WEEK ONE!!!!! So, we get here Tuesday night, I have one last looooooong night with my MTC companion (we are in the same mission), get to transfer meeting the next Morning, and my trainer is…….ELDER ALLRED!…who only speaks English.
Yup, my first area is in the English sector. We’ve had fun teaching each other, though; he teaches me how we do things in the field, and I teach him Spanish. It’s a perfect trade-off (although slightly unfair because I barely know Spanish and so I think I’m teaching him wrong 90% of the time). Oh, and one thing I learned: when you like a person’s tie, you say “Me gusta su cuerpo.” (By the way, don’t tell everyone this: it is a joke from the MTC. Cuerpo is body. XD The Zone Leaders told us that, and so we passed it on. I’m waiting for my companion to be unsuspecting.)
Fun fact: Florida Ft. Lauderdale is the highest baptizing mission outside of Utah (because somehow Utah has nonmembers…). So, in a somewhat literal sense, Florida Ft. Lauderdale is the best mission in the US! We can’t compete with the world, since South America has baptisms everywhere…pero it is still one of the best missions ever!
Our zone is the Corral Springs Zone, a.k.a., The Dunk Zone! We are currently in Dunktober!!! Our area is the Cypress Creek area, so we are next to the eastern beaches. We live with two Spanish missionaries (who work in the same area for the most part, yet they are not in our zone…).
Both companionships (us and the Spanish Elders) completely whitewashed into this area: one of the Elders before us went home due to medical problems, and so they transferred out two to three weeks before we made it in. The other Elder just went home, so we couldn’t get much info on the area. All we knew was that we were in a new area (Elder Allred had been here, but it had been a year previous, so a lot has changed). The area is therefore considered “dead”, since there have been no new investigators for the past 4 weeks (they didn’t have any when they left).
As such we have had little success. We have only met one person who is Atheist and one who believes in the Flying Spaghetti Monster (I didn’t know that was a thing). Everyone else is religious. Since I am in an English area, I am in the Bible Belt. We have had a few people try to bash us, but we walked away. Down here, we don’t even engage in bashing. That is an important thing to learn.
Most of the area I am in would be classified as “the ghetto.” There are a lot of Hatians, Latinos, and African Americans in these areas. This is actually the most successful area for us; they look for change. Our area has some of the richest people and some of the poorest people I have ever seen. Our bishop owns 3 Popeye restaurants. Compare him to the man we met who only had a bike. We spent one hour in the richer neighborhoods, and we did not have many people who were open to us, yet we always found people in the poorer areas. This is much like Alma teaching the Zoramites: the humblest people were the poorest people. We do not know if some of the rich were converted, but we do know that almost all of the poor were.
We met the members yesterday. I had been waiting for Suday for so long because I cannot wait to serve with the members. We really cannot do anything without the members. Many people do not realize how vital they are, but missionaries and members are alike. However, there is so much that we need help with from the members. For you members: find ways to constantly serve the elders. Feed them (this is actualy very important!), go on splits with them, let them teach you and your families, and have them help you. Otherwise, we knock doors all day. That is actually the worst way to be productive in a day. Although our mission has a required 1 hour of knocking a day, if all we can do is knock doors and hope to get in, we are not helping people. Let us help you! It is important for all of us. If you need the floor swept, give us a call! Ask the missionaries! We want to help you!
Spiritual Experience: We have a thing called Family at 4 Friday. We go out and look for families by tracting around 4:00pm. We had been praying for the opportunity to find investigators and families, but we hadn’t found any yet. So, with a prayer in our hearts, we went tracting. We did not have any success by the time we had to make it to an appointment. But after the appointment we had time at about 8:15 (we can only go home for food or when it is 9:00). So we went tracting again. Then we found one family at 8:30 (they were Spanish, so we referred them to the Spanish Elders) and then we found one other family at 8:45! We found two families!
Extra note: I have seen lots of water every day (because I am by the beach), but I still have not seen any alligators. I am a little depressed about that.
Love you all!
Some pictures with his MTC district: