Saturday, October 3, 2015

My Last Area!

Elder Bailey and Me
View from our dinner appointment

Hey everyone!!

So this week was pretty sweet! We got transfer calls and Elder Bailey and I will be staying together for the next 6 weeks, which is the final transfer of my mission. Wow that's crazy. Still kind of hard to believe! But I will finish here in Elmira. Which I'm happy about. Elder Summers will stay here, and Elder Morgan will join him. Elder Deka is headed up to Potsdam. Sister Gass is staying here in Horseheads, and will be joined by Sister Hansen who goes home with me. But on to this week. The work is continuing to go really well. Elder Bailey and I are continuing to see miracles. We were able to pick up 2 new investigators that were both member referrals! One of them was Suzie, the Reeders friend. We had dinner with her, the Reeders, and the Farnsworths. We shared a quick message about general conference and talked a little bit about modern day prophets and apostles. The Reeders and Farnsworths all shared their conversion stories with Suzie as well. Which was sweet! She is taking care of some personal things and we were scheduled to meet with her again not this week but the next, but Sister Reeder is worried that it was too much of a push and is going to call her up and see if we can meet with her again. Hopefully she will. The other investigator that we picked up was Rachel! She is sweet and very prepared. We got a phone call from sister workman, a member who lives in Arizona but grew up here. She called her sister, Sister Magee (who is in our ward), for our phone number and let us know she has a friend who is looking for a church. We have been over twice and both times it has gone really well. Elder Baily and I feel that she will accept a baptismal date soon. She didn't come to church because she had a really bad headache, but she called us in advance to let us know she couldn't make it. Which shows that she is dependable. A lot of people just don't show up. We also brought sister hultz and her son Jack over to one of the lessons. Sister Hultz is a convert who really related well to Rachel. It was awesome. Rachel prayed about the restoration and the end of the lesson, and the spirit was really strong. Elder Bailey and I are stoked to keep working with her. Sister Hultz conversion story is pretty sweet to. She says that he Holy Ghost whispered to her certain things to look for in a church. When she found that none of the churches had all the requirements, she thought she should start her own church. Then she got the whisper from the spirit that she didn't have the authority and that was the last thing she needed to find in the church. And now she's a member of our church. Haha. Sharleen, Ashley, Alyssa, and Mackenzie are all doing pretty well to. Ashley and Alyssa came to church yesterday and really enjoyed it! They have us over for a quick half hour everyday. They are really progressing in the gospel and are totally going to get baptized. We also had a sweet experience that did make me chuckle a little bit with them. But first, here is a little background for this story. A few weeks ago, Sharleen referred us to a minister that lived across the street from her. So we went and knocked on her door, and she seemed open at first, but when she asked us if women could be pastors in our church, and we explained that men and women have different roles. She didn't like that. She said she knew God had called her, and she had gotten her pastoral degree online to prove it. (That's the background). Yesterday, Elder Bailey and I were reviewing the priesthood authority with them. And this minister comes up and says "So you all are getting baptized? That is wonderful. Praise the Lord." She acted all excited and very happy that they were making that step. When she left, Sharleen looked at Elder Bailey and me and said something along these lines. "Yeah, she has come over before and tried to get us to be baptized before quite a bit. But she isn't living how she should be and isn't working for God." Or something like that. That was a good chuckle and feeling of satisfaction right there. We got them to commit to baptism when she had been trying to, haha. But hey, the spirit and the truth works wonders right? Sister Bailey and April, two less-actives we are working with, both came to church this week as well! It was sweet! Unfortunately, a lot of our other investigators we are going to have to have the "do or die" lesson and see if they are willing to start keeping commitments, or we are going to have to drop them. It's sad because we have had some really spiritual experiences with people like Jessica, Nakia, and others, but they aren't willing to make it a priority. Which is really sad. But everyone has agency. Some others have a desire to do what's right, but just don't do it. Oh well. We also went with Elder summers and Deka and Brother Houghton up to Ithaca this week for a feed my starving children service project where we bagged food for people in poverty. Brother Houghton is a pretty funny guy though. Man one thing that will be fun at home is I'll be able to share experiences with you in person on my mission from my journal. A lot of funny things happen in Upstate New York! I'm stoked for general conference too! I love seeking revelation and inspiration from the prophets and apostles by going in with questions I have. I've really come to love conference from my mission. It's a great time to feel the spirit and seek inspiration and revelation. Can't believe It's already my last conference on the mission either! Crazy! Love you all and have a great week!

Elder Tyler Richins

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