So this coming week will be the nuttiest week of my mission. Yesterday, Monday, was not PDay, since we are going to the Oakland temple on Wednesday. It has been way easier finding a ride here then in my last area. 30 minutes vs 2 hours makes a big difference. We also have Zone Conference, General Conference, and Zone Leader Council this week, so today was the only normal morning we had.
This past week was pretty good. We were able to see Richard before he went to southern California. He is very committed now to giving up coffee. There was a random member at the church when we were teaching Richard there and we invited the member to sit in. He rambled and was really bold. Elder Suzuki and I were getting really antsy, but Richard actually really enjoyed the boldness of the member. He left with a renewed vigor to give up coffee. Elder Suzuki and I left thankful that Richard enjoys the church as much as he does and didn't get turned off at all! He's doing great and the pressure from his family seems to be lessening. We are going to try and set a baptismal date with him for the 13th of October. He's been to church enough times and he's doing good. He'll still need to pass the interview, but he should be good.
Elijah is doing really well. He went to youth conference a few weeks ago and loved it more then any youth has ever loved youth conference. He was bummed because he had to work saturday night, so he had to leave early. There is a family in the ward that picks him up for seminary everyday and he loves seminary. He also blesses the sacrament weekly.
The Russell family is doing good. Teaching a whole family creates it's challenges for the missionaries. There are now 5 people with different concerns instead of just one. Kevin, the husband, loves us, but has been a little turned off to Sunday worship since he put a lot of work into his last church until the pastor got very money-motivated. Kathleen, the wife, is probably the most prepared and is sincerely searching. She committed to come this past Sunday, but something came up... Something always comes up... But they are a great family and are doing really well. They love what we teach them. It is cool to be able to teach a family.
This past week we started teaching a lady named Bev. She has two neighbors that are members of the church and has known them for the last 30 years. When we were eating dinner at one of the member's houses, they invited Bev. She's been in contact with the church for 30+ years, but has never actually sat down with the missionaries until last week. We were a little wary because we weren't sure if we could be real bold, and extend strong committments, but we talked to the member and she said to just treat her like a normal investigator. I guess we were just intimidated by how much contact she has already had with the church.
Elder Suzuki and I were talking about it and we've been able to help 2 less actives right up to the threshold of activity, and another to being completely active. That is something really cool that the numbers don't reflect.
Also, today, I made the greatest sandwich of life.
Have a good week. I'm including some pictures from mission Pday and Newark days and such.
-Elder James Richards.
Crazy Elders at mission Pday
Elder Suzuki, Samson and I manning the booth at Newark days.