Monday, December 12, 2011

Mike's letter 12/12/11

Hey Mom!
     President says no Skype, just phone calls for Christmas.  I'm excited for some sweets.  My shoes actually have a hole in them, and its raining today for the first time in like a month.  I walked outside and my feet got soaked.  Do you want me to send my holey shoes back home?  I live in a locked apartment complex, so packages are really safe when they get delivered.  So I wouldn't worry about it while I'm in Long Beach.
     I'll make sure to keep Sherry in my prayers, I really want her to succeed at BYU :).  I'm really happy that the two of you are getting along a lot better now.  It sounds like all good news from the homefront, expect Spencer's Grades...
     Also transfer calls came in last Saturday, and both Elder Galke and I are staying.  I wasn't very surprised by that, but we'll see if I can make it a whole transfer :P after last transfer's fiasco!
     This week has been a bit of a mixed bag, but it all turned out good in the end.
     Ma'epu of course was Baptized last week, and yesterday I was able to confirm him a member of the Church.  That was a really awesome experience.  I'm very grateful that Ma'epu chose me to confirm him a member of the Church, and I just know that he's going to be a strong member of the Church from here on out.  I have so many hopes and desires for this young child, and I know that if he continues he will one day serve a mission.  That's probably the best gift of it all, knowing that I brought a future missionary into the church :).
     I didn't get to meet with R last week because I was on exchanges with Elder Stringham in the Spanish area.  It was a ton of fun to be back together with him, but we are changing zones this transfer so it's probably the last time I'll be together with him since he goes home in January.  He wasn't baptized yesterday because his Mom couldn't make that time, so he's going to be baptized this coming Sunday.  We also started teaching his 14 year old brother, and he should be baptized sometime in January as well.
     M on the other hand was all sorts of ups and downs last week.  We got a call from our ward mission leader on Tuesday who said that the members that Maria is staying with were upset that we hadn't taught her in a while.  We had an appointment last Thursday, and Elder Galke never set up a return appointment after M canceled on us.  We had planned on seeing her at Church on Sunday but she didn't show up.  The family was very upset with us, and so we had to repair bridges between us.  M was also hurt because she didn't feel like she was a priority for us, and that we didn't care about her.  It was a very sticky situation, and of course there are miscommunications up the wazzu because of the language barrier between us and the family.
     We ended up working everything out, but M is going to the English ward instead of the Samoan wards because she doesn't learn as well in Samoan.  Its a better situation, but it also means that we aren't teaching her anymore.  The other Elders are of course very happy to have her now, but its a little bit sad to see such a Golden investigator leave.  The good news is, our relationship with the Ward Mission Leader and the Bishop wasn't hurt because of this.  Also hopefully I've learned a good lesson about keeping in contact with your investigators.
     At Church yesterday our Ward Mission Leader, Bro. Va'ili came up to us with two people to teach.  So during the second hour of church we sat down with F and P and began to teach them.  They really want to be baptized, and both have been taught by missionaries before.  They are on date to be baptized on the 18th and 25th, and we are meeting with them again tonight.  I really love our ward, they do so much missionary work its just amazing :).
     We also were teaching a less-active/recent convert family last night and we watched Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration.  The father/boyfriend? was actually interested and watched the movie with us.  We have an appointment now to start teaching him, and hopefully once the father figure is on board, the whole family will begin to be active in the church.  I'm really excited to see the changes in their lives.
     I'm really excited to talk with the whole family soon!  I'll talk with you again next week with some pictures (hopefully ^^;).
Elder Henry

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