Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Dairy Queen :)

We had this really neat idea for Zone Conference which is Tuesday through Thursday this week.  We want to do some training on planning, goal setting and accountability.  Elder Boyce and I will be training on Planning.  Our idea was to show a live planning session and project our daily planner so that everyone could see.  Sister Felix has this Samsung tablet that comes with a pen, so it is really precise.  We took a picture of a blank planner and we could write over the top of it.  Today, after emails and studies, Elder Boyce and I drove to President's house to figure out how we could project what was on the tablet.  We had a horrible time trying to sync the tablet to President's computer so that we could project it.  We started at 11:30am and we left the Felix's home at 2:00!  Eventually, we found an alternative.  Instead of writing in our plans live, we will just type them in.

We were hungry, so we drove to the mall where we heard there was a Dairy Queen.  Dairy Queens are not common out here in Cali.  We both had gift cards.  We stopped and talked with a couple guys at the mall who had previously met with missionaries.  We got one of the guy's number and he may come to the Young Single Adult ward.

When we arrived at Dairy Queen, our cards wouldn't work.  The old Asian lady that took our order did not know English well.  She took FOREVER with our food.  We were probably waiting there for 15 minutes.  No joke and no one else was ordering.  Yes, I was impatient, but we also had a lot more to do.

We had three more errands to run after we shopped: mail a package, drop off some pants and shirts at the Goodwill, and get a car wash.  For some reason I could not make the right turns or I couldn't go the way I wanted or planned.  Oh, the care wash and vacuum were lousy.
St. Patrick's Day

I have learned that meal planning is a really good idea.  This week we made something called Aztec chicken in the crock pot.  We got this recipe from Sister Floyd (our mission secretary) after she made this dish for MLC a while ago.  The members still don't feed us much, so it's hard to get fat off of sandwiches, noodles and rice.  But we are doing some meal planning ourselves and eating better.  What kind of meals will you be planning this week?

We are getting a brand new 2016 Nissan Frontier truck tomorrow!  The truck that I drove up in SLO is getting high in miles, so the mission is selling it.  The SLO elders will get our truck and we get the
new one!

I have grown a lot spiritually, emotionally and mentally these last few months.  This assignment has been really good for me and my confidence.  Wow!  Eighteen months down.  Six months to go.  Those 6 months will be gone before I know it.  I will be sure to give all my heart, might, mind and strength to serving Christ and representing Him.

May the spirit be with you!

Scenery coming back from Santa Maria

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Doors and Trainings

This week has been great.  On Tuesday, we had MLC.  Elder Boyce and I led a training on finding people and we involved many of the Sister Training Leaders and Zone Leaders.  We put a bunch of our black socks in a crate and inside of one of them we put a white sock representing a prepared person.  We had a volunteer try to find the white sock.  The missionaries seemed to like the demo.  We went on exchanges that evening.  We taught a Buddhist who thinks everything is God.  It was a good day!

We did a booth the next day at Ventura College.  We found a few people that were really interested.  That was really fun.

On Thursday or Friday night we (Elder Boyce and I) got the door slammed in our face the hardest either of us ever had!  We were trying to find a less active member.  We knocked on the door at about 7:30pm.  A big, white guy answered.  He didn't even let us get a word in before he cussed us out and called us Jehovah's.  Then he slammed the door so hard that I felt it in my face.  Yikes.  We just walked away.

Speaking of Jehovah Witnesses, we met one today at the store who wanted to bash with us.  She was an older lady riding one of those scooters.  She stared asking us questions that were meant to catch us.  She told us that we needed to study up more.  We just offered to help and then went on our way when she declined.  I haven't run into many of those people on my mission.

Tonight we met a couple who don't believe there is such a thing as true happiness.  We assured them that there is.  Their opinion made us sad for them.

Yesterday we had the weirdest door approach.  We were trying to find a less-active member of the church.  When we walked up to the house, the door was open and the TV was on.  We knocked and a lady walked up to the door.  We asked if the less active person lived there and she said, "no," and told us rudely to take this person off the list.  She then walked away and another lady answered the door. She said they were watching the Oscars and wanted us to go away.  Out of the blue, an older lady came to the door with a platter of Hostess treats (Twinkies, Ding Dongs, etc).  She gave us a treat, took a pamphlet and said good-bye all before we knew what was happening. . . Yeah.

We just had a zone activity where we learned life skills like budgeting (the missionaries have $135 to spend a month on things they need), cooking, medical help, communication, public speaking, and car maintenance. They were also taught how to maintain their vacuum cleaner and scrub the bathtub.  That was pretty fun.  Elder Boyce and I helped Elder Stewart, an older office missionary, with teaching the missionaries about what is under the hood of a car, how to change a tire, and how to jump a car.  We had three of those activities this week.  We saw all the missionaries and we loved it.  We have such a good mission.  The missionaries here really are fantastic.  We could be more bold in opening our mouths and knowing how to work with the members, but I trust our missionaries.

President has asked that we record the number of people we contact in a day. A contact is someone that we talk with on the street and we make an effort to share something with that person or get their name.  President wants us to have at least 50 contacts in a week.  The purpose is to find more people.

Car Maintenance Training

Elder Ruby showing the missionaries how to change a tire.
Elder Ruby showing how to safely use jumper cables.

I have gained a testimony of following the direction from our leaders. As we have contacted everyone we could, I have felt the Spirit direct my words more than I have before. We heard from almost all the zone leaders today that those with high contact numbers also found more new investigators. Go figure.
This transfer, I feel like I have been the best missionary I ever have been.  I have been less hard on myself.  Elder Boyce has really helped me.  I am learning to trust Christ and have confidence that I am doing His work.  That understanding has relieved a lot of unneeded stress.


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Transfer Train

This past week (middle of February) was crazy.  We tried out our new system for transferring missionaries to different parts of the mission.  We picked up the new missionaries on Monday.  They were really solid.  I feel really good about this group.  On Tuesday, Elder Young and I woke up early (5am).  We split up.  Elder Young went south and drove a van from the south to the north parts of our mission, picking up and dropping off missionaries as he went.  I took a Zone Leader, Elder Chatterton, up north with me to Santa Maria.  I drove a 10 passenger van.  There was a Senior Elder who drove a truck and trailer for each of us.  There was traffic going up north in Santa Barbara, so that put us about 20 minutes behind schedule.  Other than starting late, we stayed on schedule really well.  Everyone was at the check points when they needed to be and it was easy to load everyone.

We finished at about 12:40pm.  We had a trainer's meeting at 1pm at the Gonzales building in Oxnard.  We set up for that and didn't have a chance to eat anything for lunch.  Elder Boyce, my new companion from Idaho, did a great job at the trainer's meeting.  We kind of threw it together short notice.  There, in the chapel, we brought the new missionaries in and introduced them to their new companions.

Wednesday was busy in the morning.  Four of the departing Elders stayed with us, so we dropped them off at the mission home Wednesday morning at 6:45am.  After saying good-bye to Elder Young and others, President Felix brought us inside.  Sister Felix made us breakfast.  We then discussed the upcoming transfer schedule.  This next transfer the new missionaries will be coming in the same day that the departing missionaries are going out.

After talking with President Felix, we drove to the mission office and fixed the phones.  It was wild.  All the office couples needed us for something.  Also, they got a new printer, so there was a guy there to install it and get all the computers to talk to it.  Elder Boyce looked like a deer in the headlights.  It was his first day as an AP.  I think he asked me if every day was like this two or three times:)  I assured him that we spend probably 80% of our time proselyting.

The rest of the week we have been "hitting the pavement."  We have been talking with everyone.  It's been so great! We haven't found any Young Single Adult potentials from our effort yet, but we have given out a few referrals to other missionaries.  So, that's cool.

Tomorrow is MLC and then we start all the craziness and busyness.  I will be going on 9 exchanges this transfer.  Elder Boyce and I will be doing a training on Chapter 9 of Preach My Gospel: Finding People.  Nothing happens in missionary work until you find someone to teach.  It's going to be great.

Zorbie Balls at a Zone Activity