And the Odds Are....October 25, 2015
I have a young friend here named Elder Spencer. He is from a small town in Utah. He makes me laugh. He comes in and plops down in my office and with a straight face tells me about his missionary adventures. He told me this week that in his spare time he figured out he had a 1 in 125 chance to be a trainer in this week's upcoming transfer. After he explained the odds to me, I told him he could have memorized all of 1 Nephi in the time it took him to ponder that business. He came in late on Friday afternoon and told me he was going to be a trainer. He is scared to death. If you knew Elder Spencer, you would be as excited as I was about this call. He has also been "filling in" as District Leader since his companion left two weeks ago. He will be continuing in that call also. His new companion straight out of the MTC is in for one adventure living with Elder Spencer. The thing is, Elder Spencer doesn't even know what Elder Spencer is made of yet. He will shine. He will rise to the occasion. He is my friend. How many of you have friends who take pictures of Elder Holland to the barber and ask him to cut your hair like that? I do, and the funny thing is, he does look a bit like Elder Holland.
Our year mark is this week. I am settled in my work. I know and try my best to do my "duties". My greatest joy will always be the young missionaries who pop their head in my door with a hello or a story. Our family at home seems to also be settled. Our Brookie has begun her adventure in YW. She has turned into a beautiful 12 year old. I am so thankful I can talk about our families at home now after a year without getting teary eyed. My heart has strengthened. These young missionaries, like Elder Spencer, have helped fill in little holes in my heart.
This conversion of my heart - this "becoming" - could only happen to me individually when I got in that Toyota truck with my companion and drove East to Missouri. There will always be mission secretaries. There will always be young elders like my friend Elder Spencer. Both of us could have chosen to stay home. The Lord's work would have gone on without us. But who would have missed out? What would the odds have been then, Elder Spencer? You are doing it! I am doing it along with my very own Elder Seaman. We are the lucky ones, aren't we? Go get 'em, my dear friend. The Lord wants you to train a new elder. He is counting on you because He knows He can.
My love to you all,
Sister Seaman aka Gma
What are the Odds?In my mind, I can see the notches scratched in the wall of our apartment. There are 363 of them as of today. Two more days and it will be the year mark. It has passed like a dream. The past year has been filled with wild fluctuations in our emotions. First homesickness, then figuring out our place in the office pecking order, then friends and family visits and good-byes. In retrospect, it has been a year of humbling events, a year of learning, a year of sacrifice and most of all, a year of loving the Missouri Independence Mission experience and especially our young missionaries. It has been a great experience and adventure. We know that the next six months will be more of the same and we can't wait. At the end, I believe that we will not be the same people, the experience will have changed us forever. We will be more confident and humble and hopefully more like the Savior.
Sister Seaman and I have been married for over 42 years now. During our married lives, whenever we would drive somewhere on some trip, Sister Seaman has always wanted to stop at every little shop or cave or monument along the way. I on the other hand, have been very goal driven. No stops or even bathroom breaks. She has been very disappointed in me in that regard through the years. When we were returning for our last trip from Independence to Layton for Lorraine's funeral, I made Sister Seaman a promise that I would try and stop wherever she wanted to stop and go and do all the little things that she wanted do. It's called repentance guys.
Last night was a good example of the change I have made for her. She wanted to attend a "Cemetery Walk" at the Woodlawn Cemetery, a very old cemetery here in Independence that was started about 1835. So I reluctantly went with her. For those of you who have not had the chance to attend a "cemetery walk" its not that great. Our guide's name was Eric, an unemployed history teacher, who was not very prepared. However, there was an event that took place during the walk that I would like to tell you about.
At different points during the walk, they had people dressed up in period costumes that were supposed to tell us about the people that they represented who were buried there in the cemetery. Eric forgot to mention them a couple of times so we didn't get to hear their stories. But at one stop, the costumed dead person, stopped us by crying out that he need volunteers to join him in eradicating the Mormons from Independence and Missouri and joining him in killing Joe Smith. He had my attention. He said that his name was Lucas (General Lucas) and that he was organizing a militia to carry out his threats as he considered the Mormons no better than vermin. No one in our little group raised their hand to volunteer. It was very quiet. I believe Sister Seaman and I were the only Mormons in the group and we did have our name tags on. I wanted to confront him. So I asked where he was buried and thinking I should spit on his grave. He was vague about it and motioned that it was somewhere around there. What I should have asked him, and I am still kicking myself for not doing it, was why. Why on earth did he want to kill the Mormons? Maybe it would have been a good opportunity to stand up for the Church and maybe a good missionary moment, but I chickened out.
I am a little ashamed today that I didn't say more. I have promised myself that I will be bolder. I don't think too fast on my feet, but I will try harder. Dave Tenney would have nailed him. I pray that I can be that way too some day. Not ashamed, not embarrassed, not scared.
"For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1: 7)
I hope my family is also getting stronger at the missionary thing. I hope to set the right example some day. I love you all and think of you often.