This week has been crazy. We have had zone conference and exchanges. Sometimes I feel that all of the meeting leave little time to actually do missionary work.
We have faced some interesting challenges this week, namely, the heat. With such hot weather, we have to plan our finding activities so that we can stop and get water at a member's home. Sometimes we use our wilted and exhausted appearance to our benefit. It actually gets some people to open doors. Who would have thought, sweaty missionaries get in doors better than crisp air conditioned missionaries.
It's interesting to note, that thus far, I have yet to serve in an area original to the San Jose Mission. A year ago when the San Francisco mission was dissolved, the San Jose mission gained the Menlo Park Stake from San Francisco and the Pleaseanton and Livermore Stakes from the Oakland Mission. You would be surprised at how long it takes stakes and wards to adjust to different missions. For example, when I attended the baptisms of an investigator in my last area. I had to inform the member who drove us that we had to take a longer route that kept us within our mission boundaries.
I really like the branch here. The people are very nice and eager to help. They are eager to have some baptisms. There haven't been very many baptisms in the recent history of the branch. I'm glad that they are just as eager for baptisms as the missionaries.
Unfortunately, I don't have any exciting news. All is well.
PS Good luck with school.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
First off, I want to say I love you all and wish you the best of luck as you begin school and other activities. I am well. My bike works well and I have a helmet that protects my best asset. The subject line is inspired from the acres of wine vineyards that surround the city of Livermore. When I got my mission call I didn't expect to serve in wine country; however, here I am. It reminds me of Jacob 5 which has quite a bit to do with mission work. It reminds me that as missionaries we are the workers working to gather Israel.
Transfers have changed life quite a bit. To give you an idea we are now in an apartment with another companionship. This leads to many exciting moments. Luckily, they have a car and are more than willing to help us with our transportation needs.
We are currently in the thick of the finding. As of now, we have no one that is moving towards baptisms. We are hoping to change this in the near future. It reminds me of when we first got to Redwood City and had no investigators. Some of the investigators we had when I got here have been put on the back burner. Until they make an active choice to progress and keep commitments there isn't much we can do as missionaries to help them follow Jesus Christ.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
Here's the deal. I'm crossing my fingers I'm staying in Redwood City, but I really have no clue. I had interviews with President on Thursday and not a word was mentioned about transfers. I gave up asking two transfers ago. I figure I'll just focus on the work. If I'm getting transferred, I should know on Monday after transfer meeting. On the bright side, I know that there are quite a few baptisms I will be coming back for. All in all, I think my time here should yield over ten baptisms from the different people I've taught. We're allowed to comeback and see our old investigators get baptized if we have members take us, so I can look forward to that.
I've decided that Summer is the weirdest time in the mission. All the kids are out of school and life for everybody else moves at a different pace. It makes it really weird for missionaries. Instead of talking to adults when we try to do finding, we only find kids. Kids are great, but we really can't teach much to children unless their parents are on board. Besides, we want families. I'm sorry to hear that Grandpa is ill again. Wish him well for me. I am always eager for your letters.
I've received a few questions about Prop 8. I haven't heard much, which is surprising when you consider that I am only forty minutes south of San Francisco. Most of the people we teach are more concerned with things in Arizona. To be honest, I know nothing of the news. I was a news junky before the mission, but am grateful to be away from all of the slant and slander. I realize it can drag on people.
Our investigators are doing well. We found a family that had been taught by the missionaries four years ago. They are really eager to learn and realize that they are missing something that they felt when the missionaries were teaching them. The missionaries even arranged their wedding. They all know that they need to be baptized and we are just struggling to commit them to a date. These are the trickiest situations. These are the type of lessons where you go in fasting and praying hoping that you can convey what the Lord needs you to say. I've had them before, but they are always tough. They're the type of experiences that leave me completely exhausted at the end of the day. It's a different type of exhaustion.
Hey, I don't have much time left. Love you all
Monday, August 2, 2010
The sun still shines in Redwood City despite the letter I sent this weekend. You all received the news that Dina, the woman that was baptized in May after three weeks of knowing the church, has cancer. I mispoke in my letter and made mention that the cancer was gastric cancer. I have found out that it is actually Hodgkin's Lymphoma Stage 2B, the exact same type of cancer I was diagnosed with two years ago. It's very unfortunate that she has cancer, but she received a very favorable prognosis from the doctors. They put her chance of survival in the ninety percent range. In place of chemotherapy, they are planning on doing radiation. It will be tough, but I'm sure that she will be able to make it through. She has a lot of support from her family and understands he place in the Plan of Salvation. I really think it's been harder for her twenty-three year old son. He is taking good care of her, but has many question for me about the cancer. She is really beginning to wrap her mind around the diagnosis and is now grateful that she can treat the source of her health problems.
In other news, we are working our tail off this month trying to make the mission goal of 80 baptisms. The mission achieved 60 in February, but would like to shatter the record. It's interesting the entire mission is trying something that Elder Tidwell and I used our second transfer that contributed to much of our success. We have promised the Lord what we as missionaries in the San Jose Mission are willing to sacrifice and have set this goal according to the Spirit. To achieve this goal, Elder Metcalf and I really feel like we can contribute three baptisms in the month of August towards this goal. We have two lined up right now, but have this feeling that there is one more out there. I don't know who it is, but I know we will find them, if we live up to the promises we've made. Please mention the 80 and the three whenever possible in family prayers. We are trying our hardest to find people. It probably will mean having to take some dinners to-go, but we know we can do it. The person is out there, ready and waiting. We just need to find them.