WEEK 78 Eureka, McKinleyville Ward & Humboldt YSA Ward
Family and Friends,
We've faced an enormous amount of uphill battles since the last time we talked. As though most of the stumbling blocks we find are easy, maneuverable, and only take a bit of effort to find solutions - this, however is very different. We have little to no control over this. The greatest obstacle we've had to climb over has been the people within the McKinleyville/Humboldt YSA area. Particularly the lack thereof. It seems as if a lethal disease has swept through 3/4 of the town and completely decimated the majority of the population here. We have had almost no one to teach, visit, or even talk to in the past couple of weeks.
Needless to say, Elder Hawkins and I found ourselves walking around neighborhoods knocking doors and talking with everybody we saw for hours and hours at a time. Each and every person in our teaching pool was completely missing in action, not answering phone calls, responding to texts, or answering their door, so this was all we were left to do. This was literally the only possible solution we had to making good use of our time. We came home a couple of nights empty handed and without much success. It took a lot of prayer as a companionship over this last week that The Lord would help us find people to teach. We knew with our circumstances and situation - we couldn't do it on our own. We needed to turn to Heavenly Father. Fortunately, as we pressed forward, kept praying, kept those feet moving, and kept talking to every single person we saw - four new investigators and a family of six were found. They each asked us to return and teach them more about the Gospel. Blessings on blessings, I tell ya.
As we tried to find ways to mix up our contacting and finding efforts, my companion and I came up with a brilliant idea that would REALLY put ourselves out there. It took a bit of courage to do so, but it turned out so AWESOME. We contacted the Vainuku family in one of the Eureka Wards, got permission, and went forward with our plans of working in their newly opened restaurant. Elder Hawkins and I took it upon ourselves to show up on Tuesday and Thursday (as the Vainuku's told us these were the two busiest days of the week), to put on aprons over our white shirts and ties and prepared to help in whatever capacity they needed. By the end of the day, we had bussed tables, served people their food, took orders at the cash register, cleaned tables & chairs, washed dishes, and even cooked some food. We caught some seriously awkward stares and weird looks as two missionaries in white shirts and ties delivered people their barbecued ribs, tri-tip, teriyaki chicken, rice and macaroni salad, but HEY. We got a ton of publicity and talked to a lot of people. We had a lot of fun doing it as well!
The High Priest men in our Ward have (over a long while) been tackling a 'laundry list' of about 140 names and people that live within our boundaries but haven't been seen in quite some time. As lots of previous missionaries have worked on this list and contributed a great amount - the list was finally finished this past week as Elder Hawkins and I visited the remaining few that were left. What a relief that was and a great sense of accomplishment to have seen such a large project be completed with the help of all the men in the Ward, the missionaries and more importantly The Lord. We couldn't have done it without everyone that helped.
With preparations needing to be made for this upcoming Zone Conference, we've certainly been slammed with things to do, organize, look over, and assignments to be made. Interviews with the mission president will also take place this transfer and there happens to be a lot of coordination that comes along with that. Getting large numbers of missionaries to and from their areas, safely, effectively and in a timely manor isn't always the easiest thing in the world. Regardless of the headaches and stress that comes from it all, I couldn't be more thankful for it. What a great cause to be engaged in. Serving others and helping others has been such a blessing in my life.
Missionary work is the greatest darn thing that has ever happened. I stand amazed at all that goes on and with all that works out the way it does. There certainly is someone behind it all. This is The Lords work and this is His church.
I love my mission. I'll see you soon. GodSpeed.