Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Family, packages/letters, saved me from destitution!

Thanks for all the letters and packages that have been coming in lately, the package from Grandma and Grandpa Nebeker really saved me. It turns out that I actually needed to stretch my $140 over 5 and not 4 weeks and so I've got $12 for 7 days of breakfasts and lunches. I'm never far from members and have my debit card from home, but still I'd rather learn to budget and get by on my own funds. I'm sending letters today or tomorrow (sorry Dad I'm not going to try to get one to Ukraine).

Sister Cole, Broberg and Haaws had dinner with the Burts last night in Boise 2. They just moved in and they're right next to the capital. Elder Pulsipher and his companion had dinner with the Miller's in Boise South 3. Pretty cool, hope I run into someone by accident some time (it takes permission from President to plan it).

We had leadership training meetings and exchanges all throughout this last week, our numbers have been terrible. I was cool though, because I was able to go with Elder Nicholls one of the AP's and Elder Altorfer (11 months out) for one day. Elder Nicholls is from Zimbabwe, strange because only .3% of people there are Caucasian. It was cool to see him talk with two Africans from Sudan and one was from Guinea. Moses from Guinea asked if he could go to church even without us speaking about the gospel. That just blew us away, normally it takes so much more effort to get people to come to church (at least without members).

Me and Elder Dearborn are doing much better, he got food poisoning on Friday and he's been suffering since then. Things aren't perfect but the exchanges helped and we're back up and running.

We taught a really awesome Gospel Essentials class and we were able to teach The Restoration using members to teach and testify. It's so cool to help people teach themselves by the Spirit. I've learned that when you're prepared and have a plan even if you have to deviate from it, you are or will be ready. Notice that two of Nephi's plans fell through before he was able to get the brass plates (Old Testament) from Laban.

Having members bear their testimony is one of the coolest things. Often there's nothing I can say wearing a name badge that will resolve others' concerns. From the MTC one of my teachers' investigators felt overwhelmed with the covenants that baptism entailed. A member from Hawaii was there for a day and went with the missionaries to him and shared an experience that completely resolved his concern. Only that member could've helped him get baptized. The missionaries were powerless to say or do anything to help him progress towards baptism.

Missionary work here in Idaho and Utah is so different than from other places in the world because of the density of members. Everyone is very, very familiar with the Church and, this is where there's often nothing I can say, only members therefore can gain their trust. I can go out, meet and follow-up with people, but knowing other missionaries' experience all I can do alone is plant seeds for others to harvest. I can place so much evidence before people of how I know the Gospel is true/whatever principle I'm teaching and it often won't have any effect. My companion is pretty sure the girlfriend of that less active will probably be baptized, despite just starting to take the lessons she has her boyfriend who is coming back to Church and has that support that's needed to repent, get a testimony and join the Church.

Overall things are going very, very well and I'm learning a lot about life, people and the gospel that will help me in every relationship going forward.  This gospel is real, the Atonement can not only heal us but also give us the strength to overcome the challenges that we've been given. I'm out of time, I love you all.


Elder Szendre

P.S. Please pray for one our investigators on parole, that he will be able to be
baptized soon.

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