Thursday, December 29, 2011

December 12, 2011

WOW what a great email to read that Campo football won again. That is so exciting. That is too bad that Vince's back is hurting and bothering him but to hear he kept playing is no surprise. We all learned that bit of "self-sufficiency" (also known as stubborness) from our wonderful Grandma Barnes I think. But how gratfeul we all are for that trait of dedication and will.
This week was full of good. Elder Clark and I continue to work hard and focus on making sure we are living worthy to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. The members really seem to be feeling it and a few of them have started to mention the names of some of their friends to us. One of the members said she had been waiting for a set of "hard working Elders" to introduce a particular friend to. She just said that yesterday, so we will see when that meeting can happen. But obedience and consecration to the work are being noticed. The main girl we are teaching, Sierra, says she has received an answer the Book of Mormon is true and loves coming to church and feeling the consistent love and warmth of our ward family. Something she identifies as being unique from the other churches she has been exposed to. On Thursday, all of our plans got canceled, except for a dinner appointment, luckily. Sierra sent us a message right after all the cancelations saying she had a friend she wanted us to meet. After our studies finished in the morning, we went to her apartment and met her friend named Autumn. She had some initial questions about various things, and then Elder Clark and I began to teach the message about the Restoration of Christ's Church. At the end of the lesson, Autumn said she felt overwhelmed at the feeling that she had. I then had the opportunity to invite her to be baptized. It was all due to the undoubted presence of the Holy Ghost which had confirmed to her the truth of the message. She said yes! Come to find out from Sierra, Autumn said she hadn't planned on believing anything or feeling anything while she talked to us. It was a powerful testimony builder for me. We will now have to see how she reacts to the witness she received and we will pray her parents are receptive to it as well. They are very active in their faith at an Assembly of God congregation.
We also had the opportunity last night to meet with a man named Robert Jenkins. He was exposed to scouting with an LDS troop as a teenager and has fond memories of the warmth and love of the ward that he was involved with. He lives with a woman and their two children and has been feeling lately that church is what their family is missing. He also commented that because of his familiarity with the overall love and concern that church members seem to have as a whole, he thought it no coincidence that we knocked on his door at the time we did. In reality, we knocked on his apartment door while looking for a family on our ward roster who apparently moved away some time ago.
Elder Clark and I can really feel blessings of the Lord being poured upon us. Another thing we have squared away, thanks to the idea from Dad, was to get a little blurb in the newspaper. On Thursday this week, there will be a small article advertising our service to help with any last Christmas decorating and also to help take down and haul away Christmas trees. This exposure will not only keep us busy, we're sure, but hopefully produce a few more good contacts for us to start teaching. We have had some crazy times on our bikes. The shoulders on most of the roads here are as thick as the wide paint strip on the side of a lane. And the people seem to have many places they need to get to in a hurry. I have been riding on the side with two cars in parallel to my left a few times more than I would like to admit.
I got a great package from the Bishop Sorenson and his family this week and their kindness is amazing. Please make sure they know of my love for them and gratitude for the their thoughts on my behalf.
I didn't hear back about my camera battery charger, which I really would like to know soon so I can either buy a new one or get it mailed out to me. I would like to take some pictures and send them home. Please let me know.
Everyday is a great day to wake up and dawn the nametag with the name of our Savior. As I read about laying up treasures in heaven this week, the thoughts about what some of those treasures hit me. Obviously nothing physical with go with us. But the knowledge, Priesthood, attributes, and family we have developed in this life are all the treasures that our loving Heavenly Father would want us to develop so we will have treasures after this life. I look forward to developing the kind of treasures that will eternally significant and not come and go with a strong breeze of bad times during the course of my life. I love you all. Thanks so much for the unending prayers and thoughts.
With love and charity,
Elder Graziano

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