Tuesday, July 3, 2012

May 14th Letter

Although we had just talked with Elder Blackford the day before, he sent us a letter with the things he had forgotten and responded to the few things we had sent him that we forgot to tell him. As usual, he still had a lot to say.

So I will go the house of Eric today, and will thank him {Eric is the member who set up the Skype call}. He also burned us a copy of 17 Miracles (a movie you must buy/watch), but the copy ended like 3/4 of the way through! (We were just watching it) so after this we’re headed to his house to finish watching (of course with more snacks).

We asked Elder Blackford about how he is handling frustrations/challenges, and his positivity is as bright as ever.

Let’s see, frustrations? I don´t know - there are a lot of frustrations and things to be done better. But there’s nothing that I really need to vent about. I’m, of course, frustrated with the language cause I still don’t understand a lot, but I need to practice and work, there’s not really a quick fix solution. I guess that’s kind of an answer in itself, you know? There is no quick fix solution to a lot of stuff in life, you have to work for it over time and all that stuff.
I think one thing that is frustrating is when you get home at the end of the day, and you’re pooped out, and you look down at your numbers, and they stink. That is always frustrating, but it happens. 

Maybe there’s a very good reason his favorite hymn is There is Sunshine in My Soul Today… 

Although there are many people that Elder Blackford has met and taught, I find it interesting who he talks about most in his letters. I really enjoyed this little piece about Erlan, because if anyone could get someone fired up about serving a mission, it would be Elder Blackford.

Wednesday we have the baptism of Maria Aparacida. Then the following week we have the baptism of Erlan (pronounced kinda like air-lung) He has completely changed from the time we met him. At church we had a lesson on repentance and the steps of repentance. Then he talked to us about how this next week he has a bunch of stuff that he needs to do in order to fulfill the restitution part. It was really awesome to see the change that he has decided to make in his life. He is very excited for baptism and the chance to start anew. He is also saying that he wants to serve a mission (he will turn 22 in December, so mission no problem) and it would be awesome if he does.

Elder Blackford is so committed to being the best missionary he possibly can be, that it reminds me on a regular basis that as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I have an important responsibility to share my knowledge with the people I come in contact with. Elder Blackford talks about how quickly they move on to new investigators, which means the members of the church need to be doing their job to find and prepare others to meet with the missionaries. 

We have really been thinking a lot about our plans and how things have been going lately. Basically what our president said is we have to invite people the first lesson to be baptized, and if they are wishy washy, that’s alright, but if they say no, then we don’t go back. And that’s how it is, but now we’re doing it so much earlier, so it’s harder in the teaching, you have a lot of people entering and leaving our teaching group fast. I think it will work really well. You have to find those who are already prepared by the Lord. 

Of course, there was this “extremely important information” added to the end of Elder Blackford’s letter:
Oh I forgot to tell you guys my new skill that I have developed. And yes, it is a super important skill that I have developed, one that will help me throughout my life.
I, Elder Braden Alan Blackford the First, can solve a rubix cube.
That just happened.

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