I am getting transferred!! I will be in the St. Paul zone with two other Elders in a tri-panionship. They are the zone-leaders and they both play football so I am hyped🏽 This area is the TCYSA (Twin Cities Young Single Adult) area and I have heard it is a super fun area!
This week has been a blast! We had a good lesson with Ann . We had a lesson planned but she had some concerns about her family. We talked about those with her and set up a meeting with the Bishop for her. We are really trying to have her son meet with us and her as well, but he is a super busy guy with school starting and he is in the marching band and they practice for like 6 hours a day. She told us she wants to get baptized and she knows this church is true but she doesn't want to tear apart her family, and she doesn't know if her husband will give her permission. We pray for her a lot and she gave a very sincere, heartfelt pray at the end of our lesson. It will be hard to leave Ann.
On Monday we had a lesson with Peter. He has been on vacation for a few weeks so this has been our first lesson with him since my first week here. He had a lot of doubts about prophets before he left, so we told him to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. He told us on Monday he had a stroke or something so he doesn't remember anything we taught him, which I'm 99% sure he didn't have a stroke. He said he had a problem with the Articles of Faith as well, so we went over them with him to see if we could clarify them. We read all the longer, confusing ones and he said he was good with them. So we read the one about honoring and obeying the law, and he said he thought that laws were stupid and were meant to help some people but not others. So we talked about following the law of God and he said he could do that. So then we read the one about prophets, pastors, teachers, etc etc... And he's like yeah I'm good with that one. So we were like ok good! Then we keep teaching and he says I don't think there is a prophet today and we are like, "Peter, you just said you agreed with the article of faith." Then he started talking about all this weird stuff and I kept trying to bring it back to prophets and the gospel, but it wasn't happening. Then he started telling us that in the Book of Mormon it talks about Ruth, who is Adam's first wife who was rebellious, and then Eve came after her. My companion was like, "We actually need to get going," and I was ok with that I was dying in the car after haha. We moved Peter from having a baptismal date set, to visiting once or twice a month because he is starting to have some crazy ideas about stuff! It's sad but it happens I guess.
We had a really good lesson with Grace . Her kids are getting their visas so they can come here from Liberia. It's been a miracle how it has all worked out for her. It's really cool! She probably has the greatest faith of anyone I've ever met. Anyways, her cousins live with her and one is usually like way out of it when we go over. He perked right up when we came over and told us he was an endowed member of the church, and we were like, "No way, that's sweet!" So we talked to him and he said he had a falling out with the bishop of his ward but really liked our bishop so he wanted to come back to church. But he didn't come so that was a bummer. But he is a really cool guy! We had a lesson with his brother . He has had a date set for like 3 months and I had never even met him yet. He said he still wants to be baptized and we went over the interview questions to see what we still needed to teach him. Prophets, chastity and word of wisdom were ones he still hadn't been taught or had questions about. So we are meeting with him ! Just kidding I won't be there.
we did exchanges with the ZLs. I went to Medicine Lake with Elder Anderson and Elder Long came here with my companion. Elder Anderson is from Spanish Fork and he is basically what I want to become as a missionary. He loves what he does and it is easy to tell that. He says hi to everyone and loves those he works with so much. He introduced me to this country album called Nashville Tribute to missionary work or something like that haha. It's really good! There is one song called "Today is the Day" and if you want to get pumped to do missionary work then that is your song! It was good! We had a missionary country jam session in the car haha🏽
Our lesson with Dan this week was soooooo good!!We took a brother from our ward who loves golfing and he and Dan hit it off really well. They chatted about golf for like 10 minutes haha. We kept talking about the Spirit World and were able to clear up some questions he had about that with Alma 40. The spirit was really strong and we challenged him to be baptized. He said he didn't want to commit to a date but he did want to be baptized into a church, he just hadn't found the right one yet. We hope he will come to realize that this is the church he has been searching for. If you met him for the first time and talked to him about what he believed, you would think he was LDS. It's insane how close his beliefs are with ours and he has never met with missionaries before! I'm really sad that I have to leave Dan because he is progressing really well.
We had another lesson with Gary and taught some more about the Book of Mormon. He had a lot of questions about like how it relates to the bible and the time frame of it. So we talked about that and I got to bear my testimony of it. Gary is a great guy. He even invited us to help at his church's breakfasts they put on haha. I don't know if Elder Cordara and his trainee will do that, but I was all for it!
I am really going to miss the Maple Grove area, the ward, my companion, and especially the people I've come to know and love here. It's been a blessing to serve in this area but I am looking forward to serving in the YSA area next! My dad sent me an email with a scripture from Exodus 14:13..."Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord." That has been my scripture of the week! Even though the mission is hard and there are things I am scared to do every day, I know this is the work of salvation and that the Lord has his hand in every part of what we do. I love all of you back home and thank you for the prayers and emails each week. They mean more than you know, and help me feel like even though I'm a thousand miles away, I'm still home.
One more big shoutout to my Bobcats back home taking it to Riverton!🏽 y'all keep it up and kill Logan this week haha to my Brothers at college and on missions, fighting the good fight, I have a quick scripture I found in my studies this week: Moroni 8:3 "I am mindful of you always in my prayers, continually praying unto God the Father in the name of his Holy Child, Jesus, that he, through his infinite goodness and grace, will keep you through the endurance of faith on his name to the end." I keep you all in my thoughts and prayers and pray the good Lord will keep you safe until we meet again. Family, I love you all! To my brother, I am proud of the hard work you have put in for football this season. You deserve everything you get, my man. To my sisters, keep working hard at school and sports and love every day! Mom and Dad, thanks for everything. I love you more than you know! Grandma and Grandpa, thanks for the support and I miss you a lot but I know I'm supposed to be here!
I love you all back home and thanks again for the support!
Elders Long, Anderson, Cordara and Beach