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Who wants to be a millionaire?

Met an almost cabon-copy of Grandpa Watkins a few days ago-- it was jarring. He fought in WWII, and flew over Germany as well. He seemed upset that I didn't know which model of aircraft Gpa Watkins flew. So is Harry Jenkins (our investigator-- he is 90 and fought for the Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain). Do you know what he flew?

So this ward is... interesting. It's not nearly as warm or friendly or missionary-active as Willow Creek was (this is surprising considering the Assistants work here, too), but we're pressing to get things done. We have only one investigator (Harry), and he's... what I call a "spirit world baptism." Once he's free from his church and the social addiction he has to it, you know he'll accept the Gospel, but until then, we just have to keep trying. I wish we had other investigators with more potential, but we don't-- just a few people who we met with once and never are home or return calls.

It's kinda funny because the best way to regain trust from the ward is to have well-publicized baptisms. But the only way to get a bunch of baptisms is through members trusting us and referring their friends. Kinda funny isn't it? Kind of a hole-in-the-bucket situation.

Ran into a guy last night that was hilarious: he started trying to bash, saying that the Bible contradicted the Book of Mormon. We asked him in which point it contradicts. He was, of course, speechless, told us to hold on, pulled out his phone, and called his anti buddy. I almost laughed out loud and said, "Hey buster-- this isn't 'Who wants to be a Millionaire'-- you don't have lifelines, and you don't' get to phone a friend!!"

The friend couldn't remember it either, so he just contented himself to stick with a little trite rant about some more normal stuff: polygamy, faith v. works, Jesus having brothers, exaltation, etc. I have to admit he was super nice guy, very polite, very friendly and courteous, and rather open-minded (better than his phone friend), and we enjoyed the talk. My greenie Elder Harper seems to think that all bashes are contentious-- I hope he's changed his mind after this one. We left a restoration pamphlet, and challenged him to call us later.

The funny thing was we talked to him as his wife and kids were getting in the car to head home at 9 PM, and he kept talking to us-- we chatted for near 40 minutes. His wife sent kids out to get him in the car, and he kept saying "I'll be there in a minute"-- reminded me a lot of you, Dad =). I'm sure he faced a stern talking-to from his wife that night =).

We had President's last Zone Conference-- it was super-powerful. He recapped all previous Zone Conferences. I'm going to miss him.

Hello from Orchard Ward South

Hello from the Orchard Ward South Area!

Yes, transfers have happened. Last Tuesday, I stood with Elder Andersen on the Northeast corner of the Willow Creek Ward, looking West to the super-rich area adjacent to us, and commented "I'm so glad I don't have to deal with those people!"

Well, at that exact moment, President's "I need to send Elder Watkins to that super-rich area" senses started tingling, and now, after a short jump across Holly, I am in the most financially successful area in the mission-- the home of many Broncos players and multi-millionaires. Contrary to my expectations, however, people seem very polite and willing to at least talk to us for a while. The work is going to increase this next transfer as we continue tracting, teaching, and spreading the message of the Gospel.

I'm here serving with Elder Harper from Paul, Idaho (Never heard of it? Neither has anyone else ☺). He's been in the mission all of 6 weeks, a greenie from his small 650-person farm town. He's a good kid and a hard worker with a powerful spirit.

We had a huge storm yesterday (sorry Leah-- your letter did get rather wet). I actually had a hunch that I ought to bring my umbrella, so I was prepared-- it was awesome. Huge thunderclaps-- wow. Unfortunately it didn't last long enough to try out my idea: we timed the flash to the boom at about 7 seconds, and we figured we could knock a door at just the right time, and shout "REPENT!" such that our command would be echoed with the reverberating crash of heaven (Isn't there a scripture about "after your testimony" coming the testimony of lightnings and storms?). =)

This was all good, until it flash-flooded and a monsoon-like downpour soaked us.... well, more my companion =). Then the hail started coming, so a guy let us take safe harbor in his garage for a few minutes while water and ice fell in buckets.

But rain or shine or dark of night (all of which are apparently possible simultaneously in Colorado), we will go forth and do this, the Lord's work. I know that this church is true. I know that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God, and that God called him to do His work. I know that the Bible is true, and that the Book of Mormon truly is another witness, another testament of Jesus Christ. I know my Savior lives, and that He is in this work, helping us and guiding us every day of this fantastic journey. I have seen too many miracles to doubt.

OK, quick Mormon joke:

Question: What was the song that the Beach Boys wrote for the Salt Lake
Answer: ♪ I Wish They All Could Be California Gulls

Have a great week, and enjoy the summer!

Leaving Willow Creek

Hey all:

Like our Salt Lake Temple plastic cup sculpture?

Well, another successful end to a transfer. I got a call from the assistants at 11:00 last night informing me that I'm being transferred tomorrow.

I really have mixed feelings about leaving the Willow Creek Ward: I love this ward to death-- I know almost all the members, and love the unique leadership the sets such a fantastic missionary-oriented example. But then again, at the same time I've tracted every street in the area once, twice, or three times, and we've gotten to the point where we can recognize people at their doors and tell you how receptive they are and their whole story. That's not good-- we need some new elders in here without that sense of repetition and preconceived notions.

Well, I probably had better get going soon-- we have a dinner appointment in a few minutes and people to check up later tonight, and then tomorrow we will find out where everyone is headed.
It may not be on the mountain's height,
Or over the stormy sea.
It may not be at the battle's front--
My God will have need of me

But if by the still small voice He calls
To paths that I do not know,
I'll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in Thine,
I'll go where you want me to go.

I know this Church is true. I know that Jesus is the Christ, that Joseph Smith is His Prophet, and that the Book of Mormon really is the word of God, and that it came forth the way He said it came forth-- a further witness and testimony to the Bible that our Savior lives and speaks today-- confirming the testimonies of ancient and modern prophets who have gone on before. I love this Gospel, and I love this work. I bear my own witness that this work is God's work, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen