"HELLO FAMILY. The weeks are flying by! It is crazy. I feel like I was just writing to you last week. I have now been out for over a month, eh? How about that! :) A month and 3 days, it seems like it has been 8 years, but at the same time it is starting to fly by. So this email, might be kind of short, because I usually bring my journal, because I can barely remember what I did yesterday, so I use that to include all of the details, so I am just going off memory, and it might be sketchy. Sorry about that. Sounds like everybody is doing well!! Love to hear all of the things that are going on! We got a little bit more rain this week, it basically rains everyday hear at some point or another."
"Monday - P-Day's are awesome it is just a good to day to chill. We didn't have much planned that night, we tried to make several visits and nobody was home. So we went to get dinner at Zaxby's a chicken place it is absolutely delicious. And then we did mission prep with Cameron and Luke those two kids who are preparing to serve missions from the ward. We are going to do splits with them this evening, which is exciting, I will be the lone missionary. So I am excited for that and to be able to go with these kids, and impart all of my wisdom on them. :)"
"Tuesday- We had District meeting, again nothing that special. But last night we did learn a lot of things about the District because Stubbs is the District Leader, so we got a lot of stuff to work on. Haha. I am pretty sure that I am going to be in Dothan for a long time.. I don't know why, but I just have a feeling I am going to be here for a while, there is a lot of work to do in the ward, and so I don't know I just feel I'm gonna be here a while. The missionaries before us were here for 12 months and then 8 months, and in the other ward a missionary was here for 14 months. Elder Stubbs has only been here for 1 transfer before this, so we still don't know most of the people and are learning the area a lot better. We went and saw a man by the name of Brother Nunez, he is less active and kept saying he was trying to comeback, and I thought he was blowing smoke. But he told us his story, and wow he has been through a lot. He was a convert with his wife and two kids like 8 years ago, they went through the temple, were sealed together, and everything was going great. His wife went back to Mexico to visit her family for 6 months, then she came back got a divorce and in the same day sold all of Brother Nunez's stuff in the house. So he lost everything in like a day. He is still with his wife today, I don't know how that worked out, but his wife is super anti to the church and it has affected the two kids and they no longer want to come. But he said through it all he kept praying that he would not lose his faith, and he hasn't! His story was powerful, but it is just hard for him because he wants his family to be with him at church. But he has come the last 3 weeks, which he hasn't been in a while. So its awesome!! Then we did a lot of tracting, and that never works. I love tracting, I enjoy it. But everybody treats us like we're a disease, they don't answer and talk to us through their window, hahaha. Some people or they say, Oh I'm catholic or I'm Baptist. Well so what, we're Mormon and we are here to talk to you about Christ. Very slim you will meet very nice people who love to talk about Christ, for instance we met a Methodist preachers wife, she came right out and said that. And so we talked to her about Christ, she said it is a joy to have you boys in the neighborhood, you do a lot of good, and then gave us water. Any whom, we met with Nathan Hansbury again that night and taught him the Plan of Salvation, it doesn't matter what we teach him, he knows its true, unfortunately we won't get to baptize him before he leaves for Boot Camp this Sunday, but when he gets back in 13 weeks if I am still here. His personal views about where we come from and where were going, he already believed most of what we taught him, it really is crazy to see how the Lord prepares people. And then we played basketball with all the youth, we do that every Tuesday night, so we get Nathan to play with us, so he already has a ton of friends who are in the church."
"Wednesday- Um.. I'm struggling with this day, we met with Nathan again, but it was a sparatic lesson. He works with Tony Hansen who is the Marine Recruiter in the ward, who got us our only two solid investigators. So he was recruiting people at WalMart, so we taught him the Word of Wisdom as we walked around Walmart. Hahaha. Oh well, you take them as you get em. Then we tracted down a bunch of old formers, haven't been able to talk one yet, but we're trying all of them! Saw Vicki Rush. She is super nice."
"Thursday - We did weekly planning in the morning so it is a shortened day, I hate that. We met with President Smith and he said out of 24 months, you only have 10 months to proselyte, because we have studies and planning and what not. So that made me super sad. Because I just want to get out there and find some people! So we again tried to tract down a bunch of formers, no go, so we knocked a lot of doors, no go. So we went to see this guy named Nathan Spivey grew up in the church, I think I have talked about him, his girlfriend isn't a member, but is way interested. So right as we got there he got home? Coincedience, I think not. Both times we have seen him, we have been there right as he pulled in. So we get there and he says of hey Elders we were just talking about you last night. Ah? You see whats happening here. :) So any whom she wasn't home, but he said that she wants to have us over for dinner sometime, so we are way excited for that. So we just talked to him and saw his dogs, he has a pitbull german shepherd mix, it is crazy. And it slobbered all over me, yum. Then we hit the bikes inside the circle after dinner, it was awesome delightful weather. We tried to see good old Paul Kennedy the shoot people guy, who is blind, because of the stroke. He came to church with us last Sunday, so we stopped by and he lives with his daughter and family, but turns out he was at the bar. He called a taxi and took himself there. So, we got a lot of work to do there, and we gained a lot of insight, so we got to focus on getting him back. Then we taught a recent convert Linda Pollium, she is super nice, really sweet lady. I really do love seeing her. And we talked to her neighbors who we are trying to get in with every so slowly, they came to church but didn't like it because it was too noisy, and boy is our ward noisy, it is out of control, so we don't know what to do about that, but we got some work to do with that family."
"Friday- We met President Smith, I love him. He is awesome. He reminds me a lot of you dad. He has a lot of good ideas that are going to help out a lot. So that morning in our studies we read an article in the Ensign about taking less actives or people who aren't super solid in the church to lessons with you, and make them remember their testimonies and help them to feel the Spirit, so we are going to start doing that. And then the big thing that President Smith talked about was just that. So we are going to start doing that a lot more. We went like 2 hours early to set up the room for all 40 missionaries in our zone, so we were the only ones in there and in walks Pres. Smith and Elder Munns our Area Seventy, we had no idea that they were coming that early, so we got to meet them, it was really awesome. Also come December ever missionary companionship will have an iPhone and an iPad, they said. How about that? It is really going to advance the work like crazy, and make is so everyone has a chance to hear the Gospel. We will be able to Skype people all over the world and teach them, and then send missionaries to their door. So we will see how it all works out eventually.
"Saturday - We worked at the Hospital, we had to switch because of Pres. Smith. It was very slow again, nothing really big happened. A couple people tried to pick fights with us, one old guy in the CCU was a Baptist preacher and he started getting into us, and its like really man? We are just here to help you, talk to you, pray with them. Haha, kind of funny. But then we attended a baptism of a boy who is in the ward, it was really good. Funny the dad was baptizing him and he forgot his sons name, oops hahaha. Oh boy and then we had dinner at Sister Yawei Peng's house. And she takes the Word of Wisdom to the max... So we had Celery Juice to drink. The whole dinner I was a champ. We had some yams that were all mushed up and nothing on them. And some salad, but no not lettuce, some spinach and artugelo, and tomatoes galor, nuts and all manner of veggies. She brought out a second juice which was apple something. It was very different for me."
"Sunday- We had two investigators at Church, which was awesome!! Chris McCollum, who is another Marine he is 18, he has been to church probably 5 times, but we haven't had a chance to teach him, he keeps skipping out, and we can't get a hold of him, but we have Tuesday set up to talk to him, we can't quite get a read on him. But, he came from Tony Hansen too, he is the one who gives us referrals. I have received zero referrals since I got here, other than him. Then Nathan came which was huge, I forgot to tell you this story, so Thursday was his birthday and somewhere in my synopsis of the days I forgot to mention we taught him fasting and praying and commandments lesson, so we decided that we would all fast for his parents to let him come to church, and he decided he wanted to fast on his birthday, so it would mean more. He really is super awesome. We met him 2 weeks ago about and he is already fasting! So we fasted that his parents would let him come to church, he prayed in the lesson that it would all work out, and it was powerful. We just went to the other room and knelt down with him. It was huge stuff. So he made it and it was awesome, he really enjoyed it! So we just hope that he doesn't fall away at bootcamp. We are going to write him every week."
"Family I love you so much!!!! And I still miss everyone like crazy!! It hasn't gotten any easier, not one bit. But I'm doing really good. I was thinking about Doctrine Covenants 18:16, where it talks about the worth of souls and great shall be your joy if you bring one soul into the kingdom of heaven, and how great shall be your joy if you bring many souls. And I was thinking about that, and that one soul is ourselves. The mission is a lot of hard work, and I am going to keep working hard everyday, and giving it all to the people that I am serving. But regardless of what happens, my testimony of this Gospel has grown so much since being out here. And if nothing else comes from my mission, but that I become truly converted to the Gospel, that is A okay with me. This Church is without a doubt true!! Love you all so much!!!!"
Love Elder Hintze