2 December, 2012

Hey mate,
Just to report on the status of my area and what we are doing… When I got here last week there were 2 investigators, there was no area book, just a stack of teaching records in a bag in the boot of our car. My comp said they had never done planning, (daily or weekly) never had companion study, never taught a proper lesson, been finding only once. They filled most of their days hanging out at polynesian less-active members homes. Some other issues: He has developed some very inapporopriately casual relationships with the people here, a lot of gossiping, nicknames, joking around. Being from sydney he knows a lot of these people from before his mission. He has never gotten out of bed before 7:15 despite me reminding him every day, he constantly talks about girls and pre mission life, He really does not know how to teach, he just talks about himself the whole time, he gets frustrated and stressed about the smallest of things. I have been quite shocked to be honest, I have never seen anything like this on my mission. Fortunately, in just a week I feel that I have gained his trust, he is open and honest, he respects and supports everything I do, there is a lot of unity and love and support here. Unfortunately he does not believe God will help him to change, he thinks he is fixed in his ways. He says all the time how he wants to be a powerful faithful missionary, he strongly desires this mission experience, but has not been willing to change thus far. I have learned a lot of patience in one week!!! I have found that the most effective thing has been not to push him, but rather to just lead, quietly humbly, patiently do the things I know we need to do, I have found that he is happy to follow for the most part! apart from getting out of bed, whenever I suggest anything he supports it and we do it! It has been great! As long as I do not appear to be trying to change him directly he does not resist, and he may not know it himself but he is already changing! It has been a challenge, but I feel that studying section 121 has helped me for this assignment. The principles there are what I am applying, I know I cannot change him, but I have seen how long suffering, gentleness, meekness, love, persuasion have brought about much good!
This week has been interesting for sure, some kinda unique things, my companion wanted to go home, he talked to president on the phone for like an hour, he also kinda freaked out at MCM. A lot of tears this week. looking back on the week it feels like I have been here for ages, I know everything about this guy, His whole life story, I love this guy, but it sure has been a challenge!
Some great news is that we have added 9 new investigators without really trying that hard! there are some great part member families, we have also seen some miraculous referals, there is just an outpouring of goodness coming just from getting out and working. I love this area! the ward is amazing! we went to ward council and I have never seen a ward work so well! we had 8 investigators at sacrament and we didnt have to worry at all, the members were extremely proactive in fellowshipping, the ward is constantly updating us with people we shoiuld go see, honestly missionary work has never been so easy, we just need to go and do! It is all just working, I am so greatful to be here! We set a baptism date as well! and there are about 15 other people that could very seriously be baptized in the next few months! and I dont doubt that its possible because I know a missionary who served here about a year ago and in 3 months he baptized about 10 people! And since there has not been much happening here in at least 6 months, there are a lot of blessings backed up in the pipeline! haha
It has been good to beging learning the DL responsibilities, it is helpful to have some experience as a zone leader, I hope that can help me to know how to best support the zone leaders and their plans, from being a ZL I know how important and powerful this calling can be if taken seriously, and thats what I plan to do. The elders here are great, its an honor to serve them

Good luck with the finals my man! love you!

Love you heaps
Elder Faulkner
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