So the big thing is that we went to Gettysburg this morning. It was pretty cool, It was nice to return, remember last time, and also the weather was a lot warmer today so we could enjoy it more. Brother M, our assistant branch mission leader, took us and the West York elders. It was an awesome time. I had a lot of fun.
We have hit a recent doldrums of investigators, nothing really new happening and no real progress with our others. But we're re-shifting focus this week, we really want to have a baptism this December. The branch support is there, the work ethic is there; we just need the help of the Lord to find a golden investigator.We have been seeing a lot of progress with less active and inactive families though. It's been awesome, we had a lot at church this Sunday, including for the first time the B family. They moved from Oregon, haven't been active ever, were offended before. The brother was actually a Do Not Contact person, but we didn't know... Anyway it took some work but we have really developed a warm relationship with them, including their special needs son, who is deaf-mute and has charge syndrome. And they finally came! Just a cool way to see the gospel change lives. The very first time we met him, he said that he could never come back. This was stopping him that was stopping him. Here's the thing: people are either looking for excuses or opportunities. At first, any excuse would derail him. Now, he is looking for opportunities to come and ways to make it work despite his challenges. It is really heartwarming to see. We're pumped.
So here's the lowdown on C. As I may have alluded to, she had a pretty traumatic early life. She has a lot of siblings, but none of them really know each other because her mother put them all up for foster care. So she has worked for several years to find who they all are and reconnect them. She grew up with her mother for a while in Lancaster City and York. At one point, her mother was in a relationship with an inactive church member named D. I have actually met him once before, he is the ex-boyfriend of J, an inactive member that Elder G and I found and located in Lancaster City and started working with. We met with him one time, but were unable to get much further than that. It was an eye opener to me though that the Lord has all the right moves in all the right places, I am essentially one of two missionaries in the entire mission that could have recognized that name, put it to that face, and connected that dot. Anyway it appears she was baptized during that window of time. It was very hard to nail that down due to the fact that C's mother went by multiple names, multiple boyfriends, and multiple addresses. (as well as abandoning her daughter later on). Plus C's name was legally changed at age 5 as well. So this was much more complicated than I am making it sound. But we broke the news to her and she was so excited. She said, "Maybe that's the reason I just feel at home so much when I am at the church." So she is loving it, she has brought two friends to church already and we have talked about beginning to teach her roommate. I had a question nagging me, though. Why did both Elder B and I feel so strongly to set her with a baptismal date of November 29th? It had seemed inspired, and the fact that that date was the date she beat cancer three years previous had seemed to confirm our spiritual prompting. Then I realized the date during the lesson that we revealed she was a member of the church. November 29th, 2014. Truly, God works in pretty cool ways. So she didn't get baptized on that date, but she found out she was a member of the Lord's true church. And she wasn't confirmed on the 30th, but she did have her records moved in and was officially welcomed to the ward. Cool, no?
The other big thing was Thanksgiving! That was pretty darn cool, the day after the big snow, but a whole bunch of people from the different wards showed up anyway Compared to last year, when there were like 10 people, this year there was a few dozen! Anyway for a lot of these big guys with desk jobs, it is a big time to flex their inner manliness, so things got pretty rough for two-hand touch. It was really fun though. Then afterwards we made a giant snowman, like over 6 feet tall, and left it on the bleachers. We drove by today and it was the only chunk of snow still remaining, a little bowling ball-sized splot of snow. Oh well. Anyway we also went to Gravity Hill. It is a strange mysterious place in Pennsylvania where the very laws of gravity cease to function. You park your car in neutral at the bottom of the hill and it will roll backwards, uphill! Pretty special! Ha-ha it's really anticlimactic but kind of cool. (The trick is that it's all angles. The hill intersects with another, much steeper hill, so it looks like a downhill while actually being a slight uphill.)
We were going to just have one dinner, but then we ended up eating another dinner in West York with their investigators and then another (!) at a member's in our area. Luckily, remembering last year, I paced myself and thus got terribly full but survived. Elder B, still full of youthful enthusiasm, was dying by meal two. I'll send some pictures so you can see what I mean. The second meal was with a Spanish family, and they also made sure we ate a big dessert. Elder B shoveled his entire slice of pie and cake onto a little kid's plate when no one was looking. Basically we got stuffed but made it through. Man it was a toughie!