Monday, October 19, 2015

Trial Run of Idaho Initiative

Silly Mom, my birthday countdown doesn't start for another 2 days.. So we are almost 6 months out. Crazy right? Because that means I have also almost been out 6 months on my mission. I remember when I came out thinking the people who had been here that long were pros at everything, but I still feel like I don't know anything. It's interesting. However I have discovered this great missionary time warp where the days are everlasting long, but the weeks are like days, and the months are like minutes. Its way weird. 

We are working very hard with the people that we have on base, but it is hard to talk to people there, because if somebody complains about our talking to them, then we get kicked off base and might not be allowed back on it. So there is no tracting allowed, and we either have to wait for referrals or go visit all the less active people who live there. That's hard too because of the nature of the military that is there is a less active person who leaves and doesn't tell anybody where he is going, then they get lost, and we don't have any way of tracking them down. We did find this one family though who has been there for 11 months and she said this was the first church visit she had had since she had gotten there. That made me kind of sad to hear because she had been here for some time, and apparently she did go to church sometimes, even if it wasn't all of the time. I was really glad though because we had a member with us who lives on base too, and she isn't that far from this other member, and she plans on going back and visiting with her more often now. The other member has only been in the states for 6 months and is originally from the Philippians. Her Husband is American and in the military and currently away somewhere else, and so she is really lonely because she doesn't know anyone and she is living in a foreign land. We plan on having her help us with all the members on base while she is here. She feeds us too which is awesome. (I love Philippine food. And Thai food. Members are awesome when they feed us that:))

Our mission is going to do a trial run of something they call the Idaho Initiative. Apparently in Idaho, there was a mission where they decided to push the work on part member families in their mission. The Bishops and Auxiliaries of all the different wards prayerfully selected a few families that were part members and referred the missionaries to them. The missionaries would then go over and teach the families, as well as the members going to visit them during other times. Because of this (there's more to it, but this is basically what it is) the missionaries were never tracting because they were receiving so many referrals from these families, and the average number of BAPTISMS from the REFERRALS from the part-member families was 6 PER FAMILY. That a crazy amount. Especially since on average I would say that about 1 in 20 referrals end up being baptized. That's a lot of baptisms and a lot of people who are coming to know their Savior:) Super duper excited!! We will see how it goes:)

Life is swell though! I really do love Sister Dayton, and its super funny how much our lives are connected, first through Sara, and then it also turns out that Grandpa knows her great Uncle. Or something like that. Anyway she really is an awesome individual, and she is desiring so much to learn more about the gospel and the teachings of Christ. We have a lot of gospel centered discussions even when we aren't discussing investigators or members or whomever we are teaching next. If anyone ever has a question about the gospel she always refers them to me because she thinks I will know the answer. (Sometime I do, but many times I don't. I'm still learning too:)) Haha its pretty funny though. She calls me Bruce R McConkie.. Haha it makes me laugh. I learn a lot from her too, like she is always a great example to me of her willingness to do things. She honestly makes it seem really easy to do so many different things because she is so willing to do them, even if those things are really hard. 

Well I love you! Super duper a lot! And I talk about you all the time in church because it seems like in the last little bit all the lessons we have had in Gospel principles are on families and parenthood and etc. So naturally I talk about you a lot and the effect you have on me in my life even now:)

Love, your favorite child,
Sister Monica Walker

PS Keep sending me all those spiritual thoughts you have, I love reading those:) That's usually what I talk about when I talk about you. Because you and I have had some great gospel discussions, and those are some of my most treasured memories:)

PSS: I did get a package in the mail from the YW in Modesto.. It made me cry because it was so cute! They sent me a Book of Mormon with all their testimonies written in the back. It was so sweet! I read them to my companion and she cried too.

What types of things do you like to receive as a missionary? Or that missionaries would like to receive in general?
I like to get letters honestly. I like knowing what is happening in peoples lives or what they learned recently about in their studies of the scriptures and what not. Really anything that shows that somebody is thinking about us. Pictures are awesome too. Whether its of my cute little nephew or my cute little brother:) (sans the fact he's not little). Most missionaries would rather have letters than a package, but I can't deny that it is fun to open up the package when you get it. It is almost like Christmas!

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