Monday, March 8, 2010

March 8th 2010

      *Whew* This has been a long week, but a very good one. We're making progress from where the Spanish people have been at the last couple of weeks since I was in charge of the area. We've gotten in touch with Angeles, but she's still being plagued with problems that conflict with our appointments, I hope to catch her at work while I'm out shopping today and see if we can pan a few things out with her baptism, or at least with another appointment.

     We've also gotten back in contact with Mike Guzman who has been working like a maniac. He hasn't read which has been the commitment that we've been leaving with him, but we hope to be able to stop by his work for a few minutes during the week to remind him and check up on him. Once he gets reading he will progress really quickly, and I pray and hope that he will be baptized within this transfer. We've also continued with Montserrat Munoz, Velia and Armando Bravo / Landeros, and with Berta and Moises Gutierrez. They are all progressing well. Montserrat will be coming to our Spanish Sacrament this Sunday, and loves learning and the understanding that comes from reading the scriptures. Elder Knowles and I agree that she will progress quickly if she continues to keep her commitments. Velia and Armando have some doubts about Joseph Smith and him being a true prophet, which is the next thing we need to help them tackle and show them that we have the divine authority that Christ gave to his apostles. We have committed them to truly praying to know that Joseph was a true prophet of God, so we'll see how the spirit and the scriptures will help them overcome their doubts. The Gutierrez family is awesome! Berta loves reading the scriptures, and likes to understand more of what God has in store for us and our purpose here. We're sad that they didn't make it out to church like they said they would... we'll have to invite them again, and give them a phone call in the morning to remind them. We also came in contact with the Saabedra family! They are old investigators from about 2 years ago, and they were almost baptized. They taught US the 1st lesson when we talked about what they remembered about it, and so we're going to move right along with them and get them in the waters of baptism!

     The Street contacting is still sparse for us because some of the people we try to talk to aren't willing to talk and they just walk on. We will be making a stronger effort to talk to more people outside since we've been walking a lot since my bike tire blew out, but we hope to fix our bikes and to be able to get around to more people and move our efforts to building a Spanish branch out here in Sonoma! God willing, we can make this happen, only with His help and guidance. We've found 6 less actives that we're going to focus on to re-activate to achieve this goal, but I still need to learn more to know what more we can do to make it happen. Oh! something cool about yesterday is that I got to see my first investigator baptized!! Margarito from Santa Rosa! ^^ I taught him with Elder Knowles my first 6 weeks in California, and he's finally baptized! I got to stand as one of the witnesses with Elder Knowles, that was a special moment for me. I was cool to see some of the members of the branch out there and they're amazed that I speak, quote, "perfect Spanish." I wouldn't go that far, but they were amazed that I was speaking a lot easier than when I first came.  

     I like President's words about being marginal members, or not valuing the lessons and meetings and ordinances that we have received and that we continually receive each week! Like Dad said in his email and his quote from Pres. Kimball, 'Remembering can be the most important aspect in our lives...' we definitely need to remember if we ever expect to be more grateful for the things we do have and the blessings we do receive. We also need to open our eyes more to the small things that we all often times take for granted. I know that our Savior loves each and everyone of you and that He constantly is waiting for you to talk/ pray to Him, to come to know Him on a more personal level than we have before. I definitely will not fall into the marginal category, especially while I'm out here doing the Lord's Work! I'll do my best to be an Outstanding Missionary!

     Your Brother and Friend,

     Elder Richard Mackelprang

     A few notes and questions asked of me

[We asked about Richard’s new companion] - Yep! I'm with Elder Knowles again! We're good friends, especially since we were figuring how to do things right together since he was starting his 3rd transfer when he trained me. We're way excited to get working around here, because we have so many people who are progressing rapidly. The names of the people above are some who are progressing the fastest. This transfer is looking really awesome!

[We asked if he noticed a minor earthquake we saw on the map in Northern CA] - I haven't felt any quakes, but I have heard about some of the quakes around the world in Chile and Haiti, and in California, but nothing happening with us.

[We asked about his apartment] - I like our apartment, it's more spacious than the first one I was in. It's not as new, but it's good.

[We asked about his birthday dinner] - King's Buffet is a Chinese restaurant, nothing special happened. We were there later than expected so we didn't run into Aunt Marsha, but it was a lot of great food. We celebrated with Aunt Marsha's Birthday Cake and candles afterwards before going out.

[We asked about his bike] - I'm getting bike parts today so don't worry about the bike issue, the outer tire was worn so it popped the inner tire.

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