Monday, February 27, 2012

Elder Henry 2/27/2012

Sorry people, I cut out all the family stuff--if you want to know about Spencer's play, Tori's school troubles, or Sherry's love life you'll have to ask them ;o)

Hey Mom!
     I haven't got the new shoes yet. They may be waiting for me in the
Mission Office but because we are about 20-30 minutes away, we don't
get mail from there very often. About once every other week. What
are the non-cheapo insoles? Last time I got the Dr Scholl's back
support insoles for like 12-14$ and they help... kinda. Its way
better than not having them. How many dots have to turn red before I
get a visa? Keep me updated!! (Not that I'm excited or anything)

     The work keeps trucking along here. Not a whole lot of new
investigators at the moment, but the ones we do have are making huge
spiritual progress which is AWESOME! Elder Dixon will probably be
here as long as I am, from what President Bubert told
us two weeks
ago. Transfers are next week though so I'm not sure if we will get to
stay companions or not. I really hope so ;).

     The weather down here is about summer. People keep telling me its
winter time, but when its consistently sunny and in the 80's, and
there are no clouds in the sky... I call that summer. Even the
tomatoes don't know what season it is! People's tomatoes are bearing
fruit right now, and its the middle of February for goodness sake.
I'm am very bored by the weather down here, it just stays the same day
in and day out.

     Anyways, I'm sure you are excited to hear about my week.
Last week was a pretty tough week as a missionary. We faced a lot of
rejection and ended up dropping a few investigators. We also ran in
to a few very rude people that just doesn't make you feel very good.
It can be very discouraging, but we press on and great things happen.

     L was baptized yesterday, and that has been the highlight of the
week. L has made a huge change in her life since she has accepted
the gospel. She has diabetes, arthritis in her knees, and genetic
obesity. As such she has a lot of aches and pains, and used to
complain to us for hours about how terrible it was to be her, and how
hard she had it. The last 3 or 4 times we have gone to see her, after
she accepted the baptismal invitation and really had a spiritual
witness that this is the truth, she hasn't once complained of any
aches or pains. She has been happy, found answers to questions she's
had her entire life. In two days she read through the whole gospel
principles manual and now she has a quad, so she is going to re-read
everything with the Doctine &Covenants scripture references.
L is a completely different person now, someone who is truly happy,
because she has felt the power of the holy spirit. L as well as
myself have found this through reading the Book of Mormon. Anyone who
wants to feel the power of God, rather than just talk about Him,
should read this book.
     N is also making huge progress. She told us that she feels that
the Book of Mormon truly is the word of God. The next time we came
over, she had given up coffee, and is very close to quitting smoking.
She has a baptismal date for March 6th. We are doing it on a Tuesday
instead of the weekend so that her husband can be there :). N
has been through a lot in her life, and I'm glad that the gospel of
Jesus Christ can take away the pains she's seen and experienced. She
also came to church yesterday! :D

St H. also had a huge spiritual breakthrough. He's been coming to
church for 16 years now, and finally said he knows that the church is
true. He's scared of committing to baptism though, but told us he
would pray to find out if he needed to be baptized. He and his family
weren't at church yesterday, but hopefully the Spirit of the Lord will
work on him. He's come a long ways though :).

St R. is still working like a dog. He works from 9am-10 or 11pm.
Its the crazy season for tax accountants. He comes to church every
week though, and he took the day off yesterday to spend time with his
family. He is choosing the right things. I'm very grateful to see
him really step up to the role of being a Father. He may not be
baptized while I'm am here as a missionary, just because we can't meet
with him, probably until April 16th, but I know that he will join the
church one day :) He's an awesome guy.

     That's pretty much been our week. We are also teaching a couple BIOLA students, which is certainly interesting, we are hoping they will
begin to progress, or we will have to drop them soon. It certainly
has increased my knowledge of the scriptures though, having tough
questions dropped on my feet about all sorts of crazy things. Stuff
like scriptural evidence of an Apostasy, the trinity, and Salvation by
works or by grace. It has strengthened my testimony of both the
truthfulness of the gospel, and the role of the Holy Ghost in
conversion. This isn't about who has the best knowledge of the
scriptures, this is about receiving revelation from God that he has in
fact called a Prophet, like Moses, in our days. That the same Church,
not a sect or division, that Christ set up is now restored on the
Earth. You can't convince somebody that is truth, you have to feel it
for yourself. A great lesson to learn about missionary work.

     I have so many other great experiences to talk about and no time to do
so. So you will just have to wait 17 more months till I come home
with my Journal to hear them all ;).

Elder Henry

Monday, February 20, 2012

Visa progress....finally.

Dear Mom,
     I actually just got a phone call from the Mission Office!  My Online Portion of my visa is waiting down at the Mission Office and I have to just go down an fill it out!!!  It should be about 6 weeks and then my Visa should be here.  Talk about exciting right?
     I've been super bad about taking Pictures in this area, plus the computers here are too slow to upload photos so the ones I have taken I haven't said.   These computers are so slow I can't even type correctly.  I promise as soon as I get a good computer I will send lots of pictures.
     I'll look for some postcards today.  You are right as always I just need to make some time to write/send thank you's.  What do you mean by inserts?  Do you mean insoles for the shoes?  Do they not have very much cushion in them?  I'm good so far as other stuff.  Staying pretty warm and lots of food for my belly.
     My computer is freaking out so this will be a very short E-mail, I apologize.  This last week Lyn committed to baptism, came to church and is set to be baptized on Sunday!  Her son, who joined a few months ago, is going to baptize her :).  I'm super excited for her, and especially for her son, what a blessing to be able to bring your mom the gospel.
     We've had a lot of progress on our other investigators, especially Nicole.  She's almost stopped smoking, so close.  I'm really getting along with Elder Dixon, I love him so much.  It's a lot of fun to spend time with him.

I can't believe my electronic visa finally came!!!
Elder Henry

Thursday, February 16, 2012

...and now for the rest of the family

Its a lot easier to copy and paste Michael's letters here but I want to also enjoy looking back at what the rest of the family is up to.

    Just got the news that Spencer is one of the leads in Prairie Ground's next show!  He just finished A Midsummer Night's Dream, playing Philostrate who is basically Theseus's wedding planner.  He was awesome in his small part (he is only a sophomore after all) and had a blast.  All of the pretty and nice girls in the production may or may not have something to do with how fun it was.  He loves doing comedy and his director says he has comic timing like his older sister.  He will be taking the Compass test to try to get into Running Start very soon, he's looking forward to attending Clark next year with some of his best friends from Church.  He was just elected Team Captain for his Scout team, and is serving as President of his Quorum at church, so finally having an opportunity to develop some leadership qualities that we know he's had the potential to do.  He is a middle child so its especially good for him ;o).

     Tori recently enjoyed her first Blazer game.  She has really loved cheering on the Portland Winterhawks hockey team with her friend Bailey, so when our good friend gave Damon a pair of Blazer tickets he decided to take her.  She has come so far with her Sensory Integration issues!  This is a child who had a meltdown each week at church as a small child because it was so overwhelming.  She is doing awesome!  She is working really hard at school and doing her homework each night like a champion (only Sherry has more homework than Tori!).   

     Sherry is plowing away at her core classes and really thriving in the learning environment BYU provides.  She works super hard--for example on Valentine's day she was not on a romantic date, she was up until 2:30am practicing a scene for her acting class then up at 7am to study for a midterm!  The life of a college student.  She did go to bed about 9 the next night.  Her dance classes are bringing her a lot of joy, plus she is running several times a week with her roommate Hannah, not to mention the huge flights of stairs she climbs several times a day--fitness is not a problem.  She has a terrific boyfriend, he will be leaving on a mission sometime this summer (and admits to being a little bit distracted this semester lol).  She plans on staying in Provo for the summer and working, so her "spare time" is spent job hunting.  She calls herself the happiest person she knows--that makes her parents very happy and proud! 
The height difference reminds me of a couple I know....below

     I am loving my new job SO much.  My coworkers are all terrific, and my new manager is the best!  I feel so blessed and I like to go to work each day.  I finally feel like I have a good grip on my main duties and its fun learning new things too.  We have alot of funny conversations and everyone seems to enjoy their jobs.  Now I just need a new sewing machine and to learn to knit so I fit in better...(need--haha--with a missionary and college student riiiight!).  I am very grateful to be able to help support the kids in their worthwhile endeavors.

     Damon is being an awesome husband and father as usual--he has picked up alot of the housework duties since he works from home, and also does homework with Tori every night.  We're coming up on our 23rd anniversary in May and still very very happy we chose each other--even though we were crazy people getting engaged and married that quickly!  Oh, youth!

Let us know how you're doing!

23 years ago!

In the middle of our happily ever after =)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Letters home (and Dad's letter) 2/13/12

I had to leave Damon's letter attached, it was just so full of wisdom to his missionary son =)
Dear Mom,
I actually packed long underwear with me. I knew that it would come in handy, so I should be good to go :). The travel department has been very quiet, so no news yet. No electronic or otherwise.

My shoes are holding up for the meantime, but are already starting to show wear and tear. Some of the leather on the back has been peeling off, but the soles are still intact. The place I'm living in now is a gated community so it should be safe to mail to my apartment, although its best to send it to the mission office, because its a lot of fun to have mail come from the mission office ^^. I'm doing really good right now, have an overload of sweets of which I have to blame you and Kelsey :P. So I share with my district. Lots of food in the cupboards and the like.
Do you remember how many times I went to see Episode 1 in theaters? About a brazilian (I think he meant "gazillion" funny typo) times, Tori is right I -am- jealous. Sounds like a fun FHE. While you are going to the movies tonight though, I'll be having FHE with Steve R. and his family, so I'll be having fun frosting sugar cookies with them :).
I got your DJ's Birthday package. Thank you for all the goodies. I especially liked the gummy worms. I can't remember the last time I had a bag of sour gummy worms ^^.
Sounds like Spencer is living it up at Prairie. I can only imagine how much fun he's having playing all the different characters.
You are so funny Mom. The first thing you notice after the new bishopric gets called, is that Brother Tong isn't wearing a suit coat :P. Only my Mom would notice such a thing. You are awesome, and always bring a smile to my face.
This week was pretty much AWESOME!
We had a lot of progress with our investigators this week, and should be getting geared up for baptismal services soon ^^. Of course we are also finding new investigators at the same time which makes me even more excited :).
First I'll start off with the bad and the ugly. Haig will be out of town for the next 2-3 weeks, so we may not see him again if he's not back by the end of the transfer :(. He's doing good, but progressing slowly. We had our ward mission leader, Brother Sharp attend the lesson with us and it made a HUGE difference. Haig found Bro. Sharp inspirational, and hopefully will feel more welcome at church because of it :).
We have a couple new, and rather fun, investigators. First up is Paul. Paul is an middle aged man, who flies everywhere in the world. He calls himself Fed-ex for Boeing. He delivers plane parts for Boeing to places all around the world. This coming week he's flying to Kazakhstan for a delivery, and then he flies home and works on the preparing for the next delivery. He doesn't attend church and grew up Catholic but is much more Evangelical in his beliefs system now. We had a good first lesson with him, but didn't dive too much into the gospel. I was on exchanges later that week for our return appointment, but apparently he showed up with two pages of notes on Salvation, and went on and on about how performing good works is not part of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and all we have to do is confess with our lips and hearts that Jesus is the Christ... Its been really good for my learning of the Gospel, because of his objection I have been able to really dive into the scriptures and understand a lot more of why things are the way they are. I'm impressed by the amount of knowledge I am gaining every day in the scriptures, and have actually come to love the way they are written. I enjoy the poetry and old language that they use. I didn't think I'd ever get to that point in my life, but here I am.
Next up is Chris. I don't know if I've mentioned this or not, but in my area there is a huge university named BIOLA (Bible Institute of Los Angeles), and he's a student there. For the most part BIOLA is pretty anti-Mormon, but we received a referral from the Sisters at Temple Square that Chris wanted the missionaries to come over. So we called him up and set up an appointment. He wasn't at all hostile, but was a little more interested in just learning rather than accepting, but he is in-between churches right now and so I'm hoping that with some good fellowship he'll be able to attend church and enjoy the spirit there. We haven't met with him again since last week, but hopefully will this week.
We also tried to meet with Gaston this week, but his wife answered the door and said that,"He's not interested but just doesn't know how to tell you". We are pretty sure that he -is- interested, but the wife isn't. A hard situation to deal with, but before we stop we want to be able to talk with him. Hopefully I'll have better news about him next week.
Steve H. is doing great! He came to church and stayed for Sunday School! I think this is the first time in 4 years he's ever come to the second hour. He's also reading the Book of Mormon, things just haven't clicked for him yet. There is a lot of pressure from his family, and I think he's rebelling against that pressure so far as baptism is concerned. We are trying our hardest to just stay supportive of him, and helping him on his conversion.
We met with Nicole this week twice. She's a lot more on the basics than we originally thought. She said she knows that Joseph Smith is a prophet, but hasn't received a confirmation of the Book of Mormon yet. She's read through 1 and 2 Nephi, and is in Jacob right now. She also needs to quit smoking, although we found out she's quit much harder things than smoking before so I have full faith that she will be able to overcome tobacco as well. She didn't come to church which is partly because her husband, who is a member, can't come to church because he works Sundays -.-'. A very frustrating situation, so we are working to get her some really close friends in the ward to come with us so she wants to come to church.
Lynn had a major breakthrough this week! She pretty much has a testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, but struggles to get to church because, A) she has a lot of aches and pains and B) she didn't have any friends at church. So this week we asked the Relief Society who would get along great with Lynn, and boy did they give us a golden fellow-shipper. Her name is Sis. Braxston, and her and Lynn just got on like two peas in a pod! At the end of the lesson Lynn said that she could come to church now because she has a friend. I think she'll be baptized pretty soon :). She didn't attend church this week because she went out of town for family, but she'll be there next Sunday.
Steve R. also had a huge breakthrough yesterday :). He had a really hard week last week, and we couldn't meet with him at all, which made me SUPER nervous. When he walked into church I was so relieved that he came, but he looked really down trodden. I knew that the week hadn't gone well for him, and that he had probably smoked all week long. We sat with him at church, and after Sacrament he pulled me aside and said, can I talk with you two before I have to leave to go to work? Of course I told him yes, he is our number one priority. He went on to talk about how he had a huge debate as to whether or not he should come to church that morning. He really didn't want to, he had lots of work to get done, and didn't want to get in trouble from us, but he made the decision to come anyways.
He then went on to tell us that the service had really touched his heart. He realized how wrong he was living his life, and that he needs to change. He felt godly sorrow for his sins and really wants to make the change in his life. I feel like he finally made it to the point where he realizes that this isn't something that he can do by himself and that he can only overcome his addiction if he relies on his faith. Last night we called him up and he said that he had brought the Book of Mormon to work with him, and that every time he had a spare moment he was reading. I know that he's going to be ready for baptism soon, I'm really excited to see the changes he's made in his life, even if he can't see it himself.
That's my week in a nutshell. We should have another great week this week as well! OH! I almost forgot, we officially reactivated someone yesterday. Her name is Sister Smith, and she started coming to church last week, and came again this week, just because we dropped by and showed her we still care :).
Keep up all the hard work on the homefront. Thank you for financially supporting me on this awesome spiritual endeavour. I'm loving every moment of it, and growing each and everyday.
Thank you again for the package :).
Elder Henry
Dear Dad,
That's awesome that you got to spend the weekend with your Dad. I love just sitting and chatting with you, so I can imagine what a treat it was to spend Sunday just enjoying each others company. That's probably one of the best things about being a missionary is just sitting down and talking with people.
That's the lesson I really had to learn with my last companion. You are right, Heavenly Father does not want to command us in all things. Thank you for sharing that with me, it helps me to realize the kind of person I need to be as a missionary, and hopefully I can just learn the easy way from your experiences rather than learning things the hard way.
You are right, things are hard as a missionary, and you do get the highlights of the week. For instance I'm just about DIEING as a missionary with all the huge hills in my area on bike. My legs are soooo tired all the time, plus we run a little over 2 miles every morning (good old mission rules >.>). Not to mention we have difficulties with some members and other little things. Regardless I love every day as a missionary.
Its so funny to hear you refer to yourself as Elder Henry, because that's me!
I hope you aren't too bored without 4 kids at home. Did you figure out what you are going to do about Elmo? Are you still driving it around?
Have fun tonight at the movies, you'll have to let me know how the new version turned out.
Elder Henry
Hi Mike,
How are you? We got an unexpected treat this weekend. Grandpa Henry came up and stayed with us. He was coming up on Saturday to see Spencer's performance and his work schedule got switched around so that he had to escort a load out of Portland early Monday morning so he decided to just stay over. It was great to have so much time with him. He and I spent several hours after church just sitting together talking. It's great to have a father son relationship like that, and it makes me happy that you and I will get to continue the tradition :)

I thought of some things that I wanted to share with you while I was walking home from church today. They are some of the lessons I learned early on in my mission and some of them may be applicable to you around this time.

I came out of the MTC fired up and really wanting to be a great missionary, and the one resounding lesson that stuck with me was the importance of being obedient. I was determined to follow the mission rules because I was sure that was the path to success. I was lacking in some of my understanding and ability though regarding the rules.

For instance, I knew that romantic female relationships were off limits on a mission. However, I found myself serving in an area that had many Mormon Nannies. They were my age, and very similar to me, having been thrust into an unfamiliar situation far from home, so naturally they desired to interact with me socially. I was a piece of home to them. In fact, one of the nannies I met on my mission had been in the same ward as me growing up and I knew her and her family. I didn't know how to handle the situation because at that point in my life most of my relationships with girls my age were in dating situations. So early on in my mission I was simply rude to girls who approached me because I could not think of any other thing to do. That is clearly not the right way to act, but there is not a mission rule that explicitly states don't be rude to girls. There are mission rules that deal with not forming relationships with girls. As I matured as a missionary I learned how to have appropriate relationships with girls my own age and stay true to the mission rules.

Another lesson that I learned early on in my mission was that the relationship you have with your companion is more important than just about any rule in your mission rule book. I was trained by a missionary who was a pretty good guy, but not an extremely hard worker, or especially strict on mission rules. He wasn't bad, we did follow the mission schedule pretty well, but we spent a bit too much time just hanging out with other missionaries in our district or in members houses. I remember spending several Sundays at members houses watching football. It was awkward for me, I did not want to be there doing that, but did not know what else to do or how to handle the situation. All in all though, he was a good companion and we did a fair amount of work and followed the rules pretty well, and there wasn't really any contention. I had one more pretty good companion in that area, but then I got transferred to Queens and my next two companions were both pieces of work. My third companion was just plain lazy and disinterested in doing real missionary work. I really struggled with him just to get him out of bed in the mornings, and I mean by 10am. When he was up, I could not convince him to go out and do hardly any proselyting with me. I was very frustrated. I could not leave my companion and do missionary work by myself, that was against the rules, and I could not follow the missionary schedule and do real missionary work. I was often upset and angry with him. What I found was that my hard feelings for him were more of a detriment to our work as missionaries than any indiscretion in following the mission schedule. I had to learn to not judge him or resent him for holding me back from being the missionary that I wanted to be. I learned that working together with him in any positive manner was better for me as a missionary than holding fast to any of the rules that we were not following. Your relationship with your companion is the number one factor that will determine your success as a missionary (what does that teach you about marriage?) Sometimes you get companions that you just click with, and sometimes you get companions that you struggle with. It's up to you to find a way to get along with and appreciate your companion. In this case, I found something that worked that was a little outside the normal missionary work. We lived in a very old house (over 200 years old) in a room we rented from an elderly inactive member Edith and her adult son Donald (a retired policeman). They expressed interest in remolding the room they were renting to us. They provided all the materials and direction on what they wanted done and my companion and I spent a full week together ripping out all the old and putting in the new. We did not do any missionary work that week. It was the first time that him and I actually worked hard together on something and it allowed me to appreciate him in a new light plus we finally accomplished something positive. We now had a nice place to live and all the missionaries that came after us did as well. After that he still was not especially interested in doing the missionary work we had to do, but our relationship was better and I had more influence over him now. He especially did not like tracting which was really about all we had to do in that area. We did have one subway station at the very end of the line in our area though so we set out together to make up some street boarding materials. Again, this was work that he was quite interested in and we worked well together on it. We gathered all the materiels we needed, easels, tables, and the like, and we made up some nice displays. Once the street boarding materials were all put together it was again a bit of a struggle to get him to go out with me and use them, but our relationship was stronger, and I had even more influence on him, plus we had these great displays that he was proud of that needed to be put to use. I don't recall us ever working really hard together on real missionary work, but we did learn to enjoy each other and to work together with some real harmony which was a very important lesson for me to learn. Also, it would be interesting to hear it from his perspective. Perhaps his story would read, I have this new companion who is impossible to work with. All he ever does is nag and belittle me, he makes me not even want to be a missionary... who knows, it's hard to always see things from someone else's perspective. Perhaps my zeal for the mission rules was making the situation worse, not better.

Just remember this about the mission rules. First and foremost you should always follow them, but realize that Heavenly Father likes to give us less rules not more. He is interested in raising children who can show judgement and discretion. Never allow the rules to become a hinderance to your work. When you follow them properly they will mold you into being the best missionary you can be. When I reflect back on those early months of my mission I remember a sense of trying to force myself into being something that I wasn't. As I matured as a missionary I figured out how to follow the rules properly and it led me to being the best Elder Henry that I could be. The rules helped me to develop my own talents and personality to a point where I was the only Elder Henry in the mission and Heavenly Father could then lead me to the people who needed an Elder Henry, not a robo-missionary :)

Just to round out my story my fourth companion was almost impossible to live with. He had a huge ego. He could not get along with anyone, and by that time in my mission my Mission President new me well enough to trust my easy going personality would allow me to deal with him as well as any missionary he had. We did get along fairly well, and had some success working together, but he had real problems living with anyone. I was able to look past his faults and still enjoy him as a companion. After having those two companions back to back, my Mission President made me a Zone Leader and kept me there for the next year and a half, so I'm pretty sure that I learned the the correct lessons from those early companionships, and I found the rest of my mission much easier and was a better missionary from the experiences.

I hope you are enjoying your mission. Your letters are always so positive and fun to read, but I know that your weeks are also filled with tedious tasks, real disappointments, and extremely hard work and you only share with us the highlights. Even with these type of challenges, the only time that I recall really being unhappy on my mission were times when I did not give my fullest effort, even if it meant spending a week remolding a room because that was the best way I could spend my time that week. That made me much happier than brooding over my worthless companion. Do your best and rely on Heavenly Father to provide solutions to your problems and you will be a great missionary and feel good about yourself. You won't be perfect, but you can be pretty darn good!

I love you and pray for you always.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Elder Henry Feb 6, 2012

Dearest Mother,
     Way exciting about the new bishopric.  They will all do a fantastic job, and yeah totally makes sense for Brother Lowe to get called to be the new bishop.  Brother Marrott and Brother Morgan will do great things for the ward I'm sure as well.  It will be very strange though to come home to a new bishop.  I'm so used to seeing Bishop Mansius on the stand that I'll probably be confused for the first couple weeks I'm home (of course that may be because I won't be able to speak any English either :P).  I hope Bishop Mansius will be able to fulfill his dream of serving a couples mission.  I can't wait for him to be able to serve around the missionaries and bless their lives with his service, he's done such great things for the ward and I absolutely love him :).  
     Thank you so much to Sister Latta for the quit smoking information.  I'll be sure to check it out and hopefully it will help my investigators out :).  I'm really excited for the packages.  I'll try my best to send everyone thank you notes, but let them know how much I appreciate the packages in advance.  They make a missionary's week ^^
     I'm running out of time so I better cut to the chase.  Elder Dixon and I are getting along great.  He's pretty stereotypical Missouri Boy, a bit of a southern drawl in his speech, loves everything football, kinda gruff guy, strong, and hard working.  I love him to bits, and even mentioned to President Bubert that I don't want him to leave!  His visa for New Zealand could come any day.  He's a really hard worker, and very friendly.  He can start up a conversation with anyone, very outgoing, and we have had so much success because of what he brings to this companionship.  I honestly couldn't ask for a better companion.  
     Steve R. is still struggling with his smoking, but we are working hard, talking with him 1-2 times a day, and bringing members to help support him.  He loves church, and his kids love it to.  His wife would come, but is waiting for Steve to quit smoking before she really commits to coming to church.  We dropped in the middle of her birthday party this last Thursday, and had a designer baker cake.  Like something that comes from cake boss type cake.  It was AWESOME!  He's opened up a lot more about his smoking to us, but he's out of town this week on business.  Hopefully this will help him to break away from the friends at work who are helping him out to smoke.
     Steve H. is about the same.  I'm not quite sure why he doesn't want to be baptized, other than maybe his wife is making such a big deal about it and he doesn't want to be told what to do.  He knows Joseph Smith is a Prophet, and he knows the Book of Mormon is true.  Yet he doesn't feel like he's ready to be baptized.  I don't know what's going to trigger things and make it click in his mind that he needs to be baptized, but I'm sure it will happen.
     We had another lesson with Haig this week and he accepted a baptismal date!  Of course he didn't come to church this week... but I think that was more the fault of the missionaries than his fault.  We didn't explain very well why we wanted him to come to church, and we haven't been able to get any members to the lessons with him, so not a whole lot of incentive to go.  But we do have things lined up for this week, so he should be progressing pretty soon.  He's a great man, and is really in tune with the spirit, we just need to do our part as missionaries to help him progress. 
     We picked up a new investigator named Gaston this week.  We knocked on his door, and he told us,"You know, I've been thinking a lot about Church recently.  I feel like I'm missing something in life and I think it's church".  He's 25 years old, newly married with a 7 month old baby.  He accepted baptism, but didn't set a date.  We have a lesson with him on Wednesday, so I'll have more about him and his wife next week. 
     We also met with a guy yesterday who's a WWII buff ;).  He's a high school teacher, and we met him on the street last Tuesday/Wed.  He was interested in meeting with us because his Mormon students throughout the years have made a real good impression on him.  He wants to know why all his best students are Mormons.  Goes to show you that people notice.  They may not mention anything about it to you, but they notice and they are curious.  I hope Mr. Rast has the same experience with Spencer and I.  I hope one day he's working in his yard with his log splitter and two missionaries walk up and start talking to him, and he says, "You know I had two students named Spencer and Michael, and they made a real impression on me and they were Mormon.  Come back this Sunday and talk with me."
     Not much news with any of our other investigators.  I love you very much, and look forward to your emails every single week :).
Elder Henry