Monday, March 23, 2015

2 Weeks into 1 email

A lot has happened in the past two weeks and I'm going to try and fit it all in. I must admit my emails have become a journal of sorts but I've been doing better at writing every day in my paper journal.

Two Wednesdays ago was our zone training. I conducted and did my training first. I spoke about consecration and obedience as well as remembering Jesus Christ. At first I was disappointed I didn't get to train on the area book and planning, but my segment turned out really well. I practically put together a bunch of things I've learned from past leaders, and I used a cool handout I got from my great-grandfather Elder Patterson. 

I love talking with everyone. It's something I didn't understand when I was a young missionary and I disliked doing it. Now I don't think there's anything better than striking up a conversation with someone I come across. Two weeks ago we were out doorknocking and we saw three girls walking in the middle of the road/parking lot and I felt like we needed to stop them. I kind of startled them by yelling a "Hey" to get their attention. After exchanging pleasantries we found out that one of them was a former investigator who had previously gone to the KUB for 6 months. While we talked about the church she chimed in to share her experience and testimony of the Book of Mormon and other principles of the gospel. It was a very interesting experience that could have been passed up if we were too nervous to walk up to them and say hello. 

The rest of that week was spring break, so proselyting was a little slower. We also got assigned to clean out an old apartment which was pretty time-consuming. Despite little time working in our area we still found 5 new investigators. We're now teaching one of the WMU football players, Andre (we also found him by going out of our way to talk to him in the parking lot). We also got called up out of nowhere by a member's friend who was previously too busy to learn from us. He called us during break and said he had nothing better to do so we went and taught him. Turns out he loved the Restoration and is progressing well. 

THIS week was pretty nice. Since we didn't have p-day Monday we proselyted instead. We picked up a former named Cody as well as his friend from Grand Rapids. 
On Tuesday we did a lot of finding since our usual appointments fell through. We pc-ed into a music major who sat down with us right away. We taught him a super shaky plan of salvation but surprisingly he wanted to meet again. He loved the Restoration and wants to get involved with the church. He shows lots of potential so we're excited for him. We also followed up with Sujith Dudekula, a student from India we doorknocked into. 
On Wednesday we did trade-offs with Sturgis and I was on campus with Elder Pace. We had a full teaching day, and we also found two new investigators that dropped us the next lesson. They were kind of into the "Holy Roller" thing so we were probably too low-key for their taste. 
On Thursday we had interviews with the President and trade-offs with Battle Creek. I was with Elder Stewart, my former companion's trainee. We had too much fun for the days we were together. He is super funny and could make me laugh pretty much at any point. We also taught a bunch of great people, including Yvonne Jones. She's an older lady that's been investigating for years. She remembers all of the missionaries that ever taught her and she loves the Elders. She even told me about how Elder Reheis promised he'd take her on a plane ride one day. 
Saturday, all of our appointments fell through and we went to the tail end of the YSA conference at the KUB. We helped prepare food and eat it as well before the fireside. We then got to see the Lamb of God. 

EVERYONE. If you haven't heard it, you should. Listen to the soundtrack. It's the most beautiful thing ever. I pretty much know that I want to be a musician when I grow up because of Kalamazoo's performance of the Lamb of God. 

Sunday was stake conference, and Elder Cook of the Quorum of the 12 came to Kalamazoo! It was the best thing ever. I had to trample some old ladies but I got to shake his hand. What an action-packed weekend. 

OK, sorry for longest email to date but that's pretty much my life for the past two weeks.

Here's some other news though; we've fallen out of contact with Alex. He was ready to go but something must have happened during break. We warned him of opposition/anti to the extreme and kept in contact with him throughout break but he hasn't responded for over a week now to any of our calls or texts. All prayers would be much appreciated! WMU has been one of the best but hardest roller-coasters of my mission. I've been privileged to teach so many prepared individuals that seem to fall to the wayside just before they're about to make it. It's one of my greatest weaknesses, but I am coming to understand the role of agency in the Plan of Salvation. 

On a positive note, I know God lives and His plan is perfect. At the end of the day, we have the gospel of Jesus Christ. All of the miracles and joys of bringing others into the gospel is just icing on the cake after that. I love Jesus and I can't adequately describe my gratitude for His eternal, atoning sacrifice. I think I understand better after hearing the Lamb of God in person, though.

Love you all! Stay strong and do what is right. 

-Elder Kent Schmutz

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