Thursday, June 30, 2011

June 28, 2011

Well, it has been quite a crazy week! Starting on Tuesday of last week, we taught an incredible investigator for the first time. We had found him on Monday when we were going crazy with our ZONE 2.0 idea, and so on Tuesday we went back and taught him. It was a great lesson. He is 18 and has a lot of struggles, but he really wants to turn his life around and he accepted a baptismal date. One of his best quotes: "I wish it was Sunday today. I want to go to Church!" It was amazing.

June 21, 2011

Everything has been going well. Elder Kidd and I have come up with something to really help our zone get going. President Cook wants the mission to have double the baptisms in 2011 that we had in 2010, but the San Clemente zone hasn't been performing like it needs to be. So at the district meetings this week, we have been going around announcing ZONE 2.0. Basically, the goal is by the end of this transfer to have our zone performing twice as well as it is now (hence, 2.0). Double the baptisms, double the investigators at church, double the miracles, double the faith. We know it can happen, and we are really pushing exact obedience and having our missionaries give everything.

Elder Kidd and I were testing it out last week, and it definitely wasn't necessarily "enjoyable" at first. We get up 30 minutes early to have more time in the mornings to get things done, we take short lunches and skip dinner if we don't have a dinner appointment with members/investigators. Whenever we are tired, we walk faster. We don't talk about anything but missionary work during the day, we don't read mail until Preparation day and just other stuff like that to help us lose ourselves more and more in the work. Our goal for every day is to make so many calls and texts every day to arrange things and set things up that the phone is dead by the time we get home at night (and we are always dead too). We have been doing double-tracting (one of us knocks a door and the other one is standing about 5 feet back, making phone calls to potential investigators and other people). We have seen miracles in our area from it and we are excited to see how it helps the zone. We are planning on keeping it "hyped up" the whole transfer by sending out voicemail commercials for ZONE 2.0 and sending out texts with tips on how to work harder and give more. At first it was super hard (that was the point...we wanted to give up things that we enjoy or like having to be able to be more consecrated missionaries), but the more you do it, the more you really enjoy it. It has also really helped us realize how far we have to go and how we have to constantly improve to be able to be the missionaries that the Lord wants us to be.

June 21, 2011

Reunion with Elder Snyder (first companion & trainer) and Nieves (baptized in first city, Escondido)

June 14, 2011

Well, we got transfer news on Saturday night. Good news: I'm staying again! Bad news (and very much a surprise): Elder Carey isn't staying. We were both shocked when he got the call. President Cook is moving him to a different area so that he can spend the last few months of his mission training two greenies in a row, but it was definitely a shock since we were both whitewashed in. I am pretty sure I know who my new companion will be, though (when you are a Spanish-speaking zone leader, your options are quite limited...about 3 or 4 missionaries).

We had quite an incredible week. We found 11 new investigators this week, including two families (one of whom knows a family in our ward quite well). We are seriously short on time to handle all of our investigators. The days are flying. Once 5pm hits every day, the day is over. The nights are so packed, and so are the days before 5pm.

June 7, 2011

This has been such a great week. The elders we live with have been struggling to find new investigators and have been getting a little frustrated, so me and Elder Carey went to go street contact with them on Wednesday to help them out. We decided to sing a four-part quartet of hymns at the train station in downtown historic Capistrano, and it was a lot of fun. (Funny story: A young couple was walking by with a stroller, and I went over and said enthusiastically, "Hey! Want to listen? We're about to sing a song about Christ!" Answer: an excessively unenthusiastic "We're Jewish." The other elders couldn't stop laughing.)

But we saw such a miracle during our time singing. After spending about an hour singing and contacting at the historic train station, we decided to sing one last song and then finish up, so we sang, "The Spirit of God" and as we were singing, a woman walked by, stopped, and then stood watching us, smiling. After we were done, she said hi and said, "I was just thinking about you guys this morning! I was going to call you but never got around to it!" Turns out that she isn't a member, but has a friend who is. She is a Christian and her daughter is struggling with drugs, and her friend said that the missionaries could help her. She was more than happy to have the other elders over, that night! It was awesome!

June 7, 2011

With Elder Carey, Isabel, and her family

June 7, 2011

Me and Elder Carey last Saturday night. We were so tired that we came home, did our planning, said the prayer to finish our daily planning, and neither of us made it any farther. We both fell asleep right after "amen" and the elders who live with us found us 20 minutes later and took pictures on their phone.