Sunday, March 4, 2012

Bench Sitters

Have you ever had one of those weeks you didn't accomplish anything important? That was this week for us. Part of the reason was that we have visited so many people recently we have run out of people to visit. We don't want to be accused of stalking, since many of them would just as soon we not visit. Another part is the snow and wind we had this week so we didn't want to wander off in the countryside.

View from our apartment window
We made a list of our "missionary" activities. The main activity consists of visiting - potential investigators, new converts, less active members, active members, YSA, and communities. We have a list of 22 potential investigators from the area book the elders left when they were taken out of Trent Hills. We have met about a third of them, but need to find out more information about others. We only have one new convert (baptized within the past year), so we redefined "new convert" as anyone who was baptized within the past five years, which increases the number to six. We have divided the "less-active" members into those who are willing to receive home teachers (17) - who we call less-active and those not willing to receive home teachers (26) who we call inactive. We have recently visited 14 of the less-active members (the other three being youth not at home when we visited their family). There are only five of the inactive members we have not been able to contact (except for those who are "really" lost) but have tried several times.  The branch has 24 active members we see at church, most of whom we have also visited in their homes. It ends up we have eight YSA in the branch we try to keep track of separately, only two of whom want to talk to us.

Other activities include cleaning out the closets in the chapel (an assignment given to us by the branch president) and homework (things we can do at home) - going through past reports, planning lessons, and reviewing Mormon Messages to present to people we visit. We guess we need to become more creative, since "missionary work" doesn't take up all of our time.

Now for the week:

Monday: after wash, we finally found a place where Sister Wheeler could get her hair cut. She has let it grow since we left Logan. We found a place around the corner from our apartment that only charged her $10 (the men's haircut rate) since it was so easy to cut. She feels a lot better. We needed to pick up some groceries, but decided to visit the Grattons who live nearby. This is a delightful family who has had a lot of health problems and not been able to attend church. Their daughter Cindy was visiting so we were able to visit with her. Cindy's daughter, Nicole, is a YSA we have met several times as we walk around Campbellford. We were able to get information needed to complete their membership records.

Tuesday: We arranged the furniture in the attic of the church. When the elders left Campbellford they stored all of the furniture from their apartment in the church attic. We arranged it so that it looks a lot more orderly. We then went to Sister Longmuir's house for dinner. She had a delicious rice dish for us. The members in Trent Hills know how to cook gluten-free, which is a real blessing.

The attic living room
The attic kitchen (the logs are the nativity scene they had for Christmas)
Wednesday: We had our regular district meeting in Belleville. We were asked to tell how the Book of Mormon is a book of revelation. We really enjoy these meetings. We miss meeting more with the missionaries like we did in Toronto. We went right back to Campbellford because a snow storm was coming. It had hit Toronto earlier in the day. We had dinner with the Campbellford Holts. We were also there to work on a branch mission plan. We had planned a Mormon Message for them, but decided to talk about Elder Christofferson's talk from the January 2012 Ensign on just worrying about what we need for the present day and not worrying about the big plan our Father has in store.

Thursday: Plenty of snow. We returned to the church to clean out the filing cabinet in the Young Women's room. Since we don't have a Young Women's program, there was not a lot to keep. We had fun singing with the community choir in the evening. We are finally getting the time right on when to be there.

Friday: Another snow day. We didn't have any place to go for a preparation day and our phone gave out on us so we couldn't make any contacts for visits. It was charged and it showed we were receiving signal but we couldn't call. We finally had to get out of the apartment so we returned to Ferris Park for a long walk. We needed it. Brother Holt (Campbellford) had a Brazilian foreign exchange student named João (John in English) in his art class. Elder Wheeler wrote a brief note introducing ourselves, hoping to meet him. We gave the note to Brother Holt to deliver.  João sent us a text and we then called him and had a chance to talk to him on the phone. The phone was working again when we got back from our walk.

Rabbit tracks in the snow
The stone wall
The eagle perch
Saturday: Back to the church to clean out more filing cabinets. We got the content of two filing cabinets into one drawer. Maybe it will make the church building a lot better, we don't know. We went down a muddy road by the church to see where Russ Dishington lives (one of our new converts). We didn't plan on stopping, but he was outside so we were able to talk to him. His house is on the river which is convenient for his hobby, fishing. We enjoy his activity in the branch.

Filing cabinet in the Young Women's room
The drawer
Sunday: So what does one do on the Sunday after a very uneventful week? Go to church, of course. Several things unfolded for us to let us know that the Lord is really in charge of the work here. 1) The Holts bore their testimony today.  We found out that our Wednesday message is what they needed at the time. 2) Brother Holt shared his missionary experience for the week.  We gave him the note for João on Wednesday evening. He wanted to deliver it to him on Thursday, but it was a snow day - no school. He looked for him all day Friday, but couldn't find him. He stayed after school to make some copies, but his copier didn't work so he went to the office to make the copies - there he found João who had just returned from a field trip with student leaders. João just happened to return to the school and was waiting for a ride when Brother Holt found him and delivered the note. João got a hold of us that evening. 3) On the previous Saturday we had met Jordan Carmichael, who left the church as a teenager. Though he was not very happy to talk to us, Jordan talked to his father about it. His father told us that it provided an opening to talk to Jordan about the church and bear his testimony.  We didn't accomplish much this week, but  sometimes we warm the bench while the Lord works on the hearts of his children. It may not be fun sitting on the bench, but at least we know we are still part of the team.

From the archives:

Yard welcome sign
Another welcome sign
Yard angel

1 comment:

AZ SMITHS said...

Sometimes it's the smallest acts that make a difference. There have been so many times where a kind word or note has made my day. Many times those people don't even know that their words or deeds impacted me. Sometimes it's just your presence that adds strength to the members. Many times I feel like I'm not having that much of an influence with my kids--until I leave for a day or two. Then I realize that just being there makes a difference. I'm sure the members of Trent Hills feel your strength and testimony. We love you!