Monday, December 7, 2015

Staying in Rocky Butte with plenty of less-active opportunities.

December 7, 2015

Hey Fam!

It's been a another good week in Portland. We got transfer
letters and I'll be staying in Rocky butte. My comp is going to be a
DL in the Portland zone and my new comp is going to be Elder Andrew. I
don't know much about Elder Andrew except that he came out the same
transfer as me and apparently he's really good at beat boxing. Also
the Portland zone leaders that we live with are getting doubled out,
so we have a lot of changes. I'm pretty bummed everyone's leaving
cause we had a great time being together and i learned a lot from
those Elders, but i know the zone leaders coming in too and they'll be
really good.

We also had a baptism this week which was a major highlight. On
Tuesday I got a call from my old comp Elder Davenport telling me the
Syrena Archer was getting baptized on Saturday. I realize I’m really
bad about talking about my investigators, so here's the quick low-down
 on Syrena: Syrena is a fourteen-year-old girl that I taught up in Lake
Sacajawea. Her mom and two of her brothers are members. Her house was
a lot of chaos and really loud during lessons which made it really
hard to feel the spirit. On top of that she didn't really pay
attention during lessons and didn't try super hard to understand what
we were teaching her. Eventually we came to the conclusion that her
conversion must happen while we weren’t there, so we started assigning
her to read specific chapters and verses and then write a couple
paragraphs about why those certain principles were important. WE
figured that would help a lot in the "pondering" part of the promise
given in Moroni 10:3. wow! it made a world of difference. All of a
sudden she started being excited to meet with us and tell us what she
had learned in writing her paragraphs. Unfortunately I had to leave the
area soon after she started really being interested. But I was able to
go back on Saturday for the baptism!!

I realize I haven't said much about our investigators here in Rocky
Butte and there's a good reason for that - we don't really have any.
Scott and his family are still way solid, but they've been out of town
all month, and besides that we spend all of our time finding or
reactivating less-active members. How many less-active members? Over
900 just in the ward boundaries. Our ward is especially struggling, but
Portland in general has about twice as many inactive as Vancouver just
across the river.

A highlight of this week was Wednesday when i got to go to the Tongan
ward again on exchanges. The relief society president had signed up
three days this week for dinner and when we got to the door she was
like "oh my Elders! I totally forgot! Here have $100 and I’ll prepare
a really nice meal for you on Sunday!" So we went to Applebee’s and got
nice steaks ha. I am really inspired by the faith that these people
have that God will bless them for their good works. I asked one lady
who feeds the missionaries a ton why she kept doing it and she was like
"well my family and I want blessings. Actually that's not true, my
family and I NEED the blessings. We can't afford not to feed servants
of the Lord." I am really humbled by the amount of great faith i have
seen out here on my mission.

I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God,
or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen?
 For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and
I could not deny it, neither dared I do it..." Joseph Smith History


~Elder Thomas

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