This week we worked with the Tally 1(short for Tallahassee) Elders since Elder Tenney is still unable to go out during the day. He doesn't need surgery but his cuts and bruises will burn easily so he can't go outside until after dinner when the sun is going down. It's also a lot sunnier here than at home. The sun is still up and shining around 8:30-9:00 every day. Elder Swarts is going home on Thursday which means I get to have my first "funeral" (when a missionary is done with his 2 years of service) tomorrow when we send him off at District meeting. We didn't have too many lessons this week but I believe between the two areas we probably had about 10. We did have a few really good lessons though. In the other missionaries area I finally got to meet Nelson, nicknamed "Samuel, the Lamanite." Which I found to be a very apt name for him. He is very, very enthusiastic about the gospel and learning what we have for him. He did his reading assignment from the last lesson and had questions, honest questions, for us. I'm continually surprised how smoothly and wonderfully a lesson goes when a person is willing to have us teach them and accept the commitments we give them to find out for themselves if what we teach them is true. He even said both prayers in the lesson because he wanted to practice saying it as we do. We also saw Reina Gonzalez, who is in their area. She is trying to find out if what is being taught is true as well. She says she feels peace and love when we are in her home, and that when she takes the time to read the Book of Mormon her days go better for her. She just hasn't realized that she's feeling the spirit. So I'm really wishing the other Elders luck with these two really great potential members.
In my area we had a lesson with one of our favorite families, namely Jose y Maria Gonzalez. They are great listeners and are wonderful people. We taught Jose and Estaban (conpadre) the plan of salvation on Tuesday which was great since they both really understood it and had plenty of questions for us. We told them that Elder Swarts was leaving this week and Jose said he wanted to have us over for dinner on Saturday to say goodbye. So we did that and had another lesson with them Saturday and sang a hymn in Spanish for them as well. If we can just get them to church I know that they will be committed to living the Gospel and becoming full members in the branch.
Picture of the lovely drawings that the Otto Family drew for me, and Sis. Otto gave me a gift card for Subway. My companions and I love her for it. Thanks for the drawings! They really decorate our house nicely. And hey...little Otto's I will get you for the Elder Chicken comments! Thank you ward members for your letters. They mean a lot to me and I will try to write back.
My Spanish is getting better little by little, I can understand at least half the conversations now, as long as the speakers aren't rushing through what they are saying. I miss golf but we have a pool table at the stake center so I get to play it once every week or two during Preparation Day.
The missionaries that you saw in the background represent maybe half if not a quarter of the missionaries in the Provo MTC alone. Pretty soon the Sister missionaries may outnumber the Elders. Which is fine with me since they'll all get home before I will. Some of the missionaries going home this week and next transfer are worried that there won't be any worthy/old enough sisters to marry. lol. I appreciated Elder Anderson's Talk the most, for this area it was the most applicable. We need the members to help us in the work far more than they realize and without their constant support for the work it becomes simply door-to-door tracking. Boyd K. Packer gave a great talk, and he is right no teacher no matter how learned and intelligent can ever compete with the learning done within the home. (Thanks mom, Love you). We're not sure if he will make it to the next Conference, most likely he won't make it to the one in the coming Spring. In his testimony he said, "I know HIM." Those words themselves spoke volumes of his faith and knowledge as a servant of the Lord.) President Monson's talk was also great. He's our beloved prophet!
All the missionaries in our area! Do you like the ties? Best of luck to President and Sister Jensen!