Hello my dearest Family!
This week was kinda a let down.... It all started on Wednesday. It was Zone Training so we all showed up to be trained by President Killpack. As we were sitting there, I crossed my arms across my chest and then yawned. *RIP* My grey suit coat from Missionary Mall ripped down my right arm from the edge of my shoulder to mid-bicep. I called missionary mall and they said that I just needed to send a picture or 2 to their email support group and they would send me a new coat. So I have a torn suit for now. Then Elder Stock (our district leader) came over to our place after district meeting with his companion. Unfortunately, he wasn't feeling very well. He threw up a few times and decided that he would take a nap for a little while since we had dinner in 2 hours together. So as he laid down, Elder Jones and I decided that we would just go check up on our investigators and potentials.
So we started with Jane. Jane went to Houston for a few about a week and returned on the 4th. We tried texting and calling her when she returned but had no luck. So we decided we would just go over and check up on her seeing as how it had been like 5 days since she'd been home. We knocked on her door and her hostess answered. We asked for Jane and she said, "Jane isn't interested in your church anymore." I was shocked... I just stood there for a second with this dumb look on my face... I asked her if we could talk to her and she said that now wasn't a good time. We gave her our number and asked her to have Jane call us. She agreed and took our number then closed the door. However, we talked to Jane when we first met her and she said that her Host and Hostess were pretty against her taking the lessons. Her host is Jewish and her hostess is some Christian faith. She we don't know if she is really not interested or if she has just been told that she can't take the lessons or talk to the missionaries anymore. We talked to a guy in our ward who explained that anyone from an Asian country is usually pretty respectful and wont go against what they are told. And that is Jane is a round-about way. She is SUPER respectful and wouldn't do anything to upset her host/hostess. So unfortunately we will never know what made her change her mind... But what we decided to do is we would pack up the rest of the pamphlets we have for her and then write our testimonies on a piece of paper for her to have. That way she has it when she returns to China and can study and learn there. And if she isn't interested then we have done everything that we can to invite her to come unto Christ. Just keep her in your prayers. That was the first thing that went wrong...
Next was Elder Holland. Or should I say NOT Elder Holland. We received a text on Thursday Night telling us that Elder Holland’s Schedule has changed suddenly and would no longer be able to speak to the missionaries... We still went up to Phoenix which was fun but we listened to Elder Jim Wright who is our area of the 70. His wife spoke first and told us that she was telling people how bummed the missionaries were going to be that Elder Holland couldn't speak to us anymore. They didn't understand so she put it this way, "Imagine that you buy tickets to go see the Beatles live and on the front row! You are SOOOOO excited to jam out to some great tunes and when you finally show up to the concert, you are told that the Beatles couldn't make it but instead they had the Dixie Chicks...." And it was true! I was so bummed when I found out that we weren't going to hear Elder Holland. President and Sister Killpack also spoke for like 5 minutes before Elder Wright spoke. Sister Killpack explained that it doesn't matter who is speaking cause it is all about the Spirit. It doesn't matter who brings the Spirit in cause it is the same Spirit either way. President Killpack talked about Samuel Smith. He is Joseph Smith's brother who was one of the very first Missionaries for the Church. He went to England and had no success. He didn't have a single baptism in 11 years! (I think it was 11 years...) He handed out very few copies of the Book of Mormon. One of which he gave to a man by the name of Phineas Young. Phineas told him that he was going to prove this book wrong then ran off with it. After 2 weeks, Phineas had read the Book of Mormon twice and knew that it was true. He then shared the book with his brother Brigham Young who then shared it with Heber C. Kimball. However, Samuel Smith had moved on and had no idea that someone believed what he was preaching. It wasn't till he returned home that he found out about the Young's and Heber Kimball. This hit home for me. Jane just dropped us and I was kinda heart broken about it. But who am I to say that she won't accept it someday! I know that she will. She knows what the Spirit feels like and she believes in Jesus Christ.
Earlier on Wednesday, Elder Jones tried to comfort me by saying, "Hey, at least we are planting seeds." I answered back saying, "Ya. But every farmer needs to harvest something or else he is (or at least feels like) a failure." Back to the Phoenix trip. Elder Wright then spoke. The main thing I got out of his talk related with this too. He said, "It is NEVER about us. It is ALWAYS about Him." Right then the thought popped into my head about what I had said about harvesting. I realized that I am not the farmer. Jacob Chapter 5 came rushing into my mind as well and I realized that I am just the servant planting seeds and grafting branches. The Lord is the Farmer and He knows what is best for each and every different kind of plant (or person). You can't harvest things too early or else they are bitter and will eventually just be thrown away. But the longer you let a piece of fruit ripen on a tree, the sweeter it gets and the better it is! It is the same with people. All I can do is plant seeds. I can nourish people with the word of God and help them become sweeter and more ripe. The Lord is the one who harvests, not me.
We had an investigator in our last area, Bones. He is like 70 and black. He has a long white goatee that is braided and has beads in it that spell "BONES". He carves walking sticks. Something he said was "I don't carve anything into the stick that wasn't already there. I just put my blade to it and take off the extra, unnecessary pieces of wood. It already has its potential beauty inside of it. It is just my job and the whittler to bring it out so everyone else can see its true beauty." President Monson in a Christmas Devotional once said "Put your trust in the carpenter." I then made the connection! We are all pieces of wood just lying on the ground. The Lord has come and picked us up and wants to help us bring out our true beauty. He is the only one who can bring out the best in us and it is only if we allow him to. Just thought that was a cool little thought!
Alexander Christopher Jones is officially engaged!!! He will be married to a miss Mary sometime in March. I wish I could be there for it but I cannot be... So I will need you guys to be there for me and to take LOTS of pictures so it is like I am there. Maybe you could get a cardboard cutout of me and give it to him for his reception! Yes?? :)
Also Elder Jones and I are doing better. He isn't very upset about his aunt cause he didn't know her very well but it still took him some time to heal. I am happy to say that he has healed and is growing. He bore a SUPER powerful testimony about the Book of Mormon in church yesterday and it brought in the Spirit! I was so happy and proud of him! He is growing a lot and is trying his hardest to be a good missionary!
We went back over to Mary (the elderly lady) yesterday. She told us to come back in 2 weeks because she has doctors appointments all this week. She said she has been reading the Book of Mormon and has lots of questions to ask us. We will be going by next week sometime!
Ben and Amanda are married and Amanda is ready to be baptized. Unfortunately, Ben is not worthy to baptize her. But she doesn't want to put it off any longer! So she asked Elder Flake to baptize her! She will be baptized this upcoming Saturday! :) :) :)
I haven't sent the package I was going to send because I don't have a personal card yet. I called the back today and they said that they would send me a new one and it would be here in 3-5 days. So I will send it when I can :)
I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!! Thank you for the great emails and the fun stories! It always brightens my week when I get emails from you guys! I LOVE YOU!!!
~Elder Kyle Harris