Howdy there brother's and sisters from cold and rainy Canton. The weather has taken a turn for the colder up here in Canton and correspondingly many of the people who were once outside and on the streets have gone into hibernation for the winter, its a real thing in da hood trust me. So the biggest news I have is that with tomorrow being transfer day Elder Robert Kidd will departing my presence and moving on to bigger and better things outside of the Akron stake; however with that news also came the news that I was training a brand new missionary who I get tomorrow, between all of transfers, conference, Elder Teh touring the mission, and Gladys Knight, plus baptismal interviews, throw in quite a few visits to the hospital to visit various sick members, Elder Kidd and I haven't had a normal day since before living memory.
For the sake of time I'll just run through the big things that have happened since my last email
1) On September 19th Gladys Knight and her church Saints Unified Voices choir came to visit the northern Ohio in what Stake President Tally termed the biggest missionary opportunity since Sidney Ridgeon first came to Ohio. She did an evening of music and testimony where her and her choir performed many church songs familiar to people outside of the church, as well as her and her husband William McDowell bearing their testimonies of why they joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We had about half a dozen people lined up to bring to the performance but unfortunately only two of them came through, and we lost the tickets, and a lot more background, but suffice to say we managed to make it in and see the performance which was truly amazing, what made it even better is that we had been given permission to worship in the style they do in other churches meaning my wonderful companion Elder Kidd and I took full advantage of the opportunity to be shouting "AMEN" "HALLELUJAH" and "PRAISE THE LORD" it was a truly wonderful evening. One of the thigns that Gladys brought to our attention was that she felt her entire life up to that point, all of her success with the Pipps and everything else was guided by the Lord so that she could now tour with her saints unified voices choir and tell people about the message of the Restoration of the Gospel
2)The next big event that happened the Wednesday after was that Elder Michael John U. Teh of the 1st Quorum of the 70, came to tour the mission and had a zone conference with us and gave us much wonderful instruction and advice. It was a wonderful opportunity to listen from a member of the 70 for six hours as he instructed us on how we can be the best missionaries and the ones the Lord needs. One of the doctrinal highlights he illustrated using the wonderful hit movie Finding Nemo. He talked about the sea turtles would just coast in the East Australian Current (EAC) because it was easy to do and moved them along without much effort, but then showed us that we need to rise to the level of Preach My Gospel missionaries and avoid being stuck in the current and just float along to the end of our missions, but that we need to work our absolute hardest to be best missionaries we can be which requires us to labor with our heart might mind and soul.
3) The next big news that came my way was the information that I was training. This came as quite the humbling experience to me that I realized the Lord has trusted me to train a brand new missionary. We had a meeting about how to be good trainers and much of it revolved around the counsel given in the last part of section 121 in the Doctrine & Covenants as we were extolled to be Christlike missionaries and to help our trainees reach their full potential as missionaries as quickly as possible. As I have been reading through the material that we have been given to prepare I am overwhelmed with the immense trust the Lord placed in me to train someone new and it has taken me to my knees many times asking for additional help and guidance. As the Lord always does he hears and answers my prayers. Part of what compounds the experience of training is that also means I have been called to be District Leader again over the Massillon district.
4)Yesterday I had some of the happiest news of my mission, one of our investigators was interviewed to be baptized and passed with flying colors, it was an amazing experience to see the change the Gospel has made in the lives of this family. The Mullins family is a wonderful family the father has been inactive for some time but is returning back to activity and wants to baptize his wife and 9 & 8 year old daughters. It has been an amazing experience to see the way the Lord works and prepares people over the course of their lives to hear the restored message of the Gospel. They will be getting baptized November 8th, it is far out because the father currently has a hand injury that he can't get wet and isn't expected to heal till then.
5)Transfers is tomorrow, and I have to say goodbye to Elder Kidd one of my favorite missionaries in the entire Ohio Cleveland Mission, and the world to boot, is going to be leaving me tomorrow to be called somewhere else. It is good for him because he has spent the first 15 months of his mission in Massillon Bike and one other area that borders it, so he will enjoy the change of scenery, unfortunately as all things must, our companionship is coming to an end which is cause for mourning, but the good news is we already agreed in the spirit world were going to go on exchanges with each other.
6)General Conference happened which is always an amazing spiritually uplifting experience as I came prepared with questions and concerns I found that each talk applied directly to my situation and was what I needed to hear. It has definitely strengthened my testimony that the Holy Ghost will give us direct personal and individual revelation as we need it and are prepared. Also I really liked Elder Chi Wong's talk because it was delivered in the language I am currently speaking in the mission Cantoneese..... haha get it, because I am in Canton, so Cantoneese... trust me the people around here don't speak English.
As I move forward into this next transfer and companionship I look forward to a future filled with hope because I know that my Redeemer lives, I know that there is an individual plan laid out for my life that is deisgned to help me get into eternity with my family and Saviour to dewell in a celestial glory. This knowledge gives me the ever burning hope and knowledge that one day as it says in Revelations 21:4 "God shall wipe away all tears from [my] eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away" on that great millennial day when I am brought back into the presence of the Almighty Just and Holy God, by the Atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, I shall be able to stand with pure hands and a clean heart for by the grace of Christ I shall be made spotless pure and white, and dwell forever with my family in unending joy.
The Report of Elder Hunter Poe