Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Oct. 26, 2015 Transferred to Catawba, South Carolina with Elder B___

Hello all!

So transfers have come and I am back down to South Carolina! And for the first time ever I have a companion who has been out less time than I have. That doesn't discredit him, he is a superb missionary! His name is Elder B___, he is from Arizona, and he has been out 3 transfers. This is still his first area and I am only his second companion, so I am 'greenie breaking' him I guess. He is lots of fun, and is a super good teacher. He also plays the piano way better than me, so this District Meeting was the first time I didn't play the piano. We were comparing piano songs and he plays more classical/intense music than me, and I play more pop than him. We are having lots of fun, and it's pretty great. We get a car 2 out of 3 weeks.

So as far as the area, I am in Catawba, which includes the Catawba Indian Reservation, and it is pretty interesting. It is my most "country" area so far, which is fun! We cover 3-4 small towns, including the east side of Rock Hill, Catawba, Van Wyck, and everything in between. Our teaching pool is actually fairly large right now, which is probably the first time that has happened on my mission! (Hooray!) We are actually right next to the Rock Hill Ward where I served for 3 months, but in a different stake. It's funny though because there are tons of members who are related to members in Rock Hill, so it's like I know everyone's family already. The ward is super interesting, pretty much 90% of the people on the actual reservation are members. We have about 80-100 attending church, and there are 400+ members. It sounds like most of them are less active because they have been offended/hurt over different family issues, and this last week in Sacrament Meeting, the Bishop gave a talk on being humble, kind, and not getting offended. He likened it to the rameumptom. It was pretty intense.

So as far as bright spots for the week go, we were able to teach a lady named M___. She is super solid, and wants to be baptized eventually. On Saturday we had a powerful Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson and she committed to come to church. Then on Sunday she called and cancelled :( Apparently she had laid out all her clothes and everything the night before, but when she woke up on Sunday she couldn't get out of bed because of pain. She told us that later, when she was feeling some better, she got up and read the Book of Mormon for a couple hours and it gave her peace. So we are hoping to have her come to the church during the week for a church tour to help her get accustomed.  :D

We taught a man named M___ on Wednesday. He was a pastor for a non denominational church back in the day, and he has been pretty curious to learn about our beliefs, even though he is apparently pretty sure that everything is a "wind of doctrine". We shared the second half of the Plan of Salvation where we teach about the spirit world and the multiple kingdoms, and then they either flip out and drop us or get baptized. Well we told him about it, and to our surprise he actually liked it and said he agreed! Wildcard!! So we are going to get him a large print Book of Mormon, and pray that he reads it, becomes converted, and gets baptized. (Please pray for him.) :)

Anyways, that was our week pretty much. Well, that and having district meeting down in Lancaster. Lancaster is a branch, so their building actually used to be a Chinese restaurant that they converted into a church by putting a steeple on the top. It's pretty interesting. Their mini piano is cute looking.

This last week I was able to ponderize Mosiah 2:41 (And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God. For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell, with God in a state of never ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true.) 
I think my favorite part is just how true it seems to be. We taught a guy named B___ last night and shared this verse with him. He talked about how he agrees, and that every time he is with us he gets a "buzz" from the spirit. A common farewell here is "be blessed", or "have a blessed day", and it reminds me of this scripture. When we say "be blessed," what we are really saying is "remember who you are! Be good!" I think for this next week I am going to ponderize your one mom, Psalms 119: 165 and 167 (Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. My soul hath kept thy testimonies; and I love them exceedingly.) It could definitely help out!

Congrats for Joe!! That is so fun for them. Haha, met in the outdoor equipment area, that is perfect!!

Thanks for all you do! You guys are the greatest! I love you!

Have a blessed week!
Elder Branch


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