nerve-wracking. Imagine how Elder Eyring or whoever was conducting must have felt in General Conference when he forgot to mention those seventies who had been called!

I'm glad you had a good birthday. It sounds like everything was delicious. I'm jealous of the malts, though.

My wrist still looks pretty much the same as it did before, I think, except you can't see the stitch-marks so well. You can hardly even see the scar on my finger now, but I still can't hold it straight out. The smaller cuts and scrapes on my hand have totally disappeared. I will take some pictures and send them home.

So here's the drug dealer story, if I didn't explain it well: Elder Marini realized he had misplaced the phone after we got off of a rapid (train). We couldn't find it for a while, but we were supposed to meet a member for dinner at the rapid station so we waited for them to come pick us up. When they arrived we used their phone to call our number and someone picked up and said he had our phone and we could pick it up at the airport convenience store on Rocky River Drive. We knew where that was because one of our investigators lives in the government housing projects right next to it so we said we would be there in a few minutes. The members took us there and we waited outside the store in our black trench coats, just loitering for a few minutes, looking for all the world like drug dealers. Eventually the guy who had our phone showed up from the projects and walked up to Elder Marini, handed off the phone, and walked away. Some policemen that we hadn't noticed were there must have been watching us suspiciously, because out of nowhere Elder Marini was cornered between two very large and muscular policemen who asked him what he was selling. Elder Marini stammered out something, but then the member who was sitting in the van right next to us opened the window and explained the situation to the police officers. Also, while all this was going down, we happened across the investigator who lived near there and set up another appointment with her. So, the police sent us on our merry way and told us to be careful and we had a heck of a laugh with Elder Marini. Of course, when we were telling this story to Elder Carter, our district leader, there were fourteen policemen with shotguns at the ready and Elder Marini got tackled and frisked.

Unfortunately when we showed up at the appointment with the investigator we happened upon, her boyfriend said she wasn't there, but we saw her as we drove away. (Brother Nebeker, one of the ward missionaries, was with us, which is why we were driving away instead of walking away.) We will try her again in a few weeks.

Not much else to report this week, except that a less-active family, the Orosz's, came to church yesterday. We have been talking on the porch with sister Orosz for weeks trying to get an appointment when the whole family would be there and Saturday we finally were able to talk to them all. We invited them to church and they showed up. Hopefully we will be able to help them see the blessings that come from attending sacrament meeting and they will keep coming, although the dad's work schedule will be a challenge for him. When he can't take them, though, we have a member family who will probably be willing to give them a ride.

Oh! also we got a referral from a member for her old neighbor and had a good visit with her. We don't know if it is going to go anywhere yet, but we are hopeful. It is really great when members have the courage to talk to their friends about the gospel, and it also really invites the Spirit when members are with us at appointments when we are teaching people, since they can add their testimonies to ours and be another witness of the truth. Plus, when we bring members with us to teach and fellowship people, it helps them build relationships and friendship with the investigators so they will have a friend who is in the church who can answer their questions when the missionaries aren't around. I am learning that when members are involved, missionary work is much more effective.

Good job Peyton for inviting your friend to Activity Days. That is actually one of the reasons that helped us get the Orosz's back interested in church: a member in our ward bringing their daughter Heather to Activity Days. It was also interesting that when we talked to the Orosz's they were kind of timid to come back to church because they were afraid people would condemn them for not coming for so long. I guess when the mom came to church once last year someone said something stupid and offended her, and it has taken us months to try to repair that hurt. It is really important that we be welcoming to everyone. I think it helped that we told the bishop and everybody else that we could that they were coming so everyone was very nice and welcoming when they walked in.

Love, Elder Smith