I hope people start feeling better; it's especially annoying when you are expecting a less active family to come to church, and they can't because they are so sick, they slept right through their alarm. They made it this week, though, which was really cool. Doug and Mickey (the less-active family said above) had us over to help set up Christmas decorations on Friday, and Elder Riley ended up getting them a blow-up Santa Yoda, with his light saber drawn. We then went over to Doug's and drank Sparkling Red Grape juice as an early Merry Christmas, just in case either of us got transferred, which neither one of us did. That was probably the most fun for this week, even though we did do quite a lot of work. It was great to talk about Christmas traditions, why we celebrate Christmas, and how they all were doing with working to change.
On a more painful note, Elder Riley and i have been going to a chiropractor for the past little while, because Elder Riley managed to bulge two discs a while back, and finally decided to do something about his lower back pain. Brother Lindsey does our adjustment for free, which is awesome for my back, which has previously decided that it prefers the vertebrae in the very middle of my back to poke out an extra inch. However, according to Brother Lindsey, we are both doing better. As a side story to that, Brother Lindsey uses muscle testing for a lot of his diagnostics, and it was really funny to watch Elder Riley the first time that he did it to him. When his arm went down even though he was pushing as hard as he could (and Elder Riley is not a small guy), his eyes widened, and he looked at me with a startled grin. I had to laugh at him a bit.
Something that has been really cool, is that i have had the chance to interview 3 different 9-11 year-olds for baptism in the past two weeks. Even though the first one was really nerve wracking before it got started, they all turned out really great, and i've always liked seeing younger kids make the choice to be baptized, knowing what it involves, of their own volition. It really shows that this gospel isn't one that is just for adults, nor is it one that can only be understood by adults. In the interviews that i have bee a part of, i have heard some pretty awesome answers to some of the questions, that i really never expected to hear. Above all, it was a great reminder that anyone can feel the Holy Ghost, and use the Atonement of Christ to learn and to grow, and to change for the better.
As for the "He is the Gift" initiative, it's been really cool so far. This week, we were able to talk to a lady that was crocheting a rug, and i talked about how Mom and Grandma taught me how to do a basic chain, and tried to teach me how to do more, but i never really got it down. Then we talked about different Christmas traditions, including some of the gifts that had been crocheted. That led well into talking about He is the Gift, and offering her a pass-along card. She didn't accept it, but it was really cool none the less. We also had a chance yesterday to teach the combined Young Women's class in 4th ward, on the value of He is the Gift, and how we can use it to full advantage. We had one young woman come up to us and ask for our number, so that she could get the address for one of her friends, and send us over to teach. So far, that is all of the real success that we have had, but everyone is getting excited about it, so things should be picking up really quickly.
Well, that's the major news for this week. Thank you for all that you do, and for all of the prayers that you say.
Love, Elder Stuver