Monday, January 23, 2017

Hey there, 

It's been another super busy week. D was baptized on Saturday and confirmed yesterday. That only took like 18 months. (Speaking of 18 months, I was reminded by Elder Ruth and Elder Christensen, two Elders that came out with me, that yesterday was my 18 month mark!) President Alexander interviewed him on Tuesday night at the mission home and it was pretty apparent he's a repentant man. Last Friday Elder Rasmussen and I went over the baptismal questions with him and he was like "I used to drink to get buzzed" and then he picked up his Book of Mormon and said "this is my buzz now!". Then on Sunday of last week he didn't show up for church and we got pretty concerned and went to see him. Turns out he got really sick, it was kind of a Zeezrom deal where the memory of his sins made him physically ill. So we gave him a blessing and then everything went smooth from there. He and G, his brother who is a member, are moving back to Daytona Beach this week to be with their parents. I'm a little bumed to see them go so quick, but D really wants to share the gospel with his parents now so it could turn out to be a good thing. D moved up here about two years ago to get away from some bad things he was getting involved with in Florida and it seems like his time in North Carolina was just what he needed to turn his life over to God. Now he's going back and all his friends are going to see a huge change in him, and that's what the atonement is all about. Not a change of outward actions but a change of inner character.

We've also been transfer planning this week a bit. Elder Peterson and I go over to President's home where he's got a huge T.V up on the wall that's hooked into his lap top. It used to be done on a white board with magnets, which apparently was a lot of running from the board to the mission president for the assistants, but now it's all done over the internet. It's been an interesting experience hearing President talk about all the missionaries and what we can do to help them succeed. It makes me feel like I need to get to know the missionaries better. 

I also went on exchange to Gastonia. It's a town just west of here. Elder Johnson and I talked a lot about studies. I think that's one of the most valuable skills you can develop on a mission. I hope I don't turn into one of the RMs that gets home and never studies the scriptures. Luckily I've got Elder Hampshire to keep me in check. He and I are going to have a get together every Monday night at BYU and talk about all the deep doctrine we've been feasting on throughout the week. I'll have to hold my ground because he's looking at becoming a CES instructor.

How was Trump's inauguration? There were tons of people watching it on Friday morning while we were trying to find people to teach. They'd all tell us we were missing history and we should find somewhere to watch it. Somehow I feel like we weren't missing much. 

This week will be a lot of transfer planning and preparation for the Zone Conference Trainings we're doing. We'll be focusing a lot on planning skills. 

Alright I'm off to Ming Fu and Urban Outfitters, should be a good P-day!

Love ya!

Elder Earnest

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