Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Forty-Nineth Letter

December 20, 2010
Dear Family,

This week has been so busy for me and I don't even know where to start. I guess at the beginning! Thanks for the emails by the way. I love hearing from you every week. Last Monday we went bowling again and that was fun. I really am not good at bowling but hey... It's a break from what we usually do. We don't ever use those muscles as missionaries though cause all we do is walk, so we were kind of sore for a few days. haha, but it was fun. That night we were able to meet with Dainus and that was a great lesson. The first thing that he said when he came in was that he wanted to be baptized! That was a shock for us! He told us that he had been with some friends over the weekend and realized that he didn't want that life anymore and wanted to be baptized. He told us that he sees so much happiness in us missionaries and the other members of the church and wanted that along with what he feels every time that he is with us. The spirit. So we set a date with him for the first of January but he wanted to be baptized sooner than that, so we told him we would find out if he could be baptized on Christmas this week and call him later. We called President Dance and asked if he could be baptized in two weeks instead of three and he said that would be ok. Usually we have to wait about three weeks to make sure that people have gotten over all addictions. So I called Dainus the next day and told him that but he told me that he had told his mom that he was going to get baptized and she got really mad and told him that he didn't need to be baptized again and all of this stuff. He is 22, but your parents still have a big influence on you. So, he was having some doubts and we set up a meeting with him for Friday night after we got back from Zone Conference. Elder Graham and I met with him and had the District President come with us because when he was baptized; his family didn't want him to join the church either. It was a really good lesson and I feel that we addressed a lot of his concerns. The spirit was really strong and he is going to pray about baptism. We told him that no matter what we tell him and no matter what his mom tells him, he just needs to pray about it and God will have the right answer. I hope that he will get an answer soon and that he won’t just wait for a long time. He is such a great guy and I have really come to care about him. He has had a really rough life and needs the gospel so much. So, please pray for him. He needs a miracle. On Tuesday I interviewed Justina, the girl that was getting ready for baptism, and that went well. I was really nervous about it and wasn't sure how it was going to go, but I was able to say what I needed to and I felt good about her baptism. I felt that she was ready. So, on Saturday she got baptized, but pretty much everything that could go wrong went wrong and it was really funny. First there wasn't any warm water, so when we started filling the font the water was so cold and we didn't know what to do to get the warm water running. So we just started to boil a ton of water in the kitchen in hopes that it would raise the temperature of the water in the font. But someone got the warm water going right at the last minute like twenty minutes before it started. That was a miracle. And then when Justina went into the bathroom to get into the font, she started crying and the sister missionaries went in there to figure it out and found out that she has an extreme fear of water! You would think she would have said something sooner! But she eventually got in the water but they tried to baptize her over ten times! She would freak out as she was going under the water and wouldn't let them put her under. It didn't help that the guy that was baptizing her was super old and kind of crazy and would yell at her every time she would come up. So the District President changed and got in the water cause he is a lot more gentle and he tried a few times with her and he asked her if she really wanted to do this and she was quiet for a minute and said yes she did and he tried one last time with her and she went under all the way. She later told us that she said a prayer at that moment that she would be able to do it. It shows how much she wanted to be baptized and do the right thing. She overcame her worst fear to do that. It was a crazy day, but it was good. Zone Conference was really good on Thursday and Friday. We talked a lot about planning and how it is a life skill. We also talked a lot about working with members to find people to teach. When President Schwitzer came, he told President Dance that if we would spend as much time working with members as we do with English, the work would take off. What a great promise. This mission has been doing English class for the longest time and no one had ever thought to change it. But President Dance changed it to Saturdays at 1:00 PM. We will be spending a lot more time trying to work with members now and that will be cool. Overall it was a great conference. I learned a lot and am excited to implement the things that I learned. President Dance also told me in my interview that one of the most important things that I can do with the last year of my mission is learn how to follow and recognized and qualify for the spirit more fully. To develop that trait. So, I am excited to work really hard on that this next year. I also got to stay in a hotel which was way sweet. Oh, and we had a kind of Christmas celebration at the end which was fun. We all reenacted the Christmas story of Christ and it was pretty funny. Haha... Well, that is it for my week. I am looking forward to this week and spreading the Christmas cheer. I was really sad to hear that the Provo Tabernacle burned down too! That is so awful! I hope they will rebuild it. I have so many good memories there. Anyways, I can testify of the truthfulness of living a consecrated life with diligence and self mastery. You feel so much better. Oh, I was way happy to hear that BYU won their bowl game. That's a great improvement! Go Cougs! Well, I think that is it from me this week. I hope you can all get in the Christmas spirit this week before Christmas. Remember to love each other and be happy! This is a great time of year to remember our savior and all that He did for us. I love you all so much and can't wait to talk to you on Christmas! Have a great week!

Love, Elder Leishman

341 days down, 389 days to go!