Thank you so much for the great email. I love hearing all the updates from home. Here is the report for this week...
We had an awesome lesson with Andrea this week. She is such a cool person. I can't remember if I mentioned this, but her sister joined the church a few years ago and now has left it in a dramatic fashion and wants her name removed. It doesn't phase A at all. She knows that the book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. This lesson was on Saturday night. Then she didn't come to church on Sunday! We have no idea what happened. She can be frustrating sometimes, but I feel like she is getting baptized soon.
We also had a good lesson with Kris It was funny actually. He lives pretty close to the church. he also lives with a bunch of roommates so sometimes we just walk to the church. It was a busy road so occasionally people yell at us. One guy drove by us in a pick up and yelled an obscenity at us and Kris just gave him the double bird and yelled right back at him! It was actually pretty funny.
He is definitely progressing. He has an issue with the custody of his child which makes it really hard for him to come to church so hopefully that will get resolved so he comes more often.
We also had a pretty good lesson with Px. We taught the first half of the Plan of Salvation. She asked some tough questions that were hard to answer with her limited knowledge. A lot of stuff about Adam and Eve. However, she did attend church this week and she continues to read from the Book of Mormon so that is a good sign.
Leslie has been sick all week so we gave her a blessing, but we were not able to meet with her. She also didn't attend church. Hopefully she will start to feel better next week.
Speaking of sickness... that nasty cough that I have had has stormed back. I think it is a sinus infection. Luckily we have a mission nurse now so she helped me out with a bunch of different stuff. I think the worst is behind me so I should be fine by next week.
So transfers are this Wednesday. Elder Martin and I are both staying. We have 31 new missionaries coming, the most we have ever had (I came out with 17 which was the most). I think Elder Clark from North Fremont is included in that group. The missionary that we live with is training so maybe he will come to Gresham! Here is a crazy stat for you. On Wednesday, 86% of the mission will have been out for under a year. I feel like an old man! We are a young mission which means that you can expect great things soon!
It sounds like everybody had a great week! It is always a party when the Beans and the Utah Harts come up to visit. I bet it was cool to see Jourdon again. I am glad everybody had a good time. I remember Dad saying something about how my younger cousins will change the most while I am here. That is the truth! Everybody looked so much older the pictures. I was like, Man, Hayden looks different..., wait, that's Taylor! HaHa! Everybody is growing up! Thanks so much for the pictures.
I can't remember if I have mentioned sister Fann or not. She got baptized about 20 months ago and she is one of the most solid recent converts I've ever seen. Missionaries just randomly knocked on her door, talked to her for about five minutes, invited her to church, and left. She showed up to church a couple of days later and she has never stopped. By the way, that NEVER happens. Anyway, she bought Elder Martin a gift. It is a book by Tad R. Callister titled, The Infinite Atonement. You may have heard of it before. It is an incredible book and I am learning so much about the Atonement and how it applies to me.
I studied a lot about the Fall of Adam and Eve. Px is having a hard time understanding their story. We told her that they were innocent and didn't know good or bad or right from wrong. Then she asked why they were punished for partaking of the fruit. I came to this conclusion: Adam and Even didn't know much, but they knew what God had told them to do and not to do. They also knew the consequences. They just didn't have first-hand experience. It is like telling a little child not to touch the hot stove because it will burn his hand. Do you think the child even knows what that means? Of course not. But he knows what you told him not to do. As a parent, you don't want your child to disobey you and touch the stove, but you also realize the valuable lessons that come with that first-hand experience. God didn't want Adam and Eve to disobey Him and partake of the fruit, but He also knows all of the experiences we would have here to help us learn and grow. Also, He wanted Adam and Eve to choose for themselves. God values our agency so much. Back to the stove analogy, as a parent you aren't going to stick your kid's hand on the stove and say, "See! It hurts doesn't it!" There would be no lessons learned there. We all have to choose for ourselves and accept the consequences. Then again, I am just a teenager in Gresham, Oregon who probably doesn't have a clue what happened in the Garden of Eden! We will find out one day.
Thank you again for the email! I can't wait to hear from you next week. I love you!
PS I did get the package! Thank you!