So, I'm sticking around. That's good. I'll finish strong in Pittsburgh and there's a lot to do here, so it'll be a solid finish. The Lancaster sisters and the West York elders will be working with the branch, it doesn't sound like there are going to be new missionaries sent there. As E. Gates and I commiserated, “Lancaster Walk did all the work but gets gypped in the end."
This week has been a good and challenging week! We have really been trying to assimilate the iPads into our teaching; it's a little weird but also a valuable resource to have. There are some times though when it is the perfect tool that that moment, which is always really nice. This week we have training on get the Area Book Planner up and running, which will be a huge change. I am not sure how much I am going to enjoy that. One thing is that because it is all online, anything even remotely sensitive will not be allowed on the teaching record, effectively negating much of the value of a teaching record. For example, you could not say, "Bing is Chinese" but you could say "Bing moved here from China" and you could not say "Amy is living with her boyfriend" but you could say "We recommend teaching the Law of Chastity in the near future." So we'll see how that all rolls out.
M is doing great. He is all recovered from his appendicitis, he came to church Sunday and gave a ride to an investigator family as well! I don't know if I mentioned it, right before he went into surgery he ran into a pair of missionaries from the Oakland ward. He took that as a token that God really was looking out for him and had put them there to share a comforting word. I think the way the Lord often blesses us is with the capacity to recognize his hand in all things. He is getting interviewed in two weeks for a temple recommend, which is really exciting. He is doing just fine.
And yes, of course I had a pocket square! Pocket squares are in!
Did not hear about the oil spill. I am interested to know, how has the drought affected SB in particular? I don't want to come back if the whole place has shriveled up like a raisin.
This week was a huge finding week, and it was great. We were out talking with everyone, bearing some heavy testimony, and finding a lot of people really interested in the Gospel! S and his girlfriend J are a really nice couple we started teaching, they also have a newborn daughter. S actually referred himself via Mormon.org. The son of a Baptist preacher, he has been everything from Messianic Jew to born-again. At every step in his spiritual journey, he has found himself looking at the Book of Mormon. After the latest pitfall in his life, he has decided that God's been trying to get him in this direction all along. He has actually read the Book of Mormon several times and has studied our doctrine extensively. For example he already knew about temple work and redeeming the dead, which formed a large part of why he wanted to join the church! His girlfriend is similarly excited but not as sure of herself. But we have high hopes for them! S came to church this Sunday and loved it. The third hour was entirely about talking to your kids about pornography, but even with that he really loved the members and the feeling he had. It was fantastic.
We'll contrast that with S, a former investigator who we picked up again. He has a testimony of the Book of Mormon, but cannot keep a commitment to save his life. We met with him twice this week, he was gung ho about getting to church and feeling the Spirit up until Sunday noon, when, just like every other week, a big and important thing came up which prevented him. You could almost hear Satan laughing at us, it was really annoying. We're like gerbils, he just shakes the cage and we keep running in our little wheels day after day unless we can exercise some FAITH and get out of it! Man. Oh well. Despite that, it was still a pretty awesome week.