August 29, 2005

E-mail of August 29, 2005

Dear Family,
Thanks for all the mail, I have received the cookies from Cami (which were great and not dry or smashed), and the card from Mom and Dad and the card from Scott and Tiffany. I am looking forward to the rest of the mail. My birthday was very exciting here. But before that, Transfer calls came in on Saturday. I am being transferred again!!! I am going to the Canyon Lakes and Wildomar Wards in the Menifee Zone which was my first Zone. I am a little disappointed since I have had such a great time in Redlands, but I know President Ewer is inspired by the Lord. My new companion is from Tonga and had to learn English in the MTC, so that should be an exciting experience. I will also be in a brand new 2005 Toyota Malibu (thank goodness).

Anyways, yesterday was very exciting. Lots of little problems came up with the baptismal arrangements, but we figured them out. Our 1st Ward meetings went off without a hitch, and 3rd Ward was going pretty smoothly too. Then at the end of Sacrament Meeting, the fire alarm went off! Someone had pulled the fire alarm, so the speaker had to talk over the fire alarm, and the prayer was hard to hear also. We were asked to speak in primary about the Holy Ghost in sharing time. To start off I asked the Children what the Holy Ghost was, the response in junior primary was "The Spirit". Then I asked what the Holy Ghost feels like, to which a little boy in the front answered "Nothing!" which of course, all the primary teachers were trying not to laugh at. Anyways, when we did the same thing in senior primary, but before I could start our neighbor, Sister Bascom, told the primary president it was my birthday, so I was sung to by the primary and received a present from the primary presidency. After Church was over we headed over to the Stake Center to fill the font and get ready for the baptism. I made the mistake of forgetting to close the drain until it had been filling for 10 minutes, so we had to have the water on during part of the service. The service was great and very spiritual, and I was able to baptize Sister Baeza and her son Lynn and Elder Brough baptized Garrett and Julian. I only had to baptize Sister Baeza twice! She didn't go all the way under. It is such an amazing experience to bring a family into the Church, I can't believe the blessings we recieve for such a small part that we play. After the baptismal service we ate at our neighbors, the Bascoms, who fed us poppyseed chicken (I gave her the recipe when she asked what I wanted) and a cool cake that was actually just two layers of brownies with ice cream inbetween and on top. It was kind of sad to begin packing on my birthday though, but overall I had a great birthday. Not very many missionaries can say they baptized a family on their first birthday in the field. Thanks for everything and I love you!


Posted by jeff at 08:54 PM

August 08, 2005

E-mail of August 8, 2005

Well, this last week was an interesting week. We didn't have much success until Sunday night. We mostly biked around this week trying to contact people, and didn't have a whole lot of success. Though we did have a less active recent convert call us and ask if she could start taking the new member lessons again and come back to Church, which of course we agreed to. She said she had a stronger and stronger feeling that she needed to come back.

Also, we have been teaching the Baeza's a lot, and they are progressing very well. The whole family of five wants to be baptized, but the parents have to quite smoking. We introduced the mission's stop smoking program to them and gave them blessings, and we fasted for them this last Sunday. They also all came to Church, so I am very excited. They are an awesome family, that really need the Gospel in their lives.

Besides that, when we got home on Sunday, our bikes had been stolen! Unfortunately, we had not chained them up, because where we park them is so well hidden, but I guess we learn from our mistakes. I am really sorry, that is why there is a $200 withdrawal from my checking acount, I have to buy a new one from an older Spanish missionary (Spanish missionaries never ride their bikes). We will be locking them in the closet under our apartment from now on. Members do come to our lessons by the way, mostly because we are bike missionaries, and they do a great job fellowshipping investigators at Church. This area is pretty amazing with things like that. Well, that is all for this week, I hope you guys are safe and happy. I'm praying for all of you.

Posted by jeff at 05:56 PM

August 01, 2005

E-mail of August 1, 2005

Man, this has been a busy week! We have been running around all week trying to talk to people, but we've been having trouble getting a hold of most of our investigators. We were able to teach the Baeza family three times this last week though, and they love everything they have learned about the Church. They won't agree to be baptized yet though, but are praying about it. I am really excited for them, they are an awesome family, and so funny. Training has been fun. Elder Brough is willing to do the hard work, so it hasn't been hard to get out and do it. Well, except that he has gotten three flat tires! The day after he got his new bike, he got a flat tire, so we had to try and fix it, but when we pumped it back up the pressure blew a hole right through the patch. So we walked around most of Friday. The training we recieved from the mission was kind of short, but just taught us that we have to be the ultimate example for the trainees. We can't cut corners on any rules, and we have to be willing to teach and learn from our companions. We had our first real Zone Conference with President Ewer on Friday. He knows the scriptures so well, it's pretty amazing. He taught us about how we need to keep perspective and remember that even though the field is huge, you can't forget about the actual people. We have also been teaching a few other people that are progressing pretty well. We finally got Robin to start thinking seriously about the Book of Mormon and the Church. She finally understood that we really do believe we are the only true Church, and she still came to Church on Sunday, so that's a good sign! Are you guys reading the Book of Mormon? The Prophet asked all of us to start today and read 1 1/2 chapters a day, and we would be done reading by the end of the year. I hope you guys are trying to do that, I am starting today, but I'll probably be done before than. The Book of Mormon is so much more interesting now! I love reading it, and I have really gotten into the war chapters, and why Mormon included them in the Book of Mormon. Anyways, that's all I can think of for today. Have a great week!
Posted by jeff at 08:21 PM