From Ethan: Mon, Sept 29, 2014 12:16 pm
Guess what, I'm in Burley now! A couple of missionaries had to go home early and unexpectedly due to personal issues and sickness. I left on Saturday from Stanley for a 4 hour drive with my Mission President and his wife down to Burley, ID. Yesterday was a full day! I met a lot of the people we are teaching and a lot of members living in our area. We cover a farming area south of Burley called the Unity Wards. We have those two wards, Unity 1 and Unity 2, and also the Young Single Adult Ward! Yesterday we went to church at the Institute Building with the YSA Ward and wow oh wow there were a lot of people! Compared to back in Minnesota the building is about four times as big and about 4 times as many young single adults. Well before I get more into what Burley is like let me tell you about my last week in Stanley.
This past week was full of craziness and excitement. We had Elder Garrish from Challis come and join us in the middle of the week. With three strapping young men we got a lot of service opportunities! Dia Danner went down into her basement one evening to find a huge pile of dirt from her house foundation caving in. Elder Prosch, Elder Garrish and I spent a good amount of Friday digging it out transporting the dirt with buckets. Boy that was hard work! We got to celebrate a day of hard work by going to the Elk Mountain restaurant with our main man Officer Tom Barret, the local Stanley law enforcement. We usually have dinner with him once a week and we've become bro's! Hopefully he'll get to sit down with Elder Garrish and Prosch to talk a little more about the gospel and how much it can help him. (Hint Hint Tommy Boy)
The last event I attended was Brenda Adams baptism! Without a church building up in Stanley and no baptismal font, her baptism was in a very unique location - Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch at their hot springs pool! It was one of the most spiritual baptisms I have ever been to. Brenda has been waiting a long time to be baptized and finally make that covenant with God. Yesterday she was given the Gift of the Holy Ghost! I am glad that I got to stay long enough to see Brenda be baptized :) To see her face light up with the love of God is one of those memories I will never forget :)
Here in the Burley Unity area we are blessed to have really awesome people we are teaching! Tonight we are meeting with a family, The Wattermans, who are coming back to church. We are teaching their two sons the lessons before they get baptized. Easton (14) and Slater (11) are two busy bees who both play football, basketball and baseball. Their family hunts and goes camping a lot. I am super excited to get to know their family and help them increase in their faith! The Patterson family recently adopted a 13 year old boy from China named Taggert. He speaks Mandarin Chinese fluently and very little English. Growing up in China he heard very few things about God or Jesus Christ. He is very curious now he is with his adopted family who are active members of the church. He is noticing how happy and joyful they are about their Savior Jesus Christ and he wants to know more! He has been taking the lessons for a couple weeks and the things he has been learning are amazing to him. He is a little dude filled with curiosity and faith! The last people I will tell you about are an older couple, Ron and Shirley Hiesingers. They have lived here about three years and have recently started attending church and reading the Book of Mormon. They are really down to earth people looking for the joys the gospel can bring into their lives. Yep that's about it! My companion is Elder Bagley from Richmond, Utah. He has been on his mission for only 9 weeks so I am finishing up training him! He is pretty shy and quiet but very nice and willing to do whatever. I think we will work together very well! I'm excited to be here in Burley to see what happens! Peace out folks!