Thursday, July 2, 2009

Fernandina Beach, FL Letter #3, June 29 2009

Hello again Everyone,

Last week was awesome! I can't even remember all the stuff I did, but I will try. Well, let’s start with the “main event” and work from there. Debbie was baptized on Saturday, (June 27) and confirmed on Sunday, (June 28). I did the baptism! I was so nervous; I kept going over the baptism part in my head over, and over again, all day. Then on Friday we walked her through what was going to happen and we showed her the font (it’s pretty funny that this small of a branch has a baptismal font when only the Stake Centers in Utah have them), and it does not have the prayer on the side of the font (like ours in Utah) so you have to have the prayer memorized. Yeah, I was nervous.

Then President Newman told Elder See, he might show up at the baptism or the confirmation on Sunday. I was hoping he wouldn't show up at the baptism; which I lucked out on; he didn't show. But the whole time I was so nervous! I really didn't think that when I left that Utah I would be busting my baptism clothes out this soon!

Oh, the reason why President Newman wanted to come was so he could talk to Jason (and if he got a good feeling from him tell him that he would write Salt Lake and ask if he could get baptized in a year or less). On the day of the baptism (this branch LOVES to support new converts; so tons of people are there) Debbie is all dressed in white, and I’m dressed in white. We got tons of pictures of us, and also got pictures with Jason as well; because we are counting him as “baptized” even though he is not.

Then the time came for Debbie & I to go into the font, she had told me on Friday she was nervous and I told her, “That’s alright this is my first time too. You don't have to worry; you just get to stand there. I say the prayer, and then dunk you. It’s all on me, if I mess up we will just do it over again, then maybe again,… then maybe I might have to do it one more time!”

So we got in the font and everyone was standing there watching, but I tried not to focus on them. Debbie got in and I went from nervous to calm in an instant! I said the prayer perfect, dunked her perfect, and didn't need to do it again! Afterwards, the whole area around us felt clean and pure, and it was not just in the baptismal font… it was everywhere! it was pretty sweet! I walked out of the font feeling happy and “spiritually juiced!”

Then as I was changing, I realized that I forgot to bring a spare shirt! Oh my goodness, I didn't know what to do! So I was in the changing room ringing my shirt out trying to get it as dry as possible… then I put it on and started to get dressed. Next Elder See ran in and said "Elder did you bring a spare shirt?" I turned around, (looked at him dead in the eye), and said ... NO! So we grabbed me a crappie yellow shirt from the baptismal font changing room and put it on, because the font water had bleach in it, so if I tried to put my suit coat on over the wet shirt it would ruin the suit.

Yeah, so when I came back into the Relief Society room, Elder See whispered to me "It's ok everybody knows." Then I look around and everyone was smiling at me… (like they were holding in the funniest joke ever). I had thought that my suit coat would hide my crappie yellow shirt, so no one would know. However “lovely” Elder See told everyone about my shirt situation.

Then Brother Harris welcomed Debbie into the ward and gave a short talk on the Spirit, which she would get the gift of on Sunday. Brother Harris said, “That the Holy Ghost would prompt you on different things… (and he went to name a few of them) then he said, “Or if a greenie Elder forgot to bring a spare shirt...” yeah! Well I will say it was a good learning experience! Next time I will remember! lol pretty funny day… Saturday was.

Sunday President Newman showed up at the branch. Elder See & I greeted him and I told him about my shirt experience. President Newman said, “Well at least you didn't do what I did my first baptism and didn't bring spare underwear”. Lol I love that guy!

After the meeting, he met with Jason in private and he told Jason that if it was up to President Newman he would be baptized today, but he has to ask the First Presidency. He also told Jason that they might just say to go ahead and baptize him, (based on President Newman’s recommendation), so lol Jason is hoping the First Presidency responds soon.

I am getting really good at tracting, compared to when I first came out. It is fun being out here! I am learning a lot of things, There is no "member only dinner meal" appointments anymore. We have to have an investigator present to have dinner with members, but it helps out with the work… to get more converts… and helps us missionaries lose weight!! lol I went down two belt loops already.

Lol Propet are sweet shoes, they are my tracting shoes and I love them a lot! I hope to mess them up real good though, so when I come home I can walk off the airplane and be like; “Look at my shoes!” lol

There are sooo many lizards down here, and different colors, and some geckos! In Utah you go camping and everyone is all like “ooo one lizard lets catch it.” Ha, ha Down here, they are everywhere! I see more of them than I see of other bugs! Holy cow though, the locus down here get big! I will get a picture of one so you can see.

But yeah I feel like I have been working my bum off, but I am still so happy. Lol it is so fun down here I wouldn't trade it for anything. Elder See pulled a prank on me, and asked me where our phone was? I knew I had it in my suit coat pocket, so I checked and it was not there. (He has it the whole time) Then he told me, I needed to find it or we would be in trouble. He told me to go pray about it, so I did. I told Heavenly Father to forgive me for being such a butthead and losing the phone. And I asked him to help me find it.

Then I got up and started looking again and it was in the bathroom. Lol I was so happy. I showed Elder See, and he told me he had it the whole time! I was laughing; I told him “You jerk! I went to pray and I told Heavenly Father I felt like a butthead for losing the phone and you had it the whole time?" lol We both started laughing! Elder See still laughs about it.

Oh man, my mission is awesome! I’m worried that I am starting out so good because most missionaries this is their hardest time. But I feel fine! I’m having fun working; I know it is hard work but its fun. I wonder if that is going to come back and bite me in the butt sometime down the road or not? Because people say, “Every missionary goes through their own Gethsemane out on their mission”. But I don't know, I am having fun just being here and I feel blessed to work in His vineyard. We will see what the future holds.

We have to do 100 push-ups each day (the first time I did 10 man pushups and 90 girl pushups), I am now at 40 man and 60 girl and doing 160 crunchies a day. I think just start out small, just do what I can do, Then work my way up.

It is fun down here, even though we are not getting a lot of new investigators, but we will keep trying because angels are preparing people to receive us and we just have to find them. This week we get to try raccoon and possum!! woot woot! Super stoked about that!

People who like fishing would get along well down here, they have like awesome fishing here! Brother Stewart is going to take us fishing on the beach (because we can’t go on boats), we even saw a guy cleaning out a shark! One day there was another guy who caught this massive fish!!! I want to fish out in the ocean just once, to get something that big. lol

Oh, a tornado hit the Jacksonville area (in the city) they call it a Water Spout because it follows the water. It was heading to our area but I never saw the actual tornado, just lots and lots of rain! It was so sweet!!

If anyone wants care package ideas, some bagpipe hymns or bagpipe music (or something like that). Some CD's would be cool but classical/hymns/instruments oooo or some Indian music, which would be sweet. It can be singing (besides hymns, but nothing-hard rock that detracts from the Spirit). Some institute manuals for BOM or Old Testament or New Testament or D&C manuals. You don't have to send all those; these are just some ideas, for what I think would be sweet out here to have.

I think that pretty much does it. I’m still working hard; I mean it’s no secret that it is hard work… like flipping 16-hour days!! You’re tired, you’re sweaty, and no one wants to listen or they do listen… but don't care. It is somehow still AWESOME, FUN, fun work!!! As president Newman said, "We are looking for the Elect people that have been prepared, so we must raise ourselves to the summit above the tree line. That is our goal. I just love it out here pretty fun stuff!!

I think I mentioned that address book, yeah please send it soon, I want to write to everyone. But yeah, there is fun stuff I get to write in my journal every day.
Well I gotta go buy milk and I think that is it… cause mom’s food is still there. We are trying to make it stretch as long as we can, so we can save our money! Write me soon everyone! Have fun catching those lame brown lizards up there in Utah and remember; down here, we get all the cool multicolored ones!

Hope to hear from you guys soon. I love the letters, I think they are awesome! Can you believe I have been out a month... only 23 left, it is going by too fast, way too fast... Well love you all, take care, remember to read, and pray!

Love always,
From the amazing “Elder in the South” Elder Blair

P.S Meeting a few Spanish people down here, and so I asked some Spanish Elders for a copy of the Book of Mormon in Spanish. Maybe I can learn somewhat, and try and talk to the Spanish people down here and tell them about our awesome message. But I won't use it in my personal studies, cause I have been called the English speaking mission; so that is my first priority! In my free time, I am learning it lol so yeah it is fun stuff!

Peace out