Things are changing all around me. today is the day before transfers and elder balckwell is leaving. and a few days ago, i found out that i will be training a new missionary. so i will be a district leader and a trainer at the same time. this makes me nervous. i hope that my experience training will be different from the experience i had being trained. i just wrote a letter to my mission pres. and expressed to him that same thing and then i realized that all god wants me to do is my best. which can be something that is difficult, but its do-able.
someone else that was in my district was also called to be a zone leader and another is going home( because his 2 years is up) so the district is changing all over the place.
on another note, this week i went to a baptism in knightdale for one of the people elder stuffer and i taught. her name is lynn barker. we knocked on her door and began to help her change her life. she has a son that i really hope gets baptized. he is about 12 or 13 years old and is a really sharp kid. the problem is, the mom and dad are divorced and the dad isnt too into having his son be mormon or religious. ive noticed that when people turn to religion and things dont work out and things become hard, they give up and claim there isnt a god. thats the case with johnathan. i really want to just be bold with him and help him see what blessings come from living the gospel. it comes up in our companion studies alot because elder blackwell is from indiana and he has alot of non-member or less active family members. and let me tell you, being a missionary with less active or non-member family drives you crazy.
so to answer your question about inviting people to be baptized, we are really encouraged to invite them to be baptized during the very first lesson we have with them. when we do that, it does alot of things. it shows the people that we teach, we are not messing around and neither is god. he and we want them to be happy. so why would we wait? infact, i just got out of a meeting the other day that 2 members of the missionary department of the church talked to us. and the thing that stood out the most to me, was the doctrine of christ. namely, the atonement, faith in jesus christ, repentance, baptism and other covenants, recieving the holy ghost and enduring to the end. these things are what all of the rest of the gospel point to. everything points to jesus christ. even the name of the church. i have seen that my motivation and happiness as a missionary ( and probably a member of the church) comes from how grounded i am to the gospel of jesus christ.
Things are improving here in raleigh 1st. we actually have some people that we are working with. i would tell you all about them, but you would probably forget it all by the end anyway. hey, so this is going to make you kinda trunkie, but just as a reminder, i am going to be able to talk to you soon over the phone. christmas is coming up. has alex left on his mission yet? i feel like ive kinda blipped out of exsistance for a little while. as a missionary you have to wonder sometimes, "i wonder who actually remembers and thinks about me." thats pretty self centered though. and it doesnt really matter.