Every Monday morning we have a conference call with the mission president and all the zone leaders in the mission. We report on "key indicators" which are just the number of people who are working towards a baptismal date, coming to church, being taught by the missionaries and a member, or who have just started meeting with the missionaries. Typically our zone has a lot of people doing one or two of those things, and barely anyone doing the others.
For example, most of the other zones had about 15 or 20 investigators come to church. Ours had 6. So here's what you do on the conference call:
Mission President: Los Altos zone, how did you do on getting people to church?
Me: Well, the good news is that we DOUBLED the number of people that came to church last week! (Last week was the worst week of the year for our zone getting people to church - only 3 came)
Mission President: Excellent, elders. Good job. How many came?
Me: I think our phone battery is low. You're voice is fading, President. (I say this as I move the phone farther and farther away from my mouth)
As you probably could guess, this doesn't ever fool the mission president.
I think someone a while ago asked how we find our investigators. I thought I'd just tell you how we found the ones we are currently teaching.
Velasquez Family: There were a bunch of guys hanging out outside of a house. I spoke to one of them who had 2 different colored eyes. He gave us his address. We went there a couple days later and found his brother and his brother's daughter home. We gave them a picture of Christ (that we had intended to give to an investigator nearby, but who wasn't home) and asked to share a 5 minute message on Jesus. They let us in. We've taught them twice so far.
Sarredy Family: I'm not sure how they were first introduced to the church, but they are all from India. They have been coming to church for 3 years now. The husband is finally starting to talk seriously about baptism.
Chang Family: The husband is half Chinese and half Jamaican (I hadn't met anyone with a mix like that either). His wife is a member. They graduated from college not too long ago, and were married a month ago They moved into the ward when they got married, and the bishop from their old ward sent an email to our bishop to go meet them.
Dennis R.: After going to a member family's home to leave a blessing on their family and home, we walked across the street to a guy and his 2 sons. We introduced ourselves and asked if we could visit him another time. He said to come back in a couple weeks because he was going out of town. It didn't seem promising at all. But we returned, and brought a member with us that was baptized last year. Dennis let us in. He and the member were a perfect match, coming from the same background of gangs and poverty, but wanting to change since having children.
Banos Family: Shortly after I was transferred here, we were biking to an appointment. I saw a Hispanic lady unloading her car. I stopped and asked if she needed help. She declined, but then I asked if we could come back and teach about Jesus Christ and his restored gospel. She said yes. We've taught her and her 4 kids several times since then.
Irfan: Irfan is Islamic and is from India. He visited the Hawaii temple and agreed to have a Book of Mormon delivered. So we got a text message telling us his info. We called him and set up an appointment. We came, answered his questions about the Book of Mormon, suggested a passage for him to read, and he said that we could come back in a week.
So there you go. That's missionary work here. I enjoy learning the stories of different people, and especially asking what makes them want to meet with us. Some just want to learn. Some have specific questions. Some are going through a rough time and want some help. Following the principles and commandments of the Gospel are what help. Loving ward members do a lot too.
Have a great week. Meet someone new at church this week.