Arizona Mesa Mission Address

Monday, March 28, 2011

March 28, 2011

Dear Family,
This week felt like it went by so fast.  I have a ton of stuff that I need to get done today so I want to apologize in advance for the brevity of this letter.  Jose has been it Tucson all week so we weren't able to teach him the lesson we planned, but we should be able to set a date with him during our next appointment.  Also he should be going to Young Mens on Wednesday night now that he is back.

One of the most interesting things that happened this week was that we found a guy named Roberto in the Grovers Apartments (photo of Grovers Apartments attached).  He is a good investigator and when we teach him he is super attentive and tries hard to think about and answer our questions.  He is also a bit above average in his critical thinking and reading comprehension skills because he can make the connections we are trying to get across in his own mind when we read scriptures and such.  For example, he understood the need for a restoration after we taught Christ's ministry among the Jews and the great apostasy.  (Something I am constantly trying to improve is my ability to teach clearly using short powerful truths and simple examples.  Unfortunately, many people we teach haven't been educated very well so I need to present the doctrine as if I were talking to a child and let the Spirit do the teaching).  Anyway, he came to church on Sunday and said he liked it, but I could tell he was a little bored at times.  He is going to be in New Mexico for a few days, so we'll see if he reads and how he feels about everything.  Hopefully, we can set a baptismal date with him.  One of the real tests for us will be how to teach the Atonement since he also told us he is gay.  When he first came out and told us he was gay, he was talking about why the church he was born into didn't accept him.  We told him that in the Lord's eyes, He views homosexuality as a sin, by which he didn't seem taken back or offended, but that we accept anyone in our church, no matter what their background, as long as they want to develop their relationship with God and Christ.

One other cool experience really quick.  We got a call on Friday from a black member named Langdon, who got our number from the mission office.  He was looking for Spanish-speaking Elders who could help him give a blessing to one of his predominantly Spanish-speaking clients who was very sick in the hospital.  Of course, we agreed to go and help him out.  When we got to the hospital we met Langdon, and he introduced us to his client, Maria, whom he had clearly developed a relationship with and was very concerned for her health.  He served a mission in Brazil so his Portuguese background had helped him learn a bit of Spanish.  Maria had been in the hospital for the past two months because she suddenly developed a blood disease that the doctors couldn't figure out.  She has very low blood platelets and her body is rejecting the medication.  It was actually pretty scary because she didn't look well and her outcome really isn't looking very good.  I did the anointing part and Elder Pierson gave her the blessing.  Before the blessing I wanted to explain the Priesthood a little bit, but Elder Pierson told me we should just proceed with the blessing.  Unfortunately, when Langdon, Elder Pierson and I were giving the blessing, Maria's sister who was also present, confused about why our hands were on Maria's head, decided to join in.  So when I opened my eyes, I noticed her hands there and thought it probably would have been good to explain the Priesthood.  I'm sure it doesn't negate the blessing but the real problem is they thought (most likely) it was no more than a prayer and don't understand the importance of the Priesthood.  We are planning on stopping by at the beginning of April to teach her since she is just sitting in her hospital room all day, every day.  We would like to go this week, but we don't have enough miles left on the car, and the hospital is kind of far away.

Anyway, these are some cool things happening with me.  I hope everything is going well at home and hopefully by next week I will have some more baptismal dates.
Elder Kinney  

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