The past couple weeks have been a little bit of a struggle for solid new investigators. We find some people that are somewhat solid, and we meet people who are coming to the institute, but for people that are solid as a rock, interested in the gospel, going to get baptized, no one really comes to mind. One thing Elder Hagler and I have talked about is how both of us are kind of a bit complacent with where we are at because we have so many people that are progressing well, and that we need to try to fix that this week and, especially if we're together next transfer. So we'll see how things go this week. We did meet with the mom of one of the members of the family ward, and she was really nice and willing to talk and listen to the scriptures, but she wasn't too interested in investigating. Eventually when the Spirit directs us, I'm sure we'll just ask her the question of what it would mean to her if her son's church was true, and if she'd be willing to find out. But for now we just need to be her friend, maybe do some service, and overall just give her good experiences with the church.
Brother Decker, the UC-R institute teacher is having us do a service project this Friday. We're going to wash the cars of some of the students parked at the institute and just leave a little flyer on their car saying we're the missionaries. He just wants us to be visible at the institute so that people feel comfortable talking to us and asking us questions. This past Thursday was the first week that we were able to attend the free lunch at the UC-R institute and it was a little more awkward. Part of it was because all of the members kind of huddled up and we talked with them for a little bit, but then Elder Hagler and I both felt like Brother Decker was drilling us with his eyes to go talk to people, so we sucked it up and did a little. He suggested that next week we attend the institute classes before lunch so that we know a few people's names and it won't be so awkward to go talk to them.
In other fun news this week, on Friday I went on exchanges with two of the American Sign Language missionaries in our zone. One of them is fully deaf, though he has had a cochlear implant for the past few years, and the other one became deaf when he was 7 and has had an implant for most of his life so he can hear and understand pretty decently on that side. It was interesting because they have to do their missionary work very differently than us. First of all, they can pick anywhere in the mission to do their street contacting, because the chances of them finding a deaf person through those means is low so they might as well just help out other areas, so we went to Jurupa. Then we spent most of the rest of the day outside the mission in San Bernardino area because they are the only ASL missionaries for this mission and a couple of the surrounding missions. It was a little frightening in San Bernanrdino. It really is much worse than Riverside; it just felt more ghetto, even though we were only outside of our car or a house for a total of 20 minutes probably. It was also interesting just to see how they teach and talk with their members and people they have taught in the past. We spent the night at the church on the VP (video phone), and it was funny because they told me to randomly pick some contacts in the phone, and half of them had some crazy story about how they got offended by a missionary, or they were a waste of time. It's kind of sad, but they said that a lot of deaf people just get lonely, and because of that, they have some people who love to talk to them, but anytime they try to bring up the gospel they just ignore them. And because they're deaf, they can fully ignore them by just looking away from their VP and continuing to sign about whatever they were saying. It was just an interesting peek into deaf culture and I really enjoyed it, and it also let me see the personality of the ASL missionaries. I feel like they get isolated a bit sometimes but they're both really funny actually. I was just lucky that Elder De Mare didn't mind translating for me back and forth all day anytime any one was signing or any time that I wanted to say something.
P-Day this week was just a week to all get together and do various activities at the stake center. I threw for about 45 minutes with some of the other missionaries, so that's always nice to make sure I don't lose all my Frisbee skills. And then I went and played the piano for a bit, so I don't lose those skills either. We've had a zone activity every single week this transfer so I think people were getting kind of burned out. Next transfer we'll probably hold them every two weeks so that people have some breathing room to clean and have a more relaxed P-Day.
Transfers are going to be this weekend/next week so I'm excited to see what happens. I honestly don't know if I want to stay or leave. I feel kind of like Moreno Valley. If I were to stay another transfer, I might get too comfortable and maybe tired of the area, but if I leave I'll be really sad, which might be the right time to leave. But luckily it's not my decision, that's President Mullen's headache to deal with. He's always been good to me in the past though so I feel like I'm in good hands.
See you soon,