Had a great Thanksgiving, hard to believe November is already over. The weather here has been really weird - cold and rainy one day, in the upper 60's the next with the sun shining. Once it starts snowing, we wont see the sun again untill April so we're enjoying it while it lasts! I had a very relaxing and stuffing Thanksgiving. We went and did some service (raking leaves) in the morning for an elderly neighbor or a member in our ward. We only had two rakes so we went rake tracting and borrowed a couple more from another neighbor. So we decided to rake his lawn too. And then thought it would be nice to rake the members house. And then we figured we might as well do their other neighbor whose going through a really hard time with child custody issues. We've taught her once or twice, nice lady. By noon or so we went back and showered and got ready for the day, deep-cleaned our apartment (it was our Preparation day) and then went to our Thanksgiving dinner at 3pm. We ate at one of our investigator's house with her family and her fiance's family who are from Mexico. They're members and seemed very excited to see us - probably because our dress/tags were something familiar to them. The father kept trying to talk to me but the only Spanish I could say back is "Si! Commo? Loco Taco Bell!" ...yup. Dinner was great and we ate till we thought we were going to barf. And then they brought out all the pies and breads and cheesecake. So logically we ate some more. And then REALLY thought we were going to barf. That night we were exchanging with some elders from Fremont (so we could work with them Friday). It's about an hour and 15 minute drive one-way and in the two and a half hours we weren't at the apartment, our apartment FLOODED! By our garage was some huge pluming truck and I was wondering why they were working so late, little did I know they were taking apart our kitchen sink. Our complex has 4 stories and the pipes are connected vertically - we are on the first floor. Apparently, someone in the floors above dumped their turkey caucus and grease down their sink. It traveled down, down, down, and then got stuck where the pipes meet the main sewer line. The turkey came down and the floods came up, the turkey came down and the floods came up, the turkey came down and the floods came up, and Elder Dransfield's Thanksgiving smile washed away! :D We walked in and the sink and dishwasher had overflowed with sewer water/turkey shreds, pouring onto the counter tops, down onto the kitchen floor, and into our living room. They ripped up some of the carpet and told us they're going to either replace it or try to wash it. The Hokansons and Smiths (the senior couples we work in the office with) were a huge blessing and bought us some cleaning supplies and then cleaned our kitchen for us while we were proselyting. I'm so grateful for them! Aside from the carpet and turkey smell, our apartment looks back to normal.
We had some more lessons with Erica this week talking about Prophets and the Word of Wisdom. We then had the chance to go to Kirtland with her and a handful of members. We left yesterday right after church and after the tour looked at the Nativity Exhibit they have going on. It's one of the "Top 100 Events in North America" by the American Bus Association. They have hundreds of nativities from all over the world and lights all over the trees and sites. It was awesome. Erica is doing great and continues to slowly gain a stronger testimony. Her baptismal date is now for December 17th and should definitely be ready by that date.
This week we have more meetings; Mission Council tomorrow, Trainers Meeting on Wednesday, and on Thursday we'll be deciding transfers with President Sorensen. We can already tell it's going to be complicated and tough - we have to close down 4 sisters areas because we are losing so many Kirtland Sisters this transfer, are closing down an area, white-washing a couple, changing Zone Leader areas, etc. Thank goodness we'll be fasting and frequently praying - it amazes me every time to watch Heavenly Father guide those meetings as everything comes together and starts to fit perfectly. But to those meetings - I wish I had more time to be out working getting to actually do missionary work! I'm guessing I have one more transfer left here, but who knows what the Lord has in-store for me!
Prayer works, the Book of Mormon can answer all of life's questions, and the Atonement is evidence of the love our Heavenly Father has for us. I know this is true!
Love, Elder Dransfield
Kirtland with Erica, the Pattees, Michael, and William (Will was baptized my first weekend in North Olmsted)
Older picture of me and Elder Parkinson (when he first got here). This is in Ashtabula, as north east as you can get in our mission.
Kirtland Temple - where the keys for the Gathering of Israel were restored to the prophet Joseph Smith
Giving service on Thanksgiving day
The branch didn't stand a chance!
Elder Hicks with Elder Parkinson and I. He and I tracted 8 straight hours with a 45minute dinner break at a members house one day.
Michael who we did the mini-mission with