Wednesday, May 11, 2016

New Companion & Staying in Albany, GA

Dear Family and Friends,

Transfers have come and gone and I remain in Albany. My new companion is Elder Callison from Cedar City, UT. Another Utah companion! He has been out about 18 months and goes home with Elder Bingham. He also served with Elder Kobbah, so we have a lot to talk about. We have similar personalities which is already evident and it's looking to be a good Transfer!

As everybody knows, yesterday was Mother's Day and I had the opportunity to Skype home. It's always refreshing to talk to my family. I realized that the next time I Skype will be next Christmas and I will at that point be out 20 months out. Anyway, I would like to thank all of the mothers out there and everything they do. I would like to thank my own Mother for everything that she does for me and how much she means to me. I didn't fully realize the effect she has had on me until I went on a Mission. I would also like to thank my Grandmothers and all of my Aunts that have made an impact on me and their support on my behalf. 

This week was an adjustment week and we had to really set the tone for the Transfer. The highlight of the week was the lessons we had with Enoch. I mentioned him last week and how we met him. Here's an update:

On Thursday, we met with him and Ralph came with us. The lesson centered on the Book of Mormon and clarifying the purpose of it. With the lessons on the past, we did not feel prompted to invite him to be baptized, but we remained patient. We had a great lesson with him and Ralph really added to the lesson. It was just a great environment for the Spirit to teach him. We then set up an appointment for that next Saturday. 

Saturday rolls around and we bike to his house, which we had not been to since we had been teaching him in his sister's apartment. We get there and a guy calls us out and asks for something to read. So, we gave him a Bible and a Book of Mormon. Getting to Enoch's, we go in and start the discussion. Our lesson was the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a topic that is often confusing down here in the Bible Belt. The key points were Faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism, Reception of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. During the lesson we seemed to insert added emphasis on Baptism and the Holy Ghost. As we were wrapping up, the Spirit completely flooded the room and we invited him to be baptized. His answer was short and immediate. He said "I don't see why not!" With the progression he has already made we know that he has had experiences that have prepared him to receive the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. he has such a sincere desire to learn and has expressed that his mind is like a sponge and he wants as much knowledge as he can get, especially about Spiritual matters. We put him on date for June 4th. 

We are really excited for the progress that Enoch has already made and what he will continue to make. This Transfer has already started off great and it will be a good one for sure. Elder Callison and I are looking forward to serving together. On another note, ZTM is this week and Zone Conference is next week on Tuesday. God Bless and have a good week y'all!

Elder Alexander Kestner