So I got an email from my mom saying they have to tell people "as far as we know he's doing great." I guess I need to lengthen out my emails a bit.
I really am doing well. I love being a missionary. It's hard, often we have long stretches with little success but there are so many little miracles that make it worth it.
So a little more about my companion. His name is Elder Yates, he's from Oregon and lives on mount hood. He is very service oriented and is always looking to do stuff for people. We ended up busting concrete and then pouring new concrete foundation on Saturday for a deck that one of our investigators is building. We do a good job together in lessons because we both know our stuff and are seeking to follow the spirit. It's fun too because he might play college basketball when he gets home (I can still beat him 1 on 1 though).
As for the work it was a good week and a hard week. We had one of our best days in a long time on Friday. We were in homes teaching with members almost all day and those lessons each felt like they really helped our investigators feel the spirit and see the things they can do to progress.
It started off with our investigator that is progressing the fastest. His name is Roland and he's about 70 years old. He referred himself to the missionaries by calling the mission home and asking for a large Book of Mormon. When we dropped it off to him he asked, "is there any way you could come back and explain the church a bit more to me?" Naturally we got super excited and when we came back four days later he apologized for only reading 10 chapters! (We normally struggle to get people to read a full chapter in a week.) "I'm really just trying to take it slow and soak it all in" he said. So we explained the restoration to him and asked if he would be baptized and he looked at us and said "of course." He explained that his wife died and he's lonely so he really wants to have a place for fellowship and something that will inspire him so that's why he asked for the Book of Mormon because he knew so many Mormons through the years that seemed so happy. He keeps saying "if only I had this 40 years ago."
He's definitely an example of someone that has been prepared by people that have been planting seeds. When we explained the priesthood to him he said "yeah, you have melchizedek and aaronic right?" and we asked him how he knew that and explained that he worked with a Mormon once that he was driving home from the airport and explained it to him. He said "yeah, people said he would go far, his name was Monson, have you heard of him?" and we said "Thomas?" and he said, "yeah, did he end up becoming president or anything?" We're pretty sure he's already a member and is just messing with us at this point.
It's super inspiring to work with him. It shows me that the Lord is preparing people all over the place and we just need to find them. We biked past his place ten times before we got that referral from Headquarters and all that time he was waiting there being prepared. He's going to set a date for early December so hopefully I'll still be around for that, not that I'd complain if my visa came in but I really love this man. He has some back issues and so originally when we talked about when he would be baptized he said "you gotta be patient with me, I'll do it but I want my back to be well for it. So how's... sayy... March?" Ahhh, I'm sure glad he's healed well since the blessing we gave him and he feels good enough to do it sooner.
Well that's been the big miracle from this area. There's been little ones too though. Of course it feels like a small miracle any time someone invites us back. We just met a kid my age that plays basketball and believes in God but doesn't go to church and we really felt the spirit when we talked with him and as I encouraged him to read the Book of Mormon. We're going back on Wednesday so we'll see how that turns out next week.
I wish I could write about all of the people we're teaching but I can't. Here's one more though before my companion drags me away to go get our p-day stuff done. His name is Emilio and we're teaching his whole family. He really knows how important God will be in his life as he raises his kids. The cool part is that when we stopped by the first time after he said we could come by some time he told us about a dream he had the night before where we were riding our bikes in the rain and there was a light around us and we were completely dry while all the elements were clashing around us. He's been really good about having his kids join the discussion and hopefully they're coming to church next week.
I'm having a good time, I love sharing this message, I'm getting better at staying on my bike, and I love you all.
Que perseverem ate o fim,