Monday, March 5, 2012

Marching On!

Hello Family!

Can you believe it is already March?  The weather has been off and on all week (nothing new there), but it is way better than last year!

Tuesday at district meeting we had a lady who does the addiction recovery program come and share with us the program, so we could figure out how to best help investigators who are struggling.  One thing she mentioned, which is sad, that most people who are in the program had some sort of sexual abuse in their life which attributed a lot to their addictions.  Smoking seems to be one of the hardest things for people to quit here in New York.

We had an investigator last week drop us, after coming to church a few times, receiving awesome lessons, and reading from the Book of Mormon.  We feel she was anti-ed, but she is ignoring us, and wont even come to the door when we try her house.  It is sad when that happens.  But, Saturday we found some awesome potentials we are excited to start teaching.

Wednesday we taught mutual.  I forgot how difficult it is to keep youth involved and attentive!  I know I do not want to be a teacher when I grow up!  But, Thursday we had dinner with the Stake President, then had our Stake Missionary Coordination Meeting.  His son goes to a Catholic high school, and said one of his friends is seriously interested in learning more.  The friend came to church with him this last week.  He lives in another area, so we wont be teaching him, but he is an awesome kid.

We also started doing service at a food bank this last week.  Mainly we are filtering and sorting food that is donated, and then the food goes out to the different food pantries in the area.  It looks like it is going to be a good opportunity to talk to some good people.

Friday afternoon I went to my first Catholic mass.  This guy we do service with at the food pantry, invited us, so we accepted. (We have given him a Book of Mormon, and he said he would read it the week earlier.) An experience for sure, but it has made me ever more grateful for the restored gospel.  It was just so obvious how much was lost, distorted, and confused through the ages and how much did have to be restored from on high.

Saturday we went back to the Stake President's house for a birthday party Luau for their niece who was turning 16.  They had some non-member friends there and it was a great opportunity to get to know some of them.  They actually cooked a whole pig for it!  (Poor Wilbur.)

Yesterday we had 7 investigators at church!  It was exciting to see them all get there.  One family, Lasean and James, are going through a hard time, but they still came to church, which was awesome!

This week we have 3 exchanges we are going on.  CRAZY!  This afternoon we are headed to Corning, to check out the Museum of Glass (3rd most visited spot in New York.  Niagara Falls, and Statue of Liberty are the others) On my birthday I will be working with Elder Stratton who was my companion on my last birthday.  Fun stuff!  I think we will be going to Wings over Ithaca (These are amazing wings!  They only have them in some areas like Syracuse, Saratoga, and Ithaca) for lunch to celebrate when we switch back.  We also have the sisters in Ithaca we need to do second transfer training with.

The Meachams are super excited for their baptism this Saturday!  It will be a great week!

Elder Shurtz

PS - I found this picture at one of the missionary apartments.  I don't think it is from our mission though.