We've had a crazy week this week. Lots of good stuff though.
Wednesday we pranked the other Elders back. We used our copy of their key to let ourselves into their apartment while they were at a dinner appointment, and then we unscrewed all of their lightbulbs and hid them in random places around the then-super-dark apartment (like in the fridge and microwave and under the bed). It was awesome. :)
Thursday was Thanksgiving. We went and played flag football at the neighboring ward's Turkey Bowl in the morning, then stuffed ourselves full of food for the rest of the day. We had our first meal appointment with a less active family at 11, our second one at 4 with the Bishop and his family, and ended the night with amazing dessert at a cool recent convert's house. It was an awesome day.
Friday we had a great lesson with Austin, our investigator. He told us that he's noticed that when he reads the Book of Mormon and comes to our church, he feels peace and like a weight is taken off his shoulders. But when he doesn't, and when he goes to his church, he feels anxiety and like a weight is on his shoulders. We didn't suggest it to him, he just told us. It was pretty neat, and a testimony to me that the feelings of the Spirit are real, and that anybody who is a sincere seeker of truth will feel them when they read the Book of Mormon and come to church. We think Austin knows the Gospel is true, but he doesn't know he knows it yet, and he's afraid. He's facing a lot of opposition from his family, friends, and church. He could use your prayers if you're willing.
Also on Friday, we had dinner with the Bishop and his family again. Their son Sterling who is on a mission has a friend named Jeff, and they ran into him at the store and invited him to come hang out with them. They told Sterling about it, and he told them that Jeff had been on his mind all week and that they definitely needed to try to share the Gospel with him again (he took the discussions about a year ago but it didn't go anywhere). So they had us come to dinner with them to meet Jeff. And it went super well. It turned out that me and Elder Bateman had read a lot of the same books Jeff had, and we all had similar interests, and it was just a big geek-out session. It was awesome. Afterwards Elder Bateman told us in the car that he really wants to stay another transfer in this area. Things are going really well, the work is picking up, there's a lot of people here he really loves...
And then on Saturday we got a call from President Griffin. He asked for Elder Bateman, and told him that there was going to be a small early transfer on Monday and he would be leaving the area, going to Cleveland, TN.
So Saturday and Sunday were spent packing and saying goodbyes. It has been rough, especially for Elder Bateman. Leaving an area is always hard. Missionaries kind of emotionally brace themselves for it whenever transfers roll around. Elder Bateman didn't really get the chance. He was pretty upset. We had the transfer today, and he's gone now. I was sad to see him go, I've really loved serving with him. Through all of this though, we've all felt the Spirit testifying that this really is the Lord's work and that this is His will. That's helped. But we could all use your prayers, especially Elder Bateman.
Message for the week:
We've just had Thanksgiving, and now we're officially in the Christmas season. I'd like to invite all of you to consider the real reason we have Christmas. Take time to be grateful that we have a Savior. There's a really good video that just got put out by the Church about what the world would be like if Christ was never born. I can't find the link. Just go to christmas.mormon.org and click on "Imagine A World Without a Savior." Also - there is another big video put out by the Church called "A Savior Is Born." It talks about why Jesus Christ's birth is so important to all of us and each of us. It's at the same link as the other video. All of you - go watch it! And then make sure to share it with people! On that website, you can print pass along cards with A Savior Is Born on them and you can share the video on social media. Let's all do our part to help everyone we can to "discover why" the Savior was born. :)
I love you all!
Fotos (lots of goodbyes):
1) Elder Bateman with Roger and Mayetta and their grandkids
2) Elder Bateman with Pete
3-4) Elder Bateman with Austin
5-6) Us with the Bishop and his family
7) Last companionship selfie :(
8) President Griffin had Gossner milk in his fridge! Utah!! :)