Mother and Father!!
This week was definitely the BEST week of my mission. Elder Fragoso and I really hit it off...like we knew we would. =) This transfer feels like I am serving with my best friend; we plan well, teach well, find well, and love to lead the Zone well. The Lord definitely answers prayers :)
From day one in Richfield I felt like Heavenly Father just rolled out the red carpet. It’s different than Snow Canyon :) I went from 1 branch to 2 stakes and 18 wards...whew. The boundaries are crazy up here (check out the Richfield and Richfield East stakes on https://www.lds.org/rcmaps/?lang=eng) but I love being able to drive again and getting to know this town. Basically, if you studied president Uchtdorf's talk from conference I went from flying in a Piper Cup to an F-16, and I love it! It’s kind of funny as well...I was in Snow Canyon for the 110-115 degrees of July and August, and my second day in Richfield it snowed. That coat is the BEST purchase of pre-mission shopping so far.
We contacted 6 people on my first day up here on Tuesday that the missionaries have never been able to contact, and without exception I felt that they were all prepared for us. Two are new investigators (from Jamaica!) living with their relatives who are active LDS. They already have baptismal date with us. We found them on Tuesday, taught them on Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, and they went to church on Sunday :) Their names are S and T and I think they are the first black people I have taught on my whole mission.
We also have been finding a ton of Navajo people up here as well. Some are confused about how their belief's coincide with Christian beliefs. They say "we just believe in Father Sky, Mother Earth, Changy Woman and things like that". There is also a whole Dorm of Navajo High School Students from all over the country. They have their own branch and the Branch president told us to bring any Navajo investigator that we have up there. There was a native branch a while ago in Richfield but they shut it down for some reason
I will tell you one amazing finding story as well. It was Friday night at about 8:40 and Elder Fragoso and I had nowhere to go, so we prayed in the car and felt impressed to go to a certain apartment complex. The first door we knocked opened up to a HUGE family just hanging out, playing games and eating. We started asking questions and it turns out that they are all members except for an adopted 18 year old daughter that they have. We set up a return appointment for the next day and they kept it! And mom sat in on the lesson with A (the 18 year old). As it turns out...A's mom, her friends and family had been praying for A to be ready to meet with the missionaries and Heavenly Father guided us right to her door. We taught them on Saturday, she went to church on Sunday, and they want us to come back three times a week :)
Basically...I have a testimony that hard work, and obedience, and submitting myself to the Lord bring blessings. After one week up here, Elder Fragoso and I are leading the mission. We have a family that wants to be reactivated and wants to baptize their son on Halloween. We taught 34 lessons this week! My biggest blessings right now is being able to forget myself and work with my best friend and just do what the Lord wants. We are about to rewrite the Alma and Amulek chapters in the Book of Mormon.
I love you so much!! This church is so true, and blessings just depend on our faith and works.
A heart full of gratitude,
Elder Michael Stewart