Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Well, lots to report on!

Things are "exploding" as we say here in the mission, in Barrio 2 right now. The other elders currently have 7 baptismal dates, and we have 2 (after tonight, 4). LOTS of work.

Antoni is 9 years old and is the son of Veronica, a good member who can't come to church very often because of her work (but we're getting her back bit by bit). As for Antoni himself, he
's full of excitement and righteous desires to continue working towards his upcoming baptism.

The other baptismal date is with Claris, a 14-year-old girl born in Brazil and raised in Bolivia (and now moved to Spain!). She wants to get baptized and comes to all of the church activities. We're also working with her sister Mylena and her mother Clara. They'll come along soon enough, I'm sure.

We're working as much as we can with our ward missionaries, getting the members involved in the teaching as much as we possibly can. The trouble is, we have like 6 female ward missionaries and only 2 or 3 male ones. Since we cannot teach women unless there is an adult man present, we end up having LOTS more opportunities to use the male ward missionaries. But we're doing what we can.

Time constraints ha
ve kept me from getting my haircut from Elder Sloan so far today. I have ironed two of his shirts so far, so he still owes me. His shirts are pretty terrible, so there's not much I can do besides put a nice little crease in each of the sleeves. :) Nah, just kidding. Most of the wrinkles come out. Mom, I can see you shaking your head in disbelief right now, remembering that utterly maladroit ironer that you sent off to the mission. Well, times have changed.

Elder Jackson went home yesterday. Well, ok, he didn't go home, he went to Brazil, where his Mission President parents are. He was very solemn, he's been a great missionary. Former Assistant to the President. He sat in on our district meeting yesterday and, to lift his spirits, we prepared him a myriad of delicious unique-to-Spain treats, such as strawberry chuches, tortilla de patata, horchata de chufa, barra de pan, chorizo, jamon, and palmeras. We really went all out. We'll miss him...

Kristen sent me a package this week, may her sweet name be praised forever! :) In it, she stuffed lots of Butterfingers, cool rocks, and various other treats and goodies.

It's been raining on and off this past week. When it starts raining suddenly, we sometimes stop by the apartment to pick up our umbrellas.
Of course, the moment we step out our door with the umbrellas, it gets sunny and clear-skied again. That's just how it is.

The change of the mission boundaries is rapidly approaching
. One of the assistants from the Bilbao mission is moving here to teach Elder Whitesides (office elder) everything there is to know about the Bilbao mission. It will truly be crazy if I get transferred to a far-off location, but at the same time I would heartily welcome it as a new adventure. Change is hard sometimes, but it can be fun. Also, it looks like my group has been "skipped" when it comes to training new missionaries. Missionaries much younger than me are now trainers, whereas no one in my group has had a chance! It's very strange. It makes me feel old.

We've been teaching the first lesson with investigators in a new way, teaching a brief overview of everything, understanding their desires, making clear ours, and then deciding where to go from there. It's a very effective way to find and teach those who have true desires.

I read a great talk by Joseph Fielding McConkie about not being afraid to offend people. Haha, I know, it sounds a bit harsh, but basically he lays bare the fact that the Truth will always be opposed, and will always offend some if not many. We shouldn't try to establish "common ground" with other religions, but rather, glory in the differences! Every time we claim something in common with another religion, we give people one less reason to join ours. And we should not be afraid or ashamed to boldly testify of the Truth, no matter how offensive it may be. VERY good talk.

Well, my time's up. Thanks for being so great, all of you! The support you give is gladly received and greatly appreciated. I'm doing the best I can out here to see that not one bit of any of that support or encouragement goes to waste.


-Elder Knorr