Jared's current District at the Portland, OR Temple
Jared, Elder Prawitt, and the AP's having fun!!!
Well this has been a pretty good week for us. Zone Conference was last week and it was so good. I can tell you what, it was not as enjoyable partly because I was the one giving the training for part of it. Usually it’s just a great time to sit back and relax and learn more about the gospel and how to be a more effective missionary. This time I was just stressin out until our training was finished, then I could relax. It went really well though. Elder Prawitt and I had been preparing for it for the past couple of weeks and somehow everything we each studied on our own came together when we planned it out. I got to see Elder Buchanan at zone conference too. He is doing awesome. That kid is a baptizing machine. They just baptized 7 people and have about 8 more on date. I don't know how he does it. President gave everyone a little bit of a rebuke. There have been a lot of problems with missionaries in this last transfer and President is just getting fed up with it. It was probably the best rebuke I have ever heard though. He said what needed to be said, he encouraged us to be better, and he did it all in the spirit of love. There are many exciting things ahead for missionary work and he said that if the missionaries cannot be more obedient than the work will never progress like it should. There is this new thing called, "I'm a Mormon," Where people are making profiles of themselves. It’s to show that members are a diverse group of people, but that they are all blessed by their belief in Jesus Christ and the gospel. They are really promoting it in some states like New York and Florida. I bet Max Johnson is having a blast right now. I believe his mission was one of the ones where it was really working good. People are able to get online and then talk to missionaries’ right on the internet and ask them questions. Some missionaries are even having time where they go to computer labs and just chat with people for a couple hours. President said that the goal of this is for missionaries to get off the streets to find. Anyway it’s super exciting and President is asking for a higher commitment of obedience so maybe in the future our mission might be able to do the same. This week was pretty fun because the AP's were on the west side of the mission almost the whole week. Elder Prawitt and I are their favorites so they stayed with us haha. It was a blast. We had such a good time. Elder Lavin is the senior AP and he goes home this transfer. He was pretty sad because he said that he wants to do this again when we all get home. He is a good kid.
Well I guess I will tell you just a little bit about a couple of people who we are teaching. Some things just don’t go the way you would have hoped they would. Many of the people we have been teaching, we weren't able to see this week. It’s kinda disappointing, but we will continue to try. We have been meeting with this guy named Tim. His girlfriend is a less active member who has recently been coming to church. They are in their 40's/50's. Well Tim has some very interesting ideas on religion and God. He came to church a couple weeks ago and so we have been meeting with him ever since. He has been warming up with us more and more. He always likes to feed us and he feeds us some weird stuff. This week we had shrimp pizza. It actually wasn't that bad. Well like I said he has some interesting interpretations on things but we are getting through to him. He is now reading the Book of Mormon where a couple weeks ago he refused. He is really starting to like it too. We asked him how he feels about things and he goes, "Well, I'm pretty sure the Mormons aren't of the Devil. This seems like the way I’ll probably go in the future, but there is still more I need to know." So he is doing awesome. Progress is slow, but there is progress. This week we also met with Brother Gonsalves. We had a great lesson with him. He just wants his family to be happy and he knows this is the way to do it. They have been having nightly scripture study and nightly prayers as a family. There is just a different spirit in their home. Brother Gonsalves said that this just feels like the right way to go. He has said for a long time that he will probably get baptized, but he just doesn't feel ready yet. This time, we invited him and he said yes. He is so on fire. He has so many questions about everything. When he comes to church he is participating more than the members and he is just so curious about everything. He said that he wants to become part of the ward family. We were so happy. He has a 12 year old daughter who has been coming to church. She loves Young Women’s. She is very shy and doesn't have a lot of friends, but the girls have really reached out to her and she loves it. She doesn't feel ready to get baptized right now, but it’s probably because she doesn't understand it very well yet. We are pretty confident that we can set a date for her to get baptized with her dad. Brother Gonsalves baptismal date is October 23rd, but we are thinking we might move it closer just because he is completely ready for it. There is no need to wait. We will have to see.
That’s about it for me this week. Kind of a short email. I want to try and send some pictures this week though. I love you all and hope everything is going well. I'm so excited for General Conference. It is such a great privilege that we can hear what the Lord needs us to hear. It’s a true testimony that the windows of heaven are not shut off. Here is my scripture for the week. D&C 21: 4-6. I'm understanding more and more how much our Heavenly Father loves us. He truly knows each of us separately as individuals. It’s amazing to think about how He has been in my life and influenced me. How the certain events that have transpired have helped me and blessed me so much in the future. And then to see that same influence and love in other people’s lives. It’s amazing. I'll give one more scripture, just because it’s my favorite. Alma 26: 37. Yes another scripture from Alma 26. But it is one of the best missionary chapters of all scripture in my opinion. Well I love you all. Take care of yourselves this week and enjoy Conference.