Thursday, December 27, 2007

'Tis the Season

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Elder Freeman Finds His Niche

From Elder Paul Freeman, dated December 27, 2007

Dear Mom,

Here's a bunch of pictures that show pretty much everything that's been going on this past transfer. It's pretty much been the best transfer ever. We hope to make this transfer even better. Here's the down-low.

When I first got here to Cali they put me with the two zone leaders, Elder C*** and Elder A***, who covered the only 2 Samoan Wards in this mission, i.e. the Inland Empire Samoan ward and Rialto 2nd Samoan ward. I stayed there for a week only to get transferred to Fontana. 9 weeks later I was transferred back into the wards as companion to Elder A***, but the Zone Leader calling was shifted to a different area. So, for the past six weeks Elder A*** and I have been serving in the Inland Empire and Rialto 2nd Samoan Wards. 2 Samoan wards 1 companionship.

Elder A*** comes from New Zealand. His dad is Samoan but his Mom is British. We've been working for the past six weeks on his language skills because he wants to learn. However, this is his last transfer before he finishes and goes home to New Zealand.

We got the phone call last Saturday evening. They told us they were splitting the area and the companionship. Elder A*** got his new companion Elder M***. Funny, he's actually B*** M***'s cousin from Maryland. They cover the Rialto 2nd Samoan ward, which encompasses all of Rialto and a little bit of SB. It's a normal size area.

My new companion is Elder L***. He's been out for two transfers now and comes from American Samoa. We cover the Inland Empire Samoan ward, which encompasses all of San Bernadino County. San Bernadino County includes: Upland, Ontario, Rancho Cucamunga, Fontana, San Bernadino, Rialto, all those little villages up in the Mountains i.e. Arrowhead, Crestline, Hisperia, Adelanto, Victorville, Apple Valley, and Barstow.

The greatest part is we barely use English. The members are going to love him.

President S*** specifically instructed us to focus our efforts on everything going on in the High Desert i.e. Victorville, Hisperia, Barstow etc. Evidently not only are the members struggling, but it's a gold mine for finding people. President told us we need to have everyone up there visited at least twice by the end of the transfer. We've kinda been given a blank check as far as miles is concerned.

The Inland Empire Ward boundaries cover all of the aforementioned places, I think even out to Las Vegas, and are responsible for all Samoans within that boundary. But, people out in the Desert live so far away, it's almost impossible to attend church. So, All the members' records are in the English wards where they live.

However, some time ago they tried to get a branch started, so they could have meetings in their own language. But they got denied. I assume after that many people lost interest in coming to church. Unfortunately, many other churches have meetings in Samoan and some of our members are going there. Needless to say President S*** wasn't happy when I told him last interview.

Right now, the mission is giving their full support, and our ward with it's leaders is giving every thing they got, but it's all up to the stake presidency up there.

See the branch go up before October [October being Elder Freeman’s return date].