Fun week, slow week for teaching, but a very good week for doing service.
We had a service project on Wednesday, one on Thursday, and another on Friday!
We went to the habitat for humanity, like we do every week, and we finished the Easter project that we started the week earlier. We had all 4 other elders come and help us, and everything went a lot faster with them, but there wasn't enough for all 6 of us, plus the sisters do all have something to do, so we ended up sharing jobs, until the other 4 Elders had to leave and The Sisters and Elder C and I just took over. It was fun, and we headed to the library afterwards to do our service there, which is mainly just reorganizing books, and straightening them on the shelves. Probably the only time you'll find me in the library, unless I am borrowing Country CD's to head to Fremont in the Mustang. :P
The other one that we did was in the other Elders area, but was led by one of our members. There is this vacant field next to a shopping center, and she was organizing a cleanup effort on all the trash that blows in from the highway. Us 4 Elders were the only ones to show up, but we got it done in plenty of time! I enjoyed being able to spend some time in regular service clothes instead of a tie. I don't know, I have always felt more useful when getting my hands a little dirty in the work, and I don't just mean finding out that door was recently painted. Only had that happen a few times…
The other service project was pretty easy, but very fun. I got to go and plant a cherry tree. :) A lady in the ward adjacent to ours had bought a tree, but had no idea how to plant it, so she asked the Elders. They weren't too sure how to do it either, and they asked us if we did. Luckily, Momma taught me well, so we went over and I planted it! :)
We had a Zone Training Meeting this last Friday, and that was also fun. One of our Zone Leaders lost his voice, so they called me the night before and asked if I would be willing to sing in the musical number they'd prepared for ZTM. I was happy to. Only problem was that half of the hymn was in Spanish, so I winged that part. Haha I don't think I did too terribly bad either! I enjoyed it though, and I have been taught that is all that really matters. :)
We had some..interesting changes at ZTM and in the mission, they are going to be changing the policy on members feeding the missionaries. The way that it was explained to us, is that some members feel that all they have to do in order to fulfill their missionary responsibilities, is to feed the missionaries or give the money in order to buy food. In order to help them realize their responsibilities, they are making it so that we can only eat with them if there is an investigator or less active member of the church at the meal, and we will be having a lesson afterwards. The members weren't too pleased to hear that, but I'm really hopeful that they will take it for what it is and start inviting their friends and less active members to the new appointments in order to help us with our missionary efforts.
The other change was regarding the way that we do missionary work… The mission is focusing on something called the South Carolina initiative, which focuses primarily on less active members, members that are prospectively the age to be an elder, and anyone with an unbaptized child age 9 or above. Since that is our primary focus, president has asked us not to just go and knock on doors, but rather only knock on doors if an appointment falls through. The majority of our missionary work is going to be found working with the people that I mentioned before, and asking for referrals while we are doing that work. I am really hopeful that this will work in the Camden word, because there's a lot of less active members need to start coming back to church.
Well, that is about it for my week. Elder Connolly has been having bike issues, being that his back tires refuses to stay inflated, no matter how often I try to find a leak and patch it. It just doesn't like holding air. We will see if I can't get to the bottom of this tonight.
-Elder Joel 'Sunshine' Barker
Large mouth bass!
It will be a tasty meal ;)