Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Adjusting to the culture in appropriate ways.

Mom,

I am loving my new place. New comp Elder Peterson came out with me at the same time last year, he's from Orange County, California.. My new ward is the Galena Park ward, it split off from Houston 7 maybe 5 years ago, and still has combined classes, sacrament. Attendance was 71 yesterday. the Obispo is named Obispo Velasquez, he is more involved with us than any Obispo I've had yet, we met and talked with him about the ward on Thursday. He drove us to church where we had PEC with him and we later ate with him. The "Denver Harbor House" (well, I guess I now know it's a "bungalow"...) is a little pealed paint piece of heaven. The only elders are Peterson and I. We have 6 hermanas, including Hermana Shannon from PG! I really like the ward. I am inspired by their great faith. It is not easy for people to be in church, socially, economically, and I guess even spiritually as well. It is inspiring to me that the few that are there. There are some very, very strong individuals. I live on 6904 Hershe Houston, TX 77020.I'll be sending some pictures of the Harbor next week.

Yep, I borrowed Mamea's clippers and "cut myself up" as they say. I was thinking about "adjusting to the culture in appropriate ways" (as PMG says) by etching my hairline, and maybe the state of Texas on the back, but decided against it.

My first week in Denver Harbor was a lot of fun. Taking over for my trainer is pretty weird.  We've spent a lot of time going though the ward list and visiting with the Bishop and other ward members which may explain that. Not a single investigator came to church last transfer, but Sunday (without any reminders or begging) came David and Olga ! David is an awesome guy who has been living in "El Barrio" all his life. He describes himself has "cien por ciento Mexicano" even though he fluently speaks Texan. He's been going through some really hard times and found the missionaries at his parent's house in Magnolia. He was worried about being "good enough" to start listening to us or to make these steps, but now he's started and loving it! He took Peterson and Jones to transfer mtg on Tuesday, and took Peterson and I to Pappa's BBQ and then back to the Harbor. That's how you know he's serious. He participated a whole bunch at church, in fact, because Houston 7 and us meet together; everyone just thought he was a member of the opposite ward!

District mtg was good learning experience. I made a bunch of very correctable mistakes, namely, forgetting who was to pray, skipping the purpose, not doing check your progress, and so on. I finally figured out late last night how the Baptismal Tracker works! Wednesday I will be doing my first baptismal interviews of my life, which is pretty nerve racking. The district is doing really well, especially the hermanas. We're the ones who'll need to work hard to keep up with them! We're going to have a great time, and with the Lord's help do a lot of good.

I had the opportunity to review some of Elder Holland's talks from the last couple of years. I was reminded to doubt my doubts before I doubt my faith. I was reminded to live the Gospel faithfully even if others around me don't live it at. Being with and serving this people has taught me so much about what is really important. About what really brings happiness. About not missing opportunities. It is good to learn. It is good to enjoy being a rookie while it lasts! It's not about altitude, it's about trajectory!

I know that God lives and that He wants me in THE mission.

I love you mom!

Elder Decker

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