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