Monday, January 7, 2013

Week 27: It's been 6 months since I left from home; said goodbye to my friends and my family

That title right there was meant to be sung to the tune of "One Week" if you happen to know that song. If you don't know it, it's not worth looking it up.
A few days ago I reached my 6 month mark. It was an exciting day. We spent it cleaning out a museum! The night before we visited a genealogist to see if we could get help setting up one of our recent converts on Familysearch. We talked to her for a little while. Whenever we leave a place, we always ask if there is anything we can do to help the family out. This sister, Sister Cheney, told us they would be moving stuff around in the museum the next day. She invited us to come and be the muscle, so we did. There was an old computer the size of a dinner table that could fit 6 chairs around it. There were 2 old refrigerators that almost literally weighed a ton(the kind Indiana Jones jumped in to avoid the atomic explosion in the 4th movie). It was a neat experience seeing all of that history(and managing not to break any of it).
When we finished up there, Elder Bingham and I had a baptism to get to. Aussy Turner got baptized by his friend Austin after we spent the past week or two "teaching" him. Now that the transfer has ended, I get to share a story I promised a few weeks back.(Elder Bingham and I are staying together another transfer)
On that same line of talking genealogy, I finally figured out how all of that "third cousin twice removed" thing works! You find a common ancestor between you and whoever it is you are comparing. The number of generations between you and the common ancestor determines the degree(third fourth fifth) and the generations separating you and the other person is the "removedness". For example, Elder Bingham and I share a common ancestor(Erastus Bingham). Erastus is his great-great-great-grandfather(5 generation gap) and my great-great-great-great-grandfather(6 generation gap). Since there are 5 generations separating Elder Bingham and Erastus and 1 generation separating him and me, we are '5th cousins once removed'. You never know who your family is(minus the fact that we are all children of our heavenly Father).
We have had 6 baptisms this transfer. Do you want to know how many of those came from us knocking doors? 0. Every single baptism came from regular folk. Friends would talk about religion and life and everything else being normal people. They'd be examples, good people. Seeing all of these awesome happy people made Zach, McKenley, the Lasaters, and Aussy question what made them so happy. They talked more with their friends. They'd ask them questions about how they got to where they were. They received their answers and decided to join the church. it takes regular folk like you to push the world forward. Being a missionary is great, but we can do almost nothing on our own. It takes the support of all of you around us for us to do a little bit more than nothing. It takes prayer. It takes boldness. It takes each of us stepping out of our comfort zone for work to get done. The end. Kind of. Now we've all got to do it. Step out. Be bold. Help a friend. Help a neighbor. Help an associate. Help anyone and everyone!
That feels like a lame-ish story, but it's the best I can do on first draft without any stuff to go off of other than my mind and limited time.
On the blonde note, I meant to bring my journal(but didn't) so that I could copy some of my sage words from the past six months, but I guess I'll have to do that next week. What did I realize after reading my journal entries? The only thing I need to read to get the important stuff is the ending. I'd write a summary of the day and then try to say something cool. Some of the cool stuff is pretty cool, so I hope you're ready for another awesome email next week.
On the scary note, I'm going to be 20 this year. Since when am I old? Can you answer me that? No? okay. I guess I'll just go on living life.

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