Thursday, May 21, 2015

"Hello, this is the 'musharabeen'." - Elder Neiderhauser, an elder in our zone

'Musharabeen' means 'drinkers'. 'Mubashareen' means 'missionaries'. A for effort, though. 

In this weekly email, we... 
- Help a four-year-old put rocks around his house and move dirt
- Find out you can download Conference music!
- Teach Morad about the sacrament and get him to commit to pray about baptism
- Get a flood warning for our area
- Go on exchanges
- Help a member throw a bunch of junk into a dumpster
- Go on splits with Granite Hills so Elder Poffenbarger can help teach a family he taught in his first six weeks
- Have another throwdown in Gospel Principles by Mohammed
- Listen to Elder Poffenbarger's wonderful farewell talk
- Get TONS of food from members

So first off, on Wednesday we went and did service at a member's house. The four-year-old who has been helping us pull weeds was there, and with his help we placed a bunch of stones around his house between the grass and the woodchips surrounding the house so the chips don't blow into the grass. We also spent some time filling in space between rocks with dirt. We've been wanting to do service at this member's house for a while now, so to do it before Elder Poffenbarger leaves was great! Also on Wednesday, I found out that you can download the music from General Conference I now have a CD with Conference talks from Ezra Taft Benson and Conference music. :D

On Thursday we taught Morad about the sacrament. We decided to try a different approach with him than hammering in baptism seven thousand times. By the end of the lesson he was committed to pray about baptism and seemed more willing to do it and progress than before. It also rained a lot on Thursday. We found out we get service alerts on our phone because we got an alert saying there was a flash flood warning issued for El Cajon. There was a distinct lack of flooding where we travelled, but that was probably due to the fact that we didn't really travel on any roads aside from the main roads. 

On Friday we went on exchanges. I went with Elder Greer to the Arabic North area. We did service at a member's house right after district meeting. The member was a little unsure at first because it was raining, but we put on our jackets and went to work. He had a ton of junk on the side of his yard that we helped throw into a dumpster. Elder Poffenbarger proved once again that he's really strong by grabbing these big poles that had copious amounts of cement on the bottom of them and carrying them, one at a time, over to the dumpster! 

I rolled a big tire to the dumpster. Does that count?

We spent Friday mostly just street contacting and working to find people. It turns out that both areas are in need of some more people to teach. We ran into a lot of Muslims who weren't interested, but not many people who were wanting to learn. 

On Saturday we went on splits with the Granite Hills Elders (Granite Hills is a ward in the El Cajon zone). Elder Poffenbarger had taught a family in his first six weeks in La Mesa before he got transferred to El Cajon to spearhead Arabic work. His replacement, Elder Neiderhauser, also taught them with Elder Poffenbarger's trainer. The family wound up moving to El Cajon and was recently contacted by the sisters, but they said they wouldn't come to church until Elder Poffenbarger and Elder Neiderhauser showed up. 

Christian received great reviews when he made
coffee cake for a member after doing service.
So we made it happen. :) 

They committed to meet with the sisters and come to church (they weren't able to attend on Sunday, unfortunately), so we'll see what happens. 

Yesterday in church was Elder Poffenbarger's farewell talk. It was a very emotional day for the ward because a member of the ward did a special musical number that left everyone in tears, Elder Poffenbarger spoke, and a returned missionary from the ward spoke. There were very few dry eyes in the audience. After his AWESOME talk, he taught the Gospel Principles lesson for Suhaila, Mohammed, and Bro. Seba, about "Exaltation". Suhaila started reverting to the traditions her priests had told her. Elder Poffenbarger had her read a Bible verse that supported the lesson, and then Mohammed, out of the blue, asked her, "Which is more important: the word or what a priest told you about it?" By the end of it she was a lot less freaked out about it, although we'll be talking with her to make sure she's okay. 

Lastly, since Elder Poffenbarger is leaving, everyone in the ward is vying for dinners with him. And if they can't get dinners they're looking to get lunch. We had a big lunch with some members yesterday, and then a just-as-big dinner with some other members a few hours later. We're getting VERY well-fed because of it!

That's it for this week. Thank you all for your letters and emails! Anything from friends and family in terms of email and physical letters is greatly appreciated! My address, as always, is in the signature of this email!

-- Elder Hawkes

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