September 30, 2013
Dear Family & Friends,
I do live with members. They're called the Brundages. They are lovely people. So nice, and they're both converts with super solid testimonies. The work is progressing all right. I think, and Elder Evans has expressed the same sentiment, that a big part of my work here is not only working with investigators and less-active members, but also working with the Ward. We are probably verging on being a Branch again, but we won't let that happen! Our Ward, I feel, has desires to be missionaries and hasten the work, but they don't know how. In response to this, Elder Evans and I held a special missionary training on the 5th Sunday (yesterday) with the approval of the Bishop. In fact I explain that a little in my letter to President Bell, here:
Elder Evans and I are Loving being missionaries in the Wellington Ward! As we stated in our 12-Week Call-In, our biggest accomplishment lately (and probably this transfer) has been a combined Relief Society/Priesthood missionary training we held yesterday. Elder Evans and I had felt strongly about this meeting for a few weeks and it took time to plan during our companionship studies. We both felt very guided by The Spirit as we conducted this meeting. The idea was just to get members excited about being Missionaries. We showed them the District training video "The Importance of Members" to emphasize how vitally we value their missionary efforts. There was a lot of class participation during our discussions. We also asked Sister Lawrence, to participate in a role-play with us where she invited her friend to attend a Relief Society activity. She did an excellent job, and everyone benefited from seeing her practice her faith to invite friends to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ. After this meeting we had about 6 people ask us for Books of Mormon and/or pamphlets they could hand out to their friends or referred us to less-active members or others we should see. Ultimately, we felt The Holy Ghost testify to us that what we did was right with this meeting.
We also have some new investigators: Katy a girlfriend of Alvin Crippen who is a less-active member referred to us by Brother Albert. She had actually been bugging Alvin to take her to the Mormon Church because she says she has tried and not liked every other Church, so we are working with them! Shauna is another investigator we met last night. Says she doesn't really understand why God allowed her Father to die. We taught part of the plan of salvation. We will see her again on Thursday to share that lesson more fully. Brenda is not technically a new investigator because it is difficult to set a definite return appointment with her schedule, but we drop in when we can. Richard, and Mario and Christy, and Lancy are not really keeping all of their commitments to read, pray, and come to church, but they read a little on their own, and in our visits they seem to be opening up to us more. Some progress is better than none, I guess. We've also been meeting with less-active and members such as Sister Shaw, Sister Goodenough, and The Maxwells trying to booster their faith in Christ and commitment to come to Church and share the gospel.
Como Sempre, Te Amo!
Sorry to hear it's been icky for you. And I appreciate Nanie telling me that. It matters to me because it matters to her. You get up at 3 to exercise? That's so much dedication. My exercise regiment sometimes consists of me getting up at 6:30 AM moving to the couch for a few minutes and then yelling "GET CUT! EH!" as I run and jump on the pull-up bar after 3 pull-ups. I need to be better about the whole exercise thing. Yes, we are going to our building where the Ward meets in Wellington (about 20 minutes from where I live) to see Conference! Yes, we as missionaries get the Ensign sent to us it may come a week or two late or early, but it always comes :) Thanks; I'll have to check those articles out! I LOVE GENERAL CONFERENCE! It is hard for me to believe that the Conference where the age-change was lowered enabling me to submit my mission paper work sooner happened a year ago. It does not seem like a year ago that I was sitting on Brad's couch in my pajamas eating a bowl of cereal as I watched a smile crack upon the face of the Lord's anointed servant as he informed the world that this marvelous change would take place. I erupted into tears answering affirmatively every phone call that came directly after that announcement was made. I just want to (even though I know I can't do it enough) emphasize how REAL this is. I am glad to read you are teaching from "Come Follow Me" those young women will value your testimony forever, even if they don't realize that now. They will. Those points from Preach My Gospel are so important. Success is not measured in numbers, but by those things. When you feel The Spirit working through you to bring others closer to Christ, which is when you know you are doing your job. That applies not only to full-time missionaries, but all members. Thank you so much for your letter. I loved hearing your comforting words and seeing the letter Elder Cervantes sent you. I know his name will be had in fame in my journal when my children ask me one day about my mission and life and how I came to be the way I was today. His name shall have a place of prominence that I know my children and myself will be grateful for forever. I Love All Of You. One Hymn I have been singing a lot lately is "Love At Home." While true, I am far from home, Elder Evans and I are in a home of our own, and when there is Love At Home the whole world is filled with Love. That is so important. We do need to have the name of Christ written permanently written on our hearts. I pray for each and every one of you every day. I Love You. Another hymn I have been singing is "Lead, Kindly Light." The night is dark and I am far from Home. I used to Love to see my way, but now: Lead Thou Me ON! And of course, another song I have been singing is, "Homeward Bound." I am so glad you all have "Set me free to find my calling." I know I shall "Return to You Somehow" and we will be better for it. God wants us to have Joy :)
Com Amor, Sempre, E Nas Eternidades,