Mi querida familia,
Wow, I think I'd almost forgotten what it looks like to have snow. Still hasn't snowed yet here in Oklahoma. From what I've heard. we don't get too much snow, but instead we get ice storms. Apparently a few years back Oklahoma got hit with this huge ice storm that blocked people in there homes for a few weeks. I even heard a few missionaries literally got frozen into their apartments and couldn't leave. Hopefully that doesn't happen this year.
This week has been a struggle. A lot of our investigators aren't progressing or coming to church. The main problem is the lack of support from the branch, and I'm slowly realizing that the missionaries literally have to lead out the member missionary work here. Otherwise it won't get done.
Another problem is that many of our investigators aren't at our appointments when we set them. We've had some sad experiences this week like yesterday. We had an appointment set with this family earlier in the week that fell through, so we decided to stop by the house this yesterday. The lights were on, the family was inside, we knocked twice and each time the mom or dad would look at the door and pretend they didn't see or hear anything. It was a little hard since we thought they were pretty solid.
Nonetheless, we've had some great teaching experiences. Saturday we met with a single mom who I actually met back in the South when I was with Elder Chapman. She was home with her kids and also her nephews and nieces. The kids actually remembered me from when I visited them in the South so it was really cool. Everyone gathered around on the porch and listened intently to our message. The kids were especially curious...man, there must be a reason Christ says except ye become as a little child ye cannot enter into the kingdom of God. In order to accept the Gospel you have to be humble and willing to accept that your will perhaps is not what's best for you, but that your Father in Heaven knows whats best and that his will should be your will. Luckily this lady was also very humble. I can't wait to come back the next week and share the Plan of Salvation with them.
and then yesterday, we had an awesome lesson with another family. We had a prayer with the mom a few days earlier and she specifically asked us to help prayer for more unity in the home. Our lesson with them was amazing. It wasn't one of those huge hit-you in the head spiritual moments, but it was simple. I think what touched the mom most was the fact that we were patient with her kids who kept running around screaming. We assured her that we understood, and I mentioned that I come from a family of 7 and that I know how hard it is to keep everyone under control (Now I understand the purpose of all those Family home talks about sitting still when the Home Teachers are over).
We also had a cool experience that happened as we were biking. It's another testimony to Elder Nelson's talk during General Conferance. We were riding our bikes and this guy in his early 20s on the side of the road started a conversation with us and asked "Why would you guys rather ride bikes?" I answered "Well its so we can get to talk to people like you!" So we walked over and introduced ourselves. Turns out he was actually an inactive member of the church and that he had just barely moved in. He mentioned that he'd been thinking a lot about going back to church. We had a prayer with him and I mentioned to him "You know, it wasn't just a coincidence that we drove past you today." And he answered "No, it probably wasn't" and smiled a little bit. We got his information sent it over to the English elders to help get things organized.
If we had never run into him, no one might have ever known he was a less active because there was litttle chance his records got transferred.
Overall, this week has been nice. I've trying to develop my faith a little more. Write now, I'm realizing that my faith in finding people is ok, but then my faith to actually see those people I find start progressing is pretty weak. I pray for the strength to love these people and actually start expecting them to progress. It's hard, it takes a lot of organization and patience. You very rarely find people completely ready to hear the gospel. Those miracle stories that hear at conferance or in the Gospel Principles class are rare. A lot of missionary work is preparing people to make that step into baptism. And that usually doesn't happen in one transfer...it takes a while.
Faith in the people you teach is important. Imagine how much faith God has in each us. We're each his progressing investigator and he has to wait many years to actually see us progress.
Elder Morrell and I are together for another transfer and I'm really excited. He is such a great companion for me, he teaches me about enduring to the end and having patience with people a lot. I really hope we see some success in this area.
Have a great week! I'm glad to hear that everyone's doing well. I have not received any halloween package. I don't think the mission office can forward packages I can call them to see if they have it.
This week should be fun and I can't wait to report about it next week. We have Mission Tour and a lot of set appointments. And we're going to try a new finding technique: offering our services as ordained clergy at a local funeral home :)
Onward! Ever Onward! Listos! Siempre Listos!