Tuesday, July 17, 2012

July 16, 2012 Letter

Okay...well first...mom. So in the branch that I am in there is a Bundy family. No, I don't think that they are related to ted. Anyways...he grew up close to Datona. I told him that you were born in Deland and he got all excited saying that they used to do stake activities and stuff with youth from Deland...so I don't know if you knew him or not, but his name is Heath Bundy. He is the first councilor in the Branch Presidency here. His relatives that live in Florida are Tuckers, Heatons, Boyds (Mike and Matt), and Bundy's. Let me know if you know any of them and I will be sure to inform him of yet another crazy connection in my mission areas.

This week was really cool. We were trying really hard to get everything prepared for these next two weeks. We have 8 people getting ready to be baptized on the 28th of July, so there is a lot that we have to do to help them. That includes getting three couples married. Good news though...they all want to get married! Ah! I love when that happens! Good news number two, they are getting their marriage licenses on Friday and all getting married Sunday. So all this past week we have been reviewing all of the baptismal interview questions and making sure that there isn't anything that that would stand in the way of them being baptized on that day. I could go through and tell you about all the lessons that we had this week with all of those people, but that would take a really long time and they were mostly review lessons anyway. Spiritual, yes. Funny stories, maybe a few; but not as funny or spiritual as the things that I will write about now.
On Tuesday night we went on exchange with some Elders in our district. I was with Elder Latham. He is an amazing Elder. He speaks Spanish as his mission language, so when we started the exchange he said, "So is Marshallese like Spanish at all?" I just kind of laughed and said, "I don't know, let me know what you think after our first lesson." We went and taught our dear friend Walter and his wife the Gospel of Jesus Christ. After the lesson we were heading back to the truck and Elder Latham said, "Elder...that was nothing like Spanish." Ha ha ha. After that lesson we went to go teach a man named Mr. Guthrie. Mr. Guthrie is a little bit different than most folks. He has a sincere desire to learn, but his desire to learn isn't in any particular direction. We decided to start with some "middle ground" and teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, something that he might recognize or agree with from the start. We decided to teach the mouse trap lesson about faith first. In the beginning we set the mouse trap and then ask, "Now, it would probably hurt a lot to get you fingers caught in this trap wouldn't it?" Then, at the end of the lesson the person is asked to test their faith by touching a set mouse trap. Well, after I asked the question in the beginning I was of course expecting the common "yes" answer that I have received by every person that I have ever taught this lesson to on my mission; But remember what I said about Mr. Guthrie. Just a little bit different. So I ask, "Now, it would probably hurt a lot to get you fingers caught in this trap wouldn't it?" Then, Mr. Guthrie says, "Ahh nahh, that wouldn't hurt a bit, watch." as he proceeded to stick his fingers in the mouse trap. The mouse trap did it's job, slammed right down on his hand, but all was well with Mr. Guthrie. So essentially our lesson was ruined and we related it to the Gospel some other way.
On Thursday we moved back in with the McDonald's. So never fear mom, I am not sleeping on an air matress anymore. We also made ready for the baptism of John Jacklick. We went to his house and walked him through the baptismal service. It was really fun. I love that family, but I will talk more about them later.
Friday we got called by one of our investigators requesting that we come over and teach a lesson because they couldn't wait for our scheduled appointment. I love those kind of calls. I don't think that that has ever happened to me before in the mission. It ended up working out perfectly because we had a less active member who just "happened" to be at their house when we showed up too. Anyways...that lesson went really well. We did find out that they are moving to Valliant, OK so that means that we will definitely be getting rides to each of our lessons with them. Before we had that miracle call lesson, we had a lesson with one of my favorite people in this area. His name is Darren. We found Darren at a McDonald's when we stopped for lunch. Well, of a truth, Darren found us. He is great man, with a deep southern accent. He was telling us a story about his father and he started his story like this, "My dad is a great man. He is a retard police officer..." I sat thinking to myself, "Did he really just call his dad a retard police officer?" It took me a while, but from the context of the conversation I figured out that he was saying "retired" not "retard", and that it was just his super thick accent that I couldn't interpret.
Saturday was amazing. We have been helping John get prepared for his baptisms for about 2 months now. Finally, on Saturday July 14, 2012 John Jacklick was baptized. The baptism went really smoothly. Talks were given, songs were sung, and then he was baptized. My companion relayed to me what happened we he and John went to change. He said that John sat on the little bench in the restroom stall, and just cried for a couple of minutes. He felt so happy to be clean. After they changed he came back into the service. John had asked earlier if he could bear his testimony at the baptism. Well, he came back and it was his time to shine. Only, our translator had left the building. He speaks good English, but is much more comfortable with a translator. While we had a member locate the translator he just stood at the front of the room silently. Then his little 2 year old boy came running up to him and latched himself to his leg, giving him an extra tight hug. He picked up his son and held him close. His eyes filled with tears as his little boy rested his head on his shoulder. In that moment it seemed as though the world stopped. No music, no talks, no kids screaming, just John and his boy. It was so awesome. Greatest moment of the week by far. John then bore his testimony about how he knew that someday he and his family would be together forever. This is the best work ever. Love you all.
Elder McNinch

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