February 9, 2015


Burke, Virginia


Elder Smith

Two Weeks of Letters

Dear Family,
Two Mondays ago we had preparation day and we just played basketball again. It was lots of fun like usual. After preparation day we had an appointment to have family home evening with a less active family in our ward but it didn't work out. We will keep trying to have family home evening over there. They are sweet! The teenagers are just being teenagers and the Dad needs some more spiritual strength so we are going to be there to help him out.

Two Tuesdays ago we had Zone Conference instead of our normal District meetings and we learned about how to begin teaching talking about creating good expectations and what not. We also learned about "we invite, we commit, and we follow up" and how to do that better. President Riggs also did a great job teaching us about being spiritual strength coaches. Just how we have physical strength coaches, we need spiritual strength coaches. After Zone Conference we had a dinner dropped off to us and then at night we had to go grab some beds from a McLean apartment because one of the apartments in our mission had bed bugs and they needed new beds after all of the bed bug treatments.

Two Wednesdays ago we moved some Sisters out from one apartment to another apartment because a lease is ending and then we went and picked up a queen mattress and box spring to bring to the new senior couples apartment that were arriving the upcoming Friday. And so we brought that to them and then as we were coming back to our area to have dinner with a member family, Elder Smith got confused on the freeways out here and we ended up leaving our mission and went down into Wood Bridge which used to be a part of our mission awhile back. Anyways that was a mess but we got a good laugh out of it. It was funny because our GPS said there was one more exit when there really wasn't and so after we passed the last exit thinking there was one more the GPS rerouted and then said the next exit was like 7 or so miles away and that's what took us outside our mission. Anyways.. we were late to our dinner. Then we had to go and grab the second queen size mattress and box spring and bring it to the senior couples apartment that were coming in because we couldn't take both at once because our huge 15 passenger van couldn't hold it all.

Two Thursdays ago we dropped off a key to some missionaries so they could start moving apartments and then we went to Vent Hill (which was near Haymarket, one of my previous areas). It was good to just pass by that area again. Oh and the reason why we went to Vent Hill was because one of the Elders there dropped their Ipad and we had to replace it with another Ipad. After we did that we came to the office and did some work on the computers and for Presidents Transfer Board and then we had dinner with the Tolboe family!! Sister Tolboe on the previous Sunday just came up to us and said "hey we are feeding you guys on Thursday. I need your mom's name and phone number". We didn't ask questions and gave her our moms numbers and then we come over here on Thursday and she had fixed Elder Smith's Favorite Dinner back home and got my favorite dessert! That was so nice of them! I seriously felt so loved. The Ward that I'm serving in is seriously incredible! I'm loving it so much!

Two Fridays ago we went to a District Leader Training meeting in Mount Vernon. Elder Smith and I were both previous District Leaders and we just asked if we could attend the meeting and President said we could. It was an incredible meeting. It helped me realize how good of a job I actually did as a district leader. I did a lot of the things I was supposed to do and I didn't even know I was supposed to do them. But it was a really good training for the district leaders in the mission. I feel like they all got a lot out of it. I also got to see Elder Oyler, Elder Schenk and Elder Tesch because they are all District Leaders serving around that area. After that training we had all sorts of tasks. We had to drop a bike off at a bike shop to get it packaged and did some things in the office and after that stuff we went to a member's home and pretty much had home made Chipotle Burritos which were really really good! We also got a call and a text message from Byron Brown. The guy I met in Haymarket who I helped gain a testimony because he really just got baptized out of the love shown to him and didn't really have a testimony.

Two Saturdays ago we moved a bed for a missionary and then met a lady in McLean to move some stuff out of a missionary apartment for some people who are less fortunate in their stake and then we cleared out the rest of that apartment because we were closing it down and dropped off a couch and a table to some missionaries that were less fortunate and didn't have those things haha.

Two Sundays ago was great! It was fast Sunday so we didn't have all the crazy meetings in the morning. I'm not bashing on meetings at all. I'm just saying it was nice to have a break from them haha. We also taught a Lesson to our investigator Eric! He is the 18 Year old young man that has been coming to church and mutual and has been playing stake basketball. The lesson wasn't going so well. We were really trying to review the restoration that we taught him and we taught according to his needs because he really wanted to find out an answer so we talked a lot about prayer but it just wasn't going good at all! So a thought came to me that I needed to show the 20 minute Restoration video. So I opened up my Ipad real quick and made sure I had it downloaded and then gave a nudge to Elder Smith who had no clue where to take the lesson either and then we were saved by Grace! Because after we showed that video the lesson did a complete 180 and turned into an amazing lesson and he realized how the spirit feels when he was watching the video and he now understands how to get answers to his questions. That was a true manifestation that no matter how great teachers are and how much knowledge we may gain it is still the spirit that teaches the lessons! Oh man!

Alright now for this week! I apologize I didn't get that letter sent off last week! We were really really busy!

This past Monday we played basketball again with our zone and also with President Riggs. He randomly showed up and that was loads of fun. I have only usually played with him when he was in his church clothes. It was cool to see our Mission President playing basketball with us in normal clothes haha. After Preparation Day we did something menial at the beginning of the evening like take something to the storage sheds and then we went over to a members house and taught them a lesson on sustaining our church leaders. The wife of the family has been started to get less active and she is so awesome and loves the missionaries and has a son on a mission but she just needs some pick me ups.

Tuesday we had District meetings. President Riggs showed up to our District Meetings which was incredible because he always has such great insight. After we learned from our District Leader about using members more effectively President Riggs pulled Elder Smith and I aside and asked us if he could take us out to lunch. So he bought us lunch and then we went and moved two couches from our storage shed into two different missionary apartments. After Dinner we had an exchange with a member and we actually had him pick up our investigator and take him to the church and we had a lesson with Jeff. This lesson was incredible! We discussed all of the first 3 lessons and discussed the concept of having the Holy Ghost with us always and he liked that thought a lot. Then we talked about what he needs to do to be baptized and we put him on date to be baptized February 21st!

Wednesday we moved a bike from a bike shop to the UPS store and then we moved more furniture for missionaries, we also did work in the office. After the day time we had dinner and then we went to teach Eric at the Church with some Priests in the ward who are good friends with him now. Anyways the lesson didn't quite turn out how we planned or wanted it to go. All of the priests in the whole quorum showed up early for mutual and it turned more into a mission prep instead of a lesson to Eric. But it was still pretty good.

Thursday we had lots and lots of work to do in the office for the senior couples who work in the office as well. We also went over to the mission home to help President and Sister Riggs with their Ipads. After we were there for like and hour and a half to two hours we went to dinner at Investigator Eric's home with his family and then we drove to a senior couples house at night and dropped stuff off for them.

Friday we had Mission Leadership Counsel. All of the Zone leaders, Sister training leaders, President and Sister Riggs and also The Assistants and the Office Elders all show up for this meeting where we just talk about things in the whole mission and discuss what we can do to help the mission out in whatever way possible. In obedience, in key indicators for conversion, just pretty much everything. They have Mission Leadership Counsel once a month. It was a very eye opening meeting. After that we went and moved a bed for some Elders and planned some for the upcoming week.

Saturday we helped President Riggs out some more and then he took us and the Assistants out to lunch. We have seen President Riggs a ton this week and it has been awesome!!! After we got done helping President Riggs out in the afternoon we went and cleared out another apartment that is getting closed in our mission with the Assistants because we needed to get it done. We have a lot of work cut out for us as office Elders especially since we have 240 missionaries right now and the church wants to cut down every mission to about 200 missionaries so we have lots of closed apartments to clear out in the near future.

Sunday we had meetings and then we had church. Eric didn't show up to church this week but Jeff showed up and had a good time. He met with our Bishop. After church we had dinner with our ward mission leader's family.

That was my last two weeks! Things are going good. Its awesome to see President Riggs so much. I learn tons from him.

Love, Elder Hinton


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