Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fat week and Overachieve week (Rhys)

Hola mi familia, la mejor familia en todo el mundo.

So, I'll be here for another six weeks at least, we all got transfer calls this past week and I'll be here with Elders Stowell and Jack for at least one more transfer. Before I make it much further I want to thank Garry Glissmeyer for his email and I believe that I should have rephrased something that I said in my last email. I agree that numbers are not important and it's not the lack of baptisms that had me feeling a bit unsuccessful, but the difficulty of meeting with our investigators. We only have three for now, but it's become very hard to get together with them just to see how they're doing and get to hear from them. Thank you Mr. G again and also thanks for two other things in particular. Being the greatest College teacher I have ever had and for having what may be the greatest teacher name on the face of the planet. Don't go easy on Aislin. Any-hoo, speaking of investigators, one of our wards most recent converts who was baptized before I even got here is Andre. Andre is a big Italian with the deepest voice you have ever heard and has spent years going to other churches and investigating and even serving missions for other faiths. For the first few weeks while I was here, he was struggling a bit and we'd visit him whenever we could to answer questions and such, but mostly just to be there for him. Just a week ago, Andre got the calling of Ward Missionary and has been flying high ever since. Just proof of what Garry said about retention. We just helped him barely hold on to the church as long as he needed us, and once he could stand, he took off running. It was pretty awesome to see. The sad part of this is that we don't get to see him as often now as we used to, but we still visit with him and he does like to come teach with us when he can, so that's good.

Now, you're probably wondering what this has to do with "fat week and overachieve week." I will tell you. Absolutely nothing, I'm getting to that. For clarification, "fat week' was last week. I think it must have started on Wednesday, we started taking home lots and lots of food whenever we went to a members for dinner or a lesson and plus everyone was giving us candy. So, try as we might not to snack, I swear that Elder Stowell and I were popping candies about every five minutes and lunches would turn into hour long snack sessions to try and get rid of the extra food we'd acquired from members. By the end of the week we were feeling like pigs and it was a good thing that we decided earlier to fast for someone in our ward, 'cause we needed the break. hat is what Elder Stowell nicknamed "fat week." This coming week ought to rock and roll. One other thing about "fat week" first, it was tough to get real excited about the week when we only had six lessons scheduled for the whole week. Yeah, six. To top that off, one had to fall through part way into the week. We spent a lot of our miles driving around and visiting with less actives and keeping busy and even got a bit lucky when a member couple, the Olives, said that they didn't have anything else to do, so why not give them another lesson? That was a life saver. After a week with much less teaching than is desirable, we decided to step it up and on Sunday we did.

We have Member lessons here. We pass a sheet for the week on Sunday for people to sign up and have the missionaries come teach in their homes. It's a good opportunity for us to keep teaching and visit with members, and it brings the spirit into peoples homes as well as getting them involved in missionary work. Whenever we get the schedule passed around, we always encourage them to invite a non-member friend or less active to be with them for the lesson, the tough part is getting people to sign up. We usually will pass the sheet around the relief society and priesthood meetings along with the dinner calendar, but one of the things that can be tough about that is a husband or wife believing that the other knows their schedule better than they do and they'll sign up. This can be true in lots of cases and we usually get more sign ups from relief society than anywhere else. Even so, our lessons were dropping to fewer and fewer each week, so this is when we decided to try something that we should have thought of a lot sooner.

After Sacrament meeting, Elders Jack, Stowell, and I (meaning me, not an Elder I) went to the Gospel Doctrine class before it started and made sure with Sister Kunzler that we could have some time at the beginning of the class. Now, in a room with husbands and wives all together (mwahahahahahaha), Stowell and I stood at the front of the room and announced that we would be passing around the calendar and what it's for and what the member lessons are for and what purpose it serves. We also got help when Sister Deninio (the main culprit of all of the extra food and goodies that we end up taking home, good stuff) said that the lessons are amazing and she loves having us in her home whenever we come over. That is what I think really set it off. We left church with sixteen lessons on the calendar and we were whooping and high-fiving. During planning that night, we finished setting goals for the week and with better and better chances of getting to finally meet with at least one and possibly two of our investigators, things are looking busy. Which is a nice thing to see. That's when Stowell named it "overachieve week." Even though we shouldn't have to overachieve in order to be content, that's where we're hoping to go and we're all looking forward to all of the teaching that we'll be doing this week.

Oh, and one more thing that I believe I should mention is this guy called Brad. I've never actually met him, but Elder Stowell along with the missionaries that were here before I was, tracted into him and a rowdy group of his friends (his friends were drunk at the time). Despite the circumstance that was caused by his friends' loud comments about Mormons, he really enjoyed speaking with the missionaries even without any actual belief in a God or any religion really. Elder Stowell and more recently I, have been keeping up with him through text and he's always open to have a conversation over text. As I have been texting with him, we've been getting closer and closer to actually getting an opportunity to meet with him face to face and I can't wait. In the meantime, "overachieve week" is in motion.

Elder Rhys Enright

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