...even before I get going, shout out to my little brother GRIFFIN whose birthday it is today. WOOT! I think he may even be 14. That's pretty terrifying. Another example of how time passes, right?! (see how I slipped that one in there? Pretty good, pretty good. :P)
And yes, on a logistical note, this is the second to last email I'll be sending. Next Monday we get to email for an hour, so I'll be able to shoot something off really quick to say...goodbye? See you soon? Something like that. Anyways, enough with the trunky talk!
Things are going well! This week was actually pretty incredible; we exceeded our goal in member present lessons and got (for realsies) 5 new investigators (unheard of in YSA, at least in my experience). It was crazy! And awesome. And kind of weird, as our area is spiraling into a white-wash (maybe more on that later), but Heavenly Father knows what he's doing. He also, apparently, knows that he has to keep me SUPER busy so I can remain super focused and intent on the work. It's working though, so far! Also, update, Brandon is doing well...found out he has some issues with the Word of Wisdom he's not quite ready to forsake though, so...we'll be working on that. He's loving church and the members though, and is at least to Jacob 2 in his Book of Mormon reading, which is great. Also, we're teaching Rachel the stop smoking program this week (!!) and she came to church and CSFY yesterday (mission fireside thing), so she's progressing well. :) Probably won't be a baptism before I leave (2 weekends left...can we do it?!), but at least there will be a lot of serious progress made since I got here, and some really great potential for the next missionaries coming in.
Age: 20 something! (we need to ask...)
Studying: Biology @ University of Washington
Accessory of choice: Tattoo on her foot of a compass rose; she's been a lot of cool places like Thailand and Japan.
Miracle that we found her: She normally is working weekends, but last Saturday afternoon, she was remarkably home.
Miracle #2: She invited us right in!
Circumstances of her day: Her Grandfather was getting married that day (or re-married, rather), and she took the day off so she could go...but she felt like she shouldn't.
Past with the missionaries: She had a Mormon friend in High School who used to have her and the missionaries over all the time...so she knows a fair amount about us and what we believe.
Present religious views: General Christian, prays a lot, not going to a specific church and pretty open
Spirit we felt: Super strong. She seems super solid and willing, and we have a return appointment for this Wednesday. SO PUMPED!
This is going to be short, just for the sake of time...but I'm really grateful for the transparency of the church. One of my favorite resources as of late has been these awesome articles (very well researched) that the church has put out on different issues that people take concern with (polygamy, first vision accounts, etc). If you have any questions on these issues, or at least want to see the church's perspective on them, go here:
I'm grateful for a church that is willing to grapple with difficult questions, and is working to increase in transparency and provide more answers for it's members and those with concerns. I know these essays have been extremely informative and helpful for me, especially as I've dealt with a lot of complaints on these matters up here in good ole Washington :)
Me and Heather at CSFY (Investigator from my first area, set to be baptized this weekend!)
I love you all dearly! I'm so grateful for my mission, and grateful for the peace and calm I'm feeling, even as it winds to a close.