Saturday, August 30, 2014

A New Assignment, a Real Investigator, and Only Two Weeks Left


This week was really full, and had many great stories. 

The first one worth sharing is actually a package that my companion got Thursday. We picked it up in the morning, this white, flat package that was about two feet by one. When we opened it that night the first thing we saw was a card and then a gigantic layer of tissue paper. It was from Lofgreen's grandma. We weren't surprised at the card; it was a quintessential wonderful card. What did surprise us is that, when we unpacked the giant layer of tissue paper we found 54 homemade cookies, each individually wrapped in pieces of tissue paper that had been obviously handcut to the size of each individual cookie. ... These things were so well packed that as we unwrapped the cookies to store them, not one of them had even lost a crumb in the shipping process. Apparently this sort of thing is not unusual, because all Elder Lofgreen did was smile and continue unpacking it. :) 

Our district study session yesterday morning was hard. Hard, as in it was really hard to stay awake and focused. Elder Lofgreen and I somehow got talking about Sherlock, Elder Demars (our ZL) was buried in his coat sleeping in the corner of the room, Elder Nisson, Gale, and Larson were debating whether a grizzly bear or a gorilla would win if they fought, while everybody else was studying in another room. Looking up from their "deeply-enriching" discussion, Elder Nisson looked out the window, startled, and said quickly, "President Stewart!!!" Sure enough, we looked up and saw our branch president turning the corner to walk in the room.

Everybody leaped to the nearest book/highlighter/paper/anything that could be construed as productive and feigned intense focus. And just in time. President Stewart walked into the room right as everybody settled back into their chairs. We started casually talking, when he looked at a heap of something on the ground off to the side. Everybody stopped talking as he started walking towards it, as we all realized the same thing:

We forgot to wake up Elder Demars.

President Stewart nudged him four times before he woke up. Turning around, all Elder Demars said was "Amen. What did you need President?" 

Absolute and sheer brilliance. Of course it took everything we had to keep it together and not die laughing until he left, but we managed it somehow. The only thing that President said was, "I'd prefer it if the elders didn't study on the floor." as he winked and walked away. :) 

Yup. Mission work at its finest.

But seriously, this week has had some phenomenally spiritually building experiences. 

Firstly, I am District Leader now, which is really cool. I love all of the elders in my district, and was really excited to have the opportunity to do more to serve them.

Secondly, we picked up a new investigator today who is actually an investigator. She is from Columbia, and speaks very very quickly. Her faith in God is very firm, and she is a very devoted Catholic. She's checking out the church and volunteering as an investigator for the MTC because she is very curious about what's different between Mormonism and Catholicism. The thing is that some of her beliefs don't coincide with the religion she affiliates with, and she is also looking for something that does. Teaching her has been fantastic. Both Elder Lofgreen and I have learned a TON from her, both in the language and the basic tenets of Catholicism (which is great, because we are both headed to Mexico). Our biggest roadblock in the lessons is that her interest in the Church so far has been purely intellectual. Trying to find something we both can build from and that she really latches onto is difficult; like the very discussion itself is made from Teflon. 

I'm so glad we have the chance to work with her and do what we can to help her come closer to Christ. If she makes it she'll be an incredible instrument in His hands. 

I am so happy to be on a mission. Everything that's going on would normally make me feel really discouraged and upset (not knowing the language well, the schedule, sleeping about four hours a night, and just the pure difficulty of our discussions and mission), but not here. It's like pouring water on an oil fire. I'm just feeling better and better as I go! I was reading in Romans yesterday (I have a goal to finish the New Testament before enter the field), Chapter 8, and verse 30-39. This scripture has always had a special place in my heart because it was my Seminary theme my sophomore year. It talks of those who are on God's side having his help and strength. We really can do anything, as long as we are living the life that God wants for us. The best life for us. When we do so, I'm coming to learn that there is nothing, absolutely nothing that we cannot do. The Lord prepares the way for his servants to accomplish that which he has commanded them to do. 
I'm so excited to hit the mission field and have the chance to see how to lean on this simple truth even more. I'm gonna hit the field (well, more like the field's going to hit me :) ) and not know what's going on for the first little while, but I can hardly wait to work with God in learning.

So stoked. About everything. 

That's all I've got time for at the moment... 
I love you all so very much! You're in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for the continual love, prayers, and support. All of them mean the world to me.


Elder Kennington

Elder Gale, one of my favorite people EVER

Elder Lofgreen shining shoes

This is where we do Sunday and Tuesday devotionals with big speakers (the editor assumes Elder K means important people coming to speak, not a reference to their physical stature nor the quality of the sound system)

My District!!
Back row: Elders Wall, Nielsen, Demars, Goff, Andrews, Nisson, Gale, Larson
Front Row: Elders Fjerstad, MEEEE!!!!, Kitchen, and Lofgreen (mi companero)
Owen's hair is even shorter!!

Elder Blackbeard: "Arrrrrr elderrrrrrrrs y herrrrrrrrrmanas"

Elder Lofgreen is beautiful when he sleeps. On Frontrunner to get our Mexican visas

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