Monday, November 26, 2012

I am, for the eighth time, a proud uncle. I miss those kids!!!!

Dear everyone under the sun (or the snow, if you're so lucky),                  November 26, 2012

Congrats to everyone who has decided to go on a mission whether you've
received a call yet or not.  How exciting that so many of my wonderful
friends are leaving to serve the Lord!  I'm honored to be your friends
and so grateful to have your influences in my life.  Anna, I got your
letter.  Expect a reply as soon as I can get one out.  =)  Everyone
else...  Well, write me!  I'm hoping my last batch of letters got out.

Is anyone new getting married/having kids?  I'd love to hear about it!
 Aubs, I'm SO excited for you and your now-larger family.  I am, for
the eighth time, a proud uncle.  I miss those kids, but I know they're
in good hands.  I'll ruin them for you all when I return.  I was
reminded today that after next week I only have 5 transfers left!
Gosh.  I don't know how to react to that.  I'm not ready to be
"unplaqued" yet!  Transfers are next week.  Some people say that I'll
train.  Others think that Elder Wilhelm will be staying for at least
one more.  Whatever happens, I'm excited for the opportunity to keep
on working here and growing every day.

In other news, we've redivided our areas and, though the division is
good and smart, it hurts.  We lost about 13 investigators (5 with a
baptismal date and more that were progressing toward one).  We gained
very little in return.  But, we got a good area with some potential
that just needs to be tracked and conquered!  A conquering we go.  =)

This last week was an incredible numbers week.  Well, compared to what
we've been seeing at least.  We had 22 lessons!  It was great.  And 9
people came to church.  The numbers don't matter in and of themselves,
but the people behind them do and I love that these people grew so
much this week.

We are teaching two sisters who are polar opposites.  The older sister
is loud, knows her bible well, likes us for no particular reason, but
is iffy on the idea of re-baptism.  The younger sister is quiet, but
very accepting.  When the older sister said that she wouldn't pray to
find out if God wanted her to be baptized again, her younger sister
was shocked.  She said, "You're not even going to pray!?  What have
you got to lose?"  They both came to church and seem really genuine.

We also had the opportunity to teach a missionary from The Jehovah's
Witness church.  It was surprising.  I don't want to talk poorly about
other churches...  But suffice it to say that I'd never met a
Jehovah's Witness that wasn't looking to fight with us and bible bash
us into insensibility.  Edmilson wasn't looking for that.  We talked
very calmly, explained our beliefs very basically, and he even let us
end with a prayer.  He invited us back next Saturday to bring him a
Book of Mormon.  I get the feeling he thinks that we're kind of his
"pet project" as he's also a missionary, but we'll see how Saturday
goes.  I liked him a lot.

I had a great Thanksgiving, by the way.  =)  We had it as a special
event on Thursday.  At 4 we went to President's and played a little
bit, talked, and ate.  We talked about what we were thankful for.  I'm
thankful for the loving support of my friends and family.  I'm
thankful for my mission and the many great things it's shown me.  I'm
grateful for conversation.  I'm grateful for the true church.  I'm
grateful for my Savior.  I'm grateful for The Book of Mormon (I've
recently started Helaman again and I can't get enough!).  Most of all,
I'm grateful to be a child of God, to know that I am, and to feel His
love every day.

I've made a concrete decision that I've shared with very few people.
After my mission, I'm joining the Air Force.  It might not be right
away.  I might do some school first.  I might decide to get married
first.  I'm not sure on the specifics.  I still want to try for the
choir, but if I don't get in I'll do something else.  I need to look
more into it, but I'm certain that this is the right choice and the
path that I need to take for my family and my life.  I will join up.
I feel more right about it than I ever have.

Hey, I love you guys and I wish you all the best.  Merry Christmas!
We're loving Christmas music in our house right now.  =)


Elder Cody R. Eckman

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