Monday, January 28, 2013

Mama Rika Missionary Update...Frozen Items



Monday was crazy! Normally we would have Pday, but our Pday went down the tubes this week. First thing in the morning, we headed out to Grafton with tAn older couple from Ohio who were in for a couple of days to do a funeral. We were volunteered to go. On the way out, we started to realize that there was a lack of preparation for the funeral service. Bro. B himself had never done one before, and hadn't been able to prepare much. In fact the one with the most experience in the funeral  business was me. And I'd have to say, my resume was pretty lacking.

E. Cluster and I ended up doing a lot of different parts of the funeral, and we planned everything about 15 min before the actual service began. Here's about how it went:

E. Connole gives opening prayer

Words from Bro. B

E. Connole sings an impromptu, and very protestant version of "Amazing Grace". Accompanied by the congregation singing along
Words from Bro. B

E. Cluster gives a short sermon on death and resurrection

More Words from Bro.B

Closing Hymn

Prayer from E. Cluster


Drive to Grave site

A few Words from Bro. B

A reading of poetry from E. Connole

A graveside prayer by E. Cluster

Overall It was a pretty good service, and the family was very grateful for the help on such short notice. Oh, and did I mention E. Cluster and I were Pallbearers too? Crazy right?


Did a quick little exchange with some other elders in the zone.  Overall it ended up being a pretty good day, not a ton to report otherwise.


We had our Zone Meetings/ Interviews with President Pitt. Every three months President Pitt interviews all the missionaries in the whole mission. So we had to coordinate getting half of the zone up to Morgantown to meet with him, and on Thursday we had the 2nd half of the zone meet them in Clarksburg. Nothing too crazy happened, up in Morgantown.

We also had Stake Correlation that night back down in Clarksburg. By the end of the day, E. Cluster and I were pretty bushed. It was a tiring day.


Pretty similar to Wednesday with Zone meetings, only this time it was with the second half of the zone down in Clarksburg. Right afterwards, we organized a District Leader Council, where we pulled all the district leaders together to discuss how we could best help the zone. It was a pretty good meeting, and we were able to get a lot of good ideas out on the table. Now the only thing would be to actually implement those ideas. That's the hard part.

Right after Zone Meeting, we exchanged with the Morgantown 2 elders, and I headed up to Morgantown. (I went back and forth between here and there a lot this week.)


Still out in Morgantown, we walked around in the Brisk 25 degree weather to contact people. Wouldn't you know it, nobody else was out walking? Go figure, it's like they stayed warm indoors or something...

Later, after we exchanged back, E. Cluster and I found a couple of new investigators. It was one of those lessons where you had to balance between teaching the restoration, occupying children, and keeping your investigator from rambling. I thought we handled it pretty well overall


Saturday morning was pretty sweet, All 4 missionaries, and the priests(well, only one showed up) in the Clarksburg area went to the bishops house for breakfast. Right afterwards, the missionaries gave a lesson on Preach My Gospel, and then went to some appointments with some of our recent converts and investigators. It was pretty cool. We were able to help the Priests prepare for their missions and give them a good taste of how it's going to be when they're out in the field.


We had a couple of people at church. We helped one of our recent converts pick up an investigator and take them, and another one showed up with her mom. It's always nice when your plans actually go like you planned them.

Love ya!

Elder Brayden Connole



P-day was a good one. We played some card games with members
We had our monthly cleaning inspection. (mom, you'd be proud to know we got straight A's on all aspects) We haven't really had many cleaning inspections on my mission, but Pres. Pitt wants to really start instigating them, (and with good reason)  Since the inspection checks the house and the car, we made sure to wipe down the car as best we could, both inside and out. Well, since we had a major cold spell on Tuesday, after we finished wiping the car, there was a thin layer of ice and frozen soap suds both inside and out of the car... it was pretty crazy.
On Wednesday we decided to try a couple of "non-traditional" finding activities.(aka not knocking doors)  We have been trying to focus on different finding activities in our zone to increase our productivity in that particular area. Plus, it was really, really cold outside and neither I, nor E. Cluster wanted to be outside for any period of time.

We did some contacting at Walmart, it proved to be ineffective that day, but warm at least. As Elder Cluster says, "You win some, you learn some." We also baked some thumbprint cookies and took them to potential and other investigators. It was a good day overall.

We had a really great, really solid day all planned out for Thursday, and one by one, we kept receiving texts and calls throughout the day cancelling our many appointments. It was really quite depressing. Plus it was still really cold outside which made things even less happy. Well, after a short appointment with a Less Active member, I commented on how cool the river looked with its thin layer of ice. I also commented on how cool it would be if we could throw a big rock into it. Since the day didn't seem to be getting any better, we stopped and got out to throw a couple of rocks in.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything big enough to actually break the ice. I walked a little further down the road and found a frozen, roadkill raccoon. With gladness of heart, we relieved the poor raccoon of it's terrible frozen burial site on the side of the road. And we gave a burial that any seafaring rodent would be proud of. Our hearts were gladdened as we watched the Raccoon sail through the air to its final resting place beneath the frozen ice of the rivers of Clarksburg.  We caught it all on film, so someday I'll see if I can send it home for you to enjoy.
Later that night, we exchanged with Mannington, and, even though all our scheduled appointments fell through, the Lord blessed us with 2 new investigators, a less active visit and a future meal appointment. It ended up a great day.
E. Hubert (the missionary I was exchanging with) and I went up to Grafton to have him interview two of our investigators for baptism. Things went really well, even though the roads were icy, and the two girls, Sh and S did really well in their interviews.

Because of the exchanges, we drove over 100 miles that day.

Sh and S were baptized! It went really well, we had good support from the ward. I was able to baptize, and later confirm Sh, while E. Cluster did the same for S. It's always great to help a family like theirs become more united. Their mom, was recently re-activated, their dad was recently baptized, and their 10 year old sister is also taking the lessons with us.
We had a goodly number of people at church, Sh and S were confirmed, Sis. S (their mom) gave a talk, Sis N (a recent convert of a couple months) gave a talk, and we had a missionary homecoming talk as well. (if that doesn't make you trunky, I don't know what will)
Right after church, we had to drive all the way up to Morgantown to do a baptismal interview for a couple of investigators up there.
It's been a pretty exhausting week.
This upcoming week isn't looking any better.
Elder Brayden Connole

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