Hello there and happy May! It's great to hear from you all! Glad you had a great week. Mine certainly hasn't been without excitement, business, some disappointment, and of course an abundance of blessings. I can't believe that the Jacksons are already finishing their call as Mission President! It seems like just yesterday she was teaching me in Sunday School. And Corey Oaks and James Kempton - that is really really bizarre as well! Thanks for the letter (which I did receive on Friday, so it worked out great) Mom, and the stamps as well. I got the Easter letter from the Sheffields, too, this week (late only because it was in the mailbox at our old apartment)! Thanks so much. That means a lot and it's so evident that you care about me! You all rock. The call on Mother's day I'm planning on 7:30pm our time here in New York. Rereading the white missionary handbook, the call is supposed to be to "parents." So I'll simply just call home; if others were able to conference call or something for a portion that'd be appropriate I feel. But it's up to Mom what she wants...I'll just call home. Again, the call won't last longer than 1 hr :). That's crazy Ste met Jimmer; way to go. You should have asked him why his mormon.org profile isn't up yet! Ha. Nana I'm not sure what the Conference is that Elder Zwick will be attending. I haven't heard anything about it and we just had our Zone Conference this past week, so who knows. I'll be very excited if I do get to attend something where he is - and added attention will be given when he stands for the wink. Ha.
This week has been full of up's and down's and everything in between. Monday we taught the family we "accidentally" found (the Chris story). We were able to meet and teach the wife which was awesome! They even had a friend of theirs. whom the husband is close to, come because he was interested. They're very tight in their Lutheran church but we have faith in the converting power of the Book of Mormon! The rest of the evening we made preparations for Zone Conference: setting things up and such. Tuesday was Zone Conference. It was a great meeting. Although we didn't have the most time to prepare for our training we feel it went well and got good feedback. We got sweet new LG phones with full keyboards which was exciting. We trained on "The Standards of Excellence." Which for our mission there are goals to reach: 20 lessons/week, 3 new investigators/week, 3 investigators at church/week, 1 baptism/transfer, 1 reactivation/transfer. Generally missionaries have felt it's unattainable so that was the topic. We've been extending ourselves here to reach these goals and we almost did this week! It was pretty incredible. We taught our investigator Bro. Waite right after the meeting. He's great and heading to Fort Drum for 2 weeks so we won't be able to see him but he's going to read the Book of Mormon every day he's there! Wednesday we took the van in for repairs and we were van-less Wed. and Thurs. It ended up working out great. It was difficult getting things coordinated with rides and if we were still able to teach investigators and such but it all worked out and I learned a lot through the experience. Wed. for the afternoon we worked in the Downtown Albany's area with them (a walk area anyway). I had a really incredible experience teaching a spanish speaking investigator, Janero. The gift of tongues is real - I essentially taught the whole lesson in Spanish! There is no doubt I had help understanding and speaking; it was so awesome! Thursday worked out great in E. Greenbush without a car we taught Sis. Hou who lives way close. We had a very powerful lesson with her and she's praying about her baptismal date of June 18! Later we had dinner at a member's home who invited friends who we taught afterward! They're heavy born-again Christians but they're willing to learn more and see for themselves! Friday was sad. I wish I had more time but Bro. Pascher is dropped as an investigator. Going through the baptismal interview questions with him on Wed. (I wasn't there, E. potter was on splits) he had some things he needed to take care of and let settle in court and things. We told him we'd postpone his baptism to allow it to get under control. That hit a sore spot with him ("denying his baptism"). Long story short, we saw him one more time and his decision is to step away from the church for a season while he gets his "house in order." He's such a great guy. A really valuable lesson I've learned from that, though, is the satisfaction that is had in knowing we did what he needed at this time in his life, though he may not be ready for baptism now. He'll be baptized later in life when this is squared away. Anyway, we found 5 new investigators this week! And, a very impressive guy showed up at church yesterday who wants to learn more and possibly "become a member." We're so excited! It's all good. It's been a roller coaster this week and I've learned and grown a lot. I wish I could tell all the rest of the events but that's alright! Know that I'm happy and well and that I love you all so much.
Have a great week and keep smiling.
PS- talk to you soon.