Monday, November 25, 2013

November 18, 2013

Hey guys! I am exhausted today. It's been a sweet day and I'm tired already. I played tennis with Brother Ferguson this morning after running a few miles. Then we got to play soccer today, which was a blast. It was a great last preparation day here in Frederick. Unfortunately, I haven't had much time to pack. Not quite sure when I will fit that in... It was great to hear from you guys! It sounds like all of you had a fun week. So, Mount St. Mary's is in Frederick. haha Well, Frederick area, it's actually in Emmitsburg. If you remember the Catholic professor, he worked at Mt St. Mary's. Crazy. Sounds like I will have to shoot him a text and let him know that the Mormons beat the Catholics. haha I cant believe Travis came home. Time is flying by. It's funny. We have had great weather during the latter half of the week and since time seems to be going so fast, it is hard to believe that its November. It's close to seventy degrees outside right now.
We have had a great week this week! A lot of stuff happened. I got hit pretty hard in the face with the soccer ball today so this might be kinda' jumbled.... I apologize in advance.
So, story number one. I'll start with the end. We had an entire family of Chinese people come to church at our ward. None of them speak English... haha So let me back up a bit. We have been pushing street contacting. We talk with everyone. So we are riding our bikes through a neighborhood of town houses and we run into this Chinese guy. Mid twenties. Sweet Nissan 350z. His name is Suni. So we start talking with him and quickly realized that he didn't speak much English... but we persisted. Using mostly gestures we gave him a Mormon.org card and somehow got the idea that his roommate was interested. So we went back another day to try to meet him. We knocked on the door and met Suni again. This time he was with who we presumed to be his mom. He opens the door and we say hi, he responds with nihow and then he starts speaking Chinese to his mom. We didn't know what was happening but he invited us in to his house. Then he invited us into his room to talk with him. We didn't do too well.... we tried as hard as we could to get the idea across that we were missionaries. His mom spoke a bit more English and asked us if we were the neighbors. Then she asked if we worked at the mall.... clearly we were not effective. haha So then we got the bright idea to pull up Mormon.org in Chinese. So we pulled it up on his computer. Suni saw the home page and just said "me go." haha Elder Dorsey and I looked at each other in bewilderment. haha After a quick Chinese conversation both him and his mom wanted to come to church. Crazy. So we gave them time and location and they said they would come. So a couple days later we stopped by with a translator. There just so happens to be a sister in our ward who is from China. Her and her husband came with us to meet Suni. We knocked looking for Suni and met five other Chinese people. None of them were Suni or his mom. haha But after we started talking with them in their house they wanted to come to church too. So they did. We had a bench of Chinese people in our ward. I'm not really sure how that went. I was on exchanges with the zone leaders in their area. But it was a pretty crazy story.
Exchanges with the zone leader was pretty sweet too. It was a Sunday exchange so we went to church and then came back to eat lunch. I was fasting yesterday so during our lunch hour I was just chillin on the floor. Elder Despain, the zone leader was just eating some food on the couch. Pretty mellow. So we hear some one knock on one of the adjacent doors. "Hello, we are from St John's Catholic Church and we are just going around meeting people in the  area. How are you doing today?" That got our attention. Catholics proselyting? That doesn't happen everyday. Needless to say, we were ready to answer the door. So they knocked on our door. We answered. It was a young guy, Brother Brian as we called him, in training to be a priest and a Hispanic nu. We called her Sister Maria. The young white guy was pretty timid and the nun was like super passionate. They started right into their door approach and about half  way through the guy interrupts him self and says "oh, you're Mormons." haha So Elder Despain entertains the conversation for a little bit and we moved on to some gospel conversation. The nun, shared her feeling about Christ. It was good. Super passionate.  We taught the restoration when they asked about Joseph Smith. We taught about prophets. We taught about the plan of salvation and gave them a pamphlet. We taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ a little bit and invited them to tour our church building and set up some Catholic/Mormon service project. haha It should be sweet for the zone leaders. It was funny. Like no bible bash. They just asked us questions. haha So we taught a Catholic priest and nun.
We have had a ton of service lately. The leaves keep falling. It is a never ending job. We have had a few sweet service opportunities for non members. All leaf removal. But one house stood out. We went over to this one guys house, Mr. Graves. We made a pile of leaves that was over six feet tall and at least twelve feet in diameter. It was simply amazing. I have never jumped in a bigger leaf pile. Simply massive.
We have had great success with sharing Elder Carlson's advice with the members. The members love it. We are hoping to get a lot of new faces to our ward Christmas party. It's going to be awesome. I realize that I forgot to send it to you guys last week. I will do that right now. Done. You should definitely read it. There is a lot of good stuff there. I have a new idea too. Unfortunately, I only have two days to implement it into the Frederick ward. I was talking with the zone leaders about setting up individual family mission plans. There is some good stuff there. The zone leaders have tried it with some success. I am going to refine it a little and get it started here. It's such a sweet idea. Hopefully, I will be able to send you guys some stuff on that too. I think it will really help some members who really want to get involved but are struggling to figure out what to do. My idea behind both of these two projects is that this hastening the work with member involvement thing is all new territory for the members. It's also new territory for us working with members so much but that's not a big deal really... Anyway, whenever you get into new territory it is helpful to have some instruction on what to do. Then they can do something. When they do something they feel successful and want to keep doing things. I like the idea behind it. I am really excited about the family mission plan idea. I cant wait until I have some time to develop that idea more fully.
Not going to lie... I am struggling to remember more of the stories from this week... I must have gotten hit harder than I thought.. haha Just playin'. It just all blurs together.. I need to be better at keeping a journal...
It's going to be a little sad to leave Frederick. I love this ward. It's a great area and it has a lot of great people. I'm leaving so soon too. I had a feeling I was leaving though.. Ok, I pretty much knew I was leaving. I was still hoping I would stay though.
We have a great night planned for tonight. We are having dinner with the Kippins, visiting the Ferguson's, and then visiting the bishop and Ricky. Should be a great night. Solid night to go out on...
So I am going to the Annapolis! My new comp is Elder Plumb. I've heard great things about the area.  I am optimistic to say the least. It sounds like he has been there for a really long time too. It will be nice to have someone who knows the area. I have also heard that we do a lot of biking in Annapolis. I'm stoked! I love biking. One of my elder friends just came from this area and he says its great. Plus, the apartment has a gym. Whaaat!? I am really lucking out with gyms on the mission. I have heard great things about the members there too. I am sad to leave Frederick but I figure the Lord knows what He is doing and I will be in the right place this coming transfer. Should be good. The worst news of all is that I have to pack... that might be rough...
Oh, I did get the coat by the way. It was on the doorstep when I got home Tuesday. Good thing too. Tuesday was freezing. Coldest day of the week. Brother Ferguson's coat was good but the one you sent is better. Much better. haha.
Another one of my elder friends, Elder Holm, hooked me up with a ton of music today. Pretty excited. He got me a copy of a cd that has a ton of different albums on it. So far I know that there is seven.... I am sure there is more but I am not sure how many. Plus, he drew me a sweet picture to put in my signing journal.... I don't have one.... haha Maybe ill start one. Probably not... its like a mission year book. Doesn't really sound like my thing. But I'll keep the picture for sure. He is a really good artist, so its pretty cool.
So I am not quite sure how this next week will shake out but I think it will be good. Transfer meeting is always good because we get to hear the testimonies of those missionaries coming in and those returning. The retuning missionaries get more time so they are usually more interesting. I hope all of you have a great week back home. Is thanksgiving this week? If it is then have a great day/party. haha Not sure what I will be doing. I will talk to you next week and give you the scoop on Annapolis. I am certain it will be a good report. Until then...
Love you guys,
Elder Hinkle

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