Elder Huffaker

Elder Huffaker

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The LAST Week -- July 29, 2013

Well, if you read the last e-mail I sent, I told you we had a very busy week planned. Well, it all happened.

The move with our investigator was a bit rough, but we were able to move her and got it all done in one trip. We are very relieved that she is moved and we know she is too. This last week in my spare time I have worked on getting stuff packed. It's not easy, but I am getting it done. It shouldn't be a problem since we just spent almost all Saturday moving our investigator. It took from 8 to 5 to move her, and we started getting things sorted at 7. Things like getting the moving truck and the member to drive. Well, we are sore and exhausted from it, but it is done. What a way to end!

Also I have had my final interview with President. That took place on Sunday. It was a great experience. Oh and we did go to the temple on Friday and President payed for our lunch there. That was an amazing temple trip as well.

Anyway, anyone who will be at the Lewiston Airport on Wednesday at about 3:30, I'll see you there!

--Elder Huffaker

Thursday, July 25, 2013

July 22, 2013 -- Last Full Week

Hi Everyone! Well, we are moving in to the last full week of this transfer, my last full week as a missionary!

Well, as far as this last week went, we had a complete polar opposite of the week before. We had several appointments that we had all lined up to meet with people both new and current investigators. Unfortunately all of them cancelled. We had put together a list of people that we wanted to visit while out in the area, also as backups if things like this happen. Since all of our appointments cancelled we were able to knock down a bunch of the list we had. Hopefully we will be able to meet with those people that cancelled this coming week.

We will also be wanting to finish that list we made so that Elder Ruiz and his new companion will be able to go out and find new people to teach. That is our main focus for this week. I will also be working on making sure that I get all my stuff taken care of. The mission has provided a list of things I need to do before I go home. So in my spare time I will work on that.

Also, Elder Ruiz has not gotten his visa yet so he will be staying here. However, when his visa comes, as I said before, he will be leaving asap. He might not be here much longer, he might stay a few more months. Who knows?

Also for this week, it will definitely be a busy week! There will be no time for me to be homesick. We have district meeting tomorrow, on Wednesday we are helping an investigator get ready to move, on Thursday we are doing weekly planning, on Friday there will be a departing missionary temple trip, on Saturday we are moving that investigator and it will take a while because of all the stuff she has, and then Sunday is church, Monday is Preparation day, Tuesday is the transfer meeting and departing missionary training, and then Wednesday again will be the departure!

Somewhere in all that mess I have to go to the office to do a departing missionary interview. Wonder where that'll fit! We still have to call the office to find that out today, they called us and we have called back, but no answer so hopefully we'll get that worked out and fit into our crazy schedule.

The lame thing about this time of year is that everyone is on vacation. So a bunch of the members are out of town and will be for part of the summer. Fortunately since we already know I'm getting "transferred" we know what we need to do and get transportation to the transfer meeting and I need to get my stuff all packed. That's one thing that's beneficial for this last transfer!

Well, I don't know what else to say, this week was kind of a bummer. I'll see you all next week though!

--Elder Huffaker

Friday, July 19, 2013

Week 4 -- July 15, 2013

Well, for starters, this week was a pretty good week. We met with some people and found new people to teach. We have also set 3 baptismal dates. Just this week we, found people and set baptismal dates with some of them. It has been a really great week. The current dates are for the 4th of August. Even if they aren't baptized on that day, they are on the path and so it will be fantastic to teach them until I come home. Feel like I'm leaving with a bang, just like I did Solemint ward.

Also, one of the members in the ward called me trunky, but then one of the sisters in the disrict said, she'd seen trunky and I'm nowhere close. Well, don't get me wrong, I am definitely excited to come home, but as you all know, I have been doing this for 2 years. It will be difficult to leave. I hope to be able to continue to work until the end.

My companion still hasn't gotten his visa, and will probably stay here. I wouldn't want to affect him in a bad way, so I am trying to stay focused. Hope all is well at home, see you soon!

-- Elder Huffaker

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

July 9, 2013 -- Halfway Through the Transfer

 Hey All!
Well as the subject suggests, it is now halfway through the transfer. For those of you who want to know, I have just received my travel itinerary. I actually got it today before we came to do e-mail. From the looks of it, it tells me that I'll arrive in Lewiston at 3:25 pm on Wednesday the 31st of July. If you want to be there, you have the information.
Well, this week was the Fourth of July. We went over to a family's house who invited us over. That would be the Wrays for those of you who know (the same family that let us Skype). Well they were pretty patriotic with their setup and it was pretty cool.
Brother Wray is an excellent grillman, and so we had some great food. It was enjoyable. We had the ever so early curfew of 9 pm (no different than any other night) so we had to make sure we were in by then. Elder Ruiz and I actually were in a little before then. We could hear the fireworks booming outside well into the night.
The next day we had a zone meeting at 8:30 in the morning. While we were traveling, we saw how smokey the sky was from all the fireworks. One elder commented that it tasted like metal outside. I couldn't really tell a difference, but it sure looked hazy.
In other news, at the meeting we were told the new times for our District Meeting. It has changed from 11 on Fridays to 8:30 on Tuesdays. As such I now have to prepare a training for tomorrow morning. It is actually a much better time to have District Meeting, and in fact, at the leadership meeting we had (June 26th) I was the one who suggested Tuesday mornings. The reason I suggested it though was that I have talked with other missionaries about the timing of district meeting and Tuesday mornings just seemed like the best time to have it. We will start that this Tuesday and it will continue on for the rest of this mission. Of course, I will only have 3 more meetings.
Well, other than that, not much else happened the rest of the week. Hope all is well at home!
--Elder Huffaker

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July 1, 2013 -- JULY. [and the Mission-Split]

Well first off, before it happens, Happy Fourth of July! Our stake did a missionary musical fireside last night in honor of Independence day (yeah it was in June, but oh well). Our President was there and it was a pretty well done event. We were told to be there ate 5:30, so we made preparations to be there then. For us in Sylmar, it took us about 30 minutes to make it. Still it was a nice program.

For all of you who are paying attention, our mission has now been split! As of TODAY, the San Fernando Mission is just the Santa Clarita valley and the San Fernando Valley. That's it! Eventually there will be 220 missionaries in this mission, so there will likely be 2 sets of missionaries in wards. Not all wards will get missionaries, but most definitely will. It would be cool to see it happen, but it probably won't happen in my time. This is what I get to see, and it is the start of a new, or recently re-formed, mission.

In other news, there were meetings this week up in Santa Clarita. One on Tuesday from 9-5 for new missionaries and their trainers; one Wednesday from 9-5 for all leadership (Zone Leaders District Leaders and Sister Trainer Leaders); and one Thursday from 9-5 which was zone conference where everyone in the Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys needed to be there. If you up on what's going on, Elder Ruiz and I had to be at all 3. Yup. Fun stuff. And to top it all off, we still had District Meeting on Friday (that one's only for an hour and a half). Four days in a row we had meetings. I think I'm done with meetings for a while. From what we understand, there will be one more Zone Conference in July. That will be my last meeting. After that I shouldn't have any more meetings.

Just as a reminder, my departure date is still set for July 31st. No changes have been made, so don't freak out. I have not received an itinerary, I will inform you as soon as I do.

Also, Happy Canada Day! I only say that because we have a sister from Canada in our district and she is from Canada. It is today, and lots of people made the comment that this is our (the United States) month, and to get their own month.

Anyway, as I said earlier, we have been in meetings all this week. We haven't had a lot of time to do our proselyting, and since I'm training a visa waiter, we have an extra two hours of study. We are spending a lot of time inside and not out working. I guess we will just have to work extra hard this coming week.

Also, yesterday was 5th Sunday (you all should know!) and it was missionary Sunday. So the ward had a youth speaker give their testimony and then Elder Ruiz and I and our ward mission leader all gave talks, on guess what? Missionary work! Of course it would be on missionary work. As I said about my last talk, I've learned to not write out my whole talk, but to have notes. That way, whatever comes to me is what I say. I have to work on it though as my talks end up being longer than planned. I guess I can talk when I get going. I was supposed to give a talk for 10 minutes, but it ended up being about 20 minutes. Whoops! Anyway, I think it was a good talk, a lot of people came up and said something to us. Maybe they're just being polite, but I couldn't say. We had a bunch of people come up to us.

Well, other than that not much else happened this week, we are still working hard, and studying hard to for that matter. I'm picking up a bit of Portuguese, and Elder Ruiz is working on it. We are trying to find someone who speaks Portuguese so he can practice, but no luck. Still, it doesn't hurt to look!

Anyway, hope all is well at home!

--Elder Huffaker

Monday, July 1, 2013

June 24, 2013 -- The Start of the Last Transfer

Well, if you are aware, I am on my last transfer, and it started last week.

Well I've got some information about this transfer so be ready for it. As a reminder there are 6 weeks in a transfer, and I'm telling you this because I will be referring to the length of a transfer several times. So keep that in mind.

For starters, my former companion Elder Ehninger went to Valencia 3rd. A car area, and it's up in Santa Clarita. Not in the same zone I have been in so much, but it is up there.

Anyway, so President Hall does leadership calls after transfer calls(which come on Saturday Night). So anywhere from Sunday morning to Monday Night it is possible to get a leadership call. Well, he also calls those in leadership to either keep them there or release them. Sunday passed, and then Monday passed no calls from President. All the while my companion is getting packed. I actually took some of this time to go through my stuff as to what I'll be sending home and what I'll be leaving behind. It was good to do that and keep me less stressed about the end of the transfer.

Well, Tuesday morning came and Elder Ehninger got stuff ready to take out to the car to go to the transfer meeting. And then, 8:17 in the morning (I checked!) President calls. DUN-DUN-DUN! I hand the phone to Elder Ehninger as I'm pretty sure President is calling to give him a leadership assignment. I told him it was President and he's like "no you're kidding" and I said, "nope!" and he took the phone and he just sank. It was a bit amusing to watch.

Then he answered the phone and President asks him how he's doing and whatnot, and then he asks him if he could speak with me. My thoughts are "he's gonna tell me I'm still District Leader. It's a little late for that." So I start talking to him, and President asks me to be a trainer. Uhhhh. "Of course President." I may or may not have lost feeling in my legs.

Please make note that this is my last transfer, and the program we go through to train new missionaries is called "The First 12 Weeks" or the 12 week program. Did you catch that? I was certain that I wouldn't be called a trainer as I have 6 WEEKS LEFT! It seemed out of the question. Not a possibility. Well, that's the biggest news from the transfers.

I got that call Tuesday morning, the day of the transfer meeting at 8:17 (now you know why I checked!) and the new trainer meeting started at 9. So we had to book it up there, and we were a bit late, but we were able to make it there and when I walked into the training, president thanked me for being there as I received my call just an hour ago. In fact when he was announcing the transfers, he talked about how he was sure the transfers were right, and then this morning he had to call another missionary (me) to be a trainer. It came as quite a surprise.

So anyway, I will go over the first 6 weeks with my new companion, Elder Ruiz, and then someone else will have to pick up from where I left off. Oh, by the way, he is a Visa waiter, reassigned to here until it comes. He'll be going to Brazil speaking Portuguese. Well, as such, I do language study with him, and so I'm learning a little tiny bit of Portuguese. It'll be fun! right? He's from Fort Lauderdale Florida. Kind of an interesting place to have a companion from! He spent 6 weeks in the MTC learning Portuguese, and I will be with him for the next 6 weeks or until his Visa comes.

So anyway, this coming week we have 2 meetings in Santa Clarita, one zone conference and one Trainer meeting. Both will last a while so it will take up most of our week. This last week has been kind of slow with getting him all settled in. Also since he is a visa waiter he wasn't given a card for his MSF funds so it will be placed on my card. Well, that's one more thing I'll have to take care of. Oh well. Also I'm still District Leader. I don't know what else to write but that's been our week.

Oh, funny story: so we make calls from a parking lot near the church because we have horrible cell reception. So Sunday night we were there and there was this girl who came up and knocked on our window. Kind if weird and random, I figured that she was wanting money, but she started talking to my companion and saying stuff about what we believe in. Then she just left. Really weird. Then later during calls, she went running, well more like sprinting across the parking lot for no apparent reason. It was weird and super random.

But hey that's our life! Fun right? Hope all is well at home!

--Elder Huffaker

June 17, 2013

Well, I put more pictures on the pictures thing. [Google Drive] I hope you get them. Kinda bummed I don't get a letter today.

--Elder Huffaker

With Elder Kruger:

With his companion, Elder Ehninger:

June 10, 2013 -- Heading in to the Transfer Ending

Well, if you are aware, our week 5 has ended and week 6 has started. Next time I e-mail, I will have the transfer call for you.

As far as what we think will happen, we think Elder Ehninger will be leaving, and I will be staying for my last transfer. In our District, one of the sisters is going home, and so she will need to be replaced, and we think that the other sisters will all be staying where they are. The calls will come Saturday night, although sometimes they come late, generally Sunday morning late, and it might happen so this way, as the mission will be split this coming transfer.

So our president has to really figure out who will be going where as the people up north will be going to the other mission. So he's taking extra time to figure it all out. If any of our calls would come late it would be this one. We'll see what happens though.

Anyway, for this week. We had two big things happen this week. They both had to happen on Saturday too. First off, our ward did an Emergency Preparedness Fair where they offered free food. In order to get free food they had to come talk to us. Now we weren't supposed to bully them in to investigating, in fact we got only one potential from it, but they had to be in a church building and talk to the missionaries to get their food.

It was a big event and we had all the missionaries in the zone participating for it. It didn't have as great of a turn out as we had hoped, but it wasn't bad. It lasted 3 hours and we had to help set up and take down. 

Then right after that, we had a thing we did with some youth in the Santa Clarita Stake. They were doing a youth conference called, "Mission I'm Possible."  During this, they were given a companion and also had to go through a whole MTC experience. Then they had 2 hours with us being missionaries actually going out and talking to people. It was quite an experience.

Then at the end of the day, we got a call from one of our investigators who was telling us that he wouldn't come to church the next day and that he'd prefer it if we didn't stop by anymore. We tried to see if we could at least meet with him once but he wouldn't have it. It was rather saddening. We had just had a lesson with him that was really cool and he even said in the closing prayer that he'd come to church. After all that he changed his mind.

For the rest of the week, we had a hard time trying to get in contact with some of our investigators and we weren't able to meet with them all. We'll try again next week. Anyway, hope all is well at home!

--Elder Huffaker

June 3, 2013 -- This Week AND Last Week

Hey Everyone! Well, I don't know if the word got passed around last week, but my companion had some trouble e-mailing and things didn't work out, so I wasn't able to e-mail a whole lot last week.
Anyway, so the biggest thing from the week I couldn't e-mail was that we had interviews with President Hall. It was quite an interesting experience, we were told to bring our Area books and Planners (like we wouldn't have our planners, we ALWAYS have our planners) and then we didn't use them in the interview.
What happened with them is that we went with our zone leaders and they checked our area books and planners. We have recently been trained on using our area books more effectively, and using them with our planners. It has really made planning much better. Anyway, the interview with president went well, he talked with me about being a District Leader and I was able to ask some questions about it. He shared his insight on it and I will be trying to use it and become a more effective District Leader. What was cool is that he knows that I'm working hard on it, and doing my job, as not all District Leaders take their assignment seriously.
So for this week. This week was a slower one, we had pretty much all of our appointments cancel one way or another. Some of them got cancelled earlier on in the week and then got moved to Friday. Well, Friday I actually got a bit sick, like a cold or something, but we had to cancel our appointments that moved. So like I said, one way or another the appointments got cancelled.
Also this week, I had a baptismal interview to do, but then the baptism got cancelled. The person who would be baptized is moving to Utah, and has decided that she wants to be baptized when she moves there. She will be moving at the beginning of next month I think, and decided to push it to after that. It's kind of sad that the baptisms that would be happening here in my district keep getting pushed or cancelled.
The good news is that it'll either eventually happen, or they will be kept in our records and from there someone else should go by at a time that they will be more ready for it. We are the missionaries, once we have your information, there is no escape! Haha, a bit scary (but very true). Hope all is well at home!

--Elder Huffaker

May 28, 2013 -- Email Flop

Hey my companion is having trouble e-mailing, and so we tried something, but we will not be able to e-mail more today. Sorry :(. Hopefully we will be able to do more next week.

So I haven’t really been able to take pictures, and I don’t really know what to take pictures of as of right now. Anyway, what I do have is pictures of my “happy” They’ve recently done a thing where they have 10 calorie soda. I got some Dr. Pepper. (it’s 10 calories a serving, and a serving size is 12 oz, so the whole thing has 60 calories. It’s pretty dang good, and it doesn’t do a whole lot calorie wise. Anyway, I love soda (as you probably know) and so this is awesome!
Also I had some questions about some things to send home
1. Should I send home my blankets and sheets? Also my pillows?
2. What about my towels, and any bathroom stuff?
This will vary the amount I'll have to pack or send home. Please let me know by next week.
Also could I get a line of authority for my Priesthood?
--Elder Huffaker

May 20, 2013 -- Week 2

Hi everyone!

Well, there wasn't any really big thing that happened this week, but we did well on our lessons and we had a bunch of people at Sacrament meeting. We have a few investigators who are really interested so we were able to have some good lessons.

There was one person who is investigating now, that told us about a thing people do where they pray for like 7-10 days to receive an answer from God as to what it is He wants you to do, and how she did that, and then missionaries knocked on her door (the Spanish missionaries). She told us about how she has checked out other religions, and hasn't really felt anything, so why not check out the Mormons. It was a decent starter lesson, as we didn't teach a whole lot, but we were able to set a good foundation. It was cool to see all the people at church as well.

We had to get another investigator, her husband, and two kids a ride to church, and it wasn't easy, but she was able to come. We were able to show her around the building, but she had to leave after Sacrament meeting. Elder Ehninger and I are really feeling like things are starting to happen here in the ward.

Oh also, we went and helped out with the building cleaning, as it was the Elders Quorums turn, and there are like 4 elders, and only one could show up (the Elders Quorum President). If it was just him, it would have taken forever. We decided to do some service and help out. He was really glad we were there. It was great to help out too and it made it go faster, and probably improved the ward's opinion of missionaries.

Anyway, that was pretty much our week, hope all is well at home!

--Elder Huffaker

May 13, 2013 -- The Day After Mother's Day

Note from Marilyn:
We were able to Skype with Cameron for Mother's Day, and loved every moment of it. As a result, we both felt like we didn't have very much to say in our weekly email, since it was less than 24 hours later. This was Cameron's response to my email to him, and the only thing he wrote to us that week:

Yeah I feel like that as well. We just talked, so I don't know what to write. Anyway, I got the Google Drive thing to work with the file for descriptions of the pictures, but I can't put any more pictures on it. I have created a folder that will have the other pictures that I have taken so you can get them, but I can't put any pictures in there. I'll just try again next week.

--Elder Huffaker

May 6, 2013 -- Transfer Over

Hey everyone! So this transfer is officially over. As for transfer call, Elder Ehninger and I will be staying together in this area for one more transfer. As far as my district, one of the sisters is going home, so her companion will need to get another companion. And it turns out she will be training. So the rest of them will be staying the same. Unless I transfer out my last transfer, I will stay here until I come home.
Next on the list is this week. It was a pretty good week. We have been being taught about having short powerful lessons. Well this week we did pretty good. We had an investigator who we normally have a hard time having short lessons with (he's a bit of a talker) and we had a short lesson with him. At the end of the lesson we invited him to church, and he said "I feel like I should say yes." And we're thinking: YES YOU SHOULD! Then it was cool when he came to sacrament meeting yesterday. It was cool to see.

Then, (if you remember last week) the crazy guy who was outside of our meeting last Sunday morning, came in to sacrament meeting during the closing hymn, and started shouting things again. Luckily our investigator wasn't phased by it at all. The bishop and other priesthood holders were quick to escort him out of the building. No Problems. I guess that was the main highlight for the work this week.
So for those of you who don't know, Saturday was actually my birthday. Yep, I'm a-fficially 21. So what was cool was there is this less-active who thought it'd be cool to get a bounce castle for me. So I have sent pictures home of me in this bounce castle. Okay so for the truth: he got the bounce castle for his kid who was having a birthday party that day, and his birthday was on the 8th I think. But they were having the party that day, and we were doing service for them, so I got to bounce in the castle as part of my birthday. Pretty cool.

Anyway, so that day there was a baptismal interview that needed to be done in the bottom of my district (we are at the top of my district geographically speaking) and so we went to do that. After that we were asked to give the other sisters in my district a "blessing." (notice the "") So we get there and it turns out that they (all 4 of them and possibly my companion) had a little birthday party for me. It was actually pretty cool, and I guess I must be doing something right. I also sent pictures home of that. Then we had dinner with a member who offered to feed us again (they fed us Friday) because of my birthday. It was really good. Overall, it was a pretty good 21st mission birthday.

Today however, we had a zone activity where we got to tour a Warner Brothers Sudio. I sent more pictures home from that (we weren't allowed to take pictures everywhere, but some places we were). It was really cool.

We got to see a lot of the costumes, some of the sets, and some of the rooms where they do the recording and the editing. They had a room where they create sound effects of anything. Like walking, or door shutting. They had a ton of stuff in that room and a microphone that picked up everything. They told us that they have to do sound effects for everything you see. It is a crazy process. It has been a fun day so far. Hope all is well at home!

--Elder Huffaker

Thursday, June 27, 2013

April 29, 2013 -- Starting Week 6

Wow, so the transfer is almost over! It's pretty crazy. So along the lines of missionary work in our area, this week was pretty lacking, and I'll explain why (get ready).

So everyone can understand, I am the District Leader for my District. What that means is that I pretty much look over the other missionaries. Also, I am the one who gives baptismal interviews for baptismal candidates who have been prepared for baptism. If the person has done something really wrong (like an abortion, or murder, etc.) they need to be interviewed by the mission president. Those are usually pretty rare cases.

Anyway, there are 2 companionships of sisters in my district which make up the rest of my district other than me and my companion. So they both had baptismal dates for the 28th of April. As such, these people needed have an interview with me to make sure they are ready for baptism (kinda scary to think that I am the one to make sure of that, and I have the say as to whether or not they're baptized!). So where I'm going with this, is one of the interviews was scheduled on Friday. That's the same day as District meeting. So we are with our district from 11 to 12:30. The interview is scheduled for 3:30. We live far enough away from where we do district meeting (which is where we were going to do the interview) that we'd be able to make it back in time for lunch and then like 10 minutes of work in our area and turn around and come back. If you didn't know, we are limited on miles, so the back and forth would be a waste. So after all this, 3:30 rolls around and the baptismal candidate's brother had broken his leg and so they were all at the hospital.

So we rescheduled the interview for Saturday. And that's when the other interview is. So the other interview was schedule for 4:30, so we rescheduled the one that fell through for 6:30. The one for 4:30 was at a different ward building even farther from the one where we have district meeting. So we had to do a lot of travel. Now interviews usually last from 20-30 minutes. So the gap was a bit frustrating as well, as we wouldn't even be able to make it back to our area before needing to come back. The only problem was that the other sisters couldn't get a hold of their investigator, and she didn't come to the interview. We waited as long as we could, but she didn't show up. So then we go to the other interview, and find out that the investigator had moved to south LA a few days ago, and needed to travel up to where we are to have his interview. Well, he showed up at 8:30. Not his fault, he had a long way to go. But because of that, he will have to be baptized in the area he lives in. SO, both baptisms didn't happen :(. That was what took up most of our time.

As for other exciting things, I don't know if I've mentioned it yet, but there was this crazy guy who showed up to the Saturday Afternoon session of Conference. He rambled on some crazy nonsense, but then we got away from him and thought it was over. Then, a couple weeks ago he showed up to the library and gets on a computer. We evasively avoided contact with him. Anyway, so Sunday morning we had meetings with the Ward Council, and there was almost nobody there. So the ward clerk showed up a bit late, and had to make copies of the program. The copy machine was just outside the room of our meeting. And who shows up but "god" (that's what the bishop has nicknamed him because he calls himself "The Creator") The bishop has experienced talking to him too. So the Clerk is out there and just walks away from him  and we can hear him almost yelling "YOU ARE WALKING AWAY FROM YOUR CREATOR! ONLY THE TREE OF LIFE WILL ENTER INTO MY KINGDOM!" And a bunch of other nonsense, that's just what I can remember. This guy is literally crazy. I guess he moved in to one of the houses nearby, and the Bishop said if he comes back, we'll have to ask him to leave. That's California I guess.

Anyway, that's really the only big things that have happened lately. Hope all is well at home!

--Elder Huffaker

Thursday, June 20, 2013

April 22, 2013

Hey all! Well this week was a bit hectic, a lot of things not missionary work happened.

So to start out, one of the sisters in my district ended up getting sick. The Zone Leaders were near by and so they stopped by and gave her a blessing. Well, a few days later, she was still sick, and had to go to the ER because she was extremely low on body fluids. So we made some calls and tried to figure out what we could do, but in the end we couldn't do anything. That was Thursday night.

Friday, Elder Ehninger had an appointment with the doctor at 8:45. It was a bit of a trip, but we were able to get there on time. When we get there, we find out that the appointment was for 10:40, and our mission medical lady was going to have him switch with another set of missionaries whose appointment was at 8:45. She kind of mumbled what she was planning on doing, and it was a bit confusing, but we ended up having to wait until his actual appointment.

Also, note that District Meeting is at 11. So if his appointment is at 10:40, and we are a ways away from the building where we hold district meeting, we are not going to be on time for that meeting. Also with one of the sisters home sick from the ER, her companionship would also not be attending. By the way there's 3 companionships in my District, ours included.

So we had the other companionship just go to the other district's District Meeting. Fun, right? So after all this, let's top it off by having our car mess up again. So we took it in to Pep Boys on a Saturday, and they told us they couldn't get it fixed that day. So we were told by our car coordinator that it would have to be taken to the dealership on Monday (today).

So Sunday we had to do a bit of biking to our appointments, not much, but we still needed to get there. Anyway, so now we are here at the library closest to the Dealership (which was 10 miles away from our apartment) and we had to walk here, about 3 miles away from the dealership. Then we get a call (yes, during e-mailing) telling us that the car is done, which is cool, but we are not close to the dealership, and we were told that it could be done in 4-6 hours. Anyway, that's what's been taking the majority of our time this week. Other than that, we had Stake conference, which was pretty cool and I was able to meet up with a bunch of the members from the North Hollywood ward -- the ward I was in the last time I was in the valley.

Well, that is pretty much our week.

-- Elder Huffaker

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

April 15, 2013 -- Halfway Through the Transfer

Hi Everyone! So I'm not sure it I wrote about this already, but just in case I'll say it again.

So where I am will be part of the San Fernando Mission after it splits. North of here is Santa Clarita (where I was when I was in CC1, Mint Canyon, and Solemint) will also be part of the San Fernando Mission. But everything north of that will be part of the Bakersfield Mission. There is a good chance that this will be my last area, but that will be pretty certain next transfer, as I have 2 transfers left after this one, and transferring someone for their last transfer is not a good idea.

Anyway, this week was an okay week. We didn't have a whole bunch of member dinners, but that's probably because of General Conference (which was awesome by the way). We also had Zone conference on Tuesday from 9 to 5, but we had car inspections at 8 so we had to be there at 8. It was also out of our zone and we had to pick up some of the elders who are in a bike area that are in the more southern parts of our area. We had to leave at about 7 to be there on time. Lot's of travelling.

So before General Conference, on Friday, we had ZTM, which is like District Meeting, only the Zone leaders do it, and it lasts about an hour and a half longer. So Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday we had a bunch of meetings and conference. It was a bit crazy.

Also for this week, we did exchanges with our zone leaders. I went with one of them to their area. It was a good exchange. Other than that, we got a referral for this guy who just got out of a minimum security prison. He is super amazing. He has already read the Book of Mormon and has a testimony of it and the church. Unfortunately, he is on probation and he needs to wait until that's over to be baptized. So for now all we have to do is just keep him involved in church and whatnot.

Also one of the things we are planning on doing is working with the ward leaders in trying to get the less active members back into activity. It's something Elder Ehninger and I felt inspired to do during weekly planning. The ward here needs a little help. It probably has the lowest attendance in a ward that I've had so far. We hope to help change that. Anyway, that was our week. Hope all is well!

--Elder Huffaker

April 8, 2013 -- Another Week in Sylmar

This week was a pretty good week. Elder Ehninger and I have been working on a few things.

First was our faith in finding. We talked about how we have faith when we are in the apartment, that we can go and find people to teach. But we talked about how our faith is significantly lower when we are actually out finding. So we have been trying to increase our faith.

We started by relying on the spirit to take us where we needed to go. We decided where we felt it was, and then set out. All along the path we were walking on people were avoiding us before we even got to talk to them. We still felt like we were there for a reason. So we kept going. We got to a point we recognised and remembered that there was a potential nearby. I felt inspired to go knock on the door. Unfortunately there was no one home. Elder Ehninger then felt inspired to knock on a few doors on that street as we had not yet done that. We eventually were lead to a guy who had just recently parked on the street. We talked with him for about 40 minutes and invited him to come to conference. He agreed and he gave us his contact information. It was a faith building moment for the both of us.

General conference was also really great. Unfortunately only one of our investigators came, but she now has a bunch of questions we hope to answer for her. That's all I can really remember about our week. Hope all is well at home!

--Elder Huffaker

April 1, 2013 New Area

First off, my companion has been out 2 transfers so far, so about 3 months. Yeah that's how long my last companion was out when I got him, and the companion before that. He was born in Eagle Idaho, raised in Oregon, and lives in South Jordan Utah. His name is Elder Ehninger. He says to say vinegar only with an "e" instead of "vi".

Second, yes I'm still a District Leader, and in fact, we have 2 other companionships for this district, and they are both sisters. So I'm in charge of my companion, and 4 sisters. We are in a car area, and usually the car is a Toyota Corolla, but here we have a Chevy Malibu. They aren't as good as the Corollas. Their gas mileage is lower, turning radius sucks, and we've had problems twice already since Tuesday, so that's something considering that I've been here for almost a week. We had the temperature gage stop working and the AC went out on us. We were told to take it in to pep boys and they tested it for 2 ours and said nothing was wrong with it. Then we were making phone calls last night, and the battery on the car died. We had to get it jumped this morning. Finally got it jumped by about 11:50, and we were there at about 10:30 trying to get a hold of people. Well we finally got it taken care of.

Also I'm in Sylmar, which is the same zone I came from when I left from North Hollywood. I left NoHo and went to Mint Canyon and then Solemint and those are both in the same zone, and so I'm back in my last zone. My address is 13140 Dronfield Ave. Apt #111 Sylmar CA 91342.

Just so you know, I have 2 transfers after this. There is a good chance that this will be my last area but no confirms. In other news, since being here we had a member feed just once. It was Easter dinner, and it was a good dinner. The ward is a bit small, and there aren't a whole lotta youth. The biggest difference is that there are people walking around here. In Solemint, everyone is pretty much in their cars driving. So we have gotten to talk to a lot of people. My companion doesn't like to drive, so I'm driving and I'm still trying to get familiar with the area.

Also I'm still trying to get all the investigators figured out. We have a decent amount here and hopefully we will be able to keep it going and even increase the work here. I guess the one thing that is really annoying here is that we have almost no cell service in our apartment. We can get and send texts, but calls almost never happen. Sometimes we get a stroke of luck and we have roaming service, but that's super rare. We do live really close to the church building so that's great. I can't think of anything else at this time so if you have questions feel free to ask!

--Elder Huffaker

Sunday, April 7, 2013

March 25, 2013 Transfers

Okay so first off, if you have been paying attention, you would know that this transfer was a 5 week transfer. So if it seems a bit short, it is. Just so you all know, I am being transferred.

Last transfer I was called as a District leader, and I will be staying as a District leader wherever I go. I will know tomorrow, but I do know that it is a car area. Elder Chaney will be staying here, and he will actually be training a new missionary. Basically for me that means he will need to be to the transfer meeting early tomorrow, and as such I will need to be with him. Well, the District leader training will be after the transfer meeting, so I will be staying there from 9 to 2:30. Either Lunch will be provided, or Ima be really hungry.

I will let you all know next week where I will be, although I can tell you I will NOT be in this zone (at least I'm 95% sure I won't be). Just as a recap, I've been in this zone for 7 transfers now. We'll see.

Well, so you all know, I did say last week that we were planning on a baptism for yesterday. Well it did happen! There was a lot of stress and work to get it to go through, and Sunday evening was going to be the ONLY time we could do it. The weeks around it just wouldn't work and the day we planned wouldn't work either. The bishop was there, (the new one for the ward called at the beginning of this month) and I was tellin' him, there's no way this can't happen, we gotta make sure it goes through. He was like yeah we do! It was quite the intense process.

We filled up the font and set up all the chairs. If you don't know, baptismal fonts usually take over an hour to fill. This one took about an hour and a half. Don't worry, we were there with plenty of time, and we actually started the baptism only 5 minutes late. They usually start 15-20 minutes late. I think we did pretty good.

Anyway, her name is Khamilah, and her parents are divorced. But both sides of the family agreed to have her baptized and none of them are members. It was really awesome there with the speakers, the spirit was really strong. I felt awesome, leaving Solemint with a baptism. Going out of the area with a BANG! For your benefit, attached are pictures of who was baptized and her mom with her mom's boyfriend.

Well also so you know, I ended up being called in a couple days before Sunday to be one of the speakers. I was told to give the talk on Jesus Christ, and I could go anywhere with that that I wanted. Well, I went with the Atonement. I used President Packer's talk from General Conference in November. The youth speaker before me was told he would speak this month, but wasn't given an exact date. Well it turned out to be this Sunday. He was to talk on Dating from the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet. He did pretty good for an impromptu (last minute speech for those who don't know).

Well when it was my turn, I thought I'd have a little fun by using a quote I heard from Tucker Jeppson before he left on his mission. So, I get up there and say that he did pretty good on his talk, and how he mentioned the dating after his mission. I proceeded to use the quote which was "Any money spent on a woman before your mission is money spent on another man's wife." Well, the ward got a good laugh out of that one. Then came the best part that was a real ego booster for me. I announced that I would be leaving the ward for transfers on Tuesday, and then from the ward comes this "ooohhhhhhh" of disappointment. It at least made me feel good knowing that with Elder Wright and with Elder Chaney I worked hard, and also tried to have fun (good missionary fun). So I know I did my best here, and the ward could tell.

I also said that we would be stopping by before I leave to say goodbye. After Church, just as we were about to leave, I went and shook a member's hand and he said "so when are you coming over?" There was no "are you going to stop by?" or anything, he just said, "when are you coming?". Which I thought was cool because I wanted to stop by them before leaving, and they said I could stop by after the baptism.

It's really been great serving in this ward. The members are awesome, even though the work was a bit on the lower side. We did our best to build it. Also, I have 3 transfers left, so where I go will probably be my last area. There is still a chance that I could get transferred after that, but not likely. Hope all is well at home!

--Elder Huffaker

Monday, March 25, 2013

March 18, 2013

Well another week has gone by. I guess the biggest thing to happen this week was exchanges. We did exchanges with another set of missionaries in our district, and then we also did exchanges with our zone leaders. They were back to back, and both times I stayed in the area, so my companion was tired of all the switching by the end of it.

Not much else happened this week. Although, we still have a baptismal date for this coming Sunday! It's going to be a bit of work to make sure that happens, but we're hoping!

--Elder Huffaker

This is what happens to the couch when you're trying to keep another elder awake.

Elder Chaney's future is so bright, he's got to wear shades!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

March 11, 2013

Hey everybody. I guess this week in news is that we are allowed to e-mail friends as well as family. Other than that, it's the usual here.

We are still trying to meet twice a week with our investigator who has a baptismal date. We've had to work out the kinks of her date because of ward activities. However the weeks surrounding it will be difficult to do it as well, so we determined that Sunday would be the best day and in the evening because two wards meet at that building and we don't want interruptions. We hope this will go through because it will be difficult to baptize her around that date and would probably be pushed back further than what it is.

Also, we have gotten in with a former investigator who we hope to start meeting with regularly. What's cool about her is that when we were over there she said that someone she knew hates Mormons, and she said " Well do you hate me then? Because I'm on the verge of becoming a Mormon?" Lots of hopes for her. The only problem is that she has to go to the doctor frequently and with her business, it's hard to meet all the time. We are going to be persistent a bit and hope things go well.

Other than that, it's been the usual here. We're still trying to get the ward excited about missionary work as our referral is the one getting baptized and she was a member's friend. That's the way missionary work works best!

Hope all is well at home!

--Elder Huffaker

(Some photos that Cameron sent this week. They found an interesting park....)