I've been transferred to the Melbourne ward! We cover the Southeast corner of our mission boundaries. It's going to be an interesting few months. Earlier in the week we went to go follow up with a couple they have been teaching here. As we came up to the door we hear a low growl. To our horror two pit bulls on chains came chasing after us. After my heart made it's way back to it's proper location the couple came out and we talked to them for about 10 minutes. They have great potential. Both Elder Brown and I had a hard time concentrating with all the adrenaline going through our systems. Oh yes, Elder Brown is my new companion. He is from Idaho Falls and just recently finished training. Melbourne has amazing sights, the rich and poor, and some awesome food! I have been called to serve as a District Leader this transfer. I work with three other sets of missionaries to help the work move forward in our larger area. We have the Cypress Creek Elders, the Ponderosa Sisters, and the Westfield Elders. I am back in the Houston North Stake! It's only been 4.5 months since I left Westfield but it's good to be back. I look forward to all the great things that will happen here. As I was studying this week I was impressed by the account in the New Testament where the Savior is teaching and many of His disciples choose to no longer follow after Him. He asks those closest to Him, 'will ye also go away?' They respond, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.' It is never an easy path to follow the Savior however it really is the only path to true happiness.
To the Missionaries of the Great Texas Houston Mission,
We love the great work you are doing. As we are immersed in this great work, we want to remind you about the need to never lose sight of the vital role the members play in the process of referring, fellow shipping and shepherding our investigators to church, to baptism and to the temple. It is vital that we earn their trust. Just this week we received an email from a local bishop raving about a Sister in his ward who was getting transferred. This is what he said:
"I wanted to take a second and share with you my feelings of gratitude to the Lord for the exemplary service that Sister _________ has rendered these past few months that she has served in the our ward. We are sad to see her go. The ward has been the blessed recipient of the consecrated efforts of this exceptionally diligent, humble, and talented sister missionary. We cannot express enough how instrumental she has been in building up the Kingdom in this wonderful part of the Lord's vineyard. She has been a sweet and enthusiastic influence for growth and we will do our utmost to maintain that light going forward. Thankfully, she leaves us with a high quality teaching pool of investigators, which I'm confident her companion and the new companion will successfully care for.
"There have been many sweet miracles experienced by our ward with Sister __________ working with us. She loved the people she taught, and worked with determination to ensure they had every chance to hear the truth of the restored gospel, be fellowshipped by members, come to church, and progress toward full conversion. God bless her for her work and sacrifice. She has been one of the most successful in working in an integrated way with our ward members - she understands that vision well."
We have received several similar emails. We hope these kinds of things can be said of each of you as you are found ministering to the members as you encourage them to assist you in this great work. Ours is the duty to build faith in everyone with whom we interact. With this in mind, we have a couple of requests as you work with members in your areas:
1. Always be aware that you are being observed. Be sure that your actions are reflective of one who represents the Lord.
2. Quickly respond to texts and calls from members.
3. Quickly (within 24 hours) follow up on referrals from members and report back to them immediately on how things went.
4. Never teach a member's referral without inviting the member to participate.
5. If a member is going to participate with you in a lesson, be sure you counsel with them about how you would like them to participate and explain to them the objectives of the lesson (commitments). They don't understand the Doctrine of Christ as it relates to progressing investigators. You do!
6. When asking a member to reach out to one of our investigators, set them up to succeed. Let the investigator know they will be calling so the member has a positive experience. This will increase their desire to help in the future.
7. Praise members for every attempt to help.
8. We very careful to keep your relationships purposeful. Members may allow you to over stay your your visit, but they will lose respect for you if you aren't obedient.
We love you and we are excited by the fact that we are on track to keep our commitment of 630 so far as a mission!