Thursday, April 22, 2010

April 21

Hola familia!
It's been another great week. Our two baptismal dates continue to progress and come to church. Enrique and Francisco have been coming to church and know what they've been feeling in their lives. They've been hard to get to read on their own because of their schedules, but they continue to progress. We rescheduled their date with them last night for May 2nd because this Sunday is branch conference and the bishopric said they're going to have meetings. We try to have the baptisims after church on Sundays just because it's when most of the ward is willing to come. Because a lot of members don't have cars and things, it's hard to get a good turnout during the week.
I had the privilege to speak on Sunday during sacrament meeting about missionary work. I talked about doctrine and covenants 4 and what types of "hoces" or sickles i think in english that we can use to share the gospel. I also talked about how members can be led by the Holy Ghost to follow the same pattern that we as missionaries use in our work. To plan, pray, and go out and work and be led by the Holy Ghost. I think that it went well.
We had a zone conference yesterday and it was all about improving our teaching skills. They really emphasized role playing in the mornings our teaching situations that we will have during the day and how it really helps us to put ourselves in the shoes of our investigators and recieve revelations of the things that we can teach them and questions that we can ask them. We've been practicing our question asking to really help them learn by faith on their own by sharing their thoughts and feelings.
Time has been passing pretty fast. We're slowly starting to teach more in this area. We always try to talk to everyone on the streets as we're traveling to find those that the Lord puts in our paths. It was much easier in my old area because it was more residential areas. Every once in a while, someone would be getting out of their car, or standing outside their house. This area has a lot of apartment buildings and there's always people traveling in and out of downtown. Sometimes I'm lost at who we should talk to and people seem to always be in a hurry. It's been a struggle finding the right balance.
I don't know if I've shared it with you, but in my setting apart by the stake president, he counciled me in the blessing to talk to everyone on the streets because thte Lord would put those that are prepared in my path. As Spanish elders, we drive around most of the time because our areas are so large. Walking really just isn't very effective and that leaves little opportunity to talk to people in the streets. Even harder is finding Spanish speaking people in the streets. Elder Galloway and I in one of the last few weeks of my old area decided that we should drive to neighborhoods and then walk to all of the contacts and things we had in that neighborhood if we weren't in a hurry. It decided to do it as we discussed that part of my setting apart. We were walking one afternoon during the week and were a little lost but saw a lady a ways down a street as we passed it. She looked like she had darker skin and we contemplated whether to walk to talk to her. At that moment, she said something to her son in what sounded like spanish and so we went to talk to her. I was able to teach her one time before I left the area and she came to church. She's continued coming to church and should be baptized soon with her husband. She has told Elder Galloway that she had been specifically praying for something more in her life and more guidance for raising her kids. She was searching for more happiness. It really is great to hear that she is still progressing and see the Lord's hand in this work, to be able to be part of tender experiences like that.
For Preparation days, we just clean from 10-11, email from 11-12, go shopping for a while and then eat lunch. we then have 3-4 hours to usually just play sports. The zones all get together in every stake at the stake center or at a park now that the weather's nice. It's nothing really too exciting. There's some neat things here in this area like museums and chinatown adn things in downtown but we haven't been down there yet. I'm sure we will sometime soon.
I did get the package, thanks a lot it was great! I love everything you sent. No, I haven't really gained any weight at all, I still weigh about 155 like when I left. I think some of my muscle has converted to fat but overall I weigh the same. My companion and I have started running though. We have a community park right across from our house and it's not freezing in the mornings anymore.
Thanks for everything! I love you and miss you!
Con amor,
Elder Dunlap

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