Monday, September 26, 2016

He's Coming Home!!!! Nope....He's Not!!

Mother and Father,

   I am sorry for the false excitement there. I believe the ticket ordering is an automated system and they accidentally entered me in too early.(Words do not describe the emotional rollercoaster ride I went on. I received an email from Church Travel that had his entire itinerary coming home on OCTOBER 4th!! I always thought he was coming home in November, so I sent an email to the mission office to confirm this change. They wrote back the next day saying SORRY! Are you kidding??!! My poor heart!!) 
   This week, as I told you earlier, we said goodbye to Elder M. He will be so missed. Elder Christianson has been a great addition to our companionship. Taking over his ward, the Scottsbluff Ward,  has been a fun addition to our work as well. This week, as we went to teach their investigator Jim. He told us he has decided to be baptized. I just want to comment that Jim is an incredible man and I loved being in his home. He is also hilarious. He has a joke for every situation. We set a baptism date for October 14th. He texted later that night asking if it could be sooner. Jim has been faithfully attending church and keeping commitments, so he will now be baptized this Saturday between sessions of General Conference. I am so happy for him. He is such a good man and I am grateful he is making this
decision.
   We also taught their investigator named Carol in the Bishop's home. She has previously had serious disagreements with the doctrines, but she has had a significant change of heart, and she too desires to be baptized. That date we set for October 22nd. Yesterday we fasted for her to get Sunday's off so she can attend church with us.
   This week I have been madly training Elder Campbell and Elder Christianson. We delved into the Plan of Salvation pretty hard, and watched way too much of the District. We have been getting down good ways to plainly explain the Atonement, the Spirit World, and the Kingdoms of Glory. I am so proud of their progress! The Chimney Rock Ward is still struggling with missionary work but there is some cool
progress going on. My health which had been steadily progressing took a nosedive this week. (NO!!!!) It's really quite distressing and has made it hard to stay on top of things. Please pray for my wellbeing and ability to progress this work as it has been given me. (Everyone, please pray for him. He only has 7 weeks left!!)

Love,

Elder Andrew Campbell


Monday, September 19, 2016

We Feed the Animals, Including the Tigers!!

Mother and Father,

   This week I am too sad. Elder M in my district is going home.So, I am going to finish first transfer training Elder Christianson along with Elder Campbell. It has been a wild one. I spent quite some time working with Elder M and counseling him in some problems. It has been a stressful one. I spent most of Saturday with him in the ER. We are spending preparation day with him. Sorry, I won't have much time to email. (That's okay, I'm glad he was able to help!)
  (Last week he said he was helping the zoo with their accreditation. I wondered what he did.) What we have done for the zoo is feed the animals, including the tigers, (WHAT??!!) and move gravel and mulch around. Our ward's missionary work is improving! We have got referrals coming in and miracles taking place. I also gave the musical number at zone meeting this week. I'm going to send some pictures. The zone leaders came to be with Elder M, so they are the additional missionaries in the pictures!

Love,

Elder Andrew Campbell




Monday, September 12, 2016

Elder C. Scott Grow of the Seventy



Mother and Father,

   Last week was a wild one. For the beginning, there are malevolent forces that are trying to get the zoo shut down, so we came in and helped them get ready for the accreditation analysis this week. (I hope they pass!) Then, Elder C. Scott Grow of the Seventy came to do a mission tour on Friday. I have had a lot of meetings with general authorities before, but this one was quite near earth-breaking. (Wow, earth-breaking...not sure what that even means!!)
   The meeting began with Elder Grow having four missionaries come up and give five-minute talks that we had been instructed to prepare. Elder Campbell was the last one and he did an excellent job. (I wish he'd told us what he spoke about.) Elder Grow commented on how great of a missionary he was going to be. Then we had an excellent lunch. (What did they eat? Hmmm....the things I wish he'd tell us.) After lunch, the great rebuking came. It was not a rebuking of "you are all bad missionaries and need to shape up", it was more of "you're all pretty good missionaries but you are doing this completely wrong." What he explained to us, in a nutshell, was that most missionaries focus first on finding new investigators and trying to teach them, and preparing them for baptism when they are ready. He said this is contrary to the instructions we receive in Preach My Gospel that state, "Prayerfully set goals that are in harmony with the Savior’s command to “teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19)." The first key indicator we report on is baptism, and it is the least reported key indicator. When we plan with only a week in mind, we are setting ourselves up to not teach repentance unto baptism. He presented an alternate plan.
    What we were instructed to do is begin a planning session by prayerfully setting goals for how many people will be baptized in a month. The next week you plan for the week after that, etc. He then shared with us the mission averages for key indicators. One in three investigators with a baptismal date gets baptized and one in five investigators who attend sacrament meeting get baptized. He said following mission statistics, we have the capability of predicting our key indicators based on our baptismal goal. So, if you have a goal of four baptisms and you are an average missionary, it is going to take 12 baptismal dates and 20 investigators at sacrament meeting. So, if the Lord has revealed to us how many baptisms are going to take place in our area, we can know, on average, how much work that will take.
   Elder Campbell and I put this into practice the next day and it is frightening. (HA! This boy makes me laugh so much!) We received the goal of 8 baptisms on October 8th. I will show you our key indicator goals for his week, based on that. I will attach it as a picture. Show it to your missionaries and ask how insane we are.
   Finally, Elder Grow interviewed six missionaries at the end of the meeting. I was chosen as one of those. At the end, he told me that he had had an interview with my soul as a general authority. He asked me to write this message to my parents, "You have a great son who loves the Lord. I know that because I stared into his soul and know. You should be proud to have him as a son." (We are extremely proud of our son!!)
   Okay, question answering time. We do get tornados here. We can go to the church basement if one appears. (So how far away is the church? Just wondering!!)  I did read the article about wrestling! I had no idea it was about Colin. He is a hero to me. (In one of our church magazines called The New ra (it's for youth), there's an article about Colin Anderson and his experience as a wrestler and a team captain. It's a great article and Colin is a great young man. He's serving on a mission right now!) The Hamiltons are out of town for a week or so. (Nooooo! They are supposed to help me figure out how to pay for the iPad Andrew is using so he can keep it and use it at college.) We do not have a washer or dryer. We go to our old place and do it. (Last week he sent pictures of the yummy steak nachos he had on his birthday. I wondered how much they cost since a missionary's budget is pretty limited.) The owner of the restaurant actually gave us the nachos and cheesecake on the house. I just got the email asking which airport I want to fly home to. Is Sacramento what we want? (Yes! When did it say you were flying home??? I want that email??) You are all the best. I will work on pictures!

Love,

Elder Andrew Campbell

(I'll attach a picture of his goals. A pretty sunset picture. And a picture of him playing disc golf. I will not attach pictures of people I don't know who are playing disc golf. I might attach the video he sent just because it's so silly and I love hearing his laughter in the background.)










video





Monday, September 5, 2016

Moved to Gering, NE!!

Mother and Father,

   Hmmm, what happened this week that you would like to hear about. On Tuesday we had trainer's meeting. We got together and talked about new ways for us to make our trainees more uncomfortable. Going tracting and being completely silent and making them do all the talking is currently winning out. (Poor guys!!) On the way back we picked up my zone leader, Elder Coleman, in Cheyenne. We did an exchange! We had a grand old time together. He loved doing service at the zoo! (I want to know what they do for service at the zoo?!)
   (I indexed marriage records from Bridgeport and Bayard, NE this week. I wondered if they were near him.) Bridgeport and Bayard are both in my proselyting area. I have not yet been out to see them but I hear they are nice. 
   For my birthday...we went tracting!  (His birthday was Saturday, the 3rd.) Tracting has really been the name of the game out here. Our area book is quite empty and referrals aren't coming. We have a car to get to places. It's a Subaru Legacy.(Nice!) 
   We also went to this place called the Steel Grill for my birthday. It is known as the best restaurant in town. We had steak nachos which were excellent. (I'll attach a picture.) Then for dinner we went to Subway because someone gave us a gift card. Something really great about this ward is that there is a culture of the old women in the ward giving the missionaries gift cards. (Hmmm...I sent him a Subway gift card for his birthday. I guess that doesn't count!)
    This whole transfer is dedicated to finding. Our district set the goal of 100 new investigators this transfer. We met this awesome guy who I am sure is going to get baptized. Once we told him about the Book of Mormon he wanted to know if he could come to a church that taught from it.
   I have a lot of pictures to send and I will send an email about school.

Love,

   Elder Andrew Campbell

(He didn't send any explanations of the pictures, so I am guessing on some of them.)

1. Moving day? He said he was moving to a new apartment. I think it is in Gering. He should LOVE this apartment because the furniture in the truck he is sitting on is EXACTLY our couch we have here at home. What a hoot!!

2. Elder Campbell and a cat.

3. Elder Campbell and another cat.

4. Elder Campbell and the steak nachos he mentioned.

5. Elder Campbell with the CD he got for his birthday. Sis. Dorothy Thompson recommended it...looks like he loves it!