This year has been the wettest year ever in the state of Ohio - and it's only October! It's been raining so much you would think we were in Seattle or something. I am very blessed to have a car to endure all of storms (and soon snow)! And not just a car, but a brand new, white, 2012 Chevy Colorado ;)
Last week we received a phone call from a lady in Salt Lake City. She explained to us that there was a man living in our ward boundaries who wanted to be baptized...man, the things some people ask us to do...sheesh! We called him and set up an appointment to see him last Thursday at the church building. He is originally from Florida and met with missionaries down there a little over a year ago. Due to health and personal reasons, he put off the lessons and traveled to Ohio to receive treatment at the Cleveland Clinic. Unfortunately he is currently jobless and we think homeless (living in his car for now). But we set a baptismal date with him and he is reading the Book of Mormon diligently. He came the very next day to our Ward Halloween Party and yesterday came to church. He says that he feels that joining the church will bring him the most balance in his life. I know that is true, for the Book of Mormon "tells men what they must do to gain peace in this life and eternal salvation in the life to come" (Introduction page) and has brought me the greatest sense of balance and happiness in my life. We set him up with the Stake Employment Specialist and he actually attended an employment meeting yesterday, so hopefully he can get back on his feet quickly. He used to install in-home theaters and is very knowledgeable when it comes to wiring and electrician problems. Smart guy, just an unfortunate turn of events.
For the past few weeks all of the missionaries in our mission (and everyone in Ohio for that matter) have been coming down with a nasty virus. I got it and was told to stay inside and sleep all day Friday. I hated it! That night we had our Trunk-or-Treat Halloween Party and a few of our investigators were supposed to attend. So my new companion met up with the companionship we live with and they went to the party in my place while I stayed with the Hokansons for the evening to rest. They are one of our office senior couples and are from Star Valley, Wyoming. I love them to death, they are some of my favorite people I've met in Ohio. Someday I'll introduce all of you who are reading this to them ;) (The Smiths too...they're the other office senior couple). The Hokansons and I went out to Olive Garden for dinner and then I rested at their apartment until my companion got back. We have so much fun working in the office together. They make me excited to go on a senior mission someday! I am feeling better health-wise, although the rest of the mission keeps getting suck. I've been telling myself all week "I should have gotten a flu shot...I should have gotten a flu shot..." The problem is that we can't really have sick missionaries during transfer week!!!
Transfer week...Tomorrow we'll have 9 new missionaries flying in from the MTC (3 of them sisters) and it will be the regular routine: pick them up at the airport, bring them to the mission home, have a meeting, dinner, meeting, roleplay, send them to bed, we prayerfully pick their trainers, wake up, go to the Kirtland Historical Sites and Kirtland Temple, go to Transfer Meeting, match everyone up, send the missionaries to their new proselyting areas, gather the missionaries going home, go out to lunch, back to mission home, more meetings, more food, etc. It's a very exciting (busy) time and I LOVE seeing the brand new missionaries walking out of the airport. They're like deer in the headlights :) --Speaking of deer! I'm not sure if I have ever written about this: There are SO many deer in Ohio. They walk around EVERYWHERE and eat everyones flowers and gardens. And talk about roadkill... yikes! Apparently if you hit one you're supposed to call the police and dispose of the body or else it's considered a hit-and-run. But if you call, you get fined. So...nobody calls. And nobody takes care of the dead bodies. But yesterday we were tracting and a deer was just sitting in this persons yard having the time of it's life eating their plants. It didn't even care that we were there.
We've been seeing many miracles with some less-active families we've been working with recently. Sister Gircsis (who we've been doing service for) came to church yesterday. We worked for her on Saturday in her barn and had a very nice, spiritual lesson. We talked about the importance of the Sacrament and she committed to come - and she did! We've also been working with a 20-year-old boy and trying to help him embrace the gospel more fully in his life (and let go of the video games). In our Ward Council Meeting a few weeks back an assignment was made for two members to go and invite him to prepare for the temple (via taking the discussions from us). They went over and very lovingly told him he needs to grow up and start aspiring in life. We have seen a total change of heart and he is suddenly on fire - HE is setting up OUR appointments to see him! It just goes to show how important members are in missionary work! Our ward is very excited about missionary work and we have probably the best bishop in the whole mission (although I might be biased). We continue to see much success because of our Bishop. It's great.
Well, my time is up. I know that this church is true and that Joseph Smith really did see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I know that God lives and answers our prayers! I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. This is Christ's church - the same he established during his earthly ministry. It's been restored to the earth, along with the authority to act in God's name, to baptize, to seal families for eternity... I'm so grateful for the blessings of the temple. I would hope that all who have access to the temple go as frequently as possible. I'm grateful for all the blessings in my life. I have been so blessed and I hope that in these next 11 months I can continue to help others receive the same blessings. Hope everyone has a Happy Halloween! I love you all!
Love, Elder Dransfield