Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas Week!

We got to talk to Lloyd this Christmas.  In his mission, he goes to an Internet cafe and they are closed on Christmas day, so he gets to talk to us either on Christmas eve or the day after Christmas.  So we talked to him on Christmas eve.

He's doing well.  He was not very happy about being a District Leader because in his mission, all the District Leaders and Zone Leaders are kind of jerks.  They lecture and bug missionaries constantly.  He didn't want to be part of that, so he was not excited when he was called.  But he's working with his district and is trying to help them, not lecture and bug.  

He's in a suburb of Panama.  His apartment is about half the size of his bedroom back home.  He said he can't wait to feel carpet again.  Everything is either dirt floors, concrete, or tile.  He also hasn't had a hot shower since he was in the hospital.  

We finally were able to get some answers out of him about how much he is teaching.  He said they teach about 20 lessons a week.  That counts the five minute lesson/discussion on the street, but that's still a lot.  I remember on my mission I went entire weeks without teaching a single lesson.  

He said there are two big problems in Panama.  One is that people get baptized and then they immediately stop going to church.  He estimated that only about 10% of the members are active in Panama.  I think it is about 50% here in the US.  He also said that most people don't get married, they just live together.  So it is very common to be teaching people that want to get baptized, but can't until they get married.  He just had a family get married and then get baptized the next week, so he was really excited.

So, here's his email from the Monday before Christmas!  He did wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Well, this week was better, got a baptism! We baptized a couple who had been trying to get married for a long time, and they finally got married, so we baptized them! They are really great. And well, this week was hard, because it was a lot of contacting, but it was cool. Not a lot of lessons, everybody is super busy, but hey, that’s the life here on the mission. I did get to interview a guy for baptism, was pretty awesome. In Panama, they eat a lot of ham. A lot. Tons of it. So much ham it’s crazy. We are actually going to go caroling, and it will be pretty awesome. But yeah, it’s been OK. The comp stuff is going a bit better, I am teaching him how to be able to have fun and work, and to not take everything so seriously, its going well.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Lloyd Is a District Leader

A little intro.  Since I've sort of lost count of exactly how long Lloyd has been out, I'm changing the title and will comment.  So in this weeks letter, Lloyd is struggling a bit, but he's doing well because they have him working with a new missionary and a District Leader as well.

For thos of you who haven't been on missions, a District is usually four or five companionships and the DL performs a leadership role for those missionaries.  There's some record keeping involved and regular meetings to inspire, teach, etc.  

So here is Lloyd:

Well, this week was very very sucky! I got pulled out of my area, which sucked, because I got put in a new area where we don’t have as many investigators or stuff like that. My comp is kind of a dork, he is an absolutely boring person of boring. So, I got pretty depressed, got pretty down. Wanted e changes within about 2 days. But we had a big talk, and fixed some things. This is the kid who for fun went grocery shopping with his mom. Like, wow! I couldn’t believe it. He has two changes on the mission, and his trainer, who went to go and open an area where I wanted to go, sucked. Everyone thought he was awesome, and then we did weekly planning, where we have 4 investigators and 2 less actives. With attendance of 90. He doesn’t remember what they have taught investigators, he doesn’t really know his area that well. So, we are changing everything about how we are going to work. His trainer didn’t even really take him contacting from house to house, they just walked around forever until his trainer felt like talking to someone. We basically just walk around going to place to place. And this guy doesn’t talk. He is just boring.

I am better now, I talked to some of my friends they gave me a lot of support. I need your prayers.

Oh, I am District Leader. Wooo. Freaking sucks. I hate it, didn’t want it. But, I have two really good friends in my district, so it won’t be too bad. And the sister training leaders as well.

So I need your prayers for a while to get through these challenges.


Elder Berg