We had the opportunity this week to spend a lot more time with members in the ward and it has been so beneficial. We as missionaries can work day and night to find people ready to listen, but there was a statistic, (might be a little off) that said 1 in 15,000 doors knocked results in a lasting conversion of the individual. President Anderson has also been emphasizing the need for missionaries working hand in hand with the members. The morning of the 4th, we were at Xavier's house and heard a loud crack, bang, boom. We looked across the street to see a few teenagers lauging at the firecracker bomb they had just set off. Kinda shook the neighborhood...classic wilmington.
So for the 4th of July, we went out to Hockessin, DE which is kind of like the Blackhawk or Danville of the Bay area. Wilmington would be the Oakland, etc. Hockessin is a rural community that has a greater sense of that unity that makes a town feel like home. It has beautiful rolling hills and lush green trees with huge 3 story houses and mansions. It reminds me of home. The reason we haven't gotten out there much is because we are limited to 900 driving miles per month and it's 20 miles round trip with additional driving around miles. So Elder Taylor and I have decided we will do a car fast one day a week where we drive no more than 5 miles total on that day. Doable, if we knock on doors and visit the not-so-stable investigators in Wilmington. Hockessin has an annual parade during the day, and it was awesome to see so many members from the stake at a community event, not in Utah (haha). It was a solid parade with lots of candy and free water bottles. An excellent opportunity to talk to people and it was a lot of fun. Several members invited us to their house for dinner. So we went to about 3 houses, around the same area. A family in our ward invites the ward over every year to sit on their front lawn and watch fireworks on the fourth. So we showed up, talked to some members, some less active members and got a few names to visit. It was a lot of fun and I got my first ice cream cone in a whopping 2 months!
I have found that the more service we do for members (such as installing molding in the basement) and the more time we spend with them, the easier it is to ask them to help us. With this recent worldwide training from the leaders of the church, our ward is starting to get fired up. Bishop Condie just called a new ward mission leader (partially upon our request) and is fired up about teaching the members how to talk to their friends and bring people close to Christ. Mom, props for the courage you had in talking to the Chromy's, it is not easy, but look at the lives that have been eternally blessed by your planting that seed. I am really coming to love this ward, the members, the area (especially Hockessin) and the work. Elder Taylor is so patient with me and willing to help me overcome my weaknesses and we are striving to work each day by the Spirit. I wouldn't have been friends with him at home, but being in this circumstance I've grown to love the guy for who he is, I'm learning to see past people's often irritating idiosyncrasies. (sorry..had to use that word.)
Cool facts about the area:
-VP Joe Biden owns a house in Hockessin
-the great grandson of Albert Einstein is in our ward, no i haven't met him
-the mission president of the UTah Salt lake City mission, Bruce and Nancy Winn, just returned home from our ward and invited several of us missionaries over for dinner at their mansion last night. He really wants to work with us and help us be successful in this ward.
In terms of investigators...we are hoping that working more closely with the members will soon pay off. One family in particular had been on my mind, so I challenged them to pray to find that individual or family that they know that has been prepared to receive our message. A cop stopped us on 2nd street in Wilmington last week and talked to us for a few minutes, telling us we were brave to walk up and down these streets. He commended us for our service and jokingly asked what we did wrong to get sent here. A few days later, we saw him and his 10 year old daughter walking their dog. He invited us to his house for cold water and A/C. He lived in a nicer part of Wilmington with a decent rowhouse. He grew up in So Cal with a bunch of Mormons and says that the church is the most practical he has come upon and since he and his wife have been feeling around for a solid church, we hope something will come of his curiosity. Oh how I would love to find a family!
I have come to love the apostle Paul for his many sermons and beautiful epistles. Romans 8 is one of my new favorites because we really can't do much at all without the Savior. Rom. 8:37, "We are more than conquerors through him that loved us." Simple, indeed. Powerful, of course. Trials do come our way, many come to missionaries, but through Christ we are not just conquering our trials or overcoming the pains that come our way. We are becoming "joint-heirs" with Christ. Everything that the Father has can be ours. We can inherit eternal life, making us more than conquerors.I love that. I love knowing that I will never have to go through anything alone because of Him.
Hope all is well for everyone. You are in my prayers frequently.