Well, you already all know I’m in the Layton area and doing extremely well, this place is wonderful! The members are amazing to work with and everyone is extremely nice and open to listening to us. The last few days have been super crazy, we’ve just been trying to get to know the people that live here, the people the previous missionaries were working with, and the ward and stake leaders. We’ve met so many incredible people here, I honestly can’t even list them all! Dinners here are especially awesome, we eat with members every night and they are always amazing and loving and provide an abundance of extremely delicious food.
Elder Remington is from Anaheim California, but his parents were both born and raised in Cardston, the Remington carriage museum is named after one of his great grandparents. Do any of you know Elaine, John, or Dwyane Remington? Pretty cool little connection there! He’s a great trainer, he reminds me a lot of Spencer and he has a picture of himself as a fourteen year old where he honestly looks EXACTLY like napoleon dynamite. He sounds and looks sort of like him now, too, it’s hilarious! He was telling me that his life turned into a nightmare in like 7th or 8th grade when that movie came out. He’s a funny guy, and he has a great capacity to love. Can’t wait to get working with him. He’s been out a year, he served in Grantsville, Sugarhouse, and Rose Park before here, and based on the last few days he’s super excited about the success we’ll have in this area because of how involved the members are.
One cool thing we decided to do was look for a miracle every day and stick them up on our bed on little notecards. Elder Bednar said: “A miracle is a natural result of a true principle correctly applied” (or something along those lines). We decided after the wonderful miracle we saw Wednesday night that we could have the faith to see at least one miracle every day, and we have. It’s been wonderful to look for and see the tender mercies and miracles that the Lord has blessed us with, every single day.
You’ve all heard about Brother Hill, our miracle yesterday was meeting with the Andersons (was a bishop and in the stake presidency and is good friends with Brother Hill). We began talking to him about Brother Hill and let him know that he committed to a date this month after 20 years of church attendance, and he got way excited and was all on-board to help us. The bishop talked to Brother Hill and is going to go find a lake with him this Saturday, the 10th, which is great because that will definitely help this all happen. We also heard the Brother Hill wants to get baptized sooner! Miracles, all of them! The coolest thing was when Brother Anderson told us of a neat experience he had in the Stake Presidency concerning Brother Hill. We were talking about setting a date for his family to be sealed (he has five wonderful active kids, his oldest boy is a priest and just ordained his youngest boy a deacon) so that he could continue to have those goals to progress, and Brother Anderson said “Well yeah, because he doesn’t know what’s coming for him.” He began to cry and shared that the Stake Presidency had the strongest impression, all three of them, that Brother Hill would be the next bishop of their ward. The Lord has miracles in store and directs our paths, and all it takes from us is faith. Faith is an action word, and requires us to act and show our faith by our works, but through faith we can do all things. The Lord has definitely be guiding Brother Hill’s steps and has marvelous things in store for him, and because of the faith of President Hansen to extend the commitment to Elder Remington and I to invite someone to be baptized, and because of our faith that we could fulfill that commitment, and because of Brother Hill’s faith and the faith of his family and friends, he has been led to an incredible place and has marvelous blessings ahead of him.
Also this week, we met Trey, an inactive member who is attending a baptist church right now (18yrs old). He’s super cool and we’re meeting with him on Wednesday. We’ve got appointments with Shelly (inactive, husband/kids aren’t members) Darlene House (Recent convert, granddaughter Elena has fire in her eyes and wants to be baptized, has taken all the lessons and needs permission from her dad) and lots of referrals that we need to follow up on in the following week. We set pretty high goals for the week, but I know we’ll be able to accomplish them here with faith and hard work.
It is so amazing to be a missionary. The Egans have their two little grand kids at their house this week, and it’s touching to hear them talking about the missionaries and see the excitement of the children we see everywhere at seeing us, as well as the numerous other people we see. Spencer Lund, the little 9/10 year old boy whose family we ate with on Saturday was in love with us. His big brother is on a mission in New Hampshire, and him and his little brother and sister ran out during dinner and got dressed up in missionary clothes and put little tags on. Wherever we go people thank us for our work, honk at us, try to pay for us, give us food, give us rides, whatever we need. It is so humbling to be treated with so much love because of the name I wear over my heart and the work I’m doing. I feel weighed down with an incredible responsibility to be the very best example of what a missionary should be as possible. We are VERY well taken care of, no need to worry about me here except perhaps contracting fat disease from how much food and treats people are feeding me.
One last neat experience, my miracle for Friday: I was in a bit of a slump because Thursday was a long day and we didn’t get to really talk to anyone, and Friday morning we just had training on how to be trained/train for the new missionaries. I really wanted to talk to people and teach, and I was getting a little impatient and frustrated because we had been doing so much calling and just political type stuff trying to get to know the area and the leadership and everything. I knelt down in prayer and asked for an extra measure of patience and comfort to help me work hard that day. Elder Remington walked in seconds later, passed me our cell phone and asked me if I wanted to call the bishops. Happy to do something, I called the first bishop who was incredibly warm and friendly. He asked where I was from, and when I said Williamsport he got very excited and said that our city had been an answer to his prayer when he was driving a truck and having a long day, and that he’s always remembered that city since he was in his early twenties and had that experience. I got to chat with him about home, and when I hung up I had a huge smile on my face and had no problem being patient and working hard the rest of the day. God watches out for us, and he gives us what we really need when we need it most. I’m so grateful for the millions of instances I’ve seen His hand in this work already. I feel closer to my Savior and my Father in Heaven than I ever have before just in the past few days here in Layton. I know I’m here for reasons unbeknownst to me, but I know that this is where the Lord wants me to be right now. Being a missionary is the best thing on earth!
I love you all so much! Thank you so much for your support, for the pictures and scriptures and thoughts and everything. It means the world to me. I’ve got about a million more things to say but I’m all out of time. If I forgot any vital information any of you are dying to know, just shoot me an email with a question and I’ll do my best to answer them all.
P.S. – Thank you so much for the fruit bouquet Mom and Dad! And thank you for taking care of the missionaries out there. It’s neat to be on the other side of feeding the missionaries, and the love and support we receive from members has been priceless in both our effectiveness and our happiness. You’re the best! Tell Clark that the word is spreading pretty quickly out here about AllBoysBut9, Sister Egan realized last night that that’s why I looked so familiar, she had seen our introduction video because it was posted on the TimeOut for Women website. It’s pretty funny to see people drop their utensils when they ask how many sisters I have, and somehow ABB9 always comes up after that. My companion has gotten to the point where he starts laughing when they ask how many siblings I have before I even tell the answer because the reaction is always the same.
This is a map of our area, the Layton Creekside Stake. It’s pretty small, but we don’t have bikes or a car so it takes a little while to get around. Luckily the members are extremely kind and have been giving us rides wherever we want, so we haven’t done much walking. Also, mom and dad, could you send me that microfiber towel after all? I went to Wal-Mart today and they don’t have any… I got a pillow and laundry bag, but the only had the bulky cotton towels. Thanks! Love you! I’ll send pictures next week, my USB thing doesn’t work on these ones. ):