Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Email from 6/8/10


Sorry if I forgot to tell you that this week is transfer week, but that's why I'm emailing on Tuesday. Our week was pretty good, and I'm glad to hear that all is well at home, too.

Yeah, we're in a pretty country area. It's about an hour east of Cleveland and there are miles of country in between the cities in which we work.

That trebuchet sounds pretty impressive! It must have been a lot of fun to work on. Was it mostly made out of wood? Good job being fluent in Spanish and being a pro driver, Delaney. I don't understand why you wouldn't want to be a driver's ed instructor, though.

How hot has it been getting back home? It's just about perfect here, usually in the 70s for most of the day. (the 70s is the perfect temperature, because if it is 70 degrees or more we don't have to wear our suitcoats.

I got the picture of mom + horses, thank you. I'm glad that they were all so good. What's the verdict on Zorro - is he a good horse or is he too lazy or fiesty or skittish or something?

Our fast and testimony meeting was really good, too. One of the members who came out teaching with us this week bore his testimony about feeling the Spirit at our lesson, which was good. There were lots of good testimonies in general, including one of the sister missionaries in our ward who is going home tomorrow. (There are 2 sets of missionaries in the Perry ward - us and two sisters)

Yep, all is well with me and Elder Baxter, but he's being transferred tomorrow. He is going back to the Spanish Branch in Cleveland (his first area, the area where he was serving before he came to this area). It's funny because he is going to hit his year mark in his first area. He will be training a brand new 'verdito' in the Spanish Branch. I am not being transferred, and I will be training a new missionary in this area. I'm pretty sure he'll be an English speaker this time, though.

You'll do a good job as DQP, Cody. How many Deacons are there that come regularly? Any less-active ones you are going to work on bringing back?

Anyways, our investigators are doing well. The Hanny family has come to church three weeks straight now. Bro. Hanny even gave up Tea and Coffee without us teaching them about or committing them to live the Word of Wisdom. That was amazing and inspirational. We've started working with another less-active family who I am almost positive will come back to church, and another family that has a lot of potential. I'm excited to continue seeing people progress.

The Hanny familiy gave us an old typewriter, too, so writing letters should be somewhat easier. However, President Sorensen has asked us to limit our communications with others outside our immediate family and that parents should let them know how we're doing. The blog probably makes that pretty easy, so I'm sure you're doing a great job.

How have the family prayer and scripture study been going? How about FHE and temple attendance? Have you been teaching your hometeaching lessons out of Preach My Gospel Ch. 3? In our recent associations with members and less-active members, we have been making sure to commit everybody, active or not, to continue or begin to have a daily vocal prayer individually and with their family (if applicable) Those who have accepted that commitment have been able to notice the change it made in their lives. I would encourage you to make sure all of your hometeaching families are praying daily out loud. Also, I think it would have helped me immensely in my mission preparation, and still would help Cody immensely in his preparation, if instead of one person giving a quick "spiritual thought" type message, you could both, prayerfully, prepare a lesson in which you could both participate in the teaching. I don't know if that is too much to ask, but I know that would have helped me be much more familiar with the doctrine of the missionary lessons and with the teaching skills from Ch. 10 of Preach My Gospel. As Preach My Gospel says, "hometeaching is nothing more than missionary work to those who are already members of the church, and missionary work is nothing more than hometeaching to those who are already members of the church" (Gordon B. Hinckley, I think). Maybe you could pray about it together and seek the Lord's guidance. But of course, you guys are probably already doing that anyways.


Elder Matthew Smith