Tuesday, March 2, 2010

(No Subject)

I'm sure I've said this plenty of times but it still holds true and that is that each transfer goes by faster and faster than the last. In fact, today is my "9 months left" mark. I don't know how exact it is because my exact 9 months left would be February 30th, which even on leap year doesn't exist, so I rounded it to today.

This last week has been really great. We had zone conference last Thursday, which as always was wonderful. We talked a lot about how to emphasize that baptism is a gate, a beginning rather than an end. We also talked a lot of the Book of Mormon. During this time of my mission I have grown to love the Book of Mormon more than I ever have before, and each time I have the opportunity to testify of it my own testimony grows. I just wish all people would just take the small step to open it and read just a little, because then the Spirit will testify to them of its truth. Until they do that however, we can't help them progress at all. Unfortunately there are many people that won't take that step. But, on the other hand, we have seen people who do take that step and then we see it change their lives. We got to teach Laura, our "golden investigator", again last night. She is so wonderful, and before we even invited had made the decision to be baptized. We committed her to pray for a date, and we are thinking that it will be at the beginning of April. We are also going to pray as a companionship to find a way that her husband's heart will be softened and he too will be able to prepare for baptism then. She has so much faith that it will happen that I can't help but have that faith either. I learn so much from the people we teach, that sometimes I feel like they are the missionaries and I am the investigator. At least I hope that I am a progressing one!

We haven't been able to see Thelma since last Wednesday, she has rescheduled both of the appointments we made with her so our next appointment is tomorrow. I just hope that she is still reading and praying, so that she can continue progressing.

At zone conference, Sis. Bassett, our mission president's wife spoke to us about our area books. Those are the book where we keep all of the information of people being taught, as well as people that used to be taught. Everything from info like where they live to committments they are keeping to problems they are having to how they are taking the lessons. There is a section in the area book, sometimes large, sometimes small, called the former investigators. Sis. Bassett promised us that there is someone in that section who is now ready for baptism. It is such an exciting thing to hear, but for an area like mine where the former section is quite large, it seems like an overwhelming task to find them. Hna. Nielsen and I are working on that right now, going through our area and trying to contact all of our formers. We know one of them is ready to progress again, but sometimes it is hard to get ahold of them. We have already found a few that have moved away, and others who aren't interested. But we have a lot more to go through. As a missionary something I try to do is not prejudge people. When you read through the teaching records of some of these formers they seem to be an obvious one to try and contact. Sometimes we can't tell why someone was dropped when it seems they were progressing so well. Sometimes we can't see why someone wasn't dropped earlier. That is why we have to go through and contact everyone, because only the Lord knows which person is ready.

Speaking of zone conference, we also got some exciting news. First of all, we found out who our future mission president is going to be. I can't remember his first name, but it is Pres. Ellsworth, from Idaho. [mom: R. Spence Ellsworth] He is going to be coming sometime at the beginning of July. I really love Pres. Bassett, we all do, and he is the president we need right now, but I am excited to welcome Pres. Ellsworth. Something Pres. Bassett said to me in my very first interview is that often missionaries that have been here for a while (and I have now caught myself doing this) will talk about missionaries that have already gone home. It is not bad to talk about them of course, but they talk about how great they are and how they wish they were still here. They compare some of the newer missionaries to the returned ones. What President told me is that yes they were great missionaries but he doesn't want them anymore, he only wants the missionaries that are called to serve right now. We talked about it in my last interview too, concerning the Burkes leaving and the Whites coming, and President said it would be the same when he left. I know that that is true so I am excited to welcome the Ellsworths when it is their time to serve. One thing I noticed when the Burkes left is that no matter how hard it is for us, it is harder for them. They are just a part of our mission. We also have our members, our investigators, our companions, our other leaders, our mission leaders, our VC leaders, etc. However, we are their mission, and when they leave they won't have something to replace us, like we have to replace them. Unfortunately I know that it will be the same when I leave, but fortunately I still have a little more than half my mission left!

Another exciting thing we heard about was some changes in the mission boundaries. There is going to be a new mission created! It will be the New Mexico something mission (I already forgot the name, but it is some northern town in New Mexico). [mom: New Mexico Farmington] Our already small mission is going to become even smaller. Right now we cover Mesa and go up north to Snowflake and Payson and a few other northern towns, plus the majority it seems of the Navajo nation Reservation. All of the reservations except the one down here in Mesa are going to be taken out and put in this new mission. That goes for all the surrounding missions too. The new one will cover 4 states, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. It will cover 4 Corners, and it seems like it will be made up mainly of reservations. The president for that is a 70 that is working in the missionary department of the church. [mom: Spencer V. Jones] He is actually the church "expert" on the Native Americans and Pres. Bassett has already been working with him a lot concerning our reservations. I think it is great to see that the work is progressing so much in this area that a new mission is being created. Even better though, I think it is awesome that the Native Americans in the area will have a mission almost completely focused on them. They are the Lamanite people, and their ancestors were those that God led first to this continent. They were also some of the first people missionaries we sent to when the church was organized. That is something that I love about teaching the hispanic people, because they too are descended from the Lamanites. (I think I may have said this before...) I love seeing the promises of the Book of Mormon fulfilled in the people I teach.

Now on to my "answer this for me..." question of the week. What is a p-day like? Well, we wake up at 6:30 am, as usual. Instead of exercising we clean our apartment. The rest of the day sometimes has a variation in schedule but consists of the following: We email from the library at 10:00 am. We have a small mission and there are only 2 libraries in the Mesa part of it, so the library is packed with missionaries on Tuesday. If you aren't here at 9:45 you don't get a computer. I am sitting in a part of the library with 24 computers, and every one but one has a missionary. And this is just a part of the library. We also do our grocery shopping, usually at Wal-mart. If there is need we write letters at our apartment later on in the day. Then we usually do one other thing. Today we are going out to lunch with an English member in our area. Once a transfer we go to the temple in the morning. Once a transfer we do some sort of a zone activity. Often people go hiking. I usually try to fit a nap in there somewhere. Hna. Nielsen and I are also going to make tshirts today, which I am pretty excited about. I'll send pictures when they are done. All in all, I often feel like pdays are just as busy as every other day...

Well, I hope that March has started off well and that where ever you are the weather is treating you well. I think February so far was my favorite month in AZ, weather-wise. Which is odd because I don't really like February, it is just such an odd month... Anyways, the weather is still beautiful here so if it isn't beautiful where you are, just you wait, I'm sure your summer will be beautiful and mine will be the opposite...

Desde Mesa con amor,
Hermana Ladd

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