Sorry we are emailing a couple days late. Our P-Day was pushed back because of President's Day and Zone Training Meeting.
Last week we had zone conference. It was really cool to be around the other missionaries and hear from President and Sister Kendrick. They are amazing. I learned so much was able to feel the spirit so strongly. I am really sad President and his wife will be going home this June. They are such great and loving people and I love being one of their missionaries.
On Wednesday we went to the Grow's to pass off everything to Bro Rios, the new Ward Mission Leader. Brother Grow is moving to the Bay Area and we are all really sad.
Thursday we taught Jim Busike. I don't think we are going to go back. He was baptized when he was 13 but never had a testimony. While teaching him, I asked him a few questions that made him contradict his statements and Elder Wilde and I agreed that he wasn't open to the spirit. So we hope he will soften his heart in the future. All of our other usual Thursday appointments cancelled, but we did pick up a new potential couple, Dane and Natalie.
Friday we helped the Grows pack up and we said goodbye to them. It was sad. They were extremely involved in the ward. After we said goodbye, we had exchanges. I got to go with Elder Haskell in Twin Oaks Valley. It was awesome. We went to the Birch's and, sure enough, we got root beer floats.
Saturday we did some service for a new move in, the Butlers. The wife is Thai and really hard to understand. We ended up just helping them fix their sprinklers. Elder Haskell and I got to put our "Farmer" and "Landscaping" experience together to help them out. It was fun. Sister Butler fed us SO MUCH pasta. It was so much food. We went by a bunch of solid potentials, but all of them fell through...
Sunday we had regional conference. Elder Renlund gave a great talk that really made an impact on me. We went to Al's for lunch and then dinner.
Monday was a tough day. We didn't have much luck at all. After dinner we went with the Grochmals, Elders Quorum President and his wife, to Dane and Natalie's for a lesson, but they weren't there. We were so frustrated. However, we did pick up a new potential, Alex, who we are teaching tomorrow.
Yesterday was a fun day. We went to In-N-Out with Brother Birch and a less active in the Sister's area, Benny. They passed him off to us. He is trying to clean up his life and has tattoos all over his body. He was super nice and is coming to Stake Conference with us this week. After dinner, Brother Birch drove us to a bunch of potentials, such as Dane and Natalie, Jim Nelson, and he just clicked with all of them. Bro Birch has a gift with people and missionary work. I don't know if we will teach Dane and Natalie, but Brother Birch befriended them and is going back later... :)
Today we played soccer at the park and ate at Costco. It's been a fun week. Transfer calls are coming on Saturday. We will see if I am going or staying!
What I really learned this week is how hard it can be to be happy when you are looking down. You can't feel the spirit if you are constantly feeling stressed and contention. Celebrating all of the little successes and being the best companion I could be has helped a little bit. It's also nice to have members realize that we are working really hard even though the numbers haven't been there.
Also, we found old progress records (records of each of the people they teach per week and all their numbers. i.e. # of contacts, lessons, and investigators) from TOV from over 5 years ago. They baptized over 10 people a year 3 years in a row! What I realized is this:
-First. Holy cow. They were teaching a TON of people. Some progress records.
-Second. They were contacting between 30-60 people A WEEK! Currently we are contacting over 190-250 a week.
-Third. Referrals. They were getting referrals, most of them families, every week. They were being contacted, taught, and fellowshipped.
- Fourth. Baptismal dates. Most of the investigators had a set date to be baptized.
This is what I decided. Missionaries NEED members to help them find people to teach. We contact over 5 times more people on our own efforts, but we aren't seeing the results. When people are fellowshipped by members, not only do they learn better but they stay!! A lot of those names we saw on that list are now active members such as Al Stroes (Assistant ward mission leader) , Byron Lawson (High Priest & Ward Missionary) , and Brother Weber (Stake Secretary). We are going to try to get more referrals now.
I love all of you. I am excited to email you on Monday. I am grateful for all of your prayers.