|Diana and her children. Her one-year-old was asleep and missing from this picture.|
Well, it turns out Utah is a weird place. It rained this week when it was 20 degrees and created an ice storm. I didn't even know those existed, but it’s the first time Utah has had one in over ten years. Basically what happened was all the snow/roads were covered in a layer of ice. So it was just black ice everywhere. Tons of people just stayed in their house all day, because it was hard to walk without slipping. I don't think I met anyone out here that went outside without falling. It was sooo slippery. Even a couple older people in our ward slipped, but no one was hurt so that was good. They are thinking it might happen again in the next couple months. It was funny; you saw lots of people sliding around on the ground in parking lots, because they didn’t want to slip and fall.
So this week we had exchanges right off the bat. I went with an elder from Mesa, AZ. He is training another elder right now, and I just found out they are both staying this coming transfer again. They have both have struggled to get to work this transfer, and it’s hard for me to know what to do to help get them motivated. I think it’s safe to say I failed this transfer at helping them get to work since it never really happened. But they are here again, so maybe it will happen this transfer. I took him to my area, and we just had a few lessons where I taught by myself. Elder Martinez came back pretty frustrated with some of the shopping activities they had planned from him in their area instead of missionary work. It was a hard week. That district meeting the day before, I had mainly talked about wasting time and not doing things that aren’t going to influence key indicators. It didn't stick I guess, so I addressed that in district meeting this week.
District meeting was rough. I wasn't too happy. Our zone needs to quadruple its numbers before we even begin to compare to the other zones of our mission. I feel like I need to do my part but am still lost on how. I guess I will just learn. I need to train on lots of finding this next transfer since no one has any investigators. Both our zone leaders are staying, and we planned zone study together to get started this transfer a little better. A lot more focus on Preach My Gospel and no more wasting time. I hope things change for this zone; it really needs to pick up. I trained yesterday on the 8 fundamentals. I had asked each companionship to prepare ten minutes to talk about one of the fundamentals. First they wouldn't choose, because they didn’t know what they were. So I gave them one to talk about two days before. Then we got to district meeting, and they hadn’t prepared and talked for about two minutes and sat down. The other companionship didn't even show up for district meeting. So, I just wasn't too happy, and I didn't yell or anything, but I made it pretty clear to the one companionship that was there that we need to stop wasting our time and the Lord’s and step it up next transfer. I haven't really been that bold in any meetings but being subtle hasn't worked either, so I'm not sure how to do it. They gave me feedback and said that I need to be more loving and all that mushy stuff, so I guess I saw that coming. So I need to be better about loving people, and then maybe they will be more likely to apply the trainings that I give. That's what I will work on this transfer.
So I had a dream that will probably make my family laugh. I had a dream I looked in the mirror, and my teeth had gotten crooked from not wearing a retainer, and I woked up and ran to the bathroom to check, and they were still ok. It was just kind of funny afterwards that it scared me that much that my teeth were crooked.
So we were planning for zone study, and I found a district meeting in the scriptures. In Alma 31, they discuss the concerns of their investigators, then pray together, and go get to work. Then they all clap their hands on each other to get the Spirit. So I am not sure how we can apply that yet, but it was just cool to see district leader Alma preparing his fellow elders.
We taught the Carrera family this week, and the mom still can't comprehend getting baptized again. And the husband still works too much for lessons, so the three kids are where we are going to try with now. They said they aren't sure yet, but they might come to church. Well they wouldn’t open the door for Hermano Rubio so we will see what happens in our lesson with them tonight.
We found one woman tracting from Argentina. She is a returned missionary and has a nine-year-old that isn't baptized. We taught her. I guess she got offended once, and now she doesn't want to come back. I need to be more sympathetic, because once we talked about it, I really didn't get why she didn't just come back, because she got offended in the English ward so she can just come with us. and it'd be fine. WE told her we won't baptize her son like he wants to be unless she gets active again. I think she understood why. Hopefully, the next lesson when we bring the bishop, he can help her find a job.
We got one referral we were excited about. We got the call that the family was in the hospital, because the 17-year-old daughter blew out three disks in her back. So we went in and talked to the dad, and he said, “Yeah, she was picking up a bottle of water, and that’s how it happened.” So it sounded a lot more dramatic on the phone. We were prepared to hear about her falling out of a building or something. Then we asked him how we could help. The dad asked us to pay for his gas and to bring him dinner, because he was sick of the hospital food. We told him we would get in touch with him, so that was needless to say disappointing. We were really excited to start teaching a family, but they just wanted us to give them money.
Miguel Salpa is nine years old and getting baptized on February 14th, his birthday. He lives with aunts/cousins/and his dad so they are all members but his dad. His dad is at the point where he has no interest because of some arguments he got into with his sister-in-law. So he won't talk to us, but Miguel really likes church/scouts/The Book of Mormon and wants to get baptized. His 16-year-old cousin will baptize him once we teach him. Teaching kids isn't my favorite; if we don't ask a simple question every 10 seconds, then he loses interest. So that will help me learn how to teach simply; which is good, I really do need that.
I met the most frustrating man I have ever met in my life this week. He was on some paper work we had, and he invited us in and sat us down then just started going off. I think he was trying to bash with us, but he didn't know anything. Basically summed up what he said was that he is catholic and respects and adores Mary but is an atheist and doesn’t believe in god, but he believes in Jesus as more than a human. He thinks that we are awful people, because we won't pay for his daughter’s college, and we are hurting the world, because we are making people waste time on religion rather than get an education which is the only thing that matters in life. It was kind of funny he said that no religious organization encourages or helps pay for education, and we told him that yes ours did. Then he said our church doesn’t give any money to help people after natural disasters, and we said yes we did and told him a few specific examples. Then he kind of just ran out of things to yell about and started yelling about Obama, and how we are just supporting him, and we just walked out. It was really weird. Elder Martinez and I talked about it after and had absolutely no idea what he was trying to say.
We met some interesting people this week. But we are excited to stay. We have big goals as a zone. It will take work, but we are going to do it. I love you all and hope all is well!
FYI: To get us back on track with the new MTC rush we only have a five-week transfer this time just.