January 2nd 2012
So this week was good. Since we had so much time off for Christmas Eve and Christmas, we were to be proselyting again by 4 on Monday instead of the usual 6. So we decided to just go straight to tracting. We had a good time doing that, then we went on over to the Davis family to have dinner. Their son recently returned home from his mission in Denmark about 3 months ago. He had a nonmember friend over so after we had dinner we sat down and taught a lesson. We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it went really well. The whole evening was a mighty fine time and a lot of fun. After dinner we went and visited a few other people then we went home. On Tuesday we had a few appointments in the morning but unfortunately they both fell through so then we went to the church to have Leadership with the two district leaders. We talked about some of the things that were happening and we were all excited to hit our goals and break the records. Which i am sad to say we did not. Only two people were baptized this weekend which left us three short from our goal and beating the record. But everyone worked really hard and we all saw some huge miracles and have people who are ready to be baptized this month. The rest of the day was pretty cool. Elder Jones and I had a really cool miracle this week that happened. I tell it now so i can talk about him later in the email. So on Tuesday we were driving and we noticed we had a missed call and a voice mail from some random guy so we listened to it and he said his name was Richard and he wanted to talk to missionaries so we called him back and Elder Jones asked him what we could help him with and he said “well i want to be baptized” and Elder Jones responded great saying “well when do you want to get baptized?” and he said “as soon as possible.” So we set up an appointment for the next day. That sounds like a cool miracle but it gets better. So we met with him on Wednesday after lunch. We met him at a park and there were so many ghetto people there. It was ridiculous. The park had this cool little building by it that we could meet in so we went there and had a really good lesson. During the lesson this really old guy named Don Bartz walked up and Richard introduced us to his old Mormon friend. So he sat in on the lesson and it was really good. Towards the end he handed us a pass along card with two names and a phone number on it and asked whose hand writing it was. Elder Jones and I had been tracting about two weeks earlier and we talked to this really old senile lady. She was talking our ear off but wasn't interested in the message that we had to share so we gave her a card with our name and number on it to shut her up. Before we left she said that she had a Mormon friend name Don Bartz who was going to be having surgery the next day and asked us to pray for him so we wrote his name down and we did. Well I guess she didn't see any use for the card so when Don got out of the hospital she gave him the card and when Richard came to him wanting help in getting baptized he gave that phone number to him. And so our effective use of a pass along card to shut and old senile lady up was used by God to have someone get in contact with us. After teaching him he gave us his address and we realized he wasn't in our area but another ward in our zone so on Saturday we took the missionaries that cover the ward he lives in and we all taught him a really good lesson. He had preach my gospel questions like, Why are we here on earth? Where are we going when we die? and Where did we come from before we were here? So we taught the Plan of Salvation and it was perfect for him and answered all of his questions. He came to church yesterday and is now preparing to be baptized on the 21st of January! So that was a pretty cool miracle with old people and a Jesus card. I think I'll formally call it the old people and a Jesus card miracle. So that was good. Wednesday was great. We taught Richard like i previously mentioned and then we taught Jennifer the Restoration and she loved it. We weren't able to meet with her again because she has health issues and doesn't feel well sometimes but she did come to church yesterday and stayed for all three hours. She loved it and i think she is learning a lot. She is shooting for January 28th to be baptized. Thursday was a weird day. We were supposed to have exchanges with the Assistants to the Mission President after they had District Meeting in their zone but after lunch they called and said they wouldn't be able to make it. President Lewis had to go into the Hospital and have surgery. I think they said it had to do with his Bowels. But he is doing a lot better now and recovering so it will all work out. Elder Jones and I don't have a huge teaching pool so we have been visiting a lot of people that we have talked to in the past. I told you all about a guy named James who was praying for guidance and asked God if the Mormon thing was for him and if so then to send us over the next day and then the next day we did come over. Well nothing ever happened with him and just like Jennifer we were about to give up on him. Well on Thursday as we were walking across the parking lot in his apartment complex I had to save Elder Jones from getting hit by a green Mini Van. Well James and his wife with their 4 kids were in that van so we went up and talked to him and he invited us to come back over at six that night so he had some time to clean up his apartment. We went over there at six after dinner and we had a great lesson on the Restoration with him and his wife. Towards the end he said he felt a lot like Joseph Smith trying to find which church was true and he commented how he will do what he did and ask God. We brought it to his attention that he had already asked God and he answered by sending us. He liked that so he committed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. After that lesson we rushed over to Megan Hall's to teach her with Bro. Lopez. We were nervous to teach her about the Law of Chastity, she has a 2 year old child and no husband, and the Word of Wisdom, she works at a bar... So we taught it all to her and she was like oh yeah i remember all this stuff and trust me I have learned my lesson on the Law of Chastity with Hector here, Hector being the child, and i had stupid friends in high school and i live the Word of Wisdom already so i am good on those. So it was great and she couldn't have accepted it better. She is getting excited to be baptized on the 12th. She has called her family friends that are Mormon and live in Texas. They are all pretty excited too. Friday was ridiculous! We had to do transfer reports after a morning of weekly planning. We had to give out the reports to the District Leaders so they could do them on their Districts and then we had to do them all for ourselves then we had to pick up theirs and fax them all into the office. It took us all day until dinner to get them all done and picked up and then after dinner we faxed them in. We had a great dinner with The Clifford's and a couple of Recent Converts from June. It was a swell evening after a boring day. If you don't know what transfer reports are, and i assume most of you don't, i will explain them. So we rate on a scale from 1-5, 5 being the highest, each missionary in the zone. The things we rate are their Obedience, Leadership Ability, Charity, Work Ethic, People Skill, Teaching Skills, and how well they keep the Spirit. Then we write a few comments on why they are a five or what they need to do to become a five. Then we write about their strengths and areas of which they could improve and then we give a recommendation for what should happen with them the next transfer. It takes like 20 min. to a half hour to do just one missionary and there are 16 in our zone so it took a while. Especially because Elder Jones and I cannot stay on track and focused, and after a while we were getting pretty loopy and i was writing Steve in the place for teaching and it was getting bad. We finished in the nick of time because any longer and i might have gone completely mad. So those are transfer reports. Saturday sure was a nice day. We went to a baptism at nine in the morning. It was for a guy that Elder Jones taught a year ago. He was scheduled to be baptized then but for some reason he fell off and never got baptized. Well when Elder Jones got back in the zone as a Zone Leader he asked the missionaries in his ward how he was doing and they thought he was a member but he wasn't so Elder Jones went with them to teach him and he got baptized and confirmed on Saturday, News Year Eve! It was a really good baptismal service. Then we stuck around for another Baptism in the zone. It was for an 18 year old guy who wanted to be baptized. There weren't going to be a lot of people there so we stayed to make a congregation. I had to play the Piano once again at that baptism so i have been getting put to use lately! I also had to play prelude music while he was changing so that was fun as well. I played all four of my songs and i feel like I'm getting them down pretty good now. After those baptisms we went out to lunch with the missionaries who had the baptism and we went to In N Out. It’s a nice place to celebrate. I sure do like their Double Double Animal style with no Tomatoes. As well their Animal Fries are pretty tasty, along with their Dr. Pepper with a shot of their Pink Lemonade. I like it. Later we took the missionaries that covered Richards ward and taught him. It was good, i already talked about that. Then we saw a bunch of people. We went to dinner early because we had to be in with the Zone by six because of New Year's Eve. The dinner was OK. We met with the zone at 6 and played over 20 games of dodge ball. I thought the teams were lopsided but our team won a lot but the other team won more. It made me super sore. I got hit so hard in the face once that it knocked me onto my back like you see in movies. The missionary who threw it pitched baseball in high school. It hurt but the sting went away pretty fast. Sunday we didn't have church till 12:30 which was weird but it was nice not to be rushed all morning. We had dinner with the Ott's. Sister Ott is the Larson's daughter. The Larson's are the family i had thanksgiving with and the mom called Jackie to set up the Skype. It was fun. Both Brother and Sister Ott served missions and we had a good time talking to them. Brother Ott went out after converting a year earlier and he was already like 25 so that was cool. We went and visited Roberta and Serenity for a little bit then had a zone meeting and it was good. We went home and had a good night. Elder Jones and I talked about random crap for a while. It made me tired for today. Today we played basketball and it was good. We have to be back out by four again today so that’s a bummer but its all good. We can find more people to baptize and we had a lot off over the weekend. Well i think this one was a pretty long one filled with miracles and explanations of some of the things we do as missionaries. I hope you all enjoy it. I'm not sure if I'll be sending pictures home. I might send some over email but i think you can all wait a few more months. Oh and Happy Birthday to Jackie! Tomorrow. I love you all. Have a good week!
Love, Elder Tyler Pete Arnett