Ahhhh!!! I love hearing from everyone every week! You have no idea what a blessing it is for me!
This week was a kind of weird week, but a good one nonetheless. You remember Stephen from the Charity Shop? Well, we finally actually met with him, and he is progressing well! He kept the commitment to come to church, and I think he enjoyed it! He made some good friends, and I think he was able to feel the Spirit. One lesson I learned this week was that you should always bear your testimony. Stephen arrived kind of late to sacrament meeting, and when he came in, it was about 10:45. The thing is, there were a smaller number of people at church than usual, and it was fast and testimony meeting, so it became readily apparent to me that unless people bear their testimony, than nothing good is happening! Which reminded me of the scripture Moroni 7:17 and the emphasis placed on what we might not do good instead of what we might do evil.
Steffan, the Romanian father in Airdrie also came to our church building this Sunday to help translate for Mihai the older so he would feel less left out during our meetings. The Spirit was strong, and it was amazing to see Steffan's and Mihai's testimony amongst the members. He is ready to be baptized, his wife just needs to get there too. We're planning on a giant teaching appointment with the Anghels and the Carpacis (Mihai and his family and Fanel and Marius' families, respectively) so that the Carpacis can hear the Anghels' testimony and learn and grow from it. It truly is powerful seeing a recent convert to the Church (albeit not baptized yet) bear their testimony and become more truly converted to Christ. Hopefully this week we will see miracles with the Anghels and Carpacis!
John McCormick is doing really well as well! He has read a lot of the Book of Mormon, is expressing concerns about abusing the priesthood, and he recognizes the next step is to come out to Church or a Church activity and see what it feels like. He is following God's plan for him to learn the gospel. We hope to keep moving forward quickly; we just need to teach him the definition of ''transgress''. He even shared with us some Opera and Stevie Woodwind. He's fantastic! I also played the sacrament meeting hymns on the piano because our ward organist is in the hospital and our really good piano player, Sister MacDonald (coincidence? I think NOT!), was not feeling well. So I played 100, 124, and 169. It was a humbling experience, because I was constrained to play the simple arrangements for each hymn so I wouldn't play something really epic (maybe ;) ) or really wrong and drive away the Spirit. Because I couldn't play 169 very well, I played only the right hand. It made me realize that the beauty of the Hymns is not the arrangement, or the skill with which it is played, but the Spirit of it. (see D&C 25:12 for proof) I just heard from my companion that the Red Sox won the World Series. Woohoo! Also, Brother Buckle also told me that the BYU Cougars beat the Boise State Broncos for the first time in a long time! YES!!! What a great moment it was for Brother Buckle and I.
I want to thank Aunt Lish again for the thermal garments she got me. They're really pulling me through the coldness so far! I've been telling Elder Boehme that I want it to snow so bad! And then I read Karli's portion of the e-mail... and Brock's portion of the e-mail... and I totally realized that they're my family. And that I love them SO SO SO much. (They referred to wanting snow in their letters too.)
Our friend Teresa returned from her 3-week holiday this month, and now we can start meeting with her regularly again. It's time to get her married and to the baptismal font. We're making such great progress! I hope to keep working hard and never stop!
A message to any and all members of the Church reading this: WE NEED YOU! At this conference in Elder Ballard's talk and from the mouth of President Brown (our mission president in the SIM mission) we have learned that the members are so crucial in finding God's prepared children and it is largely their responsibility to find those families and individuals who are ready to receive it! Please give your missionaries someone to teach. I promise you as you look for these individuals who are ready and refer them to the full-time missionaries, you will blessed with success! For the Lord has promised it.
How is the ward doing? I really would love to hear any progress or good success / any updates from the ward! I love you all so much! Please keep working hard, and stay strong in the gospel! I know that it is true with every ounce of my heart, and I cannot deny it, because the changes in people, the promptings and feelings of the Spirit, and the blessings I have received from the Lord are too numerous and special to my heart.
I love each of you, and hope to hear from you soon!
Elder Devin Jay Hunter
P.S. Kirk out!
P.P.S. If I don't respond to you, please remind me: I don't want to leave any unanswered or feeling as if I don't care about them.