This week has been pretty good here. The weather has gotten a little colder, and we've had some rain in the 40's, but still no snow yet! Has it snowed again in Idaho Falls since that first time?
Things are going well with Elder Sheppard and me. He's not a brand new missionary, but he had only been out two transfers when I first got here. He's a really good guy though, and we have a lot of fun sometimes.
My mom sent me a few questions that she wanted me to answer in my email home this week:
How many appointments did you teach last week?
This last week we actually taught about 10. That is about average for the last few weeks, but Elder Sheppard and I are working on getting in contact with more people so that we can teach at least 15 this week. We're hoping to work up to 20 in the next few weeks, if not this one.
Do you meet more people through tracting, referrals or some other method?
Right now... It's a little difficult to say. We've been spending more of our time teaching than finding lately. Some of the people in this branch here are really good about sharing the gospel with others and giving referrals when they can. We also find new investigators through door knocking, especially in other areas that I've been in. Each is different. Other ways to find new people to teach is by visiting with part-member families, personal contacting when we meet people on the street, church headquarters referrals (from temples and mormon.org, and they aren't very common. Usually only about one every two or three transfers), and a whole list of other ways in Chapter 9 of Preach My Gospel.
Do you ever have car trouble?
Not usually. The most car trouble I've ever had so far is having to replace a broken windshield wiper blade. The cars are maintained well so that we will have as few problems as possible.
Tell us the names of your investigators.
Right now our investigators are:
1. Darnel Williams- He lives in another Branch's boundaries. We were teaching him for a while, but now he has been successfully transitioned up to the Ithaca Branch. He is such a great guy. He's actually getting baptized this next Sunday, and he's pretty excited.
2. Gale Junion-metz - She is really nice and has been a devout Lutheran her whole life. She loves the Bible and right now is reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it to know that it is the word of God, and what it claims to be. We're teaching her more in the meantime and reading with her and helping her to feel the Spirit. She knows that God will answer her prayers.
3. Brother Robinson- He is the non-member husband of a less-active sister. Lately they've been coming to church pretty regularly, and the Branch leadership is working with them to help them out. They've been a little hard to get ahold of lately, so we're hoping to meet with them soon. He is planning on getting baptized in November.
4. We have some other investigators, but we're trying to just get in touch with them right now and set up appointments.
5. Lately, a lot of the work we have been doing here is meeting with less-active members and the Anderson family where the Mom is a recent convert. Sister Anderson is doing really well, but is having a hard time with a part of the Word of Wisdom. We're helping her with that. They're both doing really well though and we love visiting them.
What did you have for breakfast today?
Breakfast is different every day. Today... I ate a golden delicious apple and a piece of toast, half smothered in creamy peanut butter and the other half smothered in nutella, folded over. It was pretty good, I just tried it for the first time yesterday.
I was part of a trade-off this last Wednesday and spent the day in Lansing with Elder Coon. It was a pretty good day, although a little hectic! We taught seven people that day. The missionaries there are working really hard and have many appointments each week. We're working on helping the area here to reach the same point. We love being busy! Missionary work is happy work, really.
I see so many blessings in this work. I know that the Lord is helping to strengthen me and refine me. This work isn't easy, and sometimes things are very difficult or stressful. But because of that, I can testify that I know our Heavenly Father hears our prayers, and loves and watches out for each one of His children. He may not always answer prayers in the way that we hope He will, but He always does. He may not always take our burdens away, but He will always give us strength to bear them, even as the people of Alma in Mosiah 34. I know that this is The Church of Jesus Christ. He is at the head of His church and directs us through His chosen servants. This work that I am in is His work, and He directs it as well. I know more than anything else that the Lord loves me and He will always be there for me. The Book of Mormon is the word of God, and I know that it is true. Through the Gospel of Jesus Christ we can find true happiness in this life and in the life to come.
Listen to the words of our living prophets and study the Book of Mormon daily.
I love you all. Have a great week!
Elder Trevor Casper