Thursday, September 10, 2015

Auburn--September 8, 2015

Dear family,

I will keep Grandma and Grandpa in my prayers! I'm glad that you are able to work through difficulties. That is the greatest exercise of our faith. Since being on my mission, I've learned that the Lord expects us to exercise the kind of faith where you have hope for good things to happen even if everything seems to be going wrong. It was a lesson I learned in Kent. I had a struggle working effectively and diligently because I saw no results from my efforts. I thought, "What difference is it going to make?" I had to learn how to rely on the Lord and trust His timing. I now realize that my efforts may contribute to growth in that area in the future. It's hard when you can't see the end, but you have to have hope for the future. That kind of faith never fails. 

This week was great. I have learned that the Lake Holm ward is very versatile. The socioeconomics vary widely. There are neighborhoods with million dollar mansions, and there are backwoods manufactured homes that are falling apart. I will include some pictures to show you. It's really interesting. The former mission financial clerk lives in a million dollar mansion. The development is called Washington National and it is situated on a golf course. 

Hiking on P-day
We had a baptism! Sister “L M” was baptized this Saturday. I had the opportunity to confirm her on Sunday. It was wonderful. Her two young boys kept throwing paper and garbage into the font. We had to keep them contained during the service. They are wild. The oldest is 4 and the youngest is 2. As you know, in missionary service, people drop in and out. “B” and “D” are no longer interested. They told us they really weren't looking to join the Mormon Church. But we found some new people. We had a lesson with the wife of a Baptist preacher. Her name is “S”. I was on exchange, so I wasn't there. Elder Jiao told me she (understandably) has doubts about the reality of the apostasy. I think that will be the biggest hurdle to overcome. We actually tracted into her. She lives in one of the farthest reaches of our area. It takes about 20 minutes to drive there from our apartment. 

Auburn is definitely one of the most interesting places I've been to. There are lots of people, at least in the downtown area. There is an Indian Reservation here. I've seen some Native people walking around. Their tribe is called Muckleshoot. When I went on exchange, I actually drove past all the casinos and the tribal high school. 

More tracting
I went on exchanges with my district leader. He and his companion work in the Marshallese branch. What a fun language. Their favorite word to say is Emman (yehmon). It means "good, or OK, or yeah" Their culture is so laid back. Their favorite past times are to eat, sleep, and play basketball or baseball. In fact, on Labor day, there was a tournament at the park for Marshallese basketball and baseball. Marshallese people from all over the Northwest came. There were so many Marshallese people. They come from the Marshall Islands, which is close to Micronesia. They are all very willing and ready to learn about the gospel. The coolest thing is that they are such a close-knit community that it's easy to get referrals. The biggest challenge for many of them is that they live with boyfriends/girlfriends even though they haven't divorced their spouse. I think they get married in the Islands, and then they move to America and live with someone else. Paying for the divorce is a challenge for many. They of course have very humble circumstances. They also switch children a lot. They'll take their friends' or cousin's children and keep their own children with friends in the Marshall Islands while they move to America. Their idea of family is very different than ours. It was really interesting to learn about their culture.

Well, I hope you have a really good week.


Elder Herbert