Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Hello from....

El Paso, Texas still. Ha, ha, but I think that I told you all that I was staying here. I just moved to another part of the city. It's a bit of a bummer to not cover the whole world anymore but what can you do? It's been a little bit of an adjustment to get used to teaching families again but I like it. We have a lot of recent converts here, more than I've ever had in a ward that I've worked with before so that is kind of cool.
 Mostly what we've done this week is get ready for the baptism that we have this Saturday. Her name is Felicity and she is 16. She's really cool and like family history a lot. I'm not entirely sure how she found the church but she showed up at church one day and said that she had been reading the Book of Mormon, knew that it was true, and wanted to get baptized! That certainly doesn't happen every day! She's a really good student as well.
 Unfortunately after Felicity gets baptized though we'll be back to square one with investigators. Ha, they all got themselves baptized before I got here. So we'll have a lot of finding to do in the near future. I have a feeling though that this transfer is going to go quickly, it just seems like there is going to be a lot going on.
 My new companion like I think I told you is Sister McKendrick, Sister Bowen's first trainer. She's from Logan, Utah and lives on a legitimate ranch. Like her parents are ranchers and her dad specializes in horse shoeing. So it's pretty cool. Ha, whenever people ask about us though I'm just like  "Yeah... I study advertising. I would love to work in an office all day doing creative design and copy writing." But, hey, what can I say that's what I want to do.
 So you know how UTEP was military and students? Here it's military families. Like 90% military and 10% people from El Paso. So there's a pretty heavy influence. People say things here like "Roger" and "10/4" and "Dinner is at 17:30" so it's cool. It's interesting how the families are similar to the single military people but also different.
 So yeah, not a lot going on this week so far, sorry to be boring but I promise interesting things will hopefully come around soon. We've had some cool experiences though with being in the right place at the right time. Yesterday we were walking down the street and a couple in a truck pulled over and the guy says "Hey! Are you Mormon?" and we said yes, so he said "So and I! I just got home from Afghanistan today! Want to come to our house for dinner next week?" so that was pretty cool.
 The other family we have been working with a lot recently is an excommunicated member of our ward who is getting re-baptized next week. It's been a really cool experience actually and seeing him talk about his experiences and how badly he wants to be a member again (you have to get a lot of different approval to be re-baptized) and how excited he was when he finally got the good news had had me thinking about the joys of the gospel and the blessings of having the Holy Ghost with us. The member reminds me of the embodiment of 1 Nephi 8: 10-12. I know usually when people talk about those verses they talk about sharing, which is good and important of course, but I have been thinking about the gospel being "most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted." A lot of times, when we have a spiritual experience not only is it sweet, but it is just a taste. We want more and more of it! A few weeks ago Sister Bowen was obsessed with the Tree of Life in Nephi and The Tree of Life in Genesis and if they were the same. Well, I had never thought about it before, but we found a scripture that make it seem like that was the case. Lehi's tree of life was a representation of the literal one in Genesis. The one that allows us to live with God again. So here on earth, we have these tastes, these little experiences that help us and guide us to the literal tree of life. Exaltation, immortality and eternal life forever with God. To help us remember what we want and to one day have the happiness we feel from the Holy Ghost forever. Anyway, thinking of them together was interesting. So, I don't know if these crazy ramblings made any sense but, hopefully so!
 Anyway, I'm happy summer is almost over so it won't be in the 100's anymore and I think we all know fall is the best season anyway! Happy back to school everyone!

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