First of all Happy Birthday Emma! I hope that you have a great day today. :)
Yeah I am not sure what they course of the rest of my mission is. I think there is a good chance that I could stay here to finish it out and I could see Elder White and I serving one more and then maybe bringing a new guy in. But that is just our theory, it could be completely different. The challenges are still here, but we are doing our best despite them. I think I am less discouraged though. One of the missionaries here is collecting coins and he gave us a good analogy. He said that he loves to find the quarters... but in order to do that he has to look for the pennies too. So just like in life sometimes we are blessed with a quarters, but everyday there are little pennies all around us. We just keep plugging a long and really the time is going by super fast, this is already the last week of the transfer. Yikes...
Man it is fun to hear how well Emma's team is doing. Does their season continue into next spring? Also is Taylor planning on playing for the Orem High Soccer team this next year? Want to know something cool. Our investigator S is a huge EPL fan. He tells me that West Ham is in his blood, he lives and breathes for that team. So that has been fun to be a be able to have that in common and it has developed our relationship with him in another good way. I told him that I love Van Persie and he gave me a little bit of a hard time, but then he told me about his header that he had in the world cup. He said that it was "beautiful" and that he only has to think about it and he gets the chills haha. The funny thing is I didn't even see that goal and I still get the chills when I think about it... weird. Pretty cool to have that love of soccer in common! Do you guys have any students on your intramural team this season?
This week was pretty crazy. On Tuesday we were walking through campus and all of the sudden a throng of students came up to us and were thanking us for our religion being calm and peaceful. They were telling us that there were some people on free speech alley that were preaching hellfire and damnation to everyone that was passing by. They were being rude to people and everybody was feeling uncomfortable. While we were talking to these people a few of the preachers came up to us and started bashing with us really aggressively. For the next hour or so they were grilling us and chastising us for leading people to hell. We had both encountered some people like before, but not quite on this level. We had a whole group of people around us, about 20, and they were all cheering us on. Some people would even walk by and ask "Who is winning?" And they would all start saying "The Mormons are!" haha people were even taking pictures of us. Crazy huh? Well through it all we were definitely attacked, but we stayed happy, calm and respectful. We thanked them for their time and went on our way. He told us, "I would say God bless you, but I can't because you are going to hell and you are dragging others down with you." Isn't that crazy? Everyone was coming up to us afterwards and thanking us for being so kind and patient. We even had a girl ask us if she could give us a hug. It was cool to see that the gospel of kindness (which is essential the gospel of Jesus Christ) can be spread so easily simply through example. It was a good experience and really it was nothing we did because it would have been so easy to get angry, but the spirit helped us completely address the situation. We had the opportunity to talk to a lot of people and give out a few pamphlets and cards. It was a blessing in disguise.
We had some really good lessons with S this week as well. On Thursday we had a our Ward mission leader come with us and that was awesome. He was able to interact with S in a different way than we were and it turned out to be exactly what needed to happen. He had a few more questions and we testified to him that the way that all these questions and concerns could be resolved was through reading the Book of Mormon and praying to ask if Joseph Smith was a prophet. he agreed that was the only way to find out and he was all in. We invited him to be baptized and this was his answer "If I find out this is true I will get baptized, wait a year to go to the temple and then pack my bags for two years to serve a mission." He is so sincere, wants to know the truth and simply wants to serve God the best he can. It has been an amazing experience working with him. I really like your advice too dad about working with the ward members more closely and I think that is something that we can try doing.
I will end with a few pictures. I love you guys so much and I hope you guys a have a great week.
Prayers and Thoughts always,
Elder Devin Soper
PS President and Sister Hansen invited us over for dinner on Wednesday and that was awesome to be able to get to know them on a more personal level. I love them a lot.