Friday, May 29, 2015

The Beginning of the End...of the Oklahoma Tulsa Mission!

This week has been absolutely spectacular!

I am no longer going to be in the Only True Mission (effective July 1st). Before I get into the details of this, let me start at the beginning (or rather, a little closer to the beginning.

Our outgoing mission president has set some mission-wide goals for his last ten weeks. We are on week 4 right now. The goals are as follows:

Week 1: Two new invitations for Baptism including a "Map to Baptism" in each area (180 new Baptism dates in the mission. The record is 300 in a week).

Week 2: Use the "My Family" booklet at least 3 times every day (1,890 uses in the mission this week)

Week 3: One Active Member Lesson/day + 2 referrals/day (630 AML and 1,260 referrals)

Week 4: Three new investigators this week. (270 new investigators. Record: 300)

Week 5: 100% Member Present Lessons + Two new Baptismal Dates (180 dates set)

Week 6: Five OTMs daily. Finding Hour: 4pm-6pm (3150 OTMs for the week)

Week 7: Standard of Excellence in EVERY AREA (20 lessons, with 12 of them member present, 4 RCLAs, 4 Others; 2 baptismal dates; and 2 new investigators)

Week 8: Three Investigators at church (270 new investigators at would break the record.)

Week 9: Two New Baptismal dates for the week.

Week 10: Double the Standard of Excellence in your area.

We are working A LOT to try to prepare for these next 6 weeks. It is intense! It has been very fun, too.Our ward is doing very well.

Our outgoing mission president is going to end his mission very strong, and with enough momentum to help our incoming mission president with the mission.  BUT not only that, our outgoing mission president is going to end the OTM mightier than it has ever been, and the Only True Mission is going to begin Almighty's Best Mission with a fantastic start.

I am so glad to be able to end the mission strong, and I am going to begin this new mission even stronger. The Arkansas Bentonville Mission is going to be a new beginning for each of the 200 missionaries here. It is going to be magnificent.  I am so excited to be a part of this. So excited.

My companion and I are trying to work together to become more united to end this mission, and it is going to be so cool. I cannot wait for the Arkansas Bentonville Mission to begin.  To add to my excitement, I saw my first fireflies in the mission yesterday!!!!! It was so amazing :D.

I am so excited for this whole thing.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Crawdads Are Delicious!

We ate some crawdads with a family this week.  They were so delicious.  I brought some back to our apartment for leftovers.  

The family that provided us dinner are originally from Texas, but they have a Louisiana accent :j. It was awesome!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Active Ward, Small Area, Flat Terrain, Tornado Warnings!

I am now serving in a ward that has a 90% member activity.  The chapel is actually pretty packed on Sundays. 

We're the smallest biking area (the smaller areas have zone leaders or sister training leaders, so they have cars :p).

My new area is very flat. We have had a TON of tornado watches and tornado warnings. We even saw the sky turn purple (Purple equals a bad storm. Green equals tornado, from what I've been told.). 

The elder I replaced is in Kansas right now, so he is probably going to see a couple tornadoes (Kansas is notorious for them.). I really want to see a tornado.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Transfer Time Transportation!

I had about an hour visit via telephone with my parents and younger brother on Sunday (Mother's Day).  I told them about how they transport the missionaries to all the different areas at transfer time.  My dad asked me to write it all down in my next letter.  It is as follows:

There are two vans. One is the north loop, the other drives the south loop.

These are the places they go.

N1/S5: Joplin, Missouri
N2/S4: Mt. Vernon, Missouri
N3/S3: Rogers, Arkansas
N4/S2: Van Buren, Arkansas
N5/S1 I don't remember.... Probably Oklahoma
N6/S6: Tulsa, Oklahoma

We mark our bags N or S-something, depending on which loop we're on and where we're headed. First transfer I marked my bags N2, then N4 second time, then S3 last week.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Transfers...New Area Information

My companion is being transferred to serve near our mission headquarters.

I'm being transferred to a ward in a city directly east of our mission headquarters. I'm replacing one of the elders who was in the MTC (Missionary Training Center) with me.  My new ward covers a very tiny area because the church is really strong in that city.  I'm also excited because it is more likely to get tornadoes.

My new companion and I graduated from the same high school, but in different years.  He is about a year ahead of me in the mission.  His mom and grandma have worked alongside my mom in community and/or church responsibilities.  (It is a small world!)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Transfers...Final Happenings in "Old" Area

Both my companion and I are being transferred.  We are being replaced by sisters.  My companion and I don't have the car yet, so we're freaking out because the sisters NEED a car since they don't have bikes. So, it is going to be pretty stressful because we're doing a TON to prepare for the sisters.

I'm going to miss our area/branch and the people here. We've been taking pictures with the members and investigators.

Our "golden" investigator, along with his girlfriend, are progressing in the gospel.  They have a baptismal date and are going to get married before the end of the month. It is going to be absolutely amazing. I wish I could be there. They're so awesome.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Almost Heaven On Earth!

I love this place.  It is beautiful. It has a ton of lakes everywhere, and beautiful hills. My former area had a ton of caves everywhere. There are a couple of bike trails just outside of town that I really want to go to some p-day, if I'm not transferred. There is a train track that runs through the middle of the town. It is amazing.

There are raccoons, opossums, armadillos, deer, etc. It is the closest you can get to Heaven without being in a temple on earth. All this town needs to be translated is a temple here.  It's that beautiful.

Our town has an extremely amazing investigator.   The guy that stopped us while we were riding our bikes? Well, his family is amazing! They felt the Holy Ghost, they believe that our church is the best way to help their family, they want to change, etc. They are INCREDIBLE. It's exactly what our area needs right now. I'm so excited for them. They are going to go far.

The Oklahoma Tulsa Mission held mini zone-conferences. We went to a nearby city for ours, where I saw many of my friends in the mission. President and Sister Shumway also held a Stake/Zone Conference a couple of days later. That was awesome.

The youth in this area are amazing! They do a ton of missionary work. They're almost out of school, so we're planning on going on a ton of exchanges with them, since 75% of them have a mission call. They also find a lot of freaky stuff. They found a small, very dark cave.  They also found a house that looks like it has been set up for an apocalyptic world recently.

One of the missionaries serving from our branch is coming back from his mission on Transfer day! I may not be able to meet him, if I am transferred.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Mosquitoes, Ticks, and Chiggers! Oh, My!

There are a ton of mosquitoes. So far I haven't been bitten yet, so that's good. There are cicadas in the summer, and I haven't seen fireflies yet. It's becoming tick season, and chigger season, but I haven't been bitten by one of them. No walking sticks that I have seen. This place kinda reminds me of Nauvoo mixed with the town where I attended high school. It's awesome.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

It Amazes Me...!

It amazes me how many churches there are here. It is interesting when we meet pastors and ministers of the different churches.  

It also amazes me how close we are to Texas, which, according to our zone leaders, is the rival mission. It's funny.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Going to Wisconsin and Speaking Hmong!

One of the youth in the branch received his mission call! He's going to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and he is speaking Hmong. He's the first youth to leave. We have a couple of less actives in an adjoining town who speak Hmong, so when he comes back, it's going to help.