Monday, October 28, 2013

Week of October 28, 2013

So this week was a pretty long one. We had everything fall through, so we ended up knocking doors for about 4-6 hours a day. It's not the funnest thing to do in the world, but gotta be productive somehow right?
There were a few fun things this week, like we got to go to Zone Conference and listen to President speak, and we had a member feed us! That was the first time since I've been in Newcastle... But yeah, that was fun! The coolest thing that happened this week was we were knocking doors at around 7:30, and so it's dark. We had about 8 houses left, and then we were going to walk back to the apartment. Elder Fronk suggested that we pray, and so we set a goal that we wanted to pray with 3 people, and then we wanted to set 2 return appointments. Then we told our Heavenly Father our goal and asked Him to help us achieve it. Well the next house we knocked on, prayed and set a return appointment. 2 houses later we pray and set a return appointment, and the last house the people let us pray with them, but we didn't get a solid return appointment. It was a great example to me how our Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers, and helps you with your righteous desires!
The only other thing that happened was we had a guy try to save us. It was just a weird situation, but it really built my testimony because I had to sit there and keep testifying that the Book of Mormon will help him, and that me and 15 million other people know it's true, so he should try it out. But he wouldn't and so we parted ways. Except he thinks we're going to hell..... Haha which is harsh! Heavenly Father wants all of His children to be happy.
Well that's about all for this week. The week was rough, but the church is still true and there's still a prophet on the earth today! We're excited for this next week!
Hope all is well back home! I miss the mountains... I'm sick of being lost! Haha but oh well. Have a great week and God Bless!

P.S. We're going golfing today, so wish me luck!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Week of October 21, 2013

This week was a much better week than last week! We were actually able to teach some people, and our other investigator is no longer in jail, so that's good! We were also able to get back in contact with the part member family and talk with them some more, so that was great! Just good to be back where we have appointments and can teach versus trying to find people to teach all day. So now we just need to take care of them!

I guess I'll start from the beginning. Monday we were able to teach a man named William. It was a good lesson, and he said he'd start reading and praying. So we're going to head by today and see if we can catch him and see how the reading is going! That was basically our Monday.

Tuesday we had gone over to see John and he was out of jail, so we got to teach him! It was really cool to see how much more calm he was this time, and how the spirit was there much quicker than last time. We asked him how it was going with stopping his smoking and drug usage and he said the two days after we left he was reading. Normally he gets up in the morning and smokes, but instead he was waking up and reading the Book of Mormon, and he said that he had no desire to smoke the rest of the day. Then he went to prison and got away from reading, and when he got out he didn't get back into reading so he relapsed. He told us that he was entering rehab though, and he was planning on getting off of drugs for good this time! So we're going to keep working with him! But we taught him the Doctrine of Christ, or Faith in Christ, Repentance, Baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. He really liked it, and when we talked about baptism he said he really wants to be baptized. So we made sure that he knew that he'd have to get off drugs and take care of any other warrants before he can do that. He said he just needs to pay off one warrant and he'll be clear, but he said he wants to have everything taken care of and wants to be baptized before Christmas! So we'll work with him on that! He's really starting to move in the right direction. It's just so cool to see the gospel work in his life, and how it's really filling him with the desire to change! It's been an awesome experience to see him feel the spirit and recognize it!

Later that day we had an appointment with a man named Jesse. He's Catholic, but he said he wants to learn more about our church. So we taught him and he said he'd begin to read the Book of Mormon. He's a huge basketball fan, so when I told him I played college basketball he was pretty excited, and he had me play with his son! So I got to play with his 8 year old son. It was a good way to kinda break the ice with him because he was kinda putting up a wall. You could tell he was nervous about us, but now he's more comfortable around us, which is great! So we should be working with him here as well!

Wednesday we had an appointment with a man named Lupe. He's someone who we'll refer to the Spanish elders if Lupe is serious, but the lesson went well! The coolest part about that though was how we were able to get a less active member to come out and help us teach. He was able to come feel the spirit of the lesson as he helped us translate things, and after he was talking to us about how he wants to advance in the priesthood. He came to church on Sunday and blessed the sacrament! So he's moving in the right direction! That was really cool though being able to get him out though and see him experience that!

Thursday was a lot of finding, and not a ton of success. Friday was pretty similar as well. It was really cold and rainy though, and some lady stopped her car for us and gave us an umbrella! That was really cool! That night though we stopped in the member's gym to warm up and we were talking to one of their sons who was working there. He's 15, and when we were about to leave he told us to just stay there and chill there. We told him we needed to get out and find people to teach, but if he could tell us what the 5 steps of the Doctrine of Christ were that we'd stay. Well after a lot of help from his dad he got it right. We then challenged him to teach us the Restoration. He went and got his Preach My Gospel and we showed him the points and walked through them as we taught him. It was fun because we really helped him understand things better and helped him learn how to talk to his friends about the restoration. His dad told us in church on Sunday that he felt the spirit really strong as we were there teaching his son, and that it was just an awesome sight to see his son with the missionaries. After we had taught his son Graze (that's what they call him), Griz told us that he wants to read Preach My Gospel more so he was prepared for a mission! So that was a really fun experience!

Saturday we had a really cool thing happen. We were out walking, and we were by the road where these cars were stopped at a red light. This car rolled down the window and the lady said, "Are you Mormons? How long do you do this?" So we told her for 2 years then she started telling us she was from St. Louis but then the light turned green so she had to go. So we were like "Dangit! Why'd the light have to turn green!" But not even joking about 30 seconds later we were crossing the street by a stop sign, and a car had just pulled up to the stop sign as we were crossing, and the lady inside rolls down her window and said "Are you guy's Mormons?" Haha so Elder Fronk and I walked up to her window and started talking to her. She told us her dad was Mormon and that she had a couple people trying to get her to the Mormon church. So we got her number and we're going to call her in a day or two to see if we can teach her! That was really cool though because if that first car wouldn't have stopped us then we would have already been across the street and the lady at the stop sign would have missed us! That really excited us!

Welp, that's about all from me. This week was really good! Training has been going well, and I'm loving my time with Elder Fronk! He's ready to get after it! I guess the big news is that on Wednesday Elder Fronk and I got permission to use the gym that the member owns! So now we'll be going three times a week and lifting! We went last week and I was so sore! Haha so this will be perfect!

Alright, well I gotta get going. Love you guys! Hope you have a great week! The church is true, and we are truly loved enough by God to have a living prophet on the earth today! I'm really grateful for that knowledge! Everyone be safe!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Week of October 14, 2013

Well, this week was the L family baptism! It was just the coolest experience ever! They are such an amazing family, and they have amazing blessings ahead of them! It was an extremely exciting time for us, for them, and for the branch. We weren't expecting too many people to show up, but they completely filled up the Relief Society room, and after I got changed into some dry clothes and came back in for the end of the baptism program there was standing room only for me. It was so cool to see how many people came and supported them in this decision! It was the Blanchard branch's first family convert baptism, and it was the last one for them as a branch because during sacrament meeting it became a ward! The members here were so excited! One of the senior missionaries here was just beaming with excitement! I thought it was about to turn into some the scene from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where the grandpa finds out they got a golden ticket and got up and started dancing. Haha he was really excited!

Sacrament meeting was really fun! Doing the confirmation was a blast! It was just such a cool experience being able to be a part of this family's journey, and I can't wait to go through the temple with them in a year to watch them be sealed! That will be such an amazing experience!
So the rest of the week was really slow. We set a couple of appointments for this week, so we'll see if we can keep them. It's interesting out here because people will set like 5 appointments with you before they finally just say they aren't interested. It makes it frustrating, but oh well. We'll see how this week goes!
We had a few really funny experiences. We went to see our investigator, and while we were locking up our bikes and walking into the trailer park where he lives, 3 cop cars pull in, pull up to his trailer and arrest him. So with nothing else to do really we just knocked on the doors around it. We were about to quit knocking but we just felt like there was someone who was prepared, so we figured we'd just knock the rest of them. Well we finally get to the last row of trailers, and we knock the first 2 and no one answers. Then while walking to the third one a guy wrecks on his motorcycle (nothing serious) and so we run over to lift the bike off of him. We tried talking to him, but he said he had to go and then just left. So we were walking some more and there was a guy working outside and so we went up to him and talked to him for about 20 minutes and he kept telling us how he wasn't invited to a birthday party a couple of trailers down. Haha so we tried to give him a Book of Mormon but he said he wouldn't read it and tried to convince us the Sabbath was on Saturday and that all the religions are doing it wrong... So we just kinda left and started walking back for lunch.

So on our way back there was a trailer with 3 confederate flags on it, and a lady is outside working on her porch. So we walk up and ask if we could help, but she said she had it. So we asked if we could pray with her, and she let us. After we prayed with her she told us she used to have a "Mormon Bible" and asked what it was about. So we gave her one and read the first paragraph with her, and we asked if she would read the last 2 paragraphs for us and she said, "Where it says 'We invite all men everywhere'? I already read it while you read that paragraph. It sounds interesting!" So either I'm a really slow reader or she's just ridiculously fast... Or both. Haha but yeah she's a speed reader! We had her turn to Moroni 10 and read vs. 4 and 5 and she read them out loud and said, "Wow that's powerful!" And we said, "You're right! It really is!" And she just like sped read the rest of the chapter and she kept on saying, "That's true... That's true... That's true..." Haha it was so cool! She said she'd read it and she might have finished the entire Book of Mormon by the time we got back to the apartment for dinner! Haha
The other funny experience was we knocked on a door and a guy came and we asked if we could pray with him and he started telling us him and Jesus are as close as he can get right now. Then he told us that if you take the meaning of the names of the people in Genesis 5 it makes a message, which actually was pretty cool! And then he told us that Jeremiah 10:1-5 prophecies that we'll all worship Christmas trees, and how they're Pagan and evil and a tool of the devil to trick us into worshiping him.... I don't know anyone that worships the Christmas tree... And then he told us that giants built the pyramids and the tower of Babel and that in Genesis 6 it talks about giants are made when the sons of God (angels) mate with daughters of men (regular women) and how it produces supernatural humans, that are giants, but they're also abominations and all this weird stuff. Haha Elder Anderson and I (we were on an exchange) were like, "How is this making you and Jesus close?" Haha but we asked him if he had heard of the Book of Mormon, and he said he's heard of it, but has never read it. We gave him one and he asked us if there were any prophecies about or in the Book of Mormon and so we told him the Book of Mormon prophecies about a ton of things, but the Bible prophecies of the Book of Mormon in Ezekiel 37:15-17. We read it with him and he really liked it! So yeah, we're going to go back over there to see what he thinks of the Book of Mormon! It was funny though.  While we were explaining the Book of Mormon and how it takes place in the Americas he went off for about 10 minutes about how there's evidence that giants lived in Ohio and how there's mounds that prove it. Haha I thought to myself "No, we aren't talking about Lebron James!" Haha but I resisted! Anyways it was a fun experience!

Well, that's about all from Newcastle this week. Hope everything is going well with you back in the real world! Keep the faith, the church is true! Love y'all!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Week of October 7, 2013

What a week! First off, conference was just unbelievably powerful! What can I say more? I absolutely loved it!
Ok so this week has been crazy! We got a call from one of the APs and he told us that the car would be in Newcastle, so we get that! We still are biking as much as possible to make sure everybody and their 10 dogs (that's what the expression here in Oklahoma should be because everyone here really does have more than one dog!) knows that there are now missionaries in Newcastle! So we've biked around 20-25 miles within the last few days. It's been fun though!
My new companion is Elder Fronk! He went to high school at Bear River, and he played football and basketball there. He also remembers me when we played them in basketball my senior year! Small world! Haha he's great though and we're going to have a great transfer!
Wednesday night after I picked up Elder Fronk we were running all over the place getting Blanchard to their apartment, and then to dinner, so we had about 40 minutes to work. We found a couple and the wife told us she has a lot of Mormon family so she knows a lot about what we believe, but they said we can go back and talk to them which will be sweet! But that night we got to the apartment, got unpacked as much as we could before bed time. So we're laying in our beds, and then I shut of the lights and there was invisible glow in the dark paint EVERYWHERE all over the ceiling! Haha it was pretty creepy actually... But yeah there are some interesting surprises in the new apartment. The stairs to our apartment have spiders everywhere, and it's just not the nicest apartment, but it has a washing machine and a washer and dryer so we won't complain!
Thursday we went and knocked some doors. We were headed out to this neighborhood to knock doors out there, but we stopped in a trailer park short of where we were going to knock. We knock like 4 doorsand no one answers. The 5th one looked just unbelievably run down,  like no one lived there. But we knocked it anyways and someone yelled through the door and asked who it was, so we tell him who we were and that we were there to pray with him. A guy came out and said, "I really need a prayer." Well we pray for him and I'll make a really long, sad story short. He basically wanted us to drive him somewhere far away to get away from his problems. He invited us in to teach him, and he told us a little bit about his past. I won't go into it all, but his mother got him hooked on drugs and smoking when he was 5. When we first started talking to him you could tell he was just a wreck, and he had no desire to even live. He told us that this was the second time though that when he was about to fall off the edge missionaries have knocked on the door. GOD LOVES ALL HIS CHILDREN!!!! It was just so crazy to see how desperate and lost this guy was. Well he invited us in and we taught him the restoration. He told us like not even half way through that he wants to be baptized. I told him to get to that point is going to require a LOT of change, and that it will be a long process. He said he doesn't care, he wants to get rid of all the negative influences he's around. So we finished the lesson, gave him a Book of Mormon, and told him "That book you're holding will save your life." We also taught him the Word of Wisdom 1) because it will help him and 2) so we can see how bad he really wants to change. He said he would read as soon as we left and that he would stop smoking and drugs ASAP. He offered a kneeling prayer with us at the end and I asked him how he felt because the spirit was really strong. He pondered for a second and then looked at me and said, "I feel really calm." I testified to him right then that that was the Holy Ghost. It was a weird experience, but we hope he actually is wanting to change his life! He's going to have a crazy long journey, but God loves all his children and will provide a way!
We have a couple other people we're going to go back to see, but the people we're most excited about is a family of six that we found! We started teaching them the restoration, and I've never done this before but I felt like I should talk about eternal families. So I did and the wife said, "I really want to believe that! I hope that's true because everyone teaches that once you're dead the family is separated and you just hope to see them in heaven." So that was cool, but then the father had to leave, so we had to leave too because we can't be in a home without a male over the age of 16. But yeah, that was a crazy sweet miracle!
The last thing, and the most exciting thing is that the L family is getting baptized next Sunday the 13th! They had their interviews and are all ready to go! They asked me and Elder Owen to baptize them, so we'll each baptized 2, then we're each going to confirm one of the children in English during sacrament meeting, and our Branch Mission Leader is going to confirm the parents in Spanish. We're so excited about them! They're so prepared! The father is so knowledgeable about the Bible it's crazy! He asked Elder Owen for the lineage of Melchezidek. Haha he's extremely knowledgeable, and he's going to make an amazing member of the church!
Well, life here is great! Elder Fronk and I are working hard, and we're excited to see what happens these next few weeks!

Hope all is well back home! Keep the faith and feast upon the words of Christ!