The most important thing I've learned in the first 6 months of my mission, I actually learned in the past week or so. I told you plenty about Elder Hamula's mission tour already. And that left a pretty big impression on me, but the next few days after that were hard and the insight began to wane. But, this past week was Multi-Zones again with some more training. President Mullen did presented training on door approaches, which was kind of fun. Sister Mullen talked about working with members (less actives, part-member families, or active members) in order to build relationships and get referrals. The AP's gave the longest training, it was about the Transition Plan, which is the plan that they came up with, along with the MLC, to help us transition from the low point the mission has hit. They shared some interesting numbers (as of December, half the mission has been out for less than 6 months). Before all of the training though, President released, yet another long list of rules. Things such as, don't get together with other missionaries on the night of transfer calls and other small things like that, that are fun traditions and don't hinder the work too much, in the opinion of most missionaries. And so of course, I had a bad attitude, since I was raised on stories of Camper's mission, which was quite different than how the mission is now.
As we talked about the transition plan, and also what we learned from Elder Hamula, I realized that it's not good for me to have that kind of an attitude. I have always sort of prided myself on being mature and responsible. As such, I liked to look at the principle taught by some of these "invasive" rules, and compare it to the "reality" that's being enforced, and the difference is usually pretty big. So there were things like that, that while I followed the rules, I wasn't really all that enthused about doing it. But having that sort of attitude didn't help at all, and so I've tried to be more humble when it comes all things. Even simple things like President asking us to teach ALL our dinner lessons out of the pamphlets. Some of these rules come directly from the Twelve, and so if I have a bad attitude about that, how can I say that I sustain my leaders, from my District leader up to President Monson? Basically, I would say that learning humility has been the biggest and hardest things for me, and I'm still working on it. Cornaby's are more stubborn than humble sometimes, so it'll be a process. And I'll have to try to forget the "traditions of my father", because Elder Camper told lots of stories about the beginning of his mission, but that was a different time. So I'm working on improving my obedience with exactness, even with all the little things that sometimes seem trivial.
My favorite teaching opportunity of the week was probably with our new investigator, Joe. We met him one morning and he seemed really busy and kind of rude, but he said we could come back, so we said we'd give him one try and that was it. So we did, and he was actually super nice and willing to talk. He is friends with Scott Barrick, the general manager of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He is also really knowledgeable about religion, he'd gone to Catholic schools all his life, and he taught Latin for years and things like that. The funny thing was, he agreed with us all the way. He just wanted to know about the Restoration, so we basically skipped to that because he "already knows plenty about prophets". So when we told him about Restoring the church, he said "Well if you're going to do that, there has to be a restoration of the Priesthood too, right?" So we told him that there was! So far, he seems to intellectually agree with everything we're teaching him, I just think the challenge will be getting him to read. I'm also not sure about what he thinks. For all I know, he might just think that the Catholics AND the Mormons are true churches, so trying to explain to him about the apostasy might be sort of difficult.
We also had a blitz in our area again this Saturday. It went really well, we received 17 names of people we can go by, and our ward has also given us a few other referrals recently. This will help a ton, especially because getting return appointments with some of the people we started meeting with recently has been difficult. We are hoping to contact all of them, with members on team-ups, this week. We have 4 or 5 people going on team-ups/splits for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday so I'm really excited to see how it goes.
In other news, Elder Beck and Elder Bee are moving into their new apartment today. Thus falls the last 4-man apartment in Corona. Pretty soon there will not be any left in the whole mission. I'm sure it's good for focusing on the work, but I can't imagine how much it costs the Church to house everybody each month!
I think that's it for this week!
See you soon,
"Get on your knees and pray, then get on your feet and work." -Gordon B. Hinckley