Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Notes from Sam -- 24 Sep 2008

With Elders Adams and Stevens (Elder Pimentel's two trainees)
The "football" pitch where the Elders play with investigators each week
Getting a haircut at the Morgans (the obligatory photo "with the daisy")

Dear family,

Yvonne is doing great. Elder Stevens and I went over with her new home teachers on Saturday to teach the first New Member lesson. The home teachers took the lead, which was really wonderful. One of the most satisfying things to see as a full-time missionary is members working for and with the people that we teach. Every minute that members spend on Yvonne or our other investigators is worth several times as much as a minute that we spend on them. There’s so much that members can do that we can’t. I’m hoping we’ll see Yvonne get even more involved with the ward in the coming weeks as she gets a calling, etc.

We picked up a new investigator this week, a great young man (about 20, I think) named Ryan Mulcahy (not to be confused with Ryan Ormerod, the other great young investigator whom we play football with on Saturdays). He started talking to me and Elder Durkin in a bus stop the other week, and we set up an appointment with him and gave him a Restoration pamphlet. When Elder Stevens and I went to the appointment, he’d read and understood the entire pamphlet (a pretty unusual occurrence) and right away he asked us if he could get a copy of the Book of Mormon because he really wanted to read it! We taught him again yesterday and he has read (and understood) the introduction and the first two chapters. I’m pretty excited about him, because he gets everything and still seems pretty humble and willing to learn. He hasn’t been to church yet (he didn’t come on Sunday because he was concerned that he didn’t have nice enough clothes to wear) but we’ll be working hard to get him there this Sunday.

I did my second district meeting yesterday. I’d planned way too many things to do, and it ended up running late despite all the things I cut out at the last minute. But I felt pretty good about it. I have a great district, and they contributed a lot. We had district lunch afterwards in the chapel – the zone leaders brought their tosti maker and we all brought bread and cheese, and we all ate tostis while watching the Preach My Gospel DVDs. Good times. : )

Elder Stevens is great. I’ve been surprised by how good he is at teaching already – using clear, dignified language, using the scriptures really well, and picking up the lesson very confidently when I hand it to him – and he’s working hard on bus contacting as well. He tells me that the north of England is very different from the south: a lot more “rough around the edges,” apparently. His accent is very different from the Lancashire accent that I’m used to hearing around here, and once or twice I’ve had trouble understanding what he says. One of the members on Sunday was giving him a lot of stick for being a southerner, but otherwise the ward seems to be welcoming him pretty well. He’s quite a good football player, which should help in that respect. : ) He also knows this recipe for making really nice, really dark hot chocolate, and he’s made it several days this week in the evening while I’m taking phone calls from the district and reporting to the zone leaders. I’m a fan of this tradition. : )

I saw Elder Adams at transfers last week. I really enjoyed talking to him again. He’s doing really well and is now serving in Blackpool, so I’ll get to see him at zone conference. I also saw the rest of the people from my grand old district in Manchester South. Of the six of us who were in the district when I first got there (me and Elder Adams, Elder Davies and Elder McIntosh, and Elder Phillips and Elder Pettersson), 5 of us are training new missionaries this transfer.

On Saturday we had a district leaders’ council meeting. Elder Powrie and Elder Key (the zone leaders) gave some really good training. Elder Powrie really likes etymologies and often includes them in his trainings, and we talked a lot about the words “council” and “counsel” and the purpose of meeting together. Good stuff. I like our zone leaders. I went on exchange with Elder Key (from Fort Worth, Texas) yesterday, and we were able to do some good teaching together and get a bunch of new contacts.

I’ve scheduled a (practical) driving test for the 6th of October. That’s very soon! I’ve taken a lot of driving lessons by now and I’m doing pretty well with English roads and the manual transmission, but it’s going to be a big challenge for me to pass. Apparently most people don’t the first time around. So I’m a bit apprehensive, but I’m going to do my best to be ready! Wish me luck.

Elder Pimentel

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