Monday, January 23, 2017

January 23, 2017: Email for Mom

Heh heh heh … definitely the kind of deep thoughts I'd imagine Inigo has.

I didn't know there was much of a process to choosing poetry for a book. I looked through some of the poetry books back home and remember that it didn't think there was much of a common thread in some of them. I think the only one was that Viking poetry thing.

I think I've heard a few times that you’re done with politics! Seems like it'll find you anywhere, though. Out here it's kind of funny because it can sometimes fly out of nowhere in the middle of a lesson from somebody and it throws everything off. People here are pretty passionate about whatever side they're on. I guess I'm done with politics, too, in that way.

This week has been "Jeep Week" for Elder M. and me. They're pretty popular here in Broken Arrow and Elder M. is pretty into them, as well. So we tracted all the houses with jeeps in the driveway. It's actually turned out pretty successful.

I'm hearing rumors they're changing the mission schedule. We'll figure that out on the 25th.

We've got this investigator family that's a little frustrating right now. She's a less active, he's a non-member, they have three kids, and are not married. Their 12-year-old daughter got baptized just before I came in and they're trying to get the two older ones and the guy baptized, as well. She just won't marry him! She did have an abusive relationship a while back, but she's been staying with this guy for 12 years! We think there must be some unresolved relationship problem between them and asked if they would see the bishop. They've agreed to it and seemed all for it, but it's been two weeks with intermittent follow up. We're trying to be sensitive to the situation, but it seems like they just don't want to fix things! I haven't given all the info, but honestly, they all could have been baptized three months ago. The oldest is getting baptized February 11, though! I'll have to tell you his story next time, because that's a cool one!

Love you, Mom!
Elder Rice

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

January 16, 2017: Email for Mom

So, the libraries are closed, but the Bishop was nice enough to lend us the clerk's office for emailing.

What I'm getting is that these books you're [reading] are actually not half bad and succeed in making readers cry? Because that would be worse to read if you could tell they were trying to, but failing to do it. I've noticed the young adult sections of libraries here are crammed with romance novels. Must be the way literature is headed. Scary.

Teaching R. has been amazing! It's pretty crazy, because we found him only a week ago and he's just taken off with it. He's reading the Book of Mormon in all his spare time, writing down all his questions. He'd already heard a bit about the Word of Wisdom a little from his friends and he's given up coffee and cigarettes! He's one of the sincerest investigators I've met.

Our ward mission leader has to be pretty inspired as well, because he scheduled certain members to come out with us months before we got here who had the most perfect connection with some of our investigators and especially the new ones we've found. One of our investigators turned out to have worked for our member's doctor. Another was originally going to teach at the Church's addiction recovery class (the class was canceled due to weather) and our investigator had been struggling with smoking for years and wanted to stop. One was a Primary teacher who absolutely loves children and he came with us to a less-active part-member home with crazy distracting kids.

Broken Arrow has been pretty amazing so far. Elder M. and I have been pushing really hard to keep things going here and we're seeing a lot of success from it. Mostly it’s been a lot of prayers.

Love you, Mom!
Elder Rice

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

January 9, 2017: Email to Mom

[My college savings] is over $10,000! Wow, that's an awesome start! I'm definitely excited to just rock it and get a scholarship and job, of course. I feel like I'm way more prepared to do that than if I hadn't come out here. Not too excited for loans, but if that's necessary, I'll do that.

The Tulsa ward culture is way different from all the other areas I've been to. All the bishops give their missionaries a blessing before they commence their work in the area. The wards are SUPER missionary minded. We came in and there was a calendar set up for members assigned to go out with the missionaries every other day, all the way up into late February.

The area just feels like a different mission, too. There's a lot more nature, less crowded structures, and very little traffic. We don't hear much of what's going on west of Tulsa, either. Luckily for us, this area is similar to Edmond in a few ways. Quite a few of the elders that were in Edmond while I was there are serving in areas very close to mine and, like Edmond, our apartments are fairly close, there's all four of our wards that go to the same building, and there's quite a bit of money here. Not to worry, though. All of us have experience enough and the people here seem more open. We've already found two new investigators, one of which I'm confident will be baptized. R. has always been impressed by the Mormons in his life and was always curious about what we believed. He's had some health complications brought on by being next to an RPG explosion in the military and now he's trying to prepare himself for the next life. He's not sure how long he'll be around (2-30 years), but he's shown that this is something he really cares about. He read through one of our pamphlets multiple times and prayed to know if this is true.

Thanks for the email, Mom! I figured that things might be thrown off a little because of the holidays.

Love you!
Elder Rice

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

January 2, 2017: Broken Arrow

I have arrived in Indian Springs ward! We live in Broken Arrow and share the town with three other areas. Our area includes Coweta and Haskell. I don't know if there's anything else we have yet. My new companion turned out not to be Elder L., but got changed last second to Elder M. He's pretty cool. Very new for sure, so we'll be doing a lot of teaching practice, but he's got a lot of drive, so he'll be great. He went to a few years of school before he came out, so he's my age. He played a lot of tennis and likes to ride dirt bikes.

Thanks SO much for all the Christmas gifts. I loved the drawings, too! I heard that I'm getting a late package or something? Something from Joshua? Maybe I'm wrong, but if you all want, this is my new mailing address: [ed., contact Merrijane for address].

It's pretty crazy right now. Everyone is shot-gunning the area. We're not keeping any of the Arkansas missionaries, so we've just been in this "tripanionship" so they can hand off the area to us. The missionaries here used to cover two wards, so they're splitting up to show our two companionships the area.

Well, there aren't too many story worthy things going on, but things are looking exciting here. We came in and there are all ready three solid baptismal dates (one not so solid one included)!

Hope I get to here from people next week.

Elder Rice