April 28, 2014
There were tornadoes yesterday night. To the relief of my mother and the mission president, and to the disappointment of every missionary/college student in the area, we were unable to see the twisters. Yes, I know that they are big and nasty forces of nature, but if they are going to occur, they might as well happen where I can see them. It would only be polite. The cool part is when I woke up yesterday morning I totally felt like there would be tornadoes. I don't know how I knew (the Spirit maybe?), but I totally called it. Latter in the evening, around 6 pm, everyone was called and told to get indoors by the Zone Leaders because funnels were touching down. I got go get to bed early. The disappointment of not being able to do more work was over ridden quite quickly by the bliss that comes from sleep.
We also are not allowed to go and aid in the clean-up efforts. For one, President Peterson says not to do anything until the local bishop organizes an effort we can join. For two, EMS and the police force have the entire area on lockdown to try and find survivors or something like that. For three, F3's or greater don't usually leave all that much behind for cleaning up, or at least this one didn't leave anything behind in the part of our area it went through. I hope to be able to go and help soon though.
J*** is still on track to be baptized on the 10th. We are super happy for the progress he is making. He's gone from smoking a pack a day (when he could afford them) about 3 weeks ago to around 1.5 death sticks per day. And he is setting his goals in 0.5 increments; it's kinda funny. I've yet to meet a person who has been prepared more by God to hear our message. It has been seriously cool to watch him change for the better.
The W*** family has been hard to get in contact with again. Lots of hospital visits and sicknesses following it. Plus K*** is the stereotypical soccer mom. There is no time there. We will be going again to visit them this week.
The B***family is on Pause right now. K*** and K*** aren't huge on keeping their commitments, which is kinda sad, but then again theyare teenagers. There is also a great deal of alcohol-induced marital problems, which I really don't want to get into or feel I should talk about.
D*** and his family is back on the radar though. The girls are very eager to talk with us, so much so (I think I said this before) that the parents use our visits as a means of rewarding good behavior. Example: if they don't get their room cleaned in time then they aren't allowed to talk with us or go to church. I think it's kinda funny, but I wish that D*** and A*** could find a different means of rewarding their children.
Anywho, D*** has been against anyone being baptism, simply because he is trying to take care of his family. Like most incredibly awesome dads he wants to ptorect his family from any and all threats. The unknown is a threat. Because we haven't been able to get over there and have a conversation longer than 2 minutes with him, he doesn't know what baptism is. This should change this week though.
Our zone has seen 10 baptisms this past saturday - 3 from the Cabot Sisters, 3 from the J-ville sisters, and 4 from the Searcy Sisters. I'm super happy for all the progress and the lives changed, but I think us Elders need to step it up a bit.
I think I'm turning into my companion. He has the ability to study the same 4 verses in the scriptures for a full hour, and while I laugh at him a bit for it, that is totally what I did this morning. Mosiah 28:4-7. I"ll attach a picture as proof.
Love you all. Keep on smiling!
Elder Jayden Barker