Happy Christmas Time!! Dec. 1, 2014

Well today is December 1st for us so that means I found the little tree inside of our apartment and set it up last night. I made a star out of the "I'm a Mormon" cards that we give out. It was nice. I will send a picture if I can get on another computer that will allow me.

This week was pretty good. I actually had a real Thanksgiving! We met as a zone of missionariesThursday noon and were able to cook a feast. We had a couple of turkey's and a whole lot of mashed potatoes. My great friend Elder Woodburn, started mission together, is in the same zone so we were able to cook together and be thankful together. It was fantastic. In fact, he was my zone leader and we had gone on exchanges the day before! It worked out that we were able to  go on exchanges together, not too often does that happen! Exchanges with him were so great. 24 hours in about 1 hour. We were able to teach some cool people and one of their investigators from Nigeria. She was so great. Then the following Saturday there is a family in the ward who brings over many friends for a thanksgiving dinner at their home on this super cool island. This island only has bikes and no cars or anything. It was a great time and we were able to meet some really great people!

This past week we had a pretty interesting experience. So the week before we met that guy Douglas. Well we were to meet him on the following wednesday. We got a text from him on Tuesday telling us that he would be moving that afternoon to mainland. He was offered a place to stay and a more stable job. He had to catch the bus that afternoon if he wanted it. Well the way it all worked out was really neat. We had an appointment that afternoon with someone out in a place away from where he'd be so no way of seeing him. Well right after we got off the phone with him, our appointment called an cancelled. This opened up and we were able to meet Douglas for a few minutes. When we got to the station he asked if we wanted to sit for two minutes before he left. We walked over to a bench, sat down, and gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon. After that, he left. 
As we got up to walk away, I noticed a man who headed straight toward us. He was carrying a sandwich so I thought he really wanted our bench or the other was he wanted to cause us some trouble. Well instead as we were walking he asked us in his German accent "you guys come around here a lot and just talk to people?" We turned around and started to talk to him. He told us of a story while growing up around age 4 in Germany that missionaries were over at his home and they had cooked popcorn. We talked with him and shared about what we do. When we asked if he would have any interest to meet with us he said yes! He then gave us his address and scheduled us for the coming friday. It was such an awesome thing. He is a very nice guy. When we met with him, the lesson was a little bit different than expected but hopefully we will be able to guide him and help him as we continue to meet! 

Well I am not too sure what to write about. This week was fairly quick. We are still meeting with Joel and he is doing fantastic. We are praying that he will continue to do well and be able to make his date on the 14th! He will make it. It is exciting. Hopefully the weather will continue to be warm so he can be baptized at the rock pool in Discovery Bay since we don't have a font anywhere near to where we meet. We don't have a chapel for us. We meet in a school and meet in some of its classrooms. 
This week I have been pondering a lot on what it means to be a shepherd and not to be a sheep herder. I have been thinking a lot about how a shepherd knows his sheep. He knows the one that likes to sway to the left. He knows the one who stops more frequently. He knows them all. I have been focusing on really understanding others as the Savior would. It is really neat when you have been praying a lot for an investigator and then when meeting with them, thoughts guided by the Holy Spirit allows us to discern and help. Knowing that we are all little shepherds or supporting our Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ. I have been pondering a lot on how he will treat them, what he would do.
Anyways I can't think. Construction is loud and my typing is terrible.
Elder Townsend

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