Working with YSA is pretty fun. It's mostly because they are people closer to my age and a lot of them are RM's. So they're just very real with the missionaries. They know what mission life is like, and so they know what we need and how to put us at ease. With family ward members, it sometimes feels like an audition to show that we deserve their help, and then sometimes we get more help than we bargained for. But the YSA members know what to do, or they are at least receptive to advice and trying to figure out what their role in a lesson should be. Also because it's mostly referral based for YSA contacts, we get a lot more solid people to teach. We can't really go "seeking with faith" for young single people to teach until school starts in a few weeks. Classes don't start until next transfer so I'm really hoping I will be serving for at least one more transfer in this area. It wouldn't be fair if I spent 3 months here and never set foot on campus or inside the institute building since I was only here during the summer.
Dinner appointments in this area are a little different because we have the four nights per week together with the other Zone Leaders in the Arlington Heights Ward that is split between us. These four man dinners are big and sometimes we end up talking with each other more than the members, which really isn't good. So we are trying to work on raising the quality of our dinner appointments with the family ward members and repairing member/missionary relations. YSA dinners are great; they're always fun. Elder Chapman knows a lot of YSA people from the other Wards in Riverside that he's served in, so he has people he feels comfortable asking. Since we only have YSA dinner once a week we don't really pass around a calendar, we just kind of talk to people and if they are free on Thursday, we see if they want to feed us and then go out to do some missionary work. Most of the time they are pretty willing.
Elder Chapman is a great companion. It is nice to have someone who has been in the mission field longer than I have. He is willing to work hard and he knows more effective ways to get things done because of his past experiences. There are times when I feel like even though I've been out for 13 months, there are a lot of situations I've never been in or teaching experiences I haven't had yet. While training two stripling warriors helped me grow as a missionary, sometimes it was through the trial and error method which was not always the most effective way.
See you soon,