Wow, it's exciting to hear that Salem's getting missionaries! With Salem, it's really the whole apostasy/dispensation cycle, isn't it? There are times when there are no missionaries present, then God decides that it's time to give us another shot. It cracks me up to think about it in that light. They'll be staying at the house too. That's pretty darn cool. I don't know how the Oklahoma Tulsa Mission works, but they need to focus on the less-active and part-member families. There are plenty of those to go around in that branch. Is Bro. Jacobs still the branch mission leader, or who is it now? They have been doing a lot of cost cutting in my mission the past while. They're always searching for members whose homes would suit the purposes of housing missionaries. Housing is expensive, and the less tithing-dollars that are spent on things that aren't needful, the better. I have only lived in apartments so far, but they're always looking for suitable housing that would be more cost-effective. They cut miles on cars, limit us on the thermostat...I approve of all of it, though. I love the idea of cutting unnecessary costs. Anyway, that's going to be exciting. I hope there are still missionaries in Salem by the time I get there and apostasy hasn't set in again.
This week was pretty good. We have a few really promising investigators that show real potential. Unfortunately, they're about all the investigators we have...but still. They're pretty good. As I predicted, things are starting to pick back up with the end of all the holidays. We'll be having another zone conference tomorrow, now that they're doing them monthly.
We also got the baptism numbers for last year. We had the goal of 1000 for the year. We came up short, with 937. No one is looking poorly on that, though, as the past two years yielded 588 and 519 each. This new goal for the new year is 1200. I'm especially excited for that because that was my guess as to what it was going to be. The mission and the stakes are working closer together this year. 1200 is all the stake's baptism goals added together and it worked nicely. The church tour program is going mission-wide as well. It'll be in full-swing in a couple of months, but everyone has the ok to begin. That'll really help the work in the mission.
I'm also kind of excited for the new year because it'll be my first full year in the mission. It's my 11 month mark, today. Needless to say, in another month I'll be a year out. That's so weird. I'm not sure, yet, if it's gone by really fast or really slow. It's been kind of both, so I won't worry about it too much.
Thank you to everyone who sent me letters and/or cards and/or a package recently. I've set aside today to cutting my hair, cleaning the apartment really quick, then catching up on my correspondence. I keep saying I will and I haven't, but I really, really will. It'll be my focus today. I really have no excuse, yet, today.
There are a few members in the stake that are dentists and we're going to try to get a cleaning in the next few weeks. That'd be nice. Typically members like doing stuff like that for free for missionaries, so I'm thinking I'm going to need to milk that while I can. I went to bed at maybe 9:00 on New Years Eve. That was so great, let me tell you. It feels right to me that it's 2010. I thought it would be really weird that the decade is over, but it feels and looks right. Hmm...
Things are going really well here. You're all in my prayers.
Happy New Year,