No we didnt have anything special for Thanksgiving. I was on splits that day just working hard as usual.
We found a better internet site so yay! no more lame sauce computers!
So this week weas splits-mania! We went on splits 3 days in a row, and so I wasn´t in my area for 2 days, and E. Ramirez for the other. We were trying to help out several Elders who were having difficulties in their areas, and we needed to teach them how to get over them. The best way is through example so thats why we went on splits. Monday we had 4 lessons, which is cool because we only work for 3 hours on Mondays due to P-day. But unfortunately 2 of the lessons were just to leave investigators that were not progressing. But we did have a lesson with T(E´s grandma), that went really really well. She doesn´t know how to read so we are being really creative to help her understand the gospel. We taught her about prayer and how she should not do the memorized Catholic prayers (think Lord´s prayer style) but that she should pray from her heart and not to the Virgen Mary. She did such a good job and the spirit manifested to her that we are truely God´s servants.
Thursday I was on splits with E. O., he is from Utah. He has been out for a while now and still hasn´t had very much success in baptizing. He is great at activating but baptisms not so much. So we went out and just knocked doors trying to show him how to get the job done and we found a lot of people. In fact he told me that he had had some of the most spiritual experiences in contacting of his whole mission that day. So it was really cool to over there and help him to grow. I did an interview for a lady, and wow an awesome experience. She has been waiting for like a year to get baptized because she is not married and has a bum of a husband. Finally she got up enough cuoarage to kick him out of the house and she will be getting baptized this week. Actually that is the second lady in a row that I´ve interviewed that has done that.
Then on Friday I was on splits again, this time with E. Ruggiero´s temp, (Bro. Rojas) and we went to go teach T again. We planned to teach her about baptism and we had made a couple posters with Jesus Christ getting baptized and the gift of the Holy Ghost. The inspiration came to have her try to get to a certain place that we designated to be the Kingdom of God and we asked her recently baptized grandson to come. Rojas and I acted as the guardians to get in. So since he had been baptized we let him in. And then we asked T to do it, but we didnt let her in. Then we read John 3:5 and she told us that she needed to get baptized and she needed to do it now.
Sunday came and she showed up 10 minutes early for sacrament (WAAAAYY before us) with her 2 grandchildren and she loved church. I dont think that she understood everything that went on but she definitely felt good being there. And A (you remember that Jehova´s witness lady that we were teraching?) showed up by herself as well. A is PUMPED for her baptism this week, and I admit...so are we! haha
We also should be baptizing the pensionist´s daughter this week. She turned 9 a while ago and we finally were able to get the whole family excited about doing it. The bishop is gonna baptize her. I think he made a special visit this week to give a good pep talk to the parents about the baptism. Lol, whatever he did it worked. So we should have two baptisms this week and then we have T for the next week.
Thanks for everything, love you guys and I´ll talk to you soon!
Elder Patrik Connole
Yikes! TW gone! crazy! He's going to love it! Tell Sister W that she's the best!
My Thanksgiving was very enjoyable. We actually had 4 or 5 dinners. I think I said more about this in a letter I just sent of to you this morning, so you can read about it there. I slept very soundly that night, being more full than I have ever been in my life, and completely exhausted from all the places we went. It was pretty great.
We're driving The BOSS (as my trainer so lovingly named our van) because the Mission President wanted to make sure that all the vehicles in the mission were being used. Since the Transfer Van was just sitting around the mission office all the time, he sent our car down to somewhere in Virginia, and we got the van. He wanted to make sure to keep the van close for when transfers come around, and since the mission office is in our area, and the airport is just outisde of it, we got the van. Not to mention, the other two areas close to the mission office were the assistant's area, and the Zone Leader's area, and since they drive all over the place, it was best to give the van to us. Our area used to be a bike area, but we got a vehicle about 3 or 4 transfers ago, so we don't drive nearly as much as the other places around.
I'm glad you got the mission newsletter! Sis. Fo (she's in charge of the newsletter) Said she sends them out to the new missionaries parents. I'm not sure if they continue to send them after this first time, but I guess i could ask. We're in the mission office usually once or twice a week for various reasons.
I wish you could meet President and Sister Pitt. They are the most loving and wonderful people I have met in a long time. President Pitt used to be a dentist, and if i heard correctly, I think he was the dentist for a couple of the members of the Twelve Apostles and I think he's on a first name basis with some of them. He and his wife submitted their paperwork to serve a regular couple mission, but President Eyring called them and asked them to come to his office where he extended the call to be a mission president. It's pretty cool!
The pictures are so great! I love to see pics of the little ones especially. I love the hat one. It made me laugh. Looks a bit messy because of the move, are you getting the house pieced together pretty well?
Oh BTW I recieved the letters from all the Mia Maids lol. My Trainer laughed at me and said that they would still be in highschool, some of them just barely even dating, by the time I get back. Anyway, it was great to get the letters from them, I'll be writing them back, but it might take a while because I'm only supposed to write on Pdays and there were a lot of letters to get through. Tell them thanks for the letters though! it really brightened my day.
So, this past week was pretty crazy, but we got alot done even though it was thanksgiving week.
We went shopping for things that we needed for food, but had a shortened Pday because of thanksgiving. We visited Brother C, a recent convert out here and were able to share a short message about king Anti-Nephi-Lehi giving thanks to the lord even though the Lamanites were about to come and slaughter his people. We always have time to give thanks to the Lord.
We had a great dinner with the C family (members out here) They served Venison Tenderloin steaks. MMMmmmmMMMmmmm they were good. Bro C is a great cook. Tons of people out here go deer hunting mostly for two reasons. One, because there's a billion deer out here. In fact I believe that WV is the state with the most hit deer in automobile accidents. Second, because people, even in the city are really just small town country people who love hunting and fishing. They tell stories of hunting to us all the time, it reminds me of connole family reunions.
Lots of studies on tuesday. We had to take a special training course specific to the van we'd be driving. It took about 3 hours, and honestly I was super bored the whole time, it almost reminded me of AIMS testing back in AZ, but not quite as bad. That being said, I did actually learn quite a bit, and I have been able to drive better since then. I thought I didn't need it at all since I'd been driving our van at home, but it actually did really help.
Later that night we were able to teach HC and have Bro. Fr from the ward come with us. Members really do make a huge difference in missionary work. Without them, we really can't have very much progress. Just think about the L family and how the Cr family helped them along, and the members really supported them when they came to church. It makes a big difference.
Awesome day! We invited three different people to be baptized, D R, Da J and Di J. We taught 5 lessons which is totally sweet.
Da came to church on his own a couple sundays ago, but we weren't able to teach him at all. He brought his brother Di with him to our first lesson. The lesson we taught was incredibly scattered, and to be honest, it was probably one of the poorer lesson's we've taught. But the spirit was with us, and made up the difference, and they both accepted Baptismal invitations.
After the lessons, we walked back to our van, and started driving down the hill to get back home. Di and Da were walking up the hill toward us with their mom. She's losing her eyesight pretty bad, and could barely see. When we first said hello, she asked us if we had any pies. It was sort of an odd question, but we told her we didn't. She went on to explain that she and her husband had just pawned their wedding rings so that they could have a turkey dinner, but they really didn't have money for a pie for dessert.
We told them that we didn't have any pies, but we'd be sure to ask around for some. Afterwards we ran to the grocery store, and bought them a pie and some ice cream. We went back home with the goodies and ate dinner, and dropped the pie and ice cream off later that night. We talked to both of the parents, and they said they'd been looking for a church to go to, so why not ours? They said they'd be there on sunday.
We played basketball in the morning for an hour and a half, then had thanksgiving lunch, mid meal, dinner, after dinner meal, and dessert. All at different member's homes. The day was stuffed with driving around, and I was driving around feeling stuffed.
Had an appointment with Da and Di again, but only Di came. Apparently their dad had a heart attack the night before, and they'd been at the hospital. He's back now, and is doing much better, but it'd been a long thanksgiving night. I'm honestly surprised Di showed up. He was going off of about 1 hour of sleep, but he still wanted to see us. I'm not sure how much he absorbed out of the lesson, but he was glad to be with us.
We then decided to drive to St. Albens (about 10 miles round trip) and see A (an investigator out there) We pull up to her house, and her neighbor, J, is raking leaves. He somewhat jokingly asked us to rake with him, so we picked up the rakes and started going at it, white shirt, ties and all. I don't think he was expecting that. We raked her whole yard, and were able to teach a short lesson.
Quite a bit of tracting was done on Saturday. We usually are able to teach more than we tract, but we still have days every once in a while that we tract a lot. We had a couple of promising contacts, hopefully we'll be able to follow up on them. I've been praying to be able to open my mouth and talk to everybody more effectively, and that really helped today, there were several times where striking up a conversation with someone led to a gospel conversation. I'll tell you about one of them.
In the morning, we drive out to a random street fairly close to our apartment, and start tracting. This guy, who is jogging, runs by but i didn't get a chance to talk to him, we were talking to a different person. After a little while, the same guy jogs by again, taking this as a sign that he need to talk to us, I waved and said hello as he got closer. He waved back, but continued to jog, then I noticed that he had Titlist Golf mittens on. I found that odd, but I asked as he almost passed by if he was a golfer. He said yes, and I told him that my dad was a pro. He stopped and talked to us for quiet a while, first about golf, then eventually about religion. We left him a mormon.org card, and our phone number. We invited him to sit down with us, but he was a little wary because of his parents who lived with him. i don't know what will come out of that, but I hope something good will.
Stuff like that happened a couple of other times during the day. God really does listen to, and answer prayers. It was great to see.
Once again.... No Investigators at church.... Bogus! I was really hoping that we'd have a couple today. We'd had several say they were coming, but none of them did.
We were talking to a less active member out here, and he said he wanted to "drop out" of the church. It was sad really. It's not like you can just drop out of the church like you would high school or something. You've made commitments with God. Eternal commmits. There's no just dropping and running from that. We make a covenant at baptism to take upon the name of Christ, not just for this life, forever. I just wish that everyone understood that.
That's about how my week went. I really enjoy getting letters from you! Keep me posted on everything. I got the letter back from W where he put the name tag(s) on the missionary I drew. That was really cute. Tell him I love him and miss him, and that I love his pictures he drew for me.
Elder Brayden Connole