December 26, 2011

Last week for this year

So, I wish I could send pictures.  Once I get a card reader I'll go for it.  Maybe they have one at seven.
This week we had a service project. (Typical for right now, flooding stuff)  I ended up helping run parts of it.  I understand a lot more why they work how they do.  Really fun.  Ideally we would have members at the service, not missionaries.  They are willing to work, but tend to just clump up and drift around.  Very interesting human dynamics.  I really wish it was a small, well informed group at each.  I could get a lot done because I knew what we were trying to do comletely, where everything was, etc.  We just have too much undirected effort.  I'd ask for 10 boxes, get 30 with 7 new people, ask them to return the extras, then end up with only one box.  Normally they work out better, but the food relief stuff is really abnormal.  We aren't really directly effected by the flood.  Just occasional things that are still unsettled.
We had a two-zone training meeting, it was wonderful.  We talked about the spirit.  It was funny, each part seemed to follow the pattern of a scripture from John, then some from D&C, maybe from the BoM as well.  I guess that is the pattern for teaching about the spirit.   The different people seemed to have independently followed that pattern for scriptures.  I loved the comments Pres. Smith threw in.  I got a lot from it.  Mostly from the stuff the spirit taught, not what they taught (their teaching was good too.)
Our members are so awesome.  I always am getting more familiar with them.  The more people I know, the more people can help us teach and fellowship.  The Christmas Party was so great.  Wonderful talks about Christ, lots of lights and tinsel.  Then great food, and fun games.  I talked with a blind man, who just blew me away.  He remembered me from weeks ago when he said hi to me in the hall.  We had three braches meeting there, the hall was packed.  He speaks better English than I do, we talked in mixed English and Thai, which is always fun.  We usually mix them when speaking to each other as missionaries.  Some Thai words are just really useful.  After the party, I told Elder Seymour about our conversation, it turns out that is the Patriach for the only stake.  He is the man.  Really great.  I am hoping he can help us with recent converts.  He would be perfect.
Switchoffs again.  I am beginning to hate them.  I love learning and seeing how things go with other missionaries and areas, but it messes up your week to be out of your area for a day or two.  I think they are still a good idea, since they do help the mission and everyone.  It's just frustrating to get out of the loop with your own investigators.  Such goes the life of the companion of the district leader.  I do get lucky with it, I swich off with everyone and the Zone Leaders, who are awesome.  Lots of good things from it.
Biking has been really great.  I am good at biking in traffic, it's really fun.  I can unstick my chain in a few seconds, as well as put it back on (I also know better what speeds I can shift at so neither problem happens too often.)  Finding former investigators has really been working, and it's only possible while biking.  I've been working on a method to get it to work better, every day we get better at it.  During switch offs, in one day we got as much as I did in our first few days of finding formers, I already knew how to do it much more effectively.  Knowing about things and what to do is different than being given a way to do them.  I do a lot of way-finding, because it is really important to getting things to work.
So many things to work on!  Since I am comfortable with math, I've got graphs of things on our wall.  Our goals seem really out of line, so I also have some numbers on how things work out goal-wise to try to make our goals possible, and help us improve. (They are getting much better these last couple weeks)  People are important, key indicators help us measure the effectiveness of our efforts.  We just need to get one more lesson, one more new investigator, etc. each week for us to be doing really fantastic in a month.  High goals just don't mean high performance, a lot of missionaries try to say it's all about faith, we should set high goals.  But always falling short isn't going to give you faith, and it's not going to stretch you, because you can't make it.  I think that our goals should push us just enough to get improving performance.  Steady improvement will lead us to having those sky high numbers, in the future.  Each week you should meet most of your goals. (This week should be a first for us)  Sky high goals don't work out, they fall short.  There has to be a reason you are going to double your lessons taught, and not many people are willing to try something so different to get such a different result.  New numbers take new things.  I love finding ways to improve my teaching, my study, my use of time.  It works too, just look at my wall and our investigators.  We have more investigators who are progressing than before.  We find more people.  I have more fun.  Seriously, I love it.  Elder Seymour is awesome.  He's totally fine with trying out new things.  It'd never happen without him.  He's why things are working.
Elder Buss

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