Sunday, December 9, 2007

Notes from Sam - 5 December 2007

[Photo: Elders Pimentel and Tomita in Ulverston on P-day, enjoying the beautiful countryside and pointing out the town of Barrow]

Hi there,

It's transfer day again. The last six weeks have gone by very quickly - I don't feel like I've been out for three months.

I am staying in Runcorn with Elder Empey as my companion; we are changing from a two-companionship area to a one-companionship area. I think it will be a good experience for me to work with Elder Empey. His style of missionary work is quite different from mine, and I think I can learn a lot from it. Like Elder Anderson, he focuses heavily on working with members, which seems like a really effective approach here in Runcorn. I'm also looking forward to just being able to work full-time again, without having to take time off for Elder Anderson's sickness.

Although I am staying in Runcorn, my address has changed (since we left the flat I was staying in and are keeping the one that Elder Empey and Elder Tomita had). It is now

35 Needham Close
Runcorn, Cheshire

Elder Tomita has gone to the Isle of Man, which he is excited about. Apparently that's a pretty nice place to go. Elder Anderson is going to Manchester. He's gutted (devastated, roughly) about it, since he loves Runcorn and was hoping to stay here for Christmas. A lot of the members seem pretty sad to see him go. So Elder Empey and I have big shoes to fill, especially since we're one baptism short of the ward's goal for the year, and we have less than four weeks left.

Fortunately, we've acquired a number of promising investigators in the past week. It's kind of amazing that this has happened, since Elder Anderson and I have been able to do so little work, and we found no new investigators in the five weeks before this one. One of the investigators is Rohey, the woman Elder Tomita and I talked to in Frodsham last Monday. We had a good first lesson with her on Saturday - she understands the need for one true church on the Earth, so all she needs is a witness from the Spirit. After the lesson, she served us all big plates of rice with an African peanut stew. : )

Elder Tomita and I found another pair of investigators while working with Josh Evans, a member who recently returned from his mission to Liberia and is a really good teacher and dynamic member missionary. We tried some people Elder Tomita remembered tracting into when he was in Runcorn a year ago, and they invited us in to teach Lesson 1! Josh, who apparently went out with the missionaries quite a bit before he left for Africa, later told us that this had never happened to him before in England. It was a good lesson (although I was horribly rusty, having not taught hardly any lessons for weeks); the father and daughter we taught, who had previously tried attending a Baptist church but "hadn't felt anything," were willing to try out reading the Book of Mormon and praying and said they felt good at the end of the lesson.

Anyway, through these and other sudden blessings, Elder Empey and I now have a teaching pool of probably about ten people, where last week Elder Anderson and I had only one investigator. If we work hard, cooperate with members, have good companionship unity, and exercise faith, some very exciting things could happen in Runcorn this transfer.

The English, not having Thanksgiving as a demarcation point, don't consider the Christmas season to begin until early or even mid-December, so we're just starting to see Christmas decorations go up everywhere. It's a good time of year, especially in Runcorn; the ward apparently sings carols at the local shopping center as a charity project during December and has a big football match on Boxing Day (the British Turkey Bowl, I suppose). I'm also looking forward to opening my Sinterklaas package later this afternoon!

By the way, on Thanksgiving I wrote up some entries for our Thankful Book. I'll have to send them to you sometime.

Thank you, Mom and Dad, for your letters - receiving them is always a high point of my week. I also received a wonderful report from Grandma Bay this week. Thanks for the news!

Merry Christmas!

Elder Pimentel

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