So this week was busy again. It never stops, haha, but I love it. Monday was a pretty good day because it was zone p-day. We have 3 companionships of sisters in our zone and like 10ish sets of elders so it gets pretty wild some times. But we get some good games of oompa and basketball in with all those elders, haha.
We got to teach Leslie tonight and talked about repentance and baptism. She has been reading her scriptures and everything still and it’s been going great. The lesson was really good and we were able to talk about her praying about baptism and reaffirming it for February. She could totally be baptized in February she just has to keep it up.
Tuesday was soooo long but when it was over it seemed like it went by pretty fast. I went on exchanges with Elder Munson. I explained it last week but because we are doing exchanges different now we were on bike in Hopewell. We don’t have anyone we are really working with in Hopewell right now so every time we go on exchanges it’s just been a whole day of tracting and contacting formers or potential in the area book. It was kinda fun though just walking around Hopewell. We found this one lady who has a ton of bees and sells the honey and gave us a jar of fresh honey. Besides that, we just talked to random people and a couple less actives.
One of the less active families we talked to was really, really into bowling and I got to learn more about the national bowling tournament than I ever really wanted to know, hahaha. Hopewell can be pretty sketchy in some places and it was kinda funny to see the looks from people as we were biking around. Probably had 6 or 7 people tell us "yall need to be careful around here..." or something to that effect. Sorry mom ;)
We had a district meeting Wednesday morning and it was pretty great. Elder Burila is my district leader, as I think I’ve said before, so that’s a blast because I served around him in Hartwood. I gave a training on loving the people and it was fun to read a lot of the stuff about it. For all of you out there who are doing the "Teaching in the Saviors Way" for Sunday School, I just have to say it’s a great little book. Really thought it’s just Preach My Gospel but dumbed down for the members, haha. If you really want to be a good teacher use that book but also Preach My Gospel. I think everyone should be required to read it.
The rest of the day kinda bummed out. Everyone canceled on us during the afternoon. Our evening was good though and we got to have another lesson with Jessica. She has been reading EVERY SINGLE DAY for the last 2 weeks and its made the biggest change ever. We set her on date for February 11th and she’s super down to be baptized!
Thursday morning was good, but slow just like every Thursday morning, with weekly planning haha. Still not my favorite part of the week even though I've gotten a lot better at it compared to the beginning of my mission. It was a good planning session though and we have a lot of things going well right now. After weekly planning we went out for the day with Elder Baer and it was soooo good. He’s the best senior missionary out there, hands down.
We saw a less active lady that Elder and Sister Baer have been working with and it was a good lesson. We have been really working with everyone to just read on daily lately. That's the key to reactivation or conversion; if they can build the habit of reading daily and praying for themselves. Even for the active members. Then we had a lesson with David who isn't a member. His wife is a member but she hasn't been doing a lot of churchy things for a while and isn't super interested in us coming by. He was super nice though and we talked about what he believes and just how we can help them even though they don’t want us coming by.
We had another lesson with Jessica tonight and it was soo good, she’s now almost done with 1 Nephi and it’s so exciting. Then we went back out with Elder Baer and saw Leslie and read with her. We talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ (4th Article of Faith) and read 2 Nephi 31 with her. She has a really good understanding of the scriptures and is able to pull stuff out of her reading really well. She wants to believe that these things are true but she is still working it out with God through prayer. I think she will keep doing well as long as she keeps reading and praying.
Friday was an insane day. We had a coordination meeting with our ward mission leader and Elder Baer in the morning and it was good. Then we were trying to see people the rest of the day. We were able to have a lesson with Jessica again and it was really good. We talked about the Word of Wisdom and about her living it. She really didn’t have any reserves and we challenged her to live it for 2 weeks and then we would revisit it before baptism. She is really progressing and it’s so cool.
We had a couple lessons that were supposed to happen but they ended up canceling which was ok. Then for the rest of the evening we went out with Elder Baer again and saw a few less active families. One of them was the Bennetts and we talked about patriarchal blessings with them and it was so great. They have recently been coming back to church and its awesome. Then we went and saw Sister Heacock again and talked about them coming back to church too. She has been having a lot of challenges lately in life and it was really good to go see her and the kids.
Friday night we started an exchange with the Chesterfield D Spanish Elders and it was a ton of fun, I love Spanish exchanges. I got to go out with Elder Esquedero who is the district leader and has been out a little under ayear. We biked a little bit but for most of the day we were driving around seeing people. I don’t know if I have mentioned but Jessica is really into the Spanish culture. She is actually dating a Hispanic guy and she speaks Spanish pretty well. So anyways, we were able to go and teach her fiancé but it was all in Spanish so it was pretty much just Elder Esquedero haha I was surprised how much I was able to actually follow along with what they were saying though. It was a good lesson and Luis wasn't super interested but he said that we could keep talking to Jessica.
We did a lot of finding and just trying to see less actives the rest of the day. We also had a phone lesson with one of our part member family’s girls, who is really smart. She had a lot of good comments and I think we can really help her keep progressing.
Sunday was a good day too. We cover the Fort Lee Military Branch as well as the Hopewell Ward so this was the first week I was able to go over there and it was so cool. A lot of the guys that go to Ft Lee are still in training and they can’t leave the base or do anything except for church and it was really cool to see all of them there because they really have to make an effort to get there. It was branch conference so we were able to hear from the stake president and a couple other people and it was a good meeting. One of the guys that spoke was from Fiji and talked about his life story and how he had gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon and it was really inspiring.
The Hopewell ward was also really good and we were able to help out with the "Teaching in the Savior’s Way" discussions. I already said it, but man, really, if everyone would just read Preach My Gospel it would be sooo much better. We had some good lessons after church with Elder Baer out in the boonies. We were able to see Sister Futrell and talk about how she has been doing and read Alma 32 about faith with her. She really wants to come back to church. Then this evening we had a lesson with Sister Wilson and were able to bless her home. Elder LaMarr had a creepy lesson with her last week on splits and we just had a bad feeling after it. It was a cool experience and we really hope that we can help her.
Besides all of that we have had a ton of zone stuff going on all the time. Lots of exchanges every week, like I said, and then other stuff. It’s been crazy here but it’s a lot of fun. This week we have our interviews with President Smith. Loving Hopewell so far and I can’t believe that we only have 2 weeks left of this transfer.
Elder Tys Larson - VRM