Monday, June 15, 2015

Transfers and Baptism


Sorry I wasn't able to send a real email out last week, our stupid office computers have been on the fritz. I feel like a ton has happened in the last two weeks, I'll try to remember it all!

So transfers is coming up this Thursday. My companion and trainer Elder Durrant will be flying home to Wyoming :( It's the most bitter sweet time ever. I'm gonna miss him a ton, he's taught me a lot! We've had so many good times over the last 3 months, he's a great guy. I am staying here in Owasso and my new companion will be Elder Murdock! He actually just finished training my MTC companion Elder Barton in Bentonville, AK. Poor guy is getting two newbies in a row haha. But I think I've come a long way in the last two transfers! We've come to love the people here so much. The wards feel like home. I'm glad I get to stick around with them a little longer. Everyone keeps telling me that once I'm done with training the mission will fly by even faster. I'm not sure if that's possible honestly.

This last weekend was miraculous and full of blessings! Saturday was Dixie Acord's baptism, and it was beautiful! She wanted the first missionaries who started teaching her, Elders Reynolds and Baxter, to drive out and baptize her. It was a cool reunion for them! She had some family there who were not members and I think it was a great experience for them too. This whole week we have been in finding mode, looking for people who are prepared to be taught. So far we have had essentially no success, but Saturday our prayers were answered. Dixie's boyfriend Michael was at her baptism and it had a major impact on him. He asked us a ton of questions and said he felt so comfortable here. So we taught him a little bit that night and gave him a Book of Mormon. He had read Moroni 10 and texted us about it before we even got home. He's really eager to learn. He came to church with the Acord's on Sunday for Dixie's confirmation and he loved it. We taught him the restoration that night at the Acord's house and he accepted to be baptized. It happens that fast when people are prepared! We are excited to teach him the rest of the lessons and watch him progress. He's 18 and his parents are okay with it, but they made it pretty clear to him that they have a church and don't want us coming to try and convert them. We'll see ;) Haha.

Friday we went on exchanges with the Assistants to the President, Elders Morris and Smith. They are both super cool and really hard working missionaries. Elder Smith and I spent a couple of hours trying to contact some former investigators that had been dropped like a year ago for various reasons. It was funny because he served in this area around the time these people were being taught and knew most of them. But we weren't able to contact the majority of them, either they had moved or didn't want to see us anymore haha. But we did give a Book of Mormon to this pothead named Kefir. I think he might actually read it. It was neat to get to see how Elder Smith does things, I learned a lot from him. Last Moday we went bowling with our little zone and President and Sister Shumway! They said they have never actually done anything fun on a P-day because they are always so busy. So they came and spent a couple of hours with us it was fun! Last weekend was stake conference and it was great. We went to Barttlesville Saturday evening for the adult session and they had all the missionaries sing Hark All Ye Nations. We killed it. That Sunday was the general session and we had a couple of investigators there. The talks were all fantastic. It was held in the Owasso High School auditorium which is gigantic. The school looks like a college campus, its brand spanking new. Wednesday the 3rd was my first real zone conference. It was very spiritual and bitter sweet as well, since it was President Shumway's last. But he gave some fantastic instruction and we heard from Elder Southward who is the area authority. Some ward members fed us all lunch and we had a good time.

I think that is the major highlights from the last two weeks or so. The sad thing is that I had to flip through my planner to find all that out because I didn't remember it at all. The days just mush into one big coagulated memory! It has been getting really really hot this last week. The humidity makes being outside a sweaty nightmare, its horrible! I can barely stand it. We've been getting rain the last two days though, thank the heavens. People say it's only going to get worse too :( At least we have a car with AC, I guess I don't have much room to complain. Saturday we found two giant turtles walking around near our complex, and Elder Durrant jumped down into the dam near the pond to catch a baby bass with his bare hands and toss it back into the water haha! Apparently there are a lot of snapping turtles around here and they are kind of aggressive, which is funny because its a turtle. But I picked him up regardless of the hissing and snapping... because its a turtle. They aren't the most agile fighters haha.

Well, the gospel is super true. Every single evidence points to that fact. Especially the witness of the Spirit. The fruits of the gospel are evident in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. There is not a brighter, more loving group of people in all the earth! If our investigators would just come to church, they would recognize it. Sabbath attendance has been the key between those who progress and are baptized and those who hit a wall and stop learning. If they could just come to church they would see! It's a marvelous privilege to be apart of the hastening of the work in this dispensation. The Lord is hastening it, not us. Miracles are happening all around us as we strive to pave the way for our Savior's glorious return. There is sure lot of work to be done! But I don't think there is a more rewarding work to be involved in.

Till next week!

Elder Hakes​

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