D&C 88:73

So this week was my last mission leadership council meeting, and my last stake missionary correlation meeting. The Stake President's name for the San Jose South stake is President Green. We had an ultra-positive SMCM with him, his counselors, President Watkins, and the HC over missionary work. From what I hear the last few hadn't been so positive, but the work is really moving now. The last MLC meeting was different. This one was the first on I'd been to with Sister Training Leaders. My last one in Pleasanton was right before the STLs were called. 

This week went great for us. Elder Baldwin, Elder Horlacher (one of the APs that I served in Fremont with,) and I set a goal for each of us to get at least one new date per week for the rest of the transfer. Elder Baldwin and his companion's got theirs with 3 hours of setting this goal. Elder Horlacher and companion got one on Sunday afternoon. That one is amazing since the they are the assistants and usually have between 2 and 3 hours to proselyte each day. Elder Son and I were visiting potentials like crazy, trying to set a baptismal date. We set up an appointment with one for Monday (today) and as we are walking out, we see two kids sitting on the porch at the apartment opposite of the person we were visiting. We almost walked away, but we decided to go talk to them. We end up sitting down with them, teaching the restoration, and setting a baptismal date with both of them! Oscar and Brian, October 5th. We get out of that lesson at about 830 at night, and we weren't going to turn in until 9. We do a little contacting at a shopping center. We walk by a bus stop and this guy asks us if the buses still run. They weren't, so we directed him to the light rail, so he could get to where he needed to go. I've become a champion of VTA public transit. We get to talking to him and end up inviting him to be baptized. He commits to October 5th! Super nice guy, and he actually lives in the Dry Creek area that has been struggling, so we were really excited for that. They're going by to teach him this week. At this point it's 857, so we go home, walk in and say "hey you have a baptismal date" to the Dry Creek Elders. They were confused for a second. Oh and we set our goal to get new dates on friday afternoon. So the zone ended up with 6 new dates in about 48 hours. 

We also found a family that we hope to start teaching this week. We were driving around, trying to visit with our investigators on Sunday afternoon. We see a guy sitting on his porch, so I pulled over and we talked to him. He said come back in an hour. We go back, and we talk to the wife. They were busy, they have a newborn baby, but she invited us to come back. Complete family, Mom, Dad and at least 3 kids. It is so hard to find complete families out here, it's ridiculous. We're really excited. 

Earlier this week I went on an exchange with Elder Horlacher into the assistants area. President Watkins is hilarious. I was making calls to get the stock seat back in his Miata. It's passed inspection at Laguna Seca and he had a good track day, but he described it as being as comfortable as a toilet seat. Then he had me make a call to a European dealership so they could fix his 1960 Austin Healy Sprite. This is all after he took us and 3 sisters to get lunch in his 1970's-ish VW bus that is an awful lime green color. I'm of the opinion that if you're going to buy vintage Euro cars, you should buy good ones, like an old Aston Martin or something. But to each his own I guess... That day I went with Elder Horlacher, and it was cool to be back with him. I've been on like 4 exchanges with him since I was his District Leader and then Zone Leader when we were in Fremont/Newark. 

The mission is going crazy. This last week we had 22 baptisms. This week we have 22 scheduled. It's amazing. At this rate 2013 could be higher then 2012. That will be the first year of increase in CA-SJM since '07.  And now the San Jose South zone is poised to contribute. We're very committed to making this not an armpit area. The members love the missionaries. Which, considering some of the things that previous missionaries have done here in this stake, is nothing short of a miracle. It was nice to see the zone finally take off. All it took, was a little more work and a little more faith. 

Holy long letter...

-Elder James Richards

VW Bus pics. Note my sweet new brown shoes.