Wednesday, October 21, 2015


So last week my dad emailed me and was asking me if I really had only
one investigator. I guess I've failed to talk about the other ones we
have! In this area we've been trying hard to reactivate inactive
members. Yesterday our Elders Quorum Pres. said we have 199 members in
our branch. 199??? The average attendance is like in the 40-50 range
per week, if that. We are trying to help out branch with member
retention a lot, because our branch isn't really trying to hard with
our new member Jenny, so that's rough, but this branch has potential
and it has the members. They just need to get them to church and keep
the new ones as well. That's why we've been constantly working with
members, especially less actives, but we also have investigators as
well so hopefully I can talk about them a little more!

So last Monday at Family Home Evening with the Bakers, Lori came. Now
Lori is the lady that hooked it up with a baja blast my first week I
was here, so I think she's rad. She's less active so she's one we are
really trying to focus on. It got brought up yesterday that maybe
she'd feel more needed at church if she had a calling, hopefully the
branch follows through with that! After dinner their daughter Brianna
came home with her boyfriend Evan. So I guess the missionaries started
teaching Brianna's last boyfriend, but now that's over and the kid's
dad didn't want him to be taught anyways. So Bro Baker joked with Evan
that if they get any more serious, he will probably have to convert.
He stood there all quiet and awkward while we all laughed, he's a
strange kid. Anyways for my message for FHE I shared a mormon message
where some hipster girl is riding her bike sending spiritual thoughts
along with pictures to friends and family. So I challenged all of them
to share the gospel, even if it's through social media. I was focusing
on Brianna sharing it with Evan. Then Sis Baker said all of her
facebook friends are members, so I told her that doesn't matter
because anyone can use an uplifting message and I'm sure that there's
some less actives that she could help out. I think she got thinking of
a bunch of people she could share the gospel with, Lori was probably
one of them!

Tuesday we had a lesson with Casper and I set him with a new baptismal
date. Now he can only come to church every other week, so I set it for
8 weeks in advance, which is crazy because Elder Stimpson won't even
be here for that, but that's how it rolls since he's gotta come to
church 4 times. I got a calendar for them and wrote what days he will
be with his mom and needs to be at church as well, then I wrote the
day he will get baptized Dec. 6th! He hung it up on the wall and
honestly this kid is so excited, but his environment prevents him from
progressing because his uncle who's against the church likes to have
them on Sundays, and it's not like a 9 year old can get himself to
church. Who knew teaching a youth could be so hard haha! The kid's
awesome though and he's super excited about sitting by us at church so
please please please pray for him and that he will be able to come to
church this week and continue to come. I need all the prayers I can
get on this one. Something cool we ran across was when we went and got
some Mcdonald's for dinner they were having family game night so there
was pretty much a bunch of old people and young mothers with their
kids playin bingo with the Mcdonalds workers, how cool is that?

Wednesday we mowed sister Bealla's forest again. It's not really the
missionary work people have in mind, but she's seriously called us
like 3 times in two days to thank us for cutting her grass and the
yard looks so great and thanks for cutting her grass and we are such
great elders and her lawn looks nice and thanks for cutting her grass.
Haha she's pretty crazy, but she's so nice and she's pretty much
called us every day this week, so we usually just listen to her talk
while we drive or eat lunch or whatever! She repeats herself a ton,
but apparently she's passed out like two Books of Mormon so hopefully
we can follow up on that with our Ward Mission leader and her and see
if those people are interested at all. We headed up to Lansford, which
is pretty far out of our way, but there's a ton of less active up
there, like my boy Dexter Sandy, but of course none of them were home
so the only person we got to see was Bro Putt, who's active and also
crazy, but you get used to that around here. Instead of driving on the
highway we took the backroads because they save miles and the trees
are starting to look real nice! Maybe by next week I'll get a good
picture of all the trees! We finally got to reteach Jenny the
Restoration. I've been here about 7 weeks and this was my first lesson
with her which is crazy because they used to teach her 2 or 3 times a
week before she was baptized.

Thursday was Elder Stimpson's first District Meeting as District
Leader so that went pretty good! We met the two new transfers in our
district. Elder Martinez's  new companion is from Finland, so that's a
whole new experience for everyone, especially Elder Martinez. The good
news is the sisters in our district are getting a long a lot better
with this new companionship than the one they had last transfer. After
District Meeting we went to the Kellars to do service and man I love
going there. They are the nicest people and I seriously feel like they
are my grandparents here! We got to clean out their chimney which was
pretty fun climbing up on their roof and we pulled a lot of weeds out
and fun stuff like that! They also fed us and Sister Kellar pretty
much only makes organic foods because they are the most health driven
old people I've ever met, but they grow most of their food themselves
so it's all really good! Sister Kellar always gives us day old donuts
from the store, and this time she gave us a digornio pizza to take

Friday we had our weekly planning and it took a looong time! But it's
okay because we generally make Elder Stimpson's crock pot mac n cheese
while we plan, so that keeps us going. Later in the day Jeff the Jew
has been dying for me to bring over my ukulele ever since I told him
my mom sent it. Jeff and Mary are so intrigued by it, it's really
funny actually! Jeff brought us upstairs where he has his electronic
drums and he mic'd up my ukulele and tossed some headphones on my head
and we jammed for a few minutes! Any song I played Jeff made it sound
1000000 times cooler with his drum beat. He's a master on the drums,
and I guess Mary is a trained singer so one day we will convince her
to sing for us! Also Jeff loves Celine Dion, I think my dad will
appreciate that!

Saturday we had to drive back to Stroudsburg so Elder Stimpson could
give a missionary a blessing because there's some struggles up there!
So that took up a good chunk of the day. We had our coordination
meeting with our Ward Mission Leader and I pretty much told him it's
ridiculous that I've been here 7 weeks and he's never come out to a
lesson with me. Hardly any members have. So that kinda lit a fire
under his butt haha. For lunch I ate the pizza Sister Kellar gave us,
it was a combo pizza and Elder Stimpson doesn't like vegetables so I
got the entire thing:):):):):) it was so good that I figured it was
note worthy! We had to switch things up again with the Roselers this
week so we told them we'd come Saturday and do service. Our service
was pulling labels off of old can's so we could recycle them haha man
the things people have us do out here! They fed us and we had a really
good lesson with them!

Sunday is where this all gets good! So after church we went back to
the apartment and rearranged all of our rooms so no furniture is
against the heaters on the baseboards or whatever they are. Anyways I
finally unpacked a lot of my stuff and set up my desk so it actually
looks like I live here now, and it's cool because I used a couple cans
of spam for my bookends! Anyways we went to our elders quorum
president's house for dinner. They have six boys and they are all
about 2 years apart. 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 and a new born. The kids are
absolutely crazy, but they pretty much make up the majority of our
primary in the branch! We taught them the Plan of Salvation with
little cut outs and they were really interested and seemed to be
pretty smart too! We went and had another lesson with Jenny, which is
crazy, and we also got our Ward Mission Leader to come out with us so
that was a huge shock! We went in just expecting to reteach Jenny the
Plan of Salvation, but her friend Heather was there so she sat in and
listened and everytime Jenny would start going off topic Heather would
tell her to be quiet and listen so Heather definitely sounds
interested! Jenny's son Christian came in  before the lesson and he
calls us the Cool Dudes and he told me i'm cooler than Elder Stimpson,
so Christian is one of my new favorite kids. He's 12 so he's really
only 6 years younger than me, and he's more mature than most of the 19
year olds I've met here. He wanted to go play football with me so I
told him after the lesson I would play, and I didn't expect him to sit
in, but he did which made me pretty happy because I've been wanting to
teach him for a looooong time! Then right before we said an opening
prayer, a couple that's friends with Jenny came in. The Husband, Sean,
also came in and sat in on the lesson. Then afterwards he told us
about his family and how someone had passed and he hoped they had a
chance after this life to make things right, like yo Sean! That's what
the Plan of Salvation is all about!! So we are going to follow up with
Sean and Heather soon and see if they would be interested in learning
more, and Christian is going to start coming to young men's
activities, which is cool because there's currently only one young
men, so because of our efforts we will have literally doubled the
young mens program in the branch haha! After the lesson I went out and
threw the football with Christian for a bit, but it was way dark so it
wasn't too successful, but him and his sister Ataya were having a lot
of fun!

So there ya have it. We have Christian, Casper hopefully Heather and
Sean as well. Then there's Hailey, who I may have talked about before.
She's the niece of a member and she's been coming to church for weeks.
I think this will be the week we get a lesson with her. This is an
investigator where we could seriously set her with a baptismal date of
Saturday and she'd be ready. Then we got a strange referral for a guy
named John, who was already set with a baptism date. Odd right? From
what we can tell he moved from Oregon, but there's not too much info
on him, but enough for it to be legit. He lives in an apartment
complex, but there's no apartment number on his teaching record so we
are just waiting for him to answer his phone when we call. Then we
have another referral named Elizabeth who we should be seeing next
week or so. Then Jenny's daughter Taylor should be coming home today
from whatever legal problem she had and from what we've been told
she's interested in meeting with us again. Along with our less actives
there's a lot of work to do, it's just coming along slow. Slowly but

Our p-day today got shortened until 2:00 because tomorrow the entire
mission is headed up to the Aaronic Priesthood Restoration site in
Northern PA, so I'm pretty excited about that! But if anyone writes me
today and I run out of time I promise I'll write back next week!
There's not to many cool things to take pictures with here so I throw
in a nice picture of me and my comrade after a good day of service and
this sick bible cd a member found at goodwill! We have a pretty
exciting week coming up which I'm stoked about! From what I hear
everything's going great back home, so keep up the good work! Have a
great week everyone!

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