It is with great sadness that I am forced to acknowledge that after
this coming week I will have been on my mission for 6 months already.
Which means I have what amounts to a sister mission left. No offense
to the sister missionaries, but that's lame. Anyways.
Monday 2/17- we hung out with the hacienda heights elders at the stake
center for our pday, then at 6 we met with Adrian at the church. At
this meeting we talked about the plan of salvation. He immediately
pointed out that we have no "hell" in the traditional Christian sense
of the hot place. That's one of my favorite questions, because it
gives us a great chance to re-testify of why we came to Earth, what
our purpose is, and how much Heavenly Father loves His children. When
people understand that the meaning of hell and damnation in the
scriptures is a literal damming of our spiritual progression, not
consignment to life with the devil, they understand the plan of
happiness much more fully, and are usually very eager to kept baptized
in order to continue their progression.
Tuesday- In the afternoon we did some service for a less-active lady
and worked in her garden/pruned her trees. She gave us the information
for her brother down in Mexico, so we could send it to the
missionaries down there. Which is easy when you have an iPad. Just
saying. iPads. Anyways. In the evening we taught Adrian again. It was
a pretty short lesson, but afterwards he stayed at the church and
talked to Bishop for several hours. Apparently it went pretty well,
and we got some good intel from the bishop about his concerns right
Wednesday- in the afternoon we went to the nether regions of the area
in order to find some less actives we've never been to. We taught one
guy who is 92 and stands up just as quick as we do. His wife passed
away recently, and he did a lot to take care of her in the last few
years of her life. That's what pulled him away from church in the
first place and now he says he's just "taking it easy." He has some
good friends in the ward though, so maybe he'll get coming back pretty
soon. The other lady we found up there grew up in the church, but for
whatever reason says she just never felt it. She's got some other
stuff going that probably prevents her from gaining a testimony as
well. She did express a firm desire to get one though, so we are going
to be teaching her very regularly.
Thursday- on Thursday we went all over the place and didn't have a
whole lot of luck finding anybody. But that night we we're finally
able to teach a potential investigator we've had for quite some time.
She is a really cool woman, and a lot of fun to talk with. She is a
pretty devout catholic, but so was most of the ward here before they
got converted. Hopefully things continue to go pretty well on that
Friday- we had to leave fairly early in order to get to zone
conference in El Monte, conveniently the farthest building from our
area in the zone. Anyways, zone conference was actually really good.
One of my trainers, elder Winfield, is now my zone leader here! I
don't know if I mentioned that last week. Anyways, I love the guy and
it's awesome to have him nearby again. We talked a lot about how to
teach the restoration, the Book of Mormon, and helping peoples get to
church. President told us that if when an investigator says they'll do
something, and we can tell they aren't sincere, to do the following.
"As a representative of Jesus Christ, and as someone with the gift of
the Holy Ghost, I am entitled to something called the gift of
discernment. Basically, the spirit lets us know how things really are.
And I get the feeling that you won't actually be at church this
Sunday. Can you tell me why that is?" We spent the Evening riding
Saturday- after weekly planning, we had a lesson with a less active in
the ward from Thailand. We found out that she has never been able to
read the Book of Mormon in Thai so we are getting her one as quick as
we can. When we told her that, she really opened up, and I think that
she will come to church soon.
- Efrain was once again at church, even though we weren't able
to teach him this week (he had a lot of work, which is a blessing
actually). The guy just about made me cry like 6 different times as he
recognized things we already taught him, participated and even lead
some discussions. The kicker was when he declared that he going to be
proud to call himself a Mormon, because nobody else does what we do.
And nobody else has the authority. He's awesome. There are still a few
things we have to work out before he can baptized, but hopefully it
will work out pretty quickly. afternoon we picked up a new
investigator and also set up a lot of appointments for this week.
Hopefully all those will actually come through. One of them is with a
former investigator tonight. I'm excited for that.
I hope you're all doing wonderfully, and that your testimonies
continue to grow. Remember,if you don't take care of it and nurture
it, it can die very very fast.
Love you all!
Elder Brett Whitney