Monday, October 17, 2011

Hello from Cleveland!

This last week was pretty busy, although we didn't work in our area as much as we would have liked. I did however hit my year-mark of when I flew into Ohio. This week I also went to Pennsylvania for the first time. That was pretty cool...

Monday we taught a really cool couple. They have a daughter who is going to school in Utah and they go out to visit her frequently. They visited Temple Square and filled out one of the cards that the Sisters give to people. We got a text on our phone with their info, and a few months later (we had trouble getting in contact with them) we taught them! They were SO nice and their understanding of everything we were saying was so clear. The Spirit was very powerful as we taught them and asked them questions. They are eager to read the Book of Mormon and find out if it's true. The wife (Sister Peacock) has been searching for the true church her whole life. She admits she settled with the Catholic church because of its consistency (in what they teach and believe) and structure. They travel a lot (they were both in the military at some point and I think he still might be. That or he just travels a lot). But we will be seeing them again in November (they're out of town) and have been praying and fasting that they can receive their answer! They remind me a lot of the Nevilles (who I miss so much!) so I'm excited to get to teach them some more.

From Tuesday to Friday I was jumping around the mission going on exchanges with different companionships. Went to Tallmadge/Cuyahoga Falls Tuesday-Wednesday, New Castle, Pennsylvania Wednesday-Thursday, and Shaker Heights Thursday-Friday. Elder Bills (my companion from Canton) serves there now and we had a blast working together for couple days. I had to come back to North Olmsted, OH on Friday because we got our new AP that will be taking over Elder McClellan's position. His name is Elder Parkinson. He's been on him mission for about 8 months! As President says, "We've got ourselves a couple of young bucks." Elder Parkinson is incredible and hopefully we can help build the mission!

Saturday was our Transfer Meeting. We met with President at the Mission Office from 9:30am till about 4:30pm, and with much prayer and fasting decided what transfer changes should be made (who will go where, who will be called to what leadership positions, etc.). It's an amazing experience to be a part of. You get to see how the Lord's hand is truly in this work and see how inspired transfers really are. After our meeting the Sorensen's took us out to the Cheesecake Factory and let us get whatever we wanted! I got some chicken mushroom dish. Very good! (I kept thinking to myself - I bet mom would really like this dish!).

I think that's pretty much my week. The weather has been getting much colder lately. Time to break out the sweaters and coats! Before you know it, it'll be snowing... AHHH! We got a new truck today. A white 2012 Chevy Colorado. We are so spoiled...

Today we had a Trainers Meeting where all the missionaries who will be training new missionaries next transfer came to the mission home. We met from 9:30 till 4pm and talked about all kinds of things. A new 12-week training program that we've actually been doing in our mission for about 4 1/2 months now. Talked about leadership, charity, planning by the Spirit, and a bunch of other missionary topics. I gave 4 workshops! It was a blast! Just did a lot of studying and praying beforehand, wrote down some impressions and notes, and relied on the Spirit to guide me in the workshops. They went well...I think... @_@

What are some random facts about my mission.....
1. Yes, I am fed very well. Today we were fed enchiladas and brownies and ice cream!
2. No, I have not gained weight yet. Although I don't know what all this chunky stuff on my stomach is... Insulation for the winter? Just kidding, I'm sill a twig :)
3. They say that the religion out here that has the most devout members is the Cleveland Browns fan club
4. When we go tracting, everyone thinks we're Jehovah's Witnesses or that we practice polygamy. People will ask us some pretty strange questions...... At the beginning of my mission I hated knocking on doors, but now I have a blast doing it. It's so fun to talk to people about the gospel. Lately we've been singing to people as we go door-to-door. We sing "I am a Child of God." People love it.
5. People out here go all-out when it comes to decorating for Halloween.
6. Met a less-active church member in Shake Heights who is from India. He was teaching me Gandhi philosophy - "they eye of the eye of the eye, and the leg of the leg of the leg, etc. of the etc. of the etc." He fed us Indian food. I don't think I'd do well living in India...

I'll close with my testimony: I know this church is true and that it is Christ's church re-established on the earth through modern-day prophets! I know that the Book of Mormon is true - it's the proof of this church being the one, true church. I know that anyone who diligently reads the Book of Mormon, ponders the messages and teachings contained in the book, and earnestly prays to know if it's true (and being willing to submit your will to God's will - if you find out it's true, you'll follow and embrace it full-heartedly), will receive an answer that it's all true. And that answer will come through the Holy Ghost. Not through "research" on the Internet, not through the opinions of the world, but by the promptings of the Holy Ghost, whose purpose is to testify of truth. This has blessed my life so much and my only desire is to bring that same light, that same truth, that same happiness into the lives of others.

Thank you for all the prayers. Have a great week! 
Love, Elder Dransfield

P.S. I'll try to get some pictures next week... :)

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