Tuesday, September 16, 2014

September 15

This week has been a great week, but quite a lot like all the other weeks of my mission. I love being here and I'm super glad that I still have a long time left, but really I am starting to feel a little bit like I am the same yesterday, today, and forever. The good news is that I got permission to go do some visits with the branch president from Baranoa here in my area, since he'll be here in Barranquilla and we can meet up to work together for a couple hours. That will be a great experience.

I suppose I'll just talk a little about the work. But more in general. I feel like it's a super amazing time for me to be here on my mission. When I was in the CCM the first presidency for the first time came out with the hastening the work theme. So I have had the huge privilege of seeing how missionary work has changed during my time. Our mission president showed us a few awesome statistics. Last year we were baptizing about 100 or more people each month, but lately we have been baptizing about 40 or so. Last year, the attendance at sacrament meeting was about the same all year long, but this year it has been climbing by more than 100 each month. We have been retaining almost all the converts and rescuing a ton of less active members. We focus a ton on family history work as well - an investigator can't get baptized until he has begun to work on his family history and fill out the booklet My Family. Which reminds me I would still love it if you could send me once in a while a story about my great grandparents to fill out my book. I already filled out a great story that grandpa sent me about Melvin J Taylor and I want to keep working to be an example for the members and investigators. I just can't get on family search for now, where I know that all the data is.

I am learning a lot about how to make my teaching even better. This week I plan to buy a small whiteboard to use to teach certain principles. I love teaching the gospel so I am anxious to use whatever resource I can to get people to really understand. I am learning a lot about how to work with the ward leaders. It has been hard for me to adjust to being in an experienced ward after having been in a branch for so long. I have had to learn a lot about how to take full advantage of the ward mission leader and ward missionaries, instead of just having to do it all myself. And I know that there is a lot left for me to learn. For example, this week we had a zone conference and the stake president from this stake talked. He talked a lot about how to really strengthen the wards, and he told us that for a ward in this stake to grow, it has to be divided into 4 sectors, and all the visits within the sector have to be independent. Or in other words, no one from sector one can go visit in sector 3 for example. Then each sector is strengthened and can grow to be a ward. It's a cool technique that he is going to try, and he says it has worked before. I am excited to see how it goes. They really are making huge strides to help the missionaries work hand in hand with the members.

Well I love you all and hope you are having a great time and that your studies are going well.
Elder Wilson

PS I'm about to go bowling with my district, I get you pics next week.

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