This past week has been really good. Elder Price and I have been talking to a lot of people and found a lot of good potentials. this last week we found 4 new investigators! That's a lot for the back country known as Greenville. It just shows that anything can be done when obedience and diligence is shown. Today is Elder Price's birthday and he is 19. I remember when I turned 19 and then a month later I received my mission call. Never did I think I would have served in 2 missions. We are doing amazing work here in the Cincinnati Ohio Mission. It was slow moving at first. But this wasn't President Porters first rodeo. Back home he started what is now a World Wide business from scratch so he knows how to work with nothing and make it great.I hit a low point this week. I was felling very depressed about some personal problems that I had to fix. Nothing serious but it felt as if I was being weighed down. I wasn't happy and it was hard for me to work with a smile and positive attitude. But after talking with Elder Price and President Porter I am doing a lot better. Not yet 100% but I am making progress.
Niki"s baptism was awesome!!!! She was so excited!! The font at our building doesn't hold water very well so when it was time for her baptism, the water had fell all down to their knees! But she was able to go all the way down. She had her father in law do the baptism and confirmation. He's a stake patriarch in the Cincinnati North Stake so he was very beautiful with his words and the Spirit through Bro. Garcia promised her many things. It was wonderful do be here for her entire conversion experience. When we got back to the apartment, we found that Niki had slipped in a few cards into our packs. She had thanked us for all we had done for her and for sharing her the Gospel and she wrote that I had become a great missionary. That was so cool to read that from her. She's going to do such a good job as a member.I don't have a picture of it but Todd was going to email it to me when he can. It would probably help if he knew my email address. I should have the picture by next week.
TODAY IS MY 11 MONTH MARK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I've been out for almost a year!!!! This feels so weird! I feel like I've been a missionary forever and a lifetime! Have I said it feels so weird because it does. I feel like I was just biking in Beavercreek. I've been told that once I hit my year then it's speeds up from there super fast! I don't know if I should be excited or worried. I think I'll go with worried.
Anyways, Elder Price and I are teaching 3 families now. We found them all within the last 3 weeks. The teaching progress is going good, even better for one of the families. It's super exciting, This one family is feeling the Spirit more as they read the Book of Mormon together. They could be reading it even more now but at least they are reading it together. So teaching is good.
Nikki is so anxious for a calling. she wants to be involved with the branch so much. My personal opinion is she would be a great Missionary Meal Coordinator. She would make sure we got feed and then we would feed them with the Spirit. Nikki is looking forward to going to the temple to do baptisms as well. I am very happy for her.
This Sunday we are going to Cincinnati to see Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the 12 Apostles and talk with him for 1 hour. I am super excited!!!! !! This will be the second Apostle that I will have met on my mission. I will tell you all about it next week.
We helped Elder and Sister Walker move into their home last Tuesday. They love it so much and they are very happy to have a place of their own finally. I'm happy too because they are closer to where we live. So when they are in town, which is on the weekends, we go over to their place before we go in to plan and visit with them. They are so cool and so happy. I don't have a picture of them yet, and I know I should. I will get that picture from them as soon as I can. Also, they have told me they have a daughter who lives in Badger Canyon, Kennewick Stake!! I got to chat on the phone with her for little bit about where I live and about home and stuff. It was cool.
So the Darke County Fair is this week, everyone has been talking about it for months now. It's a pretty big deal around here. The streets are so quiet throughout the whole county. Elder Price and I have talked about going and maybe doing some work over there but we felt like it was safer not to. Too much temptation and drunk people to deal with. I don't need that and neither would the Spirit.
That is all for you now. Thank you for being awesome. Please send me some more email addresses from my friends so I can update them on how I;m doing and stay up to date with them.
Love you so much,
~Elder Ephraim K. DeCoursey
Elder Price and I have noticed something about myself. When we go to meetings (district meeting, zone meeting, etc) I'm always happy and fun. However, after the meeting I always feel like crud. This has been happening for the last 6 weeks and we think we've pin-pointed what the problem is. I don't feel worthy to be with all these wonderful missionaries. I always feel this way after a role play when I can't say or think of anything pertaining to the Gospel. After the zone meeting on Friday, I felt so bad and depressed that we had to pull off on the side of a country road and discuss why I still feel this way. I sat for an hour and finally I broke. I started crying and we redid Step 4. We still had it in a list form but this time it was what I like and don't like about myself. Elder Price helped me a lot to know who I really am. I feel so much happier as if a large weight had been lifted off my chest. I teach more and talk more and smile more. I don't want to go back to what I was. I want to stay who I am now. This is way Elder Price and I are still together. This is why I'm still in Greenville.
Another reason why I am still here arose last night. It was about 8 at night. We went to visit a less active sister who has a very negative view of God and men. We don't know why but we felt inspired to keep going back to her. When we got to the door she was getting ready to walk her dogs and we decided to walk with her. We had a very friendly conversation as we walked. We learned that she has had a very poor father figure in her childhood and because of that she can't see God as a loving Father. We found her concern after so many months of her many excuses. We built a relationship with her that I hope and pray will last. She told us that she always feels the good (which is the Holy Ghost) when we come to visit and talk with her but she notices that this good feeling leaves after we leave. We told her that if she wants to feel this for her entire life, she needs to come back to church so she can renew her covenants and have the Spirit with her. We made so much progress with her in just 40 short minutes then I have my entire time here. I really hope that we can continue to have meetings like that night with her. Elder Price and I are still together here because we needed to help this sister realize what she feels and why she feels this way. We found her concern and now we can address to it.
A bit of a downer to the day, however, was when Sue, one of our investigators, came to church yesterday. We were so happy she finally made it! One of the members there that we involved in her teaching was excited to so she moved to sit next to Sue. However, she had to leave after the first hour and she told us later that evening that she didn't feel fellowshiped enough. She told us it was almost a luke-warm welcome from the branch. She hasn't stopped investigating because of it though. She never said she doesn't want to go back. It feels like the branch dropped the ball here. We will do better to tell the ward when we bring someone so they can do what they are supposed to do. I don't want another Sunday like that.
On a good note, Elder Price and I spoke in sacrament meeting yesterday. I spoke on Happiness and Peace while Elder Price spoke on the The Plan of Happiness. I thought it went rather well. A lot of the members came up and thanked us for our message. It was awesome.That's what the last few days have been like since Wednesday. One last thing: I've noticed that I've encountered more drunk people with Elder Price then I had with any other companion. Once again, yesterday we were working in an area and we were talking with a guy who had clearly been drinking but he still had some smarts to him. He doesn't like who he is or what he does and he wants help. The other lady who was there, who was clearly hammered, said that she had come outside to try to embarrass us but she found she had only embarrassed herself. She also said that as we were talking, she could feel the presence of Jesus in us. The Spirit must've been really strong in order to pierce their drunkenness. Even through the mist of alcohol we were recognized as representatives of Jesus Christ. It was a really cool experience.