Basketball is an Important Missionary Skill

Hello everyone!

This was a great week! I’m going to try set this email up day by day like I see lots of missionaries do.
We got haircuts and did other p-day stuff. We met with a new investigator who I think is pretty cool! We are going to try setting him with a baptismal date today.
We did service most of the morning for a really cool member of our church! He moved in a few months ago and was less-active, but has made it to church every Sunday since we met him about a month ago! We always have great gospel conversations with him which are lots of fun! We moved stuff out of his storage unit for him. He lives out in Bath, so travel time eats up a lot of our schedule.
We taught the mother and daughter who were set with baptismal dates. Since they haven’t made it out to church, we asked them to pray and set a new date. They don’t have one yet. I realized today that basketball is an important missionary skill! We played ball with one of our investigators who is 14 and did fine, but then these older guys wanted to play with us and smoked us! For a lot of the kids out here, basketball is all they do their whole lives. We’ve found out that it’s more show-play than real basketball because they are mostly trying to look cool. They still smoked us though. We played with the young men as well tonight and had to try to break that habit of looking cool and making shots by getting them to pass the ball more. Their game is on Saturday! (We probably played too much ball today.)
We met with a couple recent converts. One of them is really struggling to do what he knows is right. We gave him a priesthood blessing. Please pray for him; he really means a lot to us and comes out with us often. The sister missionaries gave a great lesson tonight about faith! (We always teach a scriptures study class for members and investigators on Thursday nights.)
After District meeting, I went on a trio exchange with the New Bern Elders (Elders Davis, Oldroyd, and Collier.) Elder Collier is just working with them until he gets his new companion on Wednesday because we lost Elder Ward. It was super fun working with a trio! It was like we had extra fire when we were in lessons. We worked really well together! (Plus, we can go into single ladies houses without needing another adult male with us!) Elder Staheli also had a successful day with Elder Davis getting 2 new investigators and 2 member present lessons!
We had several media referrals in Plymouth, so we got our branch mission leader, Brother O’Brien, to drive us out there. We had 3 solid lessons out there! One of them even told us he wanted to become a member of our church! It was really a miracle! We also got Transfer Calls this morning! I will be staying in Washington as the designated driver and my companion will be Elder Aland! (Pretty sure he’s also going to be the new district leader.) Elder Staheli will be a zone leader in Goldsboro! I’m done with training now!
Lots of people bore their testimony, and it was a great fast Sunday! We met with the Young Men, and The young men’s president gave the boys his testimony. It was really powerful! I think he is meant to really bring these boys together, and make them strong leaders that their friends can look up to. President Whaley told us meeting with the young men was is his favorite thing about being Branch President.
Well, that was my week! I’ll send whatever pictures I have in a bit. Hope y’all are doing well! How’s the MTC Josh?
– Elder Samuel Runyan

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