Monday, November 25, 2013

Week of November 25, 2013

Another week of firsts! I experienced my first ice storm this week! It was crazy! It's so weird because it's just rain, but as soon as it hits something it freezes! It was actually pretty funny.  We talked to our district leader about whether or not we should work. Well we figured we'd try it, so we walk to the member's gym to warm up and we walk in and he looks at us and says, "What are you 2 doing?" haha then he made us get in his truck and drove us home and told us to stay inside all day and he said, "If your district leader has any problems with that, tell him to call me." haha so we stayed inside all day. It was good though-  I got to study a lot!
So Monday we tried a couple investigators, but they didn't have time to talk, so we tried a couple potentials and no one was home. So we tried a guy we tracted into who has been less active for a long time now. Well we taught him the Doctrine of Christ and emphasized the Holy Ghost and how that will bless his life. It's really hard to look at a guy who just looks hollow, and is obviously missing the gospel in his life, and to have him say, "I don't see me coming back guys." It's sad, but there's nothing we can do except keep reaching out.
Tuesday we got a media referral, so we went out and tried her. She was a really nice lady! She has a son who went to Dixie State and he was baptized there.  He's been a bishop and everything since. She said that she's not interested in converting, but she let us and the member with us in and we talked for about an hour and a half, and she's a dry Mormon. She just started reading the Book of Mormon, she makes blessing dresses (So if anyone needs one of those, let me know! Haha) and she went to her nephew's baptism not too long ago. She watches conference with her son- like she's right there! Well she had a problem with how all the leadership positions are taken by men. Like how all the apostles are men, and how the priesthood is only held by men. We explained the plan of salvation with them, and I read some of Elder Christopherson's talk with her about the essential role women play. She said it makes a lot more sense. She asked us about what our thoughts were about mentally challenged people, and what our church's opinion on them is. Well we told her that they are God's most special spirits, and they are here as an example to us. She broke down crying because one of her children is mentally disabled. It was really cool to see the Spirit work with her as we taught simple truths of the gospel with her! It was fun!
Wednesday we tracted and OYMed all day. Nothing happened that day really. But Thursday we got to listen to Elder Craig A. Cardon of the 70! Wow! He talked to us for just over an hour about the Abrahamic covenant, and how we are God's tools in fulfilling the promise he made to Abraham. So we learned in depth about the scattering of Israel, and a bunch of prophecies about how the Lord said he would gather Israel. Anyways it was so cool to be instructed by him!
Friday was the ice storm, so we didn't work. Saturday was pretty bad weather too, but it was good enough that we got to go out and tract! That night we went to the Saturday evening adult session of Stake conference. Elder Cardon and another member of the 70 (Elder Reen I think was his name, but I didn't catch it....) spoke about the work of salvation. Elder Reen called Elder Fronk and I up, and asked us a bunch of questions during his talk, and so we got to go through a mini Q&A in front of everyone! haha that was crazy! Not every day a General Authority calls you up and you get to talk to everyone on the spot! Haha but it was good!
Sunday the stake presidency was reorganized. That was cool! Elder Cardon and Elder Reen gave amazing talks there too! Elder Reen spoke on charity, and how fundamental it is to our progression. Just learning to love everyone. Then Elder Cardon spoke on love too, but a little differently. He spoke about loving your spouse. He said we are only commanded in the scriptures to love 2 things with all our heart. He said the first we all know. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart. But the second people mix up. It's not to love our neighbor, because it doesn't to say to love our neighbor with all our heart. It says in D&C to love your spouse with all your heart. It was cool to hear him speak on that. Haha he talked about finding a spouse and marriage in Zone Conference a bit too! Haha he said, "Good luck writing home and explaining to your families that we talked about marriage in zone conference. I wish you all the best of luck on that one!" Haha it was weird, but he said some good stuff!
Well that's about it for me here. Hope all is well back home! I hope everyone has an amazing Thanksgiving! I'm grateful for the love and support from you back home, and your prayers have been felt! Love you all!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Week of November 18, 2013

Finally a week of not all zeros! It was good to get some new investigators and members out with us this week! We also got to build a pretty big chicken coop as well with the family that was baptized a month and a half ago.... Wow. That was already almost 2 months ago. Crazy!
Monday we were able to get a member out with us to go give a blessing to a less active member who had her gall bladder removed on Wednesday. Her husband is unordained, so we were going to go over there with their home teachers and give that blessing, but we had them come out with us a little early so we could try some people. We tried a couple who let us pray with them and invited us back, and so we went over and talked to them. He is a baptist preacher, so we knew it would be a fun lesson. So we taught the Restoration, and he had questions for EVERYTHING. He was wondering why the people in the Americas even needed to write about the Messiah because they weren't part of the Abrahamic covenant, so we showed him how they were from the tribe of Joseph, and he wanted to know everything about the Book of Mormon and how it came to be, and he had something trying to prove the restoration wrong with anything he could. But we responded to everything with scriptures, and it was just a really cool lesson to see how there's no holes in the Restoration, especially to those who know the Bible!
After that we went and gave the blessing, and it was a super powerful experience. The Spirit was super strong there, and the father definitely felt it! He left the room with the sniffles (we're pretty sure he was crying) right after the blessing. He knows that he needs to be going to church, but his job hasn't let him, and he was working nights. But he told us that he had a job interview for a job with normal hours and not working Sundays, so he if he gets it he shouldn't have to work Sundays anymore! We're praying he gets it! He's someone that could be an Elder in a couple of months, and that family can go through the temple soon as well!
Tuesday we had a lesson with a lady who's had a rough life. She's paying child support, her father passed away not too recently, she was in the 1999 tornado here which I guess was just as bad as the recent May tornado. She also had a 3 week old baby die in that, and she was very badly injured. So yeah, she's had a rough go of it. But we taught her the Plan of Salvation and she really seemed to like it. We're going back over on Wednesday to teach her more about the Book of Mormon and how we got it, where it came from, what it's for and all that good stuff. So we're excited for that lesson! Elder Fronk and I feel like she'll just latch on to the gospel and it will help her so much! So we're praying for her as well!
We got to visit a less active on Friday, and we watched President Monson's final talk in conference about constantly nourishing your testimony to protect you from the adversary. So we had a great chance to talk with her about how we can help her testimony be strengthened, so we're going to be going by once a week to read with her. We're excited because she's a great lady. So reconnecting her to the little things will bring that happiness back to her life and we can't wait to see that!
That's about all for me here. We had a good week! We have a general authority coming to the mission this week! We're excited to have him come and to learn from him! It's going to be a very good experience! Also this weekend is Stake Conference here, and they'll be reorganizing the Stake. That will be cool as well! We're excited for this week!
Well, hope that everything goes well this week! Everyone be safe and enjoy life! Love you all!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Week of November 11, 2013

Well, another week of not much. We had taught 2 lessons, and one of them was to a guy who let us come back out of sympathy I guess, and after we taught the first lesson he said he wasn't interested. That frustrated us a bit… But oh well. But we do have an investigator who's taking baby steps!

Haha so Jesse is Catholic. Elder Anderson (The District Leader) and I tracted into him on an exchange. We've been teaching him for a while, but mostly just stopping by and setting appointments and reading with him. Well we finally got to teach him the Plan of Salvation, and we invited him to be baptized, and he sat there for a while and said, "You know guys I'm just not ready. I like your doctrine a lot, and I have a couple concerns with the Catholic church, but I'm Catholic and I'm not ready to change yet. I haven't told my wife I'm meeting with you guys yet. I haven't even told my mom yet!" Haha he's in his 30s… But it was hilarious! But he said that he's going to read, and if he feels that this is what he needs to do, then he will show his family, and he'll have them join with him. But he said he's not even ready to come to church, and he wants to read more. He kept saying "Baby steps fellas. Baby steps." Hahaha it was like I was on the movie "What About Bob." Haha

The only other thing I can think of is that we ordained Hugo and Juan on Sunday to the office of Priest! It was so cool! At the end Hugo pointed at Elder Owen and I and said, "You guys deserve the credit because you taught me and my family the word of God, and thank you so much for what you've done for my family!" Hearing that makes everything worth it! They're on the path to go through the temple in a year, so I'll be able to go with them! Just seeing how much the gospel has blessed them has been a huge testimony builder to me! Like they were already living the commandments, they were doing all the right things, but now that they have the Book of Mormon, and the church and priesthood in their life, they have been blessed more than I can describe! It truly is amazing how the fullness of the gospel can truly bless everyone, no matter how much faith in Christ they may already have!

That's about it for me here. Sister Larsen made my day with the letter she sent me, so be sure to thank her for that! That letter couldn't have come at a more perfect time! Oh and I'm not getting transferred! Haha transfer doctrine (transfer calls) was last night. So yeah, 6 more in Newcastle! Here we go!

Well thank you for all the love and prayers! I can truly feel them in my life. Thank you so much! Hope everyone has a great week this week because we're covenant children of God so there's no reason not to have a great week! 

Keep praying! The prayers are very much appreciated!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Week of November 4, 2013

So not much to report on this week in Newcastle. We had a somewhat funny experience the other day. Well I thought so, but Elder Fronk didn't. So we found out on Monday we were going to be doing an exchange, and so Elder Fronk was freaking out because he didn't want to drive! Haha so anyways Friday comes and I turn over the keys to him. 10 minutes later I got a text that said, "So you'll never guess what happened. Here's a hint, it wasn't a miracle." Haha they got rear ended. The guy was going slow so no one got hurt, and there was no damage, but it was so funny because he was freaking out about having to drive and then he got hit less than 10 minutes after he starts! Haha I got a kick out of it!
Other than that not much to report on. Only two experiences really. The first was on the exchange. We were teaching someone and he has been working on the word of wisdom. He had a huge piece of chew in his mouth, and we were talking about ways he could quit. Well I had a thought come to my mind (I had never met him before so I didn't know the answer) but I asked him if prayer played a role in his quitting. He thought for about 30 seconds and then said, "You know, I haven't really done that, but when I did a couple times it really helped, so I'm going to start doing that." So that was way sweet! It was just an intense experience and we had a couple more inspired question. His neighbor was sitting out there with him as well, and he said he wasn't interested. But as we continued to teach the Doctrine of Christ he got really interested, and at the end he accepted a Book of Mormon! That was really cool as well!
The other experience was we were finally able to teach one of our investigators! Well we couldn't really teach him because he hadn't been reading, so we read with him. We read 2 Nephi 32-33 and it was super powerful! We asked him what he thought and he said, "It goes hand and hand with the Bible. It tells me I need to pray, have faith in Jesus, and that I can have eternal life. It says what the Bible says, so as of right now it's true, but I'll read more and see if there's anything else."  It was super cool! He said he's not ready to come to church yet, and he needs more time, but it was a cool little experience!
Anyways that's about it. We met a survivor from the Oklahoma City bombing and that was awesome! He said the explosion threw him the length of a semi into a wall... Pretty crazy! Anyways that's all I have for you this week. Keep the faith, and know that Christ truly loves all of us! Have a great week!