Monday, March 19, 2012

Elder West is elderwesting

Hola Familia!

I'm using a new strategy of writing this email this week. I decided to
write my letter to President Bubert first, so it could actually be
substantial, and then I just copied it over here and will edit it
Agent P

Also, I've finally decided to put that Agent P notebook to good use
and use it as a little quote book of interesting quotes we hear.
Highlights include the title of this letter (courtesy of Elder George)
and "Do you guys only preach on St. Patrick's Day?"

During weekly planning this past week, it occurred to Elder George that
we needed to drop all of our non-progressing investigators. It was a
difficult decision, but we determined that if any of them wanted to
continue learning that they could try contacting us (one of them has).
As a result, our investigator pool shrank drastically, so we'll be
trying this next week to bring it back up (goal: 10 new
investigators). In retrospect, I think we should have done this
earlier, given that since the size of our investigator pool is limited
(due to time) that the number of people we find cannot be greater than
the number of people we drop/baptize for a given period of time.

A couple weeks ago the mission decided that we should bike three days
a week, to save gas money and have us do more street contacting. We
haven't quite yet made the transition yet (we're planning to fix that
this afternoon), but we've decided in the meantime to do more walking
and parking farther away from appointments and such. Already we've
seen some minor successes here, with a couple of instances where we
street contacted somebody and set up a fixed appointment. Really, for
somebody who started off being scared to talk to random people, I'm
surprised at how easy it is when you know what you're doing.

My Spanish is coming along pretty well. Ever since we've decided that
I should say all my prayers in Spanish, my skills have improved quite
a bit. Other than that, most my Spanish usage comes from street
contacting, and I've noticed that I've been having more success
getting peoples' addresses and such.

Our teaching as a trio has been getting better. When practice-teaching
during companionship study, we've been all teaching together, working
out the smoothness of the transitions and the time-sharing. We're
nowhere near perfect, but we've been getting Elder George to speak
less than 50% of the time during some lessons. Elder Jenson has been
proving himself to be a rather effective teacher, even though in
practices Elder George tends to ask him a question to get him started
("So Elder Jenson, can you please teach the entire first lesson for

For our two investigators with a baptismal date, we've determined that
one is very solid, and the other one will (probably) need to be
delayed. One has a lot of member-support when we're not around, and
we've been able to meet with him almost every day. Last night we let
him pick who was doing what at the baptism, and he was very excited.
The other person has been harder to make contact with and teach, so
although he is also excited for his baptism, it's unlikely that we'll
be able to teach him all of the lessons on time.

- Elder West

Friday, March 9, 2012

Proof that I've been busy...

Not only have I been caring for four busy grandchildren under the age of nine, I've also been working on a neglected room in Stephanie's house...her second family room...

The race car bed was not a fixture - Sterling was graciously allowing me to
sleep in his room for a couple of nights.
Oddly placed window, bookcase with strange awning...

I'm hoping these will be the only hand prints on the walls.