Monday, October 25, 2010

Its Raining Its Pouring...

Dear Family,

This week has been very wet. I love it. It has drizzled just like it would in Lakewood. It would be a little nicer if I didn't have to ride my bike in this weather, but I am not complaining. It even smells like Washington when it drizzles.

Our work has been difficult these last few weeks. We are really trying to find people. They're there, but difficult to find. We set many many appointments, but no one is there for the actually lesson. Sometimes they even dim the lights and pretend not to be home. We usually take this as an opportunity to let them be. It would be a lot easier if we knew where we could go to find Spanish speakers. We our sifting through English, Russian, Portuguese, and Chinese. We end up giving many referrals to the English elders, but can't seem to find anyone who is really willing to keep a commitment, let alone and appointment.

Our best investigator Ernesto is progressing very well. He is very close to baptism, but still hasn't accepted a date. Hopefully he will do so soon. I keep praying he will soon.

I did get the opportunity to return back to Redwood City to see two baptisms. Efrain and Esperanza finally decided to take a leap of faith and be baptized. It has been a five year process since they first met missionaries, but they are now members of the church. It was great to see a couple baptized. Bishop Ord committed them to prepare to enter the temple and be sealed a year from their baptism. He then made them turn and promise each other that they would prepare to be sealed in the temple. Go bishop Ord!!!!! He is so awesome. I can't wait to go to their sealing next fall. This is my first couple to be baptized. It was a really neat feeling. Hopefully their children will follow suit.

I realize that over the last ten months my blog posts have probably gotten pretty boring and repetitive. I will try to mix them up in the future. If you have any stories you want me to tell let me know. I have lots of stories and experiences, but seem to forget to send them all when I sit down in the library to send this post. I am sorry.


Elder Badger

PS I sent the Christmas List you asked for. I hope I sent you some good ideas.

"Phoenix, Arizona all the way to Tacoma."

Dear Family,

So this week has been one of the roller coaster weeks. All scans came back clear. Absolutely no cancer is present in my body. What a blessing. Dr. Chen seemed almost more relieved than myself. You should have seen him. He is a very good oncologist that cares for his patients. We made a good choice in doctors.

Anyway, now for the cool stuff. We received a referral about six weeks back from a member in one of the English wards. It was for a man named Antonio. Before we happened to check up on the referral we happened to run into another man named Antonio. Turns out that they are the same person. We made a call to try to set up an appointment. We found this to be very difficult because he was constantly on the road as a truck driver. The first time we called him he was in Phoenix. Over the last few weeks he has continued to call us with many questions about authority and the restoration. He has asked some very good questions that have made me have to think and really look for a good answer. Many times we have had to say, "We don't know, but this is what we do know..." He has been very open and accepting to all. He has called us from across the west coast. Last week we received a call from him as he was driving by the Tacoma Dome. Sometimes, he calls us whenever he sees an LDS temple. It has been a really neat experience. I have been surprised that I have been able to teach him over the phone. One of my largest hurdles with the language has been dealing with phone conversations. There is a very specific phone etiquette that can be difficult to learn. Also, there are no visual clues, which makes it very tough to understand what someone is saying.

Challenges aside, we finally received a call from him this weekend. He was in Livermore for three hours. We ended up teaching him a short lesson really focusing on the Book of Mormon. One thing he brought up was our discussion from before about baptism. He says that since we talked about it on the phone it has been all he can think about. He told us that he wants to be baptized. We extended him the date of the 27th of November. He didn't accept the date because he needs permission from his wife, but did tell us that he has that weekend off. Until our next lesson, we are working on getting him a local job in Livermore. He says he is willing to work for five dollars and hour if he has to. We even got permission to find him Spanish branches along his trucking routes. Yesterday he went to a Spanish branch in Medford, Oregon. We will have to see how he liked it.

Everything is going well here. I get to return to Redwood City next weekend to see the baptism of two of my investigators when I was there. It's amazing to see that the people I worked with our continuing to progress. Also, Dina Pena finished her radiation therapy. She will be starting chemotherapy soon. She has really been taking it in full stride. The Redwood City 2nd ward has really gathered around her. I guess it has been a big project from the Relief Society. She didn't realize that she would gain so many friends from joining the Church.


Elder Badger

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fall is Falling

Dear family,

It was very good to get so many letters this last week. Aunt Debbie, sent some pretty sweet postcards from New York and I am glad to have a Joke Patrol headquartered in Salt Lake City. I have been in desperate need of one. I also got a letter from my roommate in Argentina. All the mail is making the other missionaries in the apartment a little jealous. Don't worry, keep it coming.

We received notice last night that our apartment will be receiving a fifth missionary. It's getting pretty cozy in our place. I am excited to make the move to our new apartment which will actually be within our proselyting area. It is a bit of a drag to have to bike to your area everyday.

The work continues to progress, but we really need to find some new investigators. We have one that is getting really close to really close. We don't let it frustrate us, but we keep praying and reminding him of his commitments to pray and read the Book of Mormon. Hopefully he gets an answer to his prayers this week. He has had all the lessons except for a few commandments.

We have been forced to drop more investigators that started to avoid us. Sometimes it's difficult for people to understand why we give commitments and why they should keep them. The investigators that are really ready for baptism do everything they can to keep their commitments and really show their desire to follow Jesus Christ.

I love you all.


Elder Badger