Monday, 26 September 2011

Week 9

Thanks for all the emails this week. So this week has flown by. On Tuesday we had specialized training all day which was about ATM, which is Awake the Members and how to get to know members better and getting referrals, I think that it's going to work pretty well so it was a good meeting it just went too long as usual. It sounds like Laura might of got the same kind of training. So this week, nothing exciting really happened. We are struggling to find people that will even hear us out so thats tough. We have a few solid investigators that we are teaching but none have baptismal dates so we need to really work on that. We got a referral this week, her name is Josefina, she's in her 60's, and we met with her on Saturday and she is so nice but she's had a rough life. She was raped by her father when she was a child and no one believed her, not even her own mother, and her mother hated her, and she never got married because of what she went through as a child. There was a bunch of other stuff too but it was really depressing but she is the sweetest lady and she came to church on Sunday and I know she is going to get baptized soon. She loved church and the people so thats really exciting. We also had Steven at church on Sunday and he wasn't a big fan, he is used to loud music and jumping around and our church is defiantly not like that so I'm not sure whats going to happen with him. Diego didn't come to church again but were going to keep working with him because he will be such a great member when he's eventually baptized, he just needs to come to church. We have a few other people were working with so were doing a lot of teaching but we had a lot of appointments this week fall through which is a little depressing but hopefully this week is better. I just read my letter from President Gelwix and he was telling me how hot my area is, so hopefully that means that I get to stay another transfer! This upcoming week I have an exchange and I get to stay in Reedley and a missionary I really like is coming here so I'm excited for that. The trip to the vineyard to roll the grapes got postponed so were going to that tomorrow night if we can get an investigator to go. I can't think of much else happening this week besides General Conference which is going to be awesome. I didn't realize that Laura is home in two weeks! Thats an exciting time although from her letters it sounds like she has mixed feelings and shes going to be weird. Glad to hear that you got the photos, will send more soon, its easier to mail them than to upload them because the internet is so slow.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Week 8

So Gloria got baptized yesterday!!! It was an awesome experience and will never forget it. So we did all the normal baptismal service stuff and then when it came time for the baptism I had no clue what I was doing because I expected the card with what to say to be there but it wasn't so I was trying to remember how it goes but that wasn't the real issue. The first attempt was tough, I knew what to say but Gloria was a stiff board and her elbow came up and she forgot to plug her nose so she came out of the water choking so had to wait like a minute or so to wait for her to stop choking to do it again, it was defiantly not how I imagined my first baptism going but can only go uphill from here. The second time went better and she got baptized so its all good, defiantly will never forget that baptism. The other people were working with right now is Diego who is awesome and said he's going to be baptized he just needs to come to church before he commits on any date so hopefully that is soon. We started working with someone called Steven who lives in our apartment complex, I went with him on Tuesday to play basketball at the church and he really enjoyed that so now he has people that he knows. He asks a lot of questions and is really interested in the gospel, he has a solid foundation and good morals so he's easy to work with. We taught him the Plan of Salvation last night and he really appreciated the lesson, he kept thanking us for the "new insight" so I think its all starting to make sense to him now. We have a few other investigators that were really working with who also can get baptized soon so this area is doing really well despite how hard it is. Also this week, Elder Malo was gone for two days at some leadership training so two elders came to Reedley and we had so much fun and got a lot done which is the best combo. The seventy postponed his tour of the mission until October so didn't have that last week. This week I'm going on an exchange with the Zone Leaders on Tuesday and Wednesday. We have specialized training all day Tuesday so that should be fun. On Saturday I'm going back to the vineyard because we have to roll up the grapes that we picked a little while ago. That's about it for this week, time is really starting to fly and am enjoying myself more and more each week as I get used to mission life and have a good companion.
Elder Christian

Monday, 12 September 2011

Week 7

Thanks for all the emails this week, I've never gotten so many emails! So Elder Malo has joined me in Reedley, he is awesome, he is originally from Mexico City but now lives in California so he's not too far away from home. He has been out for 8 months, he joined the church three years ago so it's cool to have a recent convert as a companion. He is super nice and I am so glad that I have him as a companion because we are having so much fun and having more success than last transfer. He is also helping me a lot more with my Spanish which I really appreciate. This past week has been good. We had transfers on Wednesday and bishop took us out to lunch at the Chinese buffet. On Saturday we went to church grape vineyard an hour away where we picked grapes which will become raisins, it was a new experience but not that exciting...I feel bad for all the field workers who do that all day every day, thats got to be tough. After grapes we went to In n Out, we walked in and a guy gave us a twenty dollar bill so we got free lunch and some extra money. This week we've been treated really well, five members took us out to eat which I don't mind at all. So Glorias baptism is this Sunday and she asked me to baptize her so I'm excited for that, a little nervous because I've never done it before but it will be cool. We are also working with a 13 year old girl who is going to be baptized on the 25 so hopefully that all works out. We are also working with Diego who is my favorite investigator, he loves the missionaries and said that he is going to be baptized, he just doesn't know when so hopefully that its soon. This upcoming week we have a seventy coming to visit and on Sunday its Glorias baptism so this should be a good week.. Thanks for the update on the ravens, all the members let me know last night that the ravens won so I was really happy, especially because it was against the Steelers and we crushed them.

So it sounds like life is going to get a little more crazy now that your bishop. As soon as you were getting in a good routine and things were getting relaxed, they called you as bishop. It sounds like that is going to keep you busy for the next 5 or so years. Thats cool that Alan Cheung is in the bishopric, he will do really good. How big is the ward now? Church is keeping you busy so I guess the quote is true, "The gospel comforts the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable" That's crazy that in less than a month that Laura is going to be home. The weather here isn't as crazy as your having over there, its sunny all day every day but it sounds like your having a lot of rain.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Week 6

So we got transfer calls on Saturday night...and I'm staying in Reedley but I'm getting a new companion, his name is Elder Malo and I don't know much about him but he's been out for about a year and he's Mexican so that should help with my Spanish a lot. So I'm happy that I get to stay here in Reedley because I'm used to everybody here and how to get places but I'll be making all the plans because he doesn't know anything about this area but it will be fun. Transfers are on Wednesday so next pday I will let you know how he is. I'm a little surprised that I was kept here because they normally keep the older missionaries in the same spot and move the younger ones around but I'm happy right here. So this week was kinda like the other weeks and everything blends in but the area is really progressing and our teaching pool is getting a lot bigger so we always have something to do. Friday I went on an exchange and that was fun, I really got along with the other elder, he was pretty new to the mission too and I think that's why we got along, all the older missionaries are just in the routine and boring, I hope I don't get like that. Saturday was transfer calls and the district I'm in is getting a lot of new faces but none that I know. Today we went to the swap meet which is a ghetto Mexican flea market kinda thing, and that was fun, September is going to be a really good month, I think there is going to be quite a few baptisms this month which is really exciting. So right now I'm doing about 50/50 Spanish and English teaching and we teach about 25 lessons a week so we never tract. We still are getting fed pretty much every night and have a team up but Elder Malo and I am going to take it to the next level!! It's still hot and in the 100's every day, hasn't rained yet but it never rains from like may to October so I shouldn't expect any for a while. I have the nastiest watch tan, I'll have to take a picture and send it to you next week because its sweet. My feet are getting better now that I have the cream but they still burn and itch. That's about all that happened this week, I met my new companion on Wednesday so I'm excited. The hardest thing about the mission is giving up football and sports and not being able to watch movies but they will all be there when I get back, it's just every time we walk into members houses they are watching football and my heart sinks a little because I miss it so much, it sounds lame but its the truth.