Merry Christmas! We had a great start to the week. So backstory: we switched up the boundaries between us and the other elders in North Chuck last transfer, therefore we got a bunch of their investigators. One of which is named Peter. Peter came to general conference in October, and really loved it! He has been so hard to get in touch with. He switched jobs and we did not know where he was working. On November 5th, Elder Dillree and I went to Walmart in the afternoon to buy refreshments for Sheena's baptism, and as we were looking at stuff, a guy called out to us from behind the bakery counter. His name tag read 'Peter' and at first we did not know who this guy was. Then it clicked for me and I asked his last name, and wohoo it was who we had been looking for! Fast forward to Monday night. We finally got to sit down and teach him again. It had been since mid November that we had the chance to. We set expectations, had a member with us and taught a powerful lesson of the Restoration of the Gospel. He shared personal experiences and boy does he have a ton of faith. Like, he has been so prepared to accept the gospel. As I shared the first vision in the words of Jospeh Smith, I felt the spirit so strongly. The Spirit confirmed to me once again that young Joseph in fact did see God the father and Jesus Christ. There was a lot of silence as I tried to compose keep myself from weeping too much...I just couldn't help it though. We put him on date for baptism and invited him to pray to know if this was true, but immediately it seemed as if he was a bit frustrated with us for asking. He said that he did not need to pray about it. He already knew it was true from attending the general conference broadcast. He felt this confirmed to him especially as the choirs were singing. #PowerInMusic
He told us that he would have not invited us back if he did not know it was true...He is so golden! Now this week we had set up 2 other appointments and he forgot about one, but never showed up to the other. We have as of now lost complete contact. We have tried hunting him down at Walmart, because when we went to his house, all of his stuff was on the side of the road. He had been evicted! Pray that we will find Peter!!
This week we had 7 lessons with members present, but had 9 lessons with members present fall through! 9!! That was so frustrating! Right now the zone is on the upward slope, which is good! Our district is killing it right now... we have some dang hardworking elders. It is evident that every district has an x-factor. If these "x-factors" don't preform, the district as a whole does not. Its kinda cool seeing all of these patterns.
We had zone conference on Wednesday here in North Chuck! We combined with the Florence zone, which was pretty fun! We made district videos and watched them the second half. There were some pretty dang funny ones. Ours was pretty good too. I'll try sending them, but if not, after the mish everyone can see.
I learned a lot. The assistants trained on key indicators again, but put an analogy inside of their training that totally made sense. Right now in the mission, we are pushing a focus on key indicators and hitting our standards of excellence. So we are trying to change the culture of the mission...slowly but surely. We want to see more conversions taking place and get rid of the days where we feel inadequate about our work not being reflected by our numbers. So he is the analogy... it comes form the movie "money ball". Apparently in MLB they would choose players who had the celebrity factor- those flashy big playmaker players. The A's got a team of not known players. They selected them based off of their on base percentage. On base leads to stolen bases, leading to runs and ultimately wins. When we focus on our key, key indicator- Member presents, everything else will fall into place. Investigators will come to church, we will get referrals and conversions will take place. It's cool.
Saturday we had 6 set lessons fall through. We had members with us as well. Even when we do confirm that they will be there, they aren't always there. Saturday night we went to a member's home who requested we do them a favor. Every year they put a bunch of Christmas food and goodies together in a HUGE box for a family in need in the ward. They asked us to drop it off at the family's house. They wanted it to be anonymous, and we as we were driving, Elder Jacobsen and I decided to ding dong ditch them! It was fun! I straight booked it down the street- clocked my 40 at 4.2 seconds while doing so, and dove behind a parked car in someone's yard. Elder Jacobsen was one house down from me, trying to catch the member's reaction on video...it was too dark to see, sorries! As I was behind a car, this lady comes out all confused and kinda scared- woops! I told her real quick what we were doing and she was impressed! We drove out of the neighborhood with our lights off as the family was at the door peeking out. Felt good to do that for them, although we were just the deliverers.
There was a less-active lady who referred herself through mormon.org this week. She said that she wants to come back to church and that her kids want to be baptized, so of course we were stoked as ever! We called her, and the number was out of service. We stoped by twice, and the second time we looked in the window and everything was gone from the apartment. We talked to a maintenance guy and he said they moved a few weeks ago! We are still confused, but just found her email yesterday, so we will send her a message! Stuff like this has happened to me before, so it wasn't too out of left field.
We forgot to send out referrals of people we talked to at the flea market, so yesterday I decided to put them into the referral system and send them off. There was a lady named Machell who had no address, so I called her! She said that she had looked at the card the missionaries gave her at the flea market Saturday night, and thought to call but got busy...talk about perfect timing! I got to answer some questions she had, and I clarified the doctrine of the godhead being three separate personages. I read her over the phone Matthew 3:14-17 I think is the verse, where it talks about Christ's baptism, and the voice of Heavenly Father. She said that she believed in the separate personages doctrine for 52 years until recently when a pastor showed her a scripture in John that talked about Jesus being God, but in the flesh, since God didn't have a body. We talked about her background a little more, and wants to learn from the missionaries! Super solid too.
LUKE 9:57-62..... Christ invites us to follow him--- what will be your response?
I gave a talk on Sunday based on this story from last week:
Monday while shopping for food, I talked to an older man who was stocking shelves with cereal. He saw my tag and recognized me as a missionary. We talked and I found out he is a pastor of a small local congregation. He told me he was looking to relocate and told me this short story as to why... during church a while back, a man walked in and said that there were two gunmen. This man proceded to command that those who were willing to take a bullet for Christ were to stay, and those who wouldn't should leave. The pastor said the man was blowing smoke and there was no gunman, but many of his congregation left, and never came back.
He asked me then, if I would be willing to sacrifice everything for christ.
I talked about people who put everything on the line for christ... Acts 5:28-42, Alma 23: 6,7 and the story of the anti-nephi-lehies. If we want to truly come unto christ, we have to "offer [our] whole souls as an offering unto him" omni 1:26
Elder McLaughlin- envió desde mi iPad