This week has just been a blessing, period. I don't even know where to start...
So transfers happened this week and I unfortunately lost Elder Ballard. He's going to be a great Zone Leader up in Moses Lake. That's one thing I have been blessed with is companions in Leadership who have been around the block a time or two. He was a great example for me and my mission. We traveled up Kennewick together to pick up my new companion. My new companion is awesome!! I dare say he might be one of my favorite companions thus far. His name is Elder Ojeda. He is from the country of Paraguay, and he's just the bomb. He speaks really good English but we always speak in Spanish of course. He is like a spiritual power house. Every lesson we go to the spirit is there and you can just feel it so strongly.
|Goodbye Elder Ballard|
|Hello Elder Ojeda|
Lets talk about our investigators..
Alan- Alan is from NC, born and raised in Yadkinville, North Carolina. He is SO solid. We went to his house with a member this past week and both me and Elder Ojeda was just pounding questions in on him. He opened up finally and started telling us his past life. He talked about how his past religions with Southern Baptist scared him because of the way the people acted. I felt so connected with him because I have the very same background as him. Not that i am scared of Southern Baptist people, both the people that raised me are Southern Baptist, the people in that church are great people as a matter of a fact, but it just wasn't for me or him. He finally came around and said "I know The Book of Mormon is true, can I have one? I have to overcome my fear of going to church.." So we are now teaching him the lessons. He is one of those guys that is so ready...but he doesn't know it yet. Can't wait to continue working with him and helping him progress. A baptism is in his future.
Christina- Christina is just so golden. She will be baptized this coming Saturday the 18th. Her parents are Seventh Day Adventist preachers, and for the longest time she never told them that she was going to be baptized into The Mormon church. When I got here she was planning on telling them soon, but one morning we got a text from her saying "Hey guys, I am going to tell my parents tonight, please pray for me." So guess what she did, she told them. Every since then they have been giving her a hard time with being baptized. Sometimes almost mean to her. But this past Wednesday after we were just saying our prayers the phone went off and it was a text. It said.. "I forgot to ask you Elder Hutchens, will you please be the one to baptize me?" Man, I never in my life have felt so honored and privileged in my entire life. So this Saturday, I will be performing the baptism for Christina! She has been a blessing to work with and can not to wait to see what the future holds for her.
Hannah- Hannah is just as golden as Christina. She has been coming to church for two years and not ever has she taken the lessons from the missionaries because her parents wouldn't let her. A little before I got here her parents decided it was okay to let her get baptized but the missionaries couldn't get a hold of her. She is in high school and the president of the FFA, so shes super busy. But we have been meeting consistently every single Wednesday for the last month or so, and shes ready! We had a lesson on The Plan of Salvation and things just gradually started to click and you could see she was learning very rapidly. She has a baptismal date for November the 9th! So stoked for her..but we got home that night after the lesson and the WHOLE young women in the church left us Twinkies with cool designs on them on our front door step. They had notes from all the young women in it. One was from Hannah, it said " Thanks for you do Elders, I can't wait for my baptism and I am learning so much!" Its always nice as a missionary to know that your investigators are learning and giving you twinkies all at the same time..
Virginia- Virginia has been meeting with the missionaries for a long time. But never has she understood how important it is to be baptized by someone holding the priesthood. Elder Ojeda with that rolling spiritual tide came in here this past Thursday and we had a meeting with her. We started explaining the Priesthood...I was talking, he was talking, I would talk, he would talk. I would testify..he would testify...BOOM...we had a baptismal date. She's set to go November 8th. But Elder Ojeda and I were speaking by the Holy Ghost. We had nothing to do with her finally understanding all this. The Holy Ghost was using us as tools to deliver the words she needed to hear. She comes to church every single week, and we are excited for her!!
Guys, I have been blessed as a missionary to be here in the Washington Kennewick mission. The Lord is working on these peoples hearts, and its evident. I am rapidly learning more Spanish, the Spirit is always strong, and our investigators are progressing. I am aware that things will not always be this good in the future, but I am thankful for all this. Your support has been awesome! I have also been blessed with awesome leaders, awesome companions and an awesome area. With transfers of course happening, almost half our zone is now turned upside down. We have so many new people here but I am getting to know them. They seem like awesome missionaries! Can't wait to send yall pictures of the baptism this week, and to let you guys know how our investigators are progressing. Pray for us that we may be able to feel the spirit during these lessons and use the right words to help these people come close to Christ!
I love you all, and I am rapidly putting on weight..so...not sure how to feel about that. haha.