I didn't take any pictures this week, but the other Elders did, and I will send them either later today or next week. I didn't get the package but it is fine. To answer your questions, we are in the city part of Hollywood so it is very different from Los Alamos. We get referrals to people, try to do service, or we street contact. Street contacting is where we just walk along the streets and try to talk to people, nobody really tracts anymore. We usually do it on the side streets of Hollywood Blvd. or the side streets of Sunset, where there are still a good amount of people, but not too many to start a conversation.
This week was going pretty good, but then it ended pretty poorly. Monday we tried to go to the Hollywood sign, but it was closed, so we took pictures in the next best place, which I will send eventually. We went as a zone, but apparently that is against the rules, so you won't see anymore zone pictures.
Tuesday I went to my first zone conference. We talked about how we represent Christ, and needing to remember that. Then there was a huge focus on retaining converts. We are suppose to find a "mentor" for our investigators, who will attend lessons and be friends with them. They did a study and found that when using a "mentor", 95 percent of the converts stay active. So we pretty much just talked about how we need to refocus on the mentor program.
Wednesday we went on exchanges. I went with Elder Spencer, and worked in his area which is the east side of Hollywood, which is the poorer side. Elder Spencer is the tall one with brown hair in the service pictures. He is from a little farm town on the border of Utah and Idaho. He has been out for 16 months. We ate at an Armenian family's house, and I found that Armenian food is really good. They love feeding the Elders, and told Elder Spencer and Elder Johnson that if they didn't have a dinner appointment that they should go eat there. So Wednesday was fun just to go see the other side of Hollywood, and talk to the people there.
Thursday was really good. Our street contacting was super successful, we found two investigators and a less active who wants us to come by sometime. Then we had our last lesson with Mark that went pretty well. We taught him the Law of Chastity, Word of Wisdom, and The Laws of Tithing and Fast. He thought that everybody should follow them, and that he already had no problem with them. So it was a super successful day.
Then Friday was probably the worst day I have had on my mission. We are having a luau, so we went to the church to make some flyers to give to nonmembers. While were there Mark texted us saying "My final decision is not to convert, thank you for the lessons I really appreciate them, but we will not need to meet anymore." That was pretty crushing. We asked him if we could just meet up at least one more time, but he said no and thanked us for doing a great job of sharing the gospel with him. It was really tough to do much the rest of the day, because that just deflated both of us. Then we were told to watch a video called missionary work and the atonement by Elder Holland. Which basically said that Jesus bled through every poor, which means salvation is not easy, so neither is missionary work. It is on YouTube, and was very powerful.
Saturday we set up a bunch of security cameras for a member, and that took forever because The wires didn't work right, so we had to go get all new wires, and we ended up spending a good portion of the day working on that.
Sunday was good, we had a couple older Armenian ladies that we street contact show up to church, so that was good. Then in the Afternoon we went to the departing missionary fireside with one of our investigators named Earl. All of the departing missionaries bore their testimonies there, it was a really good meeting. They all seemed to focus around one idea, which was change. One thing I heard that I really liked was that Faith is not just believing in something you can't see. Faith is an action word, it is taking an action based off of that belief. The example they gave was, faith in Jesus Christ is using his atonement by repenting everyday and attending church every week and partaking of the sacrament. Earl really enjoyed it, and he committed to star attending church again, so hopefully that happens. This week was pretty up and down. Hopefully next wee is a little bit better. I love you all.
I tried to give Dallon a boost and to let him know not to give up on the investigator even when things don't go well. We are proud of him when he perseveres through adversity. I know he is learning so much about himself, his faith, and God's children. He also sent this email.
We do laundry every P-day right after we finish emailing. P- day is good, we don't usually do that much playing since we only have from 10 to 6. We also have to grocery shop, but we have enough food this week to skip that. WE get fed by members about 3 times a week, we probably eat out around 7 times a week, all other meals we cook ourselves. The temperature so still super hot here. I was reading a quote form the third prophet John Taylor this morning about Joseph Smith, it said that besides the Savior No man on earth has done more for mans salvation then Joseph Smith. I never really thought about just how huge Joseph Smith was in the Plan of Salvation until that. Hopefully you respond before we leave the library, we might get back on email at the church later, in order to send pictures.
The pictures are here
Yeah there are 14 in our zone, the zone leaders didn't come with us so they are not in the pictures. Here are some more pictures. The first one is from before I got herre, I don't know how to get rid of it so you can just discard it.
I love you too,