As for my birthday, it was a great day. I went to church and after Sacrament meeting the Branch Presidency all wished me a Happy Birthday along with many members (and I hadn't told many people at all!) But the greatest part I think was how instead of focusing all on me because its MY birthday, I was able to focus on others and spend the day in service of others. Of course I was very excited because of my birthday so I took that excitement and energy and directed it towards others. Just giving them big smiles or words of praise and the like. I love this branch and feel like I am part of the family here. Also we had a get together last night for the Reynolds (a senior couple that has served 2 years) because they leave for home today, so we had ice cream and desserts all as a zone, so it was super cool that it fell on the same day as my birthday! Last Monday I had forgone buying flour and such items to bake myself a cake because I'm low on allotment since it has to last 3 weeks this time so I had accepted that I would just eat some pudding or something but then this came up so it was awesome! They sang Happy Birthday to me but I'm glad it didn't take the focus off the Reynolds too much. They were such a help to us always working behind the curtain and we will miss them!
The rest of the week was great as well, just long. It seems like it was the week before actually now looking back. But on Tuesday we had a powerful district meeting where we all discussed an MTC (Mission Training Center) address "Becoming a Consecrated Missionary" by Tad R Callister. Instead of me instructing, I instead took a seat with the District so that we could all just discuss. Of course I still have points I felt needed to be addressed that were prompted to me prior while I prayerfully prepared, so I still was able to guide the discussion a bit, but it was awesome. I hope each missionary took it to heart and has that extra drive to be a little better and consecrate themselves a little more.
On Wednesday the APs (2 missionaries that are Assistants to the President) came down and had a little meeting for the District Leaders which was cool because they are including us and we all got to discuss the needs of the zone and districts on how to improve. Leadership is an interesting experience on mission and a great experience to grow.
We have an amazing investigator named Rosalia that we are teaching. She just understands everything and has come to know it to be true. I love teaching people like this where you can just tell from the very start, even from the moment you meet them, that they are prepared. After the 2nd lesson she understands the whole Restoration, while there are some investigators who still don't understand after the 6th..but we love them all the same and continue to strive to help them come to Christ no matter what their level of understanding!
I love this mission experience! Thanks again for all the loving words!
It's good to be a missionary!
Elder Grant Hiltbrand
oh just a note: this morning I went out back and there was a crab there! Now that's an animal I wouldn't expect to see here! But Elder Doig and I jumped on the opportunity in front of us and caught it and boiled it and ate it with melted butter!