Monday, January 30, 2012

Elder Henry 1/30/12

Hey Mom,

Whittier is SUPER hot right now, and we are on bike, and there isn't a
single piece of flat ground in our area.  Its hills up and down and up
and down.  My legs are killing me, between running every morning for
20 minutes, and biking everywhere all day every day, I'm quite
exhausted.  Although I have enough of Dad's blood in me that I'll
probably still end up playing basketball instead of resting today :P.
Bummer for the Ducks losing LaMichael James and Darron Thomas.
Hopefully the Ducks will have some great players to replace them.  I
bet Chip Kelly wants to win the BCS Championship before he goes to the
So my new ward is older than the St. Johns ward.  The average age of
the members is 83 years old.  It's awesome XD.  I love spending time
around them, they have so many fun stories and they love the
missionaries.  This area got closed for about a month because a
missionary went home 4 weeks early for school last transfer.  The only
reason President could open it back up is because Elder Dixon and I
are here to fill in the gap as it were.  They are all really excited
to have "their missionaries" back :).  The Bishop (Bishop Luedtke) and
Ward Mission Leader (Bro. Sharp) are awesome and we have a ton of
investigators in this area, all of which are close to being baptized.
Elder Dixon is also a visa waiter, he's waiting to go to Auckland, New
Zealand.  He's a convert of a year and a half and an absolutely
stellar missionary.  He is from Columbia, Missouri and went to BYU
Idaho for a year before coming out.  He played Football and Baseball
in school and loves the church.  He's 100% on top of things,
motivated, excited to work, helpful, teachable, and a fun Elder to be
around.  We should have lots of success here together :).
My District is comprised of 3 visa waiters, 1 Korean, and 2 sister
missionaries.  I live in a four man apartment with the other two
Elders in my district.  Elder Jeon is from Korea, and he's a zone
leader (we have our zone leaders split up in our zone), and Elder
Whetstone also lives with us and he's waiting to go to Sao Paulo,
Brasil.  I finally have someone I can practice Portuguese with ^^.
The two sister missionaries are also great, we just don't interact
with them very often.
One of our recent converts, Ana Pinheiro is actually from Rio de
Janeiro, Brasil.  She moved to the states when she was 8(ish), and she
still speaks a bit of Portuguese.  We got to meet her last night and
she's a lot of fun to visit with.  She was baptized last September,
and we are working to get her son to come into the gospel as well.
We have 6 investigators right now and we got to meet with most of them
this week.  Its been pretty hard opening this area since neither Elder
Dixon or I have any idea what's going on.  Fortunately, the
missionaries before us kept good records in the area book and we've
got at least a handle on where people are at spiritually.
Our number 1 investigator is named S R.  He's in his 30's has 4
kids and a wife.  He's been investigating the church for about 11
weeks now, and wants to be baptized.  The only problem is he has a
nasty smoking habit.  We are trying to help him to quit but its really
hard to stop.  He came to church yesterday, and his wife is also
interested in the church, but she doesn't really want to investigate
until he's committed to stop smoking before she gets gung-ho about it
again.  We are going over to have a Family Home Evening with them
tonight, and S is planning on giving a lesson to his kids on the
Word of Wisdom.  We are really excited for him.
We have another S investigating the church, S H.  His wife and
kids are all members, and he comes to church every week, and has been
doing so for about 4 years now.  He was offended by a couple
missionaries a few years back and now the wife won't let us invite him
to be baptized.  That's the only thing really holding him back.  He
doesn't have any issues with Chastity, Word of Wisdom, Tithing, he
believes Joseph Smith was a prophet, and he loves the church.  Why
he's not a member yet?  I don't know.
Next up is N.  She's in her late 20's and married to a less
active member of the Church, E.  She is having a hard time right
now receiving an answer that the Book of Mormon is true, and she's
tried to stop smoking so many times, she feels really discouraged.
She does want to be baptized, and has a tentative date for February
23rd.  I've never helped someone to overcome an addiction before, and
now I have two smoking investigators.  Any ideas for quitting smoking
would be very helpful.  They both want to change, I just don't know
how to help other than prayers, and reading the scriptures.
We are also teaching a 58 year old woman named L.  She has a lot of
health concerns and loves to talk.  I'm not quite sure where she is
spiritually, but she loves the church.  Her son was recently baptized
and sealed in the temple and that's her main interest.  Her health
problems kept her from church yesterday though, but she does read the
Book of Mormon.  Hopefully we'll be able to get her some friends in
the ward and they will be able to encourage her to come to church :).
There is also a 21 year old man named K, who's Philippine.    We
haven't been able to meet with him yet, so I don't know much about
We were out riding our bikes last Tuesday, our first day in the area,
and we talked with an older man named H.  He invited us to come
back on Saturday and we did.  We talked about the restoration with
him, and also talked about how he could live together with his
deceased wife one day.  The spirit was really strong in the lesson and
he got teary eyed towards the end.  He had to rush off at the end
because his son was picking him up to take him shopping, but we have a
return appointment with him for tomorrow.  I'm really excited to see
him again :).
Thank you for keeping me updated on the home front.  I look forward to
hearing who the new Bishopric will be.  I love you all so much.
Elder Henry

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