Latest letter

****Sorry to those of you who receive email updates...I don't know why, but I think one of my old posts from 2012 (about gophers) got emailed out recently.  Weird!****

10/13/14
Dear Mom,
     Hey, how has your week been?  We've had a great one!  We had members present at all of our lessons!  We only had 6, but it's better than none.  We've had to drop a couple of investigators unfortunately because they just aren't progressing.

     To answer your question about what a typical day for us is like:  Our week goes Monday to Sunday.  Monday is P-day (preparation day) of course.  We are up at 6:30 every morning and our morning schedule is usually the same with breakfast and showers from 7 to 8am.  Personal study from 8 to 9 and companion study from 9 to 10.  We are in walking distance to the family History Center, so we usually head over at about 9:30 to get computers before all the other missionaries get there! ha ha  We're there from about then to whatever time it is when our hour and a half is up.  Then we go to lunch either at Costa Vida or Subway.  Then we shop at Walmart or goodwill or wherever we want to go (there is not much to choose from).  Then we sit around watching people play basketball at the Stake Center until dinner time.  Members usually bring food to us at 5 or 5:30.  We have an hour for lunch and dinner.  We're supposed to be back out proselyting at about 6pm.  Then we have to be home at 9pm or else 9:30 if we're still in a lesson.  Then we plan for the next day and go to bed at 10:30.  Other days we proselyte most of the day, but when I was in training we would take an hour for that from 10 to 11am.  We have a 12 week training booklet for that.  Now we just have lunch at 10 to 11 and get out to our proselying area. It takes about half an hour to walk to the area.  In the afternoon, we usually don't have anything to do so we walk around trying to talk to people or we knock on doors.  Both are basically useless, though.  Elder Johnson has tracted out the area twice and I'm on my second time.  Literally no one wants to talk to us.  Most of the people are older and set in their ways.  Not too many people moving in or out.  ALSO, we have the rule of not being able to go into a home without a male over 16 present, so we can't even see most members because all the men are at work or teenagers are at school.  We really struggle during the afternoon times but we usually have somewhere to go/something to do in the evenings.  We have dinners with members at 5 or 6 and then a lesson with investigators later.  We just got a new program started up though called "Just Served" where we will have planned community service times.

10/15/14--Tomorrow is Thursday and we are going to do some of that service tomorrow as a zone up on Badger Mountain (affectionately nicknamed "Badger Bump").  I'll tell you about that later after it happens.....

     Friday is our weekly planning day.  We do normal studies and then start our 7-hour weekly planning!  Woo hoo! (If you look at PMG pg 147, that is the outline for it).  We just had a specialized training on that to be more in-depth and take a LOT LONGER......ha ha.  Sundays, we have Ward Council at 8am and church at 11am.  our Stake changes church times with the school year, so we were at 9am (with Ward Council at 7am) for a while but luckily we're at 11am now!  The reasoning behind the whole "Just Served" thing was to help us find stuff to do in the slow afternoon times when not a whole lot is going on.  I don't know why there's no one suggesting online proselyting but I made sure to mention that to President Ware in my weekly email on Monday :o).  Realistically, there isn't going to be service opportunity EVERY DAY, but they want it to be so that we serve for 2 hours a day (10 hours a week).

     Oh man, the members here are GREAT!!!!  Sister Morningstar just gave us some pumpkin pie tonight after our lessons!!!! :o)

      Glad to hear Dad's truck is running smooth and thank you for the Temple book, CD, and funeral info! It was great to get it all.

     Yah, it's really easy for people to get marijuana here.  There's so many drug infested homes here.  Not always pleasant to knock on those doors....we are definitely protected though!

     As far as my birthday goes, you should definitely send Reeses pumpkins!!!  It would be cool to get a letter/hear from via email from anyone possible (family especially)!  And, I don't know if there's something, anything you can send that will help me with missionary work, by all means, send it!  I will be happy.  I'm focused on the work and trying to do my best.  If there are books to help me learn the scriptures or the gospel in general, or some music I could listen to, or...OH!!!  The Mormon messages dvd's would be super handy for dinner thoughts and things!  I don't know, surprise me!

     Scary to hear about your near death experiences!  Stay constantly in tune with the spirit to help you watch out!  (Not that you have a hard time doing that....) but everyone can do better!  I know I can...chapter 4 of Preach My Gospel is all about learning to recognize the spirit.  It's one of my favorite chapters!

    A theme Elder J. and I have noticed lately is the concept of faith vs. fear.  It seems like so many people have no faith and live off of fear. I feel like fear is something the adversary tries to get me with.  If he can get you to be afraid of doing missionary work, then he's won.  For awhile I was in kind of a silent panic, like "What have I gotten myself into?" or "How do I do this?" but lately I've learned to trust in Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father that they are our companions in this work and we aren't alone ever.  It's been much easier and more enjoyable to be on a mission when you get into that mindset.

    I will write letters to the kids this week.  Sorry, this last p-day was super busy, and there were new missionaries in our zone who wanted to talk to me.

I love you!  Can't wait to hear back! :o)

Love,
Elder B.

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