Wednesday, October 24, 2012

July 15, 2012

Hey mom,
Okay, so most weeks I will write my letter to you guys first and then at the end write my letter to the mission president. This week we were cutting someones grass and are really late, so I had to write to him first. So rather than re-type the cool stuff that happened this week that I just wrote to him about, I figured I would just copy and paste it. Hopefully you dont' mind.

In your reply to my letter last week you mentioned that when things seem dark and hopeless is when satan wants us to give up, but if we push through it we will find the light at the end. This week, at least to a small degree, has illustrated that point.
I would like to talk about two main events that occured this week.
First, about two weeks ago we met a lady by-the-way contacting. She had met Elders before and had them over before, but told us to come by sometime and told us her address. This week we were finally able to catch up with her. We saw her saturday night, and we were able to leave her a POS pamphlet and set an appointment for sunday evening. A few hours later, we got a text from her asking some very good questions about the POS, mainly the Fall and Adam and Eve. We replied back that we would talk about everything tommorow. So yesterday we went back and had our lesson. She has met Jehovahs Witnesses before, but she said the things they taught filled her with fear and doubt. She said that as we talked about the POS, all of her questions were answered. Everything just made sense, and as we talked about what the Holy Ghost felt like she quietly said that she had felt it as we had talked. We asked her if she would pray after we left to know if what we have taught is true. She said she had prayed before we got there for God to show her if what we would teach was true, and she said that her prayer had been answered and she believed everything that we taught her was true. She said she felt peace and understanding. She is going to come to church Sunday. We are seeing her Wednesday morning and will commit her to a baptism date then. This was an amazing experience. After a hard week, to finish on a spiritual high like that was amazing. Elder Erickson is really fired up to teach, so I let him take the lead in this one. I just kept things focused and clear. But what an experience for him, to be able to hear that the things he had just taught had allowed someone to feel the Holy Ghost. I am sure that this has boosted his confidence, which is exactly what he needed.
Secondly, we met a lady knocking last week. She told us to come back. We did, and were able to teach her this week. Turns out she is good friends with Holly, the recently baptized member in this ward. And also used to work with Shirley, a long-time member of our ward. She had religion forced on her by her parents as a kid, but still believes in God and an afterlife. She just is disillusioned with the churches that she has seen. But she has a good impression of us, Holly told her a little about us and about our church. We called her to confirm our teach for this morning (that is why this email is so late). Turns out her grandfather died a couple of days ago. She said she had some things to take care of with the funeral. So I offered to help her, we had noticed last time her garden was very untidy and overgrown, so I asked if it would help if we would strim and cut the lawn for her. She accepted, and was so grateful for the help. It must not have been cut for 3 months, it was a like a jungle and took us a long time. She had to leave after and hour, but left us with the house keys and asked us to lock up as we left and put the keys back through the mail slot. So I feel we are gaining her trust. We are going to teach her soon, but there is so much potential there. I really do just feel that she has been prepared.
So for almost 3 weeks filled of finding, that is mostly what we have to show for it. Hopefully more will come.

So ya, it has been a really good week. Those two ladies, Ursula and Emma, are going to be great. And it is nice for Elder Erickson to start to get some teaching experience instead of just finding experience.
So we got him a new bike on Saturday. He bought a new one last Saturday, but it was a really crappy cheap one and it broke on Tuesday. He tried to talk to the people at the store to get his money back but they just told him to call this careline and have them sort it out. He called the careline and they were just being difficult and we just wanted our money back from the broken bike but no one would give it to us. So we went back to the store on Saturday and I talked with them, I got to the store manager and he gave us a full refund in cash which was really nice. So we were able to use this money and go to a real bike shop and we got Elder Erickson this really posh new bike. It is beautiful, and it was like 230 pounds but the store owner cut it down to 200. So far it has been great. He is a lot faster now. I would be waiting for him non-stop when he had the crap bike. I still have to wait a lot, but he is getting a bit faster. He is actually really sick right now. I did something I probably shouldn't have... on Saturday after we got his bike I was really excited. We were getting behind on following up on our potential investigators because on foot we just can't get to them all. So as soon as we got the bike, we just went non-stop. At the end of the day I calculated it, and we had biked 26.5 miles. He was walking up the hills and really pale, but I didn't realize we had a problem until he said he was feeling really light-headed as we were biking home. So I pushed him way to hard that day. He was sick sunday but he had to give a talk and we had stuff to do so we just worked through it. Today we have already knocked for a couple of hours and mowed someones lawn. He is like dead. He might need to take it easy for a while. He said he has never been this exhausted, I think I had forgotten the physical and mental toll that this work takes on someone who isn't yet accustomed to it.
But all that talk a few months ago about me gaining weight is history. I am dropping pounds like crazy. I started my mission at 130. I got up to 160  at the end of my time in Slough. But now I am down to around 145. I think this is a good weight for me. I feel like I could do a killer bike time in a triathalon right now.

Okay so, I get that you really want me to be obedient. But I am not going crazy and breaking rules or anything. I don't really know why I was allowed to go fishing on the ocean, the AP's just said we could. Maybe I'm too good of friends with them. And then for the emailing friends thing... Most missions are like that, where you can only email family. But in this mission, we are allowed to email whoever we want. That was president Shamo's rule, and President Millar came in and said that as long as you aren't being distracted by it, you can write to who you want. So don't worry about me... I don't always live by the white handbook but I'm not going out of my way to break mission rules.
For the most part, we really haven't felt any effect of the new mission president. We really are just totally doing our own thing over here. We actually just got a new senior couple out here, but they are really weird and aren't doing anything. We found them a house to live in at least.
I will write Hayden a letter today. I have been meaning to for a long time, he sent me a letter when he was in the MTC and I haven't got around to replying because he didnt give me an address in the Halifax mission I could send it to, so I just looked up the mission office there today and I will send a letter.
Thanks for the Thomas S. Monson quote.
Love Elder Steed

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