This week is the last week of the transfer and we just found out that both of us are leaving! :( Eastgate has been soooooooo good...if only for 6 weeks; it was awesome! The ward was most definitely the best part of being there and so am so sad to go! Luckily I get to stay close by Cincinnati on the West side. I just realized that I have spent half of my time here within 30 minutes of Cincinnati which is the mission name, so that is a blessing. I truly consider it a home away from home.
We have an investigator named Candice that we found and started teaching the last 3 weeks or so. She had previously investigated the church but had only seen missionaries like twice, so when we first went back to start teaching her she put us through the ringer! She was drilling us on what the Godhead was like and what the difference was between a spirit and The Spirit and more! But we answered her questions adequately and she allowed us to teach her. So we taught about the Plan of Salvation and she is so funny because she likes to go slowwww but get really deep into it. She has really good questions and when we answer them she feels that they are right and true and she is left always wanting more which is really cool!
The funniest thing though was she said that when she became a mother she had to learn different ways to say things. For instance when you want your kid to stop. You say "stop" but sometimes that doesn't work so you need a "STOP" and that doesn't always work so sometimes you need... (She did sign language for stop). I then interjected, "and you can say "alto" which is Spanish for stop". To which she responded quickly with, "I gotta say "QUITTIT" which is Ghetto for stop!!!" Hahaha we died laughing because we are in the ghetto! So great! She is a crack up! Maybe you just had to be there.
Glad to be here doing the best thing ever! I have reflected on Alma the Younger's experience which he describes in Alma 36 as well as Enos's story, and the thing that I love between the two of them is that both of them reflect on the words of their fathers. Alma says, "as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world." Enos described it as, "Behold, I went to hunt beasts in the forest; and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning Eternal life and the joy of the saints sunk deep into my heart. And my soul hungered." I can relate a lot to these two. Enos doesn't say it but I think there was a time where he wasn't valiant and obedient. Obviously there was a time where Alma was outright against the church. There was a time where I didn't do the things that I knew was right. But like them, I knew what was right because I had learned it from my father (and mother), and there came a time when I remembered it also. And that remembering and then ACTING on it set me on this course and I am forever grateful for it! :) This is still the best experience of my life! :) And I love it!!!!
I love you! Thank you for everything you have done and are doing for me!
Elder Mark Howland