Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Week Thirty Nine - Enjoying Stake Conference and Sending a Puppy Home (Not!)

David, Joe and Elder Haskell at Joe's baptism - David's first!

David, Elder Haskell, Elder Malpartida, Elder Munday - the best missionaries, ever!

Joe's baptism and his family, David, Elder Haskell. 
Hi Fam! 
   All is well here in McKinney!  We had a decent week.  It was cold and miserable weather all week, but despite that, I'm happy.  Saturday I had the privilege of going back to Lakewood for the baptism of Joe Flores.  He's 10, son of a long long long time less active.  It felt so good to finally have a baptism!  I haven't been happier in all my mission than I was on Saturday!  It was also fun to go back and see Elder Haskell and Elder Munday.
   So we have one solid baptismal date for the 22nd of February for L.L.  He is in his 50's and has come to church 4 times.  Monday was our first lesson with him since I've been here, and we tried to teach him the Plan of Salvation at a members house.   He might be the hardest person to teach ever.  He talks constantly, telling all these random, irrelevant, pointless stories, he's cracking jokes when we are trying to be serious and spiritual, and he just doesn't get it.  We ended up teaching the first two points to the Plan, and then got sidetracked onto his baptism, and we spent 2 hours trying to explain to him what makes this upcoming baptism different than his first 3.  Ugh.  It was exhausting and frustrating, and I still don't think we got it through to him.  Then he got sick and we couldn't talk to him for the rest of the week, so we are going to try again this week! 
   This weekend was Stake Conference.  It was really neat!  Sadly I can't remember ever going to Stake Conference back home.  I always took Stake Conference a break!  Now I wish I would have gone.  The stake president is President Packard, which is Landon's uncle.  He is a boss!  Unfortunately I only got to hear one of  his talks, because during his other one, there was a wild goose hunt for one of the members of the Spanish branch, a 20 year old boy with down syndrome named Raul.  Apparently he causes lots of trouble, goes missing a lot, and get the police called on him weekly.  He always calls me "burro" and my companion "policia".  Why?  I have no idea.  So he went missing during the meeting, and the entire Spanish branch was looking for him for about an hour.  He was finally found just sitting by himself in the congregation.  Ha!  Anyway, President Packard gave an incredible talk on Vision.  As members, missionaries, and member missionaries, we need to have a godly vision, not a natural vision.  In reference to the Good Samaritan, too many people think "what will happen to me if I help this man?" rather than "what will happen to this man if I don't help him?"  .  The same goes for sharing the Gospel!  Rather than thinking "what will happen to me if I invite this guy to church, or give this guy a pass along card?  Will he be rude?  Will I be embarrassed?", we need to think "what will happen to this man if I don't give him a chance to hear the joyous message of the Restored Gospel?  Will he just carry on with his miserable life, waiting for someone to come along and offer him help and give him hope?"  You just never know people's circumstances, their reaction, or whether or not God has prepared them.  We really do need to talk to everyone!   Another powerful moment of the meeting was when one of the speakers asked all those to stand that were converts due to an invitation from a member.  The number of people that stood up was incredible!  So many members are now members, simply because someone had the courage to invite.  "We make no apologies in sharing the Gospel!" is what one of the counselors to the stake president said over an over and over again.  It's true!  We cannot be afraid or even hesitant to share what we have! 
   The big news for the week:  we met a man from the Dominican Republic this week, and he is potentially a really solid investigator.  He is successful, well educated, very family oriented with 5 young kids, and not too satisfied with the Catholic Church right now.  We didn't get the chance to teach him a lesson, but we did get to meet his family and his two dogs.  He has two grand pyrenees, and one of them is pregnant!  He is very willing and almost insistent that he gives us one of the puppies.  So, in about 3 or 4 months I will be sending a grand puppy Pyrenee home for Toby.  Don't worry, they are great dogs, very gentle and protective, and don't get too big ; )
-I did receive your package on Wednesday.  It got hear quick!  I tried the earplugs one night, but they fall out.  I had to put 4 or 5 pairs in through out the night, because I could never  find them in my bed!   But a member gave us some nasal strips that stop snoring pretty good.  Elder Malpartida doesn't like to wear them because he claims they make his nose break out in pimples, but I tell him he doesn't have a choice.  But everything else in the package was great and exactly what I needed!   Thank you Mommy! 
-pizza got here just fine and we very much enjoyed it.  Thank you Mommy! 
-I think I do remember hearing about Elder Powell's family, either from you or him.  What part and when? 
-my camera had the lens error, and then Elder Haskell played around with it and did the same thing you did with it, and it worked for a while again, but then the lens error came back, I tried playing around with it, pushing the lens in, and I couldn't get it.  So maybe everyone has the touch but me!  So it worked, then lens error, lens error fixed by Elder Haskell, then lens error unable to be fixed by Elder Williams, then lens error fixed by mom.  So idk.  If you think you fixed it, I'll trust ya.  You make the call. 
Love you all!  Have a great week and a bonita Valentine's Day! 
Elder Williams

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