Arizona Mesa Mission Address

Monday, June 11, 2012

June 11, 2012

Dear Family,

Dad, it's a good thing you weren't hurt in that bail you did at Tahoe!!  I haven't crashed on my bike for a really long time (probably about a year).  I would love to do a ride with you when I get back and if we're going for a ride on the road, of course I would use the Cannondale.  It was a really poor decision purchasing a mountain bike at the beginning of my mission instead of cycle-cross or hybrid, but I didn't know anything back then and there wasn't anyone to really help me.  All the roads are flat here and there is no need for all of the extra stuff a mountain bike has that slows you down.

I just saw Brother White's profile!!  I watched it but couldn't hear anything because none of the computers here in the Family History Center have speakers and we can't use headphones.  Seeing the green landscape during the scenes shot at their home in NC made me realize even more how much I can't stand this desert.  The only colors you see here are brown, light brown, brown-green, and brown-yellow . . . just about all the colors you would imagine to appear in your vomit.  I am going to miss a lot of things, but the climate and environment are not one of them.  Too bad I'll only be in CT for three weeks -- then back to the desert again. :(

El Charro was pretty good but did not live up to my expectations or the all the hype that it gets from everyone.  The "famous" green chili burrito wasn't even close to the green chili burrito that my old Branch President's bakery made in Phoenix, and I've eaten in little hole-in-the-wall places that are absolutely delicious.  I would like to go back sometime and try another dish though.  I don't think I have ever eaten at a restaurant I've heard so much hype about.  I just want some good old Garden Catering or a steak, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich with cones (which I'd now just smother in habanero sauce, something I would not have been able to tolerate before the mission).

This past week was an improvement, not only for us but for the entire District.  The English-speaking elders are tearing it up with 9 baptismal dates collectively.  We were basically at rock bottom after our last baptism, starting from scratch.  Even though the numbers aren't where I would like them, we got some new people and some solid potentials.  We are going by members homes a lot and asking for referrals.  We got a sweet one from another one of the youth in the Ward who is preparing to go on a mission.  He said he took his friend to the Visitor's Center and his friend got really emotional and told him that he wants to be baptized!!!  That's exactly what we're looking for.  The members are so strengthened when they play a crucial role in the conversion of an investigator.  We had Danny Quiros who brought us the first baptism I had in this area.  Osman German, came to District Meeting to share her experience with the District so they could get ideas on how to inspire their members and work through the youth.  Our District is seeing a lot of miracles stemming from the youth.  The Zone Leaders found 4 new investigators through Brian, our recent convert.  I'm focusing a lot on contacts in the street because when I look back in my District book, people were finding at least 5 new investigators a week and talking to over 100 in the street (sometimes almost 200).  I know the elders in our District are good at talking with everyone, but none of us are compared with the elders 2-3 years ago that recorded street contacts and raked in news on a weekly basis.  I think there is a difference between talking with everyone in your path and proactively finding people to talk to as companionships are traveling from place to place.  I think it's what people did back when they reported street contacts but it's not done anymore.  As we proactively work with the members we can also proactively find people in the streets even though it's less effective.

Anyway, I need to go.  Hope everything is well at home.


Elder Kinney

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