The week of April 15 was, according to Brae, "an awesome week" because they broke a lot of records and got a lot done! They taught 21 lessons in a week (the previous high was 18), and they still got two new investigators after getting twelve last week. He said, "I'm stoked about the work here and am starting to feel like I am actually making a difference in people's lives. I love it! I went on an exchange with our district leader, Elder Gwilliam on Wednesday, and it was fun. I got to take the reins in Cameron again. We started the day by picking rock for a garden and then helping an elderly lady move all of the stuff out of her house so they could redo the floors. She was so thankful. It was awesome! Side note about her and her husband: They probably attend church more than anyone in the branch, and they have strong testimonies. They were both converts over fifty years ago, and he told us this story of how he was reading the Book of Mormon to know if it was true and wasn't getting an answer. So one day, he went up to Gray Mountain (in our area) and was reading the Book of Mormon there. He heard all of this fighting going on around him: lots of yelling, weapons clashing and noises like that, and he was scared! He looked around but couldn't see anything but his Book of Mormon. So he closed the book and all of the war noises stopped. When he opened his scriptures again he realized that he was reading in Alma during the wars between the Nephites and the Lamanites, and he realized that he had actually HEARD what was happening in the scriptures. I thought that was a sweet story! The rest of my day with Elder Gwilliam was pretty normal...nothing exciting until we challenged a family to be baptized and they accepted! It was really cool because I was totally led by the spirit to know what to teach them, because my plans changed mid-lesson to exactly what they needed to hear. The lesson turned out to be about faith. We read Alma 32 and it was awesome!"
As a reward for meeting all of their recent goals, Elder Beck and Elder Tolman got spend a day in Tuba City with the zone leaders. They bought native American flutes at a flea market. Brae said that they were playing them constantly, which was true, knowing Brae! Sister Robertson emailed me several pictures that week, one of which was Brae playing his flute. Some things never change! And good boy that he is, he sent me some beautiful Indian turquoise for my birthday too!
They were excited Sunday to have 53 people at church, which was the most since Brae has been in Cameron. The LDS Family Services missionary couple gave a presentation to kick off the addiction recovery program. They had eight people come to piano lessons on Saturday, and Brae said, "I didn't think teaching people to play the piano would be so hard! Especially on a group basis. It was interesting...haha!" Elder Tolman was able to help, but Brae said that it was likely that he would be transferred in a few days. He was really hoping to become a trainer for a new elder if that happened. He said, "There are only five new elders entering the mission this transfer, but I can always hope!"
And while his dad, uncles, and friends were stressing over beets freezing at home, he was enjoying the 80 degree weather with wind that he described as "CRAZY".
They have two people planning to be baptized on May 4, three on May 11, and five investigators who are close to setting a date. They feel extremely excited and blessed because in the past nine months there have only been two baptisms in the area.
April 22, Brae said, "Big news! Saturday I found out that I'm staying in Cameron and I am going to be a trainer! I'm thoroughly stoked! Today I'm heading to Farmington to spend the night with the AP's and then tomorrow morning I will meet my trainee! The sad part is that Elder Tolman is leaving. He is heading to Chinle, Arizona, or "Deep Res." as they call it. This past week was really good. We had 50 people at church, which was awesome for Elder Tolman before he left. We had a little potluck after church for him, and it was awesome too. Elder Tolman finally drove me over Gray Mountain, which is a tradition passed on from the first Cameron elders. This week we taught...drum roll please...27 lessons!"
April 23, Brae said, "Wow! What a day! Last night I stayed in Farmington with the AP's and it was really fun. This morning was the training meeting where we were trained on how to train! Then they had us all in one room where they would call a trainer up, have him/her explain about their area, and then President Batt would call up the person they would be training. I had a feeling when I was in the room with everyone that I would be training Elder Booth, but I kinda just brushed it aside. Little did I know, I'm training him! It's crazy because he felt like he would be with me too. President Batt is a very inspired man. Elder Booth is awesome. He's from West Jordan, Utah, and did track/cross country in high school and madrigal choir. He also...drum roll please...has played the piano since he was little! Woo hoo! We have been getting along really well, and I'm so stoked to be training him. He's actually called to serve in Brazil, but he's waiting for his visa, so he's serving here until it comes. It's sweet because we get to have language study for an hour every day. I know without a doubt that he's supposed to be serving here in Cameron, and he knows it too."