From: Joseph Weiss <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: September 2, 2013 12:53:18 AM MDT
To: Cyndy Weiss <email@example.com>
Subject: Happy Fathers day!
So I got to have two Fathers Days this year! Down under they do fathers day on the first week of September. No clue why because I'm pretty sure the rest of the world it's the same day minus Australia. But I was thinking about you, Dad! And ALL the giant letters I get from you! ;) So I decided to write part of this letter to you.
We had a training this past Friday by a member of the 70, Elder Hamula. Apparently it wasn't that bad of a "rebuking" but as it was my first, it cut pretty deep. He showed us what we need to do to get one baptism in the Sydney Australia Mission. The numbers basically break down like this. If you want a baptism here, you need 22 New Investigators, 7.6 Investigators at Sacrament meeting, and 2 Baptismal dates. By the numbers, that's what needs to take place to get a baptism here in Sydney.
Our standard of excellence here is 20 Lessons each week and 1 baptism each month. So to get a baptism each month we need 22 NI's, 7.6 SM's, and 2 BD's. As he laid all of this out I was just smashed! I thought to myself "DO YOU REALIZE HOW HARD IT IS TO BAPTIZE IN THE SPANISH WARD? THE LAST BAPTISM WAS TWO YEARS AGO!!" and many other thoughts like this were going through my head.
In the end I came to realization that I don't have enough faith. I didn't truly believe that God is preparing people for us. Later on he started talking about "talking with everyone". He said to us, "Opening your mouth is the price you pay to find the people the Lord has prepared. And that doesn't matter where you are!" He shared with us a scripture in the New Testament that said God told his apostles to go forth and preach by the way. Then he showed us D&C 52:9-33. God commands his servants to "take their journey and preach by the way" over and over. He made the point that this is the way God has done missionary work forever. We go forth and preach by the way. We need to stop and talk to everyone. We can't move too swiftly while God's children are perishing by the way.
Later that day on the way back from the training, because of how the ride situation worked out, we were waiting for an hour at another elders flat to wait for his companion to return. Because of the training we decided we would start opening our mouths and speaking to everybody. It's getting easier but I still freak out a little bit. The miracle was that two of the people we talked to spoke Spanish! And then yesterday we were going to visit a less active and we found another Spanish speaker as we "preached by the way". Super cool!
I am going to be praying very hard for the faith and love to preach by the way. It's way easier to just keep on walking, but what Elder Hamula said keeps coming back to my mind, "opening your mouth is the price every missionary must pay to find people that are prepared." I feel that's true, but I wish it wasn't so hard. I will pray for more strength so serve how God has asked me even when it's scary and tiring. As we take Christ's name upon us by doing missionary work His way, we are entitled to his miracles. The way Jesus Christ does missionary work is by Preaching by the Way. We are going to start smashing people like Jesus Christ! Just read a few verses in John and you can feel the power in his words. That's how we will be as we take on ourselves the attributes of Jesus Christ the missionary.
So it's been another great week. Got to play tennis today against a kid that was alright and we had a pretty good time. Last week I was $3 away from going broke! haha It was a close call. I had to spend $15 to buy groceries for last week! haha but now I've figured out where to shop and how much money I can use! And we were paying $15 to play tennis at this place each Pday until we went broke but now we've found this place that's free! So now we are rich!!
My Spanish is improving every day! Today at the tennis courts we spoke with this girl that was pretty much a female Nadal and her coach! HOLY CATS she was hitting her forehand so hard!! It made such a loud noise! Any how they were from Spain and I was talking to the coach and we talked in Spanish for a bit and even when I couldn't express myself completely in Spanish and switched to english for a sec he kept speaking in Spanish because he could see I understood what he was saying! Yay! I'm getting more and more comfortable with Spanish. Each week I see a definite step forward! I love you all!
Dad, You need to teach that to your mission prep students that "Opening your mouth is the price you pay to find the people the Lord has prepared." And it doesn't matter where you are. Experience comes before faith. Somehow if they can experience that, they will have faith to open their mouths. Also page 7 in PMG has things that everyone must understand about our message. Each one of them needs to know how to quickly articulate that for a contact or door approach.
Love yous heaps!
Love, Elder Weiss VI