Wednesday, March 12, 2008

End of Another Transfer

From Elder Paul Freeman, dated March 12, 2008

Dear Family,

We're coming to a close of another transfer. While planning for this 6th week my mind was called to reflect the past 11 weeks Elder Leiato and I have been working together in the Inland Empire ward. It occurred to me that we didn't have very much to show for it as far as typical missionary work is concerned. Our ward has yet to have a baptism in 2008. So, I thought to myself if I wanted anything to show for the hard work we've been doing it would be at least one person with a baptismal date by the end of this week. The new transfer begins on Monday and we still have yet to commit someone to a baptismal date.

Tonight we are going up to Victorville and staying until Saturday. Our only hope is one family we've been teaching for several weeks now. His name is Vi (Vee), and his wife is Nina and they have 6 children. They have taken to the church more than anyone expected. Last week Vi told us he knew that the Book of Mormon is true and that he knew Joseph Smith was a prophet. I just about stood up and danced. After teaching about faith, repentance, and baptism we invited him to make the decision. He said he knew it was the right thing, but he wanted to learn more and improve some things. We told him to set a goal and pick a date where he would want to be ready by. This week we go back to follow up with that and set the date. The funny thing is, they probably will end up being baptised in a different ward. They don't speak Samoan and they've been attending the English ward for a few weeks now.

We also went into the mission office on Monday to update our report on all the Samoans we're finding in the Victorville/Hisperia areas. We've recorded about 230 people complete with names and addresses. It includes members, non-members, and less actives. About half are active, so we're not sure if Salt Lake will approve a new unit, but that's what we're hoping for. President Sanchez seemed very pleased with the work we've been doing regardless of the fact that we haven't had any baptisms.

So, we'll continue plugging away at things like we've been doing already and hope more good comes out of it than we're seeing. President also told us it would probably take a lot more time and if anything did happen it sounds like I'd be long gone. Nevertheless, I'm confident that we are doing the Lords work and, while we're far from perfect, I hope He is pleased with the effort we put forth and the things that are happening. Everything happens in His own time and we may not even see the fruits of our labor fully realized in this life.

But, thank you all for your love and support.


Elder Freeman

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Preparing for the Future

Elder Andrushka Pearce Dated 03/03/08

Dear Mom, Dad and everyone that I love,

Where to start this week. Well, I didn’t have changes. I have come to really love this area. It’s called R* P*. My ward has 800 members but 116 go every Sunday. The highest we got it up here is 137. That was after a week we worked really hard.

I have come to visit many people that are not active. I have come to realize what it means to really endure to the end. Also what is the importance to go to church each Sunday. We are starting to work with the ward missionaries to help them visit the families that are not active. We are teaching them Preach My Gospel, then having them go practice and teach the less active families.

The Martinez family made huge progress the week. We drew them a sign and a picture on it that said, “Respect the Day of the Lord”. This Sunday we passed by their house and they had it up, which means they closed their little shop down to keep the Sabbath day holy. My heart was filled with joy for them. I know they will be blessed. It’s a family of four. We are enjoying working with them.

Pedro and Gema are progressing slowly. We taught them Family Home Evening and they really like it.

This week I also realized the importance of preparing for the future, that we are the future of this church. I have come to realize a lot here what the members need and lack.

I love the church and have a strong and lasting testimony of my Savior Jesus Christ.

Dad, it sounds like work is picking up and doing great. Well, I would love to hear from the rest of the family! I love you all dearly!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Elder Andrushka Pearce Dated Feb. 18, 2008

Dear Mom, Dad and the Pearce Family,

Happy Valentine’s!!! How fast the time is flying I have been almost 4 months in this area. I have come to love it and know all about it. I have come to know the members really well. I have come to know the bishop.

I don’t really have much time so I will be brief and next week will write more.

This week we finally saw some fruits of our work. We saw the G* family return to church. After the many testimonies, the many times we passed their house to go to church, they went this Sunday. Also Pedro and Gema went for the 3rd time to church. We have to help them to get married. Pedro has been making some comments about asking her to marry. I hope all works out.

I never knew a mission is such hard work.

I hope and pray that all is well at home. I love you all with all my heart!

Elder Pearce

Bringing in the Sheaves

Elder Andrushka Pearce Dated 03/10/08

I hope all is well with Carissa. I would like news on all that is going on with her. Thanks. I will be praying for her.

What a week this has been. I will try to explain it to all of you. First to start out it was a week of miracles and exhaustion. Good to start out, all is well with our families. They are progressing really well. There are four in the M* family. This week they went to church and as a family prayed together. They closed their shop down and went in a room and as a family prayed together. The second thing they are both racing to read the Book of Mormon. We had to give them another Book of Mormon. They also started to live the Sabbath day with the poster they put on their door to close their shop. They have watched blessings enter into their lives. We will be marrying them this week and the 29th of March we have faith to baptize them.

The L* family, or Gema and Pedro are getting married also.

The one crazy thing that happened this week is I went on divisions with the zone leaders. We went to another area and I got to help out with a wedding and a baptism. It really helped me to get an idea of what I need to do.

We are also working with a family that we call Johan. She and her cousin will be getting baptized.

I have been here in this area for some time. This Sunday something amazing happened. We had divisions with my comp because we had to go for so many investigators. I went for 6 more or less. I went to the first house where they always say, “No I can’t. I’m not ready” That’s just what happened. The spirit helped me out to convince her to go. I couldn’t stay long, she said okay.

So I went to the next. I learned that this family was already on their way. Then we went to the next house and the person was not there but then we asked if she would like to go to church She said yes.. So we had to be running by this time to the next house. Church starts at 10 and it was 10:30 by now and so we wrote her directions and directed her to the bus.

Then we went to another family, asking them to wait in the street while we went for another. I got to church and all the investigators were there. It was a miracle that so many went. That all that said would go went. I was so thankful we had 12 investigators in church and 5 inactives.

What a week it was. I really learned that if you work hard and never give up you have success.

I taught in class from Proclamation to the World about the Savior. To be honest, I am tired this week and pray for more strength to help all the investigators to progress. I have come to learn so much in this area.

I love the Gospel with all my heart. I am worried about Carissa but I know that Heavenly Father will protect her.

I love you all and take care.

Elder Pearce