Ames, week 1

Jan 26, 2015

So its pretty good here in Ames, and we have a full time car, as opposed to the car share we were in, and it is a 2015 Chevrolet Cruze, and it’s a really nice car, and I feel super blessed and spoiled to get to use it, and it still has that new car smell. It’s been driven like 900 miles, so that’s pretty good. Our area is like 25 square miles or so, so pretty small, and my last one was similar, because I’m still in a city, so that’s nice that there are actually people here, and quite a few members, the ward is about the same size as my last one 100 or so active members. The libraries were open on MLK day, and I think one school district even had school here then. Pdays are fun, last week we played with nerf guns in the little gym, which was super fun. We shop at Wal-mart and email at the public library. I use the pull up bar I got not quite every day, because the apartment that we’re in has a weight bar/bench so I use that some, which is fun. I have made a few smoothies with the blender that you sent me, but they probably weren’t the type you wanted me to. They were more like shakes, a made a few banana milkshakes, but also made some oreo ice cream shakes and other things like that, so it’s good! Haven’t had any allergies at all so tha’s good. I did get a little sick about a month ago, just a runny nose, which was super inconvenient and all that but not much else, so I’m doing great!

We had a pretty good week this week, and I actually got to visit with Chong-Zhang this week a couple of times before her baptism this Saturday, and she is amazing! She is reading the Book of Mormon in Chinese and in English and has so many questions, and she’s in the latter part of 2nd Nephi, so she just finished all of those Isaiah chapters, and her questions are what is this name, who is that, and about Jewish history that Isaiah refers to, not about what it is meaning doctrinally, she understands all of that, which is incredible. She was super happy on her baptism day, and loved it a lot, and said she just felt so good on Sunday after she was confirmed. I had a thought on about Friday this past week, because there is another recent convert from China in our ward who is going back to China in a few weeks, and Chong and her husband might go back at some point (we’ll hopefully get to start teaching him next week) and I thought that these people are going to be the people that help to open China and will be the strong backbone of the Church over there in a few years. It is exciting to see how strong in the gospel these people become and the miracles they will accomplish!

We also got a change to a rule in our mission that came from people above the mission president. Our mission president used to have to interview anybody that was Muslim before we were even allowed to teach them, to make sure that nothing bad would happen from them learning from us for them or for us, but that rule is now revoked. We are allowed to teach them, but they can only be baptized if they are staying here long term. So that was exciting, and we got to teach a Muslim man on Saturday and he told us a lot about his religion and how misunderstood it was and all of these other things about how the word repentance in his language literally meant an entire 180 degree turn from your past life and he was upset when he saw Christians do something bad, “repent” and then do it again because they could repent again, and we told him how we believed in the same thing. There are obviously a lot of major differences between us, but he was really nice.

So that was my week, and I hope that you had a good one as well!
Love you all!
Elder Hayden

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