Patience is a Virtue.

And therefore I can honestly say that I have become much more virtuous since I walked into the MTC last July. I am really struggling with Elder Ditto. The language is hard, and I understand that, but he is Mr. Mopey all the time. It is kind of starting to wear on me a little bit. I guess I’m supposed to go through a little more of the refiner’s fire.

This week had its ups and downs. Zone Conference was very good. We talked almost exclusively about finding people to teach. It is something our mission is really struggling with at the current point in time. We are teaching very effectively, and have a very high investigator to baptism ratio, but we just aren’t finding well enough. I can attest to that, because I have been talking to everyone possible, and we got 5 contacts this week, some of which we had to pass to the Sisters because they were women. The Zone Conference was good. I got to meet the Merrills. the new senior couple who will be serving in the office. They are great, and have a cabin in Island Park so we have talked a lot about that. I am excited to get to know them more, but at the same time it is sad to see the Hardy’s go home. They are like everyone’s grandparents in the mission.

It was a good day yesterday, because there was a baptism in the Dnepr. A girl named Katya was baptized by Elder Hardy, which was a great way for him to go out. She has been waiting a year in a half to be baptized, and yesterday was her 18th birthday so she was finally able to. Even though she became a member of the church yesterday, she has been amazing in member missionary work. A few months ago she walked into the mission office and asked for proselyting materials so she could give them to people. I also learned a valuable lesson about the timing of the Lord. Katya came in contact with the church around the time the Hardies got into country. She, like all the youth in Dnepr, fell in love with them and started coming into the office to visit them, going to FHE at their apartment, etc. Their release date was supposed to be May 2nd, but Sister Hardy got sick last December and they went home for 3 weeks, because the doctor here said she might have cancer. They went home, there was nothing wrong, and they came back. Because of that, they were able to extend and be here until the day after her birthday, and Katya was baptized by Elder Hardy, something she had wanted since she decided to be baptized a year and a half ago.

Anya, our English student/the Sisters investigator just got back from a two week trip to Europe. She brought Elder Merkley, Adams, Hagee and I all mugs from Italy. She came to the baptism yesterday, and went to church after and said the magic words to Sister Lacy: "I feel so….warm, but that isn’t the right word. I’ve never felt this way before". So basically, she is going to get baptized and be an amazing member. Now they just need to put her on date 🙂

I had to teach Gospel Principles yesterday at church. It was a fun time. Our only student was Vladimir, a 70 year old retired barber who is on date for June 4th. He is a good guy and is very simple. He is kind of old, and it is hard for him to understand a whole lot of information at once but he is going with the basics. When Elder Hagee and Elder Stanford talked to him about coming to church, he said he didn’t really want to sit there for 3 hours every Sunday. But then he asked "is it a commandment for me to come?" Elder Hagee said "yes" and Vladimir said "okay, I won’t miss a week". I often feel like we come up with ways to scrimp here and shave there to wiggle our way around to make life more comfortable, or easier, or what have you. But here is a guy who gets it. He didn’t want to come, but when he was told it was a commandment from God, he did it without complaint.

Elders’ Quorum was very funny. The lesson was about gratitude, which of course led to many jokes about their wives. When the teacher said "it isn’t good enough to be grateful once a week, or once a month" a member in the back yelled "Can you go teach that to the Relief Society?" Everyone laughed. The teacher later asked how we could show our thanks to our wives rather than just saying thanks. Sasha, and guy who in his early 30s with a wife and 2 kids said "you have to do the little things" the teacher asked for an example and Sasha sat for a few minutes, pondering then said "like lifting the toilet seat when you pee". It was a really funny lesson that made me feel like I was back at home in a full ward full of all different kinds of people young and old.

One thought I have thought about as I have looked back on the last two transfer to see what I could improve on was the little things. Tightening up the nuts and bolts, so to speak. At a zone conference in December, Elder Lawrence of the Seventy talked about miracles and how the real successes we find in life are found in the last 2% of our effort. I have really found that to be true. I’ll compare it to baseball, which is now in full swing this time of year. There is a 1 in 10 difference between a player who spends his career sitting in AAA and a Hall of Famer. 1 at bat out of every 10 makes the difference between having a career average of .250 and sitting in the minors, or being put in the Hall of Fame with an average of .350. When we fine tune the little thigns, and take our big picture of obedience, or living the Gospel, we really see how we can improve and are placed on the path of eternal progression moving towards perfecting ourselves.

I love you all, thank you for the support,

Elder McClintock

PS: I don’t know if they’ve announced it at home yet, but Elder Nelson is going to Moscow….The first stake in Russia will be getting organized on June 5th. That is a GIGANTIC step for the church there. They have a lot of problems with the government and the Orthodox church which have been preventing this from happening for a long time. Prayers = answered.

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