Saturday, May 17, 2008

Notes from Sam - 7 May 2008

Dear family,

Mother's Day is this Sunday! I'm looking forward to talking to you all.

At zone conference a couple of weeks ago, the assistants to the President went over three big commitments they want the missionaries in our mission to keep: to do bus contacting (talk to people on buses and invite them to be taught), to keep the missionary schedule (by going to bed on time, getting up on time, taking no more than an hour for lunch, etc.), and to be positive. So I've been thinking a lot about those things these days.

We had a good experience on Saturday. Elder Webb and I did some planning in the morning, had a big meal, and started fasting (since Fast Sunday was the next day). Then we went outside and started working. We had set up three appointments set up for the day, two with potential investigators in the afternoon and one with Jacob, our really solid recent convert, in the evening. As we went to contact some referrals and then to our appointments, we tried especially hard to talk to every person we met on the street ("forever finding" as the mission newsletter calls it) and we bus contacted. Unfortunately, both of our afternoon appointments fell through. We'd made a backup plan to go into town center and talk to people there, but when we got there it was overrun with drunken delegates from the Young Farmers' Convention (or something like that - apparently it's an annual event) behaving really rudely and making it impossible for us to contact people. Elder Webb in particular got really frustrated but we tried to stay positive, and we went to try on some more people. Finally it was time to see Jacob, but when we got to his flat he wasn't there either. We thought about going home to make some phone calls, but we decided we really wanted to teach a lesson so we knelt down outside Jacob's flat and prayed to be guided to someone whom we could teach. For the next hour we worked as hard as we could, and the Spirit guided us in an amazing way. We were walking down the street when Elder Webb and I both felt we should knock on a certain door that we were passing by, and the man who answered it gave us a referral! When we got to the bus stop later, we discovered that we had ten spare minutes before the bus came, so Elder Webb and I each picked a door near the bus stop and started knocking on it. The man who answered my door was not interested and not very polite about it, but at the next door I met a really wonderful family that knew a lot about the church and loved family history. We invited the mother to a big family history event being held at the church next week, and one of the daughters wanted us to come speak to the youth interfaith forum that she is a part of. The bus came just after we'd finished talking to these people. When we got on, there were only three other people on it: an old man, a man with headphones on, and another person way at the back. I decided I was going to talk to one of them (in order to keep the assistants' bus contacting commitment) and picked the old man, but he got off as we got on, so I ended up going to the back of the bus and talking to the man there. He was a great person and I had a wonderful conversation with him. When he got off, I asked him if we could stop by and he gave me his address! When we got home, Elder Webb and I sat down and thought about some of the good things that had happened in the day. Even though all our appointments had canceled and we didn't get to teach anyone, we got contact details for about six people (including the man I met on the bus) and we had a great experience being led by the Spirit. It was wonderful to look back and see how we'd been guided without really recognizing it at the time.

My driving is getting better. This Monday I worked on right and left turns. It's so satisfying to shift gears smoothly and correctly - I can see why some people like manual transmissions so much better than automatics.

Tuesday was our last district meeting before transfers. I was hoping to get a district photo to send to you, but Elder Prows' camera card isn't connecting to the terminal here, so I'll have to wait until I can develop photos from my camera. Transfer day is next week, and there's a high probability that I will be leaving Blackpool - I don't think President will leave Elder Webb and me together, and I'm more likely to be moved than he is since he's been here only six weeks. So for this week please send mail to the mission office instead of directly to my flat.

The weather is really warm here. I wore a short-sleeve shirt without a jacket for the first time (I think) on my mission yesterday, and it was great. Hopefully the rain will stay away for a while.

I love you all!

Elder Pimentel

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