First of all, there's SO much that I have to say that just won't fit into the one-hour e-mail window so I'm just gonna talk about my week and send more news into snail mail for mom and dad to upload on the blog later on.
I neglected to include one extremely important detail in my last letter. Remember Nancy? well, she got cold feet and asked to postpone her baptism. We haven't given up on her yet. we are still teaching Nancy and we hope that she wil be baptized by February 14. please pray for us! She's a really sweet woman who could really use the gospel in her life.
Also, there appears to be some confusion on the rule for sending letters and packages only to the mission office. I will try to clarify. Lately, there have been reports of mail theft in the past (who goes around stealing mail anyway?) so Blackburn feels that for the security of all elders and sisters, the new rule is that everything can only be sent to the mission office, who will forward it on to the Zone Leaders, who will hand it to us at District and Zone meetings every wednesday or friday. Not the ideal solution but it's the best they can do at the time. If you want to ensure that I can get your letters or stuff this week, mail it before the end of monday so I can likely receive it.
We have been working very hard this week and noticably reaping ther fruits of our labors. Last week, we've focused on a man named Eddie Parker, who was baptized about a year ago, but the thing is that somehow, about a few months ago, he stopped going to church. after a while. other missionaries decided to visit him, but his father said that Eddie had gone and become an alcoholic. Well, as I first laid eyes on his name in the Area Book. I felt something strongly inside that we should help him ASAP. So we started visiting him last tuesday. when we were at Eddie's door, he told his faither to tell us that he doesn't want to talk to us. We came back the next day, with the same results. and so on until friday. Lingam protested and suggested that we should drop Eddie, but I got him to get us to visit Eddie one more time, this time writing a short letter inviting him to a branch lunch social on Saturday.
Eddie did indeed come to the social. The whole branch and we greeted him warmly and showed Eddie that he is still loved, no matter what. one thing after another, he promised to come to church on sunday and held true to that promise. He expressed a desire to come to church again next week, and we are going to work with him this week to help teach and change his life for the better. I.E. throwing away the bottle.
All week, we have been working with two men, George and David Turner, who are already recently baptized and are preparing to receive the priesthood and learn about temple ordinances. George will receive the Aaronic Priesthood next sunday, if all goes well. We are hoping it will be the same with David Turner. In fact, last monday, we found that he was sick with a persistent cold for weeks, so we took the opportunity to give him a Melchizedek Priesthood blessing and afterwards taught him about the powers and blessings that comes with being a worthy priesthood holder. Later into the week, David healed very quickly, and so he expressed a strong desire to learn more about temple ordinances and asked about how he could help perform ordinances for his parents, who are already deceased. We will continue to work more with David later on.
Ine more thing. I would like to express my opinion about an specific area in Los Angeles. Last Friday, we have been teaching a less-active member who lives in Manhattan Beach. I'll tell you, I almost instantly fell in love with Manhattan Beach. they have all those beautiful homes that are not so big and fancy like up in Beverly Hills (I'll leave that place to the snobby and the overrated celebrities) and it is on a hill overlooking the coast. Really beautiful. I now have a renewed plan which I will share with you.
1. work ultra hard and have the branch grow very big and become a bona-fide ward (more about that in my upcoming letter) 2. Finish mission and return with honor 3. Finish College 4. Find a pretty bonny lass to marry for all time and eternity 5. write a bestselling book and earn lots of money 6. live in Manhattan Beach for the rest of my life.
Yep. That's my plan and I'm sticking to it.