Wow. We had an eventful week. Transfers are this week and I will be leaving Melton Lake to go to Lebanon, TN. Elder Frederick will be staying here with a new companion. I'm excited for a new area and new opportunities, but I'm sad to be leaving Melton Lake and Elder Frederick. This has been my favorite area so far - the ward is AWESOME, and there are so many people here that I'll be sad to leave - and Elder Frederick has been a really great companion and friend. But hey, that's how missions go.
A cool story from this week: out of the blue one morning we had a sudden idea to try dropping by a less active member family named the Bainums. We've tried them before and haven't been able to catch them at home, but we figured we might as well. This time when we pulled up, we found them outside on the porch. We walked up and they were all excited to see us. They had a friend with them named Frank. Frank told us that two days before, he had prayed to know if God was there, and promised Him that he would be His servant if He would show him what he needed to do. And then when he came to stay with the Bainums the next night, somehow their conversation turned to the gospel, and they were up talking until 3 am. He told us he didn't think much of it and kind of dismissed it, but then the very next morning, there we were walking up the driveway. He told us he didn't know what it meant exactly or what he was supposed to do, but that he knew that somehow we were sent there by God for him, and that he would listen to whatever we had to say. It was so cool!!
So we came back and taught him the Restoration. It was like nothing he'd ever heard before. He told us it just sounded and felt right, and he promised to read from the Book of Mormon and pray about it. He even accepted the invitation to be baptized! He has a lot of personal struggles he is trying to overcome and he is really reaching out to God right now. Helping him come to know Jesus Christ for himself will make such a difference. And Brother Bainum told us afterwards that he has also been praying for help with some personal struggles for the last few months, and every time he has, the answer he has gotten has been to "talk to the missionaries."
It was a great way to end a transfer. :) I'm excited for Elder Frederick to get to work with all the people here. Frank is one of several people here that just sort of appeared out of nowhere and are super prepared to receive the gospel. Melton Lake has been sort of the area of miracles in that way.
My message this week is something it seems the Lord has been trying to teach me this transfer. It is that if we will try to love Jesus Christ, with everything we've got, then everything else will fall into place for us.
The gospel is true. Christ lives, and He is the way. I love you all. Make yourselves a great week!
Elder Alex Swindler
1-2) Final district pics: Elders T. Nelson, Bateman, Swindler, Frederick, L. Nelson, and Merrill
3) "Killing" Elder Merrill - he will be going home this transfer. I'm gonna miss him. He's been a huge part of my mission. It was cool to serve around him one more time, the first time since he trained me actually.
4) A selfie
5) Zone picture with President & Sister Griffin
6-7) A cool member let us hold his big gun haha
8-9) Goodbye to Crystal, Cameille, and Camron