Monday, November 24, 2014

An Awesome Week!

   How are you doing?

 It's been an awesome week, let me tell you what's been going on!  So, my first week here was really dry.  We worked and worked and worked, but we didn't have any new investigators.  This past week we got three referrals though, and now we have three new investigators!

The first one is from a part member family.  They just moved in, and were referred to us by the Sister missionaries from their previous ward.  We talked to the husband who's not a member, and he said that we could come by and teach him.  He's still a ways from making up his mind in either direction, but he says that he can't possibly learn enough about the religion that his daughters will be raised in.
The second is kind of an unofficial investigator.  She's also from a part member family.  Her husband is in the Navy and he's studying here at the UofA to become an officer.  He's shooting to become a pilot, so I picked his brain about that!  His wife isn't a member, but she said it would be ok if we came by to share some more with her.  They're a super cool family!

Our third investigator is super cool.  He's a young man, I think he's 17.  The missionaries met him when he came to an after school devotional at the seminary building.  We've been trying to contact him for quite a while, but we were never able to catch him.  We went to try again several days ago, and as we walked up to his house his Mom came out onto the porch.  She said "You're the boys that "D's" been talking too!  Come on in!"  
She then brought us in, gave us some cookies that she made, and called "D" in.  Then she started talking to us too.  At one point, she said "Okay, I know just what you're Mom's are thinking right now, so I'm going to tell you."  She gave us a talk about being safe, not being too trusting of people, being aware of our surroundings, basically just telling us to be smart and safe.  She was so nice!  It was kind of weird at first because we rarely have non-members be that nice to us, even a lot of the members aren't that nice.  She was super nice, there is no way to overstate that.  She asked us why we decided to serve missions, gave her thoughts and comments on our decision (which were all super positive, by the way).  After that, we talked with "D". 

He's already read the Book of Mormon all the way through the end of 2nd Nephi, it was awesome!  He went to Stake Conference with some of the members here, and he said "he (the Stake President) was saying a lot of the same things I say, I just didn't know that other people said them."  We told him a little about what the Book of Mormon is, and that was that.  When we were talking to "D", his Mom just invited us over to Thanksgiving dinner with them too!
  We didn't even say anything about a return appointment, she just brought it up!  I didn't know a visit could even go this well!  We taught him the restoration on Friday at the home of a member who's son he's friends with, and he said that he'd be baptized if he prays about the Book of Mormon and learns for himself that it is true.  Super cool!  
Now, you were asking me to tell you about the first door I knocked and how I'm interacting with my companion and with the ward.  First, the door.  We actually don't do much tracting.  When we want to find people, we usually do it on the way to an appointment.  We'll park at the edge of the neighborhood and walk in, talking to everyone that we pass by.  Elder C. said that he's found that people are way more receptive when they're out walking then they are when they're in their homes.  We've set a goal to contact 28 people each week, which is actually pretty tough here because people keep to themselves so much.  We've been doing a good job with it though, and it's paying off!  Referrals are so much more productive though.  We probably talked to 25 or 30 people last week, and not one lesson came from it.  Then we got three referrals, and now we have three new investigators!  We do knock doors, but that's usually when we're trying to contact less actives.  Generally they're pretty nice.

My companion and I are getting a long really well.  We both work hard, and he's such a good example of diligent missionary work.  I also speak to him in Portuguese, and he speaks back in Spanish so I can still practice Portuguese a bit!  He likes pulling little pranks too.  For example, while I was sleeping once he tied a rope around my ankle and tugged on it until I woke up.  He'd set up his camera before, and now he watches the video every morning!  I had a pretty confused look on my face when I woke up, it was pretty funny!

The ward is great too, I don't think I've ever seen a more missionary minded ward.  Everyone invites friends to activities, and missionary work really is the focus of the ward leadership.  In ward council on Sunday they spent the first 20 or 25 minutes talking about ward activities and other such business, and then the remaining hour or so was dedicated to missionary work: investigators, less actives, helping people progress to ordinances, and so on.  It was so neat to see how the ward pulled together, they're an incredible example of the members being equally yoked with the missionaries in the work.

That's what's been going on this week!  A lot more happened this week then last, hence the novel.  Trevor and Amy's stay sounded super fun, I'm so happy that you were able to get together.  Keep me up to date with what's going on in your lives!  Have an awesome Thanksgiving too.  

I love you all!

Elder Sweet

P.S. The first dear elder that you sent got in 2 days ago.  The packages all got here several days ago, so those must be delivered faster for some reason.  Getting a letter in the middle of the week is such a treat, so keep 'em coming!  It's also fun to sit down on P-day and read E-mails too, so feel free to use either medium.  I love you!

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