Sunday, August 14, 2016

June 20, 2016 The Hampton Times

Good ole ponquogue beach
Life is hard when you’re in paradise.  Branch party
So most of this I typed out last week, but never got the wifi before 6:00 to send it.  Sorry about that.

Well the biggest news of the week is that, if you've been following all he ups and downs with Javier's eligibility for baptism, it's looking like a go for the 25th! We are going to get there. It's been a wild roller coaster ride but that family is so pure in heart we are not going to stop until he is baptized and they are in the temple! We have a fantastic district and the branch continues to grow. Last week a big Mormon family from Utah was visiting and sacrament attendance hit 92. That is absolutely crazy. Only after having tried to get members and investigators to church RELENTLESSLY for the last year and a half could I fully appreciate how much of a straight up miracle it is that only four or five months ago attendance was only 40 with English and Spanish, and now we've swung up to being one of the bigger units in the mission. God has some big plans for this branch. Now we've just got to get some of these people baptized..... In the last transfer alone we've had four solid baptismal candidates fall through because of legal issues.

We really feel like Hampton bays is about to break through and finally help all these pure in heart people get to the water and make covenants. Our zone is doing quite well. Riverhead just had a baptism this week! That was super exciting. Our next zone training meeting is coming up in Thursday and we have the crazy idea in our heads to be the first zone to have every companionship hit the 567 mission vision (those numbers represent contacting 105 new people a week, teaching 12 lessons a week, and contacting 2 referrals a week). This is the missions vision this year, and it has truly changed this mission. I was there in the council that created the 567 and I know without a doubt it is inspired. We had a lot of great ideas, but they were thrown out and the 567 was given to us by the Spirit. Unfortunately, it is the ever present struggle of the mission. Many missionaries see it as just numbers and push back against it or don't care about it. Many, if not most, don't think it's possible to fully hit it. Our zone training was supposed to be last week, but the day before, we cancelled it. We had it all planned out, assignments made and trainings ready, and I just wasn't feeling it. I called Elder Peña who was out in south Hampton and told him what I was feeling, and he agreed. So I went and prayed, and the clearest impression came about what we needed to drop all the trainings and just figure out how to inspire the missionaries to hit the 567 (brilliant.... as if we hadn't been trying to do that for the last 6 months...).  I called Elder Pena, he felt the exact same thing, and we reorganized everything.

6/20/16 update:

We had our zone meeting, President came (he never says no to us), and it was great! We are excited to see how this next week goes but we are determined to get everyone in this zone hitting the 567!

Javier was interviewed on Sunday, everything is good for this Satruday.  He is so excited that he was on looking stuff up about missionary life in anticipation for his 3 year old kid to serve a mission! That man is a convert.

I am loving life out here in the Hamptons.  Being a missionary is the greatest experience I've ever had.  I've learned a lot lately about the principle of faith (I guess I missed that lesson in sunday school) and I just have to say that I love the gospel.  There is always so much more to learn.  I am so privileged to be a missionary.  I will always be one.  I believe in Jesus Christ will all my heart.  I have come to know him and love him serving in his mission.  That knowledge is the most precious thing I own in this world.  I love sharing my testimony!  I do it many times every day, its just part of who I am.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Sirrine
Another temple trip! Oh no…That means I’m getting old

Elder Atoa
Elder Marchant

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