Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Exchanges

Hey everyone!! This week has been great. It flew by. Probably because Elder Ricks is the district leader so we went on two exchanges this week, and I left the area for both of them. Tuesday, I left to go on exchange with Elder Lin, who is companions with Elder Wilson. I worked with him in Endicott. It was way sweet and cold. And they share a car with the Johnson City Elders, and they didn't have the car that week. So we got to walk around, and it was very cold that day. Really windy and didn't get above 25 degrees. But Endicott is a sweet area, and Elder Lin is way funny. We taught their investigators Rose and Vern, as well as Lisa. Rose and Vern are interesting. They told me they feel the spirit everytime they come to church, but they aren't sure if the book of mormon is true or not and have had bad experiences with joining other churches in the past. But they were really nice. Then we taught their investigator Lisa, who is sweet. She has already read the book of mormon once, and is in Alma rereading it. She knows the church is true and loves it, but her catholic grandma who initially loved the missionaries apparently got really anti when Lisa got really involved. Elder Lin is from Hong Kong to, so I tested my chinese with him. I only remember hello, goodbye, thank you, and a few other phrases. But he said Hong Kong is very warm. Warmer than Arizona. And he didn't like the cold. I didn't really either. It would be great if I could play hockey on the ice and go inside like back home (the ponds have already started to freeze over, although not quite ready to skate on). But having to work in it all day outside makes me miss fall. Fall is definitely my favorite season here in New York. The months of September and October are very nice. Very mild climates and not too much rain either. Anyways the next morning Elder Lin and I had all of our appointments fall through. Then we went to zone conference with Elder Kacher of the seventy. Which was way sweet. Elder Kacher actually spoke in this last general conference. He started his training by asking us what we wanted help with. We then told him our zone's concerns. Lessons have gone up increasingly in the mission, but not investigators at sacrament meeting. Our member present lessons also haven't been where we would like them to be. So Elder Kacher taught us about making invitations to read, come to church, etc, be a spiritual experience and as he put it "activating their agency." It was way cool. He also showed us some sweet ideas to work with members and get them more involved in missionary work. Which was sweet. I've loved how much I've been learning the past few months about member missionary work and how important members of the church are in hastening the work of salvation. Then after zone conference, I went straight to Elmira to work with Elder Bybee, our zone leader. He's sweet. We taught 4 or 5 lessons together. I scared him pretty bad too. There apartment is way nice. I think it's nicer than the albany zone leaders. And it had lots of hiding places where I could jump out and scare him. One of the lessons we taught was to a less-active member named sister baldick. We read the book of mormon with her, and I asked her how she knows the book of mormon is true. She said "well I know it's true. It is right here." That doesn't mean it is true. There is plenty of literature out there that "is here." That doesn't mean it's true. Elder Bybee and I had a good laugh about. We also had a good laugh about the member we brought with us. He works at wendy's and I asked him how much beef they sell a day. I just wanted a rough estimate, but he went into all the details. How much the patties weigh, how much are sold a day etc, It was kind of weird. Oh the things that happen in mission life. Elder Bybee and I went with Elder Oloapu and Elder Ward to the gym early in the morning for exercise. It was so sweet. I miss working out at the gym. We also ate buffalo wild wings for lunch with them later that same day. (Elder Oloapu and Elder Ward were on exchange to, Elder Oloapu is serving in the Elmira ward with Elder Kunzler). Elder Oloapu was wearing Elder Wards brand new sweater, and spilled chocalate syrup all over it. Elder Ward got some cake and ice cream since it was his birthday. It was a sweet exchange. Then finally I got back to Owego with Elder Ricks Thursday night. The work here is going ok. We have dropped two investigators this week, and are really focusing on working with the ward members and part-member families. It's going to pick up. The church has a "He is the gift" initiative that focuses on Jesus Christ and the Christmas season, so that will definitely help us build our teaching pool. We picked up a very interesting investigator named Staci, who believes in God but not Satan. And doesn't believe in praying over the food or to start a church meeting etc,. So it will be interesting to see how things go. Love you all and take care. Have a great week.

Elder Richins









Buffalo Wild wings  






Elder Wards new sweater!! 
 Zone Leader Elder Bybee!!

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