First things first. We get up, head to the church right off of base, and play a good half hour of basketball! My companion played in high school as the center, and he just shoves me around. I throw it up, and it's starting to go in more and more ;) It's good stuff! Then we come home, plan for our meetings, (we've probably got about 5 meetings a month and 4 exchanges w/other missinoaries, so we're always out and about and away from the apartment!). Then we head out to go find YSA less actives! Not only do we just cover the Army base, but we're also over both stakes in our area, because the branch is so big and widespread. (I haven't biked for a good 6 months)! After that, we head on to Fort Brag, teach less active and active members, and basically, try and find part member families and get member referrals... We work by miracles in this area!
We go to YSA FHE's, and institute. It's neat to see how so many young people are so diligent out here to get up and go! I'm pretty good friends w/the teacher! His name's Brother Calchera, and he's pretty high ranked in the army... We had a good time one Sunday, where (for fun), he showed me how he could basically break my arm in 4-5 different ways without too much effort... haha! It's good to feel protected at church.
Our Branch President's name is President Dickerson. He's incredible! One of the biggest role models I've met on my mission. He served his mission in California, and was actually put in a special class taught by Elder Maxwell to learn how to teach Jews the Gospel. They were taught by Rabbis as well that would share their beliefs and culture. After doing that, he took time to go and serve in the MTC as a teacher. He is a walking urim and thummim... He knows so much! Plus, he plays the piano and sings and he did so for mother's day in sacrament! I don't think that'd sound like a gift if I did that for my mom -_-
Then on the flip side, we have Bishop Burbank as the bishop for the Fort Brag ward. He's probably one of the nicest, most on the ball people I've met! He invited us over for Ping-pong one preparation day, and he showed off a bit of the authority he's got over us! These are some of the most hard working, go at it 24/7 people I've seen... The relief society President is just a ball of positive enthusiasm, and is always serving someone!
It's crazy because we literally can only talk to members on base, so we have to restrain ourselves as we pass by someone getting out of the car from telling him about the happiest message in life!! :) I had one of those moments where the spirit asked me to talk to someone who was vacuuming out his car on the base on exchange with the assistant... It was pretty freaky, but someday, he'll remember and it'll all work out.
So we saw a miracle this week! As we were searching for less actives on base, we were called by our relief society president telling us to come down immediately to teach her neighbor! We've since taught her 3 times this week. I asked her what the happiest thing could be that she could ever imagine, and she said, "being able to be with my family forever". We testified to her that as we taught her, that she could not only feel good about the possible idea, but that she could make it a reality, and feel the comfort it brings. Ah, she lit right up! It was sooo neat!! The RS President and her neighbor both fasted that she'd be able to learn more about this, and that her husband who's deployed right now, would be accepting as he came home. She's accepted a baptismal date, and is just such a good basically member already! We taught her the plan of salvation, and she was so preapared to hear it! My companion and I talked to each other about how the whole time the spirit was just putting words into our mouths, saying what she needed to hear. It's been a great pleasure teaching her, and the whole ward's so excited to watch her progress! This ward on base is like a giant family, and just sucks you in! Everyone knows about everything and about what's going on! It's so good!
We also saw another crazy thing happen... So we go out on the base and will teach on the barracks (hotels with no service as they say)! One night after an activity we had playing kickball with the YSA's, one of them invited his friend to be taught by us. We were on a split, so it was just me and another member... We got there, and he told us that he was a practicing Jew, but was curious what we had to say and what our message was. I asked him what he thought about Jesus Christ... He said, "well I don't want to step on any toes here..." and began to talk just like a pharisee of the New Testament! He couldn't fathom that Jesus could be the Son of God, or that he could posses the power of God. He felt that he was a good man, but just not anything in particular tied to God... (My comp Elder Holt missed out..)! We had a really deep lesson... we asked how he knew that God was real and that he loved him? He talked about how sometimes things just worked out, and it felt good inside of his heart. We went from there! He got to a point where he said if he found out one day that Christ was the Messiah, that he would believe it, but that he'd have to have a sign... We talked about receiving some of the same signs that we feel as we find that God loves us as well. We went through the restoration of the Church, the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and finding truth through the Holy Ghost. His member roommate bore a powerful and emotional testimony about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, and promised him a difference as he read it. We invited him to pray at the end, and he thanked God for the amazing stories heard, the chance he had to learn more! We're seeing him again tomorrow! The Holy Ghost is so powerful... it just sits at the heart of these people, until they act, and feel the love and comfort it brings. It totally changes their whole perspective.. Like Sister Langford said in a recent email, I've gained a huge testimony of the Book of Mormon, and truly see it as the guide to Christ. It helps us realize what plugs we still have to connect to him, and is like hitting refresh on the computer sometimes! I miss being able to just go and street contact people everywhere, and seeing it work so fast... They would read it, and you could see them begin to feel different... This book has power! it just takes application! :)
Those are the two main investigators we have. I think I mentioned, we're also teaching a Rastafarian, who feels that it's time for us to get married. He says that I've got cute hair like some guy off "Dawson's Creek." He loves to hear about Jesus. He's made a lot of progress.
Well, we're off to another dinner now on base! We've got nice "90 passes" that get checked everyday on the way in, and we're planning on heading on in now to get there on time. Thanks for all of your prayers and love! They're real, they're there, and they're always felt, everywhere!! ;) I love you all! Talk to you soon!