Elder Huffaker

Elder Huffaker

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas and Transfer

Note from Marilyn:

We were fortunate to get to talk with Cameron via Skype (video call on the computer) on Christmas Day! It was the BEST!! He has been transferred to a new area -- please take note of his new mailing address on the right. Since we spoke just the day before, he had little to say in his email, but sent photos from a recent missionary trip to the Los Angeles Temple. Enjoy!

He writes:

So here are the pictures I promised you. Nothing really to tell, I told you all I had to say yesterday. there's also too much data, I'll need to send two e-mails.

Elder Huffaker

The landscaping at the temple is beautiful, of course:

I love how he caught a newly-married couple getting their wedding photos taken:

And I absolutely love this picture of him. I looks like a windy day, so that gives him a missionary superhero look in the picture! Awesome!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

'Twas the Week Before Christmas

So as you may or may not know, as it is the week before Christmas week, missionary weeks and all (starting on Monday) the work is slowing down a bit. The confirmation of the person we baptized was yesterday, and since he doesn't have too many friends in the ward yet, we are working on that, my companion and I were privileged to participate in the ordinance.

On Saturday, the ward had it's Christmas party, and as missionaries, giving service and all, we helped out with the whole thing. We were there at 8 a.m. and the thing started at 5 with Santa, and the program started at 6 and went until about 8-ish. It was pretty cool, we had 24 tables, with a beautiful Christmas tree in the center, some decorations on the stage, all the tables had a lantern or candle of some sort, and were alternated with red and green table cloths, there was meat, real mashed potatoes, in fact I helped mash them, there were 2 pots with 4 pounds of potatoes in each, and there were green bean casseroles, and on each of the edges of the cultural hall except the stage there were servers with each of those items.

When we got there, 8 of the tables had been thrown away, so we had to drive to the stake center, 45 minutes away, to get more. It was a hard day's work, but it was worth it in the end. That was pretty much the highlight of the week.

Merry Christmas to everybody especially if I don't get to talk to you, which I should...

Elder Huffaker

Monday, December 12, 2011

What a Week!

So for starters, this week was going okay, and we met with a few of our investigators. We found out last Sunday that the one was ready to be baptized, so she was interviewed this last Friday, and she's all set to go and we set a date for the 8th of January with her.

That same day we met with another investigator who had the baptism date for yesterday, the 11th. There was a stake activity yesterday as well that involved the baptism room.
On another note, we thought he had a problem with tasting wine for his cooking class. We thought he wasn't going to be able to be baptized the coming Sunday. He has a slight mental handicap so we aren't able to convey information very well to each other. It took a bit, but we finally got out of him that he cooks the wine first, so there is no alcohol problem.

We then contacted the ZL's and through a series of information we thought we still couldn't do it on the 11th. Then they talked to our mission president, who talked to the stake president and got it worked out that we still could baptize him.

We ended up using the Tarzana building, which happens to be the area where Elder Grow serves. So he was there and filled up the font so we could do the baptism. That Sunday we invited everyone to come, and with the stake activity, hardly anybody showed up, but it was okay because he didn't want a huge baptism anyway. He wanted bishop to baptize him, but he couldn't be there, and none of the counselors could be there so the secretary was there and was the one to baptize him. I think he himself is a convert and it was his first baptism he'd done so it was a great experience all around!

We got the pictures of everybody, and one of all the missionaries, including Elder Grow, and it was a really cool event. Also for the baptism, we had no program, and so right before church we were allowed to use the clerks office and I was able to throw together a program for it. Pretty cool and a great baptism for a last minute thing.

After the baptism we went to the stake activity where we got to dress up as roman centurions and we did a thing called Journey to Bethlehem. We used almost the whole stake center for it. We started in the Chapel and then went to a room with King Herod where he charged his "subjects" the people we were leading through, to find the Christ child and bring him word. Then we took them to the stage where the 3 wise men were, and they did their thing. Then we went to an inn and the people there had to turn them away because the inn was full and talked about seeing Mary "big with child and her time was very close" and then we went to the angel room where they sang and prophesied concerning Christ. Then we went to the shepherds room where they talked about Christ too. Then we went to the room with Joseph, Mary, and Christ. In each room they got something to take with them, some were snacks, and at the end they got a CD of a song about Christmas.

Herod gave them a coin as a token for them to bring him news, the wise men gave them animal crackers to sustain them on their journey, and the people at the inn gave them pretzel sticks, and the angels gave them a candle to take the light of Christ, and the shepherds gave them a candy cane, and Mary and Joseph didn't give them anything, but they got the CD after that.

It was a pretty cool thing, and we were showed where to take the people once, and that was right before it started. We didn't say anything really, just led them along. The only exception was when we started, we would pound on the curtain divider things the churches all have, and say "We seek an audience with Herod the King!" Or some rendition of that. Pretty cool activity, we should try that some time.

Elder Huffaker

New Week

Cameron's letter of Monday, December 5th:

Hello to all from California.

So this week we experienced good and bad. We had zone conference, so that took up one of the days. We went and saw one of our investigators who was progressing really well, but it took a turn for the worse. He is under 18 and his mom isn't a member, so we need her approval to baptize him. She was okay with it until just recently, one of her friends talked to her and now she is totally against him getting baptized. She threw away the Books of Mormon we gave him (we gave him multiple because he couldn't always remember where he put it) and we are no longer allowed to meet with him.

On the other end, we were meeting with someone who we couldn't meet with for over a month, and then just yesterday she came to church. It was really amazing. But, it gets better! We were at the Christmas devotional and we get a call from bishop, and called our mission president, and found out that she is ready for baptism, and will be baptized in the coming week or two! How's that for a turn around!

So this week, we experienced both ends of the spectrum, with two people who were so close to baptism, and one not be able to, and the other seemingly not able to but is now going to!

Elder Huffaker

This Week

Cameron's letter of Monday, November 28th:

This week in California has been pretty slow. As you may or may not know, I am companions with the district leader, and as such he has meetings. There were meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday, the whole day, and district meeting on Friday. Thanksgiving was a non-proselyting day so we didn't do anything that day (except eat turkey!) So this week was full of meetings.

On Thanksgiving Day, we played basketball with a family (family of 11 I think) in the Van Nuys 1st ward, and so the other elders came along too. We played 5 on 5 full court, and these guys really know how to play. It was quite an intense game, well, games. Went home and showered and changed for Thanksgiving dinner. We had a pretty good standard dinner, lots of food, and we had pumpkin cobbler for desert.

Met with one of our investigators who is preparing for baptism on the 11th. It is quite possible that it will happen, although he has a slight mental handicap, but he has an aptitude of about a 12 year old. Things are going fine here, Hope all is well on your end!

Elder Huffaker