Monday, November 30, 2015

November 23, 2015

Hi everyone! 

Sorry for the later letter than usual! We had a mission turkey bowl down on the mall! My team came in 2nd and it was a blast! I destroyed my throat with the cold weather! The last few days have been freezing!! But it was still tons of fun! My legs will be sore for a few days haha

Well first full week in Laurel down! It was a pretty good week! So Laurel is less rural than WP2. Lots more shopping centers and business buildings. But still pretty suburban. The Ward is pretty good, a little smaller than WP2 and not quite as strong. They are nice to the missionaries but not as inviting as the last. But granted my first Ward was what I've heard is one of the best in the entire mission!! So we eat about 4-5 times a week with members. 

So a focus of our mission right now is just contacting, getting out talking to as many people as we can. Elder Ballard came to the mission earlier this year and extended the promise that if every missionary contacts 10 people a day (20 per companionship) we would see our teaching pools go up! So that was a huge push after, and they are revitalizing it with the Festival of Lights and the Christmas season rolling around. So we are doing the Elder Ballard Challenge Pt. 2 as a mission right now. Elder Williams and I had 85 contacts this week! That is way higher than I've ever had in a week so far, but as you can tell it's not quite the 120 we are striving to get! It's pretty hard with the no tracting after dark rule to sometimes get a full 20 on the day! But we are working hard! 

So it was lots of tracting this week so rather than run down the week I'll just hit a few highlights. So Thursday I was asked to give the workshop in District meeting and I taught on how we can better plan/set goals with the spirit. People came up and told me I did a good job so I guess it went well!

Also we had this way interesting lunch on Friday with some members. They live in this like huge wanker retirement apartment complex that has this restaurant. Holy cow I was by far the youngest person in that room. Like I could be those peoples great great great grandson. I'm pretty sure if you added up all the ages of the people there we could have enough years to get back to Adam and Eve. I've never seen so many walkers, wheelchairs, and jazzys. You get the picture.. They were older than dirt. Plus the food was 110+ portion sizes as well so that was a downer. 

So we have a few people I'm super excited to teach here! First is a 14 year old kid named Jacob. He's already a member (technically). But he basically has 0 testimony, he went up to his Mom and Grandpa and told them that he didn't really believe in God. So they brought us in and we are teaching him! He's a super cool kid and he's really open to having us help him out! Plus his family always wants to feed us when we are over talking with him so that is always a bonus haha. But he really does want to know these things he just needs to put in the work so I'm excited for him. Plus we have an exchange with President Cooke this upcoming week and we scheduled Jacob during that time so that's gonna be fun. 

Also we have 2 possible investigators we tracted into on Saturday. So they are Wally and Mary Ann. I say possible cause Wally is a preacher for the 7th Day Adventist church and has been for like 40 years. So yeah.. Fun stuff. So they had just got back from church when we knocked their door and they let us in and we basically just compared and contrasted our beliefs. It was pretty interesting. They were open for us to stop by again and keep talking with them, so who knows maybe the spirit can work on them enough they will have soft enough hearts to convert! I think Wally honestly just wants to learn about our church but I kinda got the vibe from Mary Ann she wants to convert us to their church. They gave us some book of their scripture when we gave them a Book of Mormon. I dunno what to do with it.. I kinda wanna keep it just as a crazy kind of souvenir haha. But yeah they have some pretty interesting beliefs, actually pretty similar to us on some points. But Wally says the Bible is perfect because God wouldn't allow his word to be changed... So we will see where this goes! I'm pretty excited though!    

Sounds like thanksgiving will be a ton of fun with the Carrolls. I'm sure gonna miss you all this holiday season but there are fun mission memories that will be made. The missionaries really look out for each other, especially during the holidays since we are one big mission family! I'll have Thanksgiving dinner at some members house and since it's a non Proselyting day we will spend some time with other missionaries. 

I love you all!

Yellow Team!!
Elder Herring, the guy in the red beanie, is going to BYU to play O-line when he gets home

Reunited with my boys!!
Elder McDonald and Elder Lee

Elder McDonald and Elder Parker

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