February 19, 2009

My letter to President Murray, in case I don’t have much more time.

Dear President Murray,

Things here in Morrisville are going amazing. This ward is one of a kind. The members are so excited to have us into their homes to teach their friends and neighbors and they are actively searching for people to share the gospel with, I love it!

Elder Moorhead coming into the area is such a blessing. I couldn’t ask for a more humble and wonderful missionary. We have already seen much success together and are becoming more and more unified as time goes on. This transfer is going to be a great time to continue making the changes in my life that are absolutely necessary.

Vilma Escudero, who was baptized on Sunday, is still glowing. She is very excited to be confirmed on Sunday and she is inviting all her friends and family to come to church to see. We had an amazing experience tracting last night right before 9:00pm. We were knocking on doors and a woman opened the door and had a spanish accent, I asked her where she was from and she said Peru! So I thought I’d take a chance and throw out a name. I said “Really? I have a great friend named Vilma Escudero from Peru.”  What she said shocked me. She said that she knew Vilma and used to go to Catholic church with her every week and that Vilma was very faithful until she stopped coming one day. I told her that she was just baptized into our church last week and is being confirmed this Sunday and she said that she would love to come and find out more about the church and what made Vilma, such a faithful Catholic, change religions.  We asked her if there was anything we could do for her as we were leaving and she said “could help me fix my door? It’s dangerous for my children”(glass door that was shattered during the wind storm last week)  We asked if she had any tools but she didn’t so we went back this morning and took it off the hinges for them. We met her husband and they invited us back tomorrow morning to learn more about the church. We are so excited! We are going to try to get vilma to come with us and see them tomorrow.  I love miracle finds!

The Pennypack WML and EQP are coming to reteach the 1st lesson tonight. I am very excited. This will give both of them their first opportunity to  immerse themselves in Preach My Gospel. They are already wonderful teachers but they were very excited to get a copy and help teach Vilma.

Every thing else is going great. Expect good things, because they are coming.

With much love,

Elder Michael Oakford


Another transfer survived!
Elder Steele and I had a great last week together which concluded with the baptism of Vilma Escudero in the Pennypack Ward. Everything went amazing. Her son, who is being taught by the missionaries at Kutztown University, was able to attend along with her husband, Oswaldo. It was a great and very spiritual service. TJ Martin is now the Ward Mission Leader in Pennypack ward, we knew each other from when he used to come teaching with me when I served in Frankford. He did a great job conducting the service in Spanish and English.

Vilma was so happy after she was baptized which made her family happy as well. She knew she was making the right choice!
After the baptism Vilma invited everyone over to her house to have lunch. There was a great turnout which helped her to meet even more ward members and they were able to fellowship her and her family. We are really happy for her and dshe is still doing wonderfully!

Sunday night was transfer calls and once again almost the whole district was transfered. There were big changes being made in the Mission. We previously had 6 Zones from North to South being Reading, Valley Forge, Chestnut (everyone who met at the 39th and Chestnut building as well as S.Phila branch), Independence (being the Broad St. Building), Philadelphia North (suburbs of Phila.), and Wilmington. Now we have 5 zones the first 4 cover each of the 4 Stakes in our mission being Reading, Valley Forge, Philadelphia, and Wilmington. The fifth zone is compiled from all of the Spanish-speaking wards and branches mission-wide. So that zone covers the entire mission.

This big swap resulted in more transfers then I can ever remember having. Yesterday there was probably 80% of the mission that showed up to the Broomall Chapel. Elder Steele was sent back to the P-5 branch where he served before coming to Morrisville for 6 months.  He’ll be speaking Spanish again which he is excited for. As for me, I was kinda dreading seeing MORRISVILLE pop up on the screen with my picture next to it. I didn’t know who could be my next companion? But as I was walking up to the front of the chapel ELDER MOORHEAD’s name and picture popped up on the screen! I was SOO excited! I still am SOO excited!  Elder Moorhead is probably my best friend out here. We served in the same district when he was companions with Elder Foketi and I was with Elder Nance in the Logan ward. After he was in the Logan ward he spent the past 5 Transfers in the Frankford branch!  We both never thought this would happen. We have served in basically the same places our entire mission.

Funny thing with Elder Moorhead though is this is his first trip outside of the city! He is having the same culture shock I had when I was sent to Pottstown from North Philly. It’s kinda funny to watch, he might have it a little more extreme though because when I came out to the suburbs I didn’t go straight to living in a cottage in the woods next to a river! hahaha! We are having some great times together.

Elder Moorhead is from Mission Viejo, CA! He played Basketball and Volleyball in High School so we’ve always gotten together to go out on P-Day and play Volleyball. Good times. So we’re now a pretty tall companionship.

Everything else is going great here. I hope I caught you up on everything that’s happening. We’re looking forward to a great transfer.
I love you all.

-Elder Michael Oakford


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