Monday, June 21, 2010

We have a date!

We have been informed by Isaac's mission office that he will be returning home on August 6th - woohoo!

We had stake conference yesterday, and all the speakers, two of whom were Pres. and Sis. Robbins, gave excellent talks! We are trying to help Jeff Even, one of our progressing investigators who was at stake conference, to find more meaning in his reading of the Book of Mormon. He has already gone through it once, but it was mostly just say that he'd read it. This time, we're encouraging him to write down things he learns and impressions that come to him so that he won't think of it as boring. Personally, I would never pick up a book that I didn't think could teach me a thing or two. Other than that, he is actually doing pretty well. He and his uncle, who also happens to be named Jeff, are moving this Friday; we are going to be helping out, as well as the Norwood elders and some ward members. Both Jeff and his uncle have some health problems and injuries that will prevent them from being able to do much more than supervise, so they very much appreciated our willingness to volunteer. There are few things, if any, that break down barriers and open hearts to the gospel quite like selfless service to God's children, regardless of their religious background. 

In other news, we set a new baptismal date with Shawntae and her kids this past week, scheduled for July 31st. Our plan is to review all of the lessons with them so that it will be firmly planted in their minds by the time the 31st rolls around, and that way they are much more likely to be retained once they are baptized. As a whole, they have actually retained quite a bit of what missionaries have taught them, but we felt a refresher course would be appropriate. Michelle has been clean for the past several days, and we had a very spiritual lesson with her yesterday, accompanied by Bro. Eberhardt, who is originally from this area but currently lives in Utah. He is a drug rehab counselor by profession, so it was a perfect opportunity to have him come with us to meet with Michelle. He likewise accompanied us to Shawntae's and Jeff's, both of whom are struggling with smoking. It sure is nice when members can connect with investigators that way! 

We are still struggling to get the Preach My Gospel class started, mostly due to the fact that we haven't had Church the past two weeks, and therefore haven't had the opportunity to talk about it with ward leaders as much. Of course, phone calls are always a safe alternative. I'm confident that it will be successful as soon as we are able to get it going. One activity we've been participating in for the past several weeks has been playing basketball on Wednesday nights with members and non-members. You can imagine I was pretty thrilled when I found out that they were going to start doing it! We have several investigators who are teenage boys, so that will be a good opportunity to introduce them to the Church in a non-formal setting that they feel more comfortable in.  

This Wednesday will be my last interview with Pres. Robbins. Since his time going home is very close to mine, I'm going to treat it sort of like an exit interview. You know, asking for advice and stuff like that. It's going to be weird not having him around, but I already know that Pres. Jensen is the right leader for us, even though I've never met him. He has scheduled zone conferences for the three Cincinnati zones at the beginning of July, and is planning on interviewing each of the missionaries the same day. Yeah, that's a lot! Pres. Robbins said, "He's an animal!" I'm excited to meet him and get to know him for the month that I'll still be around. 

Well, things here in Cincy are still going really great, and the Lord seems to be magnifying my efforts as my service draws to a close. What a gift it has been!! I appreciate, as always, the prayers you offer in my behalf as well as the words of encouragement. Well, I am sitting at our library writing this to you while a HUGE thunderstorm is raging outside. And nope, I didn't think to bring an umbrella with me. Just goes to show you can't predict the weather here! It ought to be a fun walk back to the apartment if it doesn't let up soon. Have a great week and try to stay dry, unlike myself! :)

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