Monday, August 15, 2016

Week 81

    Haha! I love Devon, he is the Mexican version of me. I've heard about people naming pets after missionaries and I always thought it'd be cool. I miss that family, Cyndi is going to the temple in January! That's awesome!
        This week was a pretty good week, started off on Monday at the P-day activity, we played some bball. We have a pretty athletic zone so it's really fun. This one time I was running down the court with the ball and Elder Puga, my ex comp to mess around pretended to trip me and I stepped wrong and twisted my knee again. That's awesome because it hasn't happened in like almost a year. Exciting to still have that problem. So this week I've been trying to recover from that, the limp is about gone haha. We've seen so many people with terrible limps this week and everytime we see one, Elder Stewart says, "oh look it's you!" Haha he's such a punk. It's ok though, it doesn't bother me too much, just sad when someone wants to play ball on the side of the road and I can't. 
        We've been having some hard time getting people in our area to commit to church. We went to one of our investigators' house and talked about their progression and about receiving an answer. We talked about the sacrifice that God requires in order to bless us with that knowledge and that it requires dedication. We read Ether 12:6, you receive no witness until after the trail of your faith, and talked about how a trial is supposed to be hard. We talked about the consequences if this is the true church and they fail to put forth the effort of finding out, and all these different things. We had an awesome member with us and she testified of how we have to put our faith in God and trust him, and shared personal experiences of herself and her own family. It was a super great lesson and the investigator even told us how much he felt the Spirit. But then all in all, he didn't commit to church and was not there yesterday. It was pretty disappointing but my purpose is just to invite right?
    Lately in the mission, we've changed a lot of things. The last few months we've done pretty poorly as a mission and so our new mission president is making lots of changes. He's changed our work schedule, weekly planning and other things. Einstein's definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. So trying to work in a different way, even though it's kind of scary sometimes. It's pretty cool and we're learning a lot. He shared with us this thing about circus elephants and I can't remember if I already told you about it. When they are young they chain them to a stake and nail the stake into the ground, like a lead for a dog. So they only have about a 15ft radius from the stake. As a young, small elephant they are not strong enough to pull this stake from the ground, so they walk around only in their 15ft radius. As they grow and mature they are much much stronger, obviously. BUT an elephant has such a good memory of not being able to pull up the stake, it doesn't even try. So even when an elephant weighs a ton, it is held down by this little stake and chain. Which is what we've essentially done as a mission. We are holding ourselves back mentally from having success. So we are changing the way we think, focusing on teaching families, not individuals and other things. I think its a cool concept and we can all apply it to different things we go through in life.
     This was definitely a strange week though. We made plans and did different things to be more obedient and for focus and diligence, and it seemed to work really well, we felt like we were doing better. But came Saturday and we had only found one new investigator the whole week and had nobody committed to church. It was discouraging and we were kind of just wandering trying to think of the most productive thing we could do. We said a prayer and drove to a street where we had a few referrals. We talked to this guy outside who had been drinking a little bit and working on his car. We figured we might as well schedule a return appointment. So we talked with him a little, invited him to church, and set a return appointment. So we called him before church Sunday morning and he answered and said he was getting ready. We drove to his house, he followed us in his truck and it was the weirdest thing. That's the second time we've had a drunk guy we talk to Saturday come to church the next day. Maybe we have a gift for talking with drunk people... haha. I guess it was some kind of miracle, not at all what we were expecting but, a miracle nonetheless. 
    After church we drove out to visit our recent convert and his granddaughter, solved a few of her doubts and ate with them. Then we went to talk to a few potential investigators and we found a family of 7! A singe mom with six kids! If anyone could use the Lord's help right? Two of them are under baptismal age but still, it was another miracle. The kids love us and are one of the first families to be able to remember the name Birrell. I think that means they're something special. 
      Elder Young, a former district leader of mine came to visit the mission yesterday and I got to meet his family and see him again, it was pretty cool. He is a good guy, and he has a younger brother that leaves on a mission in like 2 weeks. Haha his poor parents, just got one back and another one leaves. I think that'd be sad, maybe it'd be nice cause it would kinda equal out haha. 
     Glad to know you're all doing good, I love you! TTYL!

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