This was a pretty good week. The ward gave us a big fat list of inactives and part members they want us to visit, so that's mostly what we've been doing. And when I say big fat, I mean like 100 names, and that's just our area, not counting the other two areas in this ward! This ward could be 3 if everyone was active, no joke. But yeah, we've been going around with inactives all the time. We were successful in reactivating a man and his daughter who came to church for the first time in 7-ish years yesterday! Sweet! Their names are Hno C and E. Hno C's wife and one of his daughters are not members and he has a son and another daughter who are also inactive, so our plan is to reactivate them and baptize the others. Pretty sweet.
In working with inactives, there are two things I want to say to every member of the church:
1. Treat everyone nicely (especially new converts) and always be a good example.
Don't do anything that would drive someone away from the church. Treat everyone the way Jesus would, and always try to do what's right. Your wrong actions don't always go unnoticed, and can cause people to doubt their own testimonies and prevent those who would join the church from doing so. You are a member of the organization that Jesus Christ himself has established on the earth. Act the part. Your actions effect much more than just those around you and yourself. There are families and children and grandchildren of people who grow up without the church because a member offended their parents or grandparents, and it's a sad thing to see. Everyone deserves to grow up and enjoy the blessings of this church. Think of how much this church has blessed your life, and try your best to not do anything to rob others of that same blessing.
2. Don't get married outside of the church.
So many inactive families are a result of this! Don't settle for anything less than a temple marriage, an eternal marriage, and a spouse who will raise your children in the gospel.
These are the two main reasons people fall away. If every member followed this counsel, the vast majority of inactive members would still be active and thousands, if not millions more people would enjoy the blessings of activity in Christ's church. Yes, people shouldn´t get offended, but do your part. That's my rant for the week.
We have placed M on a once a week visit basis. She didn't come to church again and has a lot of complicated stuff to sort out that are impeding her from keeping some of the commandments. So yeah, pray for a miracle there. We already fasted for one.
Apparently in the adult session of stake conference, Elder Johnson told all the members to think of a name and write it on a paper to give to the missionaries. He also said that this is their time to receive the gospel! So we ended up with about 5 or 6 references from that. So far we've only been able to get ahold of one. His name is CD. He is a referral from the old bishop (the week before stake conference we got a new bishop and he's incredible!), and he's super cool. He's divorced and lives alone in a super awesome house where he hosts parties for a living. Yep. Pretty sweet. So we went over there and helped him set up for one of his parties and then talked to him for a little. He's really nice and I hope he'll be good! He couldn't come to church this week, but he really wanted to and he said he will this next week. He has some really great support in the church with Obispo L so that will really help.
We have also been teaching a family of four, the N family. They consist of C and his wife G, and their two children C Jr. (13) and M (11). They're really great. They are a more functional family than a lot of member families in the United States. They really want the best for their kids and to know what is right for them. We taught them the restoration and the Spirit was super strong. They could all feel it, and they said they would read the Book of Mormon, pray to know it's true, and get baptized when they do! They also couldn't come to church, but it's because Georgina is a doctor and sometimes has to work on Sundays. But they are coming this week. They are so cool! I love them!
We met a new investigator at church of all places. His name is Francis Fruits Flowers, and he's met with the missionaries before. In fact, he's been going to church for about a year and a half. Why is he not baptized? Not sure, but we're going to try and solve that. We had a lesson with him right then and there, and he seems really cool. He's about 28 years old and he actually found the church in California (He doesn't really speak English though.) It seems like he really doesn't understand the restoration still, since he still thinks all churches lead you in the same direction and it doesn't really matter which you join. But he does feel the spirit in our chapel and that's why he keeps coming. So we're going with him tomorrow and hopefully we can get him ready to be baptized soon.
Some super good news: Our old stake president just got called as ward mission leader! He's going to be really great and helpful and we're going to have a lot more help now than we did. I'm super excited.
Micah - Good luck running for student council. Keep up your undefeated streak in soccer!
Izak - Yes, I am counting and wow! 5 goals already! Why are you doing this now that I'm not there? Behave yourself in math class. You should know better than to get caught ;) But yeah, you gotta love clueless subs! Learn those new imagine dragon songs on the bass, ok? Ok. Keep taking care of Timmy for me!
Zane - You should be a missionary for Halloween. Cheer extra loud for me when we beat Utah this week, ok? Thanks!
Gwen - That's great that you saw your cousin Scott. I hope you told him Hola for me. Don´t be scared of dogs! I get barked at by at least 7 or 20 dogs every day. And why did you make poor Luke wear a fairy dress? Fat kid with a lightsaber's really funny. You should watch Fat kid with a lightsaber vs. Saruman now. I watched it at work one day and we were all laughing really hard. I don't really know why, now that I think about it it's really stupid. But you'll laugh I'm sure! You´re cute.
Dad - I definitely told J that the gospel is what he needs right now when he called me to drop us. It felt like a breakup almost. We've been texting him a lot, just to see how he's doing and to invite him to the baptism and stuff, but he hasn't responded yet. And we don't really feel like it would be super smart to go over to his house right now after what's been going on in his neighborhood. But yeah, I'm sure he'll find his way back eventually. We drop anyone who is not showing signs of wanting to make commitments, because if they aren't going to keep commitments they aren't going to progress, and we're wasting our time when we could be with people who really are ready. We talked to our mission president about it, and he said to just keep going with the people who are progressing, even if they don't come to church, if they are reading and praying keep going. So that's what we're doing.
Shoot! I'm wearing a red tie right now! I'll put them away! Sounds like things went well aginst Weber State and that the Utes had fun against the Aggies. Hehe.
Good for Spencer, and for the Democrats. The first Old Yeller quote that came to mind was "NO MORE PURPLE!" Good times.
Mom - Didn't have time to read your letter yet. I'll print it and read it later. Also, I miss peanut butter. It's super expensive here. Also, if you could send me a memory card in one of these packages that would be great, i think I only have one here right now. I'll send you one once I have a backup. Love you!
Basic schedule every day - Get up at 6:30. Devotional with the roommates (prayer, scripture, prayer). Stretch my sore legs. Run with Elder Brighton if it's my turn, do 50 pushups and 100 crunches if it's not. Eat yogurt with Granola in it for breakfast. Shower. Brush teeth, get dressed, do hair, shave, pray. 8:00 personal study. 9:00 companion study. 11:00 language study. 11:30 head out the door to an appointment, or go looking for less active members. Contact people on buses, knock on doors when appointments fall through. 2:00 lunch with a member. 3:00 We should be leaving, but we've usually just barely been served the food at this point. 4:00 appointments, trying to find less active members, knocking on more doors, buying food in little shops to survive. 9:00 Go home, plan for the next day. 10:00 fill out the area book. 10:20 brush teeth, wash face, pray. 10:30 sleep.
That's about it for this week! I love you! Cheer hard for our cougars!