Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Cars Are GONE!!

Hello hello.  Hope you all are well.  So do you remember when I told you that they were going to be reducing cars significantly in the mission?  Well, as I described, they have already taken away our car, and we're still working on getting used to the bus.  BUT, the car reduction is going to be a little bit more intense than originally anticipated.  They are going to take away EVERY CAR IN THE MISSION!  Watching the faces of the Zone Leaders and the sister missionaries was SUPER funny.  Few of them looked like they got slapped in the face, some others laughed nervously, some just sat there speechless.  So this will be very interesting, indeed.
This announcement came during zone conference.  President Becerra started his lecture with, "if you apply what I will be teaching you today, I promise you will double your baptisms."  In our mission, Spanish missionaries teach 3 times as much as English, but we baptize the same.  It's super, super weird.  So everything we talked about is ways to make sure that we are teaching people that are ready to progress.  I know Dad has shared a bit with me about this, but for some reason it clicked this week.  In short, we had a lot of drop lessons this week and are desperate to find.
This past week we saw some cool things happen because of all the walking and busing.  We are starting to see the members step up a little bit with the lack of cars.  We got a few random rides from members of our ward, and we have had multiple people offer to pick us up wherever we are at to take us home at night.  It's good stuff.  It's been kinda hot the last few days, so the rides are always very, very appreciated.
This past week we got a baptismal date!  It's been way too long since the last one.  Her name is Chela and she lives in an apartment behind a member family.  This member family, the Balderas, referred her to us.  Now a slightly worrisome part of the story: we randomly ran into her and tried to set up another appointment with her because she missed the appointment on Friday.  Then, she said the dreaded words, "I'll call you."  The Balderas family are still working with her.  She might be feeling a little smothered.  We'll figure out how to fix that.
Another sad story:  Cristina and Elvia (our recent converts) have totally disappeared.  I don't know what is going on.  We cannot find them or get hold of them despite everything we've tried.  We still haven't found the Garcias again either.  It's been a little tough.
Relationship with the companion is still a work in progress.  We are on exchanges today, and I've given his companion for the day the assignment to open him up a bit and see what he's thinking about everything.
Thanks for all the prayers.  I've still been diving into Atonement doctrine.  The most recent question I have been working on is, "Why is repentance enough to receive mercy?  I know that's how we get it, but why is it all that's needed?"  Haven't gotten too far on that one, but I know that there are a lot of members that need to understand justice and mercy a lot better.  We have a few people here that think because they're in the church, they've got the free ticket, and others that think that even though they do everything they are supposed to do, they aren't sure if they are worthy or not.  We have been working a lot to strengthen the members to get referrals out of them.
Love you all.  Thank you for all your prayers.  Emmy, HAPPY BIRTHDAY on Sunday.  Your present will be a little late.  Hope you like it.  It has been approved by Hermana Lopez.

Elder Christensen

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