July 5, 2011
Happy 4th of July to everyone! Hope everything is going really well for you.
For the 4th of July we got to go to a BBQ. Lucky for us it was P-day and we got to celebrate. We went to some really nice member's home and hung out with them. We played basketball, volleyball, and paddle tennis. My favorite was paddle tennis because I dominated. Haha. Everyone got really sunburned. Sad day. I didn't get it too bad except for on my neck. I have a really funky neck tan from the collars on my shirts. It almost looks like I have cancer because my neck dramatically changes colors. But now the part that is covered by my collar is all red so it looks even weirder. I will have to send a picture home of my strange looking neck.
Yay we got our new Mission President! We got to meet the Bowens today and they are really awesome. The first thing you notice about President Bowen is that he is tall. He is like 6'4". Wow. I guess we are really going to have to look up to him. He seems like he has already been a mission president before. He is very confident and seems like he will be a great leader for the Anaheim mission. He told us about when he was a stake president and there stake only got 6 convert baptisms his first year as stake president. Then he decided to really follow the advice of the brethren as found in the handbooks. They also focused a lot on the 15 names program. The second year they had 40 baptisms. He said the point wasn't that they got all of these baptisms but that the brethren have already created programs to help us as missionaries and that if we follow them that we will be blessed and we will better bless those around us. You can tell that he has caught the missionary work fire and that he is going to try his best to share it with all those around him. Yay!
We got to go to a baptism that happened on Saturday in the singles ward. Her name is Candace and she lives in our ward boundaries. She has been fellowshipped by the members of our ward for a long time and it was really awesome to see that make such a big impact in her life. I am starting to understand a little better about why we come out on missions. We can help others make good changes in their lives. Also baptisms are the best. Strait is the gate and narrow the way. We are trying to help people find that way.
Have a great week.
Sent with lots of love from,
Elder Matthew Arnold