Saturday, August 20, 2011

Week 29 in the Mission Office

This email came a day late, presumably because President Eyring was in San Salvador training missionaries…

Subject:  "Rasputen!" "Rasputen! Oohoohoo!"

You have to all read that quote like he says it in the movie. Much funnier that way.

So I think that I should start with the responses to your emails so that I can end this up on a spiritualish note. And, since I feel bad for past weeks, spot #1 goes to Julie.

So Julie. How've you been? I got the list that you sent me, but to be honest haven't read it yet. I just printed it out to read later so that I have time to write you all. But I am assuming that it will be hilarious. Also, I quite enjoyed the pictures, and believe that James has got to be the fattest baby of Arrington descendants at this point. So you win the fat baby award. And it looks like you are all very happy and doing well. Very nice. He'd better be able to wrestle me when I get back.

Stacey, you haven't seen Hot Rod. That's horrible. I congratulate you for getting both the Tenth Kingdom and Balto quotes, but that's just not going to cut it. Get on that. But thanks for the email. By the way, it seems like every week for the last three or four weeks I've heard from somebody different that Harry Potter 7 is amazing and that they spent like an hour on the phone talking to you about it. You definitely do need a new hobby. "I once had a girl who rearranged furniture!" Speaking of which, I seem to remember you preparing a Music 101 review for me...

Lindsay, those were also some great pictures. Was it just send Elder Arrington baby pictures week? I was quite surprised that Reese is so big and seems to be starting to walk. Also, you have long hair! And Mike has a ton of hair all over his face! That's crazy as well.

And Dad and Mom and the family. I don't think anyone ever told me that I spell Eyring wrong either, so I'll have to work on that. And just spelling in general. I'm glad everything is starting to move along with all of the family, and it seems like with Michael's Nike stuff and Steven's sports stuff (dang that kid is ripped) and the Frogleys moving out and Latin Concerts and so on, life is pretty great. Life is great when it's busy. I think so, anyway.

By the way, there have been a couple weeks where I might have mentioned rough things or frustrations that I've had, which happen from time to time, and then I'll get responses and such to those difficult things. Thank you for that. But I was going to say that a lot of times I'll get on to email and read these emails that say things like, "It sounds like you're going through a really rough time..." and I just sit here and think to myself, "What? What did I say last week?" And then after a few minutes I start to remember and it makes sense. It's just funny to me that I generally can't even remember the rough things I was talking about.

Oh, and I very, very much enjoyed the BYU Football news. It sounds like we've got some rough roads ahead that could end up super great. I'm stoked. Even though the emails aren't as great as watching almost all of the games live HD, I can feel the good ol cougar pride.

And what is this I hear about an Apple TV? That may need some explaining. I think I remember Dad talking a little bit about those when he was deciding on what TiVo to buy, but I know about nothing more than that. Technology is fun.

And in some strange way, that brings me to the rundown. This week was very slow with investigators. And kind of sad. First of all, none of them were at church. We already knew that all of them were going out of town this weekend for some strange reason, but it was still sad. We don't even have Principles of the Gospel if there's no investigators. I meet in a rented house that fits about 80 people, and about 60 come to church. I don't know if I told you all that. It's an interesting experience. But they're starting to build a chapel, so it'll be good.

Since all of our investigators were gone Saturday and Sunday, it made those days really hard to work in the area. We found a couple new investigators, but none of them very positive. I'm not even sure if we'll go back to them. This one that we found, though, was really interesting. He had been invited to the temple and went, so that's how we got the referral. His name is Agosto, I think. He's like sixty years old. But we got to his house, and he started talking. People in this country really like to talk, by the way, even if you very clearly are not listening. Just a side cultural note. But this guy was actually interesting. We noticed the Book of Mormon was on his shelf, and we commented about it, asking if he had had a chance to read through it at all. It turns out that he's read the entire thing. I think several times. He started talking about all kinds of things like the ruins here in El Salvador and how well they correlate with the Book of Mormon and Alma and Nephi and Mosiah and King Lamoni and how Christ came and on and on. I think this guy knew the Book of Mormon better than I do, maybe. Maybe. Maybe, Harry. After talking for almost an hour about the Book of Mormon he straight out told us that he knew it was written by prophets here in the Americas and that it was true. But he's Evangelical, and likes going there more. We tried working on that a bit with him, but he wouldn't budge. He's actually some really important guy in whatever Evangelical church he goes to. He's in charge of the prayers or something. But that just goes to show you that having intellectual knowledge of the Book of Mormon or this church doesn't get you very far.

The rest of this week was focused on getting ready for the temple dedication, and since I'm running short on time I have to jump to yesterday. We had a meeting with President Eyring (I totally spel good) together with the San Salvador mission. So we worked in the office in the morning to finish up a couple quick things and then, around two, we headed out to San Salvador. I had to be there a little bit early to help set things up for the choir we put together (let's put them here in front. Looks good. Done), and then we kind of just waited around. I spent a big chunk of that time talking to other missionaries, such as Elder Duzett and Elder Oliverson. Meetings like that are always fun. It's fun to see people again. But then they finally let us in around 4:30, and we waited. And waited. Two of the Area Presidency were there, so they kind of gave a couple talks and stalled for time for an hour or so. President Eyring was running late, so he didn't get to the chapel until around 6:40. But it was totally worth it. That man is a beast. Spiritually. He's actually kind of an old man physically. But he came with Elder Christofferson (however that one is spelled), Elder Falabella from the Area Presidency, and Elder SomethingthatIdon'trememberanymore from the Seventy. And one of the first things that we did was have our special choir number, where I went and played Lead Kindly Light on the piano with President Eyring about four feet away. And Elder Christofferson, both mission presidents, the Area Presidency, a couple seventies, and about 400 missionaries. Not intimidating at all. Thanks to prayer, though, it went really smoothly. And since I played the piano, I got a special spot on the inside isle of the third bench back. Great spot to be. I was that guy that President Eyring looked at really often to bare his testimony and hammer home some points. I think I stood out since the rows in front of and behind me were all Sisters. But that is a great experience. So I'm going to end with one of the many points that he covered. By the way, Elder Christofferson speaks Spanish really well. I don't know if you all knew or not.

President Eyring started by making a couple remarks about his trip to the chapel and how they had not anticipated how horrible the traffic was going to be nor the horrible driving of the citizens, so they moved very, very slowly. He's really funny, by the way. But he talked about how President Monson will always start the day with a huge smile and then just go to work. He said that he and President Hinckley are very alike in that. He said that often the twelve would come to President Hinckley with some huge problem, almost trying to impress him with how difficult or challenging it was, and he would just smile and say, "Well, everything will work out." So he tied that into the traffic that he was in, and how he kept thinking about that. He said that all of us need to be faithful, work hard, and smile throughout because we have complete faith that everything will work out. Maybe not the way we want it to, but as he said, it will work out the way God wants it to. And His way is usually better. He also shared a small part of his patriarchal blessing which said that if he is faithful he will receive blessings beyond his fondest expectations. He told us that that is true of every one of us. And the best part is, we can't even imagine right now what those blessings will be, because they're beyond our fondest expectations. So there's my little message for today. Be faithful, work hard, and smile throughout. Everything will work out well in the end if we do.

I love you all. Thanks for sending me emails and letters. I've been enjoying both, and it's a huge blessing for me to have such a great family supporting me while I'm out here. And it's even better because really my family is like five families now. That's five times as cool. I love our family.

Elder David Arrington

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