Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Pretty Sweet Week

Hey Mom and Dad!

It has been a pretty sweet week. F was baptized. L was not. Her husband wouldn’t let her and wants her to wait. Oh well. She came to F’s baptism and really liked it.

The service was so awesome. I conducted. We sang "El Alba Ya Rompe" which is the upbeat version of "The Day Dawn is Breaking". Totally an F song. His full name is F P C C. Elder B baptized him - so when he heard his name before the service he was so nervous. There was great fellowship and many investigators present. Some recent converts of Elder B’s bore testimony. They were so nervous but did really well. A fantastic member, Hermano E gave a talk and rocked it. Then we sang "Conmigo Quadrate Senor" to finish. F loved that one and was singing it loudly with us.

We have interviews this week. Elder H and I had to prepare a sheet of paper saying how each missionary in the zone is doing. That's what took up my time this morning. Sorry I don't have much time left to write you. So anyway we have interviews and I’m going to attempt to talk President into letting me stay with Elder B for one more transfer. I’ve been on exchanges so much and with all of the meetings, I’ve hardly had time with him. He's an awesome missionary.

We're going to downtown Charleston for exchanges tomorrow. So Elder H and I are going early to check out the Battery and such. I may pull out a little cash to buy some souvs.

Que mas? Que mas puedo decir? Pues... me encanta el idioma de espanol. De hecho... yo quiero estudiarlo en el colegio. Tambien seria bien chido si yo pudiera usarlo en mi trabajo. Pues es todo. nos vemos.

Les amo mucho!

El Elder de la Piedra

Four Days with Eleven Elders in One Apartment

July 19, 2010

So it's been a great week!

We had the four-day meeting. Crazy stuff. Basically a third of the mission was there: Zone Leaders, District Leaders and Trainers. It was cool. Basically it was a training of what we already knew... just bringing it all back from memory. Nothing new. Just making sure that we're doing it right ... and better. Also to improve our personal conversion to increase convert conversion.

They covered eight points - among which included: revelation, commitments, sacrament meeting, Book of Mormon, prayer, and how to begin teaching. It was great. They taught and we had great discussions and then we'd role play. One time I had to role play on camera and then the whole group critiqued the lesson that my comp and I had just taught to one of the Assistants. Yikes.

The first day that we got up there... the President's brother (a stake pres in Colorado) trained us. He taught of the doctrine of Christ. That has been a huge focus the past little while... teaching members, investigators, and living the doctrine of Christ... the gospel. Basically faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, endure to the end. It was really neat.

How each day usually worked out was that we would start the meeting at 9... they'd train. Lunch at noon (we had to take care of our own breakfast and dinner), and then they'd train again until 5. At 5 we'd go proselyte. it was so cool... we would proselyte, applying what we had just learned that day. Then the following morning we'd return and report. President would ask us how it went and people shared some pretty great miracles.

There was a great spirit felt there. To help change the negative attitude that is present in the mission, some missionaries created a "declaration". They presented it and it read that we need to be more focused on the missionary effort, to have more urgency in our proselyting, to truly bring souls to Christ. Then we all signed it. It was great - Sister McConkie had some MoTab playing and we signed an actual document with a feather pen. We would walk up to the podium and announce our name and the district/zone we represented and individually sign it. "I’m Elder Stoneman representing the Middoni Zone…” Every leader did that. Lastly, President got up and said, holding back tears, "I'm President McConkie and I represent the finest group of missionaries on earth.” And then he signed. Man, it was like a movie. He set the feather pen down right when the song ended. Epic. It was powerful though.

So that's about it. I spent four days with 11 elders in one apartment... with one bathroom. hahah Ouch. Elder H and I got up at 5:30 a.m. every day to run and then snag first dibs on the shower. We run about every day. Elder H is such a good guy. I spend a lot of time with him... Visiting the zone's investigators and meetings and such. I love it. I’m learning a lot. I’m going to miss him for sure. He goes home August 4th. Elder B is mostly with Elder D. They get along well and the work is progressing really well for the North Charleston Ward.

Elder H and I had a meeting with the Stake President last night. The branch is a no-go. It’s disappointing - we need it so much. Oh well. For now there is not enough people or leadership.

Elder B and I have a baptism this weekend - F. The families fell through - they're still cool... but P won't be baptized until August. F is a good guy. Really easy going and excited for baptism. He kept telling members at church yesterday that he's getting baptized - basically inviting them.
L is still waiting on an answer from her husband. If all goes well she will be baptized this weekend with F. Keep them in your prayers.

Oh also - we found M and R.... the T's!!! They had moved.... but into this area. We of course picked them back up to start teaching them. Cool miracle.

Well that's it for the week. I miss you. Hopefully Grandma is doing better. Give her my love. I’ll get some time next week to write some handwritten letters. I love you guys.

Elder Stoneman

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Rockin' Ghetto Ties

Hey Mom and Dad:

The mission is great. I’m doing great. No bed bugs yet. Another apartment in the zone has serious cockroaches though. Ha-ha. They’re finding them in their study books and in their clothes and in their cereal. So I’m counting my blessings. Ha-ha. Everything else is great. The zone is doing well.

I’m emailing this afternoon because we have another zone meeting tomorrow... otherwise I would email tomorrow... we are at a church where they have a family history library with computers.

So South Carolina finally cooled down. yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-haawwh!!! Just a little bit. On Monday night we went out to work... biking (another story later) and it just poured. The saying "when it rains it pours" was developed in SC for sure. I just got soaked. I have a bunch of ghetto ties that rock! One of them stained my shirt. Jacked.

Other updates:

No more nightly calls!

I’m a biking elder... our car is in the shop. I’ve biked for a whole week straight. Once again – jacked. I get it back tomorrow.

Laura... is getting baptized on Saturday.

Family Mania... we've been finding families like those elders are finding cockroaches.

Some crazy stuff is happening in the mission. A LOT of changes. We'll know more about it at zone conference tomorrow.

Sorry, the guy that let us in said he has to leave. I spent all my time on zone reports to the assistants. Sorry. I’ll catch up next week and explain more on the other things.

Love you!