Monday, September 13, 2010

Elder Bolliger - Colton, CA Week 4: "Missionary Work and Misconceptions part #2, I'm not a robot"

Well this week has been full of ups and downs, miracles and disappointments, and many other things.
Well it's been interesting adjusting to missionary life, but I am getting used to it. Before coming out here on a mission I had many misconceptions about what missionary work was like. One of the biggest things that I guess is dependent on the senior companion and the missionary is how much tracting we do. With my senior comp we don't exactly do a lot of tracting, because we spend a lot of time going to referrals and recent converts, as well as teaching lessons to part member families. Cause I used to think that missionary work was tracting for like 5-6 hours a day + but it doesn't necessarily need to be based on the conditions of the area and whatnot.

Although I would think that me and my companion aren't doing enough work, I look back at our progress indicators and most of them are above the "standards of excellence" which tells you if you are working enough or need to work harder, this past week we had 7 member present lessons which is a lot and really helps to connect with the investigators better.

Well at least I am not a robot, which is a term used for missionaries who come out into the field and drive themselves into the ground and really don't connect with anyone.

So currently right we have one investigator named David who is progressing to be baptized in a couple weeks although I am unsure how long it will actually take to get him baptized. He only speaks spanish and his member girlfriend who lives with him speaks both, recently we have been trying to get him to live the word of wisdom and the law of chastity, with me and elder hall it hasn't been necessarily easy to convey to him. So this past week Elder Hall had the inspiration to bring along Brother Kendry, who is one of the most solid members I have ever met. He is a shorter gentleman who speaks both Spanish and English fluently and consistently does 100% home teaching every month for a long time running now, well we brought him along in our lesson and holy cow, it helped so much. There wasn't a language barrier there and since I don't know spanish I was really feeling the spirit and following it. He talked for about 45 minutes with Elder Hall and I randomly interspersing comments in there off and on. For the first time it seemed like they were excited to come to church and they said that they would, what a difference having a member helped in the lesson, we were able to effectively communicate a lot more than we ever have!

Fast forward to sunday and we are waiting and they don't show up. But for every bad event there's also a good one. There is a previously inactive and part member family that hasn't been completely coming to church for ever. And this past sunday I was looking around pretty much all of them came to church, which I don't think has ever happened, even though some of them were baptized a number of years ago. I guess all of the fellowshipping has paid off as two of them came to priesthood and hopefully become more active.

Another awesome thing that happened at church, I was with the priests while Elder Hall was with the Elders cause of the family that came to church. I was participating in an activity and for some reason we were passing around books to write on and all of the sudden I see the back of what I think is the area book and it turns out to be it! For the past 2 months the area book went missing and the whole time it was in the bishop's office! Which is just too crazy. Not having an area book is not a good thing to find people to go talk to and possibly a baptism is in there!

Well its been interesting adjusting to southern California, its a different climate and is actually quite nice at night time, where it can get cold.

In the mission everyone collects old ties, from members, Deseret Industries, thrift stores etc. I have already picked up a couple of them but my trainer has got a lot of awesome ones. Some really unique ones and some others, but I will hopefully be able to pick up some, over my mission the average at the end is somewhere like 50-60 awesome ties of all different colors patterns, paisleys etc. But hopefully I can get some more.

Well all yall have a good week!

Elder Bolliger

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