This week's letter will be pretty short.
This week we have been doing things a little differently than before. We tried to take people out with us for a set amount of time, not just to a certain lesson. It has made such a big difference! Instead of teaching around the "standards of excellence" we have been exceeding them. We've had a lot of success with teaching - three weeks in a row with over 30 lessons in a week. That's a lot more than usual. It has taken a lot of extra planning on our part but it makes such a big difference in the progression of those we are teaching if there's someone else there who lives locally that they can speak to and relate with.
I went on exchanges this week to the foothills. We were walking around one of the Snow Bird areas and I saw one of the millions of Oregon license plates that we see. We went up and spoke with them and after he said 'no no no no' I decided to ask him which part of Oregon he's from. He said some city that sounds Hawaiian and then I asked if by any chance he was familiar with Sweet Home. He said yes and that the neighbors down the street lived there. So we went over there and knocked on the door. No one was home. Their other neighbor looked out the door and said, "Oh, he's at the Sweet Home lunch-in at Cracker Barrel!" Haha turns out there's a lot of people in Foothills from Sweet Home, Oregon... I've met only a handful of people who know where Sweet Home is and then stumbled upon dozens of them in Foothills. Small world.
Elder Lanier got the AP phone call yesterday so he left that afternoon for the drive up to Tempe. As such, Elder Sawyer is companion-less for a few days so he's spending that time with us in a trio. It has been lots of fun. We got to fill in for Lanier yesterday and help teach the stake mission prep class. The turnout was pretty low since so many people were out of town for travels and whatnot. They wanted us to focus more on how to teach out of Preach my Gospel. It was a nice experience and is always fun to answer questions about what we do and how we do it.
Which is what we did for the rest of the night. Right after mission prep we went to the fireside we were asked to panel. The Sisters, Elders Valdez, Sawyer, and I all answered questions and did a brief introduction about why we decided to serve a mission, what we did to prepare, and whether or not we felt prepared. Most of the other missionaries did a lot of mission prep, going on about classes, splits, etc that they did to help prepare. When it was my turn I let everyone know how little I did and how that has hindered the work. I told them that since everyone was telling me to do lots of prep I just ignored it since it got old and how that was something I regretted. I spoke on how they have time right now to prepare and if they don't take advantage of it it will be something they will regret for a long time. The theme of my five minute introduction was: be better than I was. Haha if I had a dollar for every time I heard a missionary say that... But the fireside was awesome. There were some really amazing questions asked and everyone was kept involved. Kind of a nice way to leave Yuma.
It's bittersweet to leave. 95% of the other areas in the mission don't really compare to the amount of spanish work we have here. I'm really grateful for the people I've been able to meet in Yuma and what I've been able to learn. It will be interesting to learn how to work elsewhere since missionary work in Yuma is supposedly very different than other areas. More on that next week when I know what other areas are like. But bittersweet is the right word. I'm ready to learn a new area and have to run around to memorize all the names and whatnot. It should be exciting.
Learned this week that there's a camel farm in Yuma! They breed pure bred racing camels and ship them to Saudi Arabia to race, not even kidding. A Saudi Arabian owns the place and his wife is actually a member of the church. Yuma is so random.
Thanks for the letters Sister Hines, Eric, Susie, Will, and Mom! Hope all is well.
Why do Cacti only grow in some areas of Yuma? Like the big cliche ones. There's this one area with hunnnndreeedsss and they're nowhere else.
Question... We were reading in 3 Nephi 9:20 and it speaks about how the Lamanites were baptized and received the gift of the holy ghost "without knowing it." How is that possible?
Hope everyone is having a great week!