I decided it was about time to start a blog to keep everyone in the loop on Rob and what he is up to on his mission. I will try to keep it updated weekly, or as I get new information to share.
Elder Ingram has been in Florence, Kentucky (20 minutes away from Cincinnati) for the last little while and was really enjoying it there. He was training a greenie named Elder Radford who he really liked. They had a lot of wonderful investigators and was very sad to leave them all.
One of his investigators was named Robbie. She was a single mom with a couple of children. Elder Ingram has some wonderful experiences with her and was very sad to leave her little family. She knows that the Gospel is true and was working diligently toward baptism. Before Elder Ingram left, Robbie told him that she knew how his sisters must have felt when he left for his mission because she thought of him as a little brother and was sad to see him go. Elder Ingram was also working with two children with the last name of Fanthorp. They were supposed to be baptized the weekend before he was transferred but due to a scheduling conflict with the church building, the baptisms were moved, and as a result he will not be around to see them. Elder Ingram had also started working with a woman named Nicole who, at their first meeting, told him not to laugh but that she struggled with many religions because she did not believe in the Trinity. She felt that Heavenly Father, Christ, and the Holy Ghost were 3 separate beings who worked together with a common purpose. Elder Ingram was very sad to miss out on her progression as well. Another person Elder Ingram was very sad to say goodbye to was a new convert named Richie who happened to be the 1st person Elder Ingram has been able to baptize. (Elder Ingram has been apart of many conversions and been apart of many baptisms, but Richie was his first actual baptism.) Before he left Richie told Elder Ingram that he was his angel sent from God and that he saved his life and that he owes him everything. Elder Ingy said that little does Richie know that he impacted my life for the good more than I impacted his.
About a week ago Rob was transferred to Hamilton, Ohio and made a Zone Leader. Hamilton is located just North of Cincinnati. Elder Ingram said that it used to be a booming town but because of the economy, things have slowed way down. He said on the West side of town there are many housing projects and gangs. Knowing Elder Ingram, I am sure that he is in Heaven. The missionaries used to live on the west side of town but it was too dangerous so they were moved and Elder Ingram said this is the nicest apartment he has lived in so far.
The work there is booming and on average they teach 20 to 25 lessons a week. They also have lots of member referrals, and dinner appointments every night. Currently his area is the top in the mission, but his zone is actually the worst for finding new investigators and baptisms. Needless to say, Elder Ingram has a lot of hard work ahead of him to keep up the pace in his area and to help turn his zone around. He is excited for the challenge, especially now that he is approaching the last 1/4 of his mission.
Elder Ingram's new companion is Elder Cameron Ballard from Inkom, Idaho. He really likes Elder Ballard, but he will only be with him until next transfer, because Elder Ballard will be going home. This will be the 3rd missionary that Elder Ingy has "killed off" as they say. As hard as that is for him, he is a good sport about it.
Elder Ingram seems to be adjusting well to the whole zone leader thing. He says it is really hard work because they go out and teach all day and then come home and plan for the zone until late at night. The bonus is that now he is in an area where he has a car (last area he had to bike everywhere). I am sure this is a welcomed change.
(In his last area, because of all the heat/humidity and the biking, Elder Ingy ended up in the hospital for a few days due to an Acute Migraine. He went numb on one side of his body and couldn't speak. At first the Dr.'s thought he had a stroke. He is obviously fine now and is back to working away, but we are glad to know that he won't have to be out in the elements as much anymore.)
This last little bit is from Elder Ingram's last letter about an new investigator:
"We found a sweet new investigator just yesterday named Jennifer.She is amazing! She has NO Christian background so it's like teaching the lessons to a child. We have to be so simple, but simple is best anyways. That's how great things are brought to pass. After we taught her about God and Christ and her purpose we said a closing prayer right there on the porch and she started crying and said "I feel all warm inside" We taught her about the Holy Ghost and she just smiled and said. God really is there isn't he! It was so spiritual I was almost in tears."
We are so pleased with our sweet Elder Ingy and how hard he is working to bring the people of Ohio and Kentucky the Gospel.
PS He sure does love letters. He doesn't have a lot of time to write back but he loves hearing from people back home.