Hello Everyone!! I think I got everyone on here. We have to email at a different library this week because the main one is closed for Christmas Break till January 12th! That's a long break! So it isn't loading everyone I normally email automatically. If I missed someone, Im sorry!
This week has been one of the best ones in a long time! And it is all because of my new companion, Elder Deyarmond! I didn't tell you a whole lot about him but I have time now. Elder Derrick Dale Deyarmond is 18 and from Dorr, Michigan. He just graduated this year from high school. He actually has a very interesting story. Elder Deyarmond was born in Russia. Vladivostok, Russia to be exact. He was put into an orphanage at birth and was there till he was about 1.5 years old. Both he and his older sister were adopted from Russia. They aren't biological and only about 10 months apart in age. Elder Deyarmond's name used to be Anatoli Vladaviramich Dragon! But when he was adopted, they changed his name. I thought it would have been cool to keep his middle name "Dragon". It still would have fit the pattern of his name! He is a swimmer and has gone to state for that. He loves to mess around and joke but is definitely a hard worker. Our 2nd day together, we had planned to go see one of our potential investigators and teach The Restoration. As soon as the alarm went off at 6:30, his head lifted off the pillow and said "So we are going to be teaching the Restoration today, right?" I laughed and said yes but explained that we have a schedule that we have every morning and that we had time to prepare for the day. It was so cute! It is really helping the work out here though!
We have seen a lot of really cool miracles come out of just getting up on time and getting our studies done and getting out of the apartment on time. It is the small and simple things that really play the big difference! We got in touch with quite a few less active families that we have been trying to contact for a few weeks! One of them is the Taylors. Brother Taylor is a single father that is raising 3 daughters: Victoria (10), Alessandra (I think)(8), and Mira Bell (6). Sister Taylor passed away just over a month ago... It has been very hard on them all obviously but they are making a com-back. His 2 oldest daughters aren't baptized but they both want to be. We are gonna have to work with them to make sure that they understand everything but I am super excited to help this family grow and make these covenants!
We were also able to contact 2 more less-actives through another less-active! It was quite the miracle! We were asked to help our ward mission leader move some furniture out of some trailers and into a less-actives home, the Salazar's. So we show up and it turns out that the people we are getting the furniture from is a less-active family too! And they have a 10 year old son that has a lot of potential and wanted to get baptized at one point! So we were able to contact them through this service. Then we went over to the Salazar's to bring the furniture over and we were able to build up a friendship there too. In fact, we have been over there 3 more times just this week to help put some bunk beds and bed frames together for them. AND we are eating dinner with them tonight! So it is going to be super awesome!! :)
We were also asked to contact a less-active family, the Heckman's, about getting some furniture from the trailers. They said they needed some cribs and I can now see why. Sister Heckman has 6 kids and 2 more that are they for foster care! 8 kids is a lot to handle, not to mention her husband works 6 days a week from early in the morning to late at night. It's gotta be tough but somehow she manages! Some people just have that knack I guess! Anyway, we brought over the cribs and put them together for her. She invited us back anytime after the holidays so we will be going back either later this week or next week.
That is 3 less-active families we have been able to come in contact with in just one day! And on top of that, we got our own little reward! Actually, not just one and it's not very little. There were 2 queen mattresses and box's for the mattresses that were gonna be thrown away if no body took them. So, WE GOT QUEEN BEDS!!! AND we got a really cool coffee table that lights up underneath it. So we rewired it and hooked up Christmas lights to it instead and taped them to the inside of the table. So at just the click of a button, our coffee table lights up with Christmas lights! AAANNNDDD this week we will get getting a really nice "L-shaped" couch that will be cleaned very thoroughly and will be very nice! This allowed us to give our 2 twin sized beds to the Heckman's who also needed those too. Service works miracles!!
We had a really funny, kinda dumb experience this week. Elder Deyarmond thinks that he has a great memory but sometimes it is a little off. It's never a bad thing, it's just funny! So this week we got some fresh fruits and vegetables from a member. For lunch one day, Elder Deyarmond wanted a tomato sandwich and it turned out very well. He had some left over tomato slices and asked if I wanted to have some with sugar.... Tomatoes and sugar?? That sounds like something dad would try! ;) He reassured me that it was delicious and even ate a big piece covered in sugar. So I tried it... and I didn't really like it... at all actually. To get the taste out of my mouth, I grabbed the salt and another tomato slice and ate those together. He just looked at me and said, "Oh... salt... Maybe it was salt instead of sugar..." As he was saying this, he had a big ole' tomato slice with a mountain of sugar on top of it up to his mouth. He just shrugged and ate it like it was no big deal! So now we tell people that we love tomatoes and sugar just to see what reactions we get!
I am loving it out here! I don't think that I really need anything. I love music still! And I still love food (even though I'm down to 160 or 165)!! Snacks are great cause that means that I don't have to buy them at the store on p-days. Other than that, I will take pretty much anything! I just got a new toothbrush and toothpaste from a member along with some of those floss-stick things. The members truly love us out here and I love them too!
That is something I've really come to realize is so important, LOVE EVERYONE!! Every person on the street is a candidate for God-hood, yes even the man you see walking down the street with gages in his ears and spiked, technicolored hair! He is a son of God and at one point chose to follow Jesus Christ, he just doesn't remember that. And so it is up to us to make sure that he understands his potential by showing him the same love that God shows us each day. This includes within the family. Gavin and Connor, I don't know why I feel inclined to tell you this but fighting over a game of ping-pong really isn't worth the fight. The next day, you'll wake up and not even remember what you were fighting about but you will sure remember how you made each other feel. A quote I heard Elder Oaks I think say went something like "Should you disagree, do not be disagreeable." You can have different opinions and even voice them if you really feel that it is wrong. But don't fight about dumb little things and let that get in the way of your friendship, and even more important, your brotherhood. Gavin, do you remember when we used to fight all the time. The same with you Connor. We all used to fight a lot and there was yelling and crying and frankly, I hate those memories. But the ones of us going out and playing soccer or tennis or riding dad's scooter around or staying up late talking about life, those are the ones I love to think about! Remember how much you really love each other and don't worry about little disputations that you think are life changing but really aren't. Instead realize that your actions and decisions can be life changing, either for the better or worse. Look at me go, like I'm dad or something. You guys are big boys now. You can make your own decisions. But one lesson you need to learn now is that dumb little things don't matter when you have to be with someone 24/7. You will have companions on your mission that just drive you bonkers! But as you focus on the good and how much you love them, everything else works itself out!
Well, now that I've done that tangent, I just want to tell you all that I love you very much! I can't wait to call home in 3 days! I have absolutely no idea when I will be calling you guys though. We will just be calling from our cell phone I believe unless we can get a member to let us borrow their phone so we can talk a little longer! It will probably be closer to the morning when everyone is up and presents have been opened and such! I will text you on Wednesday to let you know what time exactly. :) I can't wait!!! I LOVE YOU!!!
~Elder Kyle "Sebastian" Harris