The Mormon.org profiles are cool. They wanted us to set them up in the MTC, but there was no way to upload a picture on the MTC's super locked down computers. Maybe I'll revisit it later this week.
My correspondence is going well. Yesterday I laughed as I sorted the mail in my desk drawer into two piles; letters from family, and letters from girls. I enjoy all the mail I get.
Rugby was fun last week and this week. I'll send some pictures soon.
During the new year, President Watkins has been focused on setting more goals. More monthly and yearly goals. It is interesting to see the impact that it is having on the zone and the mission. For example, the Monterey zone, 11 companionship, has 11 baptismal dates for February 3rd/4th. Two of them, Tiffany and Skyler, are ours, but they are a little shaky. It is a mother and a son of a part member family, and the mother feels a little rushed. We haven't been able to teach a lesson since she brought this up, so pray that these dates hold. If those hold February will be a very, very good month for the stake and the zone. The emphasis on more baptismal goals has helped everyone here work towards getting more baptisms. One thing these goals bring is a positive attitude. The companionships that say "I can do it" and go out and work for it are the ones that succeed. Our area has picked up in the last 3 weeks since we really had the faith and the drive to go out and get those lessons, contacts, and baptismal dates. Our mission vision statement talks about how we set high goals and work hard to achieve them. We've been doing that.
Another big goal this week is for everyone in the zone to teach 20 lessons and contact 140 people this week. It will be amazing if all 11 companionships can attain that, and it is certainly within reach. It just goes back to having that faith and working really hard. When you expect miracles, miracles will happen.
In other news, both our recent converts continue to progress. They are both consistently coming to church now, and Gina, the one who has had the most problems, is moved in to a new place on the west side of town. It is important to have a good environment, and she found one. A lot of the pressures and temptations that came from the old place will be alleviated.
I really am learning to work hard here, and it is the most fulfilling work I've ever done. Thanks for all the prayers, mail, and support.
-Elder James Richards