Life is good! The sun is shining! The snow has melted! It's 45* outside! I get to go hiking in about an hour!(See, emailing first this time to make sure I don't run out of time.) I'm glad to be in Idaho right now!
Looking at the number of investigators we've got right now, you wouldn't think that we were doing that much teaching. We are. We've got a lot of families that are partly members and partly not who we've made contact with. Our job is to teach them truth in a comforting environment. Right now we are working on setting up that environment. In one of the six wards we cover, we've got six or seven potential investigators. They're all under the age of 18 which means we just need to get the parents on board to! With each of these youth, at least one of their parents is a member. We're hoping to help each of them out very soon. We're looking for similar work in the other wards, but nobody has been home to want to talk to us. Unfortunately, that's going to get worse as we get into spring and everybody goes out to work on the farms. We've just got to get ahold of them before Spring really roles in.
One thing I've noticed is the degenerating state of the world. We'll visit members, non members, and less actives members, and they will all tell us the same thing: The world sucks right now. I've started to notice a difference between the groups though. Those going to church recognize the terrible state of things but have a hope for something more. They're very optimistic. The non members are doing well despite the way the world is rolling. The less active members caught my attention though. They see the bad and try their best just to survive. Things aren't going great for them. They're just doing what they can to make a living. They don't hate life, but it could be going a lot better for them. Is there a correlation between this and their not going to church? I think so.
On the fun side, we got to go to a dinner/auction for one of our wards. It was really cool! The bishop was the auctioneer...He was intense! "
ebubuebuoiearlksjdfo190kljsdfo iewmfi200aksldfjwoeij210lskdjf lskj210210210SOLD!" That's the best I can do to mimic his speech. It was incomprehensible, and I don't actually think he was saying anything. He was being really noisy for not using any actual words though. What did I learn from this? Auctioneers would be great rappers.
We also had zone conference Friday. We got together with all the other missionaries and learned a little bit more about the plan of salvation aka the great plan of happiness. Each of us was given a packet with one reading assignment per day until Easter at the end of March. It's entirely centered on Christ's atonement. The packet is full of articles written by general authorities, and some days just have scripture references. The first day I got to read Matthew 26-28. The thing that really stuck out to me was the hate that the high priests had towards Jesus. He's going around helping people(like they're supposed to), and they hate Him for it! They hate Him so much they would rather have a murderer loosed than He. Even when He is up suffering on the cross, all they say is "He helped a lot of other people, let's see if he can help himself" and "If he is the son of God, let God save Him"(paraphrasing) Despite this, Jesus Christ still loved them just as He loves all of us.
Elder Soren Mann