Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Words from Elder Garrett Hollembeak in West Virginia

"Hey Dad, how are you doing? Its been pretty cold and wet out here but
today is a little bit warmer and we were able to have a full three
hours of church yesterday. That's cool that Coulson went skiing, he's
pretty talented and he's got good taste in books. haha. How are his
feet doing? It sounds like a lot of fun birthday celebrations and good
activities going on. We had dinner with a member family yesterday and
their kids are about the same age as Joseph and Emma and it was neat
getting to feel a little slice of the family. That will be cool to go
up to Phoenix, I'll bet its nice there this time of year. Quick
question, do you and Natalie have names to take to the temple, I've
got a lot of names that I've been sharing with the temple system but
if you need some I think I can share them with you guys. I'm sorry to
hear about Brother Collins, thank you for letting me know. Things are
going really well in Parkersburg. We had two areas combine in our ward
so we've just got two sets of missionaries now which will be a good
change for the ward and we got some new area to work with. We had two
of our less active members come to church this week and we are really
excited for this transfer. We set a woman named Kelly on date for
baptism yesterday. Her husband is a member and we are very excited for
her. I think she sees the value in being baptized and wants to have a
strong relationship with God. We have a goal to reactive several of
our less active families. I was reading the allegory of the olive tree
in Jacob this past week and the Lord of the vineyard explains that the
roots and the grafted branches have to be of equal strength. The
grafted branches could be compared to those that are baptized and
roots that are already there could be compared to the members of the
ward. It struck me that if we want to baptize more people into our
ward, we need to make sure that there is enough strength in the roots
to sustain the new grafts. We have about five hundred households on
out ward roster and a little under one hundred adults that regularly
attend. So we've made it our goal to reactivate a significant number
of people in our unit. I'm sure that many baptisms and conversions
will come as the ward becomes stronger and more capable. It takes a
lot of time and energy and attention to help recent converts succeed
in the gospel, and I'm sure it part of God's plan that units have to
be prepared to take care of those that have decided to make covenants.
I'm really excited about this next transfer, it'll be really good. I'm
glad to hear you guys are doing good, I hope you have a great week, I
love you guys and miss you. Be safe, I love you."

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