I haven't taken any pictures since the MTC, but I'll take some more and send them. My trainer, Elder Tibbitts is from Idaho Falls. He is a great guy. It's interesting, because we don't ride bikes now, but we will soon. We have a car, and it's a red Toyota Corolla. We also get a certain amount of miles a week. Once I give you pics, I hope to see some from you. I had an amazing week. It's really hard getting the members to come to church, so a lot of the ward is inactive. They always have an excuse not to come to church, and when they do come, it's only for a short time. Our efforts are focused a lot on finding through street contacting and reactivating members. Yesterday we had a missionary devotional and the recent converts spoke. It was so incredible and the spirit was strong. Lots of non-members came, so we're hoping it influenced them.
I had only five minutes left on the other computer! I want to tell you about the people we contacted on the street. There are a lot of good people in Washington. Many people we talk to are super friendly, and politely decline to hear our message. Elder Tibbitts gets frustrated with them, but I know that the Lord is preparing people to receive us. The other type of person we run into acts interested but when we go set up an appointment they don't live there. Sometimes, they are drunk or high, so we aren't even sure they'll remember us the next day. A few people hurry past us, or tell us to go away.
The nicest people are usually foreigners. Once we were going to visit a less-active member in South Seattle, but they weren't home. We started walking around the neighborhood and met a Vietnamese family. They invited us inside and offered us water. We sat on the couch, and the mother ran in the back room to get her brother. He told us in broken English that he was from a refugee camp in Hong Kong, and he joined the Baptist church. He really wanted to learn more about our church, so he gave us his address and phone number. He told us his American name is Jason. He said the rest of his family is Buddhist. Elder Tibbitts and I are going to get him a Vietnamese Book of Mormon.
I hope that we can follow up with more of our street contacts, but they are all struggling to provide for their families, so they work long hours. We had hopes of contacting a woman named "S", but every time we went she wasn't home. There is still hope. We are teaching a couple named "J" and "T". They are an African American couple with a young daughter named "J". They both agreed to be baptized next month! They are really excited to learn more, so Elder Tibbitts and I will give them a tour of the chapel after the next lesson. "J" and "T" told us they had visited several churches, but they felt the truth of our church just within the first visit, and it doesn't compare to any other church they've gone to. We have also been teaching a Filipino lady through a member referral. Her name is "E". She lives with a less-active family and we've been trying to get them to come to church as much as possible. She wants to get baptized, but she can't come to church because of her work schedule. She works as a nurse in an elderly care center.
It is my goal to share with as many people as I can, so I have a stack of pass-along cards, and I'll talk to lots of people at the library, on the street, in the store, and in the Dr.'s office. I know that as we work together to bring people to the gospel on both sides of the veil, we will see the power of God manifest in our lives, and the lives of others. There are three ways that people will recognize us as servants of Jesus Christ. The first and greatest is serving out of Charity, the pure love of Christ. As we go about doing good, we will leave a huge impact on the lives of others. Second, talk to people about their families. Families are a great conversational segway to the message of the restoration. Third, is to testify boldly of the power of the Book of Mormon as the word of God and another testament of our Savior Jesus Christ.
I wish you all the best.