Well happy 11/11.. will beat some point while writing! anyways! this week has been another busy busy one! Looking back I'm not sure how the time went by so fast.. But it was a good week! Full of changes and progress!
Monday evening after a pretty slow P-day, we had dinner with the Brady family whose children are ADORABLE. I don't know what it is but missionaries+toddlers (2-5)= a mad house. It was great! throughout the week we have been meeting with members and having them fast with us this upcoming Sunday to hasten the work and for all the families to have the opportunity to share the gospel as well. After dinner we were riding our bikes to go visit a former and none other but Cody Caffall drives past and tells us he has some time before he had to go home so he'd come out on a lesson with us. So we went and taught Lauren Parma who was super open to listening and learning more about the church! I guess the previous missionaries had dropped her because she teaches teachers to prep students for the SAT and has to travel a lot. So we went in and had a really good lesson. Invited her to be baptized and she said if she found out why she needed to be baptized that she would! So it was a good night! Also, it was totally Elder Bangerter's birthday and we were so busy that I forgot to wish him a happy birthday.. felt bad.
Tuesday we had MISSION LEADERSHIP COUNSEL!!! It was BOMB. Not that it isn't always but this time especially. Our mission president is seriously the most inspired man I'll probably ever know. He just really knows how to rally the troops! So what he basically taught us about was what he heard from Elder Ballard and some other members of the Seventy at the mission president seminar that he had been at the week previous. The basis was baptizing monthly. We listed all the concerns we have as leadership. After that President taught us that all these concerns such as obedience and lack of planning and desire/motivation would be changed if we baptized monthly. Totally true. So that was just awesome. Then the big one was the reveal of internet proselyting!! I'm sure most of you have seen me now on FaceBook and wondering why and hopefully none of you thought to tattle on me! But yes, we can now get online and talk to people and teach them about the Gospel online. We can even pick up new investigators and receive referrals from people to contact and teach! It has been really weird.. I'll get to that later though. So yeah!! Also, had to say goodbye to Elder Mendoza who leaves on the 26 to go back to school early in Spain.. going to miss that kid. I've learned a lot from him and hope I'll get to visit him in espain! After our meeting we had to go to the office which took forever because the doors were locked and we had to wait for Elders Bangerter and Lloyd. By the time we got back it was time for our 'Lost Sheep' activity. In which we went out in companionships with members and visited people that were on our ward list that we didn't know! And it was a great success! Elder Haslam and I went out with one of the mission presidency in our ward, Elder Oldroyd who is awesome! He's the man. We stopped by a few, made some return appointments, he hopped a fence and was scared half to death by this massive next door neighbor dog that he thought was in the yard. Pretty funny. Gotta love these dogs in the ghetto parts of town!
Wednesday was the first day of internet proselyting! What a weird experience.. after studies we had the long travel up to the pasadena stake center to use the family history center. It was overwhelming being back on Facebook. Having to go through all my pictures and make sure that to everyone in my ward and investigators and such who go through them will still see me as a representative of Christ. So that was a long process! Still not sure how to really do online missionary work so if all y'all have people you want me to talk to online and answer questions please let me know! We can also use our emails and such so I'll be checking it every day! After that was over we had a lesson with a less active man named Robert Scharfe who only gets to see his children on Sundays and that is why he can't come to church. I guess he was electrocuted while on the job and is going through some legal stuff to get workers comp. I guess he died twice while on the way to the hospital. Crazy! I got to relate to him pretty well and taught him the importance of having spiritual priorities. When we finished we went on a scavenger hunt to find Paul.. who was thankfully hanging out around Rita's place (his wife/ex wife), still drinking a beer. He seems to be using us as a way to show Rita that he is trying to change and stop drinking. So he asked us to pray for him again and we started teaching Rita about what made our church different. She had excellent questions about why we had the book of mormon, Joseph Smith, and finally how we baptize people. We set up to have a tour with them thursday but they never showed.. but we took the remaining beers that he had at the time and got to dump them out. We missionaries do it all! Saving souls, one beer at a time haha. We ran into this other character though who was hilarious. His name was Chistopher but his friends called him 'Carlo'. His house had just burnt down I guess and now he was homeless and was "like Adam and Eve, eating fruit off the tree naked." The characters we meet in El Sereno! The rest of the night was jam packed though. We had dinner with the Erickson Family who was super cool and their daughter reminded me of Lindsey Reemsnyder. Anyways. Then we had to rush over and share another/same message with the Isrealson family about fasting with us next Sunday. Thankfully they were able to drive us down to the Figeroa's for our weekly reading the Book of Mormon with them. Unfortunately their less active daughter was there.. busy!
Thursday was ZONE TRAINING! And it was actually really, really good. Well, at least I thought so. We were graced with having the Assistants presence. Gotta love Elders Bangerter and Lloyd. But I felt like the zone was pumped up and had the vision for all of the mission to baptize in December! it's not just a goal anymore, it is going to happen. so yep! AFter the meeting we waited around for Paul and Rita to show but... to no avail. We headed back up to do more facebook and it was actually pretty productive! Kind of am trying to figure it out. I like being able to talk to friends about the gospel. We headed back down and tried to meet up with this lady Elizabeth who has just moved a few months ago from up north and her and her daughters are members but her oldest son isn't! even though he introduced them to the church.. she was busy running errand so we weren't able to have a sit down lesson but we got to introduce Sister Erickson to the girls. The rest of the night we went out on visits with Nate and talked to quite a few people! Nate was on fire, talking to everyone that we didn't and people able to take the casual member approach to it all. It'll be awesome being a member missionary. We stopped by the same lady that we did with Elder Oldroyd and jumped the fence again but she again didn't answer the door even though we saw her through the window. As we were leaving she came outside to ask up "why we jumped the fence." Not thinking we'd get into trouble just for sharing the good word! Nate saved the days though and was able to make a connection with her and she said we could stop by if we ever needed anything. But the HIGHLIGHT probably of the week was the following lessons. After talking to all the interesting characters down in lincoln heights, we drove out to Alhambra to have our lesson with Hector Pasillas. Who had just gotten out of 11 years in Folsom Prison. He had found a Book of Mormon two years before he got out and paid $15 for it even though it had pages ripped out. His social worker I guess was a member but couldn't reveal it to him but she was able to help guide him through this spiritual refining and process and he is now a golden investigator. Never would have thought he had served time. But he is on parole for a while so he can't get baptized until he is off but we set him with a date for as soon as he is off parole in a few years :) Seriously, he is awesome. He is so fun to teach!
Friday we had another lesson with Brother Pasillas as we call him. So we biked down to Alhambra and had a lesson just us three and went over the Restoration and showed him a mormon message that had the closing scene of a quote that said "truth has been restored." and he said "Truth HAS been restored and it's beautiful!" If that gives you any more of an idea of how awesome he is. After the long bike back up to the area we did more internet sturff and it was typical. Nothing too exciting.However, the rest of the afternoon was supposedly packed with stuff to do but most of it fell through and weren't home.. like Robert who we haven't heard from in a while. We had dinner with the Larsens and the kids were rambunctious again but adorable as always. had to eat and run to a lesson with Sister Richards and brought brother Ray with us who is a USC dental student and was willing to help her out with some cheaper dental care. But unfortunately we had our last lesson bail again which was all the way down in the corner of our area. One of the more ghetto parts. Elder Haslam got to skate with some of these kids and showed them what was up. it was great!
Saturday... not even sure what happened with our wonderful plans! WE had two lessons set up for the morning but they both weren't there. So we went with Brother Cafall to teach some of his lost sheep families and ran into this part member husband who said we could come back to get practice teaching but he wasn't too interested in converting.. but we ran into this other guy who was from the Church of Christ and he said that they use the 'Record of the Nephites' which is basically the Book of Mormon and whatnot... never had seen that before! So I think we are going back this next week! We had another meeting with Brother Astle, the high council rep for our ward to get an update of the zone, even though we met with the stake president the following day. We headed home after more internet proselyting (which I felt accomplished because I got a referral!) and we finished weekly planning which had to be condensed because we had dinner with Sister Harmon who took us to Carrows. Saw some interesting people there as well! The rest of the night however was spent back up at the stake center finishing the stake report on baptisms which took forever because certain companionships weren't answering...
Sunday was awesome. We had a great missionary coordination. Which led to my first ward council in south pas which was much more productive than any other ward i've had! And then to top it off, we had Hector show up to church in a new suit he had bought and he was a stud! He was asking questions, making tons of acquaintances and having people set up lessons with him. It was so great! He loved it and would have stayed all day if he could. AFter church we had our meeting with the stake president and had Elders Brown and Turek come to represent the chinese portion of the zone. Followed by Sister watsons visit and following up on how her surgery went! We had dinner with the Banks family who were hilarious and a great family. he is a pediatrist and served in Albania. Then we went home and finished weekly planning. Good day!
Well my time is up for the week. I love you all and hope all is going well!