Funny letter. This guy cracks me up.
Oh, and from my perspective, it would be great if every missionary came into Ward Council this prepared…
Subject: “I was hiding under your porch because I love you.”
Ha ha Stacey sent me some pretty great Pixar quotes, so I had to start with that one. These were the other non-Pixar runners-up:
"Do not rustle about so. You'll wrinkle my shirt."
"That's what he said. Rather poetic really."
"Butter would not melt in my mouth. Well yes it would melt, of course it would melt. But very slowly!"
"No! We will not die like dogs. We will fight like lions!"
"It's just that it's such a pretty boat. Ship."
"And then they made me their chief."
"But you live with your mother!"
Alright, there's some pretty good ones in there, I know. I will grant one wish to the first person who can tell me what all of them are from. I'll bet there's a couple you're scratching your head over right now. So satisfying.
I don't think anyone ever taught me that the word weird is not spelled wierd. I just assumed it was i before e. And yes, I know what happens when you assume. I just had no idea. This is crazier than the time, as a senior in high school, somebody finally pointed out to me that I write my capital Qs backwards. Did I actually pass kindergarten?
"Whoa, how come Rod is kissing his sister?"
"Denise isn't his sister, man."
"She's not? That shatters my entire universe."
So I'm running out of time quickly, so let's get to the nitty gritty of it all.
Things in the office have been a little bit more relaxed since a lot of my job is just putting in baptismal records. I had to put together a list of all the converts since 2008, which presented a ton of problems, but I got that done finally. But we're starting to get a little bit more rushed since we have to prepare for a meeting with President Eyring next Friday (I'll probably have P-Day Saturday, although that's just my assumption. Yeah, I've got to watch out for those). Our mission is in charge of putting together a musical number for the meeting (the two missions are combined for it), and the Elder that was chosen to coordinate it put me on the piano. So next Friday night I'll be playing the piano for one of the men in line for the throne. That's super awesome.
Also, I just realized that I should still have P-Day on Friday. The meeting isn't until like 6:30.
In our area, things have quieted down a little bit. It's kind of our own fault, though. We have a couple investigators, like Corina, who always seem super positive until Sunday morning. And then nobody shows up to church. It's super frustrating. By the way, we leave at like 7:00 to invite people to church, and it's ridiculous how much people just throw out excuses. But one family, the Mojico family, did show up this week. They still seem really positive, but they've had family in town all week so we haven't been able to meet with them for a while.
Most of our focus, then, was on the members. Specifically the less actives. We have a goal of 100 in sacrament meeting before Elder Huaman leaves the area (or I do, but we think that he's going first), and that means there's a lot of work to do. There's usually something like 65 or 70. So we've been talking a lot with the ward about how to do this, and hopefully we're going to start getting some people to leave with us Sunday morning to invite people.
Something that seems to be a problem in the church down here is that nobody in the leadership has any experience. They're returned missionaries, but they tend to just not do things. For example, on Wednesday we had a ward council meeting. The missionaries always have the first amount of time to talk about their investigators, less actives, and recent converts. The meeting was supposed to start at 6:30, which is when we got there, and the bishop showed up at about 7:15. And he was the first of the council to get there. That's a very, very common thing here. I miss punctuality.
So we start the meeting, and I pass out all of the copies of our progress sheet. Each member of the council gets one so they can see exactly who we're teaching, what we're teaching, and what needs to be done to help them progress. I started just running down the list, briefly reviewing who each person was so that everyone could get an idea before discussing actions to be taken. It's a really great process that the church has put together, and should work very well. Instead, the bishop interrupted me before I got a third of the way through the list and told us that there's a family that had just moved into the ward boundaries from my old ward, Independencia. They are very, very active, but, since they have callings in Independencia, feel like they should keep attending there (plus it's a way bigger ward that meets in an actual chapel. We just have a rented house). He went on and on about how they need to attend where they live, and that this is a serious problem, and what can we do to convince them to come over here, and so on and so on. He, and the rest of the council, would not stop discussing it until 8:30, at which point Elder Huaman and I had to leave to catch the bus. So what did we get out of that meeting? What are the actions that will be taken to help the families that we're teaching accept the gospel, be baptized, and gain exaltation? What are we doing to help the recent converts stay active, and the less actives become active? Those are all very good questions. But you all should be very proud that we might be able to convince an active family to change wards, thus raising our attendance by four.
Sorry, that was probably a lot of ranting. It was more than I wanted to spend on the subject. But it's just frustrating to me that we're going to the ward looking for help and nobody really cares. They'd rather we just go, work, baptize, and stay quiet about it all. Unfortunately, that's not how it works, is it?
Well there you go. I've got to get this off soon so that I can finish up a couple quick emails. But let's see if I can respond to a few comments:
Stacey, that was a great email. That wedding schedule sounded fantastic. Although I'm not really sure how I feel about that movie being planet of the apes. The quotes were good, football sounds fun, and life is amazing. Speaking of football, has BYU started up yet? I'm excited for football season. All I've been hearing about here lately is soccer leagues and Barcelona and Real Madrid. Ridiculous, huh? Although I have bought some pretty awesome jerseys. And I've been playing a lot of soccer lately, and I think I've gotten pretty good. In the beginning the Latins always kind of joke about the gringos that are playing, but now they've kind of come to respect me. In an actually-that-guy-can-kind-of-play way.
"Hey, man. What would Jerry do?"
"Jerry would play!"
"He would play!"
That wasn't all directed at Stacey. Sorry about that.
And I publicly must apologize to Julie for not giving her personalized responses when she writes me. There, are you happy now? I got your letter by the way, and I loved it. Very fun.
Lindsay, funny quote. Good times.
Mom and Dad, the week sounds like it was pretty dang full. Those are always fun, but it really makes the weeks when you're relaxed a lot more relaxing. I'm quite looking forward to that feeling in the coming ten months. I don't have much to say to respond to all of the medical going-ons of the family, except that I got really sick on Monday and Tuesday. I'm better now, mostly, but I couldn't work for a couple days. By the way, somebody should look up for me whether or not tamarinda juice can ferment, and if it can, if it becomes alcohol. I was sick before I drank it, but it was really weird. Ha. I spelled it wright.
That was a joke, by the way. I know wright has two t's.
I was going to say one other thing, though, but I think I forgot. Oh, it might have been about how I'm upset that Obama is being exactly what we thought he would be, but it kind of gives me a little satisfaction, ya know? I want to rub that in a few of my hippie Oregon friends' faces. But I won't, because Christ wouldn't do that. Actually, the way He teaches some of the Pharisees and such, would He?
I love you all. Thanks for the emails and letters that you've been sending. It's great to get them and hear how all of you are doing.
"Live long and prosper."
I don't think I've ever seen an episode of that show. Only the new movie. Which was amazing.
Elder David Arrington