Wednesday, March 30, 2016

6 months today!

March Madness? PSYCH! LESS-ACTIVE MADNESS! We have been seeing blessings from this less active push from the South Carolina Initiative. (See below)

So step four of the SCI is when the missionaries come in. However, most of the wards are slow in putting this into place down here (Greenville Stake was starting to do it before I left). So what has happened is that President Turner has told us to start it, since it needs to be going. The plan is, once the wards get to doing it, it will already be at full speed, thus making it even more effective. 

During weekly planning we hold our own so-to-say "ward council" to see who from our lists we had made, need to be seen this week. Then we go make first contact, and afterwards, seek which members would be the best to come see them with us. Then we put them on date for receiving priesthood down the road, temple endowment,temple baptisms, sealing etc...or put their non-member family members on date for baptism depending on who we are teaching. Anyway, it is a sick system! Once the wards get into it, there will be so many blessings. The benefits of this initiative are: 
  • Member missionaries work stronger 
  • Work will hasten
  • Easier to work with leaders
  • Ward will be unified 
  • We can baptize, but when we work together we are stronger 
  • Members testimonies will grow
  • More referrals for us if we do what we are supposed to do...endless cycle
  • Members more likely to magnify their callings
  • The members would have more joy
  • More baptisms: Boise Idaho, 60% of baptisms came from this (Boise mission tried this first)
  • Missionaries will be teaching more: busy missionaries are better and happier
  • Gives ward councils opportunity to learn how to work
  • Supposed to be focused on people and not events. 
With that being said, as we focus on less-actives we will see blessings, and this week we have. So on Monday, we were looking for some couple named Alex and Jackie. They were not in any church records that we had obtained. We only knew them from records of previous missionaries in the junior book. Anyway, we went searching for them at a few possible addresses and actually found them! They said that missionaries had not come by for a long time! They were baptized between 8 and 10 years ago in this area. We are still trying to figure out what happened. Anyway, we asked if they had any other family in the Charleston area and they did. Jackie has a mom, and 2 siblings here as well. We got kind of terrible directions as to where her mom's house was, but we knew the neighborhood. She said her mom had a white honda. We walked up and down the street and did not see a white honda. As we were turning around to go back to the beginning of the street to start knocking, a white honda comes around the corner. We went to that house and we come to find out that it was the mom! The mom and brother of Jackie are members as well! The other sister is not. Jackie's mom, Maria, said that her mom and sister live in the area too. We are not sure if they are members or not, but we will be finding out this week! So basically we are uncovering a whole family tree of less-actives. 

Other than finding less-actives, we have less-actives finding us. A couple of weeks ago, we went out looking for a man named Francisco Currchich. He no longer lived at the address we had for him and after knocking around his trailer, we found out that nobody knew who he was, so we forgot about him. Tuesday night, we got a call from a contact in our phone named "Hermano Pusul". He said he was a member, but has not been to church in centuries. He said he wanted to come out and teach lessons with us. We were so amazed! We went and tried to visit him three times and he was not there. On the fourth try, we called him and his voicemail said "Francisco Pusul Currchich". I was shocked! We had prayed for guidance on who to see and a few weeks later it paid off! We had a lesson with him later on this week and he wants to start new again. He does not have the priesthood, and has not been to the temple (obviously), so that is our goal! He also has a 17 year old son! We see so much potential with these less-active families. So far the last three weeks, we have 4 non-members living with less actives! Can't wait to teach them, help them grow a testimony of the atonement and baptize them eventually! 

Yesterday was a bomb sacrament meeting! All it was was an Easter program. There were really good musical numbers and even the Spanish group (and Spanish missionaries) went up to sing "Creo en Cristo" (I believe in Christ). It may have been off tune because you know, hispanic culture, but it was still cool! We had 3 less-actives at church as well! Aside from that, so many families showed up for church! It was sick!

News: our former District Leader, Elder DeGraffenried was made the new Assistant to the President! Wohoo go Spanish Elders! Spanish elders have a bad rep in the mission for some reason, but we are moving up in the world! Hahaha just kidding. We also got the former AP as our new zone leader as well! I am so stoked to get to learn from him! (Elder Daynes). Elder Daynes is a huge baller, so we have been balling every morning from 6-7. Its tiring haha.

We knocked into a lot of drunk people this week. They are the funniest to talk to because they just don't know what is going on. This one guy gave us a handshake and when he shook my hand he kept moving it up and down and wouldn't let go, and then he just was kinda funny.

We found another less-active last night. His name is Carlos and his girlfriend is Yahira. Yahira was taught all of the lessons, in 
Orlando, and had a date to be baptized, but then moved here. We have been trying to see them this whole last transfer and they never answered the door. They are sooo cool and can't wait to see them again!

We also taught a lesson to a guy named Chewey! He answered his door and he had one of our pass along cards, with a picture of Christ on it! We were like what?! So he let us in and we taught him! We are going to teach him tonight as well, so pray for us!

Happy Easter! Cannot wait for general conference!

Elder McLaughlin- envió desde mi iPad
Jorge & an English class student with Elder Degraff on the far left #AP)

Love this guy a lot! Gonna miss him!

Sister Acuna left the district too. We have 6 Spanish sisters in the mission and she has trained 4 of them!

Some goodies from mommy this week:)

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