Disclaimer.. Please feel free to read what interests you on the blog and disregard the rest. My feelings will not be hurt if you don't read every word I write. LOL :) My goal at the forefront currently is to get settled in to our new place, so things may be a little hit or miss for a bit. My plan--and perhaps it will work exactly as planned--is to return to the blog world for "real" by the time the new year rolls around.
Note to self...remember to plan what you are going to start blogging about come the first of the year. I just looked at my blog stats and am amazed at how many hits a day I am getting and I am hardly doing any blogging currently! Here is a picture of my little Love Bug for your enjoyment. No, the picture has nothing to do with the rest of this post, but isn't he cute? lol
My week this week:
We helped set up nativities in the church building. I'll be taking pictures of some of them later this week to send back home. It's a pretty big event, and we've actually recieved a few referrals out of it. We taught D R a new investigator who has recently committed to baptism, and his brother M. I was on a mini-exchange with E. Wiederholt, one of the Zone Leaders who works in the same ward as I do, so I was able to learn a lot. D wants to be baptized on the 22nd of January, and M is working towards it as well.
Exchanges with the Zone Leaders. I was with E. Wiederholt all day. He wasn't feeling very good, so we mostly just stayed at home and listened to some awesome talks. I would strongly, strongly recomend that you listen to a talk by Hugh B. Brown called "Profile of a Prophet" it is awesome!
We taught a lesson to one of our investigators that morning, and we were able to contact one of our other investigators, C, later that night. It was really awesome, because C had basically dropped off the face of the earth for the past two weeks, now she's coming back in contact with us. It's great to see.
We dropped off some pamphlets to Bro Ch's house (a Convert of almost a year now) While we were there, we were able to set up an appointment with a friend of his. She just said, while we were talking to Bro.Ch, "You know, I might come to your church this week." So that led to a great gospel discussion. Apparently Bro. Ch had been talking to her about it a lot. He is very good about spreading the message of the restored gospel. Members who work to find missionary opportunites are the best!
Our appointment later that day with the J family fell through. :( It's too bad, especially since they are really the only family we are teaching right now. But we did get a chance to reninvite them to church.
Had a lesson with a new investigator after dinner with a family in the ward. It was a really good lesson. She actually already knew a ton about the church, and was very interested to learn more. She told us however that she was not interested in becoming converted, and declined our invitation to come back again. She did say it would be okay if we dropped in if we were in the area. We just might be "in the area" a lot this next coming week.
That night, the Assistants needed the van to transfer some visa-waiting Elders who just got their visas to head off to Ukraine. So we drove their minivan everywhere the next day.
Taught a lesson to T. She's the investigator that Bro. Ch referred to us. She had a lot of questions, but was faily receptive overall to the message. She said she'd be at church this week, Bro. Ch will be a big help with that, as well as other commitments she makes. Stopped by a couple of other people. A S ( an investigator) gave us a small Christmas Tree, and some ornaments to decorate our apartment with.
My first Zone Conference! It was awesome! President Pitt taught us about the Atonement, and went incredibly in depth. He is a spiritual giant. There was a lot of good stuff we went over, and I made sure to take good notes so i can be sure to improve myself in my missionary efforts.
We stopped by an investigator who we hadn't seen in a while, and we were able to teach a few short principles, and follow up with how they'd been doing with their Book of Mormon studies. I've noticed that as soon as any one of our investigators starts to take steps towards baptism, almost instantly Satan works overtime throwing stuff up in their path. It has happened with almost everyone we've met and taught with. I know that's the case with everyone, not just our investigators. As soon as we decide to do something better with our lives that will bring us closer to Christ, Satan throws everything he can at you. I think that's why it says in Helaman 5:12 to build your foundation upon the rock Christ. Otherwise, Satan's fiery darts, and shafts in the whirlwind will take their toll on our spiritual lives.
Later that night, we tried to go see a Hospitalized member. He'd been discharged the day before, so we went to our back up plan to see some other people. Those all fell through, so then we started following up with people close to our apartment. At 8:57 we knocked on a door whose residents we had previously loaned a Book of Mormon to. A lady answered the door, and we talked with her for a good 20-30 min about the Book of Mormon and Prophets. She invited us to come back again, and we hope we'll be able to teach her and her children as well.
After church and studies, we went to go stop by some of our investigators we hadn't seen in a while. None of them answered. Also, none of our investigators showed up at church either. It was kind of bogus. As we were backing the van up to leave, a lady stopped us and asked if we were "the mormons". We responded in the affirmative, and eventually found out that she was an investigator that we'd been trying to contact for the last 5 weeks. She had been contacted by other missionaries, but had been working two jobs and hadn't been able to be around when we dropped by. We set an appointment with her for monday night.
We had about 30 min till dinner, and decided to continue tracting on a road we'd tracted a few days earlier. First door we knocked on. Nothing. Second door... Nothing. But the third door... they weren't interested. This pattern continued down all the doors until we finally got to the last house on the street. The house was one that we'd admired for quite some time because of how large and beautiful it was. A woman outside was raking leaves. We found out later that her name was D. She was kind of wary of us at first, but her excitement gradually grew as we started testifying of the restoration. E. Ames said we had a prophet on the Earth again, and her eyes lit up. She asked who it was, and I told her it was President Monson. She accepted a Book of Mormon, a mormon.org card, and a challenge to read and pray. We ended up being about 20 min late to our dinner appointment.
The Lord is really blessing us as we dilligently find and teach people. Thank you for your prayers in our behalf as missionaries, they really do help to prepare people to hear the gospel, and prepare us to find them.
Did you get the chance to watch the Christmas Devotional? I loved President Eyring's talk.
Yah sweet. thanks for the pic. I hope I get that package soon. :)
Hey I need a favor, can you send me the 10 best photos that I´ve sent you. I need it for my last transfer as something they do as a mission.
Anyways this week we didnt work at all on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday because we were doing stuff for the Zone Leader´s council that we had. Awesome as usual. We talked about developing a personality like Christ and how everything is based on love in everything that we do. It was tight! I wish you could have been there. We used 3 Nephi 12-14 to talk about Christ´s personality.
Thursday I was on splits with E. Blacio and we found a SWEEET family. They are from the jungle, (like a 4 day bus ride from here) and they have been looking for the true church to join here in Ilo and had been praying diligently that God would send someone to show them them the right path. Hello! We are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! They accepted us readily and committed to baptism so quickly, it was awesome! God prepares people to listen to us. They were gonna go to church this week but when we went to pick them up they werent there so we had to go, but later on we passed by and they told us that they had gone out and looked for the chapel but they couldnt find it...ARGH! So frustrating!!!!!!!! But yeah we arent gonna let that get us down. My new (well sorta, he was my comp about 6 months ago) comp, E. Webb and I are excited to teach them even more about the gospel.
And on Friday we had 2 baptisms. I dont have the pictures because E. Ruggiero, who loaned me his camara, got transfered to Tacna so I´ll have to get those when I finish the mish. We baptized our pensionists daughter and that was really neat because for the first time in a long time the whole family went to church. D also gave her testimony which was pretty good so we were pleased. And we FINALLY baptized the Jehovah´s Witness lady, A. Did you know that older people are harder to baptize than younger people? Especially when they are 70 years old and their backs don´t work right. I had to kind of take her in a newly wed hold and dunk her like that. But we got the job done. She is so excited about the gospel and is trying to preach the gospel to her neighbors, buddies and her kids, so far she hasnt had much success but I am confident that she soon will.
Saturday we contacted a reference that the Patriarch gave us, one of his long lost buddies. This guy is about 65ish and he is really repentant, has realized that he has been a drunk, smoking goof head for all of his life and he wants to make it all good again. He came to church with the patriarch this week and LOVED it.
More upates coming soon, love ya!