October 17, 2010
I am so tired. A weekend of meetings takes it out of you. I was happy to see the zone again, since we hadn’t had a meeting together since July, and I hadn’t seen President since August. We had interviews on Friday, a Zone Conference on Saturday, and District Conference meetings (basically Stake conferences) with the members talking about reactivation, 15 Names, and also general talks for spiritual strength. I got to sing Brightly Beams Our Father’s Mercy in a quartet, Army of Helama (the youth theme) with all the Elders and Youth, and also did a solo of I am a Child of God at a smaller meeting for new members and investigators. Meetings meetings meetings. But that’s the kind of attention we crave out here, because we don’t get to see each other that often. Everybody is an hour or two away. So, I was happy.
We had more trouble with flooding. My district was fine, but the Zone Leaders got stuck while picking up the Elders in Wagga Wagga (yes, that’s what the place is called) because of flooded roads. They were on the road for 9 hours. They got stuck in a spot where one direction of the road got flooded over completely (double road lanes) and the rear was flooded over too, so they were trapped. Eventually the police created a route to bypass on the other side and were letting cars through slowly, but it was still a long way to go. They ended up taking back roads, but soon were lost. Then, some blokes in a ute pulled up next offering help, asking if they were lost, and answering them that all the roads are flooded and they were pretty much stuck. These Elders were at a loss what to do, and they were also carrying a bunch of food in the boot to feed us with, but they weren’t going to make it, so they offered to feed these guys over at their place and hang out for a bit. So they did. Meanwhile, we were all in Wangaratta with President having interviews. You should have seen the look on Sister Lifferth’s face when they called up, explained they were hanging around with strangers, and also that they had offered to let them spend the night there. She did not like that option. Eventually they were able to catch a way back to Albury for the night, and then come to Wangaratta in the morning. The cool thing was, they did get the chance to explain who they were and what they were doing, teach the Restoration, bear testimony, and leave a Book of Mormon. It sounds like old-fashioned missionary work. So that was all well and good.
We have Julie B. Beck, the General President of the Relief Society, visiting this week. Tomorrow, in fact. I don’t get to go. Our Zone doesn’t get to go. 😦
Lucinda came to the District conference, with Kim and Abby. She said at the new member meeting that she just loves church and enjoys it a lot. She was looking forward to seeing the whole district to get a perspective of all the members in the area outside of the branch. Kim and Abby made new friends and played around while the speakers were talking. Elder Mitsvotai made some paper toys that they were goofing around with. It was good to see them getting used to church meetings and having fun.
Lucinda’s family loves us (the Salau family). They love having us over, and think the world of us. They really don’t want us to go. We still have another 2 weeks in the transfer, but they are so attached to us and don’t want us to leave. Lucinda said, “But you’re doing so well in the area! You have to stay! Is it bad that I’m praying for you to stay?” We love seeing them too, because they’re such a highlight of our week. They invited us to help them decorate the house when Christmas rolls around. And, they also bought us each ties, and gave us pictures of their family. We wore our ties to Conference. They’re so great. I love them to death. Now all we need to do is get her to make that close of friends with members in the branch, so that when we inevitably go, they will remember the fundamentals of what we’ve been teaching. What I would really love to happen is for us to find a new family and have them fellowship them, and help teach. That would be in a perfect world, and that’s what we’ll be praying for.
Other than that, we’ve been back to basic work. I get very tired of basic finding, and despite all the miracles that come from it, I still find it a pain somedays to kick myself out the door. However, as experience shows, the interesting things only happen when you go out and try. So that’s what I’m going to keep in mind.
One more thing… we were helping out an investigator with some gardening. We bought some nice thick work gloves to do it with. We found a spider about the size of a quarter, but I don’t know what it’s called. We picked it up, and wanted to see how it would feel if it bit us while we had gloves on. While it was on our hands, we squeezed it a little and I could see it’s huge fangs rear up and clench down on the glove. I could even feel the pressure like a light pinch on my finger. The creeping things over here are vicious. I’m glad I have gloves now. 😉
I have a lot of letters to write back to, even my friends serving around the world! Thank you for all your letters! Say thanks to Ray again for sending the Ward Newsletter, it means a lot to me. I love you all, and hope you’re not getting too cold while I’m getting too hot!
-Elder Scott Baker