Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Spiritual Uplift

This week was by far one of the most spiritually uplifting ones of my mission. We didn't get to spend a whole lot of time working in our area here in Lynnfield which was a bummer, but it was still a lot of fun. Tuesday we went on exchanges with the Malden Chinese Elders, and I went and spent the day in the Chinese program. Wow it is a whole different ballgame working with those Elders. There is only a really small Chinese group here in Cambridge, they usually have about 20 people in attendance every Sunday. So the Elders really don't have a whole lot of members to meet with, and they are opening up a new area so they don't have many investigators right now either. We went and did some service in Chinatown and had a pretty nice lunch down there! Then we pretty much spent the entire day out on the streets of Boston, Cambridge, Malden etc. talking to everybody we saw, especially the Asians! We talked to soooo many people, and at the end of the day we had found around 7 new potential investigators. One of the guys we met on the streets agreed to have a lesson later in the week and the Elders taught him a few days later and it sounded like it went pretty good!

As we were hopping on the T, to head back to their apartment I sat down on a bench next to this lady and just started making some small talk, and she was just not too happy about talking to me. She instantly snapped and said "I already know anything and everything about all religions and I don't want to hear anything that you have to say!" I thought that was a pretty bold statement haha but I told her I wasn't going to preach anything to her I just wanted to know how her day was. She snapped on me again and said "I don't want to hear you preaching to me." I just laughed and said alright but then I just kept talking to her about her day and what not anyways. We actually ended up having a decent conversation, and I found out that this woman was a department head at the Harvard Divinity School. Those darn Harvard people are too smart for their own good, but what can ya do! We had a pretty rough ending to our night though. Elder MacJanet and the other Chinese Elder came back to the apartment to switch back around 9. We had a quick exchange inventory, then Elder MacJanet and I went out to go home and our car was gone. In the 30 minutes that we were inside our car had been towed because we didn't have a parking permit for their apartment complex. So we didn't get home that night until 1130 and down $130. Ouch!

Wednesday we had a Mission Leadership Council with Elder Larry Lawrence, a member of the 70. He actually spent pretty much the entire week here with us. On Wednesday at the start of the meeting he asked us to just list some of the biggest things that we think are holding our mission back. We gathered a pretty big list, and then for the rest of the day he led a discussion of what we as leaders could do to help our mission overcome these things. It was a super productive discussion and I feel like I got a lot of ideas of what I can do to help the missionaries in our zone. After the council meeting Elder Lawrence interviewed each of us Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders. We thought it was going to be some super intense interview but it was actually really relaxed and pretty enjoyable. He actually just let us ask any question that we wanted and that was pretty much all the interview consisted of. So I was able to just go in and shoot the breeze with him for about 20 minutes and call it good!

Thursday we had a Zone Conference, with Elder and Sister Lawrence again. Sister Lawrence gave us this pretty sweet discourse on the 12 Tribes of Israel. She is a super smart woman and I really learned a lot from her. The rest of the Zone Conference was pretty much a big pump up session for our mission. We have kind of been at a standstill for the past few months it seems like. The highest number of people our mission has ever baptized is 59 in a month, and we did that about 6 months ago. But the past few months we have been averaging around 45-50 and can't seem to get over the hump. For the month of November we are putting everything on the table and set a mission goal to get 70 baptisms this month. Elder Lawrence and President Packard kind of led the charge at the Zone Conference and got us all pumped up to go out and work hard this month. We are going to be doing a lot of extra things this month in order to reach our goal. We will need a lot of prayers too, so feel free to offer some prayers in our behalf!

Friday was Halloween, so we had strict orders to stay out of Salem for the day. We hear it gets pretty dang crazy there on Halloween. We actually had ANOTHER meeting that morning, a zone meeting which we were in charge of the training's for that. Lots and lots of meetings this week. Friday night we went to dinner at our Bishops home, and there was a bunch of other people from the ward their as well. We made some delicious apple cider donuts with them, ate waayyy too many and then had to head for home. Once 6 PM hit we had to head for home as soon as our appointments were over.

Saturday we had another exchange with the Cambridge Potruguese Elders. I stayed in Lynnfield and worked with Elder Lopes for the day. We had a great day and were able to meet with a lot of members throughout the day, less actives, recent converts and all that good stuff. Saturday and Sunday was actually our Stake Conference here in the Cambridge stake, and you will never guess who was presiding at the conference!? Yeah....more of Elder Larry Lawrence haha. He is a cool guy so I wasn't sick of him or anything, but it seemed like we were with him for the whole week! We pretty much were though! Sunday we actually got hit with our first snow storm of the year, it snowed for about 4 hours but not a lot stuck to the ground. Holy cow it was freezing though. It is going to be a fun winter.

Sorry I still haven't been able to meet all of our investigators due to all the meetings and conferences, but I will this week for sure! Then I will be able to tell you guys more about the people we are teaching. But I do have some good news for you guys! Hannah was baptized in the Groton ward on Saturday morning!!!! I really wanted to go but it was just way too many miles for us to drive there. It sounds like it went really well, so I am super happy for Hannah! I love ya all, have a great week!

Brazilian Grill for Pday lunch!!

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