Don't worry about my weight. I have a scale I bought from Elder Camper, so I weigh myself pretty regularly. This morning I was 159.4 pounds and I was around 160 pounds when I left on my mission. So I've maintained my weight pretty well so far. I really do think it is just the new haircut the member gave me that makes me look thinner. He was a barber for the past 30 years, so he did a little more than give me a #3 all over like my companions have done. Strangely enough, most missionaries in bike areas actually gain weight, from what missionaries out here say. (I think I remember Nathan telling me that too.) Because you work so hard that you eat whatever you want, and also your legs bulk up quite a bit too. But I think it's also the fact that some missionaries will gain weight on their missions no matter what and others won't. It's all about discipline. I also think some people stress eat and there's plenty of stress on a mission.
This week I only used the squirt bottle once on my companion and it didn't work. So on Tuesday he woke up on his own and we went jogging to the end of Ken's road. We were going to jog back too, but that was going to be uphill instead of downhill and it was a bit too much for Elder Truman so we just walked back. The next day he was having some trouble so I squirted him and he said something, but after a few more minutes he didn't move. I was extremely sore from Crossfit and the jog the day before so I just did a light workout at the house and let him be. Unfortunately that's pretty much how the rest of the week went too. I didn't want to annoy him or cause friction between us. I felt like if there was tension in the companionship it would hurt the work more than making sure we had comp study every day would help the work. He is improving on his own slowly though. I no longer am waking him up in the middle of "comp study" so he can go shower. He is getting up on his own around 8:00 or 8:30, so he still gets in a little bit of study before we head out. He also is pretty willing to work once we get out. I try and ask him what he thinks we should do, to gauge his level of effort. So this week if we arrived 15 or 20 minutes early to an appointment, I'd ask him if he wanted to go walk or if we should just chill, and I've been pleasantly surprised that he's said we should go walk and talk to people every time. So I think he is doing better.
I was talking to Ken one day a few weeks ago, and I asked him if he thought missionaries living with him were hindered by the extra comforts of living in a nice home and the special things he does for the missionaries. He said he actually thinks it helps, which sort of surprised me. I think some people assume that Ken texting your parents or things like that hinders the work and makes people more trunky. Ken says that he thinks that for some missionaries that is the only way they survive. Both Elder Truman and his trainer Elder Dall had a pretty big problem with homesickness and he said that he thinks if they'd been in the traditional missionary setting the shock would have just sent them home probably. So that was an interesting way to look at it, and I can understand his point of view.
This week we were able to teach the less active family. We went over there on Thursday night and taught the Restoration, trying to keep it focused on the kids, but pulling in the perspectives of the lifetime member dad as well as the convert mom. It's really interesting to see it from every point of view. They were at church this week too, and the ward council said that after the missionary gets her 3 or 4 week temple prep crash course, they will start a full length course for some of those families in the ward who are ready for it. It's made me look back on my temple prep course a lot, and from what I've heard, Brother Bittle did an amazing job. Most missionaries say their temple prep course consisted of teaching simple doctrines, mostly the plan of salvation, and that anytime they asked any question related to the temple, the answer was "We can't talk about that". In Brother Bittle's class, he actually covered the doctrine in depth and walked us through what the temple day would be like. So I feel very blessed to have been able to have the opportunity to prepare thoroughly for my temple experience.
I don't know about the demographics of Moreno Valley, but this is actually the Samoan Ward for most of Riverside County as well. I think a majority of them do live in Moreno Valley, but anyone else can come. They hold their meetings in Samoan. That is nice for the Elder that is from Samoa, but English missionaries have a harder time I think. There is also a Tongan Branch in the area that opened recently and it works the same way.
As for the rest of the week, it was actually a really good week. Cyrus, the kid who was baptized, has a couple of cousins who have shown some interest, and we were finally able to meet with them this week and teach the Restoration. The younger of the two is pretty excited and committed, but the older one not so much although she is willing to listen. The sad thing about them is that they are with their dad in Hemet half of the time, and also they are going to be moving, most likely out of our area in a few weeks. But we'll do what we can while they are here, and then pass them over to the Zone Leaders when the time comes. The other investigator we picked up this week is named Claudia. She is a lady we talked to one day a few weeks ago, and she said she was sort of interested, but then her grandmother came out and started speaking Spanish with a very heavy accent and about all I got out of it was "Soy Baptizado". So we passed the whole family over to the Spanish Sisters, but they said that the younger one, Claudia, would actually prefer English, so they passed them back over to us. We were going to meet with her today, but she is also in the process of moving. It is somewhere in Moreno Valley as well, so hopefully it will still be in our area.
The other exciting stuff for the week was that on Saturday we had training on the new Easter video. It is very similar to the Christmas video, but I like this message better. It's geared more towards non-members I think. It is going to be launched next Sunday, and the website is FollowHim.Mormon.org I think. I'm really excited to be using it and I hope you guys are too. Dad said he talked to the Stones, so maybe he could try sharing the new video with them when it comes out as well. It really is a great missionary tool. And of course that training was another opportunity to see Elder Frost and Elder Mecham so that was fun.
I think that's it for this week. Things are going pretty well here. I'm learning that Moreno Valley is different from Corona in that everyone is willing to have you come back, and some of them will even set a time, but they aren't always there. But I don't find that too discouraging, as long as you are finding new people to work with there is always hope.
See you soon,
"Get on your knees and pray, then get on your feet and work." - Gordon B. Hinckley