This week’s been topsy-turvy for me. We have this huge list of 30-40 potential investigators, so we’ve been trying to get in contact with them. A bunch of them have crazy schedules so it’s difficult to set appointments with them. Some days we see more turkeys than people (our record’s around 25 turkeys).
We first met two of our potentials when they were playing basketball as they were walking Saturday. They challenged us, we said no, but we invited them to play at the church at 1pm today. We’re hoping some other elders have time to join us.
The highlight of the week was with one of our Cathies. Her name is Cathie Abernathy, and when we first met her she hasn’t been to church since she was 13. She had some concerns about returning to church because of previous experiences but we answered her questions. And she surprised us yesterday by showing up to sacrament meeting! We invited her to the Gospel Principles class and found someone to befriend her and lead her to Relief Society. She said she’d meet with the bishop after church as well.
Also, in case you haven’t heard yet, I have some big news. Most of you are aware that I was initially called to serve for two transfers, or three months, before if the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles feels like I’m ready to serve for two years they give me a call to serve again. This Thursday we were having interviews with President Samuelian. He called most of our district in and before giving a devotional that lasted around 20 minutes, he announced that I was called to serve a mission.
He reassured me a couple times that I’m ready, and I felt comforted. I’ve been praying a ton about that moment and realized how dependent on the Lord I’ve been all throughout my mission. I concluded that it was very likely that I’d serve the full two years because the Lord would continue to strengthen me. After our interview President offered the closing prayer, and he asked God that I would be able to do things on my mission I wouldn’t imagine myself doing.
I haven’t received my mission call yet, although I will sometime around tomorrow. The plan is that either I open the call when I receive it or wait until the next transfer meeting to. I’m likely to wait until the transfer meeting on November 10th, two weeks from tomorrow. Until then I’ve got some finishing up to do in Dallas since I’ll probably be sent to a different mission. Should be fun.
Things are still progressing in Dallas over here. When I first got here we had zero progressing investigators (investigators that were taught at least two lessons and are keeping all of their commitments) and now we have two. The first is Coryell; she still seems interested although she missed our last teaching appointment and we haven’t contacted her since. The next is Cathy; we first met her the Saturday before the last one and gave her a Book of Mormon, and then we taught the Restoration to her last Saturday. She said once she investigates the church more and likes it she’ll be baptized.
By the way, there are five people sort of named Cathy in our area, including an investigator named Kathy who we haven’t got a hold of since an illness, a less-active member Cathy (who was originally an investigator, but we found her member records), a former investigator Cathy, and a Cathy some other elders offered service to.
I got my first email from Elder Hardy today. His new companion’s named Elder Rose, and I don’t know much about him. Elder Thompson (the elder in Oakdale Ward that came in this transfer) says he might be short and blonde hair. The McIntires are excited to be baptized!
Last Friday and Saturday we had the weirdest companion exchange. Elder Thompson joined me and Elder Benham in a tripanionship while Elder Sallade went to Cooper Hollow for a day.
We might play football with the zone leaders today, but it will probably rain. We’ll see how things go. By the way, today’s my two month mark on my mission! It feels like things are going fast and slow at the same time. We’ll see how the other 22 months go.
This Tuesday I arrived at the transfer meeting. We got to say goodbye to some of the missionaries I knew, and I found out who my new companion is and where I’m going. I’m currently in Dallas, Oregon, which is about 15 minutes from Salem, and I’m serving with Elder Benham in the Perrydale Ward. I’m still getting used to the newness of everything, but I seem to be keeping up so far. And I’m seeing a lot of similarities and differences with Elder Benham as well. He’s 5’4″.
Our closest friends are from Cooper Hollow Ward, Elder Malauulu and Elder Combs, who we share our car with. Elder Malauulu is from Samoa but lived in California before his mission, and he came into the mission the same time Elder Hardy did. And Elder Combs came with me into the mission. There’s also Elder Sallade (the district leader) and Elder Thompson (who came in this transfer) in Oakdale Ward, but we don’t see them as often.
The area we do the most work in isn’t even a square mile wide, so we walk when we’re proselyting most of the time. Mostly this week we have been finding new people to teach, mainly among people we’ve talked to before. One of them is Coryell. We taught her the Restoration and she seemed delighted, especially at the Atonement and the First Vision. We’re meeting with her again Wednesday, and I hope we’ll set up a baptismal date for her then.
And General Conference was amazing. I wish I paid more attention to it, but that’s why they print the talks. I think all three new apostles will do great. Next conference should be significant as well.
I’m starting to make friends here in Dallas as well, so things overall have been great. Hopefully I’ll get to know the ward more this week as well.