Well, at zone conference they talked about a lot of things, but the 3 things that struck me the most were:
- Working with members better. They talked about the example of Ammon and how him doing service, then sharing the gospel, is what helped him have more success. Compare that to his brother Aaron, who got locked up after preaching right away. So we talked about how we need to serve the members and our investigators more, and then we can have more work with the members. Also, we need to take the time to help the members find friends to share the gospel with. They said it will take longer, but in the end, we will have way more quality people with friends.
- Being more natural around people. In our mission, we have a big habit of just going out in the streets and presenting ourselves and talking about the gospel, but our president said we need to find more normal ways to talk with everyone. For instance, in the store, on the bus and train, and just in places where we can make it more of a natural conversation and then bring up the gospel. It was interesting seeing our president suggest some idea like sitting down with some kids and getting a soda and talking, or playing sports with kids when we walk by. These are just some ideas that a lot of missionaries have told me are a waste of time, so it will be interesting to see how this goes for the mission.
- Just making sure we plan out everything. So I enjoyed the conference
Wednesday was fun. We met with Soledad and talked about and showed the new Easter video and it was good. I think it helped her out. Then we ate - basically French toast, but a Spanish version, with honey instead of syrup - and it was good. I enjoyed it. Then we met with Raul and got some info on some less active members and also shared the Easter video - it was good. Then we ate this really good Dominican soup.
Thursday was weekly planning and the branch family home evening. We did some passbys for some members, but no one answered.
Friday we met with Yunior and talked about the importance of the commitments we give him and found out some of his worries. Then we met with Guillermo and talked about repentance and ate some really good food. I don't know what it was - just meat and rice. They are Peruvian, so it was typical of them.
Saturday was just a lot of talking to people, trying new ways that are a bit more natural, and passing by old investors.
Sunday, Yunior didn't come sadly, but we had a bunch of people from Utah, Idaho and Madrid come and visit, so that was fun. Then we walked out to a small town and passed by some old investigators. It was fun being in a different town. It was pretty far out, but fun.
Also, I had a funny experience this week. So, a couple weeks ago, we went to the temple and we slept in the elders' piso that is just across the street. Well, they wanted to stay up late talking, but we wanted to go to bed. So, we slept in another room and it wasn't very comfortable. The other elders were up talking and hollering down the hall, and kept coming in our room to mess with us. So... I grabbed an alarm clock from one of their desks and put it in a bag and put that in a Tupperware container. Then I walked in their room with one of their phones (4 elders - 2ZLs and one DL so 3 phones all together) and told them one of them had a call at 1:00 am. I gave them the phone and hid the alarm clock (which I set for 3:25 am) under one of their beds. Sadly, we didn't hear it go off and they didn't get up or say anything, so I didn't say anything. We just got up and left as they were getting out of bed, so we could make it to the temple on time. This past Saturday night, I got a call from those same elders, and they started asking if I knew about the alarm clock. I almost played it off, but started laughing in the middle of the call and they knew it was me. The best part was that it took them one week to find the alarm clock in their room! They just thought someone was calling them every night at 3:25 am, lol! It took them another week to figure out it was me, so I got a good laugh out of it! Also, it's a cool thing that I live super far out from Madrid, so they can't do any pranks to me! But, yeah – fun! Well, sorry it's a really long letter, but that's what happened this week.
Hope you all have a great week!
Elder Craig MacKay