Friday, September 17, 2010

Transfer Week!

This week is Transfer Week!
Sorry I was not able to email last week.  With Labor day, we normally email the next day, but I went on exchange with Elder Villagomez (my district leader) in Cortland and did not have the opportunity to write.  So transfer calls came Saturday afternoon, and Elder McCleve and I are staying in Syracuse.  The Syracuse Sisters (Sister Livermore and Woodmansee) are also staying.  This is great because we are really starting to get going with the Ward Mission Council and getting more member involvement.
It is crazy to try and look back the last two weeks and try to summarize it.  We truly have been 'weeding the garden' and trying to focus on those who would be progressing.  Just last week we went from 17 people in our teaching pool, to 7.  We know that by not waisting time with those who are not willing to progress we will be blessed with more time to find those who are ready.  We just found a really cool feature about our side of Syracuse: we have about 9 zip-codes in our area, which will help us organize and find where the members and less-actives live, especially in the areas we are working to branch out towards.
Ryan is moving along.  He and his family went on vacation for 2 weeks, which seems to have really helped.  We are trying to help him and his wife attend church more frequently so he can prepare to receive the Aaronic Priesthood.  Ruth... we have not been able to get in contact with her for the last month!  Her phone has disconnected and she is ether never home when we come by or she does not answer the door and does not call us back after leaving her a couple of notes.  We really do not know what is happening with her.  But we keep trying and praying.
We just started teaching someone named Yvonne who started investigating the Church in Porto Rico many years ago.  She seems awesome and are excited to see what happens as she reads, prays, and comes to church.  We are also teaching a young couple, Daniel and Natasha, who also seem excited to learn more and read.  We tried to get them and their kids to church on Sunday, but we have not yet figured out why they did not come.
Chris, we have not been able to teach in awhile because he moved into a homeless teen place and we need to get permission to visit him, but we are hopping we will be able to this week meet with him. 
All in all, I am excited to see what happens, especially with trying to branch out into different areas.
Last P-day, I made some Banana Bread (thanks to Melinda's recipe folder she gave me) and we also went outside and played some football with some of the kids around our apartment.  I included some pictures of my prized bread (it was so good) and the football team.
I am currently reading in Jacob right now, and tomorrow I will start with the tame and wild olive trees.  I am so excited.  But today in my reading I read the last verse in the first chapter (i think) which Jacob says if he does not declare repentance, the blood of the people would be upon his garments.  As members of this church (especially missionaries) we are that responsibility to declare this gospel to all those we meet.  I am thankful that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I can be forgiven for my shortcoming and grow everyday, trying to be more like my Savior.
I encourage you to read Elder Bednar's conference talk on Prayer of Faith (I think that's the title) but it gives great advice on how to act upon our prayers and faith, especially in our personal missionary efforts.
Have a great week everyone!
Elder Shurtz

Banana bread batter - my first!

Finished product - Yummm!

Football players come in all sizes!