Monday, July 15, 2013

Week 3- July 15

So the first few days in Oklahoma have been amazing! Blanchard is such a great place! I'd love to start by giving mom something to think about. I've seen 3 armadillos that had been run over in the middle of the road! Haha the best armadillo is one you can't see, and the second best armadillo is a dead one- am I right? Haha  I really want to see one live! That and fireflies. I wanna see those too!
The next biggest area of concern- they feed us very well out here! But let me tell you some of the things that I've eaten that might floor you, so sit down if you aren't already! I've eaten a roast beef, ham, and turkey sandwich, strawberry shortcake, lasagna, beet salad, and some kind of wheat salad thing. The members of the branch here feed us every night, and non members love having us over for dinner too! So yeah, I think I just surprised you more than a little ;)
That leads to the next concern. So I've been running 3 miles with my comp every morning! So I'm staying in shape as well. He ran cross country in high school and loves to run, so we'll go run every morning. I do pushups at night. And for P-day we all get together and play 2 hours of basketball!!!!!! So yeah, God answers prayers! haha Oh and our area got a brand new car! It's a 2013 Ford Fusion and it had about 200 miles on it, so it was brand new! Our area is huge and it's never had a car before, so our missionary work will be so much more effective now.
This last week has been unbelieveable. I'll try not to leave too much out here. So we were assigned on Wednesday to take a list of records that they church doesn't know if the member still live at the address because the people are inactive. So we went to all the addresses and all of them either weren't home or weren't members anymore. One that wasn't home we left a phone number of the branch president. The guy ended up calling the branch president, which we didn't expect, and came in and met with him for a good 2 hours, and he wants to get active again and he was at church yesterday! That was really cool!
Thursday not much happened. We knocked a ton of doors but no one was home. So it was a little disappointing but not too terrible. Friday was district meeting and we asked for some ideas on how we could better find people. We got a few ideas and on the way back we stopped in a town called Washington, and decided to knock some doors and try these ideas. (Blessing 1 of a car) So we parked the car and set some goals. We wanted to Heavenly Gift 5 people, and get 1 set return appointment. Heavenly gifting is when we introduce ourselves and say,  "We're representatives of Jesus Christ and we were wondering if we could say a prayer with you. Is that ok? Is there anything you need that we could pray for?" then we pray and ask if we can come back and share a message about prayer and Jesus Christ.
Anyways we prayed and told God our goals and asked if he would help us accomplish them. The first 2 doors we knocked on we prayed with, and the first one set a return appointment with us! Then we had a nice long dry spell of about a half hour. We were so thirsty because it's been about 100 degrees with about 40% humidity. We were on our way to a member's house to grab a drink. We decided to knock one more door and the guy said that he wasn't interested, but he offered us a water bottle! We went for another half hour and there was nothing. We only had 30 minutes before dinner, but we decided to knock 3 more houses. All 3 let us pray with them! The second house told us that they really needed a prayer, and one lady started crying when we offered it. It was so touching to see the love our Heavenly Father had for them, and how we were able to bring so much hope to them with just a simple prayer. So yeah that was an amazing experience.
Sunday the weirdest thing happened. We were at church early and decided to go talk to the guest speakers. They're from Norman and so they're in our stake, but not our branch. We introduced ourselves and I guess one of the guys just moved from St. George! Not only did he move here from St. George, he was in the same ward as the Spilkers! He said he loved bringing his kids to watch me and Brandon play basketball. He gave us a referral right then and there-  it was really cool! He said he'd love to come teach her with us too! So yeah that was a cool experience! I guess the guy who used to own the Brick Oven in St. George is in our branch too. Small world! But we ended up getting 3 referrals just yesterday! The branch is starting to be very missionary minded, and that's honestly the best way to find people. So don't be afraid to give referrals! We love them!
Well that's most of what happened this week. We gotta go get everything ready for the week. Blanchard is great, the church is true, and God answers prayers! I love you guys and I hope this is a great week! Have fun at the wedding! 

Week 2- July 8

This is a list of 5 things I learned while I've been at the MTC.

1- The Church is true! I kinda already knew that, but there's something about the Spirit here that confirms it. Elder Merrill and I were talking about how the church was prepared and how there is no question that God had a plan and that He prepared a way for the gospel to stay forever.

2- If you are living how you're supposed to, the Spirit will constantly put thoughts in your mind. Looking back on my life I have had so many times when I acted on a prompt of the Spirit and I didn't even realize it. Adam helped me understand that all righteous thoughts and desire to do good is from God through the Spirit. Elder Bednar said, "If any of you guys are wondering whether thoughts are your own or if it's the Spirit, here's the answer. Stop worrying about it! If you are being  a good boy or girl then you will always be guided by the Spirit and simple thoughts you act on can be a tremendous impact on others." This is so true so I've been trying to work on that.

3- This is a special time to be a missionary. It is time for us to go to every nation, tongue, and people and go get the W! This is God's work and no force on earth can stay it!

4- Families are the reason we are here, the reason we are happy, and the reason we baptize. Being sealed to your family is why we are here. It is how we obtain joy and how we become like God. The pioneers gave everything just so they could have the chance to go to the temple and be sealed to their families. We teach to baptize and we baptize to be able to seal in the temple.

5- The doctrine of Christ is the deepest part of our religion. Like Adam said, "The doctrine of Christ is the center of our religion. Much like a pond, the center is the deepest." I learn so much about the scriptures every day. We are blessed to have them in our lives!

Week One- July 2

I learned sooooo much this week! I have just been learning learning learning! I'm not going to lie its been a tough day or so as far as teaching goes. It's weird because you know my feelings toward acting, but these role plays have been doing wonders to help me learn how to teach! Elder Brotherson (my companion) and I were even upset when our TRC investigator didn't show up to the appointment we had set up. We were so excited to teach him, and it's not even real! haha Another frustrating thing is the investigator that we had taught twice before is stuck because he can't believe that God loves us, and that we are his children. It's hard because we want him to understand that before we go on. So it's been hard, but I've learned so much that I'll be able to apply throughout my life!

It's really weird being with a group full of guys straight out of high school. Oh and Mom ready to have your socks knocked right off? I totally got a "commendable" on my part of the room! I make my bed every morning, and my desk space is way super organized (is that a double positive? Oh wait no that's a catch 22?;) )! It's funny because I'm the only one who uses the desk space, and that's mostly because that's just how it was in college. Haha

The district I'm in is amazing! Everyone knows so much about the gospel. We have had some amazingly deep conversations. God really does prepare a way for His work to go forth! It's crazy!
I'll leave you with a couple fun things that I've learned. First, I learned from a video of Elder Bednar (no I haven't seen any apostles yet) about the True Character of Christ. It was amazing because he talked about how Christ always turned outward and focused on others when everyone else would focus inward. He described the natural man as the Cookie Monster. "I want cookie now!" Haha so substitute anything you want for cookie! But yeah he talked about how when we learn to always focus outward, that will help us grow. "When we are always helping others, we'll find ourselves, but we will never find ourselves where we are looking." Another thing I learned is the importance of prayer. The Bible Dictionary tells us that prayer aligns the will of the children with the will of God. Isn't that beautiful? Prayer is so much more than talking to God. It's what allows us to receive all of the blessing He will give us and to help us do things His way. If we do things His way, well lets just say His way will never be the wrong way. One last thing is that God will perform miracles not to increase our faith, but to confirm our faith. Miracles don't build faith. It's interesting because a speaker promised us that if we had a question we wanted to know, we could open to ANY page in the Book of Mormon, and we will find the answer. I tried that with this principle, and it works! I wanted to know how to feel God's blessings because our investigator isn't feeling the blessings when he prays. I started from the beginning of the Book of Mormon, and in Nephi it shows multiple times in the first few chapters that because of the faith of Nephi, God was able to bless him. Look at when he wad bound by his brothers. He said, and this isn't a quote, just kinda what he said. "Heavenly Father, I KNOW you can help me break these bands. Help me break these bands so I can live." The scripture says that the Lord blessed him according to his faith.
I've seen so many people I know here and they're all doing great! 

CTR everyone!