I've officially heard my first six gunshots in South Phoenix! pop-pop-pop...-pop-pop-pop.
President Toone told me this last week that he was considering calling SLC and requesting that Facebook be withdrawn from the mission. Luckily I was in front of him when he told me that and was able to show him some of the miracles that I am seeing on Facebook.
One of my investigators went to church in London. Twice now! Another wants to get baptized. Another wants to go to the temple. Another is receiving missionaries. Another is returning to church activity after being on the no-visit-list.
And it goes on. Facebook is a direct fulfillment of many promises in my patriarchal blessing.
We have used Facebook to connect with one family in particular that lives here in our area. They. Are. Amazing. The wife is totally ready to get baptized after the three weeks that we have been visiting her. She loves it all. In fact, in three weeks, she has read almost to Jacob. And comprehends everything. She reads to her husband and children every night. She is nothing but respect and love for her husband who isn't progressing as quickly though. It is inspiring to watch them interact. You learn something from everyone...
Anyway, our lessons with them in person are usually focused around him. We use Facebook as a means to teach her and help her specifically. It is so good for her, she loves sharing what she is learning.
We love that family so much.
Wednesday from 6-9 I felt very sick. Elder Myler, being the super diligent and awesome missionary that he is, called and coordinated members for the rest of the week. Que hubole!
We invited that very family to a family home evening with our Bishop last Monday night. It was amazing. They built a great relationship. Tonight they're coming to another family home evening with anther family in the ward.
We LOVE that family so much!
On Thursday we are having a meeting with President Toone to determine how we are going to solve the Facebook problems that have sprouted up. Here are some of my thoughts:
Facebook is being treated as a separate proselyting tool. Actually, it's not being treated like anything at all. There is no emphasis on it on a mission level. There is no training. It is a directionless hour. The "what-not-to-do" has been illustrated but we are lacking a "what-to-do." It has fallen off the radar and as it has fallen away missionaries have fallen into the "scroll" trap where they just flick through the news feed and do nothing. This is a tool that can change everything, if we let it. There are many things the mission needs to focus on but this one has been neglected for six months. It is hard to train on because it cannot be done in a group setting, I feel. In those six months I've met with every single Zone Leader and talked a little about being productive but that training didn't get anywhere - it never made it to their zones. Frustrating.
Solution? I am not entirely sure. I had a very strong impression to offer to not have a proselyting area for my last three months and just train missionaries. But I don't know how feasible that is. I think I would run out of things to do. My nightmare is that Facebook dies when I die.
So we'll discuss these ideas/concerns/thoughts more on Thursday. We'll see whazzup.
Crazy story time. Our Bishop is THE MAN. This ward loves missionary work because he loves missionary work. He is a missionary 24/7.
THIS WEEK I ATE THE MOST DISGUSTING ICE CREAM I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE. CUCUMBER FLAVOR WITH CHILE. I've never almost thrown up from ice cream before that moment.
The people in South Phoenix are so humble. On an exchange this last week I had a humbling experience. One of the members really wanted to go out with the missionaries. So they scheduled him and I went out with him and another missionary. He drove an ice cream truck. Seriously. We sat in the aisle behind the drivers seat on coolers full of drinks and in a truck surrounded by candy and ice cream. He insisted that we eat some. It was a fun experience but one that really made me reflect on how much members sacrifice to come out with us. I asked him what hours were the best. He replied, "right now." At one stop some children ran up to the truck, money in hand, and he turned him down because he was, "with the missionaries!" We told him he should sell and he said no.
These people sacrifice so much for their faith. Are you?
This last week we taught almost 30 lessons with members present! We met many of our goals.
Things are going great here. We are praying for another transfer together. Praying. You should too!
Thanks for the letters, family! It was great to hear from you!