A quick update:
- We are still working with Lori. We have re-established our purpose as missionaries and the purpose of the Book of Mormon. Lori pointed out specific feelings that we were able to help her understand is the Holy Ghost. We set a date with Lori for April 16th and now have to work on the Word of Wisdom. Lori has much potential and loves the church. She said every time she goes to church, she feels better and better. And her family has told us that her health has already been improving since she's been attending church. I'm SO excited to work with and help Lori prepare to be baptized.
- We are also working with Terry, who is an...interesting man in his (maybe) late-50's. He keeps all of our commitments but at times struggles with what we teach him. But when it comes to reading the Book of Mormon, he loves it. He says it's very lyrical and that if it is true he would like to become a Mormon.
- We had a Leadership Training Meeting last week. It was Thursday from 10am to 4pm and then Friday from 9am to 4pm for the Zone Leaders, District Leaders, and Training Sisters. On Friday I had to play the piano and give a 20 minute workshop on Ezra Taft Benson's talk, Beware of Pride. Having to give that workshop was slightly nerve-wracking but was good for me. I'm pretty sure right before I was assigned that talk I had prayed for humility... I now know not to pray for such things... (just kidding). It was a great experience, though I probably got more out of it than anybody else! - It's a good talk, everyone should read it and prepare to be rebuked! Thursday evening we ZL's and DL's that live 2 hours away were assigned missionaries in the Cleveland Zone and I got to work with good ol' Elder Perkins (my trainer). He hasn't changed one bit (I'm shaking my head right now) haha, but I love him to death. He's great, and it was fun to be together again. We took a wrong turn and were suddenly in Downtown Cleveland. On St. Patricks Day. Holy Crap. Talk about half-naked girls in green on stilts with green beer in their hands everywhere. There were parades of green and people lined up for blocks trying to get into bars - and it was only 5pm! Sheesh! I didn't know St. Patrick's day was such a big deal!
- It feels like Findlay has been in a little slump for the past few weeks. We just had an investigator (Nedra) ask us to not come back for two or three months, for she wants to read the entire Book of Mormon before we come back (and clean her carpets). She understands that the Book of Mormon being true would mean that our church is true, but it seems like her desire to change and that “real intent” isn't quite there. We're respecting her wishes to give her some space, but have planned many ways to maintain at least weekly-contact. This week is going to be good though! I'm determined to finish this transfer with a bang! We have planned some amazing lessons and I think are slowly but surely getting through to the members about referrals - tracting doesn't work for us missionaries anymore. People are becoming more and more anti-social, and honestly I probably would turn Mormon missionaries away too if they knocked my door! But Findlay has much potential and I know that as long as we are diligent and work hard that the Lord will bless us with success.
I'M ALMOST 6 MONTHS OLD!!!! I can't believe I'm 1/4th done with my mission! It feels like YESTERDAY that I flew to SLC and was picked up by the Smiths... that a freak hail storm hammered down RIGHT as I was leaving for the Missionary Training Center, that I was leaving for Ohio at 5am only to find out that me, another elder, and two sisters didn't have plane tickets... etc. Time is flying by. And I can already tell that I'm going to be devastated when I have to leave. If I didn't have my family to come home to, I probably never would. These have been some of the most challenging months of my life, but have been 6 of the absolute happiest. I have made life-long friends, grown tremendously, learned a lot about myself, and most importantly have gained such a stronger testimony. I guess it's time to burn a tie ;)
6 months old = burn a tie
12 months old = burn a white shirt
18 months old = burn pants/slacks
24 months old = burn a suit
...I think a tie will be the extent of my burn-age.