I'm turnin' country out here people. And I love it! This is my favorite area so far, for a bunch of reasons. This last week flew by so fast, it's ridiculous. We were so busy and had so many awesome lessons and met some really cool and funny and sincere people. I don't have a ton of time left but I want to tell you about some of the people we are teaching! To preface this, literally everyone in Cleveland smokes. Okay, not literally. But if I had to count all the people who don't smoke it wouldn't be very hard haha. Last night we did the "stop smoking workshop" with an awesome guy named Jeff and his son Peyton. Peyton is 22 and a member, but his dad Jeff never joined the church. Jeff's been coming to church and he's read the Book of Mormon twice and really is just enjoying all that the gospel has to offer him right now. So let's get this guy some healthy lungs and gett'im dunked! The workshop we teach was developed by an RM awhile ago and it follows 15 pretty basic steps, like brushing teeth and using mouthwash and taking tons of vitamin C and kicking the nasty habit! If followed 100%, the smoker will lose the urge to smoke in 7 days guaranteed. It's pretty cool. We taught it to Jeff and Peyton and they are geared and ready to quit this week! I'm pumped for Jeff to be baptized, its going to be awesome. Saturday we went to the temple with the relief society. We had 2 recent converts there doing baptisms for the first time, and we even had 3 investigators go just to check it out and see what it's all about! Sarah and David Ballard are investigators who's 15 year old son was baptized about a month ago, but they have had to wait because they aren't married yet. He is waiting on finallized divorce papers from his exwife before they can tie the knot. But as soon as that happens (which sounds like it should be this week) they are going to literally drive across the border to Arkansas and get married that day. (I guess there is a 6 month waiting period to get married in OK after you are divorced). They are awesome and their conversion and welcoming into the ward family has shaped their lives in a big way. We eagerly anticipate their baptisms as well. We found a new investigator named Sandra per a referral from our stud Bishop Southward. She is living with a less active member in her trailer and we went out and taught her. She already believed in a pre-mortal existence and loved everything we told her. So much, in fact, that she brought her 29 year old son Matt with her to church on Sunday! We invited him to gospel principles which we were teaching 2nd hour, but he said he would feel more comfortable with a 1 on 1 lesson. We were like "heck ya we can do that" and we met him and his mom in the park after church and taught them the Restoration while sitting on a merry-go-round because it was in the shade hahaha. It was one of my favorite lessons ever. Turns out he is super ready for the gospel and looking to invite God into his life and loved our lesson. He was excited! I love teaching people who are looking for the gospel. I honestly don't think there is anything better. I am out of time, but I wish I wasn't. Halloween was the day we were at the temple, then afterward we helped a guy move and went home at about 8 and basically slept because we were pooped. We were supposed to be in by 6 that night (mission rule) but we were engaged in a good cause, so don't tell anyone. ;) #rebels. This place has such a small town friendly feel, its way awesome. This Wednesday I am going on exchanges in my first area, Owasso! And I will be interviewing Johhny Atkison for his baptism on Saturday WOOOO!! I can't wait to see him and Marla (whom we baptized while I was there) again. Incredibly Blessed and Highly Favored. Till next week from the land of milk and honey and cigarettes.
Elder T. Hakes