Monday, September 17, 2012

branch activity, wedding, transfer calls

Good Morning to all!
Its been a great week! We had a branch activity, a wedding and transfer calls! I guess I will start with the latter. We received our transfer calls this morning, as opposed to Saturday afternoon, because of the large influx of missionaries and the hard work it takes getting these things all figured out. And Elder Anderson and I are both staying here in Vancouver for another transfer! I'm excited about this because I love the branch here in Vancouver. It is very strong and fun to work with. And also, we will both get to be here for German's baptism this Saturday. So its pretty exciting! So we have another 6 weeks together here to work hard and help prepare our investigator's for baptism.
So that out of the way, this week has been crazy! I went on an exchange with our District leader, Elder Macaraeg on Wednesday and we went and taught Samira and Joel the Restoration. It really answered a lot of questions that Joel had, and he commited to read the book of Mormon and pray about it. they didn't make it to the cultural activity, but they did come to church yesterday and really enjoyed it! So that was awesome.
Friday we had our cultural night! It was awesome! We were helping set up tables, chairs, and decorations for most of the day, and then we had the Activity. It was really cool to see the dances from all the different countries. I'm definitely a fan of traditional lLatin America music and dance. It was pretty cool because Sister Morelli and her non member husband Gino, did a Chilean dance together. In total we got about 5 or 6 of our investigators there. thats not including the Sister's investigators that came, and other non-members that we hadn't met before. In all it was a very good turn out and a super fun night. On Saturday we had our stake day of service at Heritage farms. This is a county owned farm that leases land to charitable organizations and uses other land to grow food for the local food bank! We were there harvesting, washing, and packing carrots. It was super cool! I've never seen so many carrots before in my life! After that we took the St. Johns ward elders to lunch at Don Pedro's and then headed to the hazel dell chapel to start setting up for the Wedding. We got all the tables and chairs and decorations set up with help from several members of the Branch Relief Society and Todd and Jessica Kanekoa. From there we rushed home, got cleaned up and ready and made it back for the wedding. President Ross married them and gave them some very good advice. That they needed to have Charity for there marriage to last there whole lives, and also he talked about how they could have an eternal marriage if Rachel decides to join the church too and they prepare and enter the temple. It was a very good and spiritually moving ceremony. After that we gathered in the cultural hall to eat and dance. And then we finished at about nine, cleaned everything up, and headed home exhausted, fulfilled, and ready to get some sleep. Next step: Baptism, this Saturday!
Well it was great hearing from you all and I hope you have a great week! Take care everyone!
Elder Partridge

Monday, September 10, 2012

Faith of Nephi

We've had a pretty good week here in Vancouver! Things have been coming together pretty good! We got the details hammered out on German's wedding. We got the building scheduled and everything. So that will be this Saturday night. The stake president wants to wait a week to do the baptism after the wedding, so we will have his baptism the following saturday, the 22nd. We had his baptismal interview yesterday and he passed, so he is good to go!
In the meantime we're working with Odi to help him quit smoking so he can get baptized. He's doing pretty awesome. He's been reading the Book of Mormon, and getting a lot out of it. He made some very good comments relating to what he's been reading, during gospel principles class, yesterday. So its good he's getting a lot out of it. He is really enjoying the story of Nephi and looking for how Nephi built his great faith and how he can build his own faith.

We had a cool finding experience this week. We were tracting through an apartment complex in SE Vancouver when we knocked on a door. A woman named Samira opened the door and told us she was an inactive member of one of the english wards, and she would love to have us come by on Saturday night to come talk to her and her husband. Leading up to Saturday we were looking at this and thinking, well this looks like a less active family of an english ward maybe we should just send the appropriate elders, but we felt that we should go and find out more about the situation. So on Saturday we had kind of a slow night. Everything had kind of fallen through except this appointment. My companion had prayed that morning that the Lord would give us something to motivate us and keep us going. Well the time came to go visit this Woman and her husband. So we went and knocked on the door, she answered and let us in. We quickly saw that while she wasn't hispanic her husband was. We talked to them and found out this husband was a nonmember, and that he had talked to missionaries many years ago, it didn't really go anywhere, but lately they were thinking they needed religion in there lives and were looking for a church to go to. We talked to them about how the gospel blesses families and that if they came to church and if he would get baptized then they could prepare to enter the temple and have the ultimate blessing of being sealed as a family. The spirit was so Strong!!! We told them about the Spanish branch and they both said they would like to go, so we invited them to come to the Branch Party on friday night and then the Church meetings the following week, and they said they would love to, and we got a return appointment set for this week. We let them know that we felt like we were led to them at this time for a reason and they agreed! I know our Heavenly Father answers prayers and guides us to people who have been prepared to receive the Gospel.

One more cool thing, while German was in being interviewed by President Hartley, we were walking over to the clerk's office and found the Ridgefield Elders with a member who spoke spanish waiting for us. There was a mexican family there looking for the spanish missionaries. They live in Oregon right now and were investigating the church down there. They are planning on moving up to Vancouver though and wanted to get to in contact with the church and get help finding a place to move! So that will be another family to teach! We've really been seeing the blessings pouring in this transfer and we are greatful for them!

Its been a very good transfer, we'll be getting the calls this Saturday and we'll find out who is staying and who is going. Its hard to believe another transfer is finally over!

Well thats about is for this week. Have a great week everyone!


Elder Derek Spencer Partridge

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Place for a reason

Hey everyone! I'm emailing on tuesday because we had a little hiccup in the schedule, we weren't able to because the library was closed yesterday. Well it sounds like everyone had a good week.
I can't believe its September! Time has really been flying. Well it has been a good week here in Vancouver. One little set back is that Odi's baptism is going to be postponed. We're going to have to put a little bit more work into helping him quit smoking. We've got an arsenal of Ideas, so that will help. We fasted for him on sunday, and encouraged him to do the same. He's still eager to quit so we'll keep working with him.
Things are going good with German though. His friend in the branch Todd Kanekoa has been helping us a lot.
We've been seeing a few really cool experiences in the work here. One in particular happened last night. It was about 8 PM and our investigator, Ismael called to cancel his appointment. So we decided to contact a few referrals that we had received. We tried 1 and it fell through, and than we traveled to another one which also wasn't there. At this point, it was 8:30, we were close to our apartment, we had already used a lot of miles that day so we didn't want to drive farther away to try anyone else. It would have been really nice to just call it a night, but we decided we wouldn't. Moments later to teenagers come down the stairs carrying a dresser. We offered to help them move and they said to go up and ask their mom. We went up and offered and she agreed to let us help. so over the next 45 minutes we helped them move things out of their apartment, inbetween trips down the stairs answering questions about our mission. She ultimately gave us her phone number and said she'd be interested in learning more, and we went home feeling accomplished. Its true that the Lord always knows where we are and if we are being good boys he puts us in places for a reason.
Well everything else is going good. We're working hard and seeing success!
Have a great week everyone!
-Elder Partridge