Saturday, July 17, 2010

Seven Eleven...

FarfieldZoneConferenceJuly17DSC_0222 Santa Rosa Mission - Fairfield Zone Conference.  Richard is on the back row, right in the middle.  The picture was taken by Sister Bunker (Richard’s Mission Mom)

This week things have been pretty good! It's been a little trying lately, not from anything in particular, but I'm moving forward, and finding joy in giving myself whole-heartedly in this His work. You can't be unhappy if you're making so many people around you happy, and helping them laugh. Seeing people's eyes light up, and seeing them change for the better makes my day each day. Sometimes those days are long when nothing seems to be happening right, but just keep that smile on, and everything will work out. 

The new blog format looks good, thanks for the picture. It seems really weird to me that a whole lot of the young women in the C2 youth program back home are finally going on missions. What's funny is that they'll get home not too much longer after I do. That's awesome! I'm sure that Mom had a blast out there in AZ! I really hope that I can do some like that when I go back to BYU next year. That would be a blast! But then again I could probably wait until that summer since it'll be another reunion for everyone then. We'll see when we get there.

Here are some thoughts that I had when reading a spiritual thought from Pres. Bunker:

  • We are free agents unto ourselves have the ability to act for ourselves, and not be acted upon, which is what the scriptures say. We have a God-given power to choose to change for the better, and it's only the devil and his angels that tell us that we cannot change. I know since I've had to face the things/ characteristics/ etc. about myself that I don't like to see and to change them. By our own power we are weak, but with the Lord all is possible and achievable. It gives me comfort to know that my Savior loves me enough to help me push along, even when I feel ready to drop.
  • I'm happy to serve with Elder Bittner again, and I look forward to many great and wonderful opportunities that await us this transfer. The numbers are still looking a little low for this week, but we're improving little by little on everything as a whole. We just have to keep moving forward. I appreciate your love, support, and your prayers, and I'm ecstatic about zone conference this Thursday! I always feel refreshed and renewed with vigor to improve more and the raise our effectiveness together as a mission. 

Here's what has been going on this week:

  • New Investigator - Raphael    A young man who joined in one of our discussions awhile back, but was only 1/2 paying attention and listening. We invited him to join us this time and we taught him the restoration. We're still working on getting him to read the Book of Mormon since he doesn't like reading much at all, but we're excited to teach him. 
  • New Investigator - Lucio Mendez   We taught him with a member yesterday, and he liked it a lot. He was going to come to church, but the world cup went into overtime, and so he didn't make it. He was sincerely interested in what we had to say, and I feel that he'll follow through with the commitments as we work with him. We excited and hoping for the best.
  • Rita and Jesus Alvarez - They're progressing and are moving forward though a little bit at a time. They're reading a little bit each day which makes Elder Bittner and I excited for them, since the majority of our investigators end up saying they didn't have enough time to read, or something along those lines. We will be extending them a baptismal invitation this week if all goes well, and I hope and pray that it does.

Questions You Asked me: 

  • "You mentioned your "camera died" in your last email -- did you mean the batteries ran out, or that the camera is now broken?  I'm hoping the former :-)"  Yeah, the batteries died. It's in perfect working condition, and I still have some extra batteries so I should be fine.
  • "How are your clothes working out?  How about shoes / socks / pants / shirts?  Some time ago you mentioned you needed more shoes -- how is that going?"  My clothes are doing very well. The shirts are holding up, which makes me happy. I like how durable the shirts are turning out to be. The suits and pants are doing great! I'm set with everything. I still need to check in with the missionary mall to see if I can make due on the warrantee, but I just need to write them about it, and I'll see what happens. Shoes are lasting ok.
  • "When is your next Zone conference?  Was the temple trip in place of that?  I'm asking because whenever you have them, I can count on Sis. Bunker to get some nice pictures of everybody in the zone."  Temple trips are organized by district, and aren't generally associated with zone conference. We all just happened to plan it for that one day, which was cool. Zone conference is this coming Thursday, and I'm really excited for that. :)
  • "How's the bike holding out?"  The bike is really good. Especially now that it's not so pressured under daily use. It still rides very well, and I like it.
  • "What are you studying for companionship study these days?"  Companionship study focused a lot of planning for your investigators, the doctrine, the skills, and role-playing situations to practice how to extend commitments. It really helps with your self confidence, and preparing you to be more bold and understand what you're investigators are thinking, because you're trying to act it out like you are talking and asking them at that moment. It's really cool.
  • "Have you asked any of the members to teach you to cook stuff?  One thing that was fun for me and my companion was to ask one of the sisters in the ward to teach us to cook something -- I remember some Sweet and Sour Pork that we did shortly after I arrived in Taiwan (about 1 week).  I didn't speak much and understood even less, so I remember the event, but not the recipe.  You should ask some of the Spanish members to teach you guys some stuff.  It could be a fun experience (if the President thought it would be ok)."  Definitely I will ask for some of the recipes and how-tos of some of the meals. Some of them are really simple, and REALLY good. I've come up with some recipes of my own from cooking, but that's been on hold lately since we almost always end up eating out once a day. _sigh_ that's what happens when you cover an entire zone with a car, and limited miles. You find where you can eat on the way.
  • "What's the walk - bike - drive ratio for you these days?  Last time I remember you saying, it sounded like you were driving a lot."  Yeah, we mostly drive, like I said, we cover the entire zone. So, unless we plan to focus in one area a lot we end up driving a lot.
  • "Have you been writing in your journal?  Be sure you do.  You'll treasure the thoughts and experiences you have on your mission all your life, but only if you remember what they were..."  Yeah, I'm writing in my journal. I'm still trying to write in it more regularly, but I'm working on it.

Actually, I don't remember that story you mentioned about scaring Uncle Van while we were driving on Roller Coaster Road in Tucson, but I think I can remember something like that with Uncle Dale... maybe it was uncle Van. I don't think that I was trying to scare him like that though, I was thinking he was uncomfortable and I was helping him by leaning the seat back a little bit.  I thought he knew I was there and was going to do it :-)  It's funny how some of those crazy things happen. I didn't realize that I was famous for that.

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