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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