I hope you're all having a good week! I've heard more 4th of July talk on the emails than I have in the past 2 weeks combined down here! It's just not a big deal down here, which is sad. I hope you have a happy and safe 4th. Don't cause any more fires in Utah! I hope y'all get to breathe soon.
We had a bunch of things happen this week. We were busy! I'll try to mention the better highlights.
These are in no particular chronological order.
We got a referral from Elder Zarate (my MTC companion) and his companion for a couple of guys. One of them had an appointment set up and we found out later they wanted to meet us at the RSM Calvary Chapel. Reluctantly, we went to the church and had a lesson there with them. One's name was James and the other was Christian. I had met Christian a few months ago on Saddleback college's campus and had a lengthy discussion with him. They were nice, but difficult to keep on topic. They didn't bash or argue, but asked lots of questions and of course disputed some points. The unique thing they did that most born-agains don't is that Christian came with a triple combination and read some references in the BoM and D&C. They interpreted some verses wrong but at least they tried to read our own books. We weren't going to set up a return appointment unless they asked, which they did, so we'll meet with them again next week at our church.
There were a bunch of families that moved this week, including the Allans (our ward mission leader), the Lippards, and a couple other families. It took a few people out of the ward council, and Sister Moorhead, the RSP, is without counselors. She felt pretty overwhelmed. So we visited her house yesterday and volunteered to be her "counselors" (helping to visit people) until there are new ones. She was very grateful!
A few days ago we contacted a couple that was walking into an apartment. Tiffany was from England and had no idea what Latter-day Saints or Mormons were. She had grown up atheist and has run into a lot of JW missionaries in England that she didn't like. She had a ton of questions, some of which her boyfriend answered, and most of which we answered. She wanted to sit down and talk about it, and the nearest place was the curb in the parking lot. I sat on the asphalt and we talked about a bunch of her questions. She was really confused that we were 20/21 and didn't think it would be fun to drink and smoke and stay up every night and have fun with girls, etc. Everything she mentioned that she did for fun was contrary to at least some commandment. As we talked together, she said "you don't do anything that other young people do. You're so innocent and so happy!" She started crying, and we continued to talk until their friends came back to bring her to the apartment to party. She is going back to England in a few days so we can't teach her, but we sure made an impact.
On my exchange with Elder Neil in Vista we experienced a few small miracles. We were trying to see an LA lady that had a gate around her house. She wasn't home, and there wasn't anything we could do except pray that she would have some reason to come outside. A few minutes later, her husband pulled in, and the dog ran outside barking, so she had to leave the house to chase him. We then got to talk to her and set up an appointment and got her phone number. Later on, we taught a less-active lady and brought an investigator named Scott to be our 3rd male. We watched a video on mormon.org and it ended up touching Scott a lot more than Sister Corbo. He started crying during that video and the next one and had more determination to be more diligent in reading scriptures and going to church.
We had zone leader council and transfers last week. We got 8 new missionaries and 2 of the 3 district leaders are brand new. There is a lot of excitement across the zone and stake and good things should be happening! We had a record amount of investigators at church this week in our zone.
That's about it for now. Elder Mason finished early and is really bored and is pestering me to finish. We've begun to get a bunch of referrals in both wards. We're finally seeing some results from a lot of hard work during slow months and weeks.
I hope you have a great week and happy 4th of July!