Monday, July 12, 2010

Have I done any good in the world today?

What a great week this was!! We reached almost all of our goals, and overall had 25 lessons for the week! We have been given several new standards to reach as a mission, and they include achieving at least 5 member present lessons per week, which we did and it made a HUGE difference! Shawntae Stone and her kids are on track for July 31st, and we committed Jeff Even to be baptized that same day, and he announced it to the priesthood brethren in Church yesterday! Part of me couldn't have said a week ago that they were sure bets for baptism on that day, but after the great lessons we had with members helping, I have a lot more confidence. Both of them have been unfazed by the adversary's tempations to smoke, and certainly he will keep working on them, but I think they will pass the test! That means 6 baptisms scheduled to take place on July 31st, so could you ask for a better way to close out your mission?! 

There are few things better than being able to see people progress on their own, and I know I've said that in a letter before, but it is so true! When the Spirit touches people and they recognize it, they are so motivated to make changes that you can't help but be as excited as they are!  The ward is definitely gearing up for that, and the program is starting to take shape. I was asked by Jaquell, Shawntae's 8 year old son, to perform his baptism, so that will make the experience that much sweeter. As if it couldn't get any better, I was contacted by Pres. and Sis. Kennedy from Wilmington who are trying to arrange a branch temple trip to Columbus so they can see me before I come home! There are still a few things needing to be worked out, mainly a solid date, but I'm sure I will be able to work something out with Pres. Jensen. I think he would understand, don't you? Luckily, I'll be seeing him tomorrow at Zone Conference and will be able to ask him in person. 

Well, I suppose that Shawntae and Jeff are the big highlights from the week, but really all of the lessons we had were very high quality. I've had plenty of practice with painting as well, as we have been painting Shelley Capell's home one room at a time. It's fun to see the different colors she wanted us to use and also the reaction her kids have when it's done. I think I told you about Shelley, but in case I didn't, she's a single mom of 4 who we found in Price Hill and have teaching steadily since May. Our biggest challenge is getting them to Church, if only because Shelley is already attending one. We'll see what happens, the Lord is in charge. 

Until last week, coordinating rides to Church was difficult because we always needed a big fan for Shawntae's family, and there are only two families that I know of who have them. Well, last week a new member in the ward said he can get an 18-passenger van from work that we can use each Sunday, so we're excited to start doing that. In fact, we were on our way to pick up Shawntae and Jeff yesterday in one of the bishopric's vans, and the emergency brake kept sticking so we had to turn around. Thankfully, we were able to use two cars to go get them all, and actually got them back to the Church on time! Another miracle! 

Lastly, I have funny story that happened the other day. We were visiting with a less-active family, the Higgins, and they gave us both soda pop so we wouldn't get too hot and thirsty, which is tricky not to do in this sticky weather. Well, Elder Kirk doesn't drink soda at all, so of course I got to have his. However, I only finished half of it and then discarded it in the trash. Well, as we were waiting for the bus to come, a bum comes over and starts rooting around in the garbage for something to drink. Yep, you guessed it! He finds my pop and starts guzzling on it with great relief on his face! Guess he was pretty thirsty! When I saw him drinking it, I started singing "Have I Done Any Good in the World Today"? Elder Kirk and I were both laughing pretty hard. Funny stuff happens on a mission, that's for sure! Well anyway, I best be headed off. We're helping the Norwood and University Elders move a member today, but it shouldn't take more than an hour. Thankfully, they have everything boxed up already! Then we're going to play some b-ball at the Church and just take it easy the rest of the day. Well, until 6 that is, then we're right back at the Lord's work! Hope you all have a wonderful, safe, and blessed week!

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