This past week has been fun to see the ward pick up. To start, the area had been without a baptism for more than 8 months and the member support was pretty good. However, it had been only support from a few strong members and the rest was slowly going downhill.
We worked hard. We put in a lot of effort to plan well, to work well with our members, and find investigators. We had some success in working with investigators every now and then, but none really progressed beyond the first 2-3 lessons. As we worked with the members and strengthened relationships while also working closely with the less actives, we found that members were getting more animated and excited to go out and work with us. When Elder Sperry and Tamayo came into the ward, along with Hermana Arygle and Zelaya, the bishop started being much more friendly with us as missionaries.
Over time we saw growth little by little and the relationships developed well. The ward mission plan was created to get the ward motivated to do missionary work beyond just going out with the missionaries. The points of the ward mission plan were inspired including: 1) Pray for missionary opportunities daily and 2) Read the Book of Mormon at least 10 min every day. This idea came from one of my uncles that served in Spain. Long story short, a growing ward had to move to another location to attend in another building which was about an hour drive. Very little were attending. So after discussing with the bishop, they invited every member to pray to have the Spirit and to read from the Book of Mormon daily. Shortly after, the attendance in sacrament meeting easily doubled or tripled within a month.
We presented this plan to our bishop and he gobbled it up. The next sacrament meeting he announced it to the whole ward without telling us that he would do it. Since then he has been on fire. He has begun to make more visits with members of the ward and asking us to perform at a higher level and he is willing to take on new things, (projects, activities, etc) to improve the work.
Now the ward has a super cool card/poster that is going to excite everyone.