Sunday, February 13, 2011

Winter on the Shores of Lake Michigan

Here is some catch up on Thomas. He left the Lansing/Williamston area the first week of December and headed for St. Joseph/Benton Harbor on the east shore of Lake Michigan (the very southwest corner of the State). His apartment is right across the street from the lake on a road appropriately named Lakeshore Drive. Lakeshore Drive continues around the lake towards Chicago. You may remember on the news about the massive blizzard that hit the mid-west. When they showed shots of Chicago they liked to show the hundreds of cars snowed in on Lakeshore Drive near Chicago.

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You can see in the photos that Thomas has his fair share of snow and ice. He also shares with you pictures of typical homes in parts of the Benton Harbor area. He reports that about 30% of the homes are boarded up like that, and that many boarded up homes still have people living in them. The Michigan economy has really been hit hard and has been suffering for years and is only one of two states that goes down in population each year. But Thomas really loves meeting and talking to the people in this new area. His companion is Elder Kohler from Ammon, Idaho -- so he knows snow and cold.

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They really don't seem to mind the weather. At the beginning the work was really tough because previous missionaries in the area the past year or so were not good missionaries. They have now won over the confidence of some of the members so they get better support for rides, etc. Hopefully, the members will now bring some good contacts for them to teach. They spent a lot of time knocking, as that was about all they had to start with. But slowly they have built up a great pool of investigators and contacts. One week they had 22 follow-up appointments which is way high for their mission. Last week they had 17, so all the work paid off. You may have read his email of February 12 where he reported they had an investigator attend church, which is very good for his mission. They are teaching some promising contacts and our prayers are with Thomas and all the missionaries.

We love Thomas!!
Best to all, John.


candace said...

what a great summary! I love those pictures--I haven't seen those before!

Velmabey said...

What a wonderful way to record missionary experiences for Thomas. He will be very happy you are doing such a great job!
We love having access to this, too. Thank you!