14 July 2009

Justin's letter - July 14th 2009

Que paaaasssaaaa!?
So, I've got 5 weeks down and 3 to go! Hopefully. I haven't heard anything about my visa yet, but if I don't get it in time, I might be delayed. It's actually pretty common. So I'm prayin hard to get it! Well, this week wasn't really that out of the ordinary. My spanish is definitely getting better, but I'm far from fluent. Está bien.

Thanks everyone for the letters and packages and candy and support and prayers! In the RC I still haven't gotten to talk to the Muslim man (his name is Abu Yiesir) yet because he's always been busy, but hopefully I'll get to talk to him soon.

Ok, so I have to tell you about one of my teachers, hermano Vance. He's seriously the man. I don't know if I've mentioned him before, but he defines successful missionary work. He served in Mexico and baptized literally hundreds of people (he won't give us an exact number). But he's teaching us this method of how to find escogidos (elect) and baptize them really efficiently. From how we contact people to how we give the lessons, he's teaching us everything! He's even teaching us how to work with the members. Its cool because everything he teaches us relies on our faith. He's all about weeding out the bad "crops" and finding the ripest and most sincere investigators, the escogidos. Our district motto is 2 Tim 2:10. When we show the lord we are willing to be as effective as possible at finding those ready to be baptized (aka have faith), the Lord will put in our path those who ARE ready to be baptized (aka escogidos). For example, he told us how to get referrals from people, even nonmembers. He told us a story about how he had like 15 baptisms in one month, all who were referred to him by a nonmember who wasn't interested in the gospel! Its crazy, and way legit because he has proved it and every time he gets a letter from other missionaries he's taught and sent out, they prove it too. It's not at all sales techniques or deception, its just amped up faith! He has us challenging for baptism on the first contact! Its awesome! I'm so blessed to have Hermano Vance as my teacher because none of the other teachers teach like this. Its so cool. And he's way cool to hang out with and comes eats all his meals with us in the cafeteria. I wish I could tell you all the things that he's taught me, but there's too much. I'll give you an example. At the beginning of the month, we set a goal for how referrals we are going to get, then how many lessons we are going to teach with a member, then how many baptismal challenges we are going to extend, and finally, how many baptisms we are going to have in a month, with each category having fewer people than the last. Its called funnel planning. If you get 200 referrals, teach 100 lessons, challenge 50 people to get baptized, then you'll have 20 baptisms that month. Those numbers are a little off, but you get the point. So once you set this goal, then you make it into a covenant. You decide what you are willing to sacrifice to make this happen and then pray to Heavenly Father, being specific with the details. Vance told us that when he did this and kept his end of the bargain, he ALWAYS met his goal.

Well my timer is blinking 1:55 on it, so I better wrap it up. Thanks so much for the support! Just make http://www.dearelder.com/ your home page because I know you'll be using it a lot!

Hasta luego.paz afuera (MTC slang for peace out)Elder Hales

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