Nathan safely arrived in Phoenix and was met by the mission president and his wife, President and Sister Taylor. Nathan says they both are super nice. I think Nathan likes Sister Taylor so much because she gave them time to take a nap, which Nathan says “was glorious. She gave us 2 1/2 hours so it was a Nathan style nap.” I wonder if she knows she won my son’s heart by giving him time to rest and mine for sending pictures and a letter.
When I first met my companion he told me we have 3 baptisms scheduled for Sept. 29th. Good one month anniversary present. An. . . is a 23-year-old woman who has had many substance abuse problems, law of chastity problems, and I’m sure many others. Her family was very supportive of her though. Her new boyfriend had decided that returning to church activity would give him a better chance for happiness and she decided to join him. They started taking missionary discussions (this was in March) and her family support quickly stopped. Wouldn’t even talk to her for a while, but she was able to overcome her addictions, started keeping the law of chastity, even though she hasn’t been able to find an apartment until this week, but even living in the same apartment, her and her boyfriend have been able to keep the law of chastity and are set a goal to be married in the temple this time next year. She has such a powerful testimony and desire to be baptized, as does her boyfriend. Elder Barker and I got called into her Baptismal interview (which required a member of the Mission Presidency because of some of her problems) and he very sternly warned them about the severity of breaking the law of chastity after she is baptized. They seem very dedicated to their temple goal though. The other 2 baptisms are S. . . and D. . .. They are 12 and 9, respectively. Their mom is a member returning to activity, their dad died some time ago and we really want to teach her mom’s boyfriend. They are awesome though and super excited to be baptized. Anyways, I’m sure you’re wondering about my companion.
Elder Barker has been out 21 months, so I am his last companion. He is from Independence Missouri but his family moved to the Colorado Springs area. he turns 23 next month. He is a great trainer, he makes sure we try as hard as we can to be exactly obedient, which will set a good path for my entire mission. Spiritually, he is one of the strongest people I have met, he has complete faith in the blessings of obedience and hard work. We have set a goal to baptize weekly until he leaves, and the next 3 Saturdays we have scheduled baptisms. Finding is not going as well. We haven’t spent any time tracking because of all of the lessons we have, and we have been asked to pray in the homes of the auxiliary leaders. But last week, we stopped two people who scheduled lessons with us for this week, including one tonight. Tonight is S. . ., a 19-year-old we saw smoking on her boyfriends porch. Yep, there’s some work to do there. Hoping for the best though. The other one is Z. . ., who was interested in a skateboarding “I am Mormon” video and he is very religious. Feeling really good about him. In other news I am picking up new hobbies. Eating a mashed up mix of Tater Tots and peas, biking A LOT and having people yell stuff at us from cars. They don’t like us to eat dinner with members unless it’s a less active, investigator, or recent convert. There is a 90-year-old fairly recent convert named Brother B who we ate with who cracks me up big time. His wife corrected him on something and he said “Oh, what do you know, you don’t hold the priesthood” and he also asked us to ask the bishop if he could give him his car as tithing. We said it would probably work better if he sold it to someone else and used the money. So many awesome people though. Miss you all!