Missionary Paul – Part 8 of 10

This is part eight of a ten part series chronicling Paul’s Mission. It is told mostly in his own words using excerpts from his letters and photographs sent home.

October 2005

Elder Bodily and I didn’t get transfered so we are both here in Concord for another transfer. Yesterday we went and played soccer in Oakland with all of the Spanish missionaries. It was fun. We are going to have the mission president come do a fireside in our branch on the 16th which should be good. We watched all the sessions of conference. This next Tuesday is transfer day so I’ll see if we move anywhere. Working on Hondas is no fun. They are over engineered. The photos came through fine. Tell Steven he has to get married before I get back as well. I don’t like weddings.

The mission is going well. We are teaching a lot of people. The other elders in our branch had a baptism yesterday and we have one coming up on the 6th of November that looks like it might fall through. The couple is having some serious marital problems. I am the junior companion. I haven’t heard from Jake C. I currently weigh 175 pounds. We ran two miles Saturday morning. You don’t need to send anything. A CD with the wedding photos would be fine, the branch mission leader has a computer.

I am currently serving in the cities of Concord, Clayton, Martinez, and Pleasant Hill California. Many of the Latino people here are receptive to the gospel message and the work is moving forward slowly but surely. Many of the people we meet are from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Peru. The food here is excellent. I think I like Mexican food the best. It is wonderful to be able to learn about many different countries without having to do any traveling and invite everyone to come unto Christ.

I am fine. I lost weight don’t worry. Make Daniel get a hair cut.

November 2005

A day usually goes like this:

6:30 Wake up, exercise
7:00 Breakfast, shower, get ready
7:30 Book of Mormon study
8:00 Personal study
8:30 Companionship study
9:30 Personal study
10:00 Language study
10:30 Leave apartment
11:00 Something: appointments, meetings. Usually we go tracting
1:00 Lunch: sometimes it moves or is dropped according to the schedule
2:00 Something: sometimes appointments. Sometimes we go tracting.
Check contacts, media referrals, you name it
5:00 Dinner: sometimes it moves or is dropped according to the schedule
6:00 Usually appointments or drop-in visits, member visits
9:00 Return home, plan for the next day
9:30 Get ready for bed
10:30 Sleep

We usually have a lot of people we need to get a hold of. The Spanish culture is kind of lax so appointments fall through alot but drop-in visits work well too. We have two baptism dates set right now, we expect to set three more soon. Transfers are next week on the 22nd, I could move or stay. I’ll probably eat with the mission president for Thanksgiving. They put out a newsletter every month, I’m saving them up and you can look at them when I get back.

I was transferred to the Oakland-Berkeley University (Student Single) Ward and I’m over referrals and supplies in the mission office. Use the mission home address if you want to send anything. Elder Vernon my MTC companion is
the new assistant to the president and we’ll live in the same apartment. The apartment is on top of a convenience store across the street from the temple. It should be fun.

Office is fun, we use computers. My main job is handling referrals and supplies for the mission but we get pulled into a little of everything and stay really busy. We ate Thanksgiving at our bishops house. It was fun. I’ll try and think of something for you to send me. I liked the last Christmas picture, that one can last can’t it?

December 2005

In the singles ward almost all of the members go home for the holidays as they are students away from home. We do have the new Kruger’s Christmas DVD that seems to be pulling in a lot of referrals. Our ward doesn’t have church on Christmas so we have to pick one to go to. I don’t know which one we will choose. Church will probably be at 9:30. We have two lines and two cell phone numbers at our apartment so you can call any time you feel like if I’m there, they shouldn’t be busy.

[Aunt] Susan’s package came right before the 1st. My companion and I are really enjoying opening them every night and we always read the accompanying scripture story. Send some of that Cukaburro licorice, it’s really tasty and some beef jerky and a bacon cheddar cheese whiz with ritz crackers. We have a huge stockpile of candy so don’t send any more and there isn’t room in the suitcases to bring anything more home so don’t send any trinkets.

I order supplies for the mission ie. Books of Mormon, manage church media generated and visitor center referrals, baptism records, and keep the office running. You’d better get reading [the Book of Mormon]. If you can manage a little more than 8 pages a day you should finish.

We are going to the Berkeley families ward for Christmas. We’ll leave for church around 9 PST and won’t be back until 1:30 PST or so. We might have somewhere to go after church so I’ll try and email you again to say when would be the best time if it’s not after church. The call is 30 minutes, the last two times you went over so have everything planned out this time. Write down some things to talk about so we don’t have to talk about the weather again.

We watched the Christmas devotional and we’ll watch the Commemoration broadcast as well.

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