Tuesday, January 10, 2012

January 9, 2012 Letter

Hello Family,
Dad! That is so flippin cool! The Barnhouses showed me the picture of it on Facebook. They LOVE your art! Ha ha ha. It's so cool. They were telling this guy that we were visiting last night all about it. They were looking them up and showing them to him on Facebook as he was chillin in the hospital bed. Ha ha ha. Speaking of last night...I'll have to tell you about the wonderful experience we had with a guy named Brian Taylor. BUT FIRST...I'll talk about the week.
This week was a little skiwompus. Started off on Monday with Elder Evans. Elder Evans, I, and Elder Jones were in a tripanionship until Sunday night when Elder Jones got called to be the new Assistant to the President. So Elder Evans and I took care of what we needed for the day and figured that we would have to set aside time on Tuesday, when we got our new companions, to go shopping and what not. So on preparation day we played games with the zone until about 3, then went tracting, ate dinner, and headed to some appointments out in Prosper (where Bishop Lynn L. Woodrum lives). It's so funny that I get to see Bishop Woodrum every month. I feel like I'm twelve again.
So Tuesday we (Elder Evans and I) had to go into Dallas to pick up our new companions. We thought that we had everything figured out but of course something went wrong. I swear as a missionary something ALWAYS goes wrong. Then you add in the fact that I'm a McNinch and you've pretty much guaranteed yourself a problem with something. So we get there, exchange with our new companions, and try to figure out how to get back to Frisco. Well, turns out that Elder Evans' new companion has broken his collar bone. He apparently got tackled by some polly kid while playing football on p-day. Great. So now we have to wait for approval from Salt Lake before we can get him back out into the field. TOOK 2 HOURS!!! So finally we got him cleared to stay in the mission and not get sent home for his surgery.
Wednesday. My companion had a doctor's appointment in Carrollton because he had broken his collar bone just 8 weeks prior. After the appointment which took 3 hours, Elder Evans' companion gets called in for surgery. So my new companion, Elder Dunbar, and I have to stay all day in the hospital with Elder Evans so he has a companion. That night I was going to take Elder Dunbar to all our investigators to introduce him, but Elder Dunbar got food poisoning from the night before. He was throwing up everywhere. It was gross. I felt really bad for him.
Thursday. We planned and tried to figure out how in the world we were going to be able to visit all of the people that we have. On top of it being planning day we had to prepare for the stake president report on Sunday. Well, it took us forever to get a hold of all our missionaries to get their individual reports. So it took us even longer to type it all up. Then, to make matters worse, we get an email from President Durrant that says that the format for the report has changed. Great. So now we have to retype the entire report in a different format. It took us all day. No joke. Then that evening we went to go to do a baptismal interview in The Colony. Well it turns out that the lady my companion did the interview for could not be baptized until August. (legality issue) That was an awkward conversation.
Friday. We had a baptismal interview for a boy named Nick. He is going to be baptized this Saturday and we are so excited. He is a super smart kid and passed the interview with flying colors. That night we went over to the Bell family's house for dinner. The Bell family is super spiritual. They love us coming over too. So we had a nice sit down lesson with them afterword and then headed to teach Yolanda (recent convert) and her twin daughters. The lesson went pretty well. As well as it could go with two 13 year old girls I suppose.
Saturday. We finally had a coordination meeting with our ward mission leader and ALL of our ward missionaries in the 3rd ward. It was awesome. We talked through each of our investigators and made specific assignments to help them. It was great. Then, that night all of our appointments cancelled. Not cool.
Sunday. Okay so this is what I was talking about. We went to the stake center to report on the missionary work in the stake at 8:30. Somehow got to our sacrament meeting at the legacy building at 9:00. Went to church for all three hours. Went home and ate lunch. Went back to church for another three hours. Got out at 5:30. Went to dinner and then met up with the Barnhouses to go to an appointment. Well...we thought that the appointment was going to be golden...but it wasn't. Brian Taylor invited us in. We look around at his home and it is beautiful. Pictures of the Savior, their family, their wedding, it looked like a "Mormon" home. Well, besides the huge cross on the wall. We sit down and introduce ourselves and start to establish expectations for our visits. We hadn't even started in when Brian interrupts and says, "I hope y'all know that you didn't come here to convert me." ...this is going to be a great discussion. He starts going off about everything. "Why do you believe in the Book of Mormon?! You know that Joseph Smith was a thief right? Did you know that he was arrested for 'glass-looking'?! They have the court cases on record where he was proven guilty!" Blah, blah blah, blah blah, blah blah. He went off for about 10 minutes, brought up some scripture in Daniel chapter nine, and then was quiet and waited for our response. All we said was, " We have been called by a prophet of God, to teach people what He would have them know, in order to prepare for the second coming of His Son. Thank you for your time." Then we left. Sister Barnhouse was kind of shaken up by the whole thing. She said that she had never come across someone so antagonistic about the church. For my companion and I it just reminded us of being out in east Texas. That's how every lesson went out there. Ha ha ha. Anyways. I left from that lesson glad that we didn't try to prove a point, or dispute doctrine. But I was terribly sad. I feel like I'm trying to give someone a million dollars and they just won't take it. Everytime that there is a door that is shut, or a discussion that is made into a confrontation, I feel so sad. I just wish that people would set aside what they think, long enough for God to give his opinion on the matter. I don't know how the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith get twisted into a "cult" or a "brainwash". Something that causes someone to believe in, or follow the Savior more closely cannot be of the the devil. I don't know. Sometimes I feel like saying, "Okay, if you would just take your brain out and play with it for a minute, maybe it would work!" Of course that would be rude and disrespectful so I don't, but you know what I mean. I think missionaries often feel like Paul. Paul stands before King Agrippa and gives beautiful testimony of the divinity of Jesus Christ and all he gets out of it is, "Almost, thou persuadest me to be a Christian." This is some of the most frustrating work on the planet. I mean come on! Who doesn't want a million dollars!? What Christian doesn't want to find another testament that brings them closer to their Redeemer?
Although the work is frustrating, although my knuckles are sore, although it seems as if everyone is telling me this is wrong, I have never felt that I have ever being doing something that is more right. I have never felt more peace in my entire life. I have never ever felt closer to my Savior. I have never wanted to share what I know with everyone, until now.
Needless to say, this past week has been a little interesting for me. We talked a lot about goal setting and stuff on Sunday and that just got me all freaked out about school and what not. Yes, Dad I know that the "end" is coming soon and that we need to figure out school stuff. We have to try to figure out the application process for a couple of schools. UNLV, SUU, UVU, and BYU. If you want to get back to me on those next week, that'd be great. I wrote each of the kids a letter this week so hopefully Shannon will be there to get the letter.

Holy crap this letter is long.
Elder Michael McNinch

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