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Monday, January 31, 2011

The pix of the tortillas look good.  I actually made tortillas on my own for the first time yesterday.  It's kind of hard as a missionary, because I don't have too much time to make them, because even though they do tast better homemade I just don't have the time.  However, I'm going to have to teach you how to eat with them.  You don't eat them like a taco.  just put the rice and beans and meat (or whatever  your eating on the plate.  Then take a tortilla and tear a piece off big enough to scoop up the food and eat it.  the Idea is to not use silverware.
[Picture eating taco made with homemade tortilla that we sent Jeff.  We made the tortillas with the tortilla maker that Jeff sent the family]
This last week I went on exchanges with our district leader..  It's been a lot of fun this transfer, because he as become our new district leader, and he is the only native missionary.  There are other natives, but the all speak english best.  So we've had district meetings all in spanish, and on exchanges I learned a lot from having to only speak spanish.  It was a lot of fun also, because Elder Chupin had served in Raeford before, so he showed me several new places to knock, and he intoduced me to a bunch of people he knew.
We're also teaching [investigator] still, who is beginning to progress finally.  We almost got him to come to church.  They fixed their car on saturday so that they could come to church (I'm sure coming to church wasn't the only reason, but either way it made it easier for them to come).  And they put a new battery and alternator in, but the put a used battery in, and it was dead when they tried to leave in the morning, so they didn't come.  But maybe next week.
This week we got to eat with a bunch or members, which is extremely rare.  We ate a lot of good food, and also have a couple of potential referrals (one that we will teach tonight)!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hey, how is everyone doing?
So, this week as well as the week to come have/will be quite busy.  Since about fri/sat, the evenings for the coming week have literally been booked.  From mon.- tues..  Which is great, however it has been a little difficult trying to get appointments set up with other people.  But either way, it looks like there should be a lot of good things coming in this area.
This last week we had a zone conference, which was really good.  We learned about learning to recognize/use the holy ghost in our work.  as well as planning (which was all very similar to what we learned at timberline, just applied to missionary work.  In fact there have been a lot of things from timberline that have been very helpful as a missionary.)
Also at the Zone conference I was finally able to get in contact with someone that was in Raleigh, because I still hadn't heard what had happened with the people we were teaching there(fernando and lucia).  Unfortunantly I found out that they never did get baptized, they just didn't want to get married.
Yesterday was a really busy day,  We had meetings at the church from about 9 am - 3 pm  and then we brought the sacrament to [Branch President] at the hospital (who is doing quite well.  I told you last week that he had a brain hemmoriage, but we found out that when the bleeding started in is brain, it almost immediatly clotted/sealed off.  So he is recovering quite well, and it is anticipated that he should make a full recovery.)  then had our companion study and ate dinner.  By the time all of that was done we had time to go by a potential and then we wen't to a fireside.  The fireside was a recent convert fireside.  It was held at the stake pres. house and several recent converts were invited to tell about their conversion stories.  and Investigators also came so that that could hear the testimonies of the converts.  We had one convert that came (she was baptized before I got to Raeford).  [My companion] translated what [she] said, and I translated for one of the recent converts of another branch.  But it was quite nerve racking to translate.  It is one thing to translate into headphones, but another thing to stand up in front of a bunch of people to translate.
i told you last week about [investigator] and how he bailed out on his baptism.  We talked to him one more time, and he still was pretty noncomital about being baptized.  Me and [my companion] have talked about it a little bit,and at this point we don't know if there's too much more that we can teach him, so we might just have to drop him for a while, and maybe he'll decide to be baptized later on.
So, kind of random thought.  Yesterday I was trying to translate sacrament meeting in my head (from spanish to english).  But there came a point in one of the talks when the speaker said.  hay una diferencia entre querer y amar.  (Sorry, I'm sure you don't know what that means, but I bet dad could explain it.)  At that point in time I realized I that that line doesn't really translate very well.  It's kind of funny, because there are some things that I can say in spanish, that I honestly have know Idea how to say in English.

Baptisms Fell Through This Week

I was traveling for work all last week and didn't get this posted.  Here it is now.

I'm sure you figured this out already, but yesterday was a holiday which is why I didn't write yesterday.

So I got my new companion, his name is Elder Reimann.  We actually came out together, we were in the same district together at the MTC.  Things are going well with him.  It's been a change though, not doing nearly all of the teaching like I was doing before, it's kind of a releif.

So the two baptisims that we had planned for this saturday both fell through, it was kind of a dissapointment, but I think they'll still get baptised, they just need a little more time.

[Investigator] was one of the people that was going to get baptized, but he didn't come to church this week, and he hasn't been coming very steadily (as in once every month or so), so we decided that it would be best if we gave him a little more time.

[Other investigator] was the other person that was going to be baptized, but we talked to him on sunday night and he told us that he didn't feel like it was something he wanted to do yet.  It was quite the interesting discussion, we spent nearly and hour and a half talking with him trying to figure out what was up.  We reviewed all of the baptismal interview questions with him and he answered in the affirmative to all of them.  We talked to him about baptism and why it was important, and he gave us all the right answers, from what he says, it sounds like he understands baptism as well as most of the basic doctrine.  I afraid that he's just looking for a big sign of something big to let him know that he needs to get baptized.  But, either way were planning on teaching him still, and we'll see if we can get it figured out.

Sunday was a crazy day, finding out that [investigator] didn't want to get baptized, and then on top of that, when we went to church on sunday, [The branch president] wasn't there.  We found out that he had had a brain hemorrhage sun. morning (I think that's how you spell it, but a stroke).  So he's in the hospital right now, and were hoping he does alright.

It's only been a couple days since I last wrote you, but this and knocking a bunch of doors pretty much sums up my week.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Out of Lock Down

Hey, how is everyone doing?
So, sorry I wasn't able to write until today, but we got snow on Monday, and then a bunch of Ice on Tuesday, so we were stuck inside until the afternoon on Tuesday, and the libraries have been closed until today.  You asked me if I needed any more warm clothes, I think I should be good for now.  Thanks for sending the gloves, I will really enjoy them.  Also, I don't think we should have many other days when were stuck inside the apartment. [We] were able to find stuff to do on Monday/Tues.  In fact those two days went pretty quick.  In the bathroom of our apartment, there is a mirror, that has looked like it was going to fall down since I've been here, so the previous week I had bought some anchors to rehang the mirror, so I did that, then while I was at it I repainted the bathroom, cleaned the bathroom and the kitchen, and took care of a few other things, and by the time all of that was said and done, the day had ended, then on Tuesday we had a bunch of people to call in the morning, and we wrote in our area book, so we were able to keep pretty busy, and our apartment is really clean now.
We found out on Saturday that Elder Ratto is being transferred, so right now I'm with another missionary from our district and our companions are headed to Raleigh right now for the transfer meeting.  I'll be staying in Raeford, but I'll be getting a new companion.
these last few weeks have been getting crazier and crazier, it seems like our teaching pool is just getting fuller and fuller (also more and more spread out).  Were trying to juggle our schedule with [two investigators] who live in St. Pauls, [one investigator] who lives in Redsprings, [family of three] who live in Hope Mills, and [one investigator] who lives in Raeford.  I always like to try and teach our investigators at least twice a week, because they usually seem to progress a lot better that way, but if you notice there are 4 different cities that we go to and only 7 days in the week.  But I guess this is a good problem to have.
On the 22 it looks like we should have two baptisms.  So that wouldn't be this Saturday but the next, so I'm pretty excited for that.  However I feel kind of bad for elder Ratto, because he has to leave just one week before the baptism.
Also it looks like [Investigator] should be able to be baptized on the 29th of January as well.  He's still a pretty new investigator, but he seems to have a ton of potential.  He's showed a lot of interest in what were teaching and he absorbs it all.  The best thing is that there's no [issues with keeping the commandments].
We had a really great Sunday also, there were a lot of people that came to church. [eight investigators] all came.  So church was kind of crazy (It's been that way recently).  We showed up at the church and were running all over the place until church started, and then got a break for sacrament meeting, then we ran all over the place again to get things going for Sunday school, then taught Sunday school, and the ran all over the place to get stuff ready for priesthood, then we got a break during priesthood, then ran all over the place after church trying to get apts confirmed/ set up/ etc.
Make sure to send me pix of the tortillas you make!  Also pix of you trying to eat with the tortillas!

Winter Storm Lock Down

We haven't heard from Elder Compton thus far this week.  We did learn through "Missionary Moms" that the mission president had the missionaries stay home on Monday due to the severe weather in North Carolina.  We assume they were on "lock down" and unable to leave their apartments on Tuesday as well.  As a result they were unable to go to a library on their "P-day" to send e-mail.  Will update as soon as we hear something.  Forecast for Fayetteville, NC for Wednesday is 38 degrees and partly cloudy.  Sounds a little better than what they apparently had been experiencing.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Some Pictures From Elder Compton

We received some pictures in the mail today from Jeff.  Following is a sampling.

End of a loooonnng day!

Making tortillas

Ward Christmas Party

Christmas Dinner (they had shrimp!)

Christmas Presents -- Jeff loves penguins!

Guess they get snow in NC too!

Cockpit of Elder Compton's bike complete with GPS

A missionary bedroom

New Years and Jeff's Birthday

What did you do for New Years?
  • Not too much, We taught a lesson to somebody in the evening, and then we came back to the appartment (we had to be inside the appartment by 8 if we werent teaching a lesson, but we were teaching a lesson, so we got back at 8 30)  and then we planned, but our nightly planning was a little longer than usual, and we finished at 9 30 anyway.

Brother Young and brother Callison both said they got letters from you this past week.  What did brother Young send to you for Christmas?
  • He sent me and my comp a package of a bunch of snacks and a pix of Christ and a book mark with a pix of Joseph Smith.

Did you get to do anything special for your birthday?
  • Well, Yesterday was probably one of the busiest days I've had recently.  So we started out personal study at 7 45 until 8 45 then we went over to the church for correlation and pec, then we had sacrament meeting (and we had one...two new investigators come I'll explain later), then after church we ran around trying to talk to all the people that we needed to talk to for about a half an hour.  Then one of the members always brings us food on Sunday, so we ate the food really quick and then went out to visit a referral from the English elders (if I have time I'll tell you about him.)  so we ended up teaching him, then we had to book it back to the car so that we could get over to Saint Pauls and teach [Investigator man].  We taught him and then taught a guy named [Another investigator man], and by the time that lesson was over we hurried back home so we could get back on time, we planned wrote in the area book, ate the Birthday cake (thank you very much!!) and went to bed.  Oh, yea, I opened my packages in the morning, thank you very Much for the presents!!!

How are your investigators coming?
  • Pretty good. 
  • We found a new investigator this week (the one I previously mentioned that came to church for the first time)  He is from Guatemala (which was kind of cool, I haven't talked to many people recently from anywhere but puerta rico or mexico)  But he previously had known the church and welcomed us in his house the first time we knocked his door.  We gave him a copy of the book of mormon and the next time when we came back he had read the chapter that we had left with him!  Unfortunantly the lesson was cut short because his sister showed up and needed his help, but he told us that he would come to church.  However it was quite the ordeal getting things lined up to get him to church.  Saturday night I spent about an hour on the phone calling people to get him a ride set up, by finally we got someone to pick him up,  and it was such a relief when I finally saw him walking in the doors.
  • The other new investigator that came to church...well she's not really and investigator yet, we haven't really taught her, in fact the first time we met her face to face was on sunday.  But she was a referral from on of our [other] investigators.  So we had only talked with her over the phone, but it looks like she has a lot of interst, in fact she was telling us in sunday school that she is only here on vacation ( she is from colombia) but that she is going back in Febuary and that she would like to be baptized here and then have her records sent over to colombia.  we have plans to teach her this coming weds, so we'll see how it goes.
  • Another person that we have been teaching recently is [investigator man].  We taught him last night and he said he wanted to be baptized.  The only problem is that he needs to get married, so we talked to him about that and he said he's up for it, so were going to call the court house to get some more info on it.  The awesome thing also is that he and his wife have ID!!
So are you going to have a baptism on Saturday the 8th of January. 
  • We visited with [Investigator man] yesterday, and from what he said, he still doesn't know for sure if the book of mormon is true or not, he hasn't quite prayed about it yet, and we stil ahve a few things to teach him, so we decided that it would be best to change the date for the 22 of Jan.
This is getting pretty long and I'm running out of time so I'll end it here.