Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ready, Set, WHEEL!!

Monday, September 8th, 2014
Thursday we had exchanges, which means a missionary from a different area comes and spends the day with me or Elder Bruner, and the other one of us goes to that missionary's normal area with his normal companion. So I stayed here in Pittsford with an Elder Kelly. We saw many miracles as we traversed the rough trip from ritzy Pittsford to small town Honeoye Falls. Honeoye Falls got it's name from a tiny waterfall you can observe on the canal that runs between the town's tiny Main Street. Quaint. Anyways, we were able to connect with a lot of people, and have some really good conversations. Although people aren't keen on necessarily letting you in and letting you come back to teach their families, sometimes missionary work is only about planting seeds, and helping others feel the love of Christ in she, friendly conversations. If you humbly bear testimony of the divine power of Christ's atonement, and they are able to feel the spirit, you've done well. Just because someone doesn't accept a Book of Mormon, or an invitation to be baptized or to come to church, doesn't mean you've failed as a missionary. It's easy to feel this way, especially in an area where people are prone to politely rejecting you, time and time again. But we have no power over people's agency, one of the greatest gifts of God. So we're working on being successful missionaries, despite not seeing nearly as much success as we want to. Another exciting event was the Old Folks Olympics in Palmyra, NY. We were asked to volunteer, and we then voluntarily agreed to be the designated face painters. I had don't it before in Greece NY but definitely thought I was better at it than I actually was. One kid's "Spider-man face" turned out to be, well, something besides spider man haha (it's bad that I can't even come up with a comparison to it...) To end the event we helped Irene gear up to compete in the epic wheelchair race. Despite her efforts being more focused on finding some ice cream than actually competing in the race, she finished at an honorable third place. Out of three. It was a good time, and I'll post pictures of it transferred from elder Bruner's camera to my IPad, so sorry about the quality. We've also started giving each family a chance to come up with goals that constitute their own family mission plan, and it's been really successful. It's a great way to be connected with, and on the same page as our families in the ward. The only way we're really going to see progress in our area long term is if we work with members. We can knock on doors or contact people on the canal all day long (which is what we're doing sometimes!) but ultimately if people have a connection to someone at church besides the missionaries, they're a lot more willing to talk and to actually attend church, etc. So this week we have zone conference, a 6-7 hour long set of meetings where us, president, and a few others give trainings to the zone of about 20 missionaries. It should be fun! Love, Elder Hirschi

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