Monday, July 3, 2017

July 3, 2017: Emails for Mom & Dad

Email for Mom

It’s been a good week back in Duncan! It's been a real blessing to see how much change there's been. S. (an investigator from a while back) has got a real testimony of the Church, has taught her 3- and 4-year-old to know and love the Lord (they call Him "Jesus Chris"), and she has a real desire for baptism. The temporal blessings have flowed for them as well.

We also just randomly ran into quite a few others who we dropped or were dropped while I was gone, who want to try again. Now, there are definitely still some road blocks. And while some are more open, it seems like there's been a lot more skittishness. Lots of rumors flying around about Mormons right now. Another big challenge is people living together and not wanting to be married.

We've also got a serious arsenal of missionaries in our district around Duncan. Just about everyone has not only served 21+ month, but most have served in Duncan before. We get all sorts of referrals with that and run into people that recognize them on exchanges.

My companion Elder D. is pretty cool. He attended Montana State before the mission and has got a little bit of life experience on him. He's been out for about six months now. He's been on high school football, basketball, and baseball teams. He served two transfers on OSU campus and one already in Duncan with Elder L. (one of my companions from Shawnee). Elder L. is getting back home to California after his vacation to Hawaii. Elder D. was trained by Elder R., who served in Duncan South when I was here last. Elder R. is now one of our zone leaders and has already come down for a few exchanges.

I also got to briefly drop into Texas to bring some elders back to their apartment after an MLC. They had accidently locked the keys in their car and the zone leaders had already driven them up to Lawton. Nothing's really different from Texas to Oklahoma except a definite change in accent as soon as you cross the border.

Love you, Mom! I'm praying for your entry into MoTab.
Elder Rice

Email for Dad

So this 4th of July we're doing a "Missionary Olympics." It sounds like there's going to be a lot of goofy missionary themed games, like tossing a Frisbee with the name “Satan” written on it, to see who can cast Satan the furthest from them. Then we'll have a barbeque or something. They're allowing us to email today and moving p-day to tomorrow.

To answer your question about the equipment, I had two large suitcases, which has been plenty of room so long as I've made sure to not pick up too much clutter. Both shoes held up great, but I don't know if I'd go with the “mission shoe” again. It was very comfortable, completely water proof, and pretty durable, but I definitely got quite a few comments on it being goofy looking. The Johnston and Murphy’s were plenty durable. The suits were pretty good, actually. The gray one is apparently an apostle favorite, and the blue one is a missionary favorite. Just make sure that Nathan knows not to dry clean it too often.

It’s been a little interesting out here. While we've seen a lot of good, it seems like there's been an increase in anti-Mormon rumors going around and quite a few people won't even allow us to explain ourselves. We also ran into an old investigator from Duncan South (Duncan is combined to one area now). I'm not sure whether it’s for real or not yet, but she wants us to get rid of devils in her house and her daughter is possessed. I'm kind of skeptical, but she and everyone in the house is thoroughly convinced of it.

On a different note, one of the funnest things here has been to see some of the long-time investigators again. D. and K. have been investigating a while now and he believes the Book of Mormon is mostly true. We've been struggling to help him accept the whole of it though. They're definitely great people and I really want them to accept this, but I also don't want to hang on just because they're friends.

Despite the little concerns, Elder D. and I are pretty sure there'll be some awesome miracles this transfer. We've been working plenty hard and, with all the experience of missionaries nearby with serving in the Duncan area, the Lord has set us up for success. We've already found quite a few new and long former investigators at random as we've been out tracting and biking.

Love you, Dad!
Elder Rice