Well, I thought I'd start my e-mail with probably the most potentially exciting news...transfer calls. I will be staying in Marshall, Minnesota. My companion is also the same....apparently I haven't learned whatever it is that I'm supposed to learn here, so I'll be hanging around. I suppose it's for the best. I mean, the work is actually starting to pick up here so I would have been a little sad to leave and I feel happy to know that the people who I'm staying here to teach should progress pretty well.
As I mentioned last week, we started teaching a family and they are very receptive to the Gospel. So far, we can only count the mother of the family as an official investigator, but once some other things are sorted out, the rest of the family will join in. We taught her about the plan of salvation and invited her to attend church again. We are hoping to put her on date for baptism at the end of the week when we meet with her again.
The weather here has been pretty bipolar...one day it is 88 degrees and sunny, and the next it is 46 and raining extremely hard. It's kind of nice because it does provide some change in what feels very routine most days, but it would be nice to have some consistency in the weather so we know what to plan for. It is humid here, you walk around for 10 minutes and your back is drenched in sweat.
My companion and I have been doing a lot of service recently. The other day, there was a man who needed help moving out so we just jumped in and started helping. He and his wife were super thankful because it was just the two of them loading up the truck to move. We talked with them a lot about the church and our beliefs. When we left, I felt very glad that I was able to talk to them and help them learn more about the gospel. I think had they been moving in, and not out, they would have started taking the lessons. While I was a little sad about that, I believe that we opened up the door for the next set of missionaries who knock on their door. I think and hope that they will come to accept the Gospel in their lives at some point. They were really cool people and would love to be able to rejoice with them in the life to come.
This week was really inspiring for me. At church we heard a talk from a member of our branch who was baptized in Russia and later moved to the U.S. He has a super strong testimony and I love being able to talk to him. (The Russian accent doesn't' hurt either) He read a short story about a man who was homeless...
A beggar had been sitting by the side of a road for over thirty years. One day a stranger walked by. "Spare some change?" mumbled the beggar, mechanically holding out his old baseball cap. "I have nothing to give you," said the stranger. Then he asked: "What's that you are sitting on?" "Nothing," replied the beggar. "Just an old box. I have been sitting on it for as long as I can remember." "Ever looked inside?" asked the stranger. "No," said the beggar. "What's the point? There's nothing in there." "Have a look inside," insisted the stranger. The beggar managed to pry open the lid. With astonishment, disbelief, and elation, he saw that the box was filled with gold.
I really loved this story. The member who shared it referenced the story to the atonement of Christ and how, if we aren't using it, we are sitting on something that is worth far more than a box of gold. I would encourage everyone to look at all the wonderful things that they have in their lives and "open up" that box that they are sitting on. I believe that if we stop and take a look around us we can realize all the beautiful things we have and uncover treasures far greater than gold.Glad to hear that everyone back home is doing well. I took the one summer chemistry class and that was enough for me. I wasn't too impressed with my ACT score but hey, it gets me into the schools that I wanted to attend and at this point, ain't no way I'm taking another class just to try and take it again.Well I hope you all have a fantastic week! Love you!