From November 25, 2013
This week is hopefully going to be as good as last week was! We saw numerous miracles, and had some amazing experiences as well.
We've been visiting a number of people who used to come to church but have fallen away or lost interest recently. Our job is to help bring them back. So we visit a man named Will, whose wife died not even a year ago. His wife got him interested in the church, and now that she is gone, he was bitter, angry, and uninterested in associating with it. As of Monday, that is. We went over there and I'm only halfway exaggerating when I say he used more vulgar words than non-vulgar words in our "discussion" (very one-sided). He was in a whirlwind of a mood, and I wasn't sure if his pets were going to survive the week haha. We visit him again on Wednesday, and he's a little better. Not 100% but at least he wasn't yelling too much. We gave him a chapter or two to read so we could discuss it the next time we came over. Then on Saturday, we went to his house and he had a 100% turnaround. He had read the chapter, actually enjoyed it, and started smiling and even laughed once or twice. It was truly one of the best things I've seen on my mission. I like how we don't work for money or praise, because the change that comes as a result of people turning to the gospel is far better than money or praise, as cheesy and cliche as it sounds.
We had multiple experiences just like this, including a man coming to church who hadn't come in 2 years, at least. The missionaries have visited his house twice a week for as long as we can remember, and he's never come to church. This week he came to church, and he said "wow, it just feels like I'm home again." Such a humbling, gratifying experience again!
We also helped a woman write a letter to her son who lives in the virgin islands, who she wants nothing more than to be with again. She is blind, and has failing kidneys, as well as diabetes. Her relationship with her son has been scarred because she was supposed to bring him over to the US and she's having trouble doing so. Her son doesn't even know that she is blind or has any of these problems, so he misunderstands the difficulty in getting the paperwork done required to bring him over to the US. Her son is mad at her because he thinks she doesn't love him. They talk very little over the phone, and we suggested she write him a letter. She can't even see us, and we've only met her one other time, and she still trusted us enough to ask us what to write in this letter to her son. It was another humbling experience and one that was important for me to learn this week. It helped me appreciate the great family I have, and the ability I have to email home every week, even if we can't talk on the phone very often or see each other very often!
So long story short, we had a great week. I'll be straight-jacketed and under the knife this week so Elder Bird is going to have to figure out a way to entertain himself for a couple days. We're planning a big bbq in our district, so that's something to look forward to also.
Dad, how many days did it take you to recover? I'm going to try to beat you, so heads up.
Mom, thank you so much for the package, the Portuguese talks are great, and I do appreciate the hoody I've missed it... and
Megan, thank you so much for the tree, which is displayed on our wall, it's gorgeous.
Johnny, we have our old 90's family pic up above the kitchen sink, and you're the cutest 4 year old I think I've ever seen. Thanks for the letter.
I do have a couple requests...at the top of my Christmas list (perhaps early than Christmas so Elder Bird can see it) it the reenactment of our 90's family picture that we took at the Roenthal's right before we left for our missions. I've been craving it like crazy! Also another inhaler is never a bad thing:) Thanks and have a great week in Wichita!!
Elder Jake Hirschi