As for my best missionary experience for the week, it was just a really rough week overall. We had meetings or exchanges most of the week and had to take our car into the shop to get the engine checked out. So it reminded me that missionary work is not all sunshine and rainbows and baptisms. I was pretty bummed about it, but Elder Cook told me that there has to be opposition in all things, even this. So that helped me to feel better about it. Also, I thought about the stripling warriors. The scriptures tell us that none of them died, but that many of them were wounded, or at the least, exhausted from the battle. So no one can expect to come out from their trials unscathed, even missionaries, and that thought gave me a little hope.
We had Andrew's baptism this week which was super cool. We were able to meet all of his family, and there were a lot of them. The Primary room was already pretty full, and we had only reserved the front row for his family. But then they all arrived and there were probably 20 people, half of which had traveled down from Seattle for his baptism. It was awesome to have so much support from his family! The Ward had really good attendance too. Andrew's best friend is in Peru on a mission right now, but his family came down and they gave the talks and performed the baptism. His friend's father is actually a Stake President in one of the Seattle Stakes, so it was really cool to have them there. There were 3 or 4 Elders who had served in this Ward and taught him too so they came to the baptism. Andrew is super cool, and now that he's a member, he can actually start coming out to teach with us. He plans on going up to BYU-Idaho in the winter though so he will only be here for a few months.
This week was a very busy week, but the main news was a baptism. Anthony was baptized on Sunday, August 14. Anthony's family was there and also his less active friend with his family. It meant a lot to Anthony to have his friend there, since he thought he probably wouldn't come. So he was super excited when his friend showed up. We had a lot of members of the YSA Ward attend to support him, and President Mullen was there too. However, I'm sad to report that I'm still on the quest for a one and done baptism.
August 2016 - 1 Assistant to the President, 1 Office Elder, 5 Zone Leaders & 3 Sister Training Leaders - All part of our incoming group from the MTC last summer. We make up nearly half of the Mission Leadership Council in the California Riverside Mission!
Today was our temple trip so our P-Day was switched to Friday this week.
My new companion, Elder Chapman, is super awesome. He is from Boise, Idaho and he was a Zone Leader in Hemet for 3 transfers before coming to the Mt. Rubidoux Zone. He also previously served in the Orangecrest and Foothill Wards so he knows some of the parts of Riverside that we cover for YSA. Since I know the family ward part of our area really well, we make a good team. He is super fun and upbeat, he likes to work, but he also likes to work smart. He's been out for 20 months so he's got a lot of this missionary work stuff figured out already, which is nice.
I definitely am starting to feel like one of the old-timers in the mission. There are so many missionaries leaving, that trying to tell stories to new missionaries is challenging since they don't know anyone I'm talking about. Elder Camper was always saying all his friends were dead (gone home), and I think I'm starting to understand that a little bit better now.
I'm a missionary for the LDS church, teaching the Gospel while soaking up some California sun!