New Transfer

So, it's a new transfer. That went fast. This coming transfer is only 5 weeks to help everyone get on the same schedule as the MTC. So that means I'll actually get home a week early. Sept 18th instead of Sept 25th. 

This week was a really good week. And a stressful week. Some things happened that we've had to do a little damage control over. No one being disobedient or doing anything really stupid, just some hot headed comments from an Elder who didn't have a full picture of what happened. I'm super grateful for stake leaders that are understanding. We also have an Elder who is struggling. He is having some depression issues that are really making him sick. We've had to help that companionship and split with them a few times. He seems to be doing better and today he is going down to San Jose for some counseling. As far as being a Zone Leader, this was probably one of the more stressful weeks. None of that mattered though when we had a baptism of another family on Saturday. Awesome experience. And we had a miracle, because we had the family that we've been teaching showed up. We haven't taught them in two weeks and they made it to the baptism. It was such an answer to prayers. This week we should be able to reset the dates they had and start working towards their own baptism. 

We continue to teach Bill, the 89 year old rancher that never left Pleasanton. He's incredible. Thursday we came in and he said "those four boys of Mosiah are like you guys." He's read so much of the Book of Mormon, and he gets it too. We gave him a blessing so that he will be able to attend church, and we found his main concerns that keep him from coming. He also said yes to the baptismal invitation, he just didn't want to set a date, so we're working to that. The oldest person I've seen get baptized is 91, so this is pretty close. He believes the Book of Mormon, and the Restoration, and that we have the Priesthood and everything. Now we just need him to get to know people. 

Elder Baldwin and I have resolved that this will be the transfer that we work harder then we have before. Pleasanton is hard, so we're going to give it absolutely everything this transfer. We're trying for two baptisms this transfer. We have two 9 year old boys that we hope pan out, along with the possibility of Bill and the Metante family. It will be a stretch to get them there this transfer, but we're working for it. We want success in Pleasanton to continue. 

Also, for the past while we've been working with a family. The Mom got baptized a week before I got here, the husband was baptized in Honduras about 20 years ago, and the two daughters were baptized about 4 years ago. This past week was the first time the Dad has been to church in a few years. All of them were there together as a family. Alex, the husband, was in a suit, and they all stayed for all three hours. We were so excited. The way this family is going, they could be at the temple in a year. One thing that worries us is that they can't find one of the daughter's records. The ward has been dragging their feet on that for months, so we're going to call their old ward in St. Petersburg (Florida :D) this week. I'm afraid that if we have to rebaptize her then the temple clock starts over and we have to wait a year from then, instead of a year from Mary's baptism, which was about 6 weeks ago. So, if you have any tips for finding records when the birth date doesn't work, let us know. 

It looks like the big mission expansion comes at the end of this transfer. In February, 4 missionaries go home, and 27 come in. Lots of new areas will be created. In our zone, the missionaries that cover 2 wards will split, and one ward will probably be double covered. It's a cool time to be a missionary.

Jealous of the warmth,

-Elder James Richards