I'm glad that it's Spring back in Utah for you guys! It's still pretty much winter here.... Haha we woke up to a dusting of snow on everything this morning and 21 degree weather... But the Sun is out at least! There was a member from Utah that was visiting family this Sunday and he was talking about how much nicer the weather is back in Utah. Needless to say, he was excited to get back! Haha we're wondering how long exactly winter is going to last out here.. Last year it started warming up pretty well around mid March. Oh well! I'll survive.. :)
Let me tell you guys a little bit more about DeWitt! It dawned on me that I haven't quite given you guys as much information as I should have... I've realized that as missionary work has become a more natural part of who I am, I haven't thought to mention it as much... Oops! So, here we go..
DeWitt is a fairly big, compact town right on the edge of Syracuse. The people here are pretty nice for the most part. It's full of middle/upper middle class families who are quite often new to the area. This is really nice, because East Syracuse (where we used to live) was a lot of older couples who had lived in the area for a really long time. So, we now have greater potential to find FAMILIES! That's been a big focus that we've had. One interesting thing about where we live is the Jewish population. We live right across from JCC, the Jewish Community Center. There are 2 temples within walking distance, one orthodox and one that isn't. Because of this, there is a high population of Orthodox Jews that live in the area. Because they can only walk so many steps on the Sabbath, they typically live within a few blocks of their synagog/temple. That's been interesting and adds some variety to the work!
The work has been going good, although we still don't have many people that we are working with. One of our investigators is married to a recently reactivated member. Brother Grant's family joined the Church when he was a boy in New York, moved to Utah, and somewhere around the lines he stopped attending. He has been doing great and is such a great guy! They've been to church about 5 times now and Sister Grant has a baptismal date for..................... MAY 10th! Elder May and I were discussing potential baptismal dates and I threw that out there (kinda as a joke). I was on exchange during our next lesson with the Grants, and was surprised to get a text that night saying that May 10th was her date. Haha pretty funny! She is doing super well and is progressing great! We love the Grants.
We've also been working with a few less actives in the Ward and are seeing some good success there. Besides Brother Grant, we have had one Sister (Sister Montenegro) that we were working with come back to church (6 times so far). She's set on getting temple worthy and doing the temple work for her ancestors, so we've focused a lot of family history with her. She's loving Church, just accepted a calling, and had us over for dinner last night. We have two other less active members we are meeting with regularly that have started to progress. We have started out by getting them to pray daily, then challenging them to read the Book of Mormon again, then when the Spirit prompts, inviting them to do more. They both came to an emergency preparedness fair that we had on Saturday, which was the first time they have ever stepped foot in the Fayetteville building. So good things are happening here, even though we don't have many teaching appointments each week.
What I've really learned about is the importance of Daily Scripture Study and Prayer. That is SO vital to stay strong in the Gospel. When that begins to slip, other little things soon follow. Another thing that we have started to focus on is getting the members of the Church to study Preach My Gospel. As such, I would like to invite each of you to study Preach My Gospel at least once a week during your set aside scripture study time. I know that if you do so, you'll see great spiritual growth in your lives, as well as the lives of others. It's such a great resource and answers a lot of the questions and concerns we may have about missionary work. It's great!
I love you guys! Thanks so much for all of your support. I'm super glad that I get to be out here in New York serving the Lord, and I couldn't do it without you. Keep up the good work family!
p.s. Thanks for the package you sent! The homemade oreos are SO GOOD! Elder May liked them a lot too. And the other things in there are good too. I'm quickly learning that more important that what I eat is HOW MUCH I eat... Portion control seems to be the biggest struggle. One cookie is manageable... 5 in bad. Haha