Dear mis amigos queridos y amada familia,
So, surprise! We are having a transfer in the middle of this 8 week transfer. And unfortunately I am losing my visa-waiting step-son, Elder Heward. :( He will be going to Pasco, which is one of the tri-cities. At least he will be close to the airport though, for when his visa to Brazil comes! His twin brother, who is also going to Brazil, just got his visa, so this Elder Heward should be following behind him soon. I will be receiving an Elder Cramer tomorrow up here in Oroville. I hope I spelled his name right, because they didn't give me much information about him. They told me his name over the phone, and I assume he's from the Kennewick mission, because I've never heard of him. Hopefully he speaks spanish.
Here in Oroville, we were SO close to having an investigator at church. Twice. And a half. One person, Sofia, told us something like five times that she would be able to make it. We were a little persistent at reminding her. And she wasn't able to come. We're not sure of the reason yet, so we're going to pass by either today or tomorrow, depending on our schedule, and if it feels right. We also had a man named Kim, who has been praying, and reading the Book of Mormon a lot. He is almost finished with 1st Nephi I believe, and we took him on a Church Tour this last Saturday. He said before we could even ask, that he was willing to get baptized in the future, but he did want to take his time, and didn't want to make rash decisions, which we understood. He said that while he couldn't come to church yesterday (there's a new Catholic Priest in town, and he wanted to show respect) that he wants to attend in the future, and that he is also planning on going to our Ward Party on the 24th of July! He's doing great. There's also Steven. He's a ten year old boy, who we aren't continually teaching. We do visit him every once in a while though, and he wants to find an answer to whether the Book of Mormon is true or not, but he's been taught most of the lessons, and hasn't truly been progressing. He said he would go to church last Sunday, but he slept through his alarm, and this Sunday he had to also go to the Catholic Church. We hope that as he keeps the commandments, he will "know of the doctrine, whether it be of God" or not. But until he does that, we'll just continue to visit him infrequently.
I thought I should tell you all about some tips to invite others to hear the Gospel, that I told someone else. Also, you should ask your local missionaries for help and practice as well. Don't be afraid. Most of them don't bite.
If you are thinking of people you have already tried to invite, just kind of slip in stuff about the Gospel (aka about your life :) into your conversations once in a while. Let them ask more questions about your religion. If they don't ask questions, either they're probably not interested, or they are too shy to ask. It depends on the situation, and you have to use a bit of discernment on whether they are disinterested, or reserved. Either way, have faith, make it natural, love the person, and don't be afraid. :) That whole, slipping in stuff about your life works with people you haven't invited yet too.
If it's someone you are acquaintances with, here's the hard part. Get to know them first. Talk about something other than religion first, unless they happen to be doing something related to religion. Just use things they're doing as a point to start the conversation. Or maybe something they're wearing, something on their desk (families are GREAT ways to start conversations. Usually.), or something on their bag. The hard part is just practicing being more social. That's what's hard for me anyway. Learning how to go up to a person you barely, or don't know, and making them into a friend within ten minutes or less. But it's a VERY valuable skill, and one we should all improve. If there's any more questions, don't be afraid to ask. :)
I was reading a scripture in 1 Nephi 14 about how while Nephi wants to be the best man he can, he still feels like a wretched man. It was a strange moment that passed through my mind. I felt comforted that even Nephi feels kind of like that! That even a great prophet is human still makes mistakes sometimes too. And then he went on to recommit himself to not focus on the negative, but have a faith in Christ, rely on the Lord in place of man, and just try and do better. I've come to the realization (again) that I'm not perfect! That God understands that, and still loves me anyway. That He is still with me, even though I'm weak, and not the greatest Saint that's ever lived. Like Nephi though, I'm going commit again to try and do better, rely on the arm of my Redeemer, and overcome the temptations that so easily beset me. And I'm going to make some goals to help me be able to do that. :)
The first picture is of Elder Heward that I just took, and the other is a pretty picture of the Osoyoos lake I took, right after I got kicked out of a resort of summer homes for rich people. Good times.
I love you all, and I'm so thankful for all of your support! I'll keep working hard for all of you, and the people here in the far north! Have a good week! Con amor,
P.S. My new mission address for letters/packages is
8202 W Quinault Ave Ste D
Kennewick, WA, 99336