First off, yes, I did notice the language thing with Conference, mostly because I knew about it before hand; Brother Marshall, the man who we are living with, read about it on the church news website about 2 weeks ago. It was actually pretty funny, because I had been hoping that President Uchdorf would be speaking in German from the time that he told us about it, and President Uchdorf made the comment about it in his Saturday talk. As for the rest of conference, I always love that weekend, mostly because it is pretty much a chance for the rest of the world to take a backseat, and the talks are always amazing. I think that my favorite one this time might actually be President Packer's Saturday morning talk. I know, I usually prefer President Uchdorf's, but I really loved the focus on our belief in Christ that the whole conference had, especially his talk. Even in Idaho, people seem to think that we don't know what we believe in first, and second, that even if we did, we don't believe in a Jesus Christ that gave everything for us. It's honestly been more and more frustrating, especially when people make comments that slander men that spent their lives just trying to leave a better world behind. It was great to hear such a strong and repeated testimony in who we are and what we know; That Jesus is the Christ, and that he died to help us be better than we could be alone.
Now to explain that little rant. In the past week, there has been more insults, misinformation, and slander tossed our way than almost anytime in my mission. I can now officially add the "Joseph Smith was a pedophile, a sexual prisoner" comment to the list of rumors that has been thrown my way. That one really bugged me, because we didn't even say anything that would provoke that kind of response.
What did we say? "Hi!" ~Elder Richie
That was all we said. I mean, if we had knocked his door, tried to stop his run, or made any kind of move like that, fine. I'd be a little frustrated if someone tried to mess up my day by saying a lot of stuff that I didn't believe in. (I believe that I am displaying that frustration right now.) But just "Hi?" It's just a common courtesy! Even more than that, what do they hope to accomplish with these comments? Do they think that we will stop teaching? Do they think that we even haven't heard or heard of them before? That we don't know the history of what we believe, and the rumors that came from it? We are wearing tags that show us as representatives of an entire church, and they don't think we understand the basics of what we teach?
Well, out of all of that, one thing at least should be clear---I can rant for quite a long time over little things. Moving on.
As for some of the awesome things that happened this week, It was jam packed. Like I said in the last email, we had invited Keiran to be baptized this last Friday instead of in November, due to their family moving out on Saturday, and Keiran accepted. So, almost all of the week was spent getting ready for the baptism. Little side note on that, I did something that I never really thought that I'd do; I called the Primary President cold, invited her to the baptism, and asked her to give a talk on baptism. I think that I had a good quart of adrenaline running through my veins after the call; I don't like asking people I don't know for favors.
Anyways, we went over on Wednesday to teach the last lesson and a half to Keiran, and it was quite possibly the most simple version of the Commandments and the Laws and Ordinances lessons that I had ever been a part of teaching---and I once again am glad that I have Elder Richie as a companion (though I probably wont tell him that, due to his tendency to over exaggerate things). That man can talk, make things easy to understand, and fun to listen to, all at the same time. I don't think that the lesson would have gone very well if I had had a different companion, or if we were on splits with the Ward Missionaries. Best of all, Keiran just soaked it all up. In fact, before we started the lesson, Keiran said that he had taught his siblings the lesson that we had taught the last time we were over, the Ten Commandments, that morning. His siblings actually knew them, too! The next day, we went back and took the District Leader with us, and he gave Keiran his baptismal interview. They came back in not ten minutes later, and Elder Knighton said that he hadn't interviewed someone who understood what was taught so clearly before (though this only his first transfer as district leader, so that is understandable). Aaaand the next day was the baptism! It was one of the smoothest operations that I have been a part of, even though we didn't know if we had someone to preside for a good half an hour past the time that we were supposed to start. It was really awesome, and I could tell that Keiran understood and enjoyed it.
The other really cool thing from this week happened just last night, after the last session of conference. The bishop had signed up for us to have dinner with his family, and on Saturday, he called us to say that he was able to invite a part member family that had just moved into the ward about three weeks ago, and that they accepted. When we got there, he introduced us to the couple, Rachel and Jedidiah (I love that name), and their three daughters, Lily, Macy, and Sophie (also know by their parents as Large, Medium, and Small). The dinner went well, and after we taught the Plan of Salvation, with Elder Richie naturally showing off his drawing skills by working up a detailed "flow chart" for Jedidiah. They both listened well, and put their own insight into the discussion. They were also the ones to talk about setting up a day to come back and teach some more later this week, so I feel like we have a new family that we can work with, which is always amazing.
Wow. I think that that was one of the longer letters of my mission. Hope you all aren't bored. Have a good Life/Week!
Love and Insanity,