Things are progressing here in St Louis. We've been picking up new investigators and potential investigators quite a bit. We got a new one at the beginning of last week and two more at the end of the week and we have an appointment with a potential tomorrow. I was set up for us by the sister missionaries in our area so we don't actually know her. The sisters met her accidentally. I don't know all the details of their meeting but it sounds like it was quite serendipitous. Unfortunately they had to turn her over to us because she lives in our section of the area. Hopefully everything works out with that! Also, we got a text from church HQ this morning about someone who referred themselves online who lives in our area so we will go see them this week as well. As you can see the Lord has blessed us with many opportunities to teach His lost children. It is a blessing in many ways. Before all of these new people came to us we were having difficulties finding new people to teach. But we remained diligent and faithful and the Lord has now sent people our way so that we may help bring them back to His fold. Mm. I just love missionary work and seeing how everything just works out.
I've been picking up on some jive here. Instead of saying "gonna" as in "I'm gonna use the bathroom." I've caught myself say "I'm finna go to the bathroom". That's so common among black people here. Also instead of saying "What's up?" We've been saying stuff like "What's good with you?" That one sounds kinda normal but you gotta say it in a black voice. I've also been craving fried chicken a lot. Haha! One thing I hope I don't pick up that is common among Caucasian people here is saying warsh instead of wash. Like we have a member family who are so awesome and they volunteer to do all of our laundry for us (which is so nice!!) but when they stop by in the morning to pick up our laundry they call us when they arrive and say, "Bring us your laundry that needs to be warshed." We even met a guy who referred to Washington as Warshington. Like where does the r come from?!
Anyway, this past week remained really nice as far as weather, staying in the 80's and higher 70's but today is colder and weather reports are saying it will only get colder from now. Oh man. I'm not looking forward to cold humidity at all. Dad, I think it would be safe to send that coat now. Some nice earmuffs would be excellent as well.
So to be honest, my ward here isn't as great at helping us out as I might have made it sound. In our efforts to find more people to teach we have been trying to work with members to give us referrals but we haven't been getting anywhere with them and to be frank, our ward mission leader doesn't do much. There are the same few members who always help us out no matter what but we feel like the ward is dying. This is a struggle because the mission is starting a new finding technique called harvesting which is supposed to completely take over and replace tracting. The thing is it is so centered on the help of ward members. So yesterday I gave the lesson in Elders Quorum and totally gave them a piece of mind. I felt like Elder Holland, rebuking all of them. Don't worry, it was still a lesson and not some rant. It was based on the the teaching of Lorenzo Snow and I used several scriptures. So despite my firmness I really believe the spirit was felt very strong in several of the elders. I even used a baseball reference to get their attention because that seems to be the only thing on anyone's mind lately due to the Cardinals making into the playoffs. I hope it makes a difference in the hearts and priorities of the members here. I think it might; a couple people told me it was actually the best lesson they've had in elders quorum in forever. Hopefully others agree.
Well, I need to go for now. Thank you for all of your prayers and thoughts! And thank you Alex for your letter. It made me very happy to get it. Keep them coming! Andrew, good luck with the driving test! Just keep studying and you'll be fine. Same goes for school.
I love you all! Have a great week!
Love, Elder Aaron Curtis