I have failed to mention the last few weeks that I totally took an apple to the face. We were biking to the Ham building a Saturday night 3 weeks ago, and a bunch of teenagers in a pick up truck swore at us and threw the fruit. I didn't know it was an apple until Elder Wardle told me. It was amusing, painful, and irritating. Well now I can tell that I have been persecuted for Christ's sake.
Anyway, I am pleased to announce that I will be staying with Elder Wardle for this last transfer he has. This might just be the area I will lead out soon enough, or else be doubled out. We will see what happens these next 6 weeks. I will also tell you now that because the MTC is extending to 3 weeks, all missions next transfer will be extended a week, so in total, my mission has been extended 3 weeks without my choice. Not what I expected, but oh well. Elder Wardle is going to get soo trunky this transfer. I just don't know how much though. This morning we were talking a bit about BYU and college in general and tuition and jobs. He even calculated how much he would need to work and at what wage so he doesn't get into debt these first 2 semesters when he gets home. It's exciting to think about hopeful futures. I just hope I don't fall down with him. My year mark is in 3 days, and I will be making my famous berry cobbler this week. It's going to be a great week.
It's warming up already and the grass is growing, and I am starting to hear and see lawn mowers. I love the smell of freshly cut grass. It reminds me of the summer months back in Utah without that cold snow, mowing the lawn at my house. Because it's also warming up and it's my year mark, I'm doing something crazy again that only swimmers do at the end of the swim season. Yup, I'm shaving my legs on the 28th. Nobody will see since I do wear long pants after all.
Jenny was pretty happy when we texted her last night that we are both staying. I felt great joy actually this morning and felt excited for this next transfer. I will be here to help retain Jenny in the church. We passed off her sister Sandra to the Spanish sisters. It was hard but it's what she wanted, so no baptism with her after all. She is still thinking of a date though. She doesn't want to push herself to hard. She's been investigating for a year and finally has an opportunity and then she immediately gets a new boyfriend who is not a member. Oh course! She seems like she is starting to waver. It's interesting that her sister got baptized before her and she still isn't a member yet. Come on Sandra. You can do this. Pray for her as I have prayed for her. Thank you all for all of your love and consideration in reading my weekly letters.
We met with Jenny last night and addressed our concern to her. She hasn't come to church for a whole month since the year began. She told us that she wants the spirit more in her life. The Holy Ghost led her to take a long route home. That day, there was a shooting on a street on the way to her house, which would have been the short route. She felt protected by the spirit. I was happy to hear that she followed the prompting of the spirit. We also pointed that out to her as we asked about how her spiritual life is going. I also gave her a sticky note that says. 1. Did you Pray. 2. Did you read the scriptures? I'm sure that will better help her in her spiritual growth. She put it on her phone and was grateful for it. She made the goal to read the book in her lunch break at work instead of staring at the wall being bored. There is always time to read the Book of Mormon. If you get bored, start reading. It can really be entertaining as well with all it's good stories.
We brought Brother Parker, our ward mission leader, to Ray's house one night. You could tell that the spirit was really strong over there. It was good to hear Brother Parker's reactivation story with Ray. I could tell he was learning a lot. Right now, he's just trying to understand the basics of the Bible. He read about Noah's flood and he thought it was interesting. We told him the meaning behind the story. If we repent and follow the prophet, we will be saved in the end. We wanted to talk about how we repent, but we didn't get to that. Instead, we talked a lot about who the Holy Ghost is, his role in our lives, keeping the Sabbath Day Holy, and a couple of other interesting topics. We left him with Moroni 8 through 10 to read until we come back. I'm hoping he will have read some of it by the time we do. He won't commit to baptism because he doesn't understand his faith yet, so we will continue to build that foundation of understanding while he repents of each new thing he learns about with the commandments. Things are picking up here in Lodi and we still have yet to find more people to teach and baptize and declare repentance to.
One other thing I should mention before I finish up here. We had our worldwide missionary training in Manteca. It was pretty open where the Stake center was. I took another selfie once it was finished. The biggest thing I learned was to declare repentance unto baptism. We missionaries often times think so much about baptism that we forget about the repentance step. I sometimes wonder if the people we teach learn on their own and repent before baptism. Then I tell myself that they declare that when they are interviewed by one of our leaders. Then will the spirit testify that they truly have repented of their transgressions. That's about it. Have a fantasic week.
Selfie at worldwide training