So first off my email system has been really messed up today. A lot of people who have been trying to email me have ended up in the Spam and Junk folders. Thanks to everyone for writing me.
Things have been a little frustrating this week. It started off fantastic with one of our investigators, whom I will call "Kyle", had been progressing rapidly. In one lesson we taught him 10 principles which he understood completely. We were overjoyed when he heartily agreed to attend a baptism this past Saturday. (Kyle also has two killer dogs who seem to adore me more than Elder Leavitt. They are super cute killer creatures.)
You can only imagine how devastated we were when not just Kyle, but 3 other progressing investigators didn't show up not only at the baptism, but church as well. Some of them had even texted us asking where the church was so that they wouldn't miss it. It wasn't the best day in the world that's for sure.
This past week has also been trying for us in that we've been mocked, insulted, cussed at, flipped off, and in some cases threatened. I will have to admit it's been pretty scary to the point that even knocking on doors has been slightly nerve wracking. Our patience as well as our endurance and tolerance have been put to the limit and we have been constantly praying for help. One of the funnier cases was when we went to this ice cream place with our Ward Mission Leader and got the dirtiest of looks. Within a few minutes we cleared the room that was full of people just by our presence. I even heard some of the customers say "D*** Mormons." So if you ever want someone to clear out a place, just ask the missionaries. They can help.
Some good things came out of this week however. We discovered a couple new investigators who were in an apartment complex of one of our progressing investigators. One had come outside her apartment and said "Why don't you boys knock on my door?" We answered "Because we've been kicked out of this complex twice for door knocking." She replied "Well that doesn't make sense cause they let in everyone else! Jehovah Witnesses, the people who leave those ads in your screen door, and even salesman. But I guess heaven forbid two white boys talkin' 'bout Jesus!" We will hopefully be seeing this lady this week and according to her she will fight off security if they come and try to take us away.
I've been playing a lot of basketball with other elders in the zone. It's been very fun to get back on the court and according to the other elders, I'm a great shot from beyond the arc. "Quick-trigger" is back in action. Haha.
I've also been playing a lot of musical numbers with Elder Leavitt. We recently started talking with another member from our ward who played with country greats and he agreed to join in on making an album with us in 3 weeks. Be on the lookout for that haha. But actually I am very happy to have a guitar in my hands again.
Spiritual Time! As I've said this week has been brutal. But at the same time I have never been more supported. In some cases I have actually felt angels around me. Here's a good example that I plan on telling my mission president. This past Saturday at the baptism I volunteered to play a little prelude music on piano. So I removed my suit jacket and started playing some easy stuff. When we were about to began I was about to take my seat when Elder Leavitt whispered "What are you doing? You're supposed to be the pianist!" I looked at the list of songs and knew I was in trouble.
The opening hymn was a song I had only heard once or twice and have never played before. Uttering a small prayer, I slowly placed my hands on the keys. I want to point out again that I was not wearing my suit coat and that I was wearing a short sleeved white shirt. No sooner as I had placed my hands on the keys that I felt two hands lightly grab my wrists. I allowed my hands to go where they were prompted and I started playing. I didn't ace the song but I got about 80% correct. It was a miracle. I had never before played an instrument by the spirit and it was something very unique and amazing. When I finished I felt an overwhelming feeling as if to say "Well done." I thought that was pretty cool.
So far I have met a couple families who remember my parents back when they lived in the Nashville 3rd Ward 20 years ago. That ward was at the Haywood Lane building which is the current building in which the Smith Springs Ward is located. It also happens to be my ward.
I have met my mother's former visiting teacher, Estella Clark, her daughter Danielle, who was my first babysitter, Brother Knott, The Lifferths, The Furnells, and the Inschos. It's been a major blessing to be back at the very ward building I was blessed in as a baby. A lot of people have been getting more active by the presence of the new and eager elder and have been giving us referrals. Bishop Foote couldn't be happier with all the baptisms the 3 sets of missionaries have been working on. I expect great things this transfer as approximately 4-5 people have been scheduled for baptism!
Thank you for your prayers and support. I enjoy your letters and emails.