Feb 24: Hi family and friends!
So, my visa… yeah. I felt destroyed. It’s very difficult to feel like an effective servant of the Lord when you’ve learned all you need to but can’t begin using it. I had no motivation at all, not even to go to the Referral Center. I’m feeling better today though, my new companionship is great. I jumped into a trio, and now there are four of us. They are wonderful. It was nice being with Elder Peek and all because we were friends, but these Elders are true examples of Christ. They have been so loving and generous. They are inspiring to me in how to better serve my companions in the future.
So, what do I do in the days now? Well, typically the days are sucked up from class, but I have not much more use for class now, and I also don’t need practice preparing lessons for fake investigators. I’ve spent a lot of time studying. I’m trying to get through Matthew and the Gospels because I’ve hardly touched the Bible in my study. Such is the problem with missing years of seminary. But I also wish I spent more time learning the things in seminary; those scripture masteries are awesome. If not memorizing the entire scriptures, I wish I had at least learned the references. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had a scripture pop in my head but was unable to tell you where it is. I feel like an idiot. And scriptures aren’t just for missionary work; they can apply to anything. Les and Kell, take some time to go over them scriptures! They’re not lying when they say they have power.
So I’ve spent a lot of time studying, I also picked up a tiny bit of Swedish/Norwegian. I know that kunne means to be able to, and jag (pronounced yahg) means me. I could tell you my extensive vocabulary, but it really doesn’t matter because the language is nuts and I still can’t understand even the simplest things these other Elders rattle off during meals. It’s pretty hilarious.
Today, a new set of English speakers comes in, so I’ll be stopping by with them and my teacher Brother Sainsbury to see if I could perhaps help him teach. Maybe I could teach a lesson while he interviews, that would be really cool. I was praying about it last night and felt that it is important for me to get involved there somehow, so I’ll be investigating that this afternoon.
Let me talk a little bit about the two conversations that Elder Peek and I had with Dahlia Heyman on the phone this weekend. On Saturday we called her up to teach her the lessons and all that stuff. She is 26, living in New York, working in the film industry. Her father was involved in a project setting the Bible to film, and the Church asked him to do the same for the Book of Mormon. He is not religious anymore. She tagged along with him to Salt Lake when he worked on this, and was amazed at how nice the LDS people were. So, she signed up to have Elders visit her in NY. Hence, I called her at the RC confirming their appointment. She’s busy, so she hadn’t been able to make time for them yet, but was very interested in hearing the message.
She was raised Orthodox Jewish, so she knows Bible doctrine very fluently. We talked with her for an hour and a half on Saturday. She had approximately, oh I dunno, a bajillion questions. We basically taught her the first and second lessons, but also touched upon things like the nature of good and evil, Christ’s plan for us vs. Satan’s plan, living with God before coming here, and all kinds of deep things that we typically would never go into with standard investigators. It really tested our knowledge, and after the conversation I felt totally drained. I was exhausted. I can’t remember ever having a conversation that left me so physically tired. But she is so curious, she will definitely be reading the Book of Mormon. Elder Peek and I sent her one, and I’ll try to follow up with her and her reading next week or so. She also said she would write us in Australia, which will be awesome.
Five minutes left. I’m going to tell you my testimony. You know, in this life, it can be very easy to deny what the Book of Mormon is, who Joseph Smith was, and that God really isn’t up there at all. If you want to, you can. It’s easy. All you gotta do is just ignore everything. But I have read the Book of Mormon, I have learned of Joseph Smith, I have prayed and received answers, I have felt the Holy Ghost guide me, I have felt the Spirit testify of things I teach, and I know that every word from the First Presidency is straight from divine inspiration. I really can’t deny it now if I wanted to. So that’s why I’m here: to show that to people who cannot see. And this is not so that they conform to what the Church asks; it is to show them how to be happy, because that is what Heavenly Father wants for us. It’s simple really. Just do what he says. It works. I promise. And as long as we do that, he’ll take care of us. So that is my challenge. Try it, see for yourself. You won’t regret it.
Write me back, even if it’s a tiny DearElder. Seriously, every letter is like Christmas. It brightens up my day. Plus, I care about you, and want to hear about what’s going on. So tell me. K?
Gotta go. I love all of you so much.
-Elder Scott Baker