Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Week 22 - Chicken Wings, Kohl's and a Campfire

  I am always anxious to hear from Elder Schaff on Mondays, it is a highlight of my day, and we have been blessed that he continues to do well in California. From what we can tell, he and his companion are working hard, staying busy and tired at the end of every day, but healthy and fine. So, good news all around. I want to share a little of what he wrote to me, then I will post his email for the blog. Unfortunately, he could not upload photos, yet again. This week, there was a Trojan virus on the computers at the family history center and so he said, maybe next week.

 "OK, down to business! So yeah, as to my energy level, I suppose my word choice was not the best. I'm fine and totally healthy, But I'm always extremely sleepy at the end of the day. Sometimes the nightly prayer is hard...I have a "prayer roll" of everyone that has asked us to pray for them in my planner, and try to pray for those in the greatest need each night, but the longer the prayer, the greater the risk of going to sleep outside of bed! Hasn't happened yet!
  I'm grateful that everyone is filling me in. It's good to hear about life back home. Today we shopped at Kohl's because Elder Lopez was looking for new shoes. It smelled exactly the same, and triggered some memory neuron or something that made it feel comforting and like home. Weird Science! We bought some Chicken Wings today, I fried them up in Frank's "Hot Buffalo" sauce, so it was a bit too comfortable and like home, I guess you could say. I've still got my mind on the work though, so that's good. Hopefully I answered all your questions, I want to be there for the family! Even though I switch to "blog mode," know that it's all information I very much want you to know as well, but doesn't need to be written twice. We got to go to the Fresno temple on Friday, and I was overwhelmed with spiritual joy. I know our family is doing good, and we'll continue to be there for each other. We have had some struggles, but compared to some I've seen, we have had it really good. We have it good still! So here's to hoping everyone's doing well!"

Now for the blog entry-

"What happened this week? I'm not exactly sure. Nothing really interesting happened until the very end of the week, so the "general memory" of the week is that it was bland. Fortunately the definition of "bland" in the California, Fresno mission is having a successful week but having room for improvement, and some disappointments. And maybe a lot of driving.

   We had a lot of lessons cancel this week, which created a lot of finding time. We taught 10 investigator lessons, and 12 Less-active/Recent Convert lessons. Normally we are around 20 investigator lessons per week, to gauge the "slowness" we were feeling. Thus, on the investigator front we aren't seeing much of any result. (A) canceled twice, so we didn't see her this week. Her schedule is insane. We have an appointment tomorrow. Several other lessons didn't happen either.

   Anyway, we found 4 new investigators, and several other potentials, as well as a solid English referral, from that empty time. (Always the English speakers!) Almost every one of the investigators came from the excess time, so it was a testimony to us that the Lord will have us do the work His way. Our teaching pool is now 14 actively interested investigators, with 2 others that don't have much contact with us.

     I tried reading my journal to have some more spiritual information or something good to share this week, and noted that I wrote at one point: "The power of missionary work is that you are always self-improving. If you meet a challenge, you have two options; grow and overcome it, or go home. And nobody wants to go home." Missionary work really helps one see his full potential and what they can accomplish if they are willing to. I like that aspect. My character has grown immensely.

   Spiritual thoughts in scriptures: 1 Nephi 16:10, 28 + Alma 37:6, 37-41, **44-45** These make an application of following a compass to us following Christ. It's concise and powerful.

  And the experiences of the week: We taught a lesson around a campfire with a bunch of vagabond looking folks. One of them, Juan, was interested, and we've taught him a few times this week. He likes what he's learning, but can only read at a really slow pace. His vision is bad and he starts to cry after about 2 minutes. That first lesson left us nice and smoky, but the following ones were not around the fire.

  On Saturday we taught (G) and she still denied the invitation to be baptized. She explained that she was waiting for an answer she could be sure of. She also explained that she might be getting officially married to her boyfriend. If we remember this, she is 60 and her boyfriend is 45, and since they are living together and not married, this causes a law of chastity problem! But if she gets married, that will be resolved, and she could be baptized! We think she'll get the answers once that happens!

   I'm about to time-out... but a family, Familia (D), had their daughter run away Saturday. Fortunately, they found her Sunday afternoon, but that was scary, especially since we were the first people they decided to trust with the information! Fortunately all is well.

  We went to the Temple on Friday! It was Fresno Zone and a great experience to receive revelation and feel the Spirit. Wish I had paced myself better to explain more!

  Anyway, just when we thought we couldn't be doing more preparation for the future we did. Whoever ends up here in "Echo" next transfer is going to be baptizing like no tomorrow! Hopefully this week we'll get out and teach more!!!"

Sincerely, (and rushed as always)
Elder Schaff

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