This last week has been really slow with little to no success. A large part of it had to do with the multiple doctors visits we have made this week. Both Elder A and I had to go to the doctor. I have been having stomach issues. On Monday I had to go to the Scripps hospital right here in Encinitas. I got an xray of my abdomen, blood drawn, and a few other tests. The good news is that I am fine and am feeling better. Luckily there is no major issues. . To make a long story short both of us had to take it easy this week. That's not to say that we slacked off but it was hard to get everything done that we needed to. It was hard to schedule appointments because everything was up in the air. We stopped by a lot of peoples homes but however we had maybe 5 people answer them for the week. It was hard and challenging but we were able to make it through it. You have to go through struggles for you to really truly appreciate all the happiness and success that you have. That was the whole point of this life is to experience the ups and the downs, to be tested and tried. To see how loyal we truly are, when life is hard. It is when life is hard that we rise up to reach our ultimate potential and decide we want to be better.
So that is exactly what I will do. Learn from this week and move on, striving to be a better missionary.
Love Elder Paget
The coolest part about going to the hospital was getting a copy of my x-ray. It was definitely worth all the wait.
Well this last week has been amazing. We had the privilege of going to the temple and having a baptism. It was absolutely incredible. The San Diego Temple is beautiful. When you think of the word temple there are two temples that come to mind, First of course the most famous temple is the Salt Lake Temple. Then the second most famous temple in my opinion is the San Diego Temple. It is not a coincidence that most of the accidents on the I-5 happen within sight of the San Diego Temple. You look at it and you can't take your eyes from it. We went to the 9 am endowment session, with other missionaries in our district. The spirit was so strong. After the session we found out that we didn't have a ride back to Cardiff. We were stuck. We were only stuck in San Diego, in another mission, for 4 or 5 hours before we where able to find a ride. So what did we do? We walked around and contacted people. We also were starving so we walked to the mall across the freeway to get some food. When our ride did come we didn't have enough seats for all of us in Rogers BMW convertible. So I had to sit on a tiny console in the back. It was very uncomfortable.
L's Baptism was wonderful. We made sure to get there early so we would have enough time to fill the font, and set everything up. While we were filling the font we realized that there was no hot water. Only the hot water was on and it was freezing cold. We soon realized after some trouble shooting that the hot water heater was not working. It had gone out. We started to panic. Could we possibly baptise someone in cold water? Of course not. We called Bishop Toolson up and he told us to start boiling water in the kitchen so the water would not be so cold. We boiled pot after pot throwing the hot water into the chilly font. But however we didn't have enough time, and or pots to increase the waters temperature to a comfortable level. When it came time to baptise Lee, I went into the water first. It was not as cold as I thought it would be. However when Lee stepped into the water you could sense that it was to cold for her. I raised my hand to the square and then proceeded with the baptism by immersion. As she went into the water she went into a sudden shock. Like when you jump into a cold Lake. Her feet slipped out from under her and It was extremely hard for me to help her out of the water. It felt like an eternity that she was under the water even though it was probably only 3-4 seconds. Finally I was able to help her back up out of the water. It didn't go as smoothly as I would have liked but, It was alright because it made things interesting. At the baptism the Stake President , and the Sister who teaches the bible study each week, spoke at the baptism. Brother Watson also sang Amazing Grace as a special Musical number. With out fail all the major events or experiences I have had, such as all the baptisms we have had, sacrament meeting on my birthday, in the MTC, we have sang I am a Child of God. We also sang it at L's baptism. I don't think it is a coincidence, especially because I had nothing to do with any of the song choices. Crazy right. Papa is watching over me.
Last week was great we made a lot of progress. Their are so many miracles that took place. Here are just a few that happened this week.
L is going to finally be baptized on Saturday, October 19. Last week we were thinking that she was going to have to move out in order for her to be baptized. However President Kendrick said that she didn't have to move out because she is retired and has no other place she can go. We did run into some last minute problems with the baptismal interview. So she had to have an interview with President Kendrick and he was able to resolve them. L is so excited to finally become a member. She calls us up everyday and tell us just how she can not wait for her baptism. L said she has had many questions in her life. She would always ask her pastor about and he would not be able to answer. She said that we were the only ones that were able to answer all the questions that she had. It was so weird because at first she absolutely did not want anything to do with us. All she wanted to do was to bible bash with us. So after our first visit we decided we would not go back. L then got a hold of the missionaries in the Del Mar ward and they told us that she wanted us to go back. We hesitated and finally decided to go back after two weeks of debating. We went back and again she started to bash with us at the beginning of the lesson. However at the end of the lesson her heart was softened and she accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon, and said that we could come back again. Now she is on fire! She has already read the entire Book of Mormon in 20 days and is in Helaman in her second time reading it. She watched all 10 hours of General Conference, comes to church, and a bible study class that the stake relief society puts on each week. She has done everything we have asked. Her baptismal program is going to be great we have the stake president, bishop, and the bible study class teacher all speaking. I can't wait either.
Then T and C finally came to church this last Sunday. It only took 2 months for them to finally be able to come. They had a baptismal date for Oct 5, and it has already past. We tried to set a new date this last week, but they would not let us. Their father told us that they need more faith. We have taught them all the lessons already and they could be baptized at any time. I feel like their parents don't want to come back to the church. They want us to come teach their kids all about it, but they are unwilling to change their ways. It is sad to see. But they are making an effort now and are finally keeping our commitments.
At church we also had a guy named J show up to church and surprise us. He is a less active member in the ward and has not been to church in 8 years. He is a golf instructor at Torrey Pines Golf Course here in Southern California. We had stopped by his house last Wednesday to see how he was doing. It was the first time I had been able to come in contact with him in the last 4 months. We talked with him about church a little bit but we never asked him to come with us. I don't know why but we didn't. That is why it was a surprise to see him at church, and we didn't even ask him to come. Yet he came and wants to become active again. It is so great.
Any way it has been great and I am looking forward to L's Baptism.
Well another week has come and gone and it has had its ups and downs. Elder A and I are working as hard as we can to find people to teach. We have a few investigators that we are working with, but they are always busy. The only promising investigators that we have are L, and the C Boys.
This last week we were unable to have a lesson with T and C. We were however, able to stop by and talk to them for a few minutes. We figured out that they still are not keeping any commitments that we have given them and they are not making any effort to do so. T and C want to continue to learn more, but their parents are making it hard for them. Elder A and I have taught them almost all the lessons needed to be baptized. They should have been baptized this last Friday. We think that the parents have problems with the church. They want their kids to learn and be baptized, but they themselves don't want to come back. So to get T and C baptized we must renew their parents testimony in the gospel.
L has continued to do EVERYTHING we have asked. She has already read the entire Book of Mormon and is re-reading it, came to church, went to the bible study class multiple times, and watched all of General Conference this last weekend. She is doing great. She is so excited to have a clean slate and have her sins washed away through baptism. She has already planned out her baptismal program for October 19. However her date is now in the air. We talked to our district leader Elder A and he said that she is going to have to move out of the home she is living with her brother in law, in order to be baptized. L moved in to take care of her sister that was sick, since her husband had to work. Her sister died 5 years ago and she has stayed there ever since. She is in a bad situation with her brother in law. They don't get along and he has been abusive to her. So to make sure no future problems arise, she need to move out. We still have not told her yet. We will see her on tomorrow and tell her then. When we had our last lesson it came up and Lee said that she wants to move, but she has no place to go. So we will just have to wait and see what happens.
Every once in a while there are these weird balloons that we see in the sky. There are white and black balloons, with flashing lights and random things hanging from them at night. They are all connected together on some kind of line. Elder Moon and I tracked where they were coming from a few weeks ago. They came from a house that is not to far away from where we live. This house is completely surrounded by huge bushes that are 20 feet tall. So we can't see what is going on. We are curious what the balloons are for. We have knocked on the door to ask them what is going on? But no reply. So we have come to our own conclusion. I am convinced that this guy that is launching balloons with the bright lights is trying to summon aliens or UFOs. What else could it be? Anyway we have nicknamed this guy who is putting on quite a show, balloon guy. We have stopped by a few times this week to his house at night to try to talk to him. Usually we hear something going on in his back yard but are unable to see because of the bushes. On Friday we saw four bright lights in the sky, and we were in the area so we decided to investigate what balloon guy was up to. We walked by his house at the perfect time when he was launching a black balloon into the night sky. We stood their watching. As we did a lady walked out of the back yard with a tiny flashlight and out to the street to where we were. We said hi and she walked by and into the house across the street. Never did we ever think it could possibly be a balloon girl causing all this madness. However we stayed their and noises were still being made in the back yard. So we now know that there is two of them. So their just might be a Balloon guy after all and his girl friend, summoning aliens. Or maybe balloon girl is really in charge and balloon guy is her minion. Who knows? All we do know is that we still have not seen any UFOs so what ever they are doing is not working. Hopefully we will get to the bottom of this soon.
General Conference was great and is so inspiring. It seems that every talk that was given was perfect. I can not determine what my favorite talk is because they are all to good. However I love the challenge that Ballard left with all of us is that if we reach out to someone and introduce them to the gospel by Christmas millions will be touched. I challenge all of you to pray and find someone you can help to gain eternal happiness. As you do you will know who you should reach out to. They will be changed for the better. Let me know what happens.
This week has be rough. It is hard running an area by yourself. I have to do all the planning because my new companion does not know the area or the investigators. I have had to take all the responsibilities on my self. It is hard but I am learning so much. The best way to learn is to experience. I am going through all lot of experiences right now.
L, one of our investigators, has made tons of progress this last week. She had came with us to the bible study last week. She loved it so she decided to go again this week. Elder M and I went to the bible study with her right before the transfer meeting on Tuesday. After the bible study we invited her to be baptized. She said YES! She is going to be baptized on October 19. But that is not all. She kept calling us with questions about being baptized. Like what she needed to wear and what time the baptism would be at. Lee was so excited. We invited her to a baptism that the Encinitas ward was having for two little girls. We told her the best way to know what a baptism is like, is to go to one. She came with us on Saturday to the baptism and she said that it was amazing and that the spirit was so strong. It sealed the deal for her own baptism. Then just when we thought it could not get any better. She came with us to church. At church we had our fast and testimony meeting one week early because of General Conference. During the testimonies, L started to cry and cried through the rest of the meeting. She was deeply touched by the spirit, confirming to her that what she was doing was right. It is so great to see all of these small miracle's take place in someone's life just simply wanting to find the truth.
T and C was supposed to be baptized this Friday however they are not progressing. So it will be postponed. We have asked them to read the scriptures and come to church for the last couple of weeks. They still have not done so. We will have to keep encouraging them to come closer to the savior. Hopefully they will start making changes in their lives to bring them in harmony with the spirit.
Hopefully we will find some more people to teach soon. The investigators we have are simply not progressing. We will keep pressing on. The last week has been rough however, I still love being a missionary. There is nothing better.