March 28, 2005

Ready to Explode - Excerpt from March 28 E-mail

We had a regular sacrament meeting because of Easter, and the ward is planning on fasting the week after General Conference. I actually enjoyed the Samoan branch's Easter program more than the Ward's. They had 3 musical numbers, all of which were very good, and 2 of the 3 talks were in English because a lot of the Samoan children don't know Samoan.

This week is a Samoan week on the meal calendar, so I had what I would call my first real Samoan dinner last night. I was ready to explode when I got home, I could barely sleep I was so full. They also gave me a name; there is no Samoan name for "Bowden" so they used my first name. The Samoan name for Timothy sounds exactly like Timoteo, which is my Spanish name, so they call me Elder Timoteo. The Samoans are super nice, and they kept telling me how proud they were of me because I could put down so much for a Palangi. I'm not sure I will eat so much next time though, I felt like I was about to be sick.

The work is going very well, we actually have two people committed to baptism, and apparently a non-member Samoan family will be moving into 29 Palms soon, and they have an immediate family of 13! They are interested in the Church, but I don't know when they'll be moving here.

We are still doing a lot of tracting and only have 2 or 3 appointments a week, but the work is slowing picking up. We had an appointment on Wednesday to teach a lady named Sister Meyer a 2nd Lesson, so we went and taught her, but she brought up a lot of concerns and questions, so I was afraid it wouldn't go anywhere, but after I bore my testimony, Elder Brooksby bore his, and committed her to baptism. It really strengthened my testimony in the power of the Spirit.

Posted by jim at 03:54 PM

March 22, 2005

New Area - Excerpt from March 21 E-mail

I am enjoying 29 Palms quite a bit. It is a little hot, but it's bearable, especially being in a car. Elder Brooksby is a good missionary, and knows his stuff. He is a little depressed, because the area is a rather slow area, but we're getting along very well, and he's cheering up quite a bit. He's very funny and is relaxed, which is a nice change. The area is enormous since it's in the desert, and there are very few people here, so I just have to remember that when I tract, otherwise it is frustrating comparing it to my old area, but I guess you can't compare areas.

There was only one current investigator when I got here, so we will definitely be building a teaching pool. It's also hard because almost everyone out here works on the military base or doesn't work, so apparently a lot of investigators will only be interested because they need food stamps or something.

There are so few priesthood holders that we don't even have a Ward Mission Leader in either the ward or the branch. But, we are fed very well, especially in the Samoan Ward, and the members love the missionaries. Also, we have found a few new investigators that we are very hopeful for. One thing that happened while we were tracting was Elder Brooksby wanted to stop, but I said let's just do one more door, and the lady accepted a Book of Mormon and asked us when church started and a few more questions about church. She said she hopes she'll be able to come. We don't know what will happen because of it, but it was a cool experience.

Sacrament meeting with the Samoan ward was very interesting, since it was all in Samoan. I used to think staying awake in Sacrament meeting was hard, but when you can't even understand it and it's the fourth hour of church all day, it makes it quite a bit harder!

Posted by jim at 01:27 PM

March 14, 2005

Transfers - Excerpts from March 14 E-mail

I have been doing very well this last week. Mickey was confirmed yesterday in church, and we have a baptismal date for another investigator, Robert O'Brien. We also have a few interested investigators and so things are really picking up.

Unfortunately, the most interested investigator we found last week moved out of the mission. She asked a lot of questions about mission things like how long we had been out, if we had a car, how far was our apartment, how long do you have to do it for, do you want to be ministers, etc. After answering all these questions she asked "I bet people confuse you for Mormons all the time, huh?" So we explained to her that we ARE Mormons, and she said "But I thought Mormons weren't Christians." So we basically taught her a first lesson and explained the Church, and she asked a lot about its views and agreed with all of them. So we gave her a pass along card and said that if she was interested and had questions to call that number after she moved and they would send missionaries to answer her questions, wherever she is.

As the title of the e-mail suggests, transfers came in on Saturday. I'm being transferred to 29 Palms, which is in the desert. It's been getting over 100 degrees already, BUT I will be in a car, so I think I will be able to survive. I'm a little nervous, but I know I can do well as long as I follow the rules. I will be over two wards, one of which is a Tongan ward, so I will probably be gaining a lot of weight.

Posted by jim at 07:08 PM