July 21, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,              Monday,  July 21, 2014 at 11:49 a.m. (EDT)

What it is like to be a Zone Leader?  Pretty much the same. Not much changes. The biggest change is that neither me nor Elder Holley is the senior companion. Also the fact that he has been out for the same amount of time as me. That is really different from having a companion that just came out. We share the load of the work a lot more evenly. It is a relief from leading out in the area every day. 

Also we switch off who drives every day, which is nice, even though I like to drive, it leaves me time to see the area. 

We do exchanges with the District Leaders once a transfer cycle (every six weeks). There are only 2 district leader areas in the zone so we only go on 2 exchanges. We give a training at Zone Meetings and Zone Conferences. 

Every 1st Tuesday of the Month we attend the Mission Leadership Council where we discuss what is going good and what needs improvement in the mission. 

On Sunday nights the District Leaders send in everyone's key indicator numbers in a text. Monday morning we collect the reports from the district leaders and then call either one of the Assistants to the President or the mission President, President Stoker and relay the report to them. We report on 5 things: 

1) Miracles that happened in the Zone 

2) Good VGPAAs in the Zone (VGPAA stands for Vision, Goal, Plan, Action, Accountability. Each week in District Meeting each area creates a VGPAA, which is a goal for what we are going to work on the next week.)

3) Good Followups from last weeks VGPAAs. 

4) Upcoming Baptisms, Name, Date, Age, How found, If they passed their interview. 

5) Any Companionship and/or Heath Issues.

These past weeks in Bedford have been really great. So many things have been happening. I dont even know what to talk about. It helps a lot when you put questions in your letters because then I know what sort of things you want to find out about.

 Something I dont think I have ever mentioned is that there is so much granite in New England that they use if for just about everything. Nearly all of the curbing on the streets is granite. People use granite for the steps up to their house, everything. 

We walk dogs at the animal shelter. They are almost all pitbulls and dogs like that. They are a rough crowd at the animal shelter. All of the dogs are at each others throats literally. Theres one big pit bull in their named Bolo and every dog hates him. He is a fairly nice dog but he has a really mean bark and I am sure if you made him mad he has a pretty mean bite too. All I know is that I want to get a pit bull. Theres one named Denali. He is about 2 years old. He can jump 5 feet in the air. He jumps weird, like a rabbit. so all four legs are 5 feet in the air. We took him to the river and we threw rocks for him into the water. He would go crazy trying to get them. We got him to do some back flips. It is a really fun service. Anyhow you probablly care more about the people we are teaching than about the dogs we walk. 

I was able to go to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats vs. The Portland Sea Dogs game on Saturday night. It was Mormon Family night so we had a stand set up to hand out pamphlets. It was pretty great. Although the Fisher Cats were the home team most of the crowd was rooting for the Sea Dogs. The Portland Sea Dogs are the Double A team for the Boston Red Sox. Everyone in New England are huge Red Sox fans. The Fisher Cats are the Double A team for the Toronto Blue Jays. We only got to stay to the 5th inning but the score was something like 8-2 Sea Dogs. A lot of the missionaries didnt like watching the game but I was all about it. It wasnt a very good game though. The Fisher Cats played like they were a high school team. It was really fun to be at the game though.

Something crazy that happend this week. We were talking to a man named Pete on his doorstep. We were teaching about the Book of Mormon and Jesus Christ. A lady pulled up in her car out of no where and walks up to us. She asked which church we were from. When she found out, she said, "Oh, the Mormons. How dare you preach false doctrine to this man." She ran back to her car the whole time saying, "Its a good thing I showed up in time. I cant believe my timing was so good." She then handed us and the man we were teaching some anti literature for Jehovah Witness church.  Stuff saying that the Jehovah's witnesses are wrong. She must not have had any Mormon anti on her. She then said, "Mormon's dont worship Jesus Christ, they worship Joseph Smith." I asked her if she had ever talked with missionaries or studied the Book of Mormon, because if she did she would find out that we sure do worship Jesus Christ. She then drove off. The funny thing is that the man we were talking to was like, "what is that ladies deal? How dare she just come up and cut you off in the middle of your preaching to me?"

I am always surprised how rude some people can be. But then again I am always surprised when people actually listen to our message. 

Well I gotta go!