What an amazing week it has been as I have been blessed to be able to see the Lord work in my life every single day. It has been humbling to be able to see the Lord work in my life and the lives of those around me and it makes me grateful to be out here in Michigan serving the Lord.
Elder Dunn and I had an amazing week. We taught lessons every day and were so busy with lessons that we didn't have time to weekly plan until Saturday (we do it once a week on Thursdays to take some time to talk about what we need to teach and focus on with each of the people that we are teaching). Tuesday I got introduced to the hood in my area when we met with a lady that lives down there. The main road in the hood is Division and I was able to see my first drug deal happen in broad daylight. Elder Dunn said one time they sat in the car for 15 minutes and saw 3 drug deals happen--so it seems like it is a pretty common thing. We definitely don't fit in when we are walking down the street with so many homeless people and just shady looking people all over the place. But I love it! Wednesday we taught a few people that have been meeting with missionaries for a long time and realized that they aren't really progressing and don't really have a commitment to want to learn anything anymore and so we decided not to meet with them. This will allow us to focus on people that are truly wanting to learn. Thursday, we went back to the hood and went and saw a less-active lady that we are working with to get back to church. There was a sister in the ward who went with us to meet this lady and I think that downtown Grand Rapids was a little scary for her but we made sure that she was never in any danger! Friday, we met with an awesome new investigator who is probably the most prepared guy I have ever met in my life. His questions include: “Where were we before this life? If God knew Satan was going to tempt Adam and Eve why did he allow it to happen? Why do we praise Jesus if God is the Father? What happens to those people that never had the opportunity to hear about Jesus Christ on the earth?” ETC... Including, “What was happening in the Americas while Jesus Christ was on the earth?” When he asked this, Elder Dunn and me looked at each other, smiled, and then handed him a copy of the Book of Mormon. He is so solid and I honestly think that he will be baptized this transfer! Now Saturday was my favorite day of the week. We weekly planned, and then we went to lunch with Bro. Banner at the Chicken Coop! It is a chicken joint in the hood! I think they were really confused when we walked in. It was a lot of fun. We stopped by several people and then went back on Division to see by a guy that we have been trying to meet with. We were on Division around 5:30 and the moment we stepped out of the car everything was different. It was starting to get dark and we knew that it wasn't super safe to stay too long. On our way to meet the guy we had a random homeless man stop us on the street and asked to pray with us and then on our way back we walked up on a drug deal that was less than 10 feet in front of us. I made the mistake of making eye contact with the guy that was selling the drugs and he started walking towards me and said, "Oh hey, Mr. 5-0" (thinking that we were cops and that we were about to bust him) We informed him that we weren't cops and that we were missionaries. He asked us for a dime and when we told him that we didn't have one he started to cuss us out and started yelling at us. We started to walk away and later realized that situation could have been really dangerous and decided to never be on that street that late at night again. Personally I thought that it was fun and that all we were doing was creating memories but Bro. Banner (who was with us and almost got mugged for his hat) told us that we needed to be smart. So I guess I will have to be smarter when I go on Division from now on.
Yesterday was a great day at church and afterwards I had the opportunity to talk to one of our investigators that wants to be baptized but his parents told him that they would cut him off if he did. I had a long conversation with him and told him a little about my conversion to the church and promised him that no matter what happens, Heavenly Father would provide for him. He agreed with me and we set a baptism date for him!!! He is being baptized on February 7th!! I am super excited for him and I know that I was sent to Grand Rapids so that I would be able to meet him and teach him! He is so awesome and I can’t wait to see all the great things he does in this gospel!
We have a great week planned this week with several lessons and me starting to do trade-offs with the other missionaries in my district. I am going to a training in Lansing on Thursday with the mission department from SLC. I don’t know exactly what the training is for but it seems like it is a really big deal and I am excited for it!
Thanks for all of the love, support, and prayers!! I am grateful for all that ya’ll do!! I hope that you have a great week!!