|Hayrides and gift giving ... a Fox Family tradition!|
Ya … I agree with Jarin! This tax thing on packages is ridiculous. It somewhat make sense in the way Elder Costa explained it to me. He said things are way cheaper in the United States. So someone could just make a friend with someone there, send him money, and have him buy stuff and send it down here. Then he could turn around and sell it all for cheaper than the stores and make some money. However, there’s got to be a better way of monitoring that than taxing the crap out of people. I’m pretty worried about the Christmas package being way expensive too.
About Christmas … I can call you guys on Skype! I’m not sure what time though. I haven’t really made any plans yet with any members because transfers are this week and I don’t know if I’ll go or stay here. I’m thinking I’ll stay, but who knows. What’s the time difference from here and home? I know when I left it was 4 hours, but we moved our clocks for daylight savings time, and now I’m on summer time and you guys are on winter. Does that change it? Am I now 6 hours ahead of you guys? Right when I go to send this, I’ll put what time it is. Then when you see when you have received it, you can know the difference.
You guys have to do the hay ride this year! Especially if Belle doesn’t remember it! I told some people here about the traditions we have, and about caroling and the hay rides. They think it’s so cool and a lot of them say that they’ve always wanted to go to the United States for Christmas. It doesn’t feel like it’s almost Christmas at all. It doesn’t even feel like December. It’s really hot out … no Christmas music or lights … nothing. It’s very strange. On the plus side, it’s helping me not catch a case of homesickness. Haha
Ok ... you asked me what kind of things we do here to get missionary work more successful in wards. From my experience so far, it starts with the Bishop and the Ward Mission Leader. If they've caught the vision of Missionary Work ... we've got a head start. When they are working on missionary work, the rest of the ward follows suit. Also, we get involved with the members here. We’ll stop by member’s houses every now and then and bring copies of The Book of Mormon over or something else to give out. We’ll always leave a message too. As Missionaries, we try to friendship the ward members as well. That’s the biggest part of being successful in a ward … friendshipping and getting to know the members. Some members start friendshipping the missionaries and word spreads about how awesome they are, and others start too. Then comes the referrals and friendships with the investigators. The thing is, you DON’T want to be that ward that everyone in the mission knows about and no one wants to serve in. You hear about the wards that don’t do squat to help. But seriously, this work doesn’t work without the members. In one of our training meetings, a member of the 70 said, “Our job as missionaries, as far as working with the ward, is to help the ward with their missionary work. The responsibility is with the ward.” We're just there to help teach the people the ward finds. As a missionary, it’s not our job to knock on doors and go tracting. That’s just a side effect if the ward isn’t doing their part.
One thing that’s really helped me in the area I’m in now, is Family Home Evenings. We started organizing them, but now members are inviting us and investigators to their Family Home Evenings. It’s the best because the members get to know our investigators and help with the missionary work. Also, the investigator sees normal people in the church, in normal clothes, and in a normal life. (Not like the “robots” who leave their family and life, wear a white shirt and tie, and spend all day …everyday, teaching the gospel. You’d be surprised how many people have that perception of the church since the missionaries are the only members they know outside of the church on Sundays.) For Family Home Evenings … we combine with the members and are just there so the investigators can get to know us. The ward members do most of the work. Remember … you need the members in this work!! Us alone … nothing happens and then people are losing their opportunities to have salvation and eternal life with their families. All of my baptisms except for one have been referrals from members. Tracting is no fun and doesn’t bring much results. Just some thoughts off the top of my head ...
Well … I have to get going now. I love you guys so much!! Can’t wait to hear and see you guys on Christmas!!!
PS - It’s 1:40 right now.