Gosh I love being a missionary. Some great highlights from this week. And I love all of you, my wonderful family. I am so uplifted by your updates and things going on and messages and letters!!
Layton is still progressing toward baptism on the 9th. He is trying to give up coffee, but I really think he can do it. We had an interesting discussion on the Word of Wisdom on Tuesday, and was bringing up some concerns, but we know he understands what he has to do. He has more questions and concerns as usual, but he has been "searching the Book of Mormon for answers" which is absolutely perfect. Everyone should do that. It is a book of answers. We have been passing out many copies of the Book of Mormon.
One of the hard things about missionary work is deciding what to do during the day. We plan ahead each night, but you never know who will be home or if your back-up plan will also fall through or how long someone will ramble on about something, ha ha. But I think the important part is that even if you're not doing the perfect activity each time of the day, you're trying to do something. Always working, from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm. Obedience brings blessings!
Now for another miracle (don't you love those?) Last Sunday we taught the Priesthood class in Elder's Quorum/High Priests Group (they're combined) about missionary work. We were super excited about it, but the class seemed, well, less enthused. They are great members, but many are older and sometimes feel they have "done it all." I was a little bummed after the class. But when we finished and church was over, a man named Israel, a nonmember father of a family, who all besides him joined the church 6 years ago, came up to us and asked if we could come to his home Tuesday night at 7:00. We said, of course!
Israel married his wife Edith last March, and she has three kids, they are all very active in church. We have been trying to meet with them, but they have all been too busy. We came over on Tuesday and talked to him, getting to know him and asking about his religious background. After a small pause in the conversation, he quietly and humbly asked us (in his Mexican accent!) "so what do I have to do to get baptized?" Yes! the perfect question to hear as a missionary! It is like music to our ears!! We were so excited that sometimes we don't know how to answer that! But we told him that that is what we are here for and we can teach him all he needs to learn. He told us about his past and how he has come a long way from a rough life. He totally changed when he met Edith and he now wants to be a good father and husband and he feels that joining the church will be a good way to do that. He wants to have everything from his past washed away, and start a new life. He wants to be baptized for the remission of sins. He is so humble and teachable and prepared. We set a date, also the 9th of November! He and Layton were at church yesterday.
Now for one more quick story! At church yesterday they had few Aaronic priesthood holders so they asked Elder Brown and me to help pass the sacrament (flash from the past)! I didn't notice until I was sitting down in the front pew that the two Aaronic Priesthood holders blessing the sacrament were Kris and Terry. It was an awesome moment I will remember forever. They were nervous but did a great job. I got to take from them the sacrament tray and pass it to their families in the congregation!
Love you all,
|Tommy had a fellow missionary cut his hair|
Tommy explains to his mom what his preparation days (Mondays "P-Day") are typically like:
"P days we usually go to the Grays Harbor ward building in Aberdeen. We e-mail in Aberdeen library. Usually we play basketball / write letters / talk to our district and zone missionary friends.
Other times we have fun activities. We went bowling once in Elma. Today we are going to go see these run down nuclear power plants in Montesano, just outside Elma. They filmed a few scenes from the latest Transformers movie there, it should be cool! Next week we will carve pumpkins I think :)
and how they met Layton:
"Layton was found before Elder Green and I got there. Elder Sprague, a District Leader from another area, went on an exchange in Raymond, so the two of them just were knocking on doors and found Layton. They only met him once or twice, tried to set up a church tour, but it fell through. He was one of the three names we had when we came into the area. We went over to his house the first day in Raymond, July 10th and set up another church tour. He has one daughter he never knew well. He came to Raymond to be in her life. Layton's whole life he has been searching for two things: a religion and a family. But he feels strongly that he has finally found one of those two things. I feel I connect to Layton because Layton needs more listening than talking. Most of our visits we listen to his life, his problems, then relate the gospel and help him and love him. He is very close to me and Elder Green. He asked that I baptize him, and it means a lot to him. We are really trying to connect him to the ward so he is OK whenever I leave. That's Layton!