Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The work is moving forward

We haven't had a lot of news from Christopher since his Mother's Day phone call.  He has sent home several of his voice recordings that he keeps as a daily diary.  A lot of his entries talk about all of the tracting and teaching that they do.  Both Christopher and his companion have been doing a lot of tracting and teaching.  Unfortunately, most of their appointments have not gone much beyond the first few lessons.  But the good news is that out of all of the new people that they have contacted and all of the lessons that they have taught, they have several people who have been attending church each week and have a baptismal date scheduled. 

There are some days when Christopher and his companion just go all day long.  He told us about how they walk up and down the streets and just talk to everybody that they see.  People on the street, standing in their yards, sitting in their garages, wherever people are, these missionaries just walk up and start talking.  During one day recently, Christopher and his companion taught ten lessons and found four new people to teach.  Christopher says that his approach usually starts out with either the weather or just some random topic that crosses his mind as they walk up to the person and start talking.  Then he will segway into their belief in God and finally into one of the first lessons.  Speaking of the weather, Christopher said that it has been raining in New York about as much or more than it has been raining here in Utah.  The wet weather has kept them from doing as much tracting as they would like in a day.  He said that their is so much water that it pools up in the streets and in the yards.  Even with an umbrella, Christopher says that they are still soaked by the time the day is over.

Christopher told us about a recent zone conference that they had in his area.  The zone conference was partially held in the Sacred Grove and then finished up at a nearby Stake center.  He said that they talked a lot about conversion and also listened to a talked by Elder Holland which was actually a talk that Elder Holland give at the MTC while Christopher was there.  Christopher really loves Elder Holland's talks and wanted us to download as many as we could find from the Church's web site, burn them onto a CD and send them to him.  All of the talks combined filled up about four CDs, so Christopher should have a lot of good things to listen to. 

Just this week we finally got a letter from Christopher rather than the voice recordings on a memory card.  Transfers came and went again and both Christopher and his companion are still in Batavia.  Christopher was kind of hoping to stay in Batavia for at least one more transfer because this month is when most of the people that they have been teaching, have baptismal dates set.  From what Christopher said in his letter, the first of these dates is coming up this weekend.  That will be really exciting for Christopher since this is probably the first baptism that he has experienced as a missionary.  Since they have been so busy with all of the teaching that they have done and the baptismal dates that are scheduled, Christopher told us that they haven't had as much time for tracting.  As a result, their teaching pool is down right now which just means that they have a new challenge.  He said that they will be spending a lot more time tracting and contacting new people over the next few weeks so that they can build their teaching pool back up to where it was a few weeks ago.  With all of this missionary work going on in Batavia, things are really exciting for Christopher.  It is always good to see the work moving forward.

Christopher has been playing the piano a lot during his mission.  He said that he plays the piano at all of the missionary meetings and during Sacrament meeting on Sundays.  He has learned a lot of hymns and has really improved his sight reading abilities.  I'm sure that his musical ability has really benefited both himself as well as all those who hear him play.  He told us in his letter that he was even asked to play the piano at a funeral that was held recently in his Ward.  Christopher has always enjoyed playing music and it is great to hear that he has been able to share his talents for music with the people that he is serving on his mission.

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