Feb 17: So great to read your emails. I wish I could dissect them further, but with this evil red timer I’m getting antsy hoping I can say everything I wanted to. Last time I rushed through my words so fast I probably even gave out too much information at times, but it’s okay, I’m sure you loved it anyway. 😉
So this is the last time I will get to email you before leaving for Australia (as long as I end up going this monday), but I will get to call at the airport.
So I have my flight itinerary to Australia, but I checked with the Travel Offic today to see if they have my visa. They don’t, but the itinerary was planned with the hope it would be probable to arrive in time. If it doesn’t, there are a few options depending on how long they think it will take. President Ahlander (Branch Prez) says I could get called to Ogden or something nearby, or I might stay here if the wait is short. Personally, I’m hoping to stay here and just work in the referral center and talk on the phone. I already have 5 contacts from going 4 times, each interested in hearing from me again! I’ll tell you a story of that in a second.
Mom, so glad you’re having fun out in Utah with the girls. It’s strange to think of how close you are. You’re so lucky you got to see Vocal Point and Noteworty. I’m telling my teachers here to look for me in Vocal Point when I get back. It’s giong to happen.
And dad, I’m glad you’re holding down the fort. Gotta love that blu-ray player. And more music? Really? I have about a year’s worth of music to go through, and haven’t started it yet because they don’t even allow music players here. Bring it on!!! 😀
So, you want some stories? This week has been wonderful, much less stressful than the first. Last Thursday I finally began to feel like a real missionary, and that I could do this. It came from having great simulation teaching appointments. The resources here to learn are top-notch. Seriously, they have fake living rooms with volunteer investigators and then other people can watch and listen through cameras/mirrors, microphones, and then give you notes. It’s the perfect learning center. My district has also started practicing street contacting and door-knocking, something that they don’t even go over during the MTC curriculum. I’m so glad I had the practice with the Elders back in Belmont. Even that horrifying day with Elder Patton (Elder Dastrup’s companion) knocking on doors in Belmont gave me a good idea of how people react to two weirdos in suits saying stuff about God. But I feel very well-prepared. Well, mostly. I wish I knew the scriptures front to back, but that will come in time. I’ve memorized 5 scriptures and try to memorize 4 a week. I’m so glad we have time to spend to work on stuff like that.
So let me tell you some funny stories. Our class was asked by Brother Horch, our teacher, to come up with an activity to remember the ways to set up a teaching appointment (remove distractions, invite people, etc.). Elder Peek and I wrote a jingle song. I really wish I could share it with you, but there are rules against video. So I bet that there will DEFINITELY NOT be any video of anything we may or may not have performed in a classroom while any camera, certainly not any camera of mine, was rolling, with any memory card with pictures that I would ever send to my family. Nope. Nothing of the sort. And is certainly not something I would like to be shared. *straight face*
On another note, I love the referral center. I talked to one person who had just moved to New York from Utah and was interested in meeting the Missionaries. She had said she grew up in Salt Lake and loved just how nice all the mormon friends of hers were. Even her junior high assistant principle was a nice Mormon guy. So I asked if I could call back later to hear what she thought of the visit, if she had any questions, or just wanted to talk about it. She said she’d be glad to. I think she even flirted with me a bit, which was embarrassing because of course my whole district is listening to me talking to this girl. I’ve been the most successful at the RC, I just love talking to people and feel natural. I have to owe that to Glance doing those demos with people and those case studies. I’m really good and being totally horrifyingly nervous while sounding completely calm and happy. It’s a great skill. Well, half of it is. I also talked to a girl (don’t know how old she is) who was atheist but had lots of Mormon friends. I asked why she was atheist, she mentioned all the pain in the world and how a loving God wouldn’t put us through things like that. I love that point, because I have a good answer. I told her of how I love my younger sisters, but sometimes they just go through the hardest times. I wish I could just do their homework and talk to their friends and teachers, but they need to work through life on their own steam to become capable and learn. I have the power to help, but I can’t. Life is like that, just on a much more grand scale. God still loves us, but we are here on earth to see how we react to the adversity we face. I then stressed the importance of finding the witness to God’s existence by reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it. So guess what? I committed her to read Moroni 7 and have an appointment to call her back tomorrow to talk about it. Awesome!!! I love it.
I might also try auditioning for a musical number with Sister Bullock. Stay tuned.
Three minutes left. I love you all so much, thank you for your letters, happy birthday Leslie! I’ll try to send you something awesome from the good ol’ missionary bookstore. I know, awesome. I want you all to know I have already felt a significant change inside me with my spirituality and testimony. I know this Gospel changes lives, and I want to become the best instrument in the Lord’s hands possible. Keep writing me, every letter makes every day Christmas. Seriously. (remember, DearElders!)
Elder Scott Baker