Monday, March 1, 2010

Birthday EMail!

This first half of this letter is made up of:

Questions from the family, and

answers from Richard.

The second part is about the people Richard is currently working with.


Do you have any humorous stories to share with us?

Well I do have some funny stories, I pulled the cockroaches in the bed of one of the Gringo elders, but when he climbed in he was too tired to react to them besides throwing them on the floor.

The next was something the Gringos tried to pull on me (they pulled this one before I tried the cockroaches.) It was lights out and they got up and went to the restroom and after some low scuffling noises they jump into the room all covered in Glow stick stuff and screaming. I just slowly looked up at them with a bored look on my face and said goodnight. I heard them say that that was a waste of their time.

What did you and your comp do for your birthday?

They sang for me this morning and we're going to be at the King's Buffet in Santa Rosa because we're getting some stuff done on the truck. Surprise! But I'm still serving in Sonoma.

Are you still riding in the truck with the Gringos? When is the move -- is it this week or next?

I'm still in the truck until tomorrow, when Elder Knowles joins me in Sonoma! We're serving together again! YES!

Are you warming up yet?  Or is it still raining and cold?

It's warming up, not as much rain, and it's starting to get sunny.

Any insights from gospel studies or scripture reading?

I've been reading from the beginning of 3rd Nephi and it's just amazing! I'm actually running out of time to write, but read it!

How's the language coming along?  Would Rosie (from Tucson) believe you're the same Richard you used to be?

Rosie would probably be amazed at how well I could speak now, I actually did my first try at translating for Sacrament yesterday... man that was a lot of work. Everyone said I did really well. So we'll see how it goes. Being on my own has definitely pushed my abilities to speak. It's going great.

Prayer is awesome and I'm sorry I don't have much more time to talk about it. I bear to you my testimony that this church is true and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. If you want to know if it is read it and pray about it to God and I know that He will tell you. I love you all! Be safe and enjoy the snow that never came while I was around! :P

Here's an excerpt to my letter to president about how my investigators are doing:

     I'm glad that I was able to make it to a library to write to you this Transfer/P-day unlike last transfer. Talk about general craziness! This week has been pretty good, and has been a large growing experience for me since I have had to do everything that I can to visit as many people as possible and keep finding people and help the English Elders with their Lessons. The unfortunate thing about this week is that many appointments fell through because of people being sick. All that there remains to do is to keep finding and trying to contact and visit our investigators.

     I have finally heard about one of our investigators that has a baptismal date, but from what I heard from the member I asked to help me contact her it doesn't sound good... Elizebeth Ramirez got a raise recently and we haven't been able to get into contact with her since. According to the member she says that Elizebeth will call us to talk about what's going on, and that she feels like now may not be the best time. I'll be trying to call her again to see what we can do, but if we can't contact her within the next few weeks we may just drop her, because it has been getting close to 3 weeks since we last talked with her.

     Angeles has a baptismal date for the 6th of March, but we haven't met with her in the past week to make sure we're all set for it, and being un-learned in the ways of preparing for a baptism, I haven't scheduled the Napa Stake Center for that baptism yet, so I will be trying to see if we can move her baptismal date for the 13th of March. That appointment with her is tomorrow, hopefully Elder Knowles will be down here in time to meet with her. Angeles has nothing holding her back, so I'm really excited for her and the happiness that this baptism will bring her.

     The lessons that I have had have been with a member present which is really good. Bro. Moreno and I taught a solid lesson about the commandments with Velia Bravo and about the way she can know which church is the right church to be baptized in. We committed her to truly praying to know about the Book of Mormon, and about Joseph Smith. She already feels that the Book of Mormon is just like the Bible, but she needs that spiritual confirmation to be able to help her move in the right direction. We actually ended up giving her a blessing for the sick, because she said her hands were giving her great pain, and she was set to go see a doctor, so I anointed and Bro Moreno gave the blessing. That was nice.

     We've been trying to get a hold of Mike Guzman as well. He's really prepared, but he wants his wife to be there for the lessons too, and she has just changed jobs so she's been all over the place for the moment, but I talked with her at church yesterday, and she said that things are getting more settled and we now have an appointment this coming Friday. If Mike has been keeping his commitment of reading and praying over this time period, then I think it will be time to set a date with him, we will see what the spirit directs.

     I've been setting up English classes with less actives for now, because I need to pick up some English class cards and because the less actives know of friends that want to learn English so it will be a great finding tool. It's just a matter of getting it set up and started. I'll let you know more about it as we go along, but we're trying to establish a "Daily Dose" English program like the one in Napa, where we teach in people's homes and form smaller groups of 5-8 people each. I've found some good potential investigators to visit in these upcoming weeks, from tracting and from activities that I'm setting up with less actives and members. The area here is ready to be harvested, it's just a matter of finding the right spot to get the most out of your work.

     I'm excited to be companions with Elder Knowles again, and I know that he's excited that he finally gets to leave Santa Rosa and see some other areas of the mission. We have the board laid before us and we will rock this town with the spirit guiding us. Especially as we are striving to establish a Spanish branch here. That's part of the reason that working with the less actives here is pretty key, they know people that we can teach, and we need them to help start a branch and eventually a ward. It's a step by step process, but we'll get things moving as fast as we can inspire them to go!

     It was very interesting to read about Elder Holland's talk about Lot's wife, because I remember reading it or hearing it. If it was a BYU devotional around the Fall 2008 I heard it personally. It's very true that our hearts are very necessary if we ever hope to accomplish anything in this work, because people can and do tell when you care about them or not. If you consider them another number or just another face. Your heart needs to be with your investigators and their needs and how you can best help them. I know that and I feel my love for them grow as I serve them here. I'm grateful for the opportunity to learn from the scriptures and Preach My Gospel, because I know that through that love and learning that I can become the missionary that I need to be to best serve the Lord and people that I will be called to serve in the future.

     Your Missionary,

     Elder Mackelprang

     P.S. Happy 20th Birthday to me!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note that this is a moderated blog - Elder Mackelprang neither reads or (directly) writes to this blog. This is done by his father.