June 27, 2005

E-mail of June 27, 2005

Dear Mom and Dad,

It's really weird seeing the pictures of you guys in the MTC! I can't wait to hear more about what South Africa is like.

This week has been pretty good for me. We taught an investigator the Gospel of Jesus Christ on Friday and he accepted our invitation to be baptized! He has a Word of Wisdom problem, so we are giving him a lot of time to be able to overcome it, so his baptismal date is on August 7th.

Immediately after teaching Brother Bradshaw we went to talk to a 13 year old boy and also committed him to baptism for this Sunday. He has been waiting a year to be baptized, so he was very excited and even started crying when we told him it could be this Sunday. The members around here have been very supportive and we have recieved so many referrals we seem to never have enough time! Two of them seem really solid, and one of them we are teaching tonight, so I am really excited.

Let me know more about South Africa as soon as you can!


Posted by jeff at 09:11 PM

June 20, 2005

E-mail of June 20, 2005

My week has been pretty awesome. We have a progressing investigator named Nacho (well that's his nickname) that agreed to be baptized, so Elder Hanson and I are very excited. He's an awesome guy and acts like a member already. His wife and in-laws are inactive though, so we're having trouble getting him to come to Church. Also, I taught another part member family, the Bradshaws, and the non-member husband said that he has received signs that the Book of Mormon is true, so he is now praying about baptism! And on top of that, we have a 14 year old boy who has been investigating the Church for two years that the Bishop finally told him he can be baptized! So the work here in Redlands is going very well! It's very humbling, because I don't feel like I've done anything, and we look at our lessons and see how bad we taught the lesson, but the Spirit carried it. I guess that's what is supposed to happen though, so I'm happy!

Aside from the work, we did have 2 or 3 earthquakes, we were walking up to a house when we felt the second one, the garages started shaking like crazy. President Christensen has told everyone to make sure we have our 72 hour kits because he's recieved word that more earthquakes are going to be coming. Which should be scary to me since I have never been in any, but for some reason I feel very calm.

Also, yesterday we had an interesting guest at Church. My companion's sister got married on Saturday in the West Jordan temple and is having her honeymoon in Southern California, so my companion (mostly as a joke) asked Sister Christensen if it would be alright if she came to visit him on her way to Disneyland, and she said "Yeah, that'd be terrific, but only as long as she only goes to Church with you." Which obviously was no problem to him. She came to Sacrament Meeting, and it was a little strange, it didn't make him or me homesick at all, but it was very awkward for me, since I don't know anything about her. But it was cool, and I was happy for him.

Anyways, that's all the news I have, thanks for all the e-mails.

Posted by jeff at 06:25 PM

June 12, 2005

E-mail of June 12, 2005

Thank you for all the e-mails this week! I'm sorry I don't have time to write to all of you, but I hope this one e-mail will be okay. No I didn't feel the earthquake, although I was at a meeting before Church when it hit.

Anyways, Redlands is an awesome area. The only real downfall (compared to my old area) is that I am on bike again. But it is a good bike area because it is very flat. My companion, Elder Hanson has been out for 3 months, and he is from Riverton Utah. He is a great missionary and is very excited about the work. We teach together very well, and our personalities are similiar enough that we get along well. The work is a little slow, because they just had two baptisms, but it is incredibly fast compared to 29 Palms. We have about 6 investigators that we are actively teaching and a lot of other investigators that aren't progressing at all.

We have a lot of awesome members, and almost everyone is willing to do anything to help us. One funny thing about the area is there is a Boden family in the 1st ward, which is Elder Boden's brother's family from my first area. Everyone thought though that it was Elder Boden coming and so I get asked a lot whether I am his brother or not. It is just Elder Hanson and I in the apartment. The area is pretty big for a bike area, and we never go into one part, mostly because 90% of it is 7th day adventist. I do have my first bike, but I had to make a few repairs on it, which was very annoying, but it is better now then when I got it, so I guess it's okay.

Thanks for all your prayers, I pray for all of you every night, I love you!


Posted by jim at 11:52 AM

June 05, 2005

E-mail of June 5, 2005

Transfer calls came in on Saturday night. I am getting transferred to Redlands 3rd and 4th wards to be with Elder Hanson. Elder Hanson has been out just as long as Elder Midzinski. I was very surprised to be transferred.

What happened is that the whole area of Twentynine Palms has not been doing well, so they are combining it all into one area, meaning two Elders (Elder Midzinski and Elder Westover, my District Leader) will be cover two wards and two branches, and their area will take up more than a fourth of the mission!

It's also strange because this will be my 5th companion, 3rd area, and I've only been out for 5 transfers! I don't really know anything about my area except it's a bike area (ugh.), and I will be able to go to the temple once a transfer, and there is a CTR Books there. I am excited, but I am sad to leave Twentynine Palms.

This last week we did a lot of less-active work, and whenever we went to visit a less-active we would tract around the house using the 10x10 method you told me about. So far it has helped us out a lot, since we are required to do so much tracting every week, and it's normally hard to get a lot done when you are doing less-active work. We went and visited a new investigator named James earlier this week, and he had been anti-ed by his dad, so he said he didn't want to be involved anymore. So we asked him what he had problems with, and he asked us questions about the Church, and then I bore my testimony and he softened up and agreed again to come to Church and to read the Book of Mormon. It is amazing how even the smallest teaching moments can be just as rewarding and powerful as the long planned lessons.

Posted by jim at 11:43 AM