Monday, June 28, 2010

Ocala, FL Letter #19 June 28 , 2010

Well hello family and fans!
This week was very interesting. My companion Elder Porter and I got to say goodbye to a lot of people in this area that he has grown attached to while serving here in Ocala. It was pretty fun! Then Thursday came of course and I was in the training meeting with all the little greenies. I found myself looking around the room to see which one I wanted, kinda like shopping at a puppy store but instead you don't get to pick; God does. Therefore, it's a little different. You still look and wonder which one you’ll be going home with that day though. I was assigned Elder Day. Elder Day has dark hair and is from Syracuse, Utah. He is actually shorter than me, (so this will be my second companion that I am actually taller than) which I am excited about!! So far, Elder Day seems like a really humble and teachable kid. He won't accept any complement I give him; instead, he just kinda shrugs it off. It’s pretty funny trying to see him wiggle out of compliments. Also at transfer meeting, we got to say goodbye to President Newman, which was kinda sad. President asked lots of people to bear their testimonies, which was pretty nice and sad at the same time. I really love President Newman a lot. He is amazing! I have not had a chance to meet the new mission president yet.

Elder Day is the only change in our apartment of four elders, everyone else stayed put. Therefore, a couple of us have been together for a long time now. The twins have not been confirmed yet; last, I heard they are still running around with their mom somewhere in Florida. We have not been able to locate them yet.

This week though I have been contemplating about how to get the members more involved with missionary work. It has been on my mind almost constantly. While sitting in sacrament meeting yesterday an idea came to me about teaching the members how to teach their friends about the gospel. I thought “They all know it is true, but maybe they just don't share it because they are uncomfortable about what to say”. After sacrament I felt impressed to talk to a RM in this ward (that just got home 4 weeks ago) and he gave me the idea to teach the Ward Missionary “How to teach members about Preach My Gospel”. So that is what I am going to do. I want to work on an outline for a class that will teach members about Preach My Gospel. That way they will feel more comfortable and the best part is the fact that it will continue on - even if I get transferred! This way we will teach the ward how to be Preach My Gospel teachers! Because honestly, when you really think about it…this is not my area… it is the member’s area. They will be here long after I leave. This way I know our new converts will stay and not fall away when the missionaries transfer.

I am having a meeting today with the ward missionary about this idea, to see how he feels. Then after that, we will present it to the ward mission leader…and get this sucker goin'! Heck yeah!! This is something that I am super excited about! It will really make a huge difference I think. I am just kinda nervous to teach the members, it will be totally different than investigators, but maybe this way we will start getting loads of investigators! Wouldn’t that be wonderful!! I really feel like this will really help the missionaries’ efforts and the ward members to increase the area’s growth. I will have to keep my letter short today because I have that meeting at 12 noon with the Ward Missionary about this new idea. So I only have about 5 minutes left before I have to leave in order to make my meeting.

So yeah,…oh before I forget; Katlin and Michael are doing very well. Michael fasted yesterday to have the strength to stop smoking, we are going to follow up with him today! Everything else is going forward with them, slowly but surely. That is what we have going so far…this week. Basically everything is good here… except for the heat :) but whatever. One other thing I am also saying “gaul” a lot…so that is another mark from the south creeping into my vocabulary…ha-ha!! Elder Taft use to say it all the time too…so maybe we can blame him for that one and not the southern folks.

But hey, I gotta get running now. Maybe I might be able to get on later but it’s a slim chance. Tell everyone I am thinking of them and tell them not to complain to loud about the 90 degree days in Utah…cause it could be worse…it could be 98 degrees with a high humidity on top of that! Yeah that is the Florida summers for ya. Water never tasted so good…hehehe

Love to all,
Your Elder with “Class”…Elder Blair