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Monday, March 18, 2013

Week #13 Utica, New York

Hey everyone! Wow I love you all so much. Today was an interesting week, I went on my first exchanges on Tuesday with our District Leader Elder Hazelett. He is a great missionary from Rock Springs Wyoming I believe. He actually had his endowments taken out in the Vernal Temple just like me! He had those little puffy luggage balls just like me that they gave at the Temple. We went to the area next to ours which is called Watertown. It is actually a pretty good sized town with alot more people in it than my area in Carthage. We met with a few less actives that day and had dinner with a really fun family named the Jordans. We went to a restaraunt called the Fairgrounds and I had a bbq burger. It was great. We went and contacted some refferals and set some appointments for later in the week. We knocked a few doors and I had probably the funniest rejection I have gotten so far on the mission. We knocked on the door and this guy with a cigarrette in his mouth peeked his head and and said "What you guys sellin?" we chuckled and said nothing and he immediatly said in a funny rough tone of voice "Then I ain't interested!" and slammed the door. I probably shouldn't have but I just laughed out loud. I guess it's good to laugh when you are tracting. It helps keeps the Spirits up since there is very very little success with tracting here in upstate New York. No worries though. The next day me and Elder hazelett had an appointment with a new investigator where we taught her the Restoration, she had many good insights and when we asked her questions she had perfect answers and understood everything almost perfect. She was already trying to quite smoking and drinking coffee. Crazy how the Gospel makes people want to change for the better, even by just reading from the Book of Mormon, people perspective changes on alot of things. We actually committed her to baptism and a baptism date for sometime in May. What a cool thing, I wish she was in my area so I could keep teaching her. Elder Menlove stayed in carthage and the other Watertown Elder named Elder Slaughter went with him for the 24 hour exchange. Most of their appointments fell through so they only ended up teaching on investigator named mary lou who is an older Lady whose Husband recently passed away and her son who is a less active member reffered us to her. The amazing thing about the Gospel is that we can provide any answer to her questions and reassure her that she can live with her husband again. This week was one of those weeks where we felt less productive. There were alot of lessons with investigators that fell through. Satan was working hard this week to throw a wrench in the missionary work here. Alot of our investigators and less active families had things come up, like work or they had to go to the military training field for the entire week. Just a bunch of different things coming up to make it hard for us to teach. We weren't able to teach the two people that we taught the restoration last sunday and committed to baptism. They had things come up and weren't able to be taught. I pray with all my heart that they are reading the Book of Mormon, and praying to know that it is true. Hopefully this will be a better week for teaching and things won't fall through so much. We also had Return and report on friday which was where everyone who had been out on their missions for a month went back to utica and had a training. It was a really good training and I got to see my companion Elder Saxton there for the first time in a month. He didn't have much to say but I think he is doing good. I guess also that President Wirthlin talked to my companion Elder Menlove and said that he would be transfering him to a new area because he had some stuff he needed to take care of there, and that I would be recieveing a new trainer but I would be leading out on the area. This scared me to death. We have a large area but I was mainly worried because we do a ton of work on the Military base Ft. Drum and It is so big and confusing and it all looks the same to me. It's super tough to navigate. I was just having panic attacks, and was really worried and quite the rest of Friday and saturday. On Saturday we had a tri-ward dinner at the Watertown church house where members would bring there friends and we would have a church tour and eat sphagetti and have a good time. About 100 people showed up and only like 2 nonmembers were there haha. They were both from watertown but hopefully the missionaries will start teaching them there. They seemed interested and one went on the church tour. We got transfer calls that night and they told me and Elder Menlove that we would both be staying in carthage. We were both like What? I was so relieved, the zone leader said that there were some missionaries in the mtc that went home early and so it changed stuff up for us. We had been planning for the last several weeks to split our area because we were told we would be recieving new sister missionaries in our area and so we had spent time finding an apartment for them and coordinating how would would split the area. But I guess something came up that threw a wrench in the plans of everything and so now it will be just me and Elder Menlove staying here in Carthage. Honestly though I can't complain. I prayed so much for the lord to help me cause I felt like there was so much weight being put on my shoulders. The Lord sure works in mysterious ways. I'm still thinking that we might get a call in the next few days saying there was a mixup and that Elder Menlove really is leaving the area. idk though, we will see. Whatever happens though I know that the Lord qualifies those whom he calls. Everything will be ok. Saturday we visited a recent convert because everything else had fallen through and as we pulled up outside his house we saw a black guy in a white suit walking down the sidewalk in our direction, we were planning on talking to him anyway but as soon as we stepped out of our car he yelled out Hey you guys Christians?! we said yeah and he came over and started talking to us about the rapture and 666 and how we have to all accept Jesus or we will all be killed by terrorists because Obama is the Anti-Christ. A bunch of crazy stuff he had me read this verse in mathew that made zero sense at all. And then he went on to explain stuff about the number 70 and kinda some weird stuff. We were polite and we told him that we believed Christ was coming soon to the earth and that these were the last days. That was about all we agreed on. but we didn't argue with him about everything else he said. He said he wanted to pray with us so he started praying and he told us to repeat what he said. Me and Elder Menlove just looked at eachother like "What?" We had no idea what to do so we were polite and went along with it. I cant remember a thing he said in the prayer but it was basically to save us and not let us burn in hell. During the prayer i had the distinct impression from the Holy Ghost to make sure we didn't leave the man without first offering our own prayer. After his prayer he went off on other stuff about us being implanted with a 666 chip that would be set off by radio signals by terrorists and then we would die and go straight to hell. We finally shared a few of our beliefs about how the Godhead is three seperate and distinct beings and we talked about the Book of Mormon and we showed it to him, he said he already knew a little about Joseph Smith and had read some of the Book of Mormon. he said he had to go but I asked him if i could offer a prayer, he looked at me very sceptically but he agreed. I said a simple prayer and thanked the Lord for the atonement of Christ and for families and that families could be together forever. I didn't say anything that might offend him and I didn't say anything about Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon. But I felt good after the prayer and he had a really somber look to him. He said he had to go then so we said goodbye. I truly believe we were supposed to meet that man at that time, things somehow worked out so that we pulled up to their house right as he walked by. Maybe there was a seed planted, who knows. It was an interesting experience to say the least. Anyway I have been playing the piano a little bit, I play in Priesthood now and usually at district meetings. Surprisingly no one else knows how to play. It's cool using those talents. Also this saturday we are having an all mission conference and Elder Bednar is coming to speak to us for about 3 hours. We are super stoked for that. I'll let you know next week how it was, I'm excited to see my Friends Elder Mitch Hussey who is from Roosevelt as well and has been out here since July. That will be cool and I will send you pictures. These pictures are of me yesterday on St. Patricks day and of our District here. We have a great district. A couple facts about Elder Menlove is he is from Chandler Arizona, he loves football and he goes home at the end of November. He makes sure we are always doing something and not just sitting around in the car or apartment. he likes water polo and ceramics, and is drop dead Gorgous (He told me to put that) haha Also can you write on President Willards facebook and tell him congrats on his call and tell him i look forward to knowing that my mission area border much of bolivia. i was also super excited to hear about Aarons visa, another sister from my mtc district got her visa, she is from Arizona. I feel that mine is on the way, but I so look forward to fulfilling the Lords purposes here in New York. So anyways I love you all so much, I wrote Jetson a letter so hopefully I will mail it off today and he can get it before he leaves next week. Take care everyone I love you all so much and pray for you all everyday. Tenha um bom dia todo mundo!
Com amor
-Elder Kennington

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