January 19, 2015


Burke, Virginia


Elder Smith


Dear Family,

Here's my first full week in the office!

Monday we had our preparation day. We started off by emailing in the mission office while doing office work that one of the senior couples needed help with and then we left to go shopping. We went over to Ross and then to the grocery store. I've decided to eat healthy and try to shed some pounds. So I bought fish, rice, and eggs for my breakfast and lunch meals. As for dinners we get spoiled here in the Rolling Valley Ward! We either go to a member's house for dinner about every evening and then on top of that because the ward knows we are office Elders they donate gift cards to us so we can go out to lunch while we are out and about doing office work! So sweet! I'm loving the ward! After we went shopping we went and played basketball with all the Elders in the zone which was really fun because we have some really good ballers. After preparation day ended and we came home, showered, and got ready. We had to go meet a lady in another ward at a missionary apartment that we were closing down. (This was a rare occasion. Usually our evenings are always open for us to proselyte.)

Tuesday we had District meetings. We were taught about Faith in finding people to teach. After district meetings, the Stake put on a lunch for our whole zone at the church building because the Stake President made a bet with an Elder in our zone (Elder Schenk my bud) and the Stake President lost so he paid up haha. It was a delicious lunch! After that we went to the office where I had to watch a video about how to drive the mission van. Apparently every office elder and assistant has to watch this video and take the test in order to drive the 15 passenger van. Ugh it was brutal! While I did that Elder Smith just worked on office work. Then we went to dinner at the Relief Society President's house, an older couple! They are tight though. After dinner we checked up on a less active and on some potentials with no luck.

Wednesday we went and picked up an Elder's bike and put it in the Mission's storage shed. (The Elder has gone home and left his bike here). Then we took lunch and then we came to the office to make transfer cards. Transfer cards are just a little picture of each missionary, where they are from and it shows who is with who on the transfer board. So that was a fun process! We had a dinner at a member's house and then after dinner we went to a Great to be 8 fireside! The Primary President wanted us and the sisters to come and bear our testimonies and stuff for all the kids who are turning eight this year! I got to show them the picture of the day that I was baptized too. Thanks to my Dad for sending that to me! So that was fun to see all the little kiddos excited! After that fireside we didn't have much time so we checked on some less actives with no success. One guy was totally home and ignored us! Haha

Thursday we came to the office and I finished that van video and took the test and passed. So now I can drive the van! We also worked on an audit of the baptisms over the past couple of years. Then we took dinner. After dinner we went to the Church to see the youth (we have a HUGE youth group. This stake that I'm in, the Annandale Stake, has more youth out of like any other Stake in the Mission). We also have a eighteen year old who has came to church and goes to mutual that isn't a member that we are going to begin teaching this week! He is solid! After that we had a lesson with our investigator Jeff in the chapel. We had a lesson about hope and faith. It was the most interesting lesson I've probably ever taught on my mission. Jeff is a great guy but he has tons of challenges in his life and is pretty depressed about all of it. But we are hoping for the best!

Friday we had to drive and replace two phones in the mission with new phones, move a couch from a member's house to a missionaries apartment and then we had to move a bed from one missionary apartment to another missionary apartment and then we came back to the office to weekly plan for the next week until dinner. For dinner we got a drop off meal. Which was really good but it was a bummer because we love to be in the member's home! After dinner we went and visited some member families so I could get to know the Ward. Especially since we don't have too much time to do that! And then we had to run to the office at the end of our night to grab some equipment for our whole mission conference which was on Saturday.

Saturday we had a whole mission conference because Elder Perkins and Elder Hallstrom where here and wanted to speak to us. It was a really great meeting! Of course every meeting with a general authority is good. We also had our area seventy in that meeting as well. After that meeting we came back and had dinner and then we came to the Church again for another lesson with Jeff. Man Jeff just totally needs friends in his life right now. He really just has no one. So we spent the whole time talking about Jesus Christ and how Christ is the only one who knows how he feels and how Christ is always there for him. We also talked about how Church and our Ward congregation will be there for him. So we stressed those two things big time! It was a great lesson.

Sunday we had ward mission correlation followed by ward council and then we went to the office after those meetings to work on something for President Riggs and then we went and had lunch and then we went to Church from 3 to 6! I'm still trying to get used to this! After Church we had dinner with a member family who just moved into the ward the Alplanalps. They just moved from Florida! They are a solid family and we had a fun time at their home. After dinner we went and checked on our investigator and a member who lived nearby him. And then we came to the office to meet up win the assistants to get key indicators from all of the zone leaders!

So that was my first full week in the office! I like it a lot because we are really busy during the day which is less productive of missionary work and during the evening we get to proselyte which is prime productivity! So we are always busy and I'm loving it!

Love Elder Hinton


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