Today’s message is in two parts. Apparently he’s preparing for his companion’s transfer and had to break it up some. No news on who the new companion will be. So, David’s first companion lasts 6 weeks. And it looks like things were starting to go pretty well!
No pictures this week :-(
So I’m not sure if this email will be fantastically long due to transfers, but hopefully it’s enough to get you all through missionary Monday. I only have half an hour or so to write because my comp is heading out to some other city tomorrow and we have to get ready for it. He got called to be a Zone Leader. Crazy. But there’s some people coming over in a bit to help us pack up and move his suitcases, thus me not having much time.
We have another baptism this week. It’s a 20 year old kid named Herson. He’s dang powerful, too. He and Mauricio both just love the gospel and want to live it. So great. I’ll send pictures next week. We wanted to baptize the Hernandez family as well, but they are having issues coming to church. Apparently the husband, who we have not been teaching, doesn’t have a problem with us coming over but forbids them to go to church with us. Weird. With a little prayer, though, I’m sure it’ll work out. God wants them to be baptized, so if we do all we can, they will be. Also, we have a couple more investigators, Jorge and Rigoberto, who both know the gospel is true, and we’re getting them ready for baptism. And of course, there’s Henry, who is still incredible and has been changing his life dramatically. He’s been taught everything and has studied a lot of the doctrine, he’s just waiting for President Lopez to give us the okay to baptize him, because of his marijuana problem. But the other day he told us that his uncle offered him some pot, and he not only refused, he actually left the house. I felt so proud, it’s not even funny. I feel like I’m actually making a difference for these people out here.
So let’s see... that’s all of my investigators. This last week was hard. Really hard. We did a lot of walking. I mean like walking for two or three hours for an appointment up in the mountains. And then finding out that they weren’t home. True story. Oh! That reminds me, though, it rained the other day. And I mean rained, rained. The streets were not just flooded, they were literally rivers. It was way crazy. A lot of the time I was walking in ten or twelve inches of water. I got wet. It was fun, though. You know that feeling that you get that’s kind of like you’re moving at a weird angle when you’re standing in the water at the beach and it starts to reseed? (I think that’s a word...) That’s what it felt like the entire time. I kept wanting to just sit down and float in it, but there were actual rapids at parts, so I was too chicken.
Funny story: I went contacting on Sunday, and we taught this family that really didn’t care much about our message, so we were trying to politely end so we could leave, and randomly this drunk guy stumbles into the house literally screaming ¨Dios! Dios!¨ which was a little weird. Then he calmed down a little and started kind of half preaching to us. All the rest of us just kind of sat there for twenty minutes almost while he just ranted on and on and on about the most random stuff. Mostly it was about him being drunk and trying to find God, and he wanted to get married but didn’t know how because he was drunk, etc. He would also start crying suddenly, and then just start laughing. Really odd. But the family told us where he lives and said he needs our message, so we’re going to go visit him when he’s sober. Probably tomorrow or Wednesday.
Alright, I’m just about out of time. I might be able to come back and type a little bit more later, but for now this will have to do. And sorry, but I don’t have any pictures this week. I kind of slacked off a bit on that. Thanks for all your emails, and it’s great as always to hear about the going-ons of the family. Also, Sarah sent me a small email reminding me about the part in Joe vs. the Volcano where he catches the really fake looking hammerhead shark and freaks out, and I just had to laugh. That part is so funny. I just wanted to say that because I want everyone to remember it and how funny that movie is.
Thanks again for all your support. I’ll keep working hard out here to try and earn you all a few more blessings!
Elder E. David Arrington
And here’s round two which came in about 2 1/2 hours later. Just what is “thensologuism” anyway?
Okay, I have a little bit more time to write. Really I shouldn’t be on very long because we’re only supposed to write for an hour, and I’ve already done half an hour or so, but I just wanted to come back and finish this.
One quick thing that is kind of sad (I want to put it here so I don’t have to end with something sad): I might have told you that Elder Reyes and I were meeting with a lady who isn’t in our area, but she lives next door and is a member and has been going through some serious marital issues. The only reason we’re meeting with her is because the Elders who teach her aren’t actually fulfilling any spiritual needs. They’re just going over and hanging out. Anyway, another member of that same ward came to Elder Reyes and I with a referral. It was for a lady that has listened to the missionaries before, but never progressed, but now wants to hear the message again because she’s going through a hard time. Of course, we tried to refer her to the other Elders that should be teaching her, but she said that she’d already given them the referral two or three times and they never did anything with it. That’s just sad.
So I’m actually not even sure what more I can add. Although my other email today was short, it was pretty much complete. This last week we worked really hard, and it was exhausting, but satisfying. It’s amazing how much I can feel the spirit, though, when I work like that. But last week I tried to talk to Elder Reyes about changing the way we plan, which is something that’s been bothering me from the beginning. What we used to do is set our weekly goals about the same every week, even though we never achieved anything close to them, and then our daily goals were whatever we felt like we might get in a best case scenario after we had planned out that day. My suggestion was to do it the opposite. First, set the weekly goals. Then, when it came to daily planning, set the goals first, and keep the weekly goals in mind so we can work towards those, and then schedule our day to meet the daily goals. Elder Reyes, when I told him I wanted to try this, kind of looked at me blankly for a little bit and then said something to the effect of, “Well, this is the way that all the missionaries plan, but I’m open to trying something new, so if you want to, let’s do it.” So we did. And it made a huge difference. In almost every single one of the key indicators we got a higher number than we ever have before, and we completed almost every one of our goals. So there you go. Planning makes a difference.
So hopefully that will give you all a little bit to think about. I think every day this week I’ve learned something new and written it in the journal I’m still faithfully keeping. I’ll have to start writing notes to myself about what I can write home, so I actually have something interesting.
Now as far as the family goes, it’s great to hear what’s going on. Emily and Dave, you sound like you’re settling in very well in Oregon, and it seems that Mom and Dad are enjoying your company. Sarah too, even. And it’s good to know that all of your kids are getting a chance to talk in primary. Lindsay and Mike, I hope that application to BYU went well. I don’t think I ever heard. But I did hear your belly is moving now... Stacey and Kyle, I commend you on all you’ve done to stop Sgt. Beanie, but I fear he may be gaining territory as we speak. Thanks for all the emails, especially since you sprinkle them with a little bit of movie quotage. (A little thensologuism, as well (a little smoke-age...)) Julie and Dave, it’s strange to picture Dave going from his job as a famous TV man to a soccer ref, but there you go. I guess life does that to you. But it’s great you’re both stocking up for the baby. Michael, I got your letter, and am prepping a decent response that should be in the mail soon. Thanks, by the way. It was nice to read. Steven, you’re still dominating at football, so I can’t really tell you to work harder, but here it is: work harder! Dad, your detailed emails are always quite enjoyable to read, and I thank you for your consistency. It’s great that Heaps is finally the starter. Hopefully when I get back he’ll be good :). And Mom, thanks for the support, as always. I’ve noticed you’ve started to write a little bit more, and I’ve loved it. I got a second letter from you this last week that talked about the street in front of the office flooding or something like that. All I have to say is HA! You don’t even know what flooding is... (see previous email).
Thanks again family! I love you all, and pray for you every day!
Elder E. David Arrington
PS: I say Emily loses the cookie making contest. Even though hers were more professional looking, crunchy is never better than soft, gooey goodness. And next time, I’d wager Sarah’s will win. Unless Mom makes those molasses cookies of hers. Mmm, boy.