I have waited a whole year for this letter… Elder Hayden is heading onto the down hill slop. One Mother’s Day call complete and one Christmas call complete. We are almost over the hump. I get asked a lot “Does it feel fast to you?” The answer I give is always no! J But the reality is that the days go slow but the weeks really go by quickly. And remembering back to Hunter’s mission, this part goes even faster. Love him, miss him but oh, so proud of him! Enjoy!!
1. OH I LOVE THIS BOOK!
2. Thanks Elders...My family has been pretty anti for most of their life.
3. Yeah I've read to Alma 40 or so when I was reading it before.
5. I found a baby blue jay!!
Happy year mark to me! This Thursday is my year mark and that is super exciting! Even more importantly, it's my parent’s anniversary today. Thirdly important is that it is the anniversary of when I gave my farewell talk. This is a big week for all of us.
The first quote comes from a fantastic lady we are teaching, Sylvia who is an awesome 49 year old woman with 32 grandchildren, who after some patience and trial and error for finding out when she is home, we finally have had a couple of appointments and she is reading the Book of Mormon now. She read 1st Nephi 1-3 the first time we came by and we called her on Saturday and she has it on her phone now and she is at chapter 9. She exclaimed to us that she absolutely loves it. In her own words she said, "Oh I love this book! It's beautiful! He had to chop his head off! How beautiful!" As a piece of advice for anyone giving someone a book of Mormon have them download it on their phones. We've been doing that recently and people are much more open to that then a Book because they can carry it anywhere and adjust the font size and stuff. Lastly for this quote, she pronounces Laman as "Let-a-man." Every time. It's fantastic.
Next was a really cool, but interesting experience for Elder Swapp and I. We were asked to give a blessing after zone conference this Wednesday up north of our area. We waited for a bit but the lady, I'll call her Nancy, eventually got to the assisted living facility and walked us to the room. We were asked to give a blessing to a frail older woman who was about to pass away. Before we started, Nancy said "don't use oil, just a blessing and my uncle will stop you if you say anything he doesn't agree with." We give the blessing and he doesn't stop us at all but afterwards Nancy tells us that her whole family in that room was against the church and she had explained to them we can give a blessing and after a little reluctance they agreed. It was a good experience though.
Third is when we went to a new investigator family that we moved in on my birthday. We talked with them for a good while to find out some concerns and other things and he told us that he was just about to be baptized and then a couple of things came up and he decided against it but he had read more than half the Book of Mormon so we gave him and his wife another one, and he also asked for all the pamphlets again so he could do some reading of those so he can refresh his memory. They are making us dinner tonight.
Fourth, I got to go on exchange here in Clearwater with one of my zone leaders Elder Stout who is a fantastic missionary. In the zone picture I sent he is the one in the very top left. We went finding like crazy, were setting appointments with former and just overall seeing absolute miracles. One that we saw is that we went to subway to grab dinner and before we left the car he grabbed two restoration pamphlets and we walked up to the door and talked to a group of five guys just standing there and while he was talking another group of four people walked up and said "Hi Sir." To me and I asked if he knew who we were. He said "the Mormons right? I had missionaries coming over. I love the Book of Mormon. I have had so many blessing come since I started reading it but I left my old one in my dad's house when I moved." So I got him a new one and his face when he saw it was complete awe that he finally had a new Book of Mormon again. He was so grateful and we got his address to the missionaries in his area. Such a blessing. After subway, Elder Stout invited the people making the food to church and gave one of them a pamphlet with the church address on it.
Lastly is a cool thing that I saw today and it is a blue jay. I'll start taking pictures of all the birds Florida has. They are weird but blue Jays look awesome.
Anyway that was a brief rundown of my week. I love you all and appreciate the prayers. I definitely need them, as we all do.
I love you all! Take care!
Love Elder May