Tuesday, March 23, 2010

This Week

     I haven't found my camera yet, but I'll send home the SD card as soon as I find it. Yes we're still on bikes, and I'm enjoying it immensely, no problems. We have enough people to start a branch, but many are less active, what we need is 6 Melchezidek priesthood holders to start one here in Sonoma, and we're working our way up there. I'm going to start making a list of stories to share with you guys next week, so that you guys can get more of a feel for what's going on, and yes we still have studies, 3 of them Personal, Companion, and Language, and Weekly Planning it all differs, but I'm out of time I love you all!  Thanks for your letter Leah!

     This has been a great week! It's been great as I've strived to talked to everyone on the street more and I'm seeing a difference here in the way people interact with us. People are more friendly and open, and are more willing to talk. I know that it's the Lord blessing Elder Knowles and I as we give all of our heart and strength to the work. We've also had good success with our investigators this week! We haven't gotten as many lessons as we would have liked since some of our investigators left us high and dry, or had to cancel because of work. Such is life, obstacles come and go. Some of the investigators that are really progressing is the Gutierrez family: Berta, Moises, Francisco, and Teresa; Erika; and Anastacio and Maria.

     The Gutierrez family is doing great, and loves to learn from us. They read and ask good questions, and we have faith that they will progress rapidly to baptism. What we're focusing on is getting them to church and on setting a date. We've committed Berta to prepare for baptism, so we're making progress. We're definitely excited. Erika like I've mentioned in previous letters is very spiritual and likes reading and learning what we believe. We've committed her to praying to receive an answer about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, and if this is truly the living church that Christ established all those many years ago. She feels that all churches are good, but we've helped her understand that God has a church that He established, and that we should be united in one fold, and one faith. Anastacio and Maria are doing great too. They take a little bit more  effort to teach to show the connections between the Gospel Principals, but I love them, and when they do understand the principles then they are solid. They understand that they need to be baptized, and we're working with them to show more faith to receive an answer to their prayers to gain a testimony from the Holy Ghost. We're also working with them to get out to church to expedite the process and help them feel the spirit, but like many things it will take a little more time, effort, and exhortation to help them help themselves. Some investigators that we didn't get to teach this week, but that we are still focusing on is the Saabedra family, Montserrat, a different Angeles, Velia and Armando, and Lourdes. Juan, and Carla Saabedra didn't show up for our appointment a few days ago, even though we talked with Carla that morning as a reminder... so it was sad, because we were really excited to share a little more with them and invited them to the baptism in Napa this Saturday, but we'll catch up with them and see how we can help them progress. Montserrat is going through changes in her work so we don't have a set time to meet her anytime soon, and she said she would call us, but I think we may pass by or call her ourselves in a few days to see how she's doing and how we can help her. The "new" Angeles is an answer to a prayer from Elder Knowles and me, we prayed to find someone that morning and we ran into her when following up with old investigators. She was interested in learning more about how we can strengthen our families and find more joy in our lives (soul questions). We're going to teach her today, and we're excited to see how ready they are to learn. Velia and Armando had to reschedule because she was called into work, but we're scheduled to see them this week, they still have their doubts which we'll be focusing on, but once they overcome those doubts they should progress very rapidly. Lourdes seems to be losing steam, or seems to have been more happy to just chat and talk. We've visited her, but she doesn't seem so excited to keep commitments... we're going to give her a few more chances, but we may end up dropping her until her husband comes back home. We had a chance to talk with him since he was visiting from Mexico, but he wont be back for a few months because of work. We'll see how they come along as well.

     I love this work, and I love being able to be an instrument in the Lord's hands, and how we can spread more happiness, light, and joy into the world because this is the truth! I love being a missionary!

     Your missionary, son, and brother

     Elder Mackelprang

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