Sister McCulloch and I were able to burn our 6-month items. Sister missionaries burn a shirt and Elders burn a tie to mark this milestone.
This Sunday we had an RM from Auburndale speak; it was high council Sunday. He served in the Dallas Misison, so part of his mission was southern Oklahoma. He really enjoyed it, and so he shared a lot of experiences and scriptures.
Cecilia. . . Sigh. . . She didn't come to church yet again. We had planned to meet with her on Friday, but on our way home from the mission tour she texted us and told us that she had to cancel because she had to cover a shift for a sick coworker. But she said she'd be there on Sunday. Then on Sunday morning she texted and said she had to cover someone else's shift again. So that means she will fall off date. It is impossible for her to make her date of January 31st. So next time we meet with her we'll have to push it back, probably a couple weeks just to be safe. And that wouldn't be such a big deal, but the advice I'm starting to get from Elder Beck and Elder Benson, two of the DL's in Corona, is that she probably needs to be given the 'drop talk'. She isn't making church, or even our regular lessons, a priority anymore, and so she isn't really progressing towards baptism. So this week we will meet with her once, maybe twice, and basically have to give her the 'drop talk'. That's where you teach repentance, re-extend commitments, and in the case of church, you basically tell them that they need to come to church and if they don't come you can't continue to visit them. They are welcome to church whenever they can and when they can make that commitment you can continue to meet with them, but that for now you need to stop contacting them. That really sucks because she seemed so enthusiastic and promising, so to drop her now would break my heart, but maybe it needs to be done. Just 30 minutes ago, she cancelled our appointment for tonight, so it's hard. We'll see where it goes, I'll update you again next week.
A Mission Tour is when a General Authority, usually a Seventy, "tours" the mission. By that, it means he meets with half the mission one day, half the mission another day, and meets with the Missionary Leadership Council(ZLs, APs, and STLs) one day to discuss missionary work in the mission as a whole. He talks about how the mission is doing, shares some important doctrine/direction from the First Presidency, and then does a short Q&A session at the end. Corona, Riverside and Lake Elsinore met with him on Friday at the Mission Office building. We arrived around 8:30, said hello to some of the missionaries who were already there and then Elder Beck and I went to rehearse our musical number. (You can listen to what we played here: https://www.lds.org/music/library/instrumental-music?lang=eng. Go down to "Sunshine Hymn Medley".) Then we studied for a bit in the pews until everybody arrived. When Elder Hamula came in, we all stood and then we each had the opportunity to go and shake his and his wife's hand. After that the meeting started.
For New Year's we had a zone activity, but the Stake Center was having a youth dance so we had to have it at a building with a smaller gym. We played dodgeball for the most part as well as some volleyball, but there was also an Elder that got a Spikeball set for Christmas so I played some of that as well. Overall it was just sort of a crazy night where you kind of just hung out with people. We did still have to go back to our apartments by 9:30 and in bed by 10:30 so it was just like any other missionary day really.
I'm a missionary for the LDS church, teaching the Gospel while soaking up some California sun!