Tuesday, April 12, 2016

"Why can teens only gather in groups of three?...

From March 29, 2016
"...Because they can't even!" - Elder Hawkes

Sorry, that's all I've got this week folks.

This week, we...
- Feed the homeless
- Get to know the areas
- Teach a man named Ricky
- Have an investigator hesitate to come to church and then stay for
all three hours
- Get a baptismal date for an investigator!

So on Wednesday we spent a lot of time driving around trying potential investigators in both areas to no avail. We cover the Spring Valley ward and the Helix Young Single Adult ward. Helix YSA covers all of Sweetwater zone (which includes National City, Lemon Grove, Spring Valley, and a little bit of San Diego and Chula Vista) as well as all of El Cajon zone, which means that we do spend some time in Zion/El Cajon, whichever you prefer (one and the same for me). We talked with an old lady that day who claimed to only speak Chaldean. I talked to her in Arabic and kept it pretty simple, and she understood all of it.

On Thursday we got permission to go to downtown San Diego. The nonmember father of two recent converts, Tim, invited us to come with him to feed the homeless at a Salvation Army shelter primarily to see what it was like so the bishop could get the youth involved. We filled up cups of soup, passed out sandwiches and pizza, and gave out deodorant. Turns out there was a youth group there named McAllister that was helping out. The group is for youth with troubled pasts (usually former drug addicts, people on probation, etc.) that helps them get a fresh start on life through service and good deeds. At the end of the project they had essentially a testimony meeting talking about why they were there, how the program has changed them, and what good deeds they did that week. At the end we closed with a word of prayer. Elder Bryant put up a few #Hallelujah cards on bulletin boards
and gave one or two out.

Now for the next part...
There's a lot of work in Helix YSA and Spring Valley is coming along slowly but surely. Ricky is a young man we taught on Thursday who has turned his life around recently. The elder's quorum president (who actually was attending Hillsdale for a little while until just before I got transferred) came with us to review the Restoration with him and invited him to be baptized. He said he would be, but that he's not sure when because "It's a big commitment and I don't want to rush it." We bore testimony to him of the importance of baptism and set up a return appointment. He's a great kid.

We taught a lady named Yessenia. She's had some experience with church in her past, but not much. We taught her the Restoration at a park on Friday and invited her to attend church. She as on board with the Restoration and agreed to pray about it all, but when we told her church was three hours she said, "That's a lot!" We told her to just come for at least the first hour and see if she wanted to stay, and she agreed.

On Sunday we miscalculated and wound up being a little late to church for Spring Valley, which was really awkward and frustrating for both of us. No one seemed to care much, though, and the bishopric was happy to meet me. Because it was Easter Sunday we didn't have ward council so we got to sit in on the Spring Valley ward's classes and then wait for Helix YSA's sacrament meeting to start. Elder Bryant and I received the assignment to bless the sacrament, but since my voice was/is out (I had a cold this week, and allergies haven't been helping) Elder Bryant wound up blessing both. Yessenia showed up to church and her fellowshipper sat with her during sacrament. After sacrament meeting we talked with some of the sisters and asked if they would take care of her and get her to second hour. Immediately they went over and urged Yessenia to come to class and sat with her during the meeting. Before we could even go up and thank Yessenia for coming to second hour, they had already invited her to Relief Society and were out the door taking her there! It was great to see the immediate
friendship and fellowship.

Yesterday was a big huge walking day, since we're low on miles this month. We went and taught a young kid named Ezekiel who's been investigating. He's the son of a less-active member and he's really smart. We reviewed the Plan of Salvation with him and invited him to be baptized. He said "Yes," but he also felt that he wasn't ready. We pulled out 2 Nephi 31 and read with him verses 10 and 11. After reading that we invited him to be baptized again and he said, "Yes," and agreed to a baptismal date for April 16th! He's awesome!

That's it for this week! YSA work is weird. English work is weird. Not being in El Cajon is weird. Missionary work is weird. But I do it anyway! Thank you all so much for your support and your prayers! Love you all!

-- Elder Hawkes

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