We had a thunderstorm on Thursday! The heavens opened and let loose; I took pictures, but I brought the wrong cord to connect to the computer, sorry I often do not send pictures. This was quite a week.
Elder Barton and I were able to attend two weddings. A temple sealing on Wednesday and a civil marriage at the bishop's home on Thursday. Also a great man who was instrumental in bringing the family that got sealed into the church passed away the night they were sealed. Then it rained and rained and rained until a full and beautiful rainbow arched across the sky. His funeral is this Thursday and we are going to help with food.
I am surprised that the ward still trusts me with food. At the stake hoedown my first week here I carried a big tray of baked beans into the park, but my bag got caught on a rope and I lost my balance just enough to spill the beans onto the grass. I quickly recovered my balance but just as suddenly lost my composure and dignity. Fortunately the beans were nearly all salvaged and properly placed back into the pan and, with some added-all natural flavors, were consumed by the hungry pioneers. Then on Wednesday we had dinner at a restaurant after the temple wedding and as I was sitting, talking to the family another member of the ward approached us and I stood up to shake her hand. In the process of moving my body into an upright position my center of gravity swung around and tilted an adjacent table just enough tumble all of the plates and silverware onto the floor. Usually when people clink glasses like that at a wedding reception they are informing the guests that they would like to propose a toast. I had no such intentions. I shook the woman's hand and busily went about picking up my mess. We are accident free now for 6 days.
That is not the important part about my missionary work in the Marina Hills ward though! We have a baptism this Saturday for dear, sweet Rocio. She is doing great and is excited to follow through in her desire to covenant with God that she will serve Him. Stay tuned - more to come on that front.
We started teaching a Hispanic family this week. We have three other investigators with baptismal dates: Chris, Ioannies, and Eddie, but they all are going to start going to the single's ward, so we probably won't be teaching them anymore, but hopefully we can go to their baptisms. On a typical day we spend about 4-5 hours teaching lessons and I have only tracted a total of 30 minutes so far on my mission. I tracted more at home, just on splits! We spend the rest of our time contacting referrals, visiting potential investigators, doing service, eating and sharing a message with members and meeting with members of the ward council to coordinate activities and appointments.
A few other new and exciting developments that we are starting to implement are as follows: (DISCLAIMER: These are exciting to ME as a missionary, but that is not to say that you normal people living normal lives will find them invigorating in the least)
1. Bi-monthly family home evening in the park for investigators and new move-ins and less active members and long time members as a casual way to get to know people. We had our first last night and it was a big success! Our assistant ward mission leader provided treats, and we thought he was hosting it. Until he told us to "go a head and start whenever" We had a prayer, activity, spiritual thought and refreshments!
2. Weekly splits with members of the ward. We were able to bring two young men to lessons with us this week, and are setting up a system with the high priest group and the elder's quorum to get more members of the ward involved in the missionary effort.
3. We are teaching hang-gliding classes from the roof of the stake center.
Not really, I just wanted to see how you would feel about that if it were true, mom :)
Other than that Elder Barton and I are doing well and life is good. I have been thinking about Elder Ballard's talk from general conference wherein he related the significance of each worker bee in a hive. Throughout the duration of the bee's life he/she(?) contributes a mere 1/12 of a teaspoon to the total amount of honey in the comb. We each have the responsibility to bring our 1/12 to the place we are serving as missionaries, members, or just human beings. God has allotted us all a set amount of time on this earth. Each day we have the opportunity to make choices that will help us progress of hinder our growth. I have tried to eat better, act more wisely and become more like Christ. I feel that some days I live my day up to its full 1/12 of a teaspoon worth! Other days I know that I need to strive harder to work better and and become more Christ-like. I pray that each of us, myself included, will be busy bees and industrious insects and Christian Christians. We can do that by serving, reading the scriptures, praying and going to church. Keep on buzzin'.