Monday, January 9, 2012

Long Beach Mission Christmas gathering!

Hey Mom!
The weather down here has actually been so warm that even during the nights, at 7 or 8 at night, I haven't been wearing my coat because its still warm out.  It seriously feels like a Washington summer right now.  Pretty boring if you ask me :P.  I hope you all are handling the rainy weather up north.
     You did tell me that Tim is in the Samoan wards.  That's pretty crazy!  We'll have stories to swap when we get back.  I have his mission home address, Sis. Coatney sent all the missionaries a list of everyone in the stake who is serving a mission as well as addresses so we can write each other.  Make sure to thank her for me, its a life saver!
     Well we are working hard again, and we are meeting with people, but only Jonathon is progressing towards baptism.  We have met a whole bunch of new people (mostly less active members) and we also have a handful of recent converts that we are working with, so life is back to being busy :).  Our week is almost full with appointments already, and we have just begun!
     We met with J twice this week.  He's doing as well as any 14 year old boy can do :P.  He's read a ton out of the Book of Mormon, he's almost already finished 2 Nephi, in just over a month!  I'm really impressed that a 14 year old boy can read so much out of the scriptures, its absolutely amazing.  The only thing holding him back from being baptized is the tracking bracelet on his ankle that can't go into the water.  Once that is off at the end of the month hopefully he'll still be able to be baptized (dependent on whether or not he will still be on probation).
     Yesterday at church we had a little sit down talk with J.  He was giving his Mom attitude about going to class, and then he bumped into us.  We tried to talk him into it, but with Mom there, he was not backing down.  Its really quite funny how Mom can say something to a teenage boy, and even though all his friends are in class, and he is going to enjoy himself, because it came from Mom he doesn't want to do it :P.  So we talked with him for the second hour of church, and ended up coming to Priesthood after we sat down and talked with him.  He's a good kid, he just needs some good influences in his life.  I think that he will serve a mission one day though :).
     We heard some really sad news last Saturday.  P, one of our recent converts, up and moved to Utah.  No warning, no goodbyes, she just left.  Apparently it was some kind of emergency, but both Elder Galke and myself are sad we won't be able to see her anymore.
     We are having a huge problem right now with all of our recent converts being inactive.  Out of the 10 people baptized into the Compton 1st ward since last October, only 1 of them was at church yesterday.  Mostly its because the parents of the children decided to go back to inactivity as soon as the kids were baptized, but one of our recent converts, Tua, has skipped out on church now for 2 or maybe even more weeks.  We've also heard some troubling news that he's been smoking again, and when we asked him he denied it, but because he hasn't been coming to church its sounding like he lied to our face which really hurts.  We are doing our best to help him out, but if he doesn't allow us to help him there is nothing we can do.
     Our two of the three less active young couples we are working with are doing good right now.  E and I are back on track after their trial of December which is really good to hear.  Their testimonies are growing far more than I think either of them realize right now.  M and S are also working hard, although they have been slacking in their daily scripture study, they are still going to church and making their way to a temple sealing.  They keep telling us how excited they are to be married on February 18th, and we are looking forward to that day as well :).
     R and M the last of the young couples both didn't come to church yesterday.  It can be pretty frustrating when I know how much church is going to help them out in the week, and I know they know it, but they still choose not to go...  I know that this is not an uncommon phenomena among humans, and I myself have done the same things, but it still hurts to see people use their agency in a way that drives them away from happiness.
Okay I know you have been dieing to hear about my companion.  Elder Galke went to BYU before his mission, he's recently decided that he is going to do a pre-med major at BYU and then he wants to teach institute in Samoa.  He is learning Samoan pretty well.  He's is late for everything.  I hate being late, just like some others I know (*cough* Mom *cough*).  He has a vast understanding of the scriptures and loves to study the scriptures and talk about them.  He's a very powerful teacher.  He talks about what he's going to do when he gets home on a daily basis and other random things like Pokemon.  He loves Pokemon, and did Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at BYU.  Very energetic and off the wall random.  In other words he's pretty much like any other member of Quark that I chose to hang out with before my mission.
     Well that's all for this week.  I'm grateful for the e-mail, and for all the help with the shoes.  I love you all very much :)
~Elder Henry
Zoomed in on Michael

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