Monday, June 15, 2009

New Companion

Dear Family,
Wow. What a crazy week. Last preparation day I was trying to prepare the apartment for the change from four to two missionaries, but I spent a lot of time with the Elders as they were packing. It sure has been different with only one other missionary in the apartment. I miss the other Elders, especially Elder Bowles, but I love my new companion as well. My companion is Elder Taylor. He is from a small town in central Utah called Bicknell. He is a great missionary who has a strong determination to serve the Lord.

I feel I have been stretched and have grown more in this first week than I did the entire first two transfers. As junior companion you do help with plans and you are still accountable, but you sort of float. Now that I am the one that is in charge, I feel the burden to plan effective activities every night. As a district leader, I am "a bishop within the mission." I have a small district, only two Elders (Elder Taylor and me) and the two senior sisters in Cenica (Sis. Black and Sis. Peterson). Every night after planning, I call the sisters to receive their numbers (member present lessons, other lessons, contacts, new investigators, and less active/new convert lessons). I then add those numbers to our numbers, and I give  district totals to the zone leaders. I have no time at nights because I am on the phone. My journal writing has been almost non-existent.  :(  Oh well. I will work out some time in which I can write. My biggest struggle so far as a senior companion is having members at our lessons. The goal is to have 12 lessons with a member present, but we only had two.

Allen is all set for his baptism. Allen is not Edna's grandson. Allen is a man that Elder Bowles and I met on the street. He is an interesting individual. He has lived in the south his entire life and has never been to a church. We have taught him everything and he is way pumped for his baptism this Saturday. Elder Taylor is going to baptize him and am I going to do the confirmation. Allen has not had a single cigarette since we taught him the Word of Wisdom. It truly has been a miracle. I'm so thankful that we have Allen to work with. When we were at transfers, President McConkie talked to those who were training, and he told us he expected us to baptize during the first month with our trainee. Hopefully everything goes smoothly with this baptism. Billy Bentley is Edna's grandson. His uncle, Charly has "antied" him pretty hard so I'm not sure if he is going to progress anymore.

There is a part member family that the biking Elders had been working with: the Shooks. The mother and all the kids are members, but the father, Rodger Shook is not. I am very frustrated with him at the moment. He has a testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith and of the Book of Mormon. He comes to church every week, but he will not get baptized. During Elders Quorum we split up into committees and Rodger went to the proclaiming the gospel committee and he was giving suggestions on how we can do better missionary work. I wanted to rip my hair out! I can't seem to figure out why he will not get baptized.

Wayne Morris has officially been taught everything. We are going over this week to go through the baptismal questions to show him that he knows everything, and then we are going to read Moroni 7 and explain to him that the "spirit" that has told him to hold off on the baptism is not coming from the Lord. The Lord does not want to withhold blessings from any of his children.

Time for a story. We were riding our bikes down the road and we were supposed to turn right at the end of the road but the thought "chocolate lab lady" kept coming to my mind. The "chocolate lab lady" was a lead Elder Bowles and I got a long time ago. We tried to see her many times but she was never home. Anyways I kept thinking of this lady so I decided to follow the prompting and instead of turning right at the end of the road, I turned left and went to her house. She and her sister were home and we picked them up as new investigators! We are supposed to see them again tomorrow. Oh their names are Sallie and Kelli. I love you! I love the Lord and the work he has me involved in! Till next e-mail-peace!
Elder Cowan

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