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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Miracle

So I just talked to you a few days ago, so I don't have too much to say.  However in these last few days (2 days) there have been soo many things coming out of the woodwork, that it's amazing.  We have three or four member referrals that we should be teaching within this next week or two, and we had a really awesome miracle last night. 

There was an investigator that we stopped teaching just when I got here, because she got a job and didn't have time to visit with us or go to church.  She was on track for baptism and had been taught everthing.  it wasn't that she just lost interest, but more of that she literally couldn't come to church, she had to work to survive, so we dropped her for a while, but we have been trying to stay in contact with her and we stop by every once in a while when we are near her house.  last night we stopped by and she was there.  She told us that she is going to move today to another house in the same city, so we're going to help her move tonight.  The trailer that she is going to live in was given to her, so she doesn't have to pay rent anymore because it's her house.  so she quit her job, and has another job lined up that should allow her to be able to come to church again, and she said that she would be at church this sunday and she still wants to be baptized!
 
So, other than that not too much has happened since Sunday.  I got the package.  Thank you!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Spanish Family History Seminar

We had a fairly good week this week, we are still teaching [sister investigator], and it's about the same situation with her, were still trying to help her come to know that the Book of Mormon is true.  She's keeping the majority of her commitments, but is having difficulties leaving behind her old beliefs.

Si this last week we started planning a family history seminar (in Spanish) for Jan. 21st.   I have never really used family history as a finding idea, but I was reviewing the talk by Elder David A Bednar [click Elder Bednar's name to see the talk] from general conference where he talked about family history, and I also thought about grandma ruby's conversion, so I thought maybe it might be a good Idea.  The plan is to have the members come and invite their friends, and we will also invite people that we find.  in the class we will teach about why we do family history and how to do it.  We just barely came up with the idea, but we decided that if we were going to do it, that we better start advertising right away, so we got a flyer put together this week and got a lot of plans put in place for it.

We had quite a surprise on Tuesday.  Tuesday was transfers, and we thought that elder Jensen (the one that did the mini mission) was going to stay.  But we got a call from the APs and the zone leaders on Tuesday afternoon while we were in a lesson.  So we called them back, and they said that the new missionary was on his way and would be at our apartment in half an hour.  so we hurried back to the apartment to wait for him, (because the English elders were out at an appointment and weren't answering their phone).  

We had the Christmas zone conference this last week (you saw the video of it).  it was good,  the first half of the day, we had training on "the Doctrine of Christ"  and then we did the singing.  [Scroll down to see last week's post with the video]

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Singing at Zone Conference

Here is a video of Elder Compton and his zone singing for the Christmas zone conference.  You can also see it by clicking here


We had a fairly good week this week, it looks like the work is starting to pick up a little bit more.  I may have mentioned the [investigator] family that we found a little while ago.  They had been attending and experimenting with several different churches, but hadn't found the one the were looking for, so they decided to let us in and see what we had to say.  We taught them the restoration, and did the normal things that you do when you teach a first lesson.  Then we had a return appointment for this last Wednesday.  When we went for the appointment at 8, they weren't there.  so we went to visit some potentials, then the member we were with dropped us of at our house at about 8:20.  so we made some phone calls, and then we took the car and went back, and they were there!  so we taught them and had a really good lesson.  they had read what we had left with them, and had some really good questions about what they had read, and they had also prayed about it, they didn't feel like they had received an answer, but they are going to keep praying about it.

We are also still teaching [Sister Investigator] and her son.  She's moving along, she is fulfilling commitments (except for coming to church these last few weeks, but she should be coming this next week.)  but she's having a hard time changing beliefs.  She told us that she's been Catholic all of her life, and that to change and accept that you weren't in the true church all of that time would be really hard to do.  Which I agree with, it would be really hard to do, but hopefully we could help her overcome that.

So it's been kind of weird, so since I've been training, [my companion] always asks me questions about how to say certain things in Spanish, and even asks me why I say certain things in Spanish.  But its been hard to answer some of his questions about why certain things are said.  It's not because I don't know how to say those things in Spanish, because I normally do know how to say it, but they are just things that sound right to me but I don't know the grammar behind all of it.  for example if I were to say "I read the scripture"  instead of "I'll read the scripture".  You hear it and it just sounds bad, that's kind of how it's been.  I know how to say it, but I don't know why you say it that way.

For dinner on Thursday, the relief society invited us to come to their christmas activity, that was just for the relief society.  I'll be honest, it was a little strange going to a relief society activity, there's a reason that they don't invite the men to relief society activities.  It was just wierd.  There was a lot of food there, but everyone put just a tiny amount of food on their plates, while we were stacking our plates as high as we could.  And the conversations were just awkward.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Salsa!

There isn't a whole lot that I have to talk about this week.  It has been a little bit slow recently. We've really been struggling to find and to fill our teaching pool this last little while.  Were still teaching the [investigator] family, and we made some pretty good progress with them.  By talking with her this last week we were able to help her recognize when she had felt the spirit in her life, and even realize a little bit of feeling the spirit while she was reading the Book of Mormon.  We were pretty excited about that, and we are going to eat dinner with them at a members house tonight, and then teach them.  so we'll see how they progress, I'm really hopeful that they will progress.

Yesterday we had an awesome lesson.  We taught a family named the [new investigator family].  It looks like they have a lot of potential, especially the wife, because she is looking for a church and has tried many different churches, but hasn't found the one she's been looking for.  So they told us that the would give our church a try and see how it goes.

I know this is kind of random, but I'm getting better at making salsa.  I tried it a while back, and it didn't go so well.  But I asked a member to tell me how to make it, and she told me and then gave me the onion, garlic, and chile de arbol to make it.  It turned out good, it could use some improvement still, but it's getting there.  It was definitely hot, but I liked it.

Since it's winter time, it's starting to get dark sooner (by 5 or 6).  so we have had a hard time finding daylight hours to look for people.  and then in the evening we do our best to try and set up member visits to ask for referrals, or work in the area book to be as productive as possible, but it doesn't work too well to knock doors after dark, because they just get mad at you for knocking their door after night.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Week

How is [investigator] doing?
  • He's in there.  I've been with my companion all of this week.  the other missionary that came for the mini mission came this last Tuesday, so I haven't taught [investigator] at all, but he is quite busy, because he doesn't have any money and he's scrambling around looking for a job, so they've had a hard time getting up with him.
 
Are you still in a threesome, or did the third Elder get the ward mini-mission companion?
  • nope, he got here.
 
So did you get a package in time for Thanksgiving?
  • yep.  Thank you very much!!  The tree looks great.  I set it up in our apartment.
 
This week we started teaching [family].  They were a referral from the zone leaders in Clayton.  They had been teaching her for a while, but she wasn't progressing.  She speaks pretty well.  But Spanish is her native language, so they thought that maybe if we taught her, we could resolve some of her concerns a little bit better in Spanish.  So we started teaching her.  It looks like there is some potential with her.  She has read the reading assignments we've given her, and she's come to church.  The biggest obstacle is that she has been Catholic all of her life, and isn't sure if she wants to leave all of those beliefs behind.  so we'll see if we can help her overcome that.  She has a lot of member support, because it was a few of her friends that are members that intruduced her to the church, so she knows a lot of members, and has a lot of suppoprt from them. 
 
On thanksgiving we did our weekly planning (which we normally do on thurs., which worked out well, because we couldn't tract on thanksgiving.)  then in the evening we ate with the Jensen family.  Which was kind of ironic.  Because the missionary that has come to do the mini mission is elder Jensen (their son).  So all four of us, including elder Jensen wen't to their house.  It was funny, because he kept calling his parents bro/sis. Jensen, and so we kept telling him, "just call them mom and dad!"
 
On Friday I went to a zone leader/district leader council in raleigh.  It was a good meeting.  It was pretty similar to a training, and I learned a lot from it.  Elder warner stayed back in Smithfield with the companion of another district leader, and he did well, because the missionary he was with didn't know Spanish, so he had to fend for himself with Spanish.  He did well.  He called up a member and arranged to do a service project in Spanish without me there!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Ready for Thanksgiving Week

How has your week gone?
  • Good
 
What is the weather like?
 
  • Different every day.  it's starting to cool off, so some days it will get down into the 40/50's.   but other days it will be up in the 70's.  We've had a little bit of rain recently, but not too much.

So you said you are in a threesome how long will you be in a threesome? 
  • That's still kind of up in the air for right now.  It looks like one of the members in the ward is going to do a "mini mission", so he will be companions with the other English missionary for the next three weeks.  He has to be interviewed by the bishop, stake pres., and pres. Cotterall.  He's had all of the interviews so far, and he will be interviewed by pres. Coterrall this afternoon,  so within a couple days we could be back into our normal companionships.  I will be excited for that, it has been kind of stressful, because right now while I'm training, I want to teach elder Warner how to be a good missionary, and I've been avoiding teaching him any bad habits, but that's been a little difficult with an extra missionary in the companionship.
 
Do you think you will be transferred before Christmas?
  • Probably not, because since I'm training right now, they have it set up so that you are with your trainee for at least 12 weeks, so unless something crazy happens, Elder Warner will be my last companion.
 
Is the work harder during the holiday season or are people more receptive to your message?
  • It depends.  I guess it really just depends on how you work.   I think the holidays could provide some really good opportunities to find people if we take advantage of it.  the ward will have a Christmas party, so that will be a good way of finding people, and in the winter time, there are more people that aren't working, because the construction jobs aren't as available, so they often times have more time.
  • This last week has been a whirlwind, we have had a ton of appointments, since we combined the two areas we've had almost more than we can handle.  But it's been good, it is a lot more enjoyable being busy than struggling to find people to teach. 
 
We've started teaching a guy.  I think I may have mentioned him in my last letter, but he was a guy that me and elder Warner contacted, and he was weighed down with all the mistakes that he had made in his life, and was ready to try whatever it would take to get his life back in order.  so we started to teach him.  He's read part of the Book of Mormon, and he knows that it's true.  He wan'ts to get baptized, and we set the date for the 10th of Dec., but he wanted to move it forward a little bit. however I don't think we'll be able to move it much more forward, because I think it will take at least that amount of time to get him ready, probably a little more time.

Distric Leader Responsibilities

So what are your duties as a District leader?
  • I just have to plan for and teach district mtg. every week on weds.  and at the end of every week I have to record our districts numbers and then report them to the zone leaders.
 
How is your bike doing? 
  • Pretty good.  A few weeks ago it got a flat tire, so I had brought it inside, but I think it got knocked over at some point in time, because the front derailleur got all wacked out of place.  I tried to fix it as best as I could, but it still doesn't shift like it should.  I might try to look at it again, but I'm not sure what to do with it, because the closest bike shop is about an hour away.
 
Since you are a DL do you still ride your bike a lot or do you have to drive around to check on the other missionaries?
  • No we still ride in the car/ drive the same amount.  Elder Walker was the district leader before, so it's pretty much the same routine, it's just that I'm doing it now.  We don't really have to go around and check on the district.  Actually I live with our district.  it's just us, the English elders, and the zone leaders.  well, it was us and the English elders.  I'm in a threesome now, I'm still companions with elder Warner, but we've added elder Brewer to our companionship, and we will be doing English and Spanish work for now.  So now it's even more interesting, because it's just us and the zone leaders in the district.
 
So Thanksgiving is coming do you have an invitation to someones home yet?
  • yep

How do you like the extra study time or is it hard not being out?
  • There are good things and bad things.  I've been learning a lot from the new study program that they have, but I do get a little bit of cabin fever every once in a while.

How is your teaching pool?
  • So this week our teaching pool has been pretty low.  In fact there was nobody in it.  We really struggled this last week for some reason.  We were only able to teach one lesson the entire week.  However now that the English area is combined with our area we have a couple of investigators again.  There is one that I'm actually pretty excited about, because it was a referral that we gave to the English elders last week.  It was a guy that we found that was pretty drunk at the time that we met him.  But he told us about how he had recognized that he hadn't been living like he should and he has really just hit rock bottom.  he has tried many different churches, but nothings really helped him, so he's decided to give our church a try.  The English elders taught him twice this last week, and he has a baptismal date for sometime in December.
 
We normally shared the car with the English elders, and they would have the car for a week, and then we'd switch.  this week was our week on bike, so for elder Warner's first bike ride we went 25 mi.  He was pretty worn out by the end of the day.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Baptism!

[Investigator's] turned out really well, the members all gave us a lot of support and helped out a lot with getting [her] ready, and to get the program ready.



 So I have my new companion, elder Warner.  he is from Orem.  On Tuesday I went the mission home for the "trainers mtg"  and they talked to us about training.  They have a new program set up for the new missionaries that come in to the field.  There is a study plan set up for our companion studies, and the plan goes for 12 weeks.  Our studies are extended also,  so instead of 1 hr of personal study 1 hr of companion study and 1/2 hr language study, we have 2 hrs of companion study and 1 hr of language study.  So between that and eating lunch we don't get out of the apartment until at least 1 o'clock in the afternoon.  However, I really like this new program,  it is really set up well, and I'm learning a lot from it. 

This week has all been a whirlwind with getting a new companion, teaching my first district mtg, getting ready for margarita's baptism, and just trying to figure out how to be a trainer/district leader.

Elder Warner is a really good missionary,  I'm really impressed with where his Spanish is at for just having left the MTC.  We taught the plan of salvation last night, and he taught  probably about 20 % of it,  which is really impressive for the first week in the field.

Jeff with New Companion in Mission Office

Monday, October 31, 2011

District Leader

Has it cooled off much for you?
  • Yea, quite a bit.  it's been dropping down into the 40/50's.  it's been a little chilly.
 
How is [sister investigator]?
  • Good
 
Is she going to get baptized?
  • yea,  she is going to get baptized this next Saturday.  She is doing really good.  We had a Halloween party at the church and she came with her daughter and husband, and what surprised me more is that she brought food to the activity,  which means that she is already actively participating in the church even though she is still an investigator.  Which gives me high hopes for her staying active in the church, because she isn't going to sit around and wait for fate to decide her salvation, but instead, she'll get in there and actively look for it.
 
 How is your investigator pool going?  Has it grown at all this past week?
  • poco a poco.  It hasn't really grown that much.  But I'm hoping to change that.  I have some changes that I'm going to do for finding, so we'll see what comes of it.  The plan is to visit/seek referrals from members a lot more, do service, and look in the area book, and to do very little door knocking.  The reason for that is because knocking doors is not very effective,  but hopefully through those other things we'll be able to find some new investigators.
 
So tomorrow are transfers, and elder Walker is being tranfered, and I'm training this transfer, and I'm also going to be district leader.  I'm a little nervous about that, mostly about training,  because the way I train him will have a pretty big impact on how he turns out as a missionary, so I don't want to mess up.
 
I told you about the Halloween party that the ward put on.  It turned out really good.  They had a bunch of games for the kids, and then did a trunk or treat.  There were a lot of nonmbembers there.  We spent the whole first hour and fifteen minutes talking to the nonmember friends that people had brought to the activity, and then they did the trunk or treat, so that was a little difficult to talk to them then.  but we got to visit with them,  we just need to follow up with some of the members to try and teach them again.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Birthday Doodle by Jeff

This is a doodle that Jeff sent me on my birthday card.

Doodle by Jeff

Monday, October 24, 2011

Picture from Zone Conference

Are the Fall colors nice?
  • yep,  I'll try to remember to take some pix.
 
 How is [investigator] coming along? 
  • Pretty good, her baptism was planned for this weekend, but I don't think it is going to happen.  We went over the interview questions with her and she passed with flying colors, she is just a little bit afraid to make the commitment.  She knows its what she needs to do, and that she is going to do it,  I think she is just a little nervous about making the commitment.  We were working hard to get her ready for this Saturday, but she just kept saying that maybe she would get baptized this Saturday.  We were thinking of talking to her Sunday morning and telling her that she needs to decide si o no, but we decided that maybe it would be best to slow it down a little bit, and that maybe she has a doubt that would be best resolved before her baptism.  So we called it off for this Saturday, and were going to talk to her about it.
 
Any new promising investigators?
  • As of yet,not really.  We've been struggling a little bit to find recently.  there's a few potentials, but were hoping that we can turn a few into progressing investigators,  because pretty soon margarita is going to get baptized and then we'll be left with nothing if we don't find somebody soon.  However, even though we are struggling to find, somehow we taught an amazingly high number of lessons this week as compared with other weeks,  I'm still not sure how that worked out.
 
I'm trying to think of what to write about this week, but I'm not coming up with too much.  On wednsday I went on exchanges with the English missionaries. It's kind of a different exchange, because we live in the same apartment as them, and we have the same area as them, they just do english work and we do spanish work.  so it was an exchange, but the only difference was that I did english work for a day.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Mission Conference

How are you? 
 
Good.
 
How was the temple?
 
Great, we went with one of the members, and it was a great experience.  it always is.  then the member took us to a Chinese buffet, and then we went back home and rested/cleaned the apartment (our preparation day was on the day of the temple.)
 
How is the weather there?
 
pretty good.  It's starting to turn into fall.  There are some really hot days and other days that are a little chillier.  But the leaves are starting to change colors.
 
So, an update on [sister investigator].  I don't remember what I told you about her before, but she had told us before that she wanted to wait until December to be baptized.  But this week she came to a baptism (the zone leaders had a baptism).  and at the end of the baptism, one of our zone leaders said to her (keeping in mind that he doesn't speak Spanish so it was kind of a Spanglish conversation).  but he said thanks for coming and asked her "so this is going to be you in December, right?"  and then she responded saying "yes...maybe antes".   So she might get baptized sooner,  but there's a lot of pressure going on from her family/friends/husband.  But either way, she has a lot of faith, and I'm confident that sooner or later she will get baptized.
 
this Sunday was stake conference.  It was a really good stake conference.  elder Johnson from the quorum of the 70 came and spoke.   However we were a little disappointed that none of our investigators showed up.  Margarita wanted to come, but that just didn't work out.
 
so, I'm writing you today, on tuesday, because yesterday was the mission tour.   elder Jensen from the 70 came and spoke to us.  It was a really good meeting, and he really brought the spirit strong.  He taught us about faith.  It seems like every time I feel like I've learned everything about faith, and I learn more.  There is no end to learning about what faith is.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Baptism!

Things are going pretty well for me. 
 
We have several people that we are teaching right now.  We are teaching someone named [sister investigator].  She is a member referral, and She is progressing quite well.  She came to general conference this weekend, and i think she liked it.  We didn't have much time to ask her about it, but I think she liked it.  We had a lesson with her recently and she's starting to recognize a little bit more the promptings from the holy ghost, she told us that when she reads the book of Mormon it becomes really exciting for her and that she wants to read more.  We also set a baptismal date with her. 
 
We also found a family just when I got here.  They're still pretty new investigators, but [mother] has already read the Book of Mormon and told us how she felt relaxed while she was reading in the Book of Mormon.  That is such a huge miracle, I think that is a huge struggle for most people is to first of all read in the Book of Mormon, and then to recognize when the spirit tells them that it's true.
 
So, General conference.  There were a lot of talks that I liked from it.  There were some good talks in the priesthood session.  I love how bold Jeffrey R. Holland is.  There was also a talk that someone gave in the priesthood session, I don't know who it was, he is an x-mission pres. but he talked about missionary work. 
 
So, I'm getting this letter sent off a little bit later than normal, because this morning we went and played basketball with some members.  the church building is literally about a block away from our apartment.
 
So my time was about to run out, so I wanted to hurry and get the letter sent off before I got kicked off, but my companion is still writing his letter, so I signed back on.
 
So kind of a funny story.  we watched conference at the church.  But something wasn't working right with the electronics, and they couldn't at first get the spanish translation going, and we had an investigator there.  So I got the translation equipment ready, because I thought that I was going to have to translate (which wouldn't have gone too well, because, I tried to translate a few things in my head from conference, and their vocabe and grammer is really good, and it would be hard to keep up with)  But just as I got that set up, they changed it to spanish.  However there were about four other missionaries there, and a member that don't know one bit of spanish, so for about two of the talks they all just had to watch and wonder what was going on.  Then they finally got the english back on, but we had to listen with the headphones, so I just listened in spanish.  but I had to second guess myself when I heard that they were going to turn the tabernacle into a temple, I wondered for a minute if I understood it wrong.
 
Baptism of person Jeff taught before he was transferred
 
 
 

Monday, September 26, 2011

New Area!

How are you?
  • good
Where are you now?
  •  Smithfield
 Who is your new companion and where is he from?
  •  Elder Walker.  He's from washington...was from washington, his family moved to colorado during his mission (up towards denver).  The interesting thing about it is that we were in the MTC together.  It should be great being with him, I knew  him from the MTC, he was in the same district with him.  We got a long well at the MTC, so I think we should be able to work well together.
How  do you like your new area?
  •  So far I like it, it's all kind of a whirlwind right now, I'm trying to remember all the members/investigators, and learn the area right now.  It's a change though, because I've been out in the country for over a year now, and this area is in the city.  But I think it's a good thing, because the work is usually better on the Spanish end in the city.  I'm serving in a ward now (the first time in my mission, so far I've only been in branches.)  It's mainly an English ward, but it looks like there's quite a few  Hispanics too.  Right now  we live in  "four man"  meaning that we share the apartment with the English missionaries..  Like I said earlier that I'm still getting to know the area, but it looks like we have several good investigators that should be able to progress..
 So something interesting that I found out, one of the members here returned from his mission just a couple of months ago, and one of his areas was salem, UT.  so when I asked him if he knew  Bishop Compton he said "yes".  HE said that he was only there for about 2 months, and that you probably didn't every really know  him that well.
So, I told you about [Investigator in previous area].  So things worked out, and as far as I know, he got baptized on Saturday.  That was the plan anyway, That was after Transfers, so I don't know for sure.  He finally told the lady that was bringing him to church that he wasn't going to go to church with her anymore.  There were a few more things that we had to teach him, but we had plans to teach him every day up until his baptism, so now  I'm just waiting to hear word on what happened.  also, I took a video of him singing a few songs, because he likes to sing, and then he shared his  testimony about how he came to know that the Book of Mormon is true.  But I forgot to bring my camera to the library today,  so I'll try to get that too you soon.  I don't know if you'll be able to understand what he says, dad probably will be able to, but he is a little hard to understand.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Transfer This Week

We kept pretty busy this week.  We taught [Investigator] a lot this week.  I think we taught him six times this week.  so just about everyday.  We are trying to get him ready for his baptism which we had planned for the 24th,  however I don't know if he will be ready in time, so we are going to change the date with him tonight.  There isn't any big commandment that he needs to start living, more than anything there are some doctrinal things that we still need to teach him/he needs to understand better.
 
We started teaching a referral from a member this week.  It's kind of interesting how we met him.  One of the members invited us over to their house to teach their granddaughter that is turning eight in a few days, so we went over and taught her, but found out that she is a child of record (we weren't sure originally or not if her parents were members or not) so we found out that she doesn't need to be taught by us.  But when we got to the house there was only the mom, grandma, and great grandma there.  There wasn't any man in the house, and it's against mission rules to be alone with children/women without a man present.  So they told us that they would go see if Rusty, a relative could come over.  So they went over, picked him up and he sat in on the lesson on the restoration.  At the end we offered him a copy of the Book of Mormon and he accepted it and committed to read it and pray about it and said that he would like for us to teach him.  So we've started teaching him and he has a baptismal date for the middle of October.
 
So transfers are tomorrow and I am being transferred.
 
We had quite a few other things going on this week also.  On Tuesday we had a training in Wilmington, which took up all of the morning/afternoon up until about 5 30, and then on weds we had a deep cleaning day, so from 10 30 after study until 6 in the evening we cleaned the apartment, and then like normal, we had weekly planning on Thursday, with all of those things going we mostly just taught lessons.  And we taught quite a few this week in comparison with other weeks.  in total we taught about 11 and recently we've only been able to teach about 6-8 a week.
 
I got the pix from the wedding reception, thank you!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Investigators are Progressing

So, this was a somewhat bussier week. (this always seems to happen right before transfers)
 
[Investigator man] is doing awesome, we taught him the plan of salvation, and a few commandments.  Everything went well, he's living all of the commandments we've taught him already.  I told you last week that he lives in a camper trailer, well, he has put that trailer behind the house of somebody that he knows (he doesn't have to pay rent or anything)  but the persons whose property his trailer is on always brings him to church with her.  So [he] has been coming to church with us and her, but we talked to him about that this week.  He has a really strong testimony, and even though he is very nervous that he will have to leave her property if he quits going to church with her, he told us that he was going to talk to her.  It was amazing to see that faith that he has.  So now we just have to wait to see what happens.
 
This week we found an amazing investigator.  We were on our bikes going to visit a potential, and we saw one of the neighbors of the potential outside her house cleaning up the yard, so we offered to help, and she accepted.  So we helped her clean up her yard.  While we helped her clean up her yard, we talked to her about the gospel a little bit.  But what impressed her most was that two 20 yr boys came to help her clean up her yard.  We also found out that she needed help fixing a desk (she had recently moved here and had a few things around the house that needed to be done to settle in.)  So we set up a time on Friday to come by and fix the desk.  She offered to cook us lunch and then afterwords we were going to teach her.  Once we started working on the desk it took a little bit longer than we had planned on, so we had to teach her while we were fixing the desk (which is kind of hard).  We had brought a member with us, and he offered to take her to church, because she had asked about our church services, and she accepted.   So on Sunday she came to church, and everything seemed to go absolutely perfect in church for her.  We had called some members and told them that an investigator was coming, and made plans for some of the members to be with her and show her around the church.  She told us afterwords how impressed she was at how nice all of the members were, and that she really felt loved there.  Then during sacrament meeting, it seemed like both of the talks given were laser guided directly to her needs.  There were some specific questions/doubts that she had, that were answered very well in the talks given.  After sacrament meeting she told me that all of her life that she had felt like something was missing, and that she had finally found it!  I'm pretty excited to be able to teach her, it's nice to find someone that really wants to learn.  Sometimes I feel like I'm pulling teeth, trying to get people to live the gospel.
 
Saturday, we did a little bit of clean up from the hurricane.  We cut up some of the trees that had fallen down in the yard of the mom of our ward mission leader.
 
so, that pretty much sums up my week.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Back to Work After the Hurricane

Did you get to go and do anything for the holiday, or is it pretty much a normal P-Day? 
  • No we didn't do anything special, but for preparation day I did take probably the biggest nap of my mission.  We didn't have enough energy to play racquetball this week, so we took a nap for about three hours instead.

Sounds like it was quite an experience during the storm Irene.  Are all the missionaries back to their areas?
  • Yea, everyone's back in their areas now. almost everyone was back to their area by Sunday morning for church.

Have you been able to teach [Investigator]?
  • Yea, [investigator] is doing awesome.  I didn't think at first that he would be able to learn very quick, but we've taught him the restoration and a few commandments (reading/praying/Sabbath day, etc.)  but he is absorbing it like a sponge.  On Saturday we invited him to pray about the book of Mormon.  which he did.  On Sunday when he came to church. he told us that he had received an answer that it was true, and then asked us if there was a way that he could share his testimony/experience with every one.  And it worked out perfectly that it was fast and testimony meeting yesterday, so he got up in sacrament meeting and shared his testimony.  I tried to translate his testimony, but I don't know if he knew that I was going to translate for him, so he told the whole story and then sat down, so I tried to translate it as best I could, but it was a little hard remembering everything he said.  He has a baptismal date for the 24Th of September, and I'm quite positive that he'll be ready by then.  The only disappointing thing is that that is one week after transfers, so there's about a 99.9999 percent chance that I won't be here for it.  But that's alright, the important thing is that he gets baptized.

How are you doing?  Have you had to help with clean up from the Hurricane?
  • Not too much, we helped a member clean up some branches from their yard.  but that was about all we did.  most everything was cleaned up by Monday or Tuesday.

How is the work going?
  • Good, it's been kind of slow recently, but it's starting to pick up a little bit.  We've had a hard time finding people recently.  But we're teaching [investigator] now, and it looks like he has a friend of his that we might start teaching soon, and there's a few other potential investigators.

We taught someone this last week, it was an old investigator.  We taught her two lessons, and they were both pretty intense lessons.  She's about 80 years old and has been protestant all of her life, and she has told us that all of her family is either protestant or baptist, and there are like 6 pastors in her family.  So this is going to bee a tough nut to crack.  The first lesson we taught her, we taught the restoration,  and she already knows about the apostasy, she explained the apostasy in greater depth than I've ever heard it. but then she started saying how we all serve one god, and we are all trying to serve god, it's just that we have a different way of doing it, but no matter which way you do it we'll all get to the same place.  This is an idea that I've heard so many times, in fact probably multiple times every day, and it is sooo false!  But we explained the restoration to her and the need for her to be baptized by proper authority.  She said that she would pray about it and then if  she came to know that it is true that she would be baptized.  It was really neat, because we really saw her being humbled throughout the lesson.

So on Sunday we taught this person again, but I'm not sure what happened, maybe it was that she went to church and talked to her family, because it was like she went back to square one after the huge change she made in the last lesson (which was the night before).  So we pretty much had a repeat of the first lesson, and she once again committed to pray about the book of Mormon and that if she found out that it was true that she would be baptized.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Hurricane Irene

PARTY IN WALLACE!!  So we started hearing about the hurricane early in the week.  And of course we can't watch the news, so we only heard from what other people said.  It was kind of interesting to hear the different stories, and predictions of the hurricane.  Some people got really nervous and told us that it was coming in at as a category 4 hurricane and that if we were smart that we had better get out of here.  and other people told us that we should set up a hammock up in the trees and enjoy the cool weather.  

There are several missionaries that serve out on the coast near Wilmington, and so 2 other sets of missionaries came over to our apartment starting on Friday morning, and then they got up early and left on sunday morning.  The weather was supposed to get a little rough in wallace also, but not too bad.  so we had to stay inside on friday evening and all day saturday.   I'm sure that as you could imagine that with six missionaries packed into one apartment that it got a little exciting.  However by the end of the day on saturday evening I think we all got a little bit of "cabin fever".  IT definantly made me excited to get back to work on sunday, because I started going crazy.  I was hoping to see some good hurricane weather, but it never got to crazy outside, it just got windy and rained all day.  I'm going to send some pix of our yard, but the wind did knock down a bunch of branches/leaves, and a few trees (there weren't any trees in our yard that fell, but throughout wallace).  aparently the hurricane was a category 3 before it came to shore, but once it got to NC it dropped all the way down to a category

Oh, yea, I didn't mention it, but while we were stuck inside we were supposed to do things like get caught up in our area book, write in our journals, etc.  But the ironic thing is that I had just recently gotten everything caught up in the area book, and I didn't have anything left to write in my journal (I don't know if I've mentioned it yet, but I've only missed writing in my journal about 5-7 days during my mission so far, and that's mostly in the MTC.  and my bike is in good shape, so I couldn't clean it because it was already clean, and we had an apartment inspection on Wednesday, so the apartment was already clean (me and elder lake keep the apartment sparkling clean anyway.)  So I got my haircut (about a year ago I bought hair clippers, and I've been cutting my own hair, but elder lake is really good at cutting hair, so he cut the hair of all six of us missionaries on Friday night.) and then I prepared a talk that I gave on Sunday and that was about all I was able to do productive.

Because of the hurricane this week, it was a little bit slower week, because two of our days were taken up by the hurricane.   But we've started teaching one of the neighbors of a member.  Last week this person, [investigator], came to church with the member, and we taught him last Sunday, and the appointment we set with him during the week fell through, but he came with the member to church on Sunday and we taught him yesterday.  It was a pretty good lesson that we had with him.  He accepted the invitation to be baptized on the 24th of September.  

Waiting out the storm

Back yard during Irene - Only wind and rain in Wallace






Monday, August 22, 2011

Playing Racquetball

This last week, went pretty good,  However a little slow as far as investigators go.  We've had a hard time recently maintaining our investigator pool.  So right now, once again were kind of in a finding stage.


On Fri/sat. we had several service projects planned that we did.  On Friday we helped one of the members clean up some of the trash in his yard so that he could mow the lawn.  But before we started, while we were waiting for bro. Cruz to get ready, one of his sons has a guitar, so he let me play it for a few minutes.  However, this was the first time that I have played a guitar probably since I was in Raleigh, and I couldn't hardly any song.  I had to give it a few tries to play "sweet home alabama", and I couldn't for the life of me figure out the song by Boston that we used to play all the time (I don't remember the name of it) [Peace of Mind].  It was somewhat embarrassing since I had claimed to have played the guitar for so many years, and then could hardly play anything.


Then Saturday morning we went over to another members house to help him with some yard work.  And then in the evening we went to go help a part member family with some work that they said that they needed to get done, but once we got there and changed clothes, we found out that they didn't need the help after all, but we did get to eat some pretty good food at their house. 


This last weds./thurs.  I our district leader went on exchanges with me to our area,  and elder lake went with his companion.  The exchange went pretty good.  We had an awesome contact with someone during the exchange.  We saw her outside her house, she had just gotten home, and her kids were getting out of the car,  so we started talking to her about her kids, and related that back to eternal families.  She then told us that just a few days she was wondering about that, what would happen to our families after this life, and what happens when we die.  So we taught her the plan of salvation.  The amazing thing is that she really didn't have much time, I think that she had to go to work or something, but she allowed us to teach her for a few minutes,  which is amazing.  Because most people could easily make the excuse that they don't have enough time.  But that really showed that she was prepared, and that she was honestly wanted to learn and seek truth.






Monday, August 15, 2011

Convert Receives the Priesthood

How are you doing?  It sounds like everything went well at the wedding.  Thank you for the packages that you sent me.   I got a compliment on one of the ties already, so good choice.  I didn't know that you were going to put the pix of me wearing the tie up at the reception, hijoles, if I would have known that I would have taken a better pix.
I told you last week, but this week was transfers, but they didn't effect me or elder lake.  

We have been teaching a family, well, part of a family.  It's the mom and her daughter, were hoping to start teaching the dad, but we haven't been able to get him to sit in on any of the lessons.  The mom hasn't been able to read in the Book of Mormon because she can't read the words on the page, so we ordered her a copy of the Book of Mormon in large print so that she could read it.  She was pretty excited to have that copy of the Book of Mormon, and has started to read in it, so that's a good sign.  They were supposed to come to church yesterday, buy I'm not sure what happened.  We talked to them the day before and they said that they were planning on it, but they didn't show up.  We called them at about 9 05 (church starts at 9) to see where they were at.  we got a hold of the husband and he said that they thought that it started at 10, so we thought that they were just going to end up showing up late.  But they never did show up, so we'll have to see what happened there.

This last week [new convert], the person that we baptized recently received the priesthood as well as his friend will, who was his friendshipper that had been less active, but reactivated when we began to teach [new convert]..

It's kind of a short letter this week, but I just can't think of anything to write,  But I'm really enjoying my mission a lot.  And I've learned/am learning a lot, and I'm grateful for how my mission has "opened my eyes" and made me really understand and internalize why were her on this earth.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Rainstorm and Pictures

Did you ever get in contact with that person you were going to do FHE with? 


  • We did, but we dropped them.  There were two different people that were going to come,  both of them told us that they didn't have enough time right now.  But it was really intersting what happened with one of them.  Because she has read part of the book of mormon, and prayed about us, and has told us that she felt the spirit testify to her that is is true.  So it was kind of dissapointing when she said that she didn't have time for it.  But as we talked with her, we testified about the restored gospel of Jesus Chris, and reminded her about the answer that she had received from the spirit.  But as we talked to her about that you could see in the expressions on her face that the spirit was reprendiendola [scolded] because she had a smile on her face at the beginning and then you could see her face get real serious as we talked to her and we knew that she didn't feel comfortable at that point in time and that she knew that she really does need to continue preparing for baptism.  But I'm quite certain that maybe she's not ready right now, but probably in the future, she will be ready.

This week was a pretty busy week...well every week is busy, but it wasn't your tipical week in the mission field.  On weds. we called one of the members to see if he could come on exchanges with us.  But we found out that his mother in law (who had already been bedridden...is that how you say it, when they can't really get out of their bed to do very much.  But anyway she's been that way for about a year.)  But we found out when we called this member that she wasn't doing very well, and it was very likely that she might die.  He invited us over to come visit with them, which we did.  then the next day, we found out that she had passed away that morning, they invited us to come over again, so we wen't over to visit with them for a while.  Then the funeral was on sunday,  so we spent most of the day after church doing things for the funeral.

I sent a pix of a rainstorm that we got caught in.  Which isn't an uncommon accurance.  We were on our way to a members house to teach them a lesson, and it started raining, so we decided to stop and get out of the rain for a little bit.  Normally I just ride through the rain storm,  but I decided this time, that the members wouldn't want us in their house if we were wet, and if we're knocking doors, it's really difficult, because nobody wants to let you in.  So we stopped there for a while and thats where I took the pix.  I'm not sure if the pix serves it justice, but it was raining really hard.

This week is transfers, but nothing is happening with us.  I'm staying here.
 
El Guapo Sapo





Waiting out the Rain

Still....Waiting out the Rain

North Carolina Rain
 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Wet Potholes

On Friday we had a really awesome surprise.  We were supposed to eat dinner with the verdin family, however they live about 40 miles away from us, and it was the end of the month and we only had 50 miles left to last us to the end of the month, and we still had two 25 mile trips out to magnolia.  So we figured that we were just going to have to bike it out to magnolia a couple of times.  But about an hour before we were supposed to go, a member called us up and said that he was headed over to the members house, and asked if he could pick us up and bring us there!  That was one of those tender mercies of the lord.


I was a week that makes for some pretty good stories.  Here in wallace there are a lot of interesting people that you meet, and this week was no exception to that.  On Saturday we were in magnolia riding our bikes and there was a guy that called out to us, so we stopped by to see who it was.  It was an older guy with his wife (We were out in th boonies/fields) and the have a little piece of property and it looks like they just live out in the woods with their truck.  But we started to try and talk to him, but we soon found out that he wasn't all the way there,  first of all because we could smell beer on his breath.  But I've talked to many drunk people on my mission and there had to have been something more going on with him than just being drunk, I think all the drugs that he had done in his life had pretty much fried his brain.  So he started talking to elder lake and said to him " hey man have you ever been hungry man?"  and elder lake said "yea".  Then this guy started going of on him saying, "then man if you've been hungry man how do you spell hungry man, man tell me how to spell hungry man!"  (he went on like that for about a minute, then elder lake said H-U-N-G-R-Y.  Then they guy said " ok man well if you've ever been hungry man than you've probably been angry before man.  Because when you're hungry you're angry man because you're not happy man...(and once again he went on for another minute or two on that)."  At that point elder lake just about couldn't hold it and and started laughing, but finally he spelled angry and we gave the guy a card and rode off.


It was pretty exciting on Saturday also, in the evening we went to a trailer park to teach a lesson,  and in this trailer park, the roads are horriblisimos.  They aren't just a little bumpy, some of the bumps literally drop down 3-4 feet.  So when it rained some huge puddles were made.  So it was the end of the night, and we had already been soaked and we got to a puddle that covered the entire road, so there was no escaping it.  So elder lake, who was in front of me, stopped, turned around, got some space to get some speed, and hit the puddle head on in the biggest/deepest part of the puddle.  I'm going to attatch a pix that we took at the end of the night.


This week has kind of been a struggle to teach our investigators.  We always have a lot of appointments set up every day, but not a lot of them go through.  So there's not anything too exciting happening with any of our investigators.
 \

Monday, July 25, 2011

Disappointing Family Home Evening

Are you guys getting hit with some of this East Coast heat that we are hearing about?
 
  • Yea, it's been pretty hot recently (up towards the upper 90's/100), but it hasn't effected us too badly, we've managed to be able to use the car and get inside teaching lessons, so it hasn't been to bad.
 
How did your family home evening go last week?  Sounds like you had great plans.
 
  • Not quite how we planned it.  We had talked to the investigator three days in a row (fri, sat and sunday) and every day she said that she was going to come, but on monday, the member called her to see if she was ready to pick her up, and she said that she had to leave for  "mandato", or something like that I'm not sure what.  Then there was another investigator that was supposed to come.  We had one of the members call her and invite her to come to the FHE and she said she would, then we stopped by her house on our way to make sure that she was coming so that the member could pick her up.  She told us yes, and that she was supposed to go over to the members house to ride over with them in a few minutes (the member lives across the street).  So we wen't to the FHE and found out that that member that she said that she was riding with was already there, so we called her, and she told us that she had left and couldn't come...just 20 minutes after telling us that she was coming!!  So we got there late, because we were running about 15 min behind, and then we had to rummage around to try to find somebody that could come, so we ended up being 30 min late.  So when we got there, the members were mad at us because we were late and didn't have any investigators there, and she had cooked a ton of food.  We ate dinner with them and taught a lesson, and tried to make the best out of it that we could, but it was still a pretty disapointing night.
 
 How are things going?  
 
  • Great
 
 Do you need anything?
 
  • nope...pix from sharee's wedding!!! (electronic copies are great, but us missionaries like to have hard copies of pix).
 
 Did you ever get your bike adjusted? 
 
  • I brought it in and they looked at it and told me that repacking the bearings wouldn't really do anything.  He said it wasnt the bearings that are wearing down (as in the balls)  but what the balls roll on,  so he told me that if he were me that he would just ride it out for now (because it isn't too bad,  I just wanted to fix it now before it caused a bigger problem) and later on I'll need to get new hubs.
 
This week we had a training on tuesday, and then I went on exchanges to wilminton after the training until weds. evening.  IT was interesting, we taught a family from china.  It was weird though because I heard them speaking chinese, and since I've been speaking spanish, my brain tried to pick up what they were saying, but since I don't know chinese I didn't pick up any of it.  I don't know if that makes any sence, it's kind of something you have to experience.
 
As far as food goes, we did really good this week.  We ate with members 7 times this week, which made my stomach happy, and we got try and get referrals from them.
 
On Thursday evening we went to teach a family, but the parents weren't there...well, they were asleep and didn't want to wake up.  But their son was there, and he agreed to let us teach him.  We had to teach him outside, because we can't be alone with him inside the house.  But we taught him the plan of salvation, because he had some questions about that.  The leson wen't really well, and it suprised me how well he remembered everything that we taught him.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Video of Missionaries singing "God Be With You Till We Meet Again" at conclusion of Spanish Conference in Knightdale, NC - see Jeff on the back left.



how are you doing?

I just sent you a few pix from the Spanish missionary activity that we had this weekend.  on Thursday night we drove with the zone leaders to the mission home in Raleigh and stayed the night there.  Sis. Cotterral had cooked some soup for us, so we ate that (our second dinner that night),  and then we went to bed.  The next morning we got up and went to the temple in apex.  We did a session in the temple, and we did it in Spanish.  I was surprised at how easy it was to understand.  It is really basic and simple Spanish.  Then we ate lunch had some training/discussion/testimony meeting and then headed back to our areas.  However with traffic, by the time we got back to our area, it was already 7 o clock and just had enough time to go to a dinner appointment.

We had a pretty good week this past week.  I really enjoyed the Spanish activity, but it did take away a lot of proselyting time, but that's alright.  I learned a lot of things that should help us out.

Tuesday was pretty crazy this week.  Tuesdays are usually days that you spend tracting for hours on end, because everybody's at work.  But we were really busy, we taught four really good lessons, between traveling and teaching the lessons, that's all we did that day.  We found this guy a while back, and in the contact with him, we invited him to read the book of Mormon, to pray about it and then to be baptized if he came to know that it's true.  When we taught him, he told us of an amazing story of this dream that he had telling him that it is true.  We set a baptismal date with him for the 13 of august.  But now were not to sure, because we talked to a few members that know him and we're not sure if he is quite capable of making the decision to be baptized. But we'll see how it goes.

There was a family that we were teaching.  I think I told you about them,  but we decided to drop them.  They weren't will to give up the church that they are at right now.  they told us that they had made a promise that they wouldn't leave the church that they are at right now.  and their son plays the guitar in the church band (I've always thought that the church bands are kind of interesting, because they are breaking the sabbath day at church by listening to rock music in the church!)

Tonight we have an exiting night planned.  Two of the families in the branch are going to have a family home evening, and invite a few of our investigators.  So we're going to eat dinner, have a lesson, and let the investigators get to know a few members.

Sister Cotterell fixed soup for the missionaries

Conference of Spanish speaking missionaries