In response to a comment from his mom about how it seems like his mission is tailored to him:
I feel the same way about my mission. I am amazed how, with every challenge, I was prepared before hand and after to cope with it. I have felt your prayers for me, and they have made a big difference. I can not say exactly how we are doing here, but I can say that we are better. Both of us are treating the other better. I have learned to be tolerant to my companion, and I found that part of the problem is not him. He is a serious person, quite a bit more mature than Elder Henriquez, despite being 7 years younger, I think that I was partly frustrated by the change. I have also been focused on being his friend by spending time with him instead of the other elders, trying to talk with him, letting him choose and be a leader, serving him, stating his possitive attributes, and whatever else I can think of to help him. He has been making me grow a lot intentionally, too. We are working our butts off. He is a more Preach My Gospel centered missionary, and is reminding me of a lot of things that I had forgotten to do since leaving the MTC. I am friendlier and ask better questions, and he is more doctrinal centered and gets all of the points across. We are both “old” missionaries, and if we can get comfortable one with another, we have the potential to make some pretty incredible things happen in this sector, as between the two of us we almost have 4 years of missionary experience.
Yesterday, President and Sister Morgan went to my district meeting. If that had been President Wright, it would have scared the crap out of me, but with President Morgan I actually felt perfectly normal. Participation in the meetings is usually pretty good, and it really didn’t change that much. I really enjoyed having him there, actually. We talked about planning. Last week, we received a special world-wide broadcast from the conference center teaching us how missionary, hosted by several apostles and seventies. I will spare you of the boring details, and suffice it to say that they want us to “teach repentance and baptize converts”, and they taught us how. Then on Friday, our Zone Conference was attended by Elder Spitale, an area seventy, who gave special training to us as a mission, and to us as mission leaders. I decided that it was time to make district goals to meet the vision that the Lord, the church, the area, the mission and the zone has for us. Presdent Morgan helped a lot. We started with a vision of how we wanted to see the district in 6 weeks. The vision had to complete with the higher visions set. We then made goals to meet the vision. Our goal as a district is 16 baptisms in 6 weeks, 35 new investigaters for the district per week, and 10 contacts per missionary per day, or in other words, 100 per day for the district and 700 by the end of 6 weeks. Then, to meet the goals we had set, we made plans. My secondary purpose was to help the missionaries improve their planning that they do. If there is one thing that we as missionaries generally suck at, other than keeping the apartment clean, is planning. The model of Vision, Goals and Plans can be applied to all kinds of planning, and my hope is that those missionaries do something like what I did last change, where they sit down and plan for their future. I don’t know what made me do it, but last change I suddenly felt inspired to make a plan that would be for the rest of my existence. So I did it, then did a plan based on the first for the next 10 years, than one for the next 5 years, then the next year after my mission, then the rest of my mission, then the change that I am in currently. It helped me a great deal gain perspective in where I am and where I want to go, and helped me know if I was succeeding or not.
We applied some of the plans that we set yesterday, and it worked really well. When we contacted a house, we contacted with the idea not to get a new investigator, but to teach. We did what we could to get inside the house and teach them, and if we couldn’t get inside, we taught them there on the doorstep. We also tried to set an appoitment right away with them instead of just writing down their name and house number and looking for a new person. We found 3 new investigaters yesterday, one of which we set with her a baptismal date for the 5th of March, 2016. Her name is Victoria. We found her though a referral. Honestly, when I first saw her, I thought of drugs, especially when she asked for a blessing to help her forgive her brother and rid her of a “demon”. We had to ask for special permission to stay with her without a man accompanying us, but we taught her of the importance of baptism and gave her the blessing, and she said that she felt forgiven, and at peace. It will be interesting to see how she progresses.
Love you all. I’m praying for you too.