Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Missionary work in the Bible belt

This was my first full week on the bikes. Not my favorite mode of transportation, but whatevs. Since we were on the bikes we didn't get to teach as many lessons as hoped for, but we had a couple of really good ones. We had the chance to teach an investigator about the gospel of Jesus Christ in a members home and also had the ward's former bishop, Bishop Mullins, come teach our progressing investigator, Josh, who's on date for baptism in a few weeks. The quality of lessons is more important than the quantity. Speaking of which, Mattie was asking if we have many investigators and if it's hard to find people to teach. Finding people to teach is literally so easy, finding people that are ready to accept the message is not so easy. I can literally walk down the skreet (that's how it's pronounced here) and every other house will have people sitting on the front porch. All I have to do is walk up to them and ask if they believe in Jesus Christ and I'm pretty much guaranteed a thirty minute lesson with them, in which we can teach and most likely be taught. People here are so religious and absolutely LOVE Jesus. Just not all of them are ready for the fullness of the Gospel. 

In other news, my banjo playing skills have won the heart of our high priest group leader.  He had us over for dinner the other day and let me play his guitar. He's in a bluegrass band and plays just about every bluegrass instrument. He also really likes the Civil War and watches Turn so we had a lot to talk about. That Civil War class I took last fall has really come into good use here. 

I'm not really sure what else to tell y'all about my week here. It's been fairly slow but it's still been pretty fun. Even when there's not much fun going on, we just make it fun. I'm sad I missed the first football game of the season! I feel like I should be in school right now, it's weird. 

One other thought. I've realized pretty quick that if you're going to be a Christian missionary in the Bible belt, you need to know the Bible REALLY well. So I've been really diving into the New Testament and I love it. Such good scripture in there! 

Hope all is well back home. Did y'all get the letters I sent you? I'm super jealous of Mattie and Lauren's new seminary teacher! (Side note:  Included for Leah Wilcox's benefit!)

Anyways let me know if there's anything else y'all want to know about what's going on here! I wish I could email each of you individually, but that's why I've been writing letters in my free time. I love y'all!

Elder Earnest

Also, an excerpt from Elder Earnest's letter to his Dad:

I think my new favorite talk is Elder Holland's High Priest of Good Things to Come. Since you sent it to me I've listened to it two or three times and read over it a couple more. Something I'm starting to realize, mostly from reading Jesus the Christ, is that Jesus was a man just like us. Obviously He was much much greater than us, but He had a mortal, human side and still felt the same trials and temptations we do. For a long time I seemed to think it was easy for Him just because He was Christ, but it wasn't until a few days ago I really started to grasp the fact that He truly was human, and that's what made Him so great. I'm sure most people already understand this, but I just marvel at the fact that His physical human state was the same as mine and it would have been just as easy for Him to sin as it is for me. I'm having trouble putting it into words, but what I'm getting at is my appreciation and absolute awe for the Savior has increased tenfold. Jesus the Christ is my favorite thing to read right now because it's teaching me so many things I never realized. 

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