This week has really whizzed by compared to last week. I am loving the area more and more each day. I love going to Vandenberg Air Force Base to eat with the members from the military. There's a member here named Bro. Miles who is a medic in the Air Force and he's studying to be a PA. He talked with me about his experience in the Air Force and how it's helping him get through school and stuff like that. It was really cool to talk with him about that; once I get home, I'm going to study more into that. I'm really considering going into the Air Force to get through my schooling. Everyone I've talked to has highly recommended it, and they said that you literally get paid to go to school. Anyways, this week has been a great one.
It always amazes me how so many people can be prepared, but we need to exercise our faith to talk to them. We were heading back to our car, and there was a lady approaching us. Elder Kingrey struggles sometimes with talking to people on the street (I'm trying to help him with that) and so I sort of nudged him to talk to the lady. He said no, and so as the lady approached, I extended a warm greeting. She responded, and a conversation developed. Initially, she expressed concerns with our Church, saying that Joseph Smith coveted other men's wives, the Book of Mormon is a depressing story, and things like that. We confidently addressed her concerns and bore testimony of the Book of Mormon. It turns out, she was actually a less-active member of the church, and she said that she felt uncomfortable with coming to church because she smokes and doesn't follow the commandments completely. We explained that God always allows us to repent and come back, and we invited her to come to church the next day. She said she would, gave us her new address, and we went on our way. We got in the car, and I said to Elder Kingrey "Don't ever be afraid to talk with somebody, because if we wouldn't have talked with her, none of that would have happened." It was a great learning experience for him and for me, and a testimony booster as well.
Although the lady didn't come to church the next day, we are glad that we have her new address for the church records, and we will be stopping by her to help in the future. It certainly was no coincidence that we ran into her, and I know that the Lord guided us there so that we would be able to contact her in future visits and eventually help her come back to church. It's little experiences like these that have really made my mission meaningful. I am thankful that the Lord has used me so many times throughout my mission as one of his instruments. I always tell the Lord in my prayers that I want to be an instrument for Him not just on my mission, but throughout my entire life. Anyway, it was a neat experience for us to have.
You may be wondering why the subject line of my email is, "missionary work is about to change" This week, we had a Zone Meeting and they told us that the church came out with a website called justserve.org, and this provides an opportunity for missionaries and members to give service. Our mission is creating a new key indicator (a new thing we measure each week) for service hours. The goal is 10 hours a week! Throughout my mission, I have LOVED giving service. It's always nice to have a change of pace, and oft times you can connect with people a lot better through those service opportunities. The thing is, though, we can only keep track of service hours, and go to the website often if we have IPADS! President Felix has told us that we will certainly have iPads before the end of the year, and maybe even sooner. We have a Zone Conference tomorrow in Ventura, and I'm pretty sure that they are going to be passing out order forms. I'll have to give you more details next week. I'm looking forward to using the iPads and you know what that means, family. Skype! haha I can just see the look on my mom's face right now. :)
Travin, good luck with your Farewell this weekend! You are about to be set apart to the greatest calling in the Church. You were there when I was set apart, and I wish I could be there for yours. I'm excited for you to join me and 85,000+ others in the mission field. I know for me there's never been a time in my life that has felt so purposeful and gratifying. I'm excited for you to experience that. Take pictures!
I'm glad the family had fun in Wayne County, and yes grandma, I WILL share experiences next year!
I love you all so much. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. I know that the Gospel blesses families, just as it has blessed mine. I am thankful for the opportunity and blessing that I have to be a missionary. It's so great to be able to feel the Spirit's influence guiding me in the work. I'll talk to you all next week!
Oh! I forgot to mention! So, these pictures!
There's a guy in my ward named Greg Grant who actually had the idea for Toy Story. He submitted it to Disney, and they declined. A little while later, when Toy Story was coming out, he took Disney to court and he sued them for taking his idea. He was, let's just say, compensated from the lawsuit. So yeah, he's the reason there IS a Buzz and Woody!
He also collects Pez dispensers. Here's a picture of the Two-Face dispenser, and he actually got a signature from the guy who plays Harvey Dent/Two-Face in Batman: Dark Knight! Isn't that awesome?
And, of course, the Star Trek: The Next Generation Pez collection. I just couldn't resist.... :)