Hello family! I hope you're all having a great week!
On the way to the library I had a major brain blank and I'm having a hard time remembering what all happened this week. I'll tell you what I do remember.
On Thursday we had a leadership training meeting down in Vista. Invited were all the zone leaders, district leaders, and "important" sister missionaries. I don't know how else to describe the sisters. Several things were discussed, including how to have more effective and efficient weekly planning sessions (they take a few hours every week), accountability between each other (President Cook had me do a role play with him for a Sunday-night call in and report for the week), and accountability through key indicators (numbers). It was a good meeting with lots of things learned for everyone. There were 5 of us elders and 2 sisters from our zone that went, so we grabbed the minivan that the Ladera Ranch elders use and I drove everyone down to the meeting! It was weird to drive a van! A couple weeks ago on exchanges with Elder Neil, one of the assistants, he had me drive their Chevy Silverado, which was awesome! It made our Fusion feel small, which it really isn't that small. Anyway.. On the way back we got some mail for our zone. I got more mail then than the last 6 months combined! (which is okay, don't worry. It doesn't matter very much at this point). I got a birthday card from the Cooks, an info letter from the office (zone leader stuff), a mass letter from a sister in my MTC district to all the elders, and a letter from Elder Bailey. Apparently Brother Vigil, one of my favorite members from Carlsbad, passed away recently. That was pretty sad to hear. It's okay though, he is with his wife now, and is probably herding all the goats he wants to! (that was the heaven he imagined!)
What else...We taught a new investigator in the singles ward on Sunday named Claire. She met a member about 4 weeks ago and he invited her to church, and she has now been 3 times, and is liking the Church so far. We're starting on the basics for her. She grew up semi-Christian, lost a belief in God, and now is starting to believe in a higher being again. She's had several what she calls "God moments" where she feels something (the Spirit) very strongly that it makes her want to cry. She told us that in her few times at church, that we were "shattering all the stereotypes" that the general population think of. She told us she was there just to listen to us, and we kinda stared for a moment and said "well we're not here to lecture to you a presentation of our religion!" She got really excited and said "you guys are SO much better than everyone makes you out to be!" All her previous understanding of Mormons came from South Park (many people say that).
On Sunday we had a cool sacrament meeting in the YSA ward. Elder Haynie, the area seventy (the Esco stake president when I was there) came to speak, along with his secretary, the stake presidents from Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita stakes, and President and Sister Cook (the Cooks went to the previous sacrament meeting and weren't going to stay for ours, but we convinced them to stay. Naturally, they were invited to speak too!) I took good notes on what was said. The highlight was Elder Haynie talking about how the temple is what is going to hold us members to the Gospel in these days when many things will not. He promised if we attend the temple regularly, we will not step far from the path before the Spirit brings us back.
We had FHE with Jason and Ashley last night. They're making some good steps lately. For our activity, Jason had us all write a card to his cousin who is a year into his mission in Indonesia. They hadn't written him yet, and only saw him on Skype once. It was interesting writing someone I had never met! But it was a good experience anyway. Their little boy Malakai was a spaz, a little more than usual. Ashley made us some of her famous peach cobbler! It was so yummy! The last time I had peach cobbler was when she made it for us in Vista.
That's about it for now. We've been having a bunch of small experiences but no big highlights. I've been doing a lot better keeping my journal lately so if I forgot anything I'll tell you later!