Monthly Archives: October 2015

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is coming up. We’ll be going in early per President’s orders. We recently had the ward Fall Festival, where there were many delicious chilis and desserts. We had a family we met just a couple of days before attend, which was fantastic.

We found some more good contacts this week. Not all of them can be called investigators, though, because we were unable to set a specific return appointment.

Recently we were instructed to fill up every single hour during weekly planning. The idea is to set up appointments around those “golden hours” when people are most likely to be home, so we can go tracting during that time. The problem is that the “golden hours” are also usually the only time people can make appointments, especially on weekdays. As much as we love the members, planning dinners can be difficult. We’ve been putting a greater effort into involving them with missionary work.

Does anyone know a former Elder Fowers who served here? I keep hearing legends of the things he did in my area. Apparently he finished his mission here, after quite a long time.

Enjoy your Halloween.


We want…a shrubbery!

I’ve been thinking: If you want to know whether missionaries have tracted a house recently, check the bushes next to the door to see if leaves are missing. I don’t know why it is, but missionaries just love to pull the leaves off plants while waiting for someone to answer the door. Not me, though. It kind of bugs me, because I’d be pretty mad if I came to my door and found a couple of young guys interfering with my shrubbery.

We found some more new people to teach this past week. We still seem to have fewer investigators than the other areas, for whatever reason. I know that our area is geographically small. Perhaps we’re just less liberal with what we consider “lessons taught.” Who knows…

There is a common belief here in the South that “we are the Church,” and that somehow that means there’s not technically a point to organized Christianity. I appreciated Elder Christofferson’s talk, “Why the Church.” Jesus Christ Himself has laid out this divine organization so that the ordinances of the Gospel can be available to all, and so that we can best serve one another. Unless the same organization exists in every place the Gospel is preached, then it becomes easy to veer off track from the true ways of the Lord.

On an unrelated note, I think an important thing to remember when heading out on a mission is that there is a difference between being obedient to the mission rules and following suit in missionary culture. By “missionary culture,” I mean the collective mindset that missionaries tend to find themselves in, which usually comes out every preparation day. It is unrelated to the missionary calling and to the Church, and is instead a product of the real, regular people who have come out here to serve. Let the Missionary Handbook and your mission president be your guides. Some missionaries like to bend the rules. Some might differ from you politically. Contrary to what some missionaries might say, it’s okay to accept science; just make sure you apply your faith, and remember that President Hinckley said that in that regard, all we are really required to believe as faithful members is that Adam and Eve were the first humans, made in the image of God. Whatever you do, and whatever you face, just remember that the spirit of contention is of the devil (3 Nephi 11:29). If you struggle with your companion or with other missionaries, or when you meet people who are truly disagreeable, pray for them. If you cannot keep the Holy Ghost with you, it will all be for naught.

I hope that made sense. Until next week.

Contacts are the Pumkin Spice of Life

About half of this week was extremely productive. The other half was weird. A family we were teaching dropped us, so we had to remove them from our investigator list. That was a strange feeling. I hope they open up more in the future. We did find a couple of new people to fill the gap, though. There was also a referral who we contacted. She had requested a Book of Mormon on the web site late at night out of sheer curiosity, but she was very open to being taught! Luckily there’s a cool stay-at-home dad in the ward who was willing to come teach with us.

We were biking to that referral’s house when we passed the football field of a local high school. Their marching band was out practicing. That was a blast from the past. By the sound of it, they’re playing a Willy Wonka-themed show.

I bought some Pumpkin Spice Fudge Stripes, and they were quite good. I find a lot of the Halloween stuff to be rather garish, but at least we get seasonal cookie flavors!

I guess that’s about all for this week.

Mist and Dewshine

I don’t think I’ve ever sat through all four conference sessions plus the Priesthood session before. Suffice it to say I know why I haven’t in the past. I haven’t been so restless since I’ve been out on my mission. But how about those new apostles, eh?

I’ve been going through some severe book withdrawal. I can’t talk about it with missionaries, though, because they keep telling me the Book of Mormon is a book and that somehow it’s the same thing. I would also like to add that despite the number of times missionaries will say this, “Southern” is not a foreign language. When I say I was a little sad that I didn’t get to learn a language for my mission, you are not being funny by saying that I am learning “Southern.” It’s a messin’ dialect, and it’s usually not so hard to understand unless you hear it over the phone or, if I’ve been told correctly, anywhere south of Gainesville. Sorry, I just have a few pet peeves.

It’s been raining most of the week. Sure makes for “fun” biking! When it’s not pouring, it’s just mist, but you still get wet. It’s all right, though.

Our eight-year-old investigator is ready to have his baptismal interview scheduled now. There’s also a great family I may have mentioned who are being pretty open, and already have a belief in Christ. Other than that, no one has really been making serious progress lately. It is quite difficult to set up appointments with flaky people. It’s okay, though. We’re going to work harder this transfer. We need to do some serious finding to increase our teaching pool.

I’ve been keeping track of some of the best meals I’ve encountered. One night we had some delicious soup and chips. It was kind of like white chicken chili, but with thicker and less broth. We drank some fruit smoothie-type stuff out of mason jars, which made me feel like I was Link drinking a red potion, so that was fun.

I also had this delightful beverage:

I feel like I had something clever from the week that I was going to say. However, it escapes my memory at the moment. I’ll probably remember later and then regret it. Oh, well.

From last week, this is one of the megachurches: