Monday, November 5, 2012

Mel-Chee-Kike


Mom & Dad,

It was a great week. Much better than the last. Last Monday night we went to Sister Whitlow's house for dinner. Her husband is not a member and they also have a friend Mike living with them with his son, Mark, who is 19. Mark is really quiet and really depressed. He is a recovering alcoholic, too. He used to live in Michigan where he met a Mormon girl who sparked his interest in the church. He is so quiet and awkward that he didn't really say anything about it to us, but Sister Whitlow told us. So we taught him! Twice this week actually. He attended church too.

After we taught Mark we stopped by a less-active lady’s house, Dedra Shulte. She is about 50 and her husband Jim isn't a member. He has never in the past been interested in being baptized. She told us all about him and about how she is just the greatest Mormon who ever walked the Earth, but her husband is keeping her back. We were out on the porch and Jim wasn't home, so we told her to talk to him when he got home to see if he'd be interested in taking the missionary discussions. That night she called us and left a message saying that he wanted to be taught and he was thinking about being baptized!

So last night after we had dinner with Gary Hartman (a recent convert) and his family, we took Gary with us over to Jim and Dedra's for a lesson. Dedra would not stop talking the entire time! She was answering for Jim when we'd ask him questions, and she'd go off on the most random rants, and when we tried to stop her she'd just talk louder. It was super frustrating! Good thing we brought Gary. He finally said, "Lady, I'm not trying to be rude, but can you just stop talking for a minute and let him answer for himself?" She turned away and said, "Well! I'll just leave the room! How about that!" (She didn't leave). And when Gary said that, Jim put his hands together and closed his eyes, looked towards heaven and mouthed "THANK YOU!" Haha, it was pretty funny.

So finally Jim started talking about how he is 54 years old and just needs something more in his life. He asked what he'd have to do to be baptized, and we explained how we'd teach him all the lessons to make sure he understood, but also that it is more than just checking things off a list, that he would need to develop a testimony in his heart that what we teach is true. Dedra was like, "Well I've already taught him everything pretty much! So he should just be ready for baptism..." So we asked Jim what he'd learned from his wife and he had no idea. She was like, "Remember? I taught you about the Mel-chee-kike priesthood and how Moroni gave it to Joseph and then the plates came to him and he made the church and about the kingdoms of glory and how God appeared to Joseph in the woods and all that, remember?" Clearly we need to teach both of them, haha.

Jim had no idea... So the situation we are in is that his wife is a little bit off the rocker and wants him to be baptized now. But Jim doesn't want to rush, he wants to take it a little at a time until he really understands and believes everything. Which is perfect! Ours prayers were answered because he is so ready for the gospel. Ironically the only thing in the way is his wife, who actually wants him to be baptized. Weird.

We are going back tomorrow night with Gary to teach him about the Restoration. Dedra made it very clear that we were just to teach him and not her, because she was raised in the church, she went through seminary, and the entire nine yards. So yeah...she is being a little odd but hopefully it will all work out.  J  She asked if we could give him a blessing and said, "If I held the Mel-chee-kike priesthood I'd bless him myself! But I can't!"

I ended up giving him a blessing of comfort and it was one of the most spiritual experiences I've ever had giving a blessing. I remember as a kid watching you, Dad, give me and others blessings, and one of my biggest fears was that I was going to have to do it someday because I'd never know what to say! And your blessings always seemed so good and I'd never be able to do that! But I love giving them because sometimes the words come straight to me from heaven and it's one of the best feelings in the world.

Yesterday at church we had five investigators attend. What a miracle. Before church started we randomly felt like we should go stop by Lisa's house. We have tried all week long to see her, but she was never home. But we went anyway. Turns out she was ready to go, waiting for us at the door when we showed up. I asked her, "Did you know we were coming?" She said, "No, but I was really hoping!" We had never told her that we'd stop by. Obviously we couldn't give her a ride in our car, so we called a member who came and picked her up.

We still don't have any baptismal dates set, but if we keep working hard and being obedient, I'm confident we will soon. Our mission goal of 365 baptisms this year is a stretch, and there are going to have to be miracles for us to reach it. Every night at 10:00pm the entire mission kneels and prays for help in achieving the goal. We've been doing this for a few months now, it seems like. I've been blessed to be a part of a few baptisms already this year, and I hope that Elder Norton and I can participate in reaching this goal right here at the end of the year by having at least one baptism! And of course it's not about a goal, or about numbers, it's about changing 365 people’s lives.

I love you!

Elder Williams

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