Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Snakes, Bagpipes & Investigators

The rattles from a Snake!
Dear Family and Friends,

This week has been pretty eventful! We've been working with Enoch and had several lessons with him along with Ralph and Bro. Hayes. We taught him the Word of Wisdom, the Law of Chastity, and read from Joseph Smith History concerning the events leading up to the First Vision. I continue to be amazed as Enoch accepts each commitment and his readiness. He informed us after those commitments, that he had left all of those things years ago and has devoted himself to the pursuit of knowledge and Spiritual Growth. His knowledge and testimony of the Book of Mormon is showing through already. On Sunday, there was a large congregation and Enoch was sitting next to us before the meeting started. He then got up to talk to someone and Elder Callison said "That moment when your investigator becomes a fellow-shipper".He continued as he astonished us in Gospel Principles and Elders Quorum with his comments and insight. The visitors and the EQ President was shocked too. Plainly, Enoch is doing great and progressing rapidly to Baptism on June 4th!

On Wednesday, Brother Sorenson, the Young Men's President, pulled us aside and told us that there is two brothers that want to be taught and Baptized! We followed him to the gym and introduced to one of the brothers. He, JJ, is 14 years old. And it so happens that Daylen Hayes (Bro. Hayes' nephew) lives near their house and so he will be a help us teach them and set up appointments. It seems like Albany is burning up!

On Thursday, we had ZTM and finally got my camera charger. I can now take pictures! The training that was done was on the topic of reach further to get more Baptism and renew our zeal. We'll see how it goes. Once again in a skit by Elder Godwin and Elder Christensen, they brought a turtle (Sunbeam Jr.) and told how another missionary drowned Sunbeam and how they saved him. It was a very enjoyable ZTM to say the least. 

Elder Callison
On Saturday, we were invited by Bro. Hall to go to a funeral for the purpose of Elder Callison playing the bagpipes. It went very well and he played very well. We then watched the short funeral service. There was a lot of emotion expressed from the people there. Bro. Hall said a few words and shared his testimony of the Plan of Salvation and quoted scripture from the Book of Mormon and Bible in an attempt to ease the crowd of the passing of the woman. As the people got up, we stood out of the way and I found myself looking into the eyes of the people leaving. The words 'shell-shocked', 'confused', and 'wonder' entered my mind. Even though Bro. Hall bore a strong testimony, those in attendance, all non-members (except us) left with questions unanswered about where their loved one had gone and why she left. I realized that as Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we have those answers. A loving God has revealed His Plan to His children through Modern and Ancient Prophets. The Plan of Salvation and the Atonement of Christ is our message and we have an obligation to share that knowledge with others. 

Dead Snake! Yuck
Later that night, we had Ward Correlation with Bro. Spiers at his home. After the meeting, Bro. Spiers was taking us home, when we saw something on the side of the road. We realized that it was a snake and we quickly turned around to confirm that. Bro. Spiers then raced back home and grabbed some cutters in the hope of getting the rattles. We get back and pull over and move quickly. With me holding the light, Bro. Spiers moves to the snake, it's head flattened. As he tries to remove the rattle, THE SNAKE MOVED! With instinct, he placed his foot on the butchered head to protect himself. I snapped a picture showing this. We then hauled tail, no pun intended, to avoid the wrath of a possible shotgun armed homeowner curious of who might be on the edge of his property. Quite a night!!

Well, that's all folks! Have a good week y'all!

Elder Alexander Kestner