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Monday, June 29, 2009

Fish and Baptisms

Hello Familia! Mom I'm glad your talk went well. I'm sure you did a great job. Thanks for sending the backpack, pillow, memory card, and hymn book. I didn't get them yet, but hopefully they get in today. I have a hymn book in a storage box I think and I was going to ask you to send it but this works too haha. I'm good on blankets. The members here are awesome so I'm good. Oh and about the bears, they should be careful around me! But I think we are done tracting the most dangerous parts so don't worry. As long as we make noise when we walk they shouldn't bother us, and usually you just have to watch for the seagulls. Whenever there is a bear there are seagulls flying around it.

I didn't have any crazy encounters with the wildlife this week, but it was still a good week. We had a lot of doors slammed in our faces this week. We started tracting in town and the people are a lot more stubborn and resistive towards the Church. Everyone here has either talked to the missionaries before or has member friends they have talked to, and they all like to tell us why they think our church is wrong. The town is so small that everyone has been tracted into multiple times. That doesn't mean there aren't people to baptize though! On Saturday Elder Norton and I put two people on date for baptism! Melissa and Brandon Beem are on date for July 11th to be baptized. We tracted into her, and then realized her brother had been coming to church with a member family for quite some time. It was her second lesson with us, but it was Brandon's first when we committed them for baptism. The Spirit was really strong, and Elder Norton prepped the situation so that I could commit both of them, and they accepted without hesitation. The only problem is that they are minors, so they need approval from their parents to be baptized. Their mom or dad used to be Mormon and fell away, so we are praying that they will allow their kids to be baptized. We are meeting with them on Tuesday so we'll see how it goes.

Elder Norton and I went and walked the harbor the other night to try and talk to some people and just get ourselves seen by everyone. We went around 8:15 when some of the charter boats had come in with all their catches. We stopped and talked to these two guys who had just got done fishing and we talked to them while the boat captain filleted their halibut and rockfish. They weren't too receptive at first because its obvious that we are missionaries, and we didn't talk to them about the gospel, but we got to know them a little and it was good. The rule for halibut is two per person, and both of them had caught a couple 80-90 pound halibut. They were huge, and it was awesome to see the captain fillet all the meat off. I've been told that the 50-70 pounders taste the best, and some people like rockfish a lot better than halibut, and they're pretty much just as ugly looking. There is a man here that holds the Guiness World Record for fastest time to fillet a fish. I think it's like 1.3 seconds, which is pretty amazing, because to fillet the fish they have to put the knife in just behind the gills, slice along the spine to the tail, and then do it on the other side. I think we'll spend more time at the harbor to try and get the message out because tracting is really inneffective, and getting doors slammed in your face and people trying to argue with you doesn't feel very good.

Not a whole lot more has happened this week. President Dance and his wife are coming to Valdez on the 4th of July, and will take us to dinner and then go to church with us the next day. I don't think either of them have been to Valdez before so it will be cool. I asked Elder Norton if they did fireworks here on the 4th, and he had to remind me that it gets dark after midnight and gets light before 4 haha. They would do fireworks but you can't see them. Well I hope you all have a good week, and hopefully my letters get to you before the post office closes for the 4th. Love you guys!

Love, Mat