Wednesday, June 6, 2012

June 4, 2012 Letter

Dear Family,
I was only going to have 30 minutes to email y'all today, but my companion sweet talked the lady behind the counter to give us extra time on the computers. I love my companion. Anyways...BOLIVIA!!! That's so awesome! Man he is going to eat a bunch of weird stuff! That's great. I am so excited for him. That is going to be amazing. Good thing that I will be there before he leaves. I was afraid of that.
What in the heck does a dish towel have to do with a chicken? Okay so the whole CSN thing...I really have no clue what classes I want to take right now. Really just want to get generals out of the way first...not that I even know what that means. How about send me a list of classes and I will pray about it. When is the deadline?
This was a pretty good week. Some of the families that we teach have made huge strides in the last couple of days. We have set up a "marriage class" for all of the investigator couples that need to be married before they are baptized. All in all there should be about four couples there. We wanted to find a way to have these soon to be converts to have a really good relationship with the Branch President. Well, we figured the best way to do that would be to have Branch President teach them about marriage before he marries them. We also had 12 investigators come to church this week. It was great.
A lot of really great stories from this week. I could write about all of them but that would take me all day. I am hoping to some day go through and write down all of these in my journal when I have more time. For now I write as much as I can in my planners so that I can remember them. Among other things I learned how to play two songs on the ukulele, a few words in Marshallese, and how to install a screen door. Pretty useful things I would say. The shining moments of this week would be with Reilly and Angela, Jared and Amy, and John and Madonna. Reilly and Angela are Marshallese recent converts of the Branch. Reilly received the Aaronic Priesthood about 2 months ago and has been passing the sacrament ever since. He expressed to us the desire to bless the sacrament last week. We decided that we would help him prepare. Throughout this past week we have gone over three or four times to help him memorize the prayer on the bread. We recorded us saying it on his phone so that he could practice it in between visits. He steadily improved throughout the week. We told Reilly not to be discouraged if he didn't bless the sacrament that Sunday; that it might take him some time to get it down. Then Sunday came. As Reilly was sitting there waiting for sacrament meeting to start Brother Bundy asked if Reilly would help bless the sacrament. We were in the hallway and came into the chapel to find Reilly sitting at the sacrament table. We were stunned! We went up to talk to Reilly about it. He said that he was really really nervous. We told him that everything would be fine and that he would do a great job. When the time came I was even nervous. Just waiting to hear the blessing on the bread. On Sunday June 3, 2012 I was privileged to hear the most sincere sacrament prayer in my life. I sat in tears as I listened to Reilly sound out, in his humble English, each of the words in the prayer. Those words have never meant more to me than in that moment. Then the tears only increased as the sacrament portion of the meeting ended and Reilly and Angela stood to be sustained by the branch in their first calling as Branch Missionaries. It was amazing.
Jared and Amy are progressing quickly. We had scheduled an appointment with them for this past Saturday. We were on the way to their home, coming from Broken Bow, when we got a call from Sister Durrant (Mission President's wife). My companion answered the phone, "Well hello Sister Durrant, how are you?!" Then a male voice on the other end said, "Hello Elder Sproul, this is Sister Durrant's lesser half." "Oh my goodness, I'm sorry President! How are you today?!" Ha ha ha. President Durrant proceeded to ask us what there was to do in Idabel and Broken Bow. Tourist sites, recreational stuff, etc, etc. After talking for a while he asked us if he and his family could come and visit us sometime. "Sure!" we said, "When would you come up?" "Well, we were thinking Saturday." " you mean today?" "Yeah! Do you have a couple minutes where we could stop and visit you? We're just coming into Idabel ourselves from Broken Bow where are you at?" Ummm...uhh....Ha ha ha. We explained that we had a dinner appointment with some investigators that we were heading to, but that he and his family would be more than welcome to introduce themselves to our investigators. They happily agreed. So my 6'7" Mission President introduced himself and his family to our 5'6" investigators. It was a great meeting. President Durrant asked Amy and Jared, "So have they invited you to be baptized?" Jared replied, "Oh yeah! They talk about it all the time!" Ha ha ha. Amy concurred, "Yes, yes they have...but we have to get married first, right?" There were a couple of funny moments like that through the introduction and then it came time for President and his family to leave. They said there goodbyes and then we proceeded to have a great lesson. That was definitely a first for me. I have never had the Mission President come with me to a lesson. On top of the great lesson that we had they fed us some AMAZING Marshallese BBQ. Woo Dang it was good!
John and Madonna are doing so well. Madonna is remembering all of the things that she was taught when she lived in the Marshall Islands. Her and her husband John have been coming to church for the past month or so. We have been treating the lessons as a refresher course for Madonna and for a start up for John becoming a member. We had invited John to be baptized when he came to know that the things we taught were true the first time that we came over. He said that he would but he did not feel ready to set a date. Ever since then we have invited him to pray about a date that he would like to be baptized. Well, he called us on Saturday telling us that he had some big news. He said that he would tell us when we came over after church for a lesson. The suspense was killing us. We got to the appointment only to wait longer. Madonna hadn't returned home yet and he wanted her to be there when he told us. Finally she comes home and we all get situated. We said, "SOOOOOO......what's the big news?!" He replied, "Oh, I was just wondering what day you all were going to baptize me." Ha ha ha. It was so great. I had the biggest smile across my face. We said, "Well John, it can be any day that you like." He thought about it for a minute or two and said, " How about the first Saturday of July?" Music to a missionary's ears. Sounds beautiful. He then went on to say that he wanted to make a bunch of refreshments for his baptism as well. Well...of course you can make refreshments! He said, "Oh good because we have some people that we want to invite." I have the feeling that this is going to be the start of it all. John and Madonna are the lead singers for the the Marshallese congregation in Broken Bow. The "people" that they want to invite to their baptism are all members of that church as well. I cannot wait for July 8. What a beautiful day it will be.
If anyone has ever wondered if miracles are real, just come and spend a day in Idabel, Oklahoma. Just getting to Idabel is a miracle itself.
Elder McNinch

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