Holiday Festivities and an Abandoned Sweater Vest

Hello everyone,

Another week has passed and I am here to give a full report the week’s shenanigans. Where to start, I have no clue. It’s been very busy and a lot has happened. We are continuing to pick up more investigators, slowly, and the holiday spirit of Thanksgiving and Christmas has begun to set in.

IMG_0146Tracting life is the best life. Also, a sweater vest. Elder Rowley left it behind, so I claimed it for mah-self.

But before I get into all that, I wanna roll back a bit to the beginning of this week. We had excellent lessons with Jasmine and Joan, our two currently progressing investigators. We’re hoping to have baptismal dates set with both of them soon, and we are starting to see them gain testimonies of their own. It’s quite interesting to watch actually.

On Monday we had a most interesting encounter. Elder Weaver and I were out trying to contact a less-active member and as soon as we stopped to knock on the door, we overheard some people on the other side of the fence just across the street discussing the differences between Christian denominations and why certain churches have practices that others do not. By some crazy coincidence (of which none truly exist for all coincidences are God’s micromanagements), a teaching opportunity had just dropped right in our lap.

So, Elder Weaver and I being the goofy guys we are called over the fence and started talking to them. They invited us back with them and we discussed the message of the Restoration and the importance of having faith in Jesus Christ for about an hour. They were very kind and very interesting people, though not interested in taking the discussions. However, we did leave two copies of the Book of Mormon with them and one of them wanted to pray for us before we left. Even without a return appointment, seeds were planted!

Anyway, moving on from that, this was the week of Thanksgiving! Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Elder Weaver and I had three, count ’em, three meal appointments with members, two of which were Peruvian families. I had a very Peruvian Thanksgiving to say the least. At one of our appointments we did pick up a new investigator! His name is Michael and he is dating a member. He came to church yesterday and hopefully will progress well!

Two days later, on Saturday, we went on exchanges with the zone leaders. I was in downtown Concord for the day, in the Walnut Creek YSA ward with Elder Dey, who is the coolest of cool cats. Hahah, sorry. But seriously, Elder Dey and I have a lot in common and had a very interesting day. We got screamed at and cussed out by a less-active member, got lost trying to find non-existent streets, and talked to a particularly large group of Seventh-Day Adventists. So, yeah, pretty exciting stuff.

That evening Elder Dey and I went with a recent convert and one of the YSA investigators to the opening event at the church’s Days of Christmas celebration on Temple Hill in Oakland and saw the lights on the temple grounds for Christmas. We met Elder Weaver and Elder Apostolos there with some of the less-active youth from my ward and re-exchanged afterwards.

IMG_0174 (1)
Elder Dey and I on the terrace of the temple. Yes, it was VERY cold and VERY windy.

IMG_0172
Elder Weaver and I freezing in the wind. Also, the lights on Temple Hill!

Alright, I’ll wrap it up now. We’ve had a pretty eventful week (and transfer, so far) here in Clayton Valley and we’re looking at another big one coming up this week. Thanks for all the support, letters, and love! It means a lot, especially in this holiday season away from home.

Love you all, and have a wonderful week! Stay warm!
~Elder Pike

IMG_0162We had to take care of this, the world’s saddest dog. We went to feed it every morning. Anyway, it was rescued from being abused and so it’s suuuper afraid of strangers.

IMG_0171Another picture from Temple Hill. That’s Elder Apostolos down in front, with Chris and Geoff, an investigator and recent convert. Again, yes it was VERY cold and windy.

IMG_0173Don’t think I’ve sent this before, but this sculpture on the side of the Oakland temple is truly a wonder of the modern day. This one is Christ teaching the sermon on the mount, and there is another sculpture on the other side of Christ descending from heaven to teach the Nephites in the Book of Mormon.

 

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