Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Even the cold and snow doesn't stop missionary work

We received Christopher's first letter from the Rochester, New York mission.  He has been assigned to a town called Batavia which Christopher says is kind of out in the middle of nowhere.  From what Christopher told us, this is an area that hasn't seen a lot of missionary work in the last couple of years.  Since there hasn't been any missionaries there for a while, the first order of business for Christopher and his companion was to find a place to live.  I guess it took them a little while to not only find a place but to have the apartment approved by Church headquarters as well.  But after a week and a half of commuting from Rochester, they are finally settled into their new apartment and really ready to get the work done.  Christopher told us that when the day came for them to finally move it, they had to make the move in a foot of snow.

Building up a new teaching pool in a new area can be a hard thing to do.  But Christopher and his companion have really been working hard and their work has been paying off.  Christopher told us all about many of the people that they have recently met and even about some of the teaching experiences that they have had in their short time together.  Christopher's companion has been out in the Rochester mission for almost two years and like Christopher, he became a missionary a few years later than usual.  Christopher told us about many of the other similarities that he and his companion have and just how well they have been working together.  Many of the experiences that Christopher shared with us are very personal so for that reason I won't be sharing them in this kind of forum.  But feel free to drop by or call if you would like to hear more about them.

Christopher started out his next letter home by telling us all about the harsh winters in upstate New York.  Utah gets quite a lot of snow every year but even after growing up in a snowy climate, Christopher told us that there is much more snow in New York than Utah.  It seems that every truck they see has a snow plow on it just to be able to keep up with clearing the streets and parking lots.  They even have small snow cats that drive up and down the sidewalks to keep them clear.  I guess one fortunate thing, or maybe not so fortunate depending on how you look at it, is that they don't have a car.  With all of the snow in the area, driving around in anything other than a 4x4 might be a little difficult.  So they are doing a lot of walking which also serves to keep these missionaries in shape.

One interesting experience that Christopher told us about was when his companion need to trade off with another missionary in a nearby city.  This paired Christopher up with a temporary companion who had also only been in the Rochester mission for two weeks as well.  Of course just because they are both brand new missionaries doesn't mean that the work has to slow down.  Both of them picked right up and headed out to do a little tracting and try to meet a few more people.  The efforts were successful and they were able to meet and teach lessons to several people.  After a full day of tracting and teaching, Christopher told us that they had a very successful day.  It is always a good thing when you can look back on your day and feel good about what you have accomplished.

Christopher's competitive spirit has already taken hold in his missionary work.  His mission president hold Christopher that his companion is one of the best at meeting new people and teaching them the gospel.  During one transfer he was able to meet and teach a certain number of new people.  Christopher has taken that as a new challenge which has motivated him to want to beat that number.  Whether that happens or not really isn't the most important thing.  What is important is that these missionaries work hard and allow themselves to be guided by the spirit to the right people.  Christopher has already told us about several great teaching experiences that he has had and I am sure that there will be a lot more to come.