Last week was super slow all week until Saturday. Up to that point we had 13 appointments cancel on us and our student ward teaching pool was still gone. The "Standard of Excellence" for every week is 20 lessons and going into Saturday we only had 8 lessons and we hadn't found any new investigators yet. We had been praying so hard all week for a way to be provided to hit the standards and set the example for the Zone. On Saturday we taught 7 lessons and found 3 New investigators and re-set Cinda with a Baptismal date and put her son, R.J. on date as well, both for February 9th! On Sunday we had 6 more lessons. The Lord provides a way! Our Zone average teaching is still under 15. The problem is that there are multiple areas that consistently teach less than 10 lessons. There are 12 companionships in the Zone. We found, as a Zone, 9 people last week, 3 of those from us. It's hard to do our part in keeping the Zone uplifted and inspired. There are some key areas we are working with and for the past month or so there has been steady improvement in the right direction for them.
Our area will be splitting by the end of next transfer, which is only 5 weeks instead of 6, so Elder Smith and I are doing all we can to build the teaching pool in the student ward to prepare it for it's own set of missionaries. The students are just getting back so we have just under 6 weeks to get it ready. Transfers are on the 22nd and we have no idea if we will both stay or not...we'll see! I feel I still have work to do here in this area but who knows...
I am not feeling burnt out at all, I feel like I am at a point where I can do more good as a missionary than ever before. All of a sudden missionaries are coming to me for advice and with questions because I am the "seasoned missionary"... and I've actually learned enough that I know how to help! haha. Granted there are hard times, some things can be discouraging if we let them, but there is too much to be grateful for to get caught up in the parts of Gods plan that we feel are an inconvenience to us. I love this work!
I am proud to hear about the way Erika handled the challenges with her team. Good for her! Never Never Never Quit!
We found out Smokey lives outside the Stake boundaries and when presenting the options he had to him he wants to move inside our ward so he can keep coming here. He is such a solid guy! It has been amazing to see him transform into who he is becoming. He is willing to sacrifice moving into the ward. His lease is up at the end of March, he will most likely be able to be baptized before then if the Stake knows his intentions.
I am sorry but time is short again today. I thank you so much for praying for me and supporting me so unconditionally. I love you all and pray for you each every day. Eat right! ;o) love ya!
Hurrah for Israel!
Elder W. Marks