Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Words from Elder Garrett Hollembeak in West Virginia

 "I am doing really well. I'm sorry about last week, it was kind of an
odd P-Day and we were taking care of some stuff but transfers are this
week and thankfully Elder Rueda and I will be staying here in the
University Ward for the next six weeks. Happy Birthday to you and Emma
by the way, there should be some mail for you guys in the next bit.
We're adjusting things for the summer since a lot of the students go
home, however we're still able to teach an awesome group of people.
The sister companionship in the ward is leaving so we're making the
transition of who they were teaching and getting acquainted with
everyone. That's awesome that Emma is getting baptized, it's crazy
sometimes to think about how young we are when God gives us
responsibility. At eight we can make eternal covenants and at twelve
He gives us the ability and authority to have His holy priesthood.
Even now at nineteen I hardly feel old enough to be part of this work.
Tell Emma that I am proud of her and so grateful that she is making
this decision. That'll be great to have a basketball court at the
house. If you guys go to the feed store give Clint and Cherie a big
hug for me and let them know that whenever we get to move someone out
of a three story walk-up I am happy that I practiced moving bails of
hay. We have a baptism on this Saturday, a guy we've been teaching for
a short time named Craig. He began investigating the church when he
was nineteen and he's twenty six now. A couple of months ago he
decided to make some changes in his life and quit smoking and drinking
and started reading Jesus the Christ and Preach My Gospel. It was
great because he knew the lessons well enough to teach Elder Rueda and
I. The cool part is that he wanted to get baptized in a natural body
of water so he's getting baptized at Cheat Lake here in Morgantown.
I'll make sure to send pictures of everything because it's going to be
awesome. We had a cool experience with Family History this past week.
On Friday we had a zone meeting and they encouraged us to use family
history more in finding and teaching. After the meeting we went to the
library to brush up and do the training module. When we walk in we see
Quin sitting at one of the tables. Quin was supposed to be baptized on
April 25th but his parents talked him out of it and it wasn't a
completely great situation. So we talk to him and tell him about what
we're doing and he asks if he can watch us go through We ended up helping him set up his profile and get
his family tree going which was great because he went back five
generations and found out that a bunch of work had already been done
so all of the sudden his family tree goes back to the 1500's. He was
loving it and it turned into a perfect way he could be involved in the
church without it causing any problems. It was funny too because he
said he just felt like he needed to go to the library that day. The
spirit of Elijah is actively involved in the hastening of the work
today. Family history is such a big part of what we do in the church.
Another experience we had this week reinforced this a lot. In
Morgantown there's a good number of homeless people, especially around
where we street contact. We would talk to one guy named Bill pretty
frequently. His second wife was a member of the church and we gave him
a Book of Mormon and he reads it and we would talk about it.
Last Friday we found out that Bill tripped and hit his head on the
side of the road. They took him to the hospital but unfortunately he
passed away. It was really rough and its weighed on my mind a lot.
Bill is in the spirit world now and we don't know quite what that is
like but we can assume that it's a lot better when you have family
there with you and they know that there are still people on the other
side of the veil helping them. Family history is important because
there are those out there who are unconnected and waiting for us to
take their names to the temple. We had a lot of experiences this week
that seem to reinforce and reiterate that. I am grateful for how much
family history is done in our family and excited to do more when I get
back. I love you guys and hope you have a great week, I'll be sending
some pictures from the last few weeks here soon. I love you guys so
much and miss you and hope you have a wonderful week. I'll be calling
on Mother's day after church around 2:00 here. I can't wait to talk to
you, give everyone a hug for me and tell them I love them."

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