Elder Huffaker

Elder Huffaker

Saturday, December 29, 2012

December 24, 2012 -- Twas the week before Christmas

Well, 'twas the week before Christmas, and NOBODY's home.

We taught only less active lessons this week, and we tried seeing a ton of people. Most people either weren't home or didn't answer the door. Of the people that were there they said to come back after the holidays. That seems to be everyone's excuse.

In other news, we were able to go to the temple on Tuesday. It was an interesting experience as our member who was taking us at first said he probably would be able to take us to the temple, but might not be able to get us back. Then nearer to the day, he told us he'd be able to take us back and so that was a relief. Then when we went to call him the night before, he said he couldn't again. It was difficult to know what was going on. In the end he was able to take us back, so that was good.

This week was great because of the temple trip, but because everyone is going out of town for the holidays, we can't see anybody. Anyway, I hope everything's good and I will talk to most of you tomorrow!

--Elder Huffaker

Friday, December 28, 2012

News -- December 17, 2012

Well the biggest bit of news I have for all of you is that I will be coming home early.

Don't Freak! It will be a week earlier than ordinary. Let me explain: There is a domino effect here.

With the lowering of the age of missionaries the amount of missionary applications skyrocketed. As such, the time in the MTC has been shortened. There will be a change in call and release dates because of this. Now each mission will be affected by up to three weeks. Ours is only by one. The transfer after next will be a 5 week transfer, and so my return home date will be the 31st of July. I am sending a picture to prove it to you if you don't believe me (not that you wouldn't believe me). I just want you all to know, that when I come home the last day in July people will be there, and it wont be like the R.M. I'd prefer to have a good homecoming, not an empty one. You can read the paper I send, just so you know.

Anyway, this week was an okay week. We have gotten a couple new investigators, and also had to drop one recently. We hope to teach these people soon and they seem to genuinely want to learn. We'll see how it goes. Hopefully we can keep them as well, as this area has a routine of having to drop them not long after getting them. A bunch of our lessons also fell through sadly, but we hope this next week will go better, although it is the holiday season, and the work seems to slow down naturally during this time.

Anyway, I look forward to Skyping, so be ready for that!

-- Elder Huffaker

The San Fernando Valley

You know you're in a LDS parking lot, when all the vehicles are minivans....

Friday, December 21, 2012

December 10, 2012 -- Another Week

Well this week was pretty good. We've done a bit of helping with Christmas lights, not too much although we offer it a lot.

So we also are starting to get more people to teach. Some of our efforts with the members and our knocking have started to pay off. We've had 2 new investigators this week, and hopefully one more this week. We also have another return appointment for the week after this. We are slowly but surely starting to see an increase of work here in our area.

We also had Elder Clark of the seventy come and visit us and talk to us about missionary stuff, of course. It was actually a great zone conference. He brought out many ideas that will help the members trust us, improve our teaching, and our teaching pool, and improve ourselves in general. I think from that zone conference we will see more improvement in our work. I hope the work will continue.
--Elder Huffaker

December 3, 2012


For starters, it does look a bit like Christmas here, not because of all the snow, or the Christmas spirit of giving and people loving each other (sarcasm!), but because of all the Christmas lights that are going up everywhere. Some people can go a bit all out. Griswold style.

I've sent some pictures of it so I hope you get to see them. The best one I think is the one of a snowman that has a sign that says "brr it's cold!" There's no snow on the ground, and the guy at the house where the snowman is, was mowing his lawn in a tank top and shorts! That's Christmas in Southern California.

Well this week Elder Wright and I have been doing a bunch of service. We've helped a lady with her, believe it or not, horse stalls! We had to shovel manure to get it out of the turnout area for her horses because the animal control people were complaining. Fun huh? That and we helped a less active member clean out his bird cages. More poop. We also helped an older couple put o up their Christmas tree. Even though I didn't get to help at home, I still got to help put up a tree!

In other news, we've still been knocking doors, and we have been trying to come up with new ways of finding people to teach. The only problem is that the ideas we are coming up with are being shut down constantly. Kind of annoying, but it's what we have to work with. Unfortunately nobody else is trying to come up with a way either. They won't give us a key to the ward building so we can't organize a church tour on our own, and like I said, our ideas are getting shut down.

There is a bit of hope however. One person we knocked into has really wanted to meet with us, but things keep getting in the way. He definitely wants to talk because he's got legitimate excuses, and has told us that there's things that have happened in his life that he really wants to talk to us about.

Then there's another lady who is the aunt of a member who has talked to her and we have an appointment set up with both her and the other guy who wants to talk to us. Both of them had appointments set up for tomorrow, and then in our e-mail today we have been told of zone conference tomorrow. So we have to reschedule our appointments, again! I guess the Lord just wants us to work for it, and with nothing else really going on here, we are definitely gonna WORK for it!

Hope all is well at home!

--Elder Huffaker

Sunday, December 16, 2012

November 26, 2012

Transfer calls were made, and Elder Wright and I will be staying together another transfer. We will be here in the same apartment until January 7th at the latest. Christmas and New Year's will be spent here. He'll be here in his first area until his 6 month mark.

We have been working hard in this area and some of our efforts have been paying off. We have 2 potential investigators that seem super legit. The really cool thing is that it happened while we were knocking and the two of them were in the houses right next to each other.

We had an appointment set for yesterday, but it fell through. We don't think she is trying to avoid us because her kids are members. We are going to be trying by another time during the week. We are still knocking on doors because, even though we have been blessed with some people to teach, it wont take up all the time we have. Which is fine, because our president wants us to spend time finding each day, and if we are teaching all day everyday we can't spend time finding.

Anyway, Thanksgiving was great here, we went to an awesome family who had us there for a while, and we were able to help out a bunch. Dinner was at 7:30, initially at 5, but oh well. We even got some leftovers, which are nearly gone.

In other news, I was asked to give a talk, and I gave it yesterday in church. The youth speaker had forgotten that she was speaking or wasn't told or something (uncertain at this point) and so there was extra time for me. Fortunately for me, I've had experiences with having too little prepared, and so I have gotten into the habit of over-preparing. Which in this case helped, because I consumed plenty of time, and the speaker behind me had to even cut his short. I felt bad for that one. As far as I can tell everyone liked it so that's good.

We'll see how this next transfer goes. Christmas presents of ties would be appreciated.

-- Elder Huffaker


November 19, 2012

Well, Week 5 is over, and we're on to Week Six. This transfer has gone by really fast. It's now Turkey week, and we do have a family who is feeding us on Thanksgiving. This ward is really great about feeding missionaries and so many of the members asked us if we had anywhere to go on Thanksgiving day. We have two places we are invited and will probably have to go to. Not that it's a bad thing.

Anyway, so as a missionary, this week was rather depressing. We have lessons we count for when we teach recent converts and less active members. And other than those, we had no lessons that we taught. Not that we didn't work, we have gotten some partially callused knuckles from the doors we pound on. We are knocking on average about 2 - 2 1/2 hours a day. Sadly when we knock and get someone who would likely listen to our message, it falls through. Either the person we are going to teach calls us like 15 minutes before we get there or they just aren't there.

The ward is nice, and I think they are trying, or at least some of them are, and there could be a bit more help from them, but all in all, this area is not getting any better. In fact I'd almost say it's starting to regress, as the people that were being taught are no longer having us over.

Even so we keep going and working hard. There are plenty of doors to knock, but we will probably get them all soon. There are also some places in our area that the people are pretty well off. When it takes us walking 100+ meters from house to house, it's a pretty wealthy area. But that's what we are down to as we don't have many other places to knock.

But rest assured your missionary in California is still doing what he can and we are knocking a bunch and doing our best. I hope everyone's Thanksgiving goes well, mine included, and we'll know what happens on Saturday as to who is moving or not. I will probably stay this time. I know I said that last time, but I'm pretty sure I'm staying. If not, I will NOT like having to pack up stuff all over again!

-- Elder Huffaker

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

November 12, 2012

Well there goes another week.

We all felt another earthquake again, this one was at about 4:30 in the morning. It was a small one again, so it really didn't matter. I don't know about the other missionaries in the apartment, but I fell back asleep pretty quickly. Makes us kinda wonder what's going to happen along the lines of earthquakes. Haven't felt one my whole mission, and now here's two. I'm hoping that if there is a big earthquake, we'll all be just fine. Some missionaries have mentioned that a big earthquake would be great so that the people here would be humble. I don't know how well that'd work, but I hope nothing too devastating happens, especially because there hasn't been a big earthquake in a while.

Anyway, on to other news. One of the potential investigators we had called before our appointment and said now wasn't the time in her life to have the discussions. So that's put on hold for a good long time. Sadly that leaves us with only one potential that we are hoping will not bail on us. However we've also been teaching a nonmember wife of a member family. She gets emotional easily, but is really awesome. We feel that if we push her toward baptism that she'd back away from it, so we are doing our best to share spiritual thoughts and hope she can feel the spirit to make the right choice. Well the last one we shared was about prayer and she determined by herself that she needs to pray and come to church more in order to get her answer. She told us that she had only prayed about the Book of Mormon once. We were happy to see that she came to this conclusion on her own. She did come to church yesterday, which was cool because since she's not a member she has no obligation to come, and hadn't been every week. She was still coming, but we believe she'll come a lot more now.

Other than all that, we've been doing a lot of knocking. It's getting worse, as the time change has made it get darker sooner, and knocking after dark is not the best idea. People usually are suspicious around here so stopping by is not very effective.

Well, we're still working hard, so hopefully we'll see some progress. Hope all is well at home!

-- Elder Huffaker

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Hey everybody! Well it's November already, it's sure going by fast! Yesterday marked the halfway point for this transfer. Transfers are 6 weeks, by the way, and we're on week 4 as of today.

Well there probably is no actual highlight for the week, as missionaries don't celebrate Halloween, so I'll just go over some of the more important details. For starters, if you didn't clue in to that last sentence, we had to be in at 6 in the evening, and were not allowed to go out. Our president told us to do some deep cleaning of the apartment as we had nothing else to do. Let me tell you, cleaning the apartment was a lot better than just sitting around so there really is no room to complain. Well, we had some candy from members that we all decided we didn't want to eat it all, so we wanted to hand it out for the trick-or-treaters. Funny enough, we didn't get any. We live in a pretty populated area, but it can be a bit sketchy, so I wouldn't doubt it if the parents didn't want their kids going around this area. Well even though we didn't go trick-or-treating, we still got a bunch of candy. As we went around visiting people the days after Halloween, we got plenty of the leftover candy that people didn't want. We still have most of that, we tried bringing it to the zone activity we did today, and, we still have most of it...

Well, as a low point of the week, we had two so-called investigators, one of whom seemed to us to just want to argue. She is a very Catholic lady, and has a bunch of problems with what we believe. She also got a good amount of information from the Internet, and we had a difficult time trying to straighten that all out. It really felt like a big argument and she told us she wouldn't read the Book of Mormon, and wouldn't ever change religions. Sadly enough, we had to drop her as an investigator. Her records are still in our area book, and maybe the later missionaries who come through will go back, and she'll be more ready to listen.

The other one was a guy who we did a bunch of service for, and we would go over once a week to help out with the things around his house. Missionaries had been doing that for a long time, and nothing has come from it. We did what we could to try and get him to read the Book of Mormon, and he actually did once. But every time after that we were never able to get him to read. He also has a daughter who is older and moved out who is a member, but he still won't attempt to listen. We tried our best, but he too, had to be dropped.

The really sad and difficult part about it all was that we are kind of low on things to do and investigators to teach, but if nothing is going to happen, then we really don't need to be there. Our President talked about this sort of thing during his training when we had zone conference. He told us that we should "teach them that will receive you". He said that we should not teach those who aren't progressing, even if that means we go out finding. So that's what we have done.

Now, on the other hand we have been trying to work with a lady who has a member friend, and we were trying to get it all together with both of them, but it was never working out. Well, we eventually stopped by, and set a time to go back, and when we did, we offered for her to take the lessons, and she had no objection to it. Thus giving us a new investigator. Funny thing with that one is that her most available time is about when we normally met with one of the investigators we dropped.

Going further, we met another lady who was a former investigator, and she didn't want to get baptized a bit ago, but we finally were able to get in and meet with her and she had a bunch of questions. We don't have an exact return appointment with her, but we are going to be calling her to see if we can. Not only that, but she was open to having us back to go over the lessons with her again. Her main concern was that her nephew was probably going to be getting married soon and he is a member, and would be sealed in the temple. As she is not a member, she wouldn't be able to be there for it. So her concern was that should she be getting baptized and become a member just so she could be there for that. Well, no not really. Even so, she was open to having us come back and have the lessons again. So this soon will pretty well make up for the investigator we had to drop as well. Hope all is well at home!

--Elder Huffaker

By the way, yes I did get my box, thanks for it! It was kind of an interesting thing that happened. The picture of the stuffed animals, which was on Saturday was the same day I got the box. As we live with other missionaries, they texted us and said that I had a package, being the stuffed animals (even though it was mostly for all of us). So I got excited when I saw that for a few seconds, then I thought they were pulling my leg. Well we were stopping back by the apartment about that time, and so we saw the "package". Well we went back out for the rest of the day and aparently the mail had come and lo and behold, there was a package for me. Now the problem I'd like to express to you is that we live in a, well, not so favorable place, with the authorities there frequently, and when we get mail, the people delivering NEVER knock on the door to inform us something is there. So it's just dropped there and we always "discover" a package if there is one. Anyway, so the other elders get it and stick it under my pillow, and didn't say a thing to me about it. When we came back, the nicer of the two missionaries informs me of the package. Which is all ironic because they told me I had a package that day, and I actually did get a package. Also note that the new missionary has gotten more mail than me in this apartment(hint hint) and I don't get quite as much(HINT HINT). Now we get to the opening of the package. Remember it's fast Sunday the next day. So I get everything out of it, and it's already late at night, close to being time for bed, so I'm about ready to start my fast, and so I didn't get to enjoy anything. Then the entire day Sunday I couldn't, at the end of the day, we had a big meal, so I was completley stuffed, and eating was at the bottom of my list. Needless to say I only had a cookie last night, and have hardly eaten anything from it. Yes I am sharing so you know. The cool thing is that I was thinking, I had found some holes in more of my socks, so some were thrown away. And I thought, "you know, it'd be nice if I got some more socks soon." And what's in the box? Socks! Amazing isn't it? I thought it was really cool. But thanks for the box

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


October 29, 2012

Well this week was quite the week. Elder Wright and I are definitely working hard, as I cannot remember all that happened this last week. We have been doing this lesson with members to have them pray and think of someone they know that they could invite over for a family home evening where we share a spiritual thought (usually a brief L1) and have them invited to learn more. So far we haven't seen anything come from it, but each time we have come up with someone that the family can invite.

Other than that, we do a bunch of tracting which is always an interesting experience. We are also close to dropping a family unfortunately, but we had the prompting recently to go by and so we are going to try by again tomorrow. We also have a potential investigator who happens to know a really awesome member family who lives down the street. They will be accompanying us when we go back this week.

In other news, we experienced an earthquake yesterday at about 8:30. My companion was actually in the bathroom, but I was at my desk studying. For those of you worrying, don't. It was a very small one and shook for about a second or two. There was another one following it that didn't even shake for a second, and was even smaller. It was interesting to experience an earthquake, even though it was a small one. And for those of you who don't know, from my experience, the way it's depicted in the movies, is about what it's like. You hear a rumbling right before it, with no time to do anything really and then this one was a shake back and forth, not up and down, which are the two most common I guess. Now, the rattling noise you usually hear in the movies is just what I heard in our apartment during it. Everyone is fine, nothing happened. No downed lines or poles or trees, all buildings are fine. It was interesting.

--Elder Huffaker

Here's the picture of me with my old companion with the guy who we met at Subway. That was the time I think I told you about how we didn't have a dinner and I had a really big craving for Subway. Well, my companion didn't want Subway, but was willing to go if I wanted to. Well, I didn't want to go just because I was the only one who wanted to go. So I told him either he's getting something, or I'm getting something for him. Reluctantly we went. Well, the guy there noticed we were missionaries, as he had taken the discussions a while ago. Well, he was interested again, and so we gave him the number for the sisters in the ward he lived in, and he called them as soon as he could. This picture is just after his baptism. I didn't get the picture of him with his baptism whites because we were late because the other missionaries we lived with are slow.... But that's the story behind it.

--Elder Huffaker

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Are you ready for this?

October 22, 2012

Well, are you ready for this? Yes, transfers happened. I have been transferred to be in the Solemint ward, with Elder Wright.

Now, lets examine what that entails: for starters, we are not told who it is we will be with, and where it is we are going. Therefore, I had no idea, and spent a bunch of time getting all my stuff packed up. So, day of transfers comes, and we get to the meeting and our president tells us who we will be with. Well, President goes to say who I'll be with, looks at us and says "Well you're already sitting with your new companion."

Now to put some of the pieces together for you. I was in Mint Canyon. The Mint Canyon and the Solemint Elders live TOGETHER! Therefore, I spent a bunch of time getting all my stuff together, and then loaded it all up in a car and traveled to the building where we were doing the transfer meeting. Got there, unloaded everything, got through the meeting, and then loaded everything back up in the same car, and went back to the same apartment, and just put it in a different room.

I measured the distance I had to move my stuff when all was said and done. It was 26 feet from the one room to the other. All that effort to move 26 FEET! Also, both Mint Canyon and Solemint wards meet in the same building. That means I'll still see most everyone that I was around last transfer.

On another note, Elder Wright just got done being trained, so he's out a little more than 3 months. His trainer went home on Wednesday, but we had to be with him since Tuesday morning. So we saw some of the members in his ward, and we jokingly said, wouldn't it be funny if I went to be with Elder Wright? Well what do you know, that's exactly what happened. It was quite an experience.

So Elder Wright is from Utah, go figure, specifically Coalville. We also didn't have to go through the whole get-to-know-you-thing, because I lived with him for a transfer, so all that was all out of the way. He's definitely a hard worker, and loves to work out as well. It will be a great transfer. As for my former companion, I will still be around him as we still live together. He is, in fact, training. His trainee is Elder Wells, from Westfield, Indiana.

Well, the work in this area is also a bit slow, but Elder Wright and I are going to fix that! Hope all is well at home.

-- Elder Huffaker

Here is Hank. He is our investigator who dwells on Elder Wright's desk. He lovingly listens as we practice teaching him the lessons. And then a shot of the sunset

New week, transferred.... wait what?

October 15, 2012

If you read my subject line, I am getting transferred. Again. For those of you thinking, wait, didn't he JUST get transferred? Yes, yes I did. The reason? Unknown.

As far as I can tell, I'm getting transferred and I'm not supposed to be in this area anymore, and there's somewhere else I'm supposed to be. I had enough time here to get in to biking shape and leave. I have been told that I'm going into a car area, so all that biking and getting in to biking shape, is now unnecessary. Other than the two missionaries going home, I am the only one in our zone who is getting transferred. It kind of sucks, as I would have liked to have stayed longer than just one, and now I need to pack all over again.

Well on the other side, it's always cool to go to a new area, and experience that as well. It will be interesting to have another change of scenery and companion, and I'm having mixed feelings about all of it. Mainly I think I'm just a bit frustrated that I'm going through this all over again. But, if our president feels inspired to put me somewhere else, than that's where I'm supposed to go and I will gladly accept that.

Well, as for the week, unfortunately, we had a dinner appointment on Sunday night, and the members were sick, and so they just made and brought the food to us so we would not get sick. However, that didn't matter. We ended up sick on Tuesday morning. My companion was up at 2 A.M. and had need of the porcelain throne, for both exits. I woke up at 4, feeling horrible, and found out he was in the bathroom. Well he didn't make it out until about 5, and then it was my turn. When we went to bed the night before, we were both feeling just fine, and it hit us the next morning early.

Well that whole day was horrible, and we stayed inside. The only thing I had to eat the entire day was a slice of bread. I had some Gatorade and water to replenish the loss a little bit, luckily after the early morning we had, nothing ended up coming back up.

Then on Wednesday, we decided to stay inside as we did not feel all the way better, and we did not want to spread it. Then on Thursday we had Zone Conference. Luckily we had gotten over what we had so, as far as we know, none of the other missionaries got sick. It was a great zone conference, and our president was super excited about the increase of missionaries with the lowering of the age. naturally the amount of missionaries will spike, and then level out, but he said, and I feel, that it won't go back down all the way, because it allows more people to have the option of a mission. A mission could be a choice of either do this or a mission, and now it makes it much more possible to do both. Especially for sisters.

The other thing he mentioned about it was that with the lowering of the age, it will allow people to segue immediately from high school to a mission, so some of the 18-19 year-olds will not be lost in that waiting period before a mission, after high school. Thus the number of missionaries will increase, and then normal out, but will be higher than what it currently is.

I'm not entirely sure what will happen exactly, but our president is expecting a near double of the amount of current missionaries for approximately two years. He's now preparing the mission to receive an abundance of missionaries. It will be cool to see what happens over the rest of my mission as I will be a part of it for a while. All in all, the conference was great, and afterwards we went to dinner and had to go home after that.

So if you're keeping track, that's: Monday- P-day, Tuesday- Sick, Wednesday- Sick, Thursday- Zone Conference, Friday- District Meeting. Thus making Saturday the only full day of proselyting. And the only time we had to do our weekly planning as weekly planning should be done at the end of the week, so we weren't planning on doing it while we were sick. So this was an interesting week, full of stuff, and now I'm getting transferred, to top it all off.

So basically I got transferred here to get into biking shape, get robbed, get sick, and get out.

--Elder Huffaker

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October 8, 2012

Hey everybody.

Well I'm standing next to Elder Grow, and he's coming home soon. Still doesn't know what to do with himself. Tell him hi for me, although he won't be back until the 17th.

We still do a bunch of biking, and the hills are still horrible. Apparently it's supposed to cool off soon so that won't be as bad. We are still trying our best to find people, and it's still going slowly. We met this other guy yesterday, who loves missionaries, loves having them over, feeding, and taking care of them, but refuses to listen to a word of religion. He's still pretty cool, although we most likely won't go over there too often. There are better thing we can be doing with our time. He does actually have 4 working pinball machines that he let us play on for a few minutes. They're pretty cool.

Other than that, most people are friendly, but don't want to listen. Conference was awesome, I have 5 pages of notes from it, (one for each session, although they are each full). It's pretty cool that missionaries can go out sooner. I think this will allow many more missionaries to serve. Personally I probably would have still left when I did, due to money reasons mainly, but I felt that when I left was really the right time for me to go. It fit perfectly with work and other personal affairs, so I wouldn't change that even if I could go at 18.

Other than all that, nothing much else has changed, so I hope all is well at home!

--Elder Huffaker

Thursday, October 4, 2012

October 1, 2012

Hey everybody.

This week was more or less a normal week for us, again. We did see one of our investigators who hasn't been visited since before I got here. He's going to take some work, but before he was being taught he was addicted to several drugs. Now he's narrowed it down to just smoking cigarettes. He does smoke a bunch still, but he's working on it.

We also got a referral who was a self referral from online. In other words, he went online and requested for missionaries to come visit him. I, however, was on exchanges and so wasn't there to meet him. We will be going by this coming week, and I will be able to get to know him then.

All in all, we are still biking a bunch. We don't go very far a whole lot, mainly because going far also means going up. And on a bike, up is no fun. Yeah, the downhill part is awesome and fun, but the uphill part is so long and exhausting that the downhill part really isn't worth it. Not to mention the heat. It's the first of October and it's over 100 today. I much more liked it when I was in Canyon Country and it was not too hot during the day. We could bike up hill and not be sweating buckets. I have noticed so far that I am getting back into biking shape. We biked up one of our big hills a few weeks ago and I was dead tired after it. We just did it again yesterday, and it wasn't so bad. Still in heat though, possibly hotter than the first time we did it, as it is not getting colder yet. We've been told that it will still be hot for almost another month, and then cool off.

Not cool.

--Elder Huffaker

(The photo included here is Cameron's companion "after a long day of biking"!)

Monday, October 1, 2012

September 24, 2012

Hey everybody from home!

This week was a usual week for us as of late. We did some tracting and other finding stuff, but we also went by an investigator that we hadn't been by since I've been here. She is an older black lady who, my companion and his previous companion helped move in. She is interested in learning the gospel, but has been baptist so far. Although she has experienced different religions and so she has told us that the one she decides on has to feel is the right one. Well that's not a problem at all! After all, that's what we expect from investigators who want to be baptized. We hope to visit her on a weekly basis, and will be bringing people over from the ward.

We did exchanges as well for a bit this week, and I went knocking with Elder Wright, the missionary being trained by Elder Otis, who are the missionaries living with us. We had no luck for all of it until the end, where we met this guy named Bryan. He was telling us how he's been to a lot of different churches and he doesn't know which one is right and he said all the religions are confusing because they are all different. Well, do we have an answer for him! We were in the Solemint area knocking so hopefully we found them a new investigator. We will be continuing our finding this week, and hope we can increase our pool as well.
-- Elder Huffaker

Friday, September 21, 2012

September 17, 2012

Hello to everybody. This week was a different week.

So what I've found out is that a bunch of the investigators who they were teaching were all baptized. So now we are going around and teaching them the new member lessons, and passing them off to the ward. The other missionaries we live with are having a difficult time in their area, but they are doing much better. During this past week I've gotten to meet several of the investigators who were baptized as we are re-teaching them.

The ward is great, and the members are very nice. They like missionaries and feed us a lot. This week however we had some sort of fall out, as we don't have dinners Wednesday to Saturday. But the members are still nice, and our dinner last night offered to feed us again this week because of the fall out. I don't think it will continue this way, but this is an anomaly.

That's pretty well our week.

--Elder Huffaker

September 10, 2012

Hello to everyone at home.

Okay for starters, as you know I was getting transferred and we had no idea where and with whom. I have been sent BACK to Santa Clarita, in the Mint Canyon ward this time. This ward was combined with another ward as a missionary area, but was recently separated. Well, Mint Canyon is quite the hilly area, and yes, I am back on bike. Only now it is fairly hot, so that adds another factor to the difficulty.

My companion is Elder Muhlestein, who is District Leader, and on a side note, his first area he served in was Sherman Oaks. For those of you not keeping track, my first area was Sherman Oaks. He has been out 6 months longer than me, which is the same amount of time as my trainer, Elder Morgan. Last Saturday there was a baptism in this area. Many of the investigators they were teaching were just recently baptized. So I come in to the area on Thursday, and two days later, a baptism! The efforts in getting the people baptized were not mine at all, so don't be confused. I just got a freebie.
Well, we had the baptism at the Canyon Country building, the one I went to during my last time in Santa Clarita. We did NOT get a ride, so the bike over was a bit further, and we were in our suits, and it was hot, and there were hills, AND it was windy. All in all, in that one trip, I think we did it all for being on bike. Let me tell you, air conditioning is a beautiful thing.

But anyway, as I was saying, the investigators were all baptized for the most part.  Other than that, the other investigators haven't been able to be seen lately. So that puts my companion and I in finding mode. We will be trying to work with the members, and doing much of our own finding efforts. The ward is bigger than my last one, and there are a lot of youth. Our dinner calendar is fairly full, and the members are fairly into doing missionary work. So working with them should not be too difficult. Hopefully. Anyway, so that's our area for the most part.

In the apartment we live in, we have the other missionaries who are covering the other ward that was split. The missionaries covered both Solemint and Mint Canyon, and so it's split now and we cover Mint Canyon, leaving them with Solemint. The senior companion is a musician and is 5 weeks away from going home, and his companion is a new missionary who's been out for 2 months. They, unfortunately, do not have a lot of work in their area, but have been doing better recently. They had just found a family to teach, so that's excellent for them. They like to keep the apartment clean, so I guess I have to work harder on that (because I'm not very good at that. Working on that, sorry!). They get the car because their area is bigger, but our area is still pretty big. Not as big as the Canyon Country 1st area I served in, but still a good size. Well, all in all, it's been quite the week, and I hope all is going well at home!

-- Elder Huffaker

New President, New Transfer System

September 3, 2012

Well to start off, this week was actually pretty slow and rough. We had hoped for a better week, but many of our appointments fell through, and then the people who we went to go visit as backups and whatnot, were not home.

We were however, able to meet with one of our investigators who is really intently investigating the church. He's the one we always meet with at a members home with the members, because he lives with them. We had a good discussion with him, that was more or less directed by him, where he asked several questions he had, from rumors, or things he thought of from what he'd been taught.

Also, I am being transferred. Our mission president has changed things a bit on how transfers work. We now get the call a bit later, and we are only told whether or not we are leaving. We are not told where we are going or who we are going with, just that we are leaving. Then, we attend a meeting near the mission office on Thursday, where we will find out where we are going and who we will be with. We then go with them to our new area. Transfers are no longer on Monday so we will be able to say goodbye to people in the area.

You all will have to wait until next Monday to know where I am and with whom. The other bit of interesting news is that my companion is also leaving. It came as quite the surprise, but he needs to leave as well. We will both be going to the meeting, and will probably be separated there, as it is not likely that we will be staying together.

Well, we also are required to get member transportation to our meeting, and as we are both leaving, there is a chance that sister missionaries could be placed in this area. That means that the member who drives us will need to bring along his wife. Unfortunately that leaves less space for what we need to bring, as we both need to bring all our stuff. As such, we tried to find out if we need to bring a sister along, and we asked our assistants to the president if it was necessary. As we are not supposed to know where we are going, they did not tell us that. Sadly we must bring the sister along just in case (although I doubt we will need her to be there).

We did get a little bit of information from them, and that is, that I will be going to a bike area, and my companion will stay in car. Meaning, we will not stay together, and I will definitely need to bring my bike, which means we could use all the space we can get, but because we can't get the adequate information, we are instead losing space. Well I hope things go well on Thursday, wish me luck, and I hope all is well at home!

-- Elder Huffaker

So this is the Newman family, with the investigators we are teaching. On the bottom from left to right is sister Newman, next is Angella, then Alli, then me. On top from left to right is Brother Newman, who is kneeling, Jamie, and then my companion.

August 27, 2012

Hey all. And another week is down. Unfortunately, along the lines of missionary work, this week was slow. comparatively to other weeks that is, but I guess overall it was good. Last week was better.... But we did have some good news this week.

We have gotten a couple of referrals that we stopped by and now have return appointments for this coming week. Also, one of our former investigators, who is dating a member in the ward that is leaving on his mission, was present at dinner with the family of the guy going on his mission. We were going to ask her if she wanted to meet again, but to our surprise, she asked us! I think it's better this way because it shows that she still has that desire, and we did not have to drag that out of her.

On Saturday we will receive a call notifying us as to what will happen for transfers next Monday. I haven't spent as long in other areas as I have here, so it's likely I will move, but nothing is certain right now. We shall see how it goes, and I hope we will find a way to e-mail, as next Monday is Labor Day and the libraries will be closed.

--Elder Huffaker

August 2012

From August 6, 2012...

For clarification, the baptisms that we went to recently were from the old area of my companion, not me. Sorry.

[Referencing a missionary tradition of burning an item of clothing at major milestone dates of their mission...]Yes, I did burn things, since I never burned a tie at my 6 month mark, I burned a shirt and tie for my year mark. I have a video that I will try to send, I hope it isn't too big.

Also, UPS did attempt to deliver the package once, if you didn't know, and obviously I didn't get it yet. So, I might not get it today either. Things have changed a bit in the mission, and now we are required to drive another set of missionaries who are in bike area. I can sympathize with them for all the rides I got when I was in a bike area. However, that puts us running around today, and not at home ready to receive the package. I'm hoping we can make it back before it does, but I wouldn't count on it.

But on a positive side, as things have changed, President Hall has allowed all missionaries to Skype home on Mothers Day and Christmas. I'm sure you are excited about that. I was able to Skype last Christmas because a family offered for us to do such, but because no one offered on Mothers Day, we couldn't. Now we can ask, as long as it doesn't provide an inconvenience for the family.

Monday, August 27, 2012

August 20, 2012

Hello to everyone back at home. This week was a pretty good week for us. We had stopped by referrals and former investigators and we were able to increase our teaching pool by 4. Although we can't take all the credit from this ourselves. The referrals were given to us by the Spanish missionaries who are also covering our area, but in Spanish. They've been working hard too and, sorry for them, we get the benefit of teaching the English people they find.

This marks the end of week 4 of the transfer. For those of you who aren't keeping track, this is my 4th transfer in this area.

In other news, today we had people from our apartment maintenance come and fix up a bunch of things in our apartment that have needed fixed for the longest time.

--Elder Huffaker

Sunday, August 19, 2012

August 13, 2012

Hey everybody! First off, we had zone conference on Friday, and we had some excellent trainings. Saturday, we went and did a blitz in another missionaries area to help them out with their investigator pool, and Elder Barboza and I were able to help out those missionaries, and also were able to give out a Book of Mormon.

As for the rest of our week, we met with a bunch of the less actives we have been asked to stop by. We are having trouble meeting with one of our investigators though, who lives in the back house of one of our members. Our member who lives there has told us that our investigator is around often, but the day that we go by to visit, he is not there. We are trying to see if we can change the day that we meet to another day that he's available. We haven't met with him for a few weeks, but were able to talk to him briefly within that time. He doesn't seem turned off to learning, he's just been busy with work. Hopefully we can find a new day to meet with him.

We also were able to meet with an investigator who we have also been having a hard time meeting. We got in and shared the 2nd lesson and invited her to be baptized. To our surprise, she said yes immediately and positively. She did have some concerns after her answer, and explained a bit about baptism, but we will go over baptism in more detail. She has told us that she believes that everything that we have taught her is true, and that all her siblings and children and grandchildren have been baptized so she is very open to being baptized.

In other news, our cell phone that we are allowed to use as missionaries has started acting up. We are able to turn the phone off and on, but are unable to do anything else with any of the other buttons. The screen still works, and we can still receive calls and messages, but we can't answer the calls or respond to the texts. We will be going to the office to swap out phones, because the cell phone is an essential part of our work. It's interesting though to see how reliant we are upon this device, and how reliant people can get on technology. It has become such a critical part of our world today that without it, people would probably panic and not know what to do.

--Elder Huffaker

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

August 6, 2012

Well another week has gone by yet again. In what our numbers show, this was a fairly normal week. However, things happened a little differently this week.

We usually have a very busy Thursday, but this time our usual appointments fell through. Instead some of the work we did on other days went a little better than usual. All in all it was a fairly productive week. We went by a couple of former investigators, and have found people to meet with. We have started meeting with a former investigator who has expressed the desire to be baptized and we will be teaching him again this week.

Other than our Thursday, and the lessons we had throughout the week we had a fairly normal, good week.

--Elder Huffaker

P.S. Cameron also sent these photos today, explaining that the first was when he helped cook for a party, which was also the missionaries' dinner. The other two photos are what a family did to help him celebrate his 1-year mark: Rice Krispy treats in the shape of a #1.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

July 30, 2012 -- The One Year Mark!

Hey everybody. For those of you who aren't keeping track (don't feel bad if you're not, you aren't expected to) this Friday will be my year mark. After that day, I'll be on the downhill slope of my mission. Hard to believe that it's half over already.

Well, the first week of this transfer has gone by, and as usual, it was a bit slow. We had a few cancelled appointments, but we still worked hard to find people. We were working out of our area book and have been doing so for the past few weeks. The info in it is out of date, but we are updating it.

We also went to another baptism for Elder Barboza's last area. He was glad to be able to go there for it. It's been a slow, but good week here, not much else to say.

--Elder Huffaker

July 23, 2012

Well, this week was the last week of the transfer. On Saturday we got the call from our zone leaders informing us that we are staying together. In fact, in our zone the only one leaving is a sister missionary. They are splitting an area that they had combined last transfer. Our zone leaders were covering that area, and now we shall get a new zone leader and the other one will train in one of the areas. Overall, 3 missionaries are coming to the zone. The sister missionary who will replace the one leaving is one who was in my first zone.

Other than that, for a lunch and dinner appointment, we had two parties. Both were birthday parties, which counted as meals. We also had a bit of a rough time on Thursday as we had several appointments, that decided to cancel. We keep moving forward though.

All in all it was a good week, and Barboza and I are gonna be together for one more transfer.

-- Elder Huffaker

P.S. from Marilyn:
Cameron sent photos, as well, although they don't necessarily coincide with this week's email. In no particular order, here they are!

First, is Cameron with President Martin, the outgoing mission president:

Cameron and his companion, Elder Barboza, in front of the Los Angeles Temple:

Probably at a zone conference, this is Cameron with Elders Stevenson and Ah Chee:

And finally, we have three missionaries from Lewiston, Idaho that are serving in the exact same mission. This is Elder Johnny Grow, Hermana Sena Busch, and Elder Huffaker. They're holding up "L"s with their fingers for "Lewiston."

Hermana Busch is the only Spanish-speaking one, and she is the sister missionary that was going home, which Cameron refers to in this email. She spoke this last Sunday in our ward Sacrament Meeting, and is an amazing young lady!

Monday, July 16, 2012

July 16, 2012

This week, we met with our mission president for interviews, and Elder Barboza and I went on exchanges with our district leader, and his companion. That was an interesting experience, as always, because you are with another person for about 24 hours, and they are not the person you are used to being with.

Well our work goes on and we were able to meet with an investigator who we haven't been able to meet with for a while. We taught the plan of salvation, and it felt right so we tried to commit her to baptism. It is a soft commitment right now, so we have invited her to pray about it. We hope to be able to meet with her next week as we have not been able to meet with her regularly.

On another note, we looked through our area book at some of our less actives, and went by to see one and set up an appointment. We did not recognize her, but she is not less active. She's even a temple worker. Anyway, we shared a quick message that we have been sharing with people, and she was very touched by it. She told us that it was exactly the right time and message for her. Coincidence? I'll let you be the judge.

Overall it was a pretty good week.

--Elder Huffaker

Monday, July 9, 2012

July 9, 2012

Well there goes another one!

For starters, on Tuesday we met our new mission president. President Hall. He seems to be what this mission needs. There is definitely a feel that he is supposed to be here and now.

Now for the Fourth of July. This last week we had people in the ward sign up for dinners every day except the fourth. Go figure right? Well the dinner for our zone leaders had invited all missionaries, so we were indeed able to have dinner. Well as it turns out, because I worked the grill at Wendy's for a while, they had me do the grilling. I grilled up all the burgers and hot dogs for that dinner. If that was the "cost" for us to have dinner, I'm fine with that!

So, other than that, we shared the movie Between Heaven and Earth, a temple movie, to one of our investigators, who has some sparked interest in the temples lately. It was great to show that movie because it explains temples the best to nonmembers. So this week was a fairly normal week. Hope you all had a great 4th!

-- Elder Huffaker

Thursday, July 5, 2012

July 2, 2012

Well if you all are aware, our mission president has changed. As of Friday, President Martin was released and we now have President Hall. President Martin has been a great mission president, and we had our farewell to him on Tuesday. From when I got out to this mission and met him, I could tell he was definitely the man for the job. He will be missed.

I hope President Hall does well, as he has some large shoes to fill. Talking with the members about this, I've found that some of the members who served missions and had a change in presidents tell me that the old one is always missed, but that the new one is definitely there for a reason and is the exact person who is supposed to be there.

We had a missionary musical fireside just recently that we were told president hall was going to be at. He was not, and therefore we have not yet met our new president. We have a zone conference tomorrow and will meet him there. This might be an interesting transition.

Other than that, this week has been fairly normal. We keep working and teaching.

--Elder Huffaker

June 25, 2012

This week went pretty well. It started off with the temple trip of course, which was a little interesting. We were fortunate enough to get a ride, so that was a plus.

In other news, the district leader of the other district in our zone broke his ankle for the second time. He went home for surgery and will need to be off of it for a while. He was a transfer away from finishing his mission, so he will actually be staying home, and will not return to the mission. That being said, we had another missionary transferred in to replace him as district leader. I believe he has been out just over a year, meaning other than him, nobody else in our zone has been out more than a year. Very young zone!

Anyway, my companion and I worked on going through our records, and went around our area looking for the people in our records to try and make contact and improve our records. This coming week we now have appointments for some of the people we were able to meet up with. Definitely some needed help for this area. Our current pool of investigators is really taking a hit lately. Some of them are no longer wanting to meet, or are just flat out unavailable. Not much else to report on this week.

-- Elder Huffaker

Thursday, June 21, 2012

June 19, 2012

Well this week has been an interesting one. Down goes Week One with my new companion in this area. It's always interesting seeing how things go when the new transfer hits, and you get a new companion. Things are interesting anyway even if you don't get a new companion.

Well, my zone has to be one of the youngest, if not THE youngest in the mission. There is only one missionary in our zone who has been out longer than me. There's one who came out with me who was in the MTC with me, but everyone else is younger. The only older one is a district leader for the other district in our zone, so my current hierarchy are all younger, both zls and our dl.

As I made mention of last time, and you might be able to tell from what I have said so far, I am currently senior companion. In a car area, that means I drive. Being senior companion and being the area I am familiar with means I have to come up with what to do for now, until my companion gets more used to this area. Also since my companion is Peruvian and doesn't speak fluent English, that makes things a bit more challenging. His English, however, is fairly good for being out 6 months, and he told me he didn't study English hardly at all in Peru.

So, thus far this week has been a bit of a shift for me as far as missionary work goes. Well like I said, transfers are interesting, and as such this week was interesting. For starters, I was informed that the mission office didn't have some information on me to have me checked off as a driver for the mission. So we had to make a special trip to the mission office in Santa Clarita. Near my last area. That is about a 30-mile round trip. For those of you who don't know, as missionaries we keep track of miles and are limited to how many miles we can go in a month. That being said, the trip to the office was not the greatest for our miles. Hopefully we'll be fine, but that's an additional 30 miles on top of what we already have to travel on a regular basis. So this last week has been interesting as I have moved to driver, senior companion and taking over the area.

In other news, we as a mission are going to the temple this week. This will be my 2nd time since being out. Our president is going home soon, so we are going to the temple. Also, because our mission is fairly large, we are splitting up into three groups to go on different days. Our group is included in the valley here in Los Angeles/San Fernando and will go on Tuesday(tomorrow). We will also be having what I guess you would call a departing Mission President training. Normally when missionaries leave, the president gives a training for all the missionaries going home. Since President is the one going home, he is giving that training to all of us, only, he's the one leaving.

All in all, that's the majority of news I have for this week, and the events to come. Hope all is well at home.

--Elder Huffaker

June 11, 2012: Transfers!

Well from last week, you all know that it's a new transfer, as of today. Well, Saturday we found out that I am staying in this area and my companion is leaving and going to Palmdale. That would be north of Santa Clarita, where I was before here.

I have really enjoyed this time I got to spend with Elder Farnsworth, he is definitely one of my favorite companions. I'm going to miss him. In his place we have your very own Captain Barboza! Elder Barboza is from Peru and has been out about 6 months, making me senior companion for my first time on my mission. Guess I gotta work hard on being a good senior comp.

Well, since he is from Peru, he speaks Spanish, which is his native language. He does not speak fluent English, so we will be doing language study in the mornings before going out. Well I hope all is well at home!

--Elder Huffaker

P.S. from Marilyn:
Cameron also managed to get some photos sent this week. He's been having issues with his camera card, so these are a little late. He sent his birthday cake, and a couple photos of the nighttime skyline. Enjoy!

Monday, June 4, 2012

June 4, 2012

Well for starters, this week concludes week 5 and we are heading in to week 6 of the transfer. For those of you who don't know, a transfer is 6 weeks, so at the end of this week the transfer will be over, and another opportunity for me or my companion to leave the area. Since he's been here longer, it will most likely be him leaving and me staying. Although we would not mind staying another transfer together.

As for news this week, my companion has not been feeling well, still. He has had no desire to eat food whatsoever. Well, he called our mission medical and she said to give the doctor a call. He did that and the doctor told him it was just food poisoning. Thing is, he's had it for 3 weeks now, we are pretty sure it's not food poisoning. As of late though, he seems to be recovering. We still try to go out and work though, even in his condition.

Recently we have been receiving a lot of referrals, so that has been our main objective. We still have work to do on that, and we are still trying to meet with some of our usuals, who have been busy or otherwise unavailable. We keep trying though. Hope all is well at home!

--Elder Huffaker

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May 28, 2012 - Memorial Day

Well, Long story, but long story short, we are e-mailing today. Yes the libraries are closed, and so my companion and I are at Best Buy to e-mail. We can't stay on long so I'll have to make this short.

For starters, our president showed up to our district meeting unexpectedly to talk to an elder who, needed a talk. This week has been the usual though, we still have not met with one of the investigators we usually meet with because he's been working. We've also been working on our referrals that are given to us by stuff from the Internet and other missionaries. Other than that, it was a fairly ordinary week!

-- Elder Huffaker

May 21, 2012

Well this week has been another average week in the field of missionary work. We decided to do some finding because some of the investigators in our teaching pool are starting to fade out. We are still working with them of course, but we do what we can to help increase that pool. There was one investigator that we had going really solid, but for some reason we were unable to meet with him for the past two weeks. We found out that it was because he was working on the days we were meeting. He turned up for church on Sunday, and we are set to meet with him this week. Sadly, this week hasn't really had anything exciting or eventful. Just an ordinary week.

-- Elder Huffaker

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May 14, 2012

Note from Marilyn:

We cherish the wonderful phone conversation we had with Cameron yesterday for Mother's Day. It was so good to hear his voice! Since we'd just spoken the day before, his email was BRIEF:

"So yeah, I have no idea what to type other than that the journal that Grandma and Grandpa sent me will work, although I will still need another one eventually. So I really have nothing to say since it really was all said yesterday."

(Yes, that was it.) We're looking forward to NEXT week's email!


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Birthday Box

Well, for starters, this week was the first week of the new transfer. Our week was a bit slow. Although it turns out that it was the same for pretty much everybody in the zone, so we are not alone. It's just something about the new transfer I guess.

Last Preparation Day, we decided to go golf with our ZL's and another elder who was with them for that time. We had unfortunately some cancelling, and we were not able to teach much throughout the week.

On another downside, my companion, Elder Farnsworth, and I got a little bit sick. It happened kind of on Thursday and Friday. We weren't sure what exactly it was, but it wasn't good. We were not feeling well and didn't eat dinner on Friday. Not the greatest way to spend my birthday. 

Next off, my box made it here to California on Thursday. We weren't there when they first tried to deliver it. Then the slip that had been placed on our door told us they would try again between 10:30 AM. and 2. P.M. on Friday. Well, that happened to be EXACTLY during our district meeting. In other words, I knew that there was no way to get my package on Friday and I couldn't do anything about it. Well the next delivery was for Monday. Today. We decided to go golfing in the morning because a member wanted to go with us, and it cost only $4. so we did that and then came back to our apartment and waited for my package. This time it showed up and we were there. It came three times, Thursday, Friday, and today. Third time's the charm I guess. Thank goodness.

However, on another unfortunate note, our oven does not work, so we will have to go somewhere else to make the brownies you sent. All in all though, I am very much appreciative of the package that you sent me and am glad that I can FINALLY celebrate my birthday.

And, on a positive side we were able to get in with an investigator who we'd been having a bit of trouble meeting with. Hopefully we can get back on track with them. Other than that, we just keep working and moving forward here. Until next week.

Elder Huffaker

April 30, 2012

Yet another week has gone by. Transfers are today, but my companion and I are in fact staying together.

Unfortunately this week was a little slow, still the same story with some of the investigators. We keep working and keep trying though. We still have some progressing investigators, who are coming closer and closer. It's only a matter of time.

In other news, I'm not quite sure as to how we decided to do this, but 8 missionaries, myself included, decided to do a pizza challenge at a pizzeria. It's a challenge that 7 people, but we were allowed 8, to eat a 54" square pizza in 2 hours. There are 200 slices so we each had to do 25. We thought that we could do it, but of course, we didn't. It was a ton of pizza. They had to take it in through the window. Needless to say we thought it was possible even when they set it down. Lesson learned though, pizza challenge - bad idea.

Well, not to rush, but I really do hope you send my box today. Mainly because, well, I AM the one receiving it..... Needless to say I do appreciate the box.

I am sending a few pictures that I managed to get. One is with the four of us is our district. We took it because transfers are today. However none of us are leaving. There are two pictures with my zls, and one of my companion and one of the zls.

Other than that, our 5th Sunday was a weird lesson about if it comes to it you can use the bathroom in a bucket and sprinkle kitty litter over it to get rid of the smell. It didn't last long and the bishop had to go up and speak. Very weird to be at.

Elder Huffaker

Thursday, April 26, 2012

April 23, 2012

This week went pretty well. Our lesson count keeps going up so that's always a plus.

The downside is that a bunch of the people that my companion and his last companion were teaching have been canceling so we are working on getting other people to teach as well as trying by the people we no longer teach.

We had some pretty good lessons with some of our investigators and tried to set some baptism dates with them, but they haven't committed yet. They are really close too. One has a very soft commitment, and the other accepted and doesn't know it yet (they said they weren't ready). We know they want it, they're just not entirely ready to make that step yet.

For weather here, you probably know, but it's hot. It got up in the high 90's yesterday. It probably won't today, it looks kind of dreary. I haven't got another camera card, I will soon, but I might be able to make it work because my camera still reads my card and the computer can link up to the camera.

Other than that, it's been a pretty normal week. Hope all is well at home!

--Elder Huffaker

Monday, April 16, 2012

Spanish Blitz

Well, this week here in California was a pretty standard week in missionary work. We visited several people, and there were others we were unable to meet with.

The thing that sticks out a bit is that we went on exchanges with our district leader and his companion. I went to their area with the district leader. and the junior companion came here. We left each other on Wednesday night, spent all Thursday together and then met up again at district meeting on Friday.

While on exchanges with the district leader, we went out to do a blitz with the Spanish missionaries in the area (a blitz is where a bunch of missionaries gather together to knock in a certain area). While on this blitz, they, the missionaries who organized it, decided to split up companionships. So I went with a Spanish missionary from this group to go knocking. It kind of helped that he spoke Spanish, so that when we encounter someone who only speaks Spanish, or uses that as an excuse, he can talk.

All in all, it was rather interesting being on an exchange within an exchange. Other than that, this week was fairly normal, for missionaries.

--Elder Huffaker

Halfway Through the Transfer!

April 9, 2012

Well It's the halfway point of the transfer already! It's coming too fast! This week we worked hard on trying to find people to teach, and also find people to get on our dinner calender. Because of General Conference we didn't get it passed around in church! Luckily we got most of it filled out.

Then yesterday, Sunday, my companion and I had to fill up the font for another set of missionaries. We were stuck at church for about 9 hours. During the time we were filling up the font we decided to do some comp study because we hadn't had time that morning. The best part is that after we did comp study (which we hadn't been doing all last week...) we were able to get in with all the people we had wanted to. These were people who hadn't been responding to our calls and attempts to stop by, but now we saw them. Then we get a phone call of someone who hadn't been to church in a while who wanted a blessing. So we went over there and gave her a blessing and had a discussion with her. She said she wanted us to come and go through the lessons again and that it would be good for her kids. She has two kids, 8 and 11, who hadn't been baptized. The 11 year old also said that he wanted to be baptized. He also prays every night with his little sister when his mom doesn't. His mom looked a little surprised at what he said about wanting to be baptized and said "you never told me that" he responded with "you never asked." They are a great family and are wanting to come back to church. The kind of scary thing is that we didn't have the number in the phone and almost didn't answer. That's probably one of the best witnesses to my companion and I that we really ought to do comp study. I don't plan on missing comp study again if at all possible!

Elder Huffaker

One More

Monday, April 2, 2012

Well for starters, I can't believe it's already General Conference again! It came up pretty fast and went fast too! This week went a little better and we were able to meet with a lot of people and invite them to General Conference. It's the one time we encourage people to sit down and watch TV! We stayed and watched it at our ward building for all the sessions, not very many people showed up at the building. Except Priesthood session. That one had a bunch of people.

So on the downside of car area, we went over miles for our area. First time in car and we go over. Luckily it's a new month and we have plenty of miles. Needless to say we should still try to limit how much we use.

In other news, I got to this area and found out that us as missionaries were performing a musical number at a fireside. The only practice I and a bunch of other missionaries got for that was about 20 minutes of practice just before we performed it! Talk about impromptu!

We saw plenty of wind and rain here too. It's not so bad being in car though! ... also, my card for my camera is cracked. I can still use it a bit, but it doesn't read the stuff on it most of the time. Hope all is well at home!

Elder Huffaker

Monday, March 26, 2012

Hello to all from North Hollywood! I am now officially in a car area! In other words, it's a big area! Being in car is a bit different, you have to keep track of miles and how much money you spend on gas. We have limited miles, and we also have to get the oil changed every 5000 miles. Other than that it's pretty awesome! I'm no longer pumping away at pedals to get me from point A to point B.

My companion is a really awesome guy, we are getting along great and work hard! I wont go in to too much detail, but our apartment is infested with cockroaches. We have talked to our manager and the mission apartment manager, and we are not getting anything done any time soon. They aren't too bad, but it sure sucks, and is a big incentive to keep our apartment clean!

Other than that, it was the first week of the transfer so it was kind of slow. This area has a ton of work though and we taught about 19 lessons this week. Which, I'm told by my companion, is not that much for this area. That's the news for this week!

Elder Huffaker

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


So today is transfers and I am actually leaving! I am going down to North Hollywood. That area actually borders with the area I was last in - Sherman Oaks. I will be going to car now. No more biking for at least 6 weeks. My companion Elder Greenwood is training a new elder and will be in a threesome with other elders until Wednesday.
I believe the mailing address is: 6730 Riverton, North Hollywood CA apt 231, 91606.
In other news, our apartment is going to be completed this week, and I wont be able to enjoy it! We also had an awesome experience in tracting the other day. We met a family of 4 who let us in and we had a lesson with them right on the spot! It was pretty cool. This area used to be slow, but my companion and I worked our butts off and changed that!
Not much else happened this week and the biggest news is that I'm leaving this area. Hope all is well at home!
Elder Huffaker

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

L. Tom Perry Visit

Well, not too much in news this week, other than we had Elder L. Tom Perry come talk to us this morning!

Well, for starters, this week we found out that we are getting our apartment renovated. It is long overdue, and about time! There is a lot of work to be done, and it will probably be done by the end of the month. The walls are being redone, the ceiling painted, appliances checked and carpets redone. A lot of long-needed stuff. This week, we also came up with an idea to help an investigator make it to church. She has an 11-year-old daughter who does not want to come, so we told her we would give her poke`mon cards for coming to church. Her mom also is funding it, and gave us enough cards to get her to church for a few months.

Other than that, the meeting with Elder Perry was awesome. We all got to shake his hand and he asked us all where we were from. For those of you who don't know (I didn't), Elder Perry lived in Lewiston, Idaho for a while! Big surprise for me. His wife even confirmed, so he's not pulling my leg. It was really quite amazing to see him in person. I haven't had the opportunity to meet one of the Twelve until now. He was making quite a few jokes and talked a lot about his position as public relations for the Church. He said if Romney wins, he's resigning that position, because anything that goes wrong in the country will be the church's fault. It was a great experience, one I will never forget.

--Elder Huffaker

Note from Marilyn:
Cameron also sent a number of photos this week. Here are his explanations and descriptions that went with them. He writes:

I believe what I'm sending you a picture of a sunset with palm trees at In-and-Out that a member took us to:

I think these are the pictures of the brownie mix you sent me for Valentine's day, and I made them the other night. Well, the oven we have is really awful. I smelled burning stuff so I pulled the brownies out 8 minutes early for the minimum time for the pan size I had, and the temperature of the oven was set for 15 degrees less than the recommended setting, and what you see is the salvageable parts.

The oven is also not level, so the part that was done and not burnt was almost an inch thick, and the burnt part that I took out was about an eighth of an inch thick.

Next off, we have a renovation of our apartment. This is probably one of the biggest things in news we have. Our apartment was in desperate need of renovation, it has several INTENTIONAL holes in the walls, and even more holes [that are] not intentional. The carpets are horrible and worn out like crazy.

They are going to sand, re-texture and paint the walls, paint the ceiling, do vent work (I'm not sure what), replace the carpet and put padding down, and check all the appliances. All this, while we are still living there. It's also supposed to be done by the end of the month. Which, with the delayed start of it, that's how long it will probably take.

So as you can see, there are several patches in the walls, and we have moved everything to the center of the rooms so they can work on it.

 --Elder Huffaker