Sunday, June 19, 2011

Email from June 13th

Hello Family,

No, we didn't get a new replacement for our 3rd companion - it's just me and Elder Yukish now.

I'm really excited that Peyton has her first temple recommend! It will be amazing for her to be able to go and do baptisms for the dead in the temple! My temple recommend expires next month and I'll have to get a temporary one from President Sorensen.

Good job not throwing up at your marathon, Dad.

I'm glad that doctoring the horses was less injurious this year, and that Cody has mastered the racing start and flip turn.

What's been going on with us: we're mostly tracting right now. We haven't been able to find any new investigators that have gone anywhere really, but we were able to set a baptismal date with one of our investigators, Timothy (the one from Arizona). He's committed to baptism on July 16th. He has a lot of changes he needs to make in his life to prepare for that point, including giving up smoking and alcoholism, but he understands the requirements and seems willing to change. We're also teaching a part-member family (kind of: the parents used to be members but had their names removed after being offended. Their eleven-year-old son was never baptized), but they seem to be gradually losing interest. The father still has a pretty good testimony, but the mother doesn't really anymore. It seems like she doesn't really want to feel the spirit, though, so she doesn't.

We do a pretty good mix of biking and driving. It's probably about evenly split between the days that we bike and the days that we drive.

We have a pretty good ward, with a lot of very supportive members. It seems like there's plenty of members trying to share the gospel, but not having too much success. There have been a couple members who have talked about the gospel with others and are working themselves up to referring their friends, but none that have really come through yet. There seem to be a lot of members who are willing to come with us to teaching appointments, and we take them out with us a lot, but we aren't really utilizing the full potential there because of lack of investigators to teach. We take active members with us pretty often to teach less active members as well.

I'll probably be here the rest of my mission, yes. That was the plan when I came here, at least. Transfers is next week, so we'll know for sure then. (Because of transfers, I probably won't be able to email until Tuesday). I expect that I will stay in this area for my last transfer and Elder Yukish will be transferred, giving me a new companion.

It's great working with Elder Yukish - he's very easy to get along with and a lot of fun to be around. I really appreciate that he knows how to have fun being a missionary and still work hard all day. He's a good teacher and is able to connect to people on a personal level very well.

Sorry for 'starving' you of information on the work! It just seems like you wouldn't really want to hear about the people we are teaching who never show up for their appointments, or who don't keep any of the commitments we leave, or who aren't making any progress towards being baptized or reactivated. (or course, if people fall into those categories, we generally don't teach them for very long anyways.)

Sorry about the lack of pictures, too. My camera broke, and I've never gotten around to getting a new one. (I guess it's not totally broke, it just has 'issues' - sometimes the buttons don't work, sometimes it runs out of batteries the same day you put new ones in, sometimes it won't focus, etc.) I don't think I even unpacked it when I moved from Sandusky to N. Olmsted.

LoveYMNB, Elder Matthew Smith