Last Tuesday at transfer meeting I had a successful organ-playing, which was a nice relief. President and Sister Cook both complimented me on the prelude music and again after the meeting. Elder Toronto (one of the assistants) said in the announcements "..and Elder La Follette, who has learned to play the organ since last transfer meeting, will be playing the music!" It impressed me how much the organ gets drowned out when 120 people are singing. For the opening hymn I had it on full blast (still getting drowned out) and quickly after the opening prayer before the new missionaries were getting introduced, I had to make an adjustment on the volume level. But it worked out!
My new companion is Elder Mason, from Idaho Falls, Missouri. He's a pretty funny guy who likes to talk, but doesn't talk your ear off. We get along great. He's a new zone leader, and was transferred up here from Encinitas (San Diego county, by the beach), where he was with Elder Bowen, an elder I trained back in Vista. He's been out 3 months less than me, and is a very hard worker.
I'm struggling to remember what happened this week. It was very quick and a blur. We had some good lessons with less-actives and our recent converts. Noah didn't show up to his lesson or church, which unfortunately is becoming typical for him. Thomas 's lesson fell through and he didn't come to church. Floree ended up moving to San Clemente, the zone south of us, so we can't teach her anymore. We'll have to pass her off to the missionaries down there. We had a lot of unfortunate events in our teaching pool, but things are still going okay. Alex and Angie came to church again and had a great time. I think they will be coming regularly now. They still are very open to us in our lessons, which is fantastic. On Sunday, the Primary president asked us to come to Jr. and Sr. primary. The kids apparently get to put a penny in a jar for every set of scriptures they bring on Sunday. When the jar is full (which it was this week), they get to give the missionaries a Book of Mormon to give away, and we will let them know what we do with it. Sister Brown (Primary pres) asked the kids who had prayed for us this last week, and about 40 hands shot up. It made us feel really happy, despite a lot of negative things happening this week. They can all pronounce Elder La Follette pretty well, and did a good job saying Elder Mason too.
What else... we did yard work for Sister Ayon this week, and ended up moving her backyard drainage pipe down about 3 inches, since it was sticking up a little too high. I found out that Jordan 's (a kid in our ward we're pretty close to that just got his call to Australia) cousins were in the Timpview band, Jackson and Jared . Camille might know Jackson. Jared was in my trombone section.
We had a meeting with all the ward mission leaders in the stake and President Gentry, the 1st counselor in the stake presidency, and President Ward, from our mission presidency. By all the ward mission leaders, I mean 4 of the 9 wards were represented. It was a great meeting but a very poor showing. We re-emphasized things we've been talking about with our zone and the stake leaders the past few months. Hopefully things continue to look up for the missionary work in each of the wards.
Sunday was missionary Sunday in the Saddleback ward, with a longer sacrament meeting with talks about the Apostasy and Restoration, Plan of Salvation, The Book of Mormon, and Gaining a Testimony. Diana , a recent convert, gave the talk on gaining a testimony and did a great job. After the sacrament meeting, we had sloppy joes for lunch, played a few Mormon Messages videos, then had a Q/A panel for about 30 min. There were about 9 non-members there, which was great. 4 of them were some guys from Calvary Baptist Church, and came in with tank tops and Burger King mochas and a camera, looking to magnify faults and bash. They were asked to stop filming the Q/A panel, and ended up asking good questions about how to know what is true, and weren't disrespectful like they were at first. Hopefully something good comes from it. We have a meeting in a few days with the ward mission about starting to work with the people that came. It was a great atmosphere.
Sunday night was the solar eclipse. Lunar? One of the two. We got to see it, whatever it's called. Diana pulled out her 4 pairs of giant sunglasses and we got to see the moon in front of the sun. It was pretty neat to see!
That's pretty much it for this week. Let me know if you have questions. I hope y'all have a great week!