Monday, February 14, 2011

Elliot's February 14 email

Here's today's email from Elliot.  The weather has turned for the better, with temperatures no longer in the negative digits!  He'll get a new companion on Wednesday, Elder Kimber, but we don't know anything about him yet.  Hopefully we'll learn more next week.  I've posted some pictures of a couple of the Oklahoma towns Elliot mentions, Cordell and Bessie.  And I just got another short email from Elliot with some pictures.  I'll post those separately.  Enjoy Elliot's email after the jump.

Buenos dias!

He tenido una buena semana. [I've had a good week.] The weather was so stinkin cold though a few of the days, but we were only grounded on Wednesday. I got a picture of a sign that says the temperature that we can see from our apartment, and at about 7:30 in the morning it said -7. But these last two days we've had 60-70 degree weather; we even got to take of our coats! Oklahoma weather is nuts. 

I got the package mom! Thank you so much for it. I love the ties, I've already used the notebook, and I'm wearing my watch! So thanks a ton! And are you guys going to Hawaii this week or next? I'm jealous kinda. [Alyssa is performing in Hawaii with Hart High's Sound Vibes show choir, and Lori is going along as a chaperone.]

I'm feeling just fine this week, not sick anymore, so I'm doing good. But my companion's leaving for Norman! It's sad because we really got along well and worked well together. The members and everyone else really loves him too. In fact, one of investigators even called President Taylor like a week ago telling him to leave Elder Gonzalez out here. It was so funny when he told us he did that. My new companion will be Elder Kimber. I don't know him yet, but I guess he's only been out for one more transfer than me so we'll be a very young companionship.

That's awesome about the challenge Bishop extended [to read the scriptures daily for 100 consecutive days, culminating in a ward bbq on May 23]. That's a great goal to read the scriptures every day. I do it out here and I love it. We have a challenge to read the Book of Mormon and Jesus the Christ by the end of the year, but I plan on reading the Book of Mormon twice; once in English highlighting everything to do with the Doctrine of Christ - faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end, and again in Spanish. I've already read the whole New Testament which was a goal of mine starting in the MTC.

I just wanted to share a quick little experience we had the other day. Saturday we were about 20 minutes early for a dinner appointment in Cordell [here's a link to info about Cordell, and see some pictures of Cordell below], but instead of just going a bit early or stopping to get a drink which would be a pretty typical thing to do, we decided to tract for just a few minutes. Elder Gonzalez drove to some random, small street we had never noticed before and we just got out and knocked the 6 or so doors on it. We taught a lesson on someone's doorstep, and as we were wrapping it up a family pulled up to the last house that we had to knock. We talked to them and at first it seemed like an awkward situation; they had like 4 little kids and were carrying a few things. We quickly introduced ourselves and offered a hand which they politely declined, and we started to just give them a card. But something prompted me to talk just a little bit more. As it turns out, she was from Utah and had family who is Mormon, the house they were going into was a less-active member who wasn't on the Ward lists, and we set up an appointment to teach them next Saturday. Now I have no idea what may come from it. They seemed awesome and I have very high hopes. But what strikes me about this story is that so many things had to happen perfectly in order for us to meet them at that perfect moment. Instead of going straight to Cordell and working it all day like we had planned, we felt like it would be a good idea to stop in Bessie [see some pictures of Bessie below] and try tracting there for a few hours. We had to leave Bessie at just the right time, talk to the few people we had visited, tract just the right street at the right time and really just follow the Spirit. It's amazing to me at times how well missionary work just works. I have a testimony of it and I really have been feeling a desire for the salvation of others lately as I've been praying a lot to have more charity.

That's just one of the many cool experiences we had this past week. On Friday we were in Weatherford and were tracting a bit, and met a guy, Ben, who had apparently talked to missionaries before. So we met with him, had a first lesson with him, and right there asked him if he would follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized be someone holding the proper Priesthood authority of God. He said "yeah!" It was really cool. Now he works on Sundays, which is a slight problem, but we're gonna work together and hopefully we'll be able to see him enter the water.

We also have a member who has a grandson who's 9 who wants to be baptized, so starting this week we're going to start working with him and that should be another awesome experience.

So everything out here is awesome, the work is thawing out after being frozen for a few weeks due to the weather, and I'm looking forward to seeing what this next transfer brings!

I love ya'll!

Elder Elliot Adair

Pictures of Cordell, Oklahoma

Here's a shot of downtown Cordell:

This is Cordell Square:

This is the Washita County Courthouse in Cordell:

And finally, an aerial shot of Cordell:

Pictures of Bessie, Oklahoma

This is Peace Lutheran Church in Bessie:

Here is the Ben Kiehn Memorial in Bessie.  From Exploring Oklahoma History: "Erected by the Oklahoma state bankers association as an expression of their regard for their fellow member as a man of honor and integrity. On Jan 24, 1928 he gave his life to the cause of law and order, in defending that which was intrusted to his care against armed bandits."

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