Sunday, August 4, 2013

Week 25 (6/3-6/10)

 Today is the 1/3 marker since I have entered the MTC. Crazy how time has seriously flown. With how much we plan as missionaries, it already seems like the summer is coming to a close!
     Last P-day was pretty awesome. A husband of a not active member, Chuck Stapel, took us out for breakfast. This is the guy who makes knives for a living and is a stud. Other than that, the Monday went on as usual. Although, we gave one of our neighbors, Jorge, who is a big time Born Again Christian, a Book of Mormon at his request. Pretty awesome :)
     Tuesday we had our monthly Zone Leader counsel in Arcadia. It was pretty awesome and not so intimidating as last month when I wasn't officially a Zone Leader yet. Weird. I've been one for about a month now... President counseled a lot with us on this past Zone Conference we had the week before and got feed back from everyone. It is cool to see how even our President is trying to restructure everything and go back to the basics of things to see if we can be more effective. That night we met with Gina to go over the final lesson on fasts and offering and gave her a heads up on our next lesson when we reviewed baptismal questions with her. She is so golden. She loves the scriptures. It is cool to see because it all started with Forest who wasn't even active. As i'll explain later, Gina was baptized yesterday and we got Forest to baptize her :) Best baptism ever. well, thus far.
     Wednesday we had some service to do for some scientologist that lived above the AP's. I've gotta say, with my moving ability, it is just like playing tetris. kids stuff. It was ridiculous how much stuff we fit into this big truck of his. Not much else happened that day. We had a dinner with our family ward bishop and then headed over to Pasadena to set up for this big interfaith dialogue that was going on the following night so the organizer of it all, Clarence, a recent convert of about 7 months, had us set up a whole gym full of chairs because of all the advertising he had done these past few weeks. Probably had about at least 700 chairs set up...
     Thursday we had zone training which is where our zone of la crascenta comes together and we the zone leaders instruct them. So we had a great lesson set up but unfortunately we asked one of the Sisters in our zone to help out teach a small segment and she took a lot longer than we planned so we had to improvise. But I'm noticing that it isn't intimidating to get up and teach a big group of people anymore! Well, a group of 26 is fine but more than that and it is still intimidating. After a cancellation of more college student lessons and a quick lunch, we had a lesson with our investigator Wells and he brought along his friend Chris. And we knew from the start that Chris meant trouble. And he was. When we asked him why he was meeting with us he said "To protect Wells from you guys teaching him false doctrine and to make sure he doesn't listen to you". So basically it was an expectation full lesson that ended up in our member being contentious with Chris and Wells ultimately siding with us when it came down to what we were teaching. So we left and it was interesting. Found out that Chris is a pastor of a church he just started the other week... We had our final lesson with Gina and showed her the baptismal font and gave her a practice interview. She was so ready. She answered confidently and had felt what she had learned. We then visited Edna Stapel again in the hospital where I accidentally (don't asked me how) but in our closing prayer I asked to bless her to 'fart' trying to combine start and feeling better.... super hard not to laugh which I failed at. How embarrassing! But then it was a rush to Pasadena again to the Interfaith Dialogue where leaders of the catholic faith, jewish, islam, evangelic and a few others including our mission president were there. It was a great idea. just was disappointing to see that the few hundred chairs we set up weren't used because only the chapel was filled with people... but it turned out well. Just expected a bigger turn out!
     Friday wasn't as exciting as Thursday but it was still pretty filled. We were asked by President to come into the office and have a session of planning with him and a few other companionships that he asked. It was very beneficial to really go step by step and review all that we are supposed to plan for and not just schedule in a week. Which we have been neglecting. So that was good! But the rest of the evening was just a bunch of little things like meeting with our Ward Mission leader to set up details for the baptism on Sunday.
     Saturday started off with Elder Bangerter and I cleaning the font in the Central building due to it being newly renovated and dusty. I got to stand in water up to my ankles! What a sensation that I didn't think I'd miss but found out that I have! After that was Gina's interview with Elder Dicus. It wasn't long and they both came out knowing she was ready to be baptized. then we ran off to the Wilson building to do Car Washes which is now about a monthly occurance and is very effective. Gave about 4 tours! But the rest of the night was slow and not much to report.
     And yesterday. Busiest/stressful Sunday since I've been in this new area/wards. Started off with an early morning ward council meeting for the family ward. Then throughout the rest of the meetings following Elder Bangerter and I were setting up for the baptism. The chairs, programs, the font, everything had to be taken care of before. Forest's parents even drove out from Vegas to see the event! But then we had to still go through church for the singles ward! IN which we had 7 non members just show up to church which was crazy trying to meet them all and explain and direct them around. I felt like I had a bunch of kids just needing to be taken care of. But finally after it all was the baptism and it went smoothly and very nicely. Forest's Mom spoke and we even got a jump suit to fit the massive 6'8" man who was Forest. Both Forest and Gina had one of their daughters come and we are hoping to teach them now. So it was awesome.
Overall it was a great week. This transfer is almost over. Can't believe it. Love you all and hope all is well where ever you all are.
Elder DeBry

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