Well..... I don't know what to say. But we are kind of in a slump. I hope you enjoy this email anyways. We are working pretty hard with Alma and Eric still. She is 18 and he is 24. She is now pregnant with there second kid. She wrote her mom, who lives in Mexico, to get her to send an ID here for her so she can get married. So they are going to be getting married!!! Woohoo. They came to church yesterday, and had a great time! We plan on setting them with an actual date for baptism this week. So that is exciting stuff. It's funny, I am starting to see that with hispanic people, a baptism is usually accompanied by a wedding. So this will be my 3rd wedding since being here in the mission. And what's nice is that the Bishop is able to do them for free.
Alister came to church yesterday and that was great. I was able to talk with him and catch up on how things are going. We sat and talked for probably 15 minutes after church. He is way cool and is loving being a member of the church.
This week I went on exchanges with Elder Jarman. In all honesty I was pretty nervous at first since he only speaks English, but all went really really well! It was great really getting to find out how good my Spanish is getting. We walked around little Mexico for about an hour and half and just found tons of people to talk to. It was a lot of fun.
This past week we had Zone Conference which is always an awesome spiritual experience. And a lot of fun too because we get to be with a ton of other missionaries. I have made some of my best friends here. This zone conference was about getting members more involved in the work. It was a great topic. Members in our ward are so shy and scared to share the gospel. So we have decided to take some serious control. Me and Elder King spent about 2 hours reviewing the ward mission plan then went and visitied the bishop for another hour and a half to figure out how we can get things rolling in our ward because, really, knocking doors is a waste for the most part. And all of our members have friends. So this week we have really started working with tthe ward. And yesterday we even went to the 8:00 morning meeting to see what we could do to start fulfilling some of the goals in our ward mission plan.
So I am sad to hear about Granny. But she is 95 years old as you said. Hopefully everything is going to be ok with her. I would love to see her again. But if not, she is awesome! And I love her! And I'll have my chance to see her again.
So this week we had some crazy!!storms. They were so awesome! And lots of them. With constant thunder and lighting and rain. It was nuts! And then after that it heats up to usually about 110 degrees with the humidity. Then storms again.... It's a crazy pattern, but so much fun to watch. One storm this week woke me and Elder King up. So we went out and sat on the couch in front of the window with some brownies and just watched it. Then went back to bed.
Wow, that is scary about Mike Stark! I sure hope everything is ok with him. He is one of my favorite people! I love that guy. Keep me up to date with him please. Tell him I say Hi. And Scott Cole too.
So mom you have been a great mother to us! You don't have anything to worry about . Yeah, things haven't gone like we expected them too. Or like you expected them too. BUT you've always been a good mom. I feel like you and me got so close through the last year I had before I left for my mission. We would hang out and I could just talk to you or tell you anything. Literally Anything. I couldn't have asked for a better mom. I love you!
So I have been asked by a couple people what the best way to prepare for a mission is...... So I am going to give my 2 cents worth right now.
1- Know the scriptures! I have found so much joy in studying the scriptures! Marking them, writing in them, reading conference talks that relate to them. And I feel like I have been made such a better teacher for it. You can answer any question anyone has by using the scriptures. So study the scriptures with a PURPOSE! And you will get so much more out of it and really enjoy it. Scriptures are such a huge part in missionary work. Also it is important to know the bible. I have found that out here. And have been studying it a lot. I love the Book of Mormon! But for people that don't know the Book of Mormon yet, it is important to be able to teach to them from the bible.
2- Study Preach My Gospel. Moddern day scripture. Preach My Gospel has made missionaries the best teachers that this church has seen. If you study it, you will be a great teacher, as simple as that. You will know how to create a spiritual atmosphere whether in a home or on the street. You will know how to teach with power, and understand what it is you are teaching much better. Preach My Gospel is an amazing book. Combined with the scriptures and a personal testimony, they are the most powerful tools you have in missionary work.
3- Pray before and after studying. The spirit will teach you things that you may not have understood without the spirit. So pray for the spirit. Live worthy of the spirit. And you will always know what to say, study, and do.
4- Gain a personal testimony of the church. One that won't waiver. One that can't be destroyed. It's not enough to be a member of the church and believe it's true anymore. You have to KNOW it's true. And when you know it's true, no one will be able to deny your testiomony. Gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon, by studying it. Gain a testimony of the restoration. A testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. That He lives. And a testimony about a living prophet.
These are just a few things you can do to become a more effective missionary. To really be able to acheive your potential to grow in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am not saying these things will bring baptisms. But they will bring power, and the spirit into the lives of those you teach. I love this gospel. It was great to hear from you.
I love you!!! Take care.