Last week we taught one of our new investigators, Shawnee, for the second time. Our ward mission leader came with us and when the Spirit was strong we invited her to be baptized on October 21st. With tears streaming down her face she accepted and we explained what she would need to do to prepare for that day. It was such a great lesson. She has four children ages 16, 12, 8, and 6 that will hopefully all will be able to be baptized with her (her 16 year old gives her a lot of grief) but if anything can help her family, it will be this gospel and church.
I was able to go on exchanges this week with Elder Parkinson (we were Assistants together). He serves in Garfield Heights - the Parma area (suburbs of Cleveland) and we had a great time. We found some new investigators, got to work in the ghetto a little bit (which is the funnest), and gave an awesome church tour at the end of the night to two of their investigators. We had a couple from the ward with us and as we went around from room to room, there was such a wonderful spirit. We had soft music playing on the speakers that play in all the rooms channeled from the Chapel and all the lights were on, rooms orderly and clean. So the appearance and atmosphere was just perfect for the Spirit to be noticed the most. But when we walked into the chapel at the end of our tour, and sat on the front benches, the Spirit was SO strong. It felt like a waterfall of peace just overcame all of us and we sat there for about 5 minutes just basking in the wonderful peace and tranquility - the soft music still playing. We stopped the music and asked the two ladies what they thought. One just nodded her head and said "I can feel it... This is where I need to be" and the other smiled and nodded in agreement. We walked around and explained what the Sacrament was and how the services are ran, and then we ended our tour with a musical number by Elder Parkinson and I. It's called My Kindness Shall Not Depart from Thee - he sang, I played the piano. It was a wonderful night and we all were edified.
This week we had a Zone Development Meeting (a meeting with all the missionaries in the stake - not quite a Zone Conference, but similar) and I was asked to be in charge of the role-plays. They explained that they wanted it to be like mock-contacting (talking to people on the streets) and asked me to make up some little scenarios. They had little cards printed out that had information like this:
Name: Benjamin Young Religious Background: Non-denominational/ Christian; attend the Word Church Currant Occupation: Internship-ing with Goodyear Family Status: 3-year old son; pregnant wife Story: Living in Akron and on your way to a job interview with Key Bank as a budget analyst. Don’t know Cleveland well and parked 10 blocks too far – your interview is in 15 minutes. It will determine if you get the job. Missionaries walk by on the street as you walk quickly to your interview.
It was a lot of fun and almost every story I created was based on real people I have contacted into or taught. We got to the mission office early (where the meeting was held) and set up the room we'd be in with different props and had had the missionaries who would be the non-missionaries bring tshirts, hats, backpacks, etc. to where for the role-play. It was awesome and we all learned a lot. The missionaries had a good time and afterwards we had a discussion on what went well and what didn't. The theme was "talk WITH people, not TO people" -- or in other words, we're here as missionaries to share a message that will improve the quality of people's lives and to invite them to come unto Christ... Not here to get as many baptisms or people to church as we can. It all went really well though.
Monday was Zoned Out! Half of the mission gets together on 2 different days and we have a big P-day together. We did this last year, except because I was an Assistant, I didn't get to participate as much because I ran one of the "stations." There were 4 different rooms we would rotate to (because we were in 4 groups) - one was a game like Mafia, one of a Preach My Gospel scripture-chase-like game, one was a jeopardy game, and the last was a tour of the Johnson Home. They were all a lot of fun and being in the Johnson Home one last time as a missionary was very special. That's where D&C 76 was received. After the stations, we all have lunch together, change into our pday clothes (every zone makes shirts as you can see in the pictures), we do a big fun relay race -- Cleveland Zone won! We dominated :) and then we're excused to go play basketball, football, volleyball, etc. for the rest of the time. It was a BEAUTIFUL day outside so we played volleyball outside. It was a lot of fun.
This week we got to work at the local hospital again. This time they had us assigned as "travelers" which are people who escort the patience around the hospital. We got to work with two older men and a girl our age who works there. They were hilarious and for 2 hours we were running all around the hospital, talking to the patience, laughing with them, explaining to them how to get back to the waiting room (the hospital is under construction and it's like a maze getting around there). But walked SO much! We also learned how-to and how-to-not push a wheelchair :) It was a great few hours of service and we loved getting to talk to so many people who would said "Oh! You're Mormons!" when we'd mention we were on missions. On Wed, Sep 12, 2012 at 11:52 AM, David Dransfield
So another busy week, like I said, and the next 2 are going to be just as busy I'm sure. Everywhere I go (whether it's a missionary or a member) I am reminded that I don't have too much time left. It's awful! It will be a strange transition to go home and I will be very sad to leave, but I am excited to see my family again :) I'm so grateful for how wonderfully blessed I've been on my mission. I have grown and changed so much and my life has been eternally enriched because of the experiences I have had. I hope I can continue to be a missionary for the rest of my life whether or not I have a black name tag, because the blessings of this gospel are too great to keep to myself. I wish the world could understand what we know and have! It's amazing.. Almost too good to be true. But it is true.
I love you all! Have an awesome week!
Love, Elder Dransfield
Outside the Johnson Home
Cleveland Zone - Winners of Zoned Out!
Elder Ingersoll, Sister Tokunaga, and Elder D. - They put on the Luau together earlier this year.
Elder McMillians - I trained him