Thursday, April 8, 2010

Winter is finally over!

March 26-

First off, I have to apologize about the lack of an e-mail yesterday. I forgot to tell y'all, but we had a zone leader/ district leader council in Raleigh, so I was there almost all day. It was great, we received a lot of good instruction and rubbed elbows with President and a lot of great missionaries.

So, here's an excerpt from my LTP. "This week was good. I found a lot of satisfaction and joy out of planning to work hard and following through on those plans. I wish I would have been more wise and got myself involved in the planning when I was with Elder Moreno. The lack of input that I had to give when we were planning was pitiful. I don't want to fall into the "we're in a new area so you have to do all the planning" trap again. Anyways, we did a lot of finding, specifically tracting, this week. We found some potential investigators…There is one lady by the name of Cynthia who really seems like she could have some potential. We found her on the way back from the ZL/DLC. We were driving back and I was thinking how we could put our line in the water a little more for that day. I couldn't look at my planner to see the names of the roads that I had planned to tract (because I was driving), so I tried to remember. The picture of one of them on the map came into my mind, so we stopped there and tracted into Cynthia. She seemed pretty interested and was willing to listen. Not too much may come of that, but that was a little miracle to me. When we exercise our faith, we have miracles…

It's been good to get a new companion. I'm changing my ways and my attitude and I've recommitted to be accountable to the Lord for the work here in Dunn. I've found a lot of joy in being exactly obedient and planning to succeed. My new companion is Elder Cole Jensen from Farmington, Utah. He's been out for 21 months, so he's only got 2 transfers left. Puts me in an interesting situation, do I get transferred after only 1 transfer with him or kill him off (to use the mission lingo) and get a new companion for another transfer in Dunn (7.5 months)? President told me he doesn't know what's going to happen. It should be good. We're going to work hard and get a lot done this transfer. That's all I'm focusing on right now…

Thanks for the e-mail, Mom. I love hearing about how things are going back home. Going to the zoo, Six Flags, a baseball game - sounds like an incredible amount of fun. Mom and Dad, I really appreciate everything you did for me when I was growing up, in high school, in college, etc. I didn't always listen like I should have or appreciate you, but I certainly do now…

There is no Stake BBall in the Fayetteville or Kinston stakes. I don't know about the other ones.

Well, that's about everything I've got. There are two new Elders in the district, Elder Jensen and Elder Banner. Elder Banner goes home in 3 transfers, so he's an old-timer too. It's really crazy how much the district has changed in 2 transfers. When I first came in, it was a fairly young district. Now, Elder Thompson and I are easily the youngest at 9 months. We've got a district full of old fogeys! I'm still the district leader of course, and I look forward to being a better one this transfer than I was last transfer. And my wish came true, Elder Oslund got transferred to Fayetteville 3rd with Elder Brockbank. So we'll get to hang out and play some ball on Preparation Days.

I'm looking forward to General Conference this weekend. This week is going to fly by fast. This transfer is going to fly by fast, for that matter. Also, I think we're going to look at an apartment today. President wants us to find a new apartment, the cottage behind Bro. King's house that we live in now is old and it's time to move. Missionaries have been there since 1992. Craziness. So we might be moving here in a few weeks, we'll see.

April 3—

Well, this week has been a pretty darn good one. Here's a pretty accurate description of what went on.

"This past week was focused a lot on finding again. We did a LOT of tracting. We found a couple of families that I really feel have the potential to progress and become members of the Church. We found Connie and her family while I was on an exchange with Elder Van Orden. She seemed very interested, I'm excited for the return appointment. We were tracting around general conference sessions on Saturday and met Catherina. She was interested, so we set a return appointment before conference on Sunday. We showed up at 11 and taught her the Restoration. Her husband and children participated in the lesson, and she was very willing to accept Joseph Smith as a prophet. I'm excited to go back there as well.

Karen and Sis. B, who we have been teaching, have accepted soft baptismal commitments. I hope that they will both sincerely read and pray… We also met a really cool lady named Patty, who we are going to have dinner and a lesson with. We met her when we were receiving training to teach ESL classes from Sis. J. She's from Costa Rica, and apparently the missionaries would eat at her house all the time while she was growing up. We're going to teach her and her daughter, and possibly her son. In any case, this next week looks to be a good one."

So yeah, we've been working super hard. We've got some return appointments for next week that I'm really looking forward to. Half the work in missionary work is planning. I think I'm just really learning the importance of it and how well everything goes when you do plan well.

We have not found a new apartment yet. I think we'll move soon, but probably not for at least a month or two. We've found a pretty good location to move to. It would cut down on costs and be a better location for us. As it turns out, I am the senior companion by virtue of being the district leader. All district leaders are senior companions. Things are going well with Elder Jensen and I. We've done some good work together. We won't have too much time together, because he goes home in June. Either 4 or 10 more weeks. We'll just have to see.

Mom, that's a good point that you bring up about zeal. I had a lot of zeal when I was in the MTC. But when I left, it slowly dwindled and got pretty low. Now it's back up again and I feel great! Some things that have helped my get my zeal back up are putting more effort into planning, changing my attitude towards personal and companionship studies (personal studies fill up your gas tank, companionship studies build unity in the companionship), and the coming of spring.

I loved listening to conference. I think my favorite talk was Elder Holland's, for the second conference in a row. I'm so jealous you had that stake conference where he spoke. He definitely has moral authority. Pornography is a pretty important issue that always needs to be addressed, and Elder Holland's talk addressed it well.

We have interviews with the President tomorrow. 6 weeks ago I wasn't really looking forward to interviews at all, now I can't wait. There's a big difference when you're working and loving the work.

Sorry about the lack of pictures recently. We should start seeing some more wildlife now with the coming of the spring (it's been about 85 degrees over the past few days), it's been pretty dead here in the winter. I'm SO glad winter is over.

Today Elder Jensen and I got a ride from Bishop Ginn to the Fayetteville 3rd missionaries' apartment. Elder Oslund just got transferred there to be with Elder Brockbank. I'm looking forward to getting to hang out with him and other missionaries on the upcoming Preparation Days, Elder Oslund is such an inspiring and uplifting person. It's good to be around him…

Well, that's about all I've got. I love you all, and I love this missionary work. I know that the gospel is true, and that it blesses lives. Have a nice week!