Get a load of this. In my picture for this week is me with a new California state flag--my greatest souvenir of all from my mission, besides an interesting rock from a recent convert-Marcia Baker. It was from I believe Kansas State. I also bought an extra player extension to Settler's of Catan, and an 'Epic ball game' obstacle course, something my grandma used to have when I went over while I was a kid. It was complicated and trying, but still entertaining and fun. It takes in all focus, and focus is what I need to work on right now.
This week during weekly planning, we decided to ask the ward members what they think could help the missionary work move along. We lost 42 active members, including kids, due to moves. The Fortuni's moved to Ripon, and the rest to other states. Our ward is slowly shrinking, and we need to replenish our numbers quick. All in good time. An idea was brought up by our ward clerk-Brother Morgan. He said that home teaching numbers have been very low for a long time. He also says that's widely common in the church. You know, I have grown to better understand what it means to do home teaching. It is to help support the families we work with in friendship and in keeping each of us strong in the truth of the gospel. It is also part of our baptismal covenant to"Mourn with those who mourn, and comfort those who stand in need in comfort," but, how do we know who needs comfort when we don't even contact or know our home teaching families? We must be proactive in every aspect of the church if we too want to stay on the straight and narrow path. "For wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction." Let us follow the council of the prophet and take the harder right, than the easier wrong, and not go down the easy path that leads us down to destruction of soul. We as missionaries are in a way, home teachers to those who are not members of the church. We also assist in areas of need, such as the less actives as well.
This week, we talked to sister Damian, and her boyfriend, Matthew Crow. They have been dating for 4 years. She, in a separate visit, told us that he has bi-polar disorder. He gets angry a lot but also has a very giving heart. They want to get married, but she is afraid that he could hurt their relationship and her sister that lives with her. They might get married by the bishop in 6 months. We will see where this goes. We did refer both of them to our Bishop. His last name is Peterson. He has been one of the best bishop's I have had on my mission. I also told brother Cortez, who was with us that night, to have her read 3 Nephi 11-29. Perhaps that could help her with some doctrine that can help in their relationship. I'm not the best marriage counselor because I have never been married, but there is still some experience with former companionships that can give me some validity in what I say, though we just left the conversation on marriage with Brother Cortez since he was her home teacher. He's going to be a big help for them in the near future.
The other idea a member gave us was to host a fireside about something like the restoration, or the plan of salvation. The idea was to give people experience going from room to room explaining each point. The first room is where the people are on a plane and they crash and die. We then explain that they are all spirits and that they will continue to learn. We take a tour into 3 different rooms full of people of what each kingdom is like, the chapel being the celestial room and everyone in there being clothed in white. It was a great idea, though he wasn't' sure how it would go down being in the state's. He did that idea in France, and it worked out pretty well.
Well, I don't have anything else much to say...so... I bid thee all farewell, until I e-mail you all again. Have a great week everyone.