Well hello there everyone!
This has been a great week! I'm pretty sure I've worked harder this week than any other week of my mission. As Zone Leaders we have to have the example area for the rest of the missionaries. We taught more lessons than one of our districts, we have 3 baptism dates right now and are planning to set some more this week.
Being a Zone Leader isn't as bad as I thought. I assumed that we would be busy doing administrative things most of the day but that isn't true at all. Although we get a million phone calls asking for permission to do things we don't really loose too much proselyting time. We do have a few more meetings to go to and some nights are hard to get to bed on time because of phone calls and such or dealing with issues but most days are not too bad. I have really enjoyed getting to know more missionaries and being able to offer advice by the Spirit.
Things I don't like are telling someone "no" when I would want to do the exact same thing that they are requesting permission to do. haha. That's life though isn't it.
This last week I conducted my first exchange ever. I've been on several exchanges as a missionary but never as the one to conduct the exchange. It was a success. I went with Elder Merrell from Georgia who has a super thick accent! It was fun. Kinda weird to be one who gets asked for advice or to help set goals of how to become a better missionary. I hope I was able to help him find new insights to his missionary work.
Coolest story for the week... There is a man that we've been working with who has made an incredible change in his life. Brother Pitman hasn't been active in the church for several years and has had events in his life that have led him back to the church. The great thing about Bro. Pitman is that he commits himself to change or he teaches himself. So here's the story, we went to our appt and the first thing he says is, "come in, I need the Spirit bad today and you bring it with you." As we started talking we wanted to commit him to live the word or wisdom. Well definately he felt the Spirit because before we could even say anything he says, "it's time to change, yup, get out the ointment, I need a blessing." At this time he gets on his knees and keeps saying get out the ointment. I did all I could to not chuckle. I said, "Bro. Pitman, I think you mean the consecrated oil. We don't need that for this type of blessing." He then says, "Well I don't care what you use, I just need some divine intervention here!" What a great man. Well long story short he is now starving for the Spirit and doing all he can to quit smoking. He goes out to teaching appts with us and now helps us to commit others to live the word of wisdom. We gave the talks in his ward yesterday and when I started I promised the congregation that as I shared my thoughts they would have a name come to their mind of someone who needed to be invited to come to church and to meet with us. When we were done Bro. Pitman came up to us with a list of at least 10 names and said, "Elder Walker, I need some Book of Mormons." He is so awesome!
Well we are working hard and having fun and most definately living it up! I really like this area. I really like the people we work with and the leaders of the church here. Doesn't mean that I don't miss St. Anthony because I really really do but this place is just as good. In fact when I have missionary dreams they are still with me proselyting in St. Anthony apparently my brain hasn't come yet... I can see me loving this area just as much.-- Peace and Love,Elder Walker