Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Letter from May 29th, 2012

Hi-de-ho everyone!
This has been a super crazy roller-coaster week here in the 'Dell. Because we were the missionaries that started this area, we came into the week with no investigators and no direction, but that has changed over the course of the past 7 days. Our big success story is that someone that we started teaching has committed to baptism!! It is the craziest story, so that is what I will share this week. 
Mid-week we recieved a media referral from Salt Lake, and when we contacted them, we found a married couple that lived RIGHT next door. Like, the next lot over. Awesome. So we started talking, and it turns out that she was once a member that fell away when she went through some life changes and got remarried. Before they moved to Slidell, they even went to our church once but didn't have a car so they hadn't been since. As we started teaching the restoration, it became clear that the Lord had prepared him. Everything we would say, he would agree with. He even interrupted us and said that he wanted to be baptized. We were in shock. He proceeded to tell us that he hates smoking, drinking, and immorality. Jaws on the floor. How often does that happen on the first visit? Never. We seriously couldn't believe it. So we got them a ride for church, met with them again, and he is progressing nicely. He is such a sincere guy, and he really wants to find "the truth." Well, good thing we have it. I truly believe that the Lord prepared him through a handful of ways, and I hope that we can continue to fulfill our purpose and invite him to come unto Christ by helping him recieve the restored gospel. It just seems crazy that 4 weeks into opening the area we could have a baptism that is 100% from our companionship. The Lord is truly involved in his work.
Other than that, we have spent a lot of time meeting members, less-actives, and doing some old-fashioned tracting. Hours of it. On a bike. In the humid heat of the "Dirty South," to quote one of my missionary friends. Seriously, the heat here is disgusting and might just be the death of us. Everyone laughs because we are the only Elders in our zone that have to ride bikes. But it did yield some fruit by establishing some very strong relationships of trust with less-actives and finding us some investigators, a few of whom are considered progressing. The work is hard, but the reward is beyond worth it. I love being a missionary. I consider it the hardest way to have the most fun you can imagine. 
The ward here is awesome. I have met some of the coolest people imaginable. Anywhere from the next Jimi-Hendrix to a literal Mormon mob boss. Getting to know them has been a blast and a half, and they have been very embracing of us as two new elders to their ward. The food here is great, but I haven't had the Creole or fried chicken I was expecting,(Although they do have a fast food resturant that serves only chicken fingers - Raising Cane's - which I fell in love with. So much so I even bought one of their shirts) just normal food. However, I did make the greatest find of my life - red beans and rice with some creole seasoning. Mmmmm. Already had it twice, and I'm pretty sure it's my favorite dish. I'll be sure to send the good stuff home in my next package so you can experience the goodness.
Anyways, that's all folks!! The church is true I promise!! I hope you all have a fantastic week.
Elder Thomas


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