Monday, August 22, 2011

Another Transfer in Granger

President Winn called me and told me I'll be a district leader. The district leader now is going to be a zone leader, so I'm assuming I'll be back as district leader in this area. I really like the stake, the members are terrific, so another 6 month area, that's cool. "How long you been on your mission? Almost 17 months. Oh, where have you served? Only three areas!" HA! Oh man, after this President will need to bounce me around a little bit more, I need to learn this city, and so far all I know is West Valley!

Conference tickets have been given out. So all you who will be around for it, come and see me!

This last week was busy, we taught 28 other lessons. All from door knocking and street contacting. We need new investigators. One cool experience we had. We had no plans late one afternoon. We prayed to know where to go or who we needed to see. I pulled out my map and one street jumped out at me, Baty Drive. I didn't say anything, I really wanted Elder Kodama to have the same impression. So we sat in the car for nearly 10 minutes. I could tell he had no clue, but I sat there and waited patiently. Finally he said, the Granger 15th ward, which is where Baty Drive is, but he still didn't know which street or why that ward.  We drove over there and parked at the chapel. Again, 10 minutes of silence as he studied the map. When he spoke he said he felt good about Baty Drive. CONFIRMATION! I told him that's the only street I noticed on the map, and I could tell he was pretty excited about it. We went to it and taught five lessons in one hour to people on Baty. We didn't get any new investigators, but it was an amazing afternoon to be able to share our testimonies with others and to give them the Book of Mormon. I hope it was a good experience for Elder Kodama, he needs more of those to build his confidence.

Other than that all is well. Still doing great at being healthy, I'm sitting at 179 right now. 170 here I come!


Elder Scotty

Monday, August 15, 2011

Leadership Training and a Mission Tour

Last week I had two days of leadership training, what a blast. Being with 30+ missionaries for two days, and now I'm at the point in my mission where I know everybody. It's was always a dread to go so missionary functions as a new missionary, where you know maybe 3 or 4 of the elders there. Glad that's behind me. Tomorrow we have our mission tour with Elder Paul V. Johnson of the seventy, an all morning and afternoon event. I won't lie, have no idea who he is, but I'll learn great things from him that will have me saying, "I LOVE ELDER PAUL V. JOHNSON" next week.

This week the rest of our people for the month of August fell off date for baptism. We had four Cambodians, three siblings and a woman. The parents of the kids are less active members, who have a desire to have the gospel back in their lives and for their children, but they don't want to force it on them. The children are pre-teen age, so of course religion is not on their minds right now. Sad. The other one, the woman, looked promising but just picked up another job, and now she is never available to meet with us.

This is the last full week of the transfer, and being a trainer has made it fly by. The end of next transfer is conference, and after that, only ONE more conference to go! That will be exciting, the last conference for a missionary they receive plaza conference tickets, and sit right in front by the side all the leaders enter. My dad wrote me and said something along the lines that not every week will be a spiritual high in the mission field, that sometimes the trials just continue on. That definitely was this past week. Nothing too amazing happened, we contacted many referrals and none turned out to be interested. Talking to people on the streets and out walking didn't want to hear about it, and investigators dropped us themselves this week. I feel like I'm clearing up the desk and organizing it, before I can bring out my books and start studying. Right now and just getting things ready for when those who are prepared will have the attention and focus they deserve from us.

But there was one miracle in particular that occurred this week! This morning, when I stood on the scale.....179.2 lbs!!!! HUZZAH! I haven't seen a "7" as the second number since high school! So there's one thing going right for me :)

Keep the faith, and don't get discouraged when things go wrong, it will all figure out.


Elder Scotty

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Three Weeks of Baptisms

Vicky and I, sorry for the terrible lighting. She has been working with missionaries since October. I've known her since my first week in the area. I'm blessed to have been the one to help the Savior in bringing Vicky back unto Him

Now that our solid investigators have been baptized these last few weeks. We're back to finding. Names we've received haven't turned out to anything. As far as our numbers for the week, we didn't have a great week. We went by all the bishops last night, and our starting from the ground up. We have some new referrals and things to check, so I hope to be baptizing again soon.

The workout with the bike continues. Down to 182. There's this bridge going over the freeway in my area, that we ride over a few times a day. It's a good climb. Every time I start climbing it I start singing Mulan's "I'll Make A Man Out Of You". It makes all the difference. I've incorporated it into everything I do. Sometimes I want to quit, like Mulan and the rest of the gang, but as I keep pushing, I eventually overcome all the obstacles in my way. Isn't Disney great!? Why Disney songs are not approved for all missionaries is beyond me! Come on Mormon Tabernacle Choir, let's get the Disney ball rolling!

The week has been a difficult one as far as all the people we have talked to. It KILLS me when I can't help someone. So many see us and come running up to us in tears, with financial, drug, and family problems, and all I can do is say a prayer with them. I don't know who or where these people can go for temporal help. Obviously Christ is what everyone needs in their lives, but man, the world today does a good job of covering up the need for God in our lives today. People get mad at us, cry even more, or are kind and express gratitude for us for at least listening to them and saying a prayer with them. Here in Salt Lake, everyone knows who we are and who we represent. It never gets easy being under everyone's gaze. I thought being popular was all good and fun in high school and at BYU...but I don't really care for it anymore. As long as people can see Christ in me as they're watching me, that's all that matters. I wish I could see Christ's day. What it must have been like for Him to be the center of attention. People wanting everything from Him, people plotting ways to destroy Him as they watched like hawks to see if He would make a mistake, others too afraid to approach Him out of shame or fear of His power. When He atoned for us and died. The lonely journey in the garden, to the hill and be crucified, to have the spirit withdraw from Him for a time. I can never fully understand that, but I think serving here in Salt Lake  I can begin to imagine what His every day life was like. It's hard to have everyone see you and know what you're all about, or claim to be anyways.

I appreciate it all. I wouldn't trade it for anything.


Elder Scotty

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

One More Month of Summer as Elder Warczak

August 1st, my second summer in the field coming to a close. It will be nice to leave behind the sweaty shirts and hot sun, but it's sad thinking I'm on the final lap of the mission, only one more of everything. The work is going steady. Two weeks ago we baptized Jeremy, and then this past Saturday was Mike's baptism, the tall man with the three of us elders. We have another baptism this week for a woman named Vicky.

The bike is still enjoyable for me, I'm down to 184 lbs, about a 6 pound loss since the beginning of the transfer. I'm getting really dark, especially the arms. We have investigators in the Cambodian branch now. We went to temple square last night with a woman named Sochan. We brought a translator and she had a remarkable time, she wants to get baptized. Training is a fun calling. I'm not a "touchy-feely" person, so having someone follow me like a puppy gets me a little claustrophobic, but other than that it's good!

Pioneer day was enjoyable. President Monson opened the parade, it was nice seeing him and getting a wave from him when he saw groups of us missionaries. I loved the Utah bagpipe club, Scotland the Brave blaring throughout downtown Salt Lake, love it! My favorite is Mama's Temple Church Choir, they've been in the parade for a couple of years now, I remember them when I was in the parade myself a few years back. They get me so pumped, singing songs like, "Ya know make me wanna SHOUT, kick my heels up and SHOUT, come on now!!!" I can see why people go to church's like that, they're dang good at entertaining. But I'll stick with the restored gospel.

I drew this "Defenders of Zion" picture at the end of last transfer, a little bit of it here, a little here. I'm a nerd, I know, but you have to admit it pretty cool! At the temple last week, Elder Tad R. Callister, who was just called to serve in the presidency of the seventy and is the author of The Infinite Atonement, was in our session. Salt Lake City, what a place to be! Today elders in our zone were at Dick's sporting store at the gateway mall downtown, and ran into President Eyring and visited with him for a few minutes. Best mission in the world!

Pray I continue to lose weight, and I hope all of you have a glorious week!


Elder Scotty