Monday, September 9, 2013

Houndtor, Haytor, and the Power of a Simple Testimony

(First...answers to mom's questions...but you might be interested too...)
We have been getting a fair amount of rain. The raincoat I've currently got is just fine, so no worries there. And I abhor short sleeve shirts. Really, I do. I don't need any. We're allowed to roll up our sleeves, and that's just fine for me. And I got the haircut. I think it looks good. I'll have Sister Turney send you a picture of it. I believe she sent you a few yesterday. Her son is off on a mission to South Africa, and so she likes to keep in contact with this ward's missionaries' Moms as she knows how frustrating it is not knowing what's going on with your kid. Oh, and I'm going to ask President today if I can write my own blog posts. If it's reaching as many people as you say, then that's an amazing missionary tool. However, he may just say to leave you to do it, as this is working just fine now. How are the numbers currently? And I got the package. The photo album is so much appreciated. I look at it quite frequently. And Elder Blackner and I both appreciated the Robitaille's.

So we did get to go to Dartmoor last week. It was absolutely wonderful. It's so weird seeing rolling hills instead of mountains. And all the tors are so cool. They're basically these giant granite deposits on the tops of the moors. We climbed around Houndtor (where the Sherlock Holmes novel 'The Hound of the Baskervilles' is set) and then hiked from there, through a little Medieval village to Haytor. The Medieval village was awesome. It's only ruins now, but the idea that it's been there for a thousand years is unfathomable. And we were just walking around these people's houses! Wow. Sister McMurtry made us these pizza rolls that were absolutely fantastic. I must have eaten at least six... Maddie would have loved all the wild horses roaming about, along with the sheep and cows everywhere. Oh, and I ripped my service trousers, so I'm going to need some new ones...Oops.

Houndtor with Elder Blackner.

The ruins of a medieval village.


We had to move these wild horses out of the way so we could back the car out.

It's funny how the weeks have been going. For the past two weeks, I've been feeling like we haven't been doing as much as we should... I can kind of stress myself out thinking that I need to be stopping more people, and teaching every one about the gospel. The funny thing is, though, that we've been leading the district. We've always got plenty of work to do, and our investigators are progressing fantastically. Steve and Terena have decided to get married, which is wonderful. They'll be baptized, with Phoebe, shortly after that.

We had Zone Training this last Friday. It felt a bit long, but it was good to be able to see the other missionaries. One of the members of our Stake Presidency came and spoke a lot about how we need to get the members working on missionary work much more. His vision is to get the Stake to the point where we could take the missionaries out, and the work would progress at the same rate. We've seen so many blessings as we've tried to apply that principle. As Brigham Young said, "...when I saw a man without eloquence or talents for public speaking, who could only say, 'I know by the power of the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of the Lord,' the Holy Ghost proceeding from that individual illuminated my understanding, and a light, glory, and immortality were before me. I was encircled by them, filled with them, and I knew for myself that the testimony of the man was true." A simple testimony borne by a member is so much more powerful than any rousing speech by the most skilled of orators. Plus, it really helps those who can't look past our missionary badge, as it often does get in the way.

One other thing that I got from Zone Training came from President himself. He really helped me to realize just how important I myself am out here. He said to use my musical talents as much as I can--to bring my guitar to DA's (I think this may refer to dinner appointments), or play the piano for them. There's such a special spirit that comes from music, and I need to use it. Of course, I need to use it for good, not for mere entertainment. That's what I'm working on now. I wrote a version of 'Battle Hymn' for the musical fireside last night, and I'm hoping to start writing something that's a little more aimed toward the Jack Johnson style for the next fireside. The fireside went amazingly. I only did six pieces this time, instead of seven. I know, big difference. We did one piece called 'My Kindness Shall Not Depart from Thee.' It's so beautiful (or as they would say here, "lush"). The whole fireside was so powerful for those who came, and I'm so grateful for the opportunity to perform.

Anyway, we should be off to play volleyball in a bit.

Love you so much,

Elder Green

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