This week was insane, especially Friday. That's when we discovered that the California Bakersfield Mission will be created. They're going to split the mission!!! Elder Buckmiller and I panicked sufficiently about it, and then we went back to weekly planning.
I definately have mixed feelings about the split. First off, Taft for sure is going to be in the Bakersfield Mission (It's too far away from everything else.) , and I love Taft and Bakersfield to pieces. They're some of the most wonderful pieces of dirt on the planet. However, I really love President Castro, and I want to work with him more, and besides, "California Ventura Mission" sounds WAY cooler than "California Bakersfield Mission"
Either way, we'll find out during the June 17'th transfer. At that point, all the missionaries in Ventura bounds will be Ventura, and all missionaries in Bakersfield bounds will be Bakersfield. I don't know which I want to be!
So in the meantime, we'll just keep up workin' like madmen. This week we did a lot of LaRc work (Less-active and Recent-convert), and we Tracted like bosses. Mostly we got turned down but there is a HUGE miracle in progress right now.
Meet: Mike. We'd been tracting that morning, to little avail. However, we knocked ONE door on the other side of the street. This door had a sign on the post saying; "Little baby Lily is home now, so PLEASE knock SOFTLY!" So we tried, but before we could, Mike opened the door himself. He looked a little bleary eyed, largly due to the fact that his brand new baby has been keeping them up ALL NIGHT. However, as we talked about his baby, he opened up a lot, and we proceeded to have one of the BEST restoration lessons I've ever seen in the mission. To understand why, let me explain a bit about Mike.
First off, he was raised Catholic, though he never liked it. He saw too many conflicting stuff in the church. So, he went around to every one of Tafts 30-something churches. He'd been looking for the truth since he was 15-ish, but when he ran into some apostate doctrines, he'd stand up and show the Preacher/Minister that what he was teaching was not true doctrine! But as we've been teaching him, it's all clicking into place, and he's loving it. He believes the Joseph Smith story, because he's practically lived it, he had been wondering why none of the other churches had a prophet instead of "some guy" as he worded it, and our explination of the priesthood totally made sense to him. He's very excited to learn more. We've been going back to his house practically every day. He's that cool!
Also, Jose's been praying for an answer to "Should I go on a mission," and last Sunday, he told us "I got the answer I didn't want." Jose's gonna go on a mission!!! I'm so excited for him! He's going to absolutely rock the mission he's going to!
Other than that, it's been life as usual. We're doing our best out here, and I really, really love this work although I usually don't feel up to the job. Last Sunday was ward conference and it was AWESOME. The Stake Presidency told us about how they'd met with some of the Apostles in preparation, and the stuff they talked about really opened up our eyes about what's really going on here. They said, "The Lord is hastening his work. The Lord is IN A HURRY. " and also "The Lord is somewhat disappointed with us." It was a really strong wake-up call. I've realized a bit that ever since last General Conference, the focus has shifted from "Don't worry about the end, just prepare for your end because you don't know when yours will come" to "THIS IS IT! Prepare every needfull thing and get ready." It may be another 50 years, but the end-game is coming up fast.
So, I gotta run, but I love you all! Stay strong, get stronger! Tom, I'm so excited and proud of you bro! Keep up the good work and follow the Frontline.
Elder Matthew David Clough