Recently I feel like the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland "I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date!" My life these days is so busy! We wake up at 6:30am and don't stop till 10:30pm! It's a good kind of busy though, I love what I'm doing so the time flies by. I wish we had more time in the day!!!
Two Tuesday's ago (Jan 11th) I attended Mission Council in Hiram, Ohio. In Hiram is the John Johnson Farm, where Joseph Smith received many revelations and where a nice chunk of the Doctrine and Covenants comes from. It was a meeting where the 12 Zone Leaders, 2 Assistant to the Presidents, and Mission President and his Wife get together and discuss different needs and changes for the mission. The first half of our meeting took place in the very room where Joseph Smith received revelations concerning things like the Plan of Salvation. We read many different sections that were received in the room and discussed them and then read all of Section 76 (Plan of Salvation). It was another experience that I don't think I can fully describe or express in words. What a powerful, amazing Spirit that could be felt in that room at that hour. As we read these sacred truths in the very room where they were shown to Joseph and Sidney Rigdon, looking at the three windows and wondering which one the two had been standing at....it...it was awesome. I don't know what else to say. Another very special, sacred experience. The spirit was so strong and I left that room feeling so edified. Afterwards we went and ate lunch in a nearby church building and later discussed mission matters. It was a great meeting. We stayed the night in Cleveland (so we wouldn't be doing so much driving) because the next day we had a Leadership Training Meeting in Cleveland at the Mission Office. It was a great meeting, learned a lot, etc. It was good. If you want to know more, write me.
Speaking of letters. Holy cow! I have a stack of probably...say...35 letters? So I went through them today and sorted them and some people have written me two or three letters before I have even written back once! :( Sorry! I'll start sacrificing my lunches to write you letters....(not). But I will write you! I know I say this every week, but it's trueeee!
This past Monday (Jan 17th) Elder Haines and I, five members from the ward, and a Part-Member family we're teaching took a trip to Kirtland, Ohio. It's about a 2.5-3 hour drive, so it was quite the road trip! We got to go on an awesome tour guided by two sister missionaries and got to watch a couple of great videos about the history that happened there. One was a short 15 minute clip about Kirtland (similar to the movie Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration) and another was that movie that I just mentioned in the parenthesis and don't feel like rewriting... It was very cool for our investigators (and us) to get to see where all of the amazing happenings took place. To be able to walk where Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Emma Smith, Parley P. Pratt, Sidney Rigdon, etc. all walked. And also be where so many heavenly appearances took place! It was a great trip and I can't wait to go back and take some other families we're teaching!
We currently have 4 baptismal dates set and 2 more we'll be setting in the next week. We're so excited for the families and individuals who have plans to make this great covenant with God! Something that many people don't understand is that Baptism is not the "end," it's the beginning. Many people think you're baptized into a church and then that's it. You're a member, you're baptized, you go to church, and die. There is SO MUCH MORE!!! How discouraging to think that one's progression would end so soon! Baptism is merely the first step or requirement to enter into the kingdom of God! And I can't wait to see our friends/investigators make this first (but so important!) step.
I only have 8 minutes left on the dumb library computer. We are allowed to email today because MLK jr. Day on Monday meant that libraries weren't open.
It sure is cold here! Everything is frozen and it's snowing right now I think. And we're getting fed very well, but I still haven't gained ANY weight :(
Well... I guess this is it until next time. Have a lot of places to go, people to see, etc. today. Hope everyone has an excellent day and I will see what I can do about this letter fiasco I have on my hands! Love you all.
Elder David Dransfield