Monday, February 23, 2015

Planting Good Seeds

Totally still not Zone Conference week... But, that's okay. Zone Conference is a lot later this transfer, because we're having a mission tour again. So, we're going to have one the area Presidency come and speak to us, likely about the Area training plan. Because of that, it won't be until the second to last week of the transfer. Unusual, and kind of disappointing, but it is what it is.

But, you'll be happy to know that we are having interviews this Thursday, so I'll finally be able to get my ecclesiastical endorsement renewed, along with my temple recommend... I keep thinking it's going to be a long interview, but knowing President Millar, it's likely not. I know I've mentioned it before, but he is definitely a heart surgeon, just based on how quick and orderly the interviews are.

Work here's still moving along. It's sometimes difficult to see the actual progress we're making, since I do look at it from a day to day perspective, but I do think that things are generally improving. Elder Mercer seems a lot more confident in everything he's doing  and we're finding all sorts of really great people. I just keep praying that they'll turn out. We're certainly planting a lot for the future, finding all sorts of people who can meet with us in a month, or want to meet up, but just can't do it this week... Why is the world so busy? It's all good, though, I understand that I'm filling a need.

We picked up one really nice family this last week that we've started working with. There's a mother, a 13-year-old son, and a 6-year-old daughter. They're pretty great, and really trying to understand the things that we teach. The preparation for the lesson was a testament to me that the Lord does always recognizes the best people for the job. We tried really hard to find a member to come with us for the first appointment, and were unable to find anyone. So, we showed up, and apologized, and said we'd have to come back the next day. So, we called, and called, and called.... And finally got someone. The next morning -- they cancelled. And so we called, and called, and called, until we finally found a young man who was on half-term, and could come out with us. Turns out, the family's really into Minecraft, and so is he. And a lot of the different challenges in the family that I couldn't relate to, he could. I'm pretty grateful for that.

Also, learned a great lesson from the pioneers this week. I remember hearing a while back about how the pioneers always planted crops as they went along so that those that followed them in however many months would have food along the trail to eat, and how as they did that, the Lord would often bless them that they would have enough food to eat themselves. As Elder Mercer and I were walking through Highcliffe the other day, we stopped to talk to a man building a fence. He wasn't super interested, but he was willing to talk for a while, and so we tried our best to help him understand how important what we had to share was. By the end, he still wasn't too keen, so we left him a card, and continued on our way. I remarked to Elder Mercer about that lesson from the pioneers, and how when you spread good seeds, and tend the soil properly for future missionaries, you'll find good seeds and properly tended soil that other missionaries have left behind. So, we went to go knock on a few doors. We knocked on one, and then felt to talk to a man on the road working in his van. We helped him out with a pipe he was cutting, and then spoke to him about the church. He'd met missionaries before, and said he felt we were "on the same path, but didn't quite believe the same things". I asked him what he meant by that, and as we talked he recognized the fact that we believed largely the same things, and that the things beyond that we had to share were really quite logical. He gave us his address and phone number, and so we'll be by in about a month when he gets back from visiting his son in France.

Well, that's about it. English Mother's Day is on the 15th of March, and so assuming I carry through with that, that's when I'll be Skyping. I figure that doing that will be much more effective than waiting until May, especially because it likely reduces the chance of trunkiness resulting.

Visit to a local graveyard...

Fun Ward Activity

Love you so much!

- Elder Green

Monday, February 16, 2015

"Desperately Seeking..."

On the train to Romsey...
So glad to hear that things are going well. I'm glad Tay had a great birthday. Can't believe Rincon was packed... Rincon never seems to be packed, but I guess that if you've got the winter surf plus the summer weather, I can definitely see the draw. It is funny to think that I've been gone long enough, though, that it's beginning to become second nature for you, enough so as that you would (almost) forget to email me. Don't feel bad about it, it's just funny.

Still so weird to think that my siblings are growing so old... Sounds like Katie's birthday ought to be a lot of fun as well. I'm glad everything's getting sorted well with the rooming. It's good to know that I don't have to do too much regarding all that.

Mom, awesome things are happening here. Like, really good things. So, we've been meeting all sorts of cool people from time to time, and have been trying to put in more effort, and it's been helping. I find it interesting, because in one sense, I know I ought to be exercising patience, but we're also given a sense of urgency from our leaders regarding the kind of results we can possibly be seeing. I don't know sometimes it's hard to reconcile the two in my head. But, I'm trying to be more patient, and things are happening.

For example, remember last week, when I told you about the two atheist girls who invited us around for dinner? Well, that turned into five new investigators, and a return appointment for tonight. It's so cool, man. They're really awesome -- they're all twenty, and are Creative Writing majors at University here. And they were sooo nice. I mean, Elder Mercer and I didn't really know what to expect, after being grilled on the doorstep for twenty minutes the first time, but they were super nice, and really respectful. I mean, throughout talking to them about our beliefs, not only were they accepting of what we believed and happy about it, but it really made sense to all of them. I mean, (one of the original girls we met on the doorstep) at the end asked us if we would pray for her father, and said, "Man, I don't know why we spent all of dinner talking about movies and things! We should have just jumped straight in to talking about your church!" So, we're making them Mexcian food and teaching them again tonight with one of the YSAs in the ward, and they already want to come to church next Sunday. So, I'm smiling.

The rest of this week has been fairly uneventful, as I remember. I already told you, we haven't had Zone Conference... That's this week, probably. Last week was transfers. Everything's pretty much the same. We've been working to help the Romsey Elders out a bit -- they've been getting discouraged about the work, and so have struggled with getting themselves in gear, so we did a workover with them, and were able to find a few new people for them to teach. Now I'm trying to work on inspiring them to greater responsibility as they seem to think that they'll cancel the teach for a Dinner Appointment... Ugh! They'll get there.

Elder Mercer and I are quite happy. It's interesting seeing that he and I have had similar issues over the course of our missions. But, he's a diligent kid, and so I'm not worried for him. I'm only now realizing though what a responsibility follow-up training is, even if it's not officially training.

Elder Mercer and I eating overpriced, all-you-can-eat Sushi.

Mom, you're so funny. I can't seem to be trunky in the slightest. I just want more to happen! Not in a discouraged way, but in a desperate way. President quoted Elder Nelson in his letter today saying, "My dear elders and sisters, I pray that on your mission you will have many moments of complete and overwhelming and even anguishing desperation. Why? Because then, and only then, will you desperately ask, desperately seek, and desperately knock. Then, and only then, will you find the courage and determination to follow through with exactness everything the Lord needs you to do in order to serve a valiant, vibrant, worthy, and very successful mission for Him." And that's how I'm starting to feel. I keep studying the New Testament and finding that the more I learn about the Saviour, the more I want to do all of this for Him, and then I just have to look for more that I can change in myself! It's really invigorating, actually.

Yes, Cold's gone (finally). Luckily, the Zone Leaders let us take last Monday as P-day, even though it was moves week, so I was able to rest up a bit.

Well, love you!

- Elder Green