Monday, March 29, 2010

Searching for Investigators

Photo from the baptisms Elder Goode and Elder Alvarez had on March 13th in Babahoyo.

Hi Curtis. Thanks for the photo. It is awesome. Tell me the names of the guys in the photo please. Is this your baptism from last week?

Okay, I can see from the date on the photo, that it was on March 20th, so it must be your baptism from last week. That means the guy without the tie must be your convert, Linyker. I know the second from the left is Elder Alvarez, your companion who went home last week, so who is the other guy. Which one baptized Linyker? Why are you the only one smiling?

Hey, so guess what? We had a really hard week. We don´t have many people to visit right now so we are trying to find new people that we can teach. So I am really tired. We broke out the ward directory and tried to find all of the members that we could, so that they could give us references. So I walked all over our sector sometimes up to forty blocks an hour. We have been walking a ton.

Something good that is happening is that we have been having activities as a stake. We are doing an invasion. We are going to invite all of the people that we can, to come to the church to watch “The Testaments” so that we can get references. So that should help, but we are trying to do all that we can to find people that we can by ourselves, too, so that we can have success here. We got really lucky when I got here with Elder Alvarez, but now the people don´t want to listen.

Well it sounds like you have a really good plan to create some success. It seems like a lot of the missionaries have found people to teach by talking to the members, especially the part member families. There are probably siblings or younger kids who have not been baptized yet, unless Elder Walke found them all when he was there. He baptized a lot of younger kids while he was in Babahoyo. I think he really went through the Primaries and tried to locate all the kids who were coming, but had not been baptized yet.

Have you tried lots of prayer and faith with your plan? Fast Sunday is coming up again. Maybe you could have a fast for the extra help that you need.

Thanks for the pictures. They are wonderful. I am assuming that the family is the sister of Linyker, her husband and daughter. Is that right? What are their names? Is this at their apartment? When was the photo taken?

Shrimp and Fish Elder Goode ate in Portoviejo back in February. They purchased them in Manta one p-day.

In the picture, there is Antonio on the left. He baptized Linyker and then Elder Alvarez and then Linyker and then me.

What is Antonio's last name and how does he fit in? Is he a friend, brother, or ward member?

I don´t remember his last name but he is a ward member. He was baptized in February and we wanted him to have the experience of baptizing someone to keep him excited about the gospel and we made the arrangements to have him do it. Really it was cool to see him do it.

That is neat. They look like they are about the same age. When I talked to Chris Jenkins yesterday, she said that in Clayton's mission, the missionaries don't get to do the baptisms. They are required to have a ward member perform the baptism because it helps the new convert to form ties with ward members and keeps them active for longer. It sounds like a good plan because if the only ties the convert has are to the missionaries they will easily get discouraged after the missionaries move on to another area, but if they have ties to a ward member, they are more likely to keep coming and progressing. It also makes ties the other way, so that the member feels responsible for the new convert and will try to protect the member and help them to grow in the gospel. Chris said that they try to get 50 people out to each baptism so the convert will feel a strong tie to the ward. Hopefully both boys will progress in the gospel and the Priesthood and go on missions.

The picture of the family with me and Elder Garcia is the Nuñez family from Portoviejo.

The picture with all of the people are: in the blue is Wendy and in the gray Sandy, that we baptized the week before and in the yellow their cousin. In the pink, is their friend. She is a member of six years and she gave the reference to the missionaries and she is now a ward missionary that is teaching Linyker and Sandy and Wendy the lessons again. And then there is Linyker and Antonio, again.

Wow. That is awesome! It is neat to see the members getting involved with teaching the new converts. Hopefully Linyker, Antonio and the friend will all have a desire to go on missions and teach the gospel to others. Your influence could spread exponentially to places you cannot even imagine. Your influence will continue to be felt for generations and generations of time.

Who are all the pretty girls in the photo? Are they members yet? If not, you better get busy and teach them all. Does Linyker have a girlfriend?

Linyker doesn´t have a girlfriend, but I told you in the other email who were all of the girls in the picture.

Okay. They look awfully close, but I guess the people of Ecuador are more inclined to touch than we are in the USA. Hopefully they are good friends by now. It is really neat that she is teaching Linyker. What a neat experience for them all. Do these kids have more friends that you can teach? It would be great if they could become involved with teaching the gospel to their friends. It would help them prepare for missions.

We are trying to get more references so that we can teach their friends. We have asked, but we haven´t gotten references yet.

You must have found a faster computer with a USB port today. Thanks!!!

Why is the water so green? The font is gray. Where is the green coming from? Is that what all of your water looks like? Yuck! I am grateful for purified water. I hope you are, too!

The green water comes from the water tank in the church. It is dirty and they need to clean it. So until they clean it, our baptisms will be in green water.

Sounds like a service project for some missionaries and new converts to the gospel.
Ask them to help you clean the water tank and have them bring some of their friends to help you. Maybe you can accomplish both tasks at the same time. Come up with some other service projects that they can help with and bring friends to. Go sing at the hospital or just visit. Make something or fix something. Think creatively and get as many involved as you can. Serve food and more will come. Advertise that you are serving food and you will get even more.

Well, we could, but they actually pay a guy to clean the church, so they said they could call him and tell him that the water tank is dirty. So he will do it, because he gets paid to do it.

Well, come up with another service activity to generate interest from the kids. Maybe you could clean the church or clean up the outside of the church or do a neighborhood cleanup project. Do service, then play soccer and have refreshments. Put up lots of fliers around the neighborhood to get people's interest.

I am sure that if we advertised food we could get all of Babahoyo to come to the activities, but the thing is, we don´t have a huge budget and this gringo is all out of money. So we are going to have to see what type of budget we are working with, but it won´t be very big at all.

I will see what we can do to plan some activities and get them into action. They sound good, but it will take some planning to make them work good, too.

Okay. Well you will have to work with the resources you have. I bet you could come up with some creative way to get food there. A cookie baking contest for the young women? A pie baking activity for the Relief Society? Work with your ward activities committee. Somebody has the resources to help you.

I checked your account last night and you are indeed almost out of money again. Alas, so am I. I will try to get you some more on payday, but probably only $100 this month. Sorry.

Isn't planning one of the things that missionaries do best? Maybe your Zone could work together to come up with a community service day. Maybe you could get some help from the community leaders to fund the project. Spring is a great time to beautify the world. Approach the wards, the stake and the community. Dream big! Plan big! You can make it happen and the results will bless all of you.

I love you so very much and I am so very proud of all you are doing. Did you write to Clain? Please do. He can hardly wait to find out what you think of his call. He has talked about it all week long.

Love always and forever,

Well, I gotta go. Tell Clain congratulations on his mission call for me and tell him to check his email, too. I love you all lots.


Elder Goode

I love you son. You are an amazing example to me!!! BE GOODE this week and every week!

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