Solid Start

We had out stake correlation meeting yesterday with the stake president and the stake is ecstatic with the work that is going on. The stake has already had a family of 4 join, and there are 3 more baptisms this week, with some more set up for February. Pretty cool. We're working super hard, and it is paying off. The 3 "armpit" stakes in the north (Pleasanton, Livermore, and Fremont) have the most going on right now. It's a really cool switch.

As for us, we're learning to work our ward better. It is hard to get in with the members here, but we've started scheduling more appointments and this week, we have more set up then we usually do. We're still working with Bill. We're trying to scheme ways that we can get him to church. We need to get him to church a few times, and he can be baptized. He has a testimony of the Book of Mormon, he's just got some health things that keep him from coming. Pray for him.

The Metante family was busy this week, so we weren't able to see them. We're going on Tuesday, with our ward mission leader. We're inviting them to the baptisms this weekend. Miracles happen when people go to baptisms. They've been so busy though, so we're really worried. We just need to get them tied to the ward.

We had kind of a sad experience this week. We were teaching a man named Ben, and we taught him the restoration. He has done so many things in his church, basically for his whole life. He's been a pastor and a missionary and who knows what else. Some friends invited him to our Christmas party, and we met him and were able to start teaching him. We taught a good lesson and the spirit was strong. You could see it in his face that it struck something inside of him, but when we asked him to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, he said no. He's scared to know more. He felt the spirit in the lesson, but doesn't want to have to change. It's kind of sad. We'll try to teach him the plan of salvation and see. It's tough when people feel it and then don't accept it.

We have some prospects as far as investigators go. We've got a few children of record that haven't been baptized, and we're starting to work with the priest quorum on inviting. This week should be the busiest that I've had in Pleasanton, which will be nice.

On Friday, we went down to San Jose for a leadership council, and the mission goal for baptisms is 520. The mission has slid since at least 2010, maybe more. If we get 520, we'll be higher then 2010. We're trying to break the trend in the California missions. It seems doable. It is 10 baptisms a week. This past week, we had 11, and this coming week, 12 are planned.

2013 is starting off great. Elder Baldwin and I have big goals.

-Elder Richards