My dearest family,
I got your package! It came on a day that I needed something to be happy about haha. I've been a little sick (flu sick) this past week. I think I picked up something from the ward. Fifteen of the boys in our ward threw up this past week so I can see very easily picking something up from someone there. The package was a nice little package of sunshine. And I LOVE the pictures! I show everyone my wonderful family!
I was talking to a member yesterday and I asked her what kinds of things she like to hear about from her son that's on a mission in Denver. She said she likes hearing about the little things. So in this email I'd like to tell you about the little things.
We get up at 6:29am. We have an alarm set for 6:10am and one for 6:29am (my companions have a hard time waking up, that's why there's two). We immediately make our beds and kneel and have companion prayer. Then we seperate to "exercise". Exercising in the morning is incredibly difficult and each of us do various things to work out. I usually do yoga because stretching feels nice in the morning and you can lay down and take deep breaths and justify it as yoga. We then get ready for our day (shower, eat, read other materials) and then at 8:00am we have personal study. I always look forward to personal study. My understanding has improved significantly since I started my mission. At 9:00am we gather, sing (something Elders don't do), and discuss our personal studies and plan/practice any lessons that day. At 10:00am, we have training for me. Me and my traniers (companions) go over material every week to help me progress as a missionary. After training, we will either go to Grand Rapids to visit less active sisters or we go to an area to go door knocking. We are allowed 1250 miles this month for our car so we have to use them wisely. When we door knock, we each take turns being the person to start the conversation. We plan lunch at some point in the day and usually more door knocking after lunch when people are more likely to be home (kids are usually getting out of school at this time). Sometimes if we've had a long day of door knocking and we're not seeing a ton of success, we will go visit potential investigators, less active members or members from our ward. We try to have a dinner appointment every night and we've been working on making commitments with the members and following up. We're not allowed to door knock when it's not light outside so in the evenings we do a lot of drop by visits or follow ups with the members in our areas. At 8:30pm we start wrapping things up so we can get home by 9:00pm and do planning for the next day. Sister Anderton likes going to be early so we try to be in bed by 10:00pm. That pretty much sums up every day. Monday is Preparation Day, Wednesday is District Meeting (this Wednesday is Half Mission Training!), Thursday is weekly planning (until 12 or 1pm), and Sunday is church and associated meetings. We stay pretty busy as missionaries.
This week was an interesting week. We got dropped by our investigator B and we were completely fine with that. I think I told you that one time we visited her, we had a weird feeling the whole time. Well this past week, we had that weird feeling again and because of the things she was saying to us, we felt that we shouldn't go back. We're trying to work with a couple of part member families but they keep avoiding us for various reasons. It drives Sister Anderton crazy, but at least we're all learning to have patience and charity. We will be seeing J again this week and we're praying that goes well.
We had a crazy experience door knocking this past week. We ran into a couple while they were walking their dogs and talked to them for a minute about the Book of Mormon and the lady told us flat out that she completely disagreed with it. So we moved on and resumed what we were doing. Well, we knock into this house with its garage door open and cars out front and no one answers. And then they lady comes up the drive way and tells us to come in because she wants to "talk" with us. That's never a good sign because people rarely want to just "talk" when they see us. She kept encouraging us to come inside so we all looked at each other and hesitantly went inside. She sat us down and she said, "I don't think you completely understand what you believe. Let me tell you what you believe." No joke, that is what she said. Lady, don't you see we're missionaries. She then pulled out her notebook and told us a history of our church, what we believed and how it was all wrong. She pulled out some way deep doctrine too, which was really surprising. We asked her what church she went to and she said the Blythefield Baptist Church. Well, that explains a lot. The Blythefield Baptist Church hires a couple preachers who "specialize" in Mormonism to teach their congregation about our heretic ways. They're usually the people you see at General Conference protesting. They even raise money to save our souls. It's kind of mind boggling to think about. The crazy thing was is that she was pretty spot on about what we believe, it was mostly just out of context doctrine. Yes, you're going to think we worship Joseph Smith when you quote Doctrine and Covenants 135:3 to us and don't include "save Jesus only" in that quote. Whatever, minor details. We were able to bear our testimonies, hand her a card and leave. Right before we left she asked us, "Do you think that I will go to heaven?" That's an interesing question to ask. I really think she was asking a sincere question and I was able to look her in the eye and tell her she would. Hopefully, we planted a good seed.
I wish I had more time to tell you more adventures but I must go! Enjoy the pictures! Help the missionaries in our ward in whatever way you can!