So when we got to the airport to leave for Colorado we ended up waiting at the airport from 7am to 4pm because our flight got cancelled and then got moved. Haha so we woke up at 3 for nothing pretty much. We eventually got there though and met up with the mission president and got to go stay at their house for the day and I was the ping pong champion of the 15 new missionaries there.
I have to share a really powerful experience that happened before we went to bed that night. Ironically there was a side room downstairs away from the rest of the elders (all the new elders were sleeping in the mission president’s home downstairs) and there were three beds, so naturally Elder Mills, Elder Turner, and I all claimed it. We knew it was our last night together for awhile so we stayed up pretty late and just talked till about 2 am and then we decided to say one last prayer together. We played Rock Paper Scissors to see who would say it and the job fell on Elder Turner who normally said kind of short fast prayers. Since it was our last one, we wanted it to be meaningful so we joked about having myself or elder Mills say it, but he assured us it would be different. Boy was he right! He prayed for each one of us individually and then he went on to thank God for giving us all a chance to come out here and be missionaries and then gave thanks for the fact we became so close so fast. By the time we said amen and all looked up..... We were all in tears and just stood up and put our hands on each other's shoulders and just exclaimed how grateful we were. It really was awe striking watching the tears roll down their faces.
First day out in the field...
So this morning we went through a ton of training and were waiting till 12:30 to meet our trainers (new companions). My trainer is Elder Donovan and he is 6'5” and is 3 days younger than me. Haha how funny is that?! He has been out for about 11 months and seems to be pretty experienced already so that's cool. We are being sent to the Rawlins, Wyoming area which has a population of 10,000. It's one of the "outcast" areas, so we are literally in the middle of nowhere. This will be interesting.
I can tell Elder Donovan isn't the happiest out here, but he's doing his best to have a good attitude to help me out as a new guy. It's really weird being alone with just one other elder all the time, but we'll get used to it haha.
(Later in the day once on the road)
We started driving to Rawlins around 2 pm and didn't get to our house till 8:40!! Super long drive, haha but it was good. Elder Donovan is quite the singer, but he for the most part is a pretty vague guy. He doesn't go into too much detail about anything. Oh, we did get a truck in the end so I'm pretty happy about that. Prayer has been so big for me so far. It’s been super hard being so far out and alone but I'll continue to pray and seek for Gods love and comfort and I know that he will help me. Don't be shy about the emails either I have an IPad, so whenever I have wifi I can check them and read them right away but I can't reply:/ But oh well I'll take it!!
Our address for our home to receive mail and packages is:
801 12th St.
Rawlins, WY 82301
So today was my first full day out in the field! You’ve got to appreciate the little accomplishments. We are doing a sweep for this area of Rawlins (which means the two old missionaries are gone and my companion and I are both brand new to the area and it's tricky cause neither of us know the area.) So today we took the time to get me a pillow and then set up a bunch of appointments with the ward leaders for both wards we are covering. We also had to go to two different meetings because Elder Donovan is the district leader. So GET THIS! In our district there is a elder named Elder Prescott and he is cousins with Daq Prescott who just got drafted by the Cowboys! Elder Prescott put his scholarship to USC for football on hold to go on a mission so I have a lot of respect for him. We also got the chance to meet the ward mission leader and went over a ton of stuff with him. I felt pretty good about it so I'm stoked! We also had a dinner appointment with some members and got to meet their family and then gave them a quick little message about missionary work.
Today was such a good day I'm so happy! We taught 3 different lessons, did some service in the 'downtown' area, found a new really interested investigator and I took the lead in a lesson with a guy named Carlos and the spirit was so strong as we talked about how God and Jesus love us. Elder Donovan said I sounded like I've been in the field for months and was like a 'pro'. God does really answer prayers because I've been asking constantly for comfort and to feel more confident with talking with people. He really answered it today and I am so grateful.
So to sum it up we taught Hope and Mel who are getting married in a couple of weeks and then getting baptized pretty soon after that so that's huge. The only thing is they are struggling a ton from giving up smoking but we gave them some words of encouragement and they are both pretty hopeful.
We also taught Carlos who served in the army in Iraq and has been really feeling down on life so we are just trying to help him feel God’s love.
And then we taught a less active family and got them to commit to coming back to church!
So today was a really interesting day to say the least. We were doing our studies in the morning and then got a call from a less active couple asking if we could help them work on their porch so we headed over there and helped them finish it up and got them to commit to coming to church and the wife said she would but the husband wasn't too sure, so we'll see.
We were driving home to have lunch when we got another call from a recent convert. His name was Juciel and he said to come over and he would take us out to lunch. We were rather surprised and when we got there he said get in. He took us to Denny's and demanded we get as much food as we wanted because if we didn't we would be stepping on his blessings. He then went on to tell us his life story and it was such a hard time holding back tears listening to him.
So he was a partier growing up and didn't have much direction in life after he got kicked off his wrestling team. He quit school and went into construction and then eventually started going to the Baptist church he heard about. He said it was alright but he still was doing bad stuff and then one day his pastor told him that he needed to make some changes otherwise he would end up homeless. He didn't think much of it and stayed the same till he was 22 and then one day a new family came to his church and there was a 17 year old girl and her mom. They introduced themselves and he said he was polite but didn't think anything of it until later that night the mom called and said that she wanted him to take her daughter out on a date. At first he said no because she was a minor, but then after she kept begging and offered money he said okay. That one date turned into many dates.
Juciel then said how he never before actually cared for girls but he did for her. After two years the mom called again and this time said if he didn't marry her daughter she would call the cops on him. He said okay and a couple weeks later they were married. Long story short, after a few years the girl(wife) kept wanting to move and was going out with friends and then started cheating on him. After that she called the cops on him for domestic violence and got Juciel kicked out of his own house and he watched her bring another man into his own home. He was homeless for a year trying to keep his job at Taco Bell and then one day met a member named Brother Jamison. He got him a job and gave him a trailer and then after taking some lessons, Juciel converted to the church. And here he is buying us food a year later because he loves the missionaries so much for changing his life and bringing him happiness. He really has an amazing story.
Church was pretty cool because we are covering two wards that don't overlap at all. We were at the building from 8:30-4... Talk about a long day! Anyway, all the people we got to commit to come to church did, and we have a bunch of referrals and appointments set up. So my first full week is looking to be super busy and full of chances to feel the spirit.
Love you all,
Elder Robert Litster
|Elder Donovan & Elder Litster|