Sunday, November 30, 2014

Week of November 21, 2014

So this week was a good one! Man, I'm so thankful! Things are going well though with my new companion. Transfers were such a good time! I have so many good friends out here! I heard from C from Del City, he's going to the temple in January, and there's just so many members here I just love! It's just been such a good experience! I feel like I have a second home here and it's so fun!

We had a really good week though. We're teaching a 9 year old named W. She's so cool! Her mom's a member, but not active. She's getting baptized on December 13th. She's really cool and for sure going to be looking out for her! 

I'm short on time this week. I've just been super thankful for all the amazing friendships I have! I'm listening to Mitt Romney's devotional he gave at BYU and he's talking a lot about how the best part of his campaign is all the people he's met. It's true! It changes your life!

Week of November 17, 2014

Man it was an interesting week for sure out here.... The baptism didn't happen.... J didn't tell his wife they were just going to go ahead and do it, but she found out because we asked her if she was coming....We thought she knew but I guess not. She wants him to try her church first and then go to ours if he doesn't like it. He told us it won't be too long until he's baptized.

We had interviews with President this week. We had a real good talk about prayer! I asked him, "You have a lot of things to pray for. What do you pray for?" He told me in his morning prayers he tells God what he's planning on doing and for help to do them, during the day he prays for continued guidance, and at the end of the day he prays accounting for what he did, what he didn't do, and asks for help the next day. He told me he was talking to a member of the 70 who said he would pray pray pray, then at the end of every prayer he'd say, "Bless mom, dad, Aunt Sally, the cat, the dog, and the bird." As he got more experienced he realized that he needed to make it more of a day to day conversation. "Does the cat, the dog or the bird need anything that day? What are Mom and Dad up to that they need help with?" He said as he did that his prayers got more day to day and more meaningful, making our Heavenly Father more of a Father than a wishlist. I thought it was a great insight!

The snow and ice made it here quick... It was 75 degrees on Monday and now it's in the 20s and there's snow everywhere. Weather sucks. Haha

There was a funeral for that man I told you about last week. Boy oh boy did that make me think. I was so happy for him to be done with his hurting and struggling and next step- exaltation! There was something someone said about him, and it made me think really hard about my life. They said, "If ever there was a warrior for the Lord, it was that man." He was a remarkable man! LDS Funerals are really cool experiences! It was very enjoyable! That's weird to say, but true!

Have a good one!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Week of November 10, 2014

Hey everyone! Life has been crazy here in Duncan, Oklahoma, but I've absolutely loved it here!

This last week was pretty eventful! On Monday we had a lesson with a couple of our investigators R and M. We thought that they weren't too interested in changing their lives, they just wanted a feel good message. Well they called us Sunday and said they had been out of town, but wanted us to come over the next day, so Monday we went over and had a lesson on the Law of Chastity. They aren't married, and R is married to someone else right now who refuses to divorce him. So rather than just deal with all that drama he's just living with M. They have 2 kids together. Anyways we had a really good lesson, and they agreed that they need to work toward marriage so they're on the right track! Then we invited them to come to a church tour on Friday night. They came and we had another really good lesson about the sacrament. They really enjoyed that.  They came to the chili cook off on Saturday night, and joined us at church on Sunday! They really loved that as well! It was cool to see how quickly they responded when we invited them, lovingly, to make changes in their life and how much they've enjoyed trying to change!

Wednesday we drove an hour down to the bottom of the ward boundaries to help a lady out with a painting project in Ryan, Oklahoma. Ryan is the birthplace of Chuck Norris, so that was pretty cool! They have an autographed picture and everything mounted there. It's a tiny, tiny town about an hour away from our church building, but yup! Chuck Norris was born in the Duncan Ward Boundaries! Haha

Thursday was a crazy day for us as well, but we just drove all day. We drove for about 3 or 4 hours of the day, had a couple of meetings to go to here in the zone, and then had a dinner way out in the middle of nowhere. We also had weekly planning all morning, so not much got done that day as far as getting out to work.

Friday we had an exchange with Elder W and Elder M, the zone leaders here. Elder W is a football player at the University of Utah, and Elder M played basketball at Salem Hills. They're great guys! Anyways we worked them pretty hard and met some interesting people... Haha it gets pretty fun sometimes when your area is a giant meth lab, but we do what we can! We had a lady stop and talk with us in the middle of the road for about 15 minutes. She wouldn't pull over and park she just waved the cars around. haha It was pretty weird but funny. She got a phone call and handed it to us and said, "Answer it! It's God and he wants to talk with you!" I wasn't going to answer that phone so Elder M answered it and it was a guy she was supposed to pick up, but was too busy talking to us to go get. We had a good day though and a fun time!

Saturday was the Chili Cook-off. All four of us missionaries chipped in and bought a HUGE can of chili, sprinkled some red pepper in it and entered it. Haha we made the finals.... The lady who won got up to the mic and said, "I made canned chili and just added some ingredients so I didn't think I was going to win!" Haha she did the exact same thing we did!  She just added a couple more ingredients... Haha that's why the judges had such a hard time of picking between the two of ours! Haha there were tons of better chilis though! We had a lot of members bring friends though, and one of them called us over and asked us tons of questions, then we ended up showing her around the church and teaching her and it was super good! She had a lot of questions and will be looking to learn more!

Sunday was busy. We had a few people come to church, which is awesome! Especially when it's ward conference and the super powerful stake president speaks. It was super good! They all loved it! We spent most of the evening over at J's house. He and his daughter are still planning on getting baptized this Saturday, and hopefully the rest of his family will be following close behind! He's awesome!  He's made HUGE changes in his life, and is so much happier now! He told us one night, "Fellas don't be mad at me, but all those times the kids came out and told you I wasn't home, I was home. I just wanted to see if I was just another guy on your route that you'd stop seeing or if I actually meant something to you. When you kept going I was touched that you actually kept coming back. You had every reason to give up on me, but thank you for not giving up on me!" So for all you home and visiting teachers out there who have tough families to visit, keep going! They feel your love when you stop by!

That's been about it for us lately! The Lord keeps blessing us, I keep learning, and life gets better and better! Hope all is well for all of you guys!

Week of November 3, 2014

So this last week was crazy!!! We had a couple HUGE miracles! So J, the guy that reminds me of Darius, is going to get baptized on the 15th! He came to church, and has taken work off on Sundays in order to keep the Sabbath day holy. He's been alcohol free, and he's excited to be baptized!!! His daughter K will be joining him as well :) He's awesome though- I love J! He told us a little about his story. He said that he was sitting on his porch one day drinking a beer and he saw Elder N (who I replaced) and Elder M walking down the street and something told him to call them over, so he called them over and started talking to them. Well then around the time I got here he would always send his kids outside to tell us he wasn't there. Anyways he told us last night that he was just seeing if we actually cared about him and would keep coming back or if we'd just move on. When he found that we were actually there for him it touched him. He told us we had a lot of chances to give up on him, and we didn't and he's so thankful for that, and he's found his church home! It was a humbling experience for sure!

The other HUGE miracle was we've been teaching W and R for a long time now. They've actually been steadily taught for about a year now. They sort of live with each other, but not really, but President wants them to be married before they get baptized. Well they've been praying lately, and they fasted last week and they decided to get married!!! They're just praying about when now, but they're going to do it!!! I was speechless it was so unexpected. We've been talking to them forever and they haven't budged an inch and now the only question they have is when to do it! It was so cool! Anyways it's just fun to be a missionary :D

That's about it for me here... Things here are picking up! Oh we're also teaching 2 high school basketball players (soon to be 3) and I'm going to start doing workouts with them in the mornings at the church. It's going to be so much fun! One of them was at the clinic thing I did for the Stake President's son's team. It was cool! We saw him out on Saturday and he asked us to play with him, so we played with him for a little bit, then taught him and he's going to be coming to church with us on Sunday! I got a call from his mom today asking if I'd really be willing to work out with him. So that was cool!

Things are great, great, great here :) Have a good one!

Week of October 27, 2014

The work this week was pretty good. I hate late October and Halloween. The decorations are gross. So I'm excited for that to blow by- haha...

The L family has to finish 3 more temple classes before they can be sealed (one per week) so that should be coming up in a month or so. I can't wait for that! I went out teaching with A Saturday night as well and it was crazy! It was so touching to see how powerful his testimony was, and how much he loves the gospel and the peace it brings! It's also been so humbling to be around his in-laws. His father-in-law is always so appreciative every time I see him, and J, A's wife, always is too. Like I can see it in their eyes that they are so thankful he is a member, and it's such a humbling experience to be a part of that.

We were biking last night and saw a few people sitting outside and so we thought we'd talk to them. We asked them if we could take 10 minutes and talk to them about prayer. They accepted so we started talking to them. They're probably around 50 or so. We asked them what role prayer plays in their life and they said it hasn't really. They grew up Christian, but they haven't prayed in a long time. We taught and testified that God wants to hear from them, and we taught them how to pray. Then we invited him, Mark, to pray and he said such a humble prayer it was awesome! He thanked us for teaching him, and said, "It's been a long time." The spirit was strong there! It was so powerful and humbling to be a part of bringing a Son back to his Father. It's such a fun a beautiful work we've been asked to serve in!

So a couple of interesting stories, we were biking and a couple was walking down the street and they were yelling at each other and stuff. Well the lady asked us to walk her to her Grandma's house to stay the night, so we walked her about a mile to her Grandma's while she was absolutely out of it. She was so stressed she was freaking out and she wasn't making any sense. It was weird. Then we were biking and we saw another fight, and then in the distance (it was in an area we were around but not in) we heard 3 gun shots. Haha and it was super dark and we were just biking around about 7 miles away from our apartment so we kinda decided that we would work our way back to the apartment when Elder Matthew's tire caught a flat. Haha so we called the other Elders and they came and got the keys to our car and came back, we threw our bikes on the rack and called it a night. We also had a super drunk guy give us some home made candles... haha what a life huh?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Week of October 13, 2014

What a week! I've had some interesting events transpire this week.... I'll list it out in a list today. Bare with me on this. Some are pretty freaky... Haha

Monday: We were trying an investigator and we saw him.... well breaking the law of chastity with his girlfriend we can put it that way to keep it simple. But after we left there we had a good lesson with some other people! They had bought a Family Proclamation that was framed at a thrift store, not knowing anything about it other than it said family on the top, and they were mad because it was colored on. Then we showed them that it was from our church and they freaked out and we replaced it for them!

Tuesday: I beat a little girl in a race at dinner (she's 5) because she was talking smack. haha And I had a good lesson with a lady who believes in Christ but hates Christianity because her son is gay.

Wednesday: We met a man named Billy. We set a baptismal date with him and he told us about how one time he was smoking dope and Satan appeared to him, and then Jesus came and shocked him with lightning and chased him away and he saw Jesus. Drugs are bad.

Thursday: I don't remember Thursday... Oh yeah we gave a blessing to Sister G who had to go to the ER. It was good spiritual experience.

Friday: District meeting and we met with Billy again. He told us a guy tried to make him sell his soul to the devil, and to show him how much power he would get he made the truck they were driving in fly.

Saturday: We had an investigator (the same one from Monday) come to a baptism while he was high.

Sunday: I bore my testimony and had a super great time at church, and after had one of the best lessons I've had on my mission. It was super powerful! And I found out I'm staying in Duncan. 

That was basically the week... it was super good! I love life! Things are great!

Week of October 6, 2014

Holy Cow what a week!!!! So we got to see the movie Meet the Mormons on Tuesday because they don't want missionaries going to the theater, so they sent President a copy to show to all the missionaries. IT WAS SOOOOOO GOOOOOOOD!!!!!!!!! You have to go see it! It was one of the best movies I've ever seen. They do an amazing job of capturing members as they really are, and showing not so much what our beliefs are, but showing who we are because of our beliefs. They showed it in Salt Lake to a trial group of non-members and 75% of the people said they would be more receptive if the missionaries came to their door. It's so powerful I loved it! And during the Navy Football coach part.... Haha I haven't felt adrenaline like that in 15 months! Haha just the whole sports atmosphere.... I miss it. Haha but it was such a good movie go see it!

So conference was ok for me.  It was just back to the basics, which was good and it made me think about ways I can tighten up.

Not much else is new here. Just keep pluggin along :) We're going disc golfing so that will be fun! I'm excited!  Have a good one!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Week of September 22, 2014

Well this week was a good one! It went quick. May I just say that I've learned that a loving, straight forward and head on approach makes all the difference in the world? We're teaching a guy named J and he had a lot of reasons why he couldn't come to church today. I said "J, let's look at this all like it's football. It's 3rd down right now. You need to move the chains!" I read Isaiah 58:14 with him and explained that riding on the high places of the earth means carried about from week to week by a forgiveness of sins, or in other words a "first down." I told him that the defense was going to do all they could to stop him from scoring a touchdown, or in other words getting baptized, and that they would throw every trick play at him in the books, and that if he didn't come to church before he knew it he'd be facing a 4th and long situation. He clicked with that, so we had a good time and he came to church! It looks like he's going to get baptized and he wants to do it before I leave Duncan. So we'll see how it all goes! His date is for November 1st.

So we were shopping at Homeland last week and I found some canned seasoned octopus in the dollar aisle. Haha so I bought it and everyone in the district tried it one night. It really didn't taste horrible, like it was bad but not horrible, but the texture was terrible! One sister couldn't swallow it, and one of the elders almost threw up. But no one got sick so we're all winners :)

Hope you have a great week!

Week of September 15, 2014

We had a General Authority in the mission this last week. Elder Foster. He was awesome that was one of the most powerful meetings I've ever been in! Let me tell you what I've learned from it, and then show as to why we keep the commandments.  From that meeting I realized that I know what our Bishop's goal is, but not his vision. We scheduled a time to sit down and talk with him and get his vision. He told us he wants everyone moving toward the temple ordinances of exaltation. Then we got to council as a district about how missionary work will help them get there. We realized that what missionary work does is it makes the gospel mean more for us, and we develop a greater love for God. So what missionary work will do for that vision is it will create more converted disciples of Christ. By the members doing missionary work they will become what bishop's vision is for them.

We had dinner with a member of the stake presidency's wife last night. It was my turn to share the spiritual thought so I asked her what her vision was for her spiritually. She's a regular temple attending person, she does her visiting teaching, she's a great member. She said she would love to be a better wife and mother, and just a better person overall. I read D&C 31:5 with her and it says "Therefore, thrust in your sickle with all your soul, and your sins are forgiven you, and you shall be laden with sheaves upon your back, for the laborer is worthy of his hire. Wherefore, your family shall live." Sheaves could mean baptism, but I think the sheaves are a personal testimony of the gospel. As we continually thrust in our sickle, our testimony will continue to grow whether or not there's a baptism. I've been working hard on my mission and I wouldn't say that I've had a ton of sheaves, but my testimony has become stronger. As our testimony grows, we will naturally want to be better, we will naturally change and be more like Christ, because we'll want to. That's why we are commanded to do missionary work, because let's face it the Lord does all the work in conversion anyways. Nothing I said has ever converted anyone, it's always the Spirit. He has us do it so that we become like him, and change. It's a beautiful thing isn't it?

As far as the work went, we're blessed! Things were slow, but things are picking up again. I've realized that working for the members and helping them out is the only way to do missionary work. If we just do our own thing and invite the members to help us we'll continue to see no results. So I'm excited to see how the ward grows from this!

I wish I could really put into words exactly how much this gospel means to me. I've tried but I just can't say it adequately. I know its not the black name tag that's changed me. It's been sharing the gospel. I've been rejected a ton out here, and I know it's not about others' agency. It's about what sharing the gospel can bring into my life that I'm excited about. It just has to constantly be a part of us or else it just will never work. It really has been such a joyful experience. I just feel so blessed and to sing the song of redeeming love. I love it!

Hope you have a good one!

Week of September 9, 2014

My new comp is from Spanish Fork, and he's younger than McKenna. That's so weird to me. He turned 18 in June.... I actually understand what it feels like to be old... He's going to be a great missionary. I'm excited to see what big things he does!

A proposed to his girlfriend this last weekend. He had us meet him at a party on Friday night and he proposed to her there. It was one of the most powerful experiences I've had in a long time. I didn't expect it to be such a spiritual experience it was crazy... But they're getting married in October and sealed next year! I don't know that I'll be able to come back out here for that, but I for sure would love to!

So I've had a ton of things running through my mind lately. I taught a mission prep class on Tuesday for the youth. I taught on the Plan of Salvation. The Plan of Salvation just makes so much sense, and it's the framework that everything else is held up by. The better knowledge and understanding we have about the Plan of Salvation, the easier everything else will be, and the more sense things will make. Well I was teaching them the Plan so that they could teach others. The answers to the questions such as "What's my potential? How can I get there? Why am I on this earth?" Those questions have been answered to me in such deep terms. I've taught the plan of salvation so many times in the last couple weeks, and it's been on my mind a lot. As I've studied the commandments it's helped me understand how every single commandment has a "Why?" to it, and it makes it a ton easier to follow the commandments when we understand the "Why?"

Well, that does it for me this week. Hope you have a great week!

Week of September 2, 2014

Looks like I'll be staying in Duncan to train.  This week was pretty good. We traveled a ton, so not much happened, but we started teaching a new guy named K. He's an ex con.  He came to church and says he wants to get baptized and he's super awesome so that is exciting! Other than that not much else happened.

I'm excited to get to know this new missionary! He probably just got to Oklahoma a couple hours ago... So crazy. Seems like just last week.

Sorry I don't have a ton of time! Have a great week!

Week of August 25, 2014

So the baptism was GREAT! So powerful! I asked A how it felt when he was about to get changed and he just looked at me with a huge smile and was speechless. He was so happy and felt so good it was amazing! He's a stud! I got to do the confirmation on Sunday, and that was a powerful experience as well. The priesthood is so humbling.... Like I was able to play a role as a tool to giving A one of the greatest gifts of this life. How can that not humble you? And you just know that there's no way that this could be of man, because it has too much of an impact, and too much power behind it. I love it so much! Truly in the ordinances thereof the power of godliness is manifest!

I got a call on Saturday to be a trainer. I'll be one of 2 English speaking trainers, so I'm excited!

Well, that's about it for now. I get to see sweet miracles every day!

Week of August 18, 2014

This week was very good over all! A is getting baptized this week, and went out teaching with the other Elders in the ward (There's 4 elders and 2 sisters, 3 companionships, in this one ward) and he loved it and is pumped!!!

Ordaining C to the office of Elder and giving him the Melchizedek priesthood was super humbling, but very powerful for me! It was a special experience! I learned a lot from the stake priesthood meeting before it. The stake president, President Bean, gave a great talk on the Work of Salvation, and how sharing the gospel strengthens our families, and the Work of Salvation in the home. Anyways he gave a sweet quote that I love! "Salvation is a personal matter. Exaltation is a family matter.... Your priesthood will only go as far as your spouse." It was sick! He talked about how the church was restored for families, and he did a great job of helping us (me especially) understand the role of husbands and wives, and the importance of a unified marriage and treating your wife like a queen. It was very powerful! President Walkenhorst gave a great talk on obtaining the blessings of the seed of Abraham. He opened up to Genesis 17 and read a few verses, but he stopped and talked about verse 7. Jehovah is promising Abraham and his seed that he will be a God to them forever. He posed a simple question. "What does it mean that Jehovah will be a God to you forever?" Anyways just something to ponder on! He basically said we must share the gospel and live in unity as a family if we are to have the blessings of the seed of Abraham. It was awesome!

One more quote from President Monson in one of the issues of the conference Ensigns you sent to me. He said this in the General Relief Society meeting. "Do not pray for tasks equal to your abilities, but pray for abilities equal to your tasks. Then the performance of your tasks will be no miracle, but you will be the miracle." I LOVE THAT!!! The works we do change us, so if we pray to do greater works we are made greater!

Week of August 11, 2014

Holy cow school is started and summer is over..... That's so weird.... Where is my life going?  I had a dream the other night that I was going home from my mission with all the other Elders that I came out with and you guys picked me up from the airport and I was just bawling my eyes out because I didn't want my mission to be over.... haha... and you guys were driving me around and I was super happy to see you guys, but I was still just bawling because I didn't want to be home! And that's basically how I feel right now... I'm super excited to be out here and there is literally nowhere else I'd rather be! So that makes it exciting! I LOVED the talks you sent me! "The Miracle of a Mission" by Elder Holland has been exactly how I've been feeling lately. I read that talk and just thought to myself, "What am I doing to make the spirit I feel out here a part of my everyday life? Am I changing my actions or am I changing my nature?" Our mission gives all the missionaries "Lock Your Heart" and "Consecrated Missionary", and we read them every transfer. So those were good refreshers :)

So we had a HUGE miracle! We've been teaching a guy whose girlfriend is a member of the church. He told us in our last lesson he felt drawn to being baptized, and knew he should do it, he just didn't know when. So we invited him to pray and think about it, and we'd do the same and we'd get back together later on and see what we think. My companion and I prayed over it and decided on August 23rd. So that's what we put down as when we thought he should do it. It was weird because it wasn't an overwhelming answer, but it just kinda felt right. Anyways we met with him last night and he told us he had gotten an answer and he felt like the 23rd was when he should be baptized. It was pretty crazy! I opened up my planner and showed him that we had had that date and he was like "woah wait up. How did you know that?" Haha it was cool! He's 20 and he could be a potential missionary! So this baptism is finally going to happen!

Also we had an interesting situation. We were biking down the street and I saw this lady on her porch so I pulled over on my bike and started talking to her. She was super open to us talking to her, and she asked a ton of good questions. We talked to her for about 45 minutes. We went back over Sunday after church and met up with them. Her boyfriend (we don't think they're married...) was there and invited us in. We walked in the house and it just felt empty. It was weird to explain but you just felt hollow when you walked in. Well they told us that they have had some pretty scary things happen in the home over the last 2 or 3 weeks, and then the day when we stopped by it picked up big time. They said it was really scary. So we offered to dedicate their home and we did so. It was so interesting because as soon as we dedicated the home that empty feeling was replaced. And as we kept talking it just felt so good. They even noticed it! It was super cool though because she was asking us what the purpose of this life is. She said that all these other churches teach once saved always saved, but she doesn't see how there's any purpose in our lives if we don't have anything to work for until after we've been saved. So we explained the first half of the Plan of Salvation and they LOVED it! They are super excited! He really wants to get to the point in his life where Christ is a friend, not just someone to call on when you're in trouble. And when we were leaving they said, "It feels so good in this house. Thanks for blessing it!" They told us that they have been trying to call other religious people to help them with it, but they couldn't get anyone to answer the phone. Then the next day we show up! They said it was a sign for them, and they're super interested! So it was another big miracle!

We gotta get going though, so love ya tons! Have a great week!

Week of August 4, 2014

The baptism that was scheduled was put off again, but the recent convert in Del City just told me he'll be getting the Melchezidek priesthood on the 17th and would like me to be the voice for that. So I'm hoping I can work something out with President to get my way up there and go help him with that.

The work seems to be going well here though! The members of the ward seem to like the missionaries so not too much to complain about! Life keeps moving on.

I learned a ton at church yesterday and it would take forever to put it all down. But it was good! And we had a couple of great lessons, and a good looking week coming up so I'm excited!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Week of July 28, 2014- Transferred!

How's it going! I think it's been a while since I've had time to email everyone, but I have time today! Haha the library here is much less packed.

So I left Del City after 6 months and made here to Duncan and I'm excited! The ward here seems to be great!  The work has been slow historically but there seems to be a lot of work to do, so I'm excited about that!

Let me tell you about a little spiritual impression I had this week. We were trying someone and they weren't home so we were driving to the next place and I looked over and saw a lady walking her very young child inside. I just felt a pressing feeling to knock on that door. But we were in a hurry so I just pulled over and wrote down the address, then drove off. The next day we were back in the area and so we went to go knock on the door and these older people walked out and so we started to try to talk to them and they like completely denied us. Haha so we just kept walking and they got in their car and drove off, but I still felt like knocking on the door. So we did and the lady I had seen the day before opened it with a huge smile, and she invited us to come back and teach her! Then we went back and her husband talked to us and he was super prepared for us!!! So it was an awesome miracle, and it was just a thought that pressed on me until I did it. So it was cool!

Another cool story is about a part member family that has been hard to get in contact with I guess. Well after district meeting we stopped by and they invited us in and we had a good talk with them for a while. They have been married for 16 years now.  So I shared a message with them from Genesis 2:18 and 24. I said, "Why would God say it's not good for man to be alone in the garden of Eden, and command them to marry, and then after we die all of a sudden change his mind and not let us be married? It doesn't make sense… "  Haha then I went to Ecclesiastes 6:14 and said, "Now God must have married Adam and Eve because He was the only one there to do that, and this scripture says whatever God does, he does forever. Therefore Adam and Eve must have been married forever." Then we talked about how God has given the sealing power to servants to marry others for Him like it says in Matthew 16:19. Then we talked about how when they were killed, that power was gone. Then we taught about Joseph Smith (so yes, we taught the Restoration without them even knowing it until this part. Haha and they were already enjoying it so it was too late for them to stop us!) and how it was restored through him, then we invited the member to testify of Joseph Smith. He started going off about how he knows Joseph Smith was a prophet and he did an awesome job. It was super cool to see that it clicked with him that they need to be married by that authority or else they can't be together forever. It was just interesting because we kinda winged it and it went super well! I'm glad but it was a sweet miracle because I guess he's been not too keen on missionaries teaching his wife, so this will be good! It will be a process but it was exciting nonetheless!

Well, that's about it for me here. I love the area, and there's a lot of work to be done and I'm excited to do it! It also looks like I'll be headed back to the Midwest City/ Del City area this Saturday for K's baptism, who I've been working with for the past 6 months, so I'm very excited about that as well! Hope everything is going well back home!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Week of June 30, 2014- It's Hot!

Man it was a hot week this week! This was the first week I truly hated being in a bike area. Haha it was super humid too with all the rain, but man it was a fun one! It didn't help that most of our investigators were out of town, so we were outside most of the time. But it's all good! It was a good week!


We found a guy named Rock on Tuesday. He was just standing outside and it was probably the most prompted I've ever been to talk with someone. So we went and started talking with him and he said, "Normally when you guys ask to talk I say no thanks but for some reason this time I feel like I should take your card." So we talked about his church for a while and then things naturally flowed into sharing some restored truths. So it was pretty cool! We ended up giving him a Book of Mormon, and then we went back and saw him two days later and he had read a couple chapters and has really liked it! He seems like he's just a great guy as well, so we'll see how things go with him!


We also had a member bring their friends for a church tour on Saturday. It was super awesome! It was so powerful to be able to show them around the building, and to testify of Christ and the prophets as we walk by all the pictures! Talking about baptism by the baptismal font is cool, but the best part always is taking them into the chapel and talking to them there. As the member bore testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith in the chapel the Spirit was so thick it was crazy! They all recognized it and appreciated it! It was an awesome experience!


Well I'm out of time for this week, but those were the quick highlights. Have a good one back home!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Week of June 23, 2014

How's the life? Hope you had a good week like me! I'm just happy to be alive lately! My studies have been great, the work is moving, and the beat goes on! And I hit my year mark on Thursday...... Insane.... haha

So not much has been new with me here. Just workin ;) Haha it's been good though! We set a baptismal date with a newer investigator named Joyce. She's 80 years old and is the coolest lady ever! She just loves everything and everyone! W e're so excited about her!

I was on an exchange and we were trying someone and a guy answered the door. We started talking to him and he's going to play wide receiver for OSU this next year. We got talking and stuff and I told him I played college basketball so we talked about college sports for a bit, then I told him why I was out here and we started talking about Christ. He was a cool guy with a strong faith in Christ. So we started talking and the conversation naturally went to Joseph Smith and he was like, "Wait a second, this is exactly what I've been going through! I've been praying a ton lately because I'm getting so sick of going to all these different churches and being confused. Like I just want to know truth!" So he invited us in and we talked some more and he seems real solid! It was cool because I don't think I've ever connected with someone so quickly before on my mission, and like it all flowed so naturally. The gospel has gotten way natural to talk about, it's been cool, but that was just a cool connection. He's in the other elder's area so the only time I'll see him is at church but it was just a cool experience! His name is Landon Harper. He wants everyone to remember the name when he's playing WR for OSU! Haha

We've been having a lot more success with members lately. I just realized that I hadn't been building a relationship with any of the members I was just superficially getting to know them. But as I've talked to them more and started to get to know them they've been great at helping us out with the work! And I'm building relationships, so it's all good!

Our ward mission leader is about to have a baby, and he'll be taking us to the zoo in 2 weeks or so, so we're excited about that as well. Other than that not much else has been going on. I'm serving around a bunch of old men and they're all injured, so sports on p-days has been pretty low key. Haha But life is still good!

Well that's about it for me here. We keep teaching, finding new people, and playing basketball on the streets! It's been pretty warm here the last few days, but it's been good! Hope everyone back home has a great week!

A member drew this actual size Goliath for Sunday School on Sunday

Monday, June 9, 2014

Week of June 9, 2014

Another 6 weeks in Del City comin up! I'm super pumped about it! The district here is on fire and it's going to just be a sweet transfer!
The area is picking up! We found 10 new investigators this week, and we feel that for the most part they're solid! They'll meet with us more than once a month at least.... haha so it will be great! We didn't have any crazy experiences, but just a ton of awesome little ones!
We went over to talk to a couple of people on their porch. The lady was like "I'm Baptist and I'll always be Baptist so you're wasting your time and I'm wasting mine." So we just started talking about Christ and she was bearing her testimony about Christ and I said, "You know we aren't wasting our time because you just built my faith!" Then we kept talking and she said, "I know it shouldn't be like this, but I always find I'm on my knees more when I'm in a hard spot," and I said that Christ did the same thing in Gethsemane when he was suffering for us. She loved that and we started talking more, then we talked about prophets, and then we left her with a pamphlet and she wants us back and wants to know if there's a prophet on the earth today! It was sweet!
We also have a family that lives in our apartment complex set up a dinner with a member family (they also live in our apartment complex) and they wanted us to come eat with them and teach them.... Haha and they've been wanting to come to church for a while now but no one has invited them so they haven't. It was so cool! The family has tons of potential and we're super excited about it!
I'm feelin old now.... I never thought I'd turn 20. Haha and I'm starting to think about how crazy it is that my mission is just about half way over........ So yeah. Life does really keep going. Haha and it's been going fast! I'm enjoying it though and I've been finding a ton of joy in the work lately. So yeah my life is good. Really good. (Nacho Libre voice)
Well, I hope everyone back home has a good week this week! I know that God lives, and He knows us personally and He wants us to get to know Him personally. So find out something new about God this week! As you seek to get to know Him better, he reveals more of himself to you. Keep the faith!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Week of June 2, 2014

What's happenin fam?


Man I hope everyone's week was as good as ours! We had a fun one! It rained a lot early on in the week, and it's raining today, but that's good because the state needs it. It looks like we went a whole May without even having to get to a shelter, so that's good! But school is out so there are plenty of people to talk to, and people are out and about! The weather is getting really warm and humid, so I'm excited about that!


This week went by real fast. We had a great week though so it was good! Nothing too crazy happened, but oh well. Sunday was probably the highlight. We had a recent convert out with us and we were able to get in and talk to a lot of people with him! The coolest thing though was we were driving from one house to another, and Chris sees a lady out in her driveway sweeping. He pulled over and was like, "Lets go talk with her." So we got out of the car and walked over to her and started talking to her. She turned into a new investigator and when we recited the first vision to her she said, "I really hope that's happened or that it will happen soon." So we'll see her in the next day or 2 and get to talk with her. It was way cool to see the member have the desire to literally talk to everyone he saw!


I was able to play some more ball this week. We picked up 14 potential investigators from stopping and playing basketball with some people. Haha- the first time there were 3 guys out playing and I'm in a trio for a bit and so we went and played them 3 on 3. We beat them really bad (and they told us they thought we were joking when we asked if we could play, and they thought they'd kill us) and so the old guys stepped out to play us. We beat them 10-8, and afterwards we talked to them a lot about who we are and what we do. We prayed with all 12 of them and then they invited us back! Haha- it was fun we had a really good time with them! The other time was there were a couple kids who were high school age and we saw them out playing so we started talking to them and I said, "Maybe next time we're here we'll have to stop by and play against you guys." One of they guys said, "You may not like what you see." Haha- so I said "Alright well lets play a quick game to 5 to see what's up." So I gave him the ball and he started dribbling and he tried to go around me and I stole it from him and his friend started freaking out. I ended up beating him and we had a good time. They said next time we can talk to them about Christ so we're excited! Haha- and we found an investigator last week from playing basketball with them, so looks like an effective finding tool! I've never had to work so hard for investigators though. :)  It's been fun!


Other than that not there isn't too much going on. All of our solid progressing investigators have been on vacation or busy, so we haven't been able to make too much contact with them, but we were able to find a ton of other people to teach so it wasn't a huge deal! Life has been good out here!


Hope you all are having a good one! If not then start having a good one! Haha- until next week.....


Week of May 26, 2014

What's goin on?


This last week was an interesting one. We had some good things and some not so good, but overall not a bad week!


I guess to start it doesn't look like KB is getting baptized this weekend. She still isn't married and said they probably won't be married until late July. We're going to keep working with them and hope that that gets moved up because the way that Satan works something will come up then too. So we'll see what happens.


Other than that no big news. We were able to find quite a few new investigators this last weekend, and it's the first week of summer out here so we're hoping that it will be a good week this week as well! Our car was taken back. I guess another missionary broke a limb and they think they need it more than us so we're back to being a bike area, and with Elder Carter's bike being broke that means we're on foot. We walk an average of 11-15 miles a day, so it's fun! And it's been raining here pretty good lately so we've been doing wet walks. Haha- double fun!


Not much else to report on here. Serge Ibaka coming back and the Thunder winning the other night was the buzz of the city here and so there's life again in the city! Haha so that's a good thing! Still haven't had any tornados anywhere close to where I am, and haven't heard of any coming soon. So still good weather here this year!


Hope everyone has a great week! Keep the faith!

Week of May 19, 2014

What up family and friends? Hope life is going well!
This was an interesting week here in Del City. We had a couple sweet miracles, but for the most part it was pretty quiet. KB is a girl that's been taught by missionaries since September, and could never get baptized because she wasn't married. They wanted to push it back until July, but Elder Carter and I had a good lesson on faith and invited them to pray about whether or not they should get married now. Moving out isn't really an option because they have a 3 month old baby with each other. Well they prayed and they feel that they need to get married, so they're getting married in a week from today if not sooner, and she's going to be baptized on May 31st! She's been waiting for this for a while, so she's excited and so are we!
The other sweet miracle was we were teaching a referral from a member in the area. His name is M. M has come to conference and church, and so we went over there and asked him straight up if he feels that these things are true. We talked about it for a while, and we helped him recognize and identify the spirit. He feels the spirit very strong when it comes to the temple. Every time he sees it he says that his heart jumps and he feels good. Well we had a really good chat with him, and he wants to get baptized shortly! At the end of the lesson we were talking about the church and he said, "So our church is world wide then?" And we were like super stoked that he said "our church" haha. It was awesome!

Well that's mostly it! We had an investigator come to the baptism, and she's wanting to get baptized now as well, but that will be a bit of a process. But life and the work has been good! Hope all is going well back home. Keep the faith! Love ya'll!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Week of May 5, 2014

Well, another week went by in Del City, and it FLEW! Time is moving fast out here! Dad always told us, "Time does pass. No matter what, time passes. So what are you going to do with it?" It always made sense, but it's really coming alive how inspired that statement is. The mission is going by! And it says in D&C 58, "This is his mission, and I only give it to him once." Its dawned on me lately that it will never be the same.... So I better work hard and enjoy it! haha
So we're not so sure that K is going to get baptized. Financially they don't think they are ready to get married, and we can't baptize them until they're married. They have a 2 month old together, and so we don't want to break up the family for her to get baptized. So we're just praying that they'll have the faith to keep the commandments, and let God take care of them! But we'll just keep working with them until then.
We had an interesting experience with C and K. They had another argument and split up again. We went over to visit them and K was so exhausted that Elder Carter and I thought he was under the influence of something. But he told us that C left the night before. He told us he needed us to hold his hand so to speak, and visit him every day for about a week. So we stepped in to hear what was going on. While we were sitting there listening to him tell us what happened, a thought popped in my head to have him kneel down and pray and ask for a spiritual experience. I said a quiet prayer and asked if we had K kneel down and offer a prayer if he would be granted a spiritual experience. I felt very strongly it would happen. So we knelt down and he asked to feel God's love and to feel the spirit. We basically just sat back and watched him cry for a couple minutes, and then he didn't even look like the same person. He now had a sound mind, and was no longer super exhausted. It was unreal to see the transformation that took place with him! We told him that any time he needs it he can do that. We visited him a couple days later and he looked like such a happier person. We asked him if he had had any more spiritual experiences and he said he's had 2 since we left! It was amazing to see the change in him as his relationship with our Heavenly Father grew! Things in his relationship are also moving in a more positive direction, so we're excited!
We found a couple other people that we feel are solid. Last night we visited an investigator we haven't been in contact with. We felt we should try her, even though it was at a time that usually isn't good for her. We went and she was outside with her sister. Her sister had told us about a month or 2 ago that she wasn't interested in what we had to say, but she was still nice. Well the sister, J, started rattling off questions, and so we answered them. We answered her questions for about an hour and a half, then we basically taught the restoration. She said that most of the questions she asked was to see if we had a good knowledge about the Bible or not, and whether or not to listen to us. Haha she said we've passed so far! She said she is really interested in learning more, because she's been looking for the full truth, but she didn't think any church had the full truth. She really wants to take this seriously! It was a super awesome miracle because she turned us down a month ago, but now her heart has been softened and she might just find the truth she's been looking for! It was awesome!
The other cool miracle we had is a member invited a friend of hers to conference, and he loved it! His name is M. He's a super humble guy, and is just the nicest guy you'll find. He's looking for something, and he seems to be drawn to our church. We haven't been able to get in contact with him though. Well one night we just stopped by his house and he invited us in. He has been reading the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and Preach My Gospel. Haha he was full of questions. He started asking a lot of questions, and all of them were pertaining to the Plan of Salvation. So we just went through the Plan of Salvation and he said, "This all makes sense, and it answers all of my questions!" We're going to be meeting with him sometime this week hopefully. We're excited for him! He has a lot of potential!
That's mostly what happened around here this week. It was a good week! Elder Carter and I are excited about this next week, so we'll see what happens! Hopefully things keep picking up!
Thanks for all the support back home! I hope everyone has a great week and a happy mothers day!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Week of April 28, 2014

Hello Hello! So it'll be another 6 weeks in Del City coming up! I'll still be with Elder C it looks like, so that will be exciting as well!
This week was a really good one! It FLEW by though- it was crazy! Tuesday we were visiting one of our investigators, D. He's a nice guy! He's a seeker of truth. He gets sick of a lot of the religions out here because they teach a lot about Revelations and the end of the world, and he wants to know how he can live more like Christ. He also said he sees stickers all over the place that say,  "Invite someone to church this month" but we're the only one of any of the hundreds of churches around that have actually done it. So he's excited and progressing slowly but surely. We set a baptismal date for May 24th with him. It's a great goal to work towards.
Wednesday was a bit of a longer day. Not much happened. I got to do a baptismal interview for a 14 year old girl though! The other elders in our ward are teaching their family. The dad is a member, but his wife and 2 daughters weren't, but they've been going to church with him for a long time. Anyways the youngest daughter decided it was time for her to get baptized, so we're hoping her mom and sister will want to follow her example! It was fun though. She has a great understanding for a 14 year old!
Thursday night was awesome! We taught 2 families. One is a family of at least 6 (there might be a couple more kids we've missed the 2 times we've been over there) and the other is a family of 5. The family of 6 has a ton of potential! We can see them becoming members of the church eventually, and we're hoping that we're the ones who get to help them with that! The other family is nice, but they aren't really too excited about religion in general so we'll see.
Friday was fun. I was on exchanges with Elder V. He's a great guy! We had a good time! We were able to teach K. She's doing great! She hadn't been to church in a couple weeks and right when we sit down she said, "I feel awful I haven't been to church!" We had a great lesson with her and she's still on board to be baptized on the 10th! She still needs to get married though, but we hope that will happen.
Saturday and Sunday were awesome! We saw C and K. They were the ones we were teaching and they split up after a fight. Well they're back together. On Saturday they were in another little argument, but we taught the Doctrine of Christ and that settled them down. We went back on Sunday and they took the Doctrine of Christ to heart! They didn't even look like the same couple! We set a baptismal date with them for June 28th, and at the end C prayed about that date to know if it was the right one. She broke down in tears and we all felt like it was the right date! It was a super powerful moment!
Well, I gotta get going, but I just want everyone to know that I know this is the Lord's work, and I'm thankful for the chance I have to be a part of it! Have a great week and we'll try to do the same!
PS  We haven't had any tornados around me yet, so nothing to worry about! Haha

Monday, April 21, 2014

Week of April 21, 2014

Hope everyone had a happy Easter! We had a good one out here! We had a great turnout at church.... Apparently there are a lot of "Easter and Christmas" only Mormons out here.... Haha but we were glad they came! We had to sit on the stage in the gym in the back actually. The chapel here is super skinny though, and the court is width not length in the overflow, so there was probably like around 275 people. It was cool!
We were sitting down and this black guy walked in and took a seat. After the sacrament a member came back to us with him and said, "He would like to talk to you." So we went to another room and sat down and he said his name was T and he had been to 2 or 3 other churches that morning and he got kicked out of both of them. He was walking down the street and saw ours so he came in. He said he loved the service, and he wanted to be baptized! And so we talked to him a little more and he told us a little bit about himself. He has had a rough life and he's looking for a better life. He said he feels safe and at home in our church and he wants to join. He seemed a little.... interesting.... so we'll see what happens, but it seemed like a pretty sweet miracle! Hopefully it all works out! He was a hoot though! He brought the Southern Baptist to the gospel principles class! Haha- it was great! The lesson was on the Priesthood, and he kept saying, "Amen!" The teacher asked,  "Can you get to heaven without being baptized?" and he was like "No, man,  no!" It was just too cool! He volunteered for everything too! So we had a good time with him. We hope he comes back!
Other than that not too much else has happened. The couple we had a super powerful lesson with a few weeks ago has gotten back together, so we're going to start working with them again on Wednesday! Hopefully their marriage will be able to hold up so we can keep working with them! We'll see though. K is going to get baptized on May 10th. She's doing extremely well and is very excited about it! We also started teaching a family that seems to be pretty humble, so hopefully they'll progress here soon as well! We have a pretty good teaching pool now of 25 investigators, and it keeps growing. We just need to see a few more progress. We seem to be dropping them as fast as we're finding them lately. Haha but we'll keep it up.
Well, hope everyone has a good week this week! I'm thankful for all the support from everyone back home! It's much appreciated!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Week of April 14, 2014

Hello hello hello!
So I hope all has gone as well for you as it has for me this last week! Life has truly been good! We got a car from the mission because my companion tore a couple ligaments in his ankle playing basketball a couple weeks ago. Our area is so small that we finish everything in like 2 hours, so we've been scratching our heads a lot on how to be more effective. But until he can actually walk and not have to use crutches it might be tough. But we're still seeing miracles!
I guess first of all though I better say thanks to the Relief Society for the letters! I appreciated it and I'm sure all the other missionaries did as well! Except I'm freaking out a little that I leave for a few months and they change the name of the ward. But I guess that's not the worst thing in the world.
So for how great of a week it was there's not a ton to report on. We had a interesting experience on Thursday. We knocked on this lady's door and while we were talking to her she lost her balance and fell. She broke her hip I guess and she hit her head.... She had her Life Alert on her though! So she hit her life alert and the dispatcher said, "This is Brian from Life Alert, what's your emergency?" And she told him she fell and he was like, "Ok ma'am, help is on the way! Are you ok? What hurts?" Then she told him and he was like,  "Ok ma'am, help is on the way!" At the end of everything he said he always said, "Help is on the way!" She's ok though. It was an awkward and sad situation.
We had a lesson with one of our investigators that's been taught since last September, and she has been waiting to get married before she gets baptized. So we were talking to her and found out she's getting married this weekend, and she can't wait to get baptized! So we'll probably end up baptizing her either on the 26th or May 10th. So that was exciting!
We also had a scare this week. We saw C, a recent convert who has been on fire since his baptism in February, on Thursday and he told us he was having doubts and was really confused, and he didn't really know or think that the church was true anymore. It was a huge miracle though because he was able to come to the entire 3 hours of church on Sunday (which is huge because he is on call  24/7 and I've never been with him for longer than 20 minutes without him getting a call) and we were able to meet with him with Bro. G for about 2 hours last night. He's got things figured out now and knows that the world is confusion and the church is clarity. It was a super huge miracle!
Sunday was the bomb! Besides C being at church, we also had a super powerful testimony meeting! And a member brought a friend last week to the church to watch conference. Well her friend must have felt something because he woke up early in the morning and drove over 150 miles from his lake house to make it to church! It was awesome! The member caught us in the hall and said she wants us to teach him, and she said, "Thank you so much for the sacrifices you make to be here. M has been a close family friend since I was little and he really just needs this in his life right now. So thank you so much for being here to help him!" She was like bawling as she said that. It was so humbling! The work we're involved in is so special!
Well the last thing I'll share is a cool thing I learned from the scriptures. I've been pondering a ton about the gospel, or Doctrine of Christ. For some reason the scripture Ether 12:27 kept popping in my mind. So I flipped to it and started thinking about it. The process in that scripture is perfect. "If men come unto me I will show them their weakness." We obtain an errand from the Lord on how we can improve, and then we humble ourselves and realize that's an area we can work on. I love that it says weakness and not weaknesses, because that's exactly how I became the basketball player I am, one area at a time. I still remember that one day after practice when me, my dad, and D just worked on the form of my shot for 2 hours. I went from elbow to elbow just working on my form, the little things. Until that part of my game was consistent, we didn't focus specifically on too much else. That's how Christ works- one problem at a time. He'll give us exactly what we can handle! 
The next step is to believe that we can overcome it through Christ, and change or repent. I've been thinking a lot about how the sacrament plays a role for us as missionaries, but also for all of us as members. I was taken back to what one of my institute teachers taught us once. When we partake of the sacrament, we're renewing our covenants. However we should work one area at a time. We have a forest of trees to chop down, and so we need to take it one at a time. When we partake of the sacrament we get to seriously ponder about what our errand is, and then we get the chance to take that to the Lord and covenant with Him that you will work on that area of your life. After we do so we receive a greater portion of His spirit to help us achieve these righteous desires. I was thinking a ton about the symbolism of the sacrament. We partake of the bread and water to remind us His body was literally broken and torn, and that his blood was literally spilt so that we can improve and overcome our weaknesses. I think about that and He must be frustrated if I don't take a specific weakness I'm working on to improve because that's why he went through what he went through. It will take time, but that's why He did what He did. When that area of our lives becomes a strength over time, we can move on and start working on the next tree in the forest of weaknesses I have to chop down. I now understand exactly how the Doctrine of Christ applies in my life, and what I can do to better myself! It finally clicked with me this week on how to actually live the gospel.
Well, sorry I haven't been too consistent lately in my writing. The emailing at this library is interesting. But I hope you all have a good week! Enjoy your normal weather there. It was like 90 degrees here Saturday, then yesterday we were in a tornado watch all day and had a crazy hail storm (it was super short though). Then this morning it was like 30 degrees and sleeting/hailing. So yeah. It's been crazy here! haha. Have a good one! Love ya!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Week of March 31, 2014

What a week! We've had a super solid last couple of weeks! Sorry I haven't sent out the email for the last while. The schedule is tight and emailing time is limited, but I have a couple minutes to give a rundown on this week!
This week we were able to get in and teach a couple. She had referred herself through a few months ago, and it's just been really hard to get in contact with her. We finally did and her husband was home. We taught the Plan of Salvation, and at the end of the lesson she said, "This just makes so much sense. Everyone should teach this!" Then she looked at her husband and said, "I think we should give this a try. Actually not a try- we need to give this our all. We need to do this." But her husband said he wasn't ready to make a commitment. We felt really strongly to open up to Mosiah 18 and so we read that with him. Then we went back through and said, "You're willing to bear others burdens. You already mourn with those who mourn, you comfort those in need of comfort. You stand as a witness of Christ. So why not enter this covenant so he can give you a greater portion of His spirit?" He started crying and said he'd be baptized, and that he's been waiting his whole life to hear that! It was super powerful!
Ok Wednesday was probably the funniest day of my mission! We totally lived "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" haha because it was still raining and all of a sudden- Elder Carter and I both saw it- a bagel just falls from the sky and lands like 15 feet away from us. Haha it fell from like way over 20 feet in the air! Haha it must have fallen out of the tree or something, but it fell a long ways! We both just started laughing way hard. Then we were walking to Hungry Howies (That's right! They have it here!!!!) and we took this shortcut through a field, and it was next to this river. Well there was this random person in the river, and then he saw us and he just started running at us. Haha we just keep walking, looking like "should we be scared right now?" And there was this pipe like 2 feet wide, if that, that we had to cross and it was super windy, and there was a person running at us, so we hurried up and crossed and thank heavens I didn't fall in because I almost did!  But the person ran past us. And it looked like he had a spear, but it was just a fishing pole. It was a false alarm, but a super scary one! Haha
Thursday we had a zone conference, and our mission president did a great job on talking about the atonement! It was super powerful! Friday-Sunday we basically just taught new investigators. We had a couple of great lessons with people, and we were able to talk with a couple of families! We're super excited for this next week as well! Thanks for all the prayers! Hope everyone has a great week!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Week of March 17, 2014

Transfer doctrine came in last night and I'll be here in Del City for another transfer! I'm excited- it should be a good time! My companion is heading out though, so I'll have to take control of the area, but it shouldn't be too bad.
So this week was fun! We got to go to the temple on Tuesday which was super nice! That was my first time going since my first transfer out here, so like since the middle of July. So it was really good to get back there. I learned a ton from that- it was awesome!

Wednesday was pretty good. Most everything fell through, but we were able to teach a couple people a quick spiritual message. It was fun! We had a good day Thursday too. We stopped in and an investigator finally had time to meet with us so that was nice! I studied a ton about the Holy Ghost for my training this week. I realized how often the Holy Ghost is with us, and I really reflected on how the Holy Ghost works in my life. I was able to pinpoint and listen for the Holy Ghost a lot more during my study time and during any downtime I had. When we can recognize how the Holy Ghost plays a role with us, we can then help others (friends, children, family etc.) recognize how they feel it. I was always frustrated because usually at church they described it as a "burning in the bosom" or something similar. I spent a lot of time looking for the spirit to work with me like that, so I probably missed a lot of experiences. It's important to figure out how the spirit works with each of us. Then we can go about being "wise, yet harmless" (Alma 18:22) meaning that we can help them understand how the Holy Ghost is working with them without being manipulative. That's been a huge benefit to me out here!
Friday I did my first baptismal interview, which was great! The guy has been married to an LDS woman for 8 years, and has always been very impressed with the church. He's a fugitive investigator, and does a ton of stake outs and such. Anyways he told me that he always believed there should be multiple glories of heaven, and when he heard that and that he could be with his wife forever, he knew this is where he needed to be. He is going to be an awesome member of the church! I get to do another one here on Wednesday. It's a great experience to see people find the gospel and act upon it.
After the interview I was on exchanges. I was with Elder Hoddy. He's a really hard worker! Anyways we saw a few small miracles. We were trying a member family, and we couldn't find the address so we just knocked on a door, and turns out it was a less active member who they didn't have the records for, and she wants the missionaries to come teach her again! And then right after we tried a less active member, and turns out her fiance wants to take the discussions as well with his son! It was pretty sweet how the Lord put us where we needed to be, not where we wanted to be. It wasn't in our area, but still cool to see the little miracles.
We also visited a member family and had a great discussion on focusing on the little day-to-day conversion experiences, and not basing our conversions on huge "Saul-Paul" conversions. President Uchtdorf gave a great talk and Mormon message about not waiting on the road to Damascus for a conversion like that, but continuing on in faith and hope, and noticing the small daily spiritual experiences that let us know He's there, and aware of what we need. Anyways that's something I've been doing with my journal is taking the time to write little spiritual moments I had, even if they're just for a second.
Sunday was an awesome day at church. It was one of those meetings where the spirit was there, and so the spirit taught me a lot of things that weren't being said by the speakers. It was cool! The talks were on temples though, and it brought to my memory a scripture in Revelations 11:1-2. It says, "And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.
"But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months."
I thought about that and what we talked about in institute one day. The measurements are covering the temple, and the inside. Anyone can walk the temple grounds. It's living so that we have a temple recommend, and that we can enter into the temple that saves us and protects us.
In Elders quorum we talked about not putting off repentance. Everyone was talking about how important it is to repent, because we don't know when our time will come. I think that's true, but we learn in the scriptures that "wickedness never was happiness" (Alma 41:10) and so if we put off repentance, all we're doing is putting off happiness. The quicker we align our will and our lives to God's will, the quicker we'll be happy. Just a couple of the many things that ran through my head this week.
Well, I'm ready to get the new transfer started here in Del City! I hope that it keeps picking up like it has been here recently. Hope all is well back home! Have a great week!

Close enough to see where Kevin Durant plays!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Week of March 10, 2014

Hey Hey Hey!
This week was a good one! The mission life picked up a little this week! I've for sure felt the spirit of your prayers this last week, so thank you all for the prayers for the missionaries!
I guess the best place to start the weekly recap would be with last Monday. We went and tried a former, who was 3 days away from getting baptized, but then he started smoking again and his life went down hill from there. He basically dropped off the face of the earth. Well we tried him and he was there and let us in. We were going to just talk about the restoration, maybe try to get him reading from the Book of Mormon again so we were going to read a bit with him, but as soon as we started talking the Spirit told us to just talk about baptism, so that's what we did! We basically just said, "Hey we know you're going through a lot of problems, but you know these things are true, and you need to get baptized. The gift of the Holy Ghost will solve the problems you've been having." And we just testified of that, then set a baptismal date with him! Haha it was super awesome! He had a moment for about 9 months after his baptism fell through where he just had no relationship with God because of all the trials he went through. But he's ready to get back into the swing of things, and he's ready to get his relationship back. We're super excited for him!
That was probably the most spiritual part of the week. On Tuesday we went and visited an investigator that I hadn't met before. He was finally home and so we knock on the door and he answered with his gun out. Haha I guess he's paranoid, so he always answers with gun, but yeah it was pretty cool! Haha it wasn't really scary I'd say because he's a nice guy and super friendly to missionaries, but still gets the heart pumpin. Haha We also visited a member who served a mission and he served in Alabama. He was a Protestant convert so he has a different perspective. So every time he'd say, "Do you believe in Jesus? Do you believe that He died for you? Do you believe if you pray that He'll answer your prayers? If He told you that this book (hold up a Book of Mormon) was true, would you quit your church and come join the true church of God?" The way he delivers it is priceless! So I might have to try that one of these days. haha
On Sunday we didn't have any investigators come to church, but we did have a less active who hasn't been to church since Vietnam come! He drove tanks and has struggled forgiving himself for what he did, and he's the kind of guy who chased of missionaries and cussed out missionaries and stuff for years, but over the course of the last 3 months or so has let missionaries come over, and has been truly repentant and is ready to return! It's awesome!!! Just built my faith never to give up on anyone, because we don't know when they'll come back! 3 Nephi 18:32 Christ teaches the same principle. "Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out of your synagogues, or your places of worship, for unto such shall ye continue to minister; for ye know not but what they will return and repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal them; and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them." Christ can heal everyone! And by going out and visiting the people who have fallen away, doing our home and visiting teaching, and just being a good neighbor, we can "be the means of bringing salvation unto them." That's such a cool thing to be a part of! That was a huge miracle that happened this week.
Thank you all again for your prayers! I really appreciate the support! Keep them comin! Haha hope all is well with everyone back home. Love you all!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Week of February 24, 2014

Tyler's view of Oklahoma City

There's not a ton to report on this week. It was a good week, but nothing too exciting happened. I learned a ton this week though! We had a mission wide district leader training, and I learned a ton from that. I got to be companions for the day with Elder Anderson, my last district leader. He's from Danville up in Nor Cal. He's become a great friend! So we had a great time together!
So I guess I'll talk about my sweet learning opportunities this week! Most of it was from our movie night we had saturday evening. We watched 17 Miracles. That movie is super powerful! We had a member invite a friend, which made it worth it! But I learned so much from it! I thought it was amazing that every single prayer that was offered by those saints, who had nothing, they were suffering beyond belief, and were barely alive, all started by thanking God for something. Most of the time it was thanking God for the gospel that allows us to have so much. All the miracles that came were from prayers of gratitude. It built my faith in the power of gratitude! I know when things get hard for me I start by begging for help, when really I need to be thankful for all that I have. I have been blessed with many things! Anyways that's my thought of the week.
Well, not much else to say. Sorry, been a really slow week! I've been battling a cold too, which hasn't been too fun. But this really was a week of growth! It's been great!
Hope everyone has a great week back home! Thanks for the support!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Week of February 17, 2014

This week was.... interesting. Haha it was really long, but really good! It was just weird. Almost nothing happened. Every door we knocked, no one was interested. Every investigator we try, no one was home, or they were sick and couldn't talk, or their dog died and they didn't want to talk. It was just frustrating. So that was rough, but I had a good time!
On Thursday night all of our plans had fallen through, so we went to a Prayer Night at a nondenominational church that we were invited to. It was fun! It was at the Pastor's house, so we go in (we were the only white people there) and sit down and they were doing some gospel singing, then the pastor starts preaching a bit, then he prays for about 25 minutes. It was interesting..... He was praying to "Lord Father God Jehovah Jesus". One of my favorite parts was when he was going on about grace in the prayer and he said, "We know it's not the yellow lines on the road that keep the cars from crossing over into our side of the road, but it's your grace! Your grace Lord!" He also said,  "Father hedge up those who put their life aside to go out and do your missionary work, and tell others about your grace and love and mercy, and bring them to you!" and he was knuckle touching with us. It was awesome! Haha there were people speaking in tongues and praisin Jesus all over. It was super fun! We really want to go back and do it again!
On Friday I was able to give a training on faith. It really opened my eyes to how little I knew about faith. It has been a great study topic for me. It's really made me rethink my whole look on things. Do I trust God will open up the windows of Heaven to the point where I will pay tithing when I have no money at all, or do I really just think it's a cool idea, but it's not for me? Do I live the Word of Wisdom because God has promised blessings because of it, or do I just push it aside so that I can go ahead and live how I want to live. Faith is more than believing that keeping the commandments will bless us, but it's actually living the commandments, showing that we fully believe that God will hold up his end of the promise. How many people that Christ said "rise, take up thy bed and walk" just kinda sat there and looked at him like, "Cool, but in case I'm not healed I'll just keep laying here. Thanks for that though!" Nope they all got up and walked and showed that they believed they were healed! Anyways, that was just my thoughts on faith this week.
Later that day I was on an exchange with Elder Nielson (he's from Orlando, and went to Winterpark High School! Which is funny because that's where Austin Rivers went, and it's the only high school in Orlando I know, so when I asked him what high school he went to that would have been the only one I knew. Anyways, just interesting fact!) in Choctaw, Oklahoma! Actually it's considered Harrah, Oklahoma, the part we were in... Anyways we were striking out left and right, trying to find anyone to talk to. We were knocking doors in one neighborhood and we see this guy walk out to his front yard. My first instinct was to go talk to him, but the closer I looked I noticed he had a pitchfork and a .22 in his hands. Haha he was trying to kill a gopher or something, but I decided not to talk to him because the early saints already dealt with plenty of people who had pitchforks and guns, and that's what got them driven out of Missouri and Illinois and Ohio. So if it didn't go over well for them I figured how am I different... Haha it was funny though he basically was a one man mob! There was no danger we just had a good laugh about that.
That was about it for me this week. I will admit that on Sunday I was pretty much done with being a missionary. I was thinking, "Why have I not been able to get one person to come to church? Why is it my entire mission no one has come to church? I taught more people back home than I am out here. I invited people to church back home and no one came there. So why am I here? I could do more good being back home, sharing the gospel there. Why am I here?" It was a rough day. But it caused me to really ponder why I am here. I got the same assurance, not as strong, but strong enough to help me understand that I am exactly where I need to be, and I'm doing exactly what I need to be doing. So I guess I'm going to keep pluggin along doing what I need to do so that I can make it through. Something will happen sometime! If nothing else I've grown so much out here that it's unbelievable. And I have been able to recognize how much farther I can go, and how much better I can be. That to me is super exciting! I'm loving the fact of how much I can progress!
Well fam/friends, that's all there is for me here. Have a good week wherever you may be! Love you all tons! Keep up the fight! 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Week of February 10, 2014- Transfers!

How's it going back home? Sorry I wasn't able to get an email to you last week, and this week's will be short because I'm low on time, but I'll do what I can!
So the move went smoothly. I said goodbye to some good friends I made in the Blanchard Ward area, but I'm excited to start my time here in Del City. It's going to be good! The ward has 3 sets of missionaries- 2 sets of elders and a set of sisters. The other elders in the ward are zone leaders, so it will be good to share the ward with them! Del City is kinda a little ghetto, but it will be exciting! I'm actually really loving it here so far!
I'm still trying to learn the new area. I'm starting to get a grasp on where things are. I'm in a bike area, but because the weather has been so cold, and there's still quite a bit of ice on the roads and sidewalks,  we've been walking about 10 miles a day at least. But it's been good! We're having some good success here already! The weather is supposed to get a little nasty tonight and tomorrow though, so we'll see how this next week goes.
Not much else to say. We had a pretty cool experience on Friday. We were talking to a less active member. He and his wife found out that their son had a girlfriend 20 years ago, and that they had a grandson they didn't know about. He's living with them for a little while. He came out while we were talking to the parents, so I looked over and asked him what his name was, and got to know a little bit more about him. We asked him if he'd be interested in hearing our message, and he accepted pretty openly! So we taught him the restoration, and he said it totally makes sense and he really likes what we taught. He said that he really liked the great apostasy part because he always figured that's why there are so many denominations. He's a sharp kid! But he accepted to prepare to be baptized on March 22nd! It was a sweet lesson!
That's about it here for me. Most of this week has been visiting members and trying to get to know them. We have a recent convert here who got the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday. He's super hungry to know more! It was pretty sweet! That's about it for me here though!
Hope you have a great week back in home! The church is true! Love ya!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Week of January 27, 2014

How's it going? I hope this week treated everybody well! It was a good one out here in Newcastle! We had a couple of good finding miracles, a couple good laughs, and it was just a good week! 

So at the beginning of the week I was just feeling good about the future here in Newcastle. So I was just excited! Well on Wednesday I was super excited and we went out and tried a ton of people… Everything fell through. We were about to head in to dinner but we decided to go try one more potential and…. nothing happened. So it was kinda disappointing, but we started to walk back to the apartment and we see a guy walking from Sonic to the apartments. We never see anyone out walking in Newcastle ever, so we walked over and asked if we could give him a card…. We realized we didn't have a card. haha but we played it off real smooth and we asked talked to him for a little bit and then asked if we could come share a message about Jesus Christ and he said, "Yeah come tomorrow at like 1 or 2." It was super cool because if we hadn't been prompted, or followed the prompting to knock on the potential's door then we would have missed out on the opportunity to talk to Richard! The lesson with him went pretty well too so that was good!

Friday haha ok. So we tracted into someone while I was on an exchange and she was crazy. We prayed with her, then as soon as my companion said amen she started praying Spanish, but all she was saying was mumbo jumbo (I know enough Spanish to know what she was saying didn't make sense) and then she said "mucho mucho mucho mucho gracias. Gracias gracias mucho mucho mucho" forever! And she finally said amen and then we sat down to start teaching her and then her husband walks in. We start teaching and we're talking about how Heavenly Father loves us and then all of the sudden the husband starts yelling about all this weird stuff about how he gets in trouble for nothing. He went off for like 15 minutes. So finally he stops and then he walked out of the room. So we just basically restarted teaching and we probably retaught her the lesson like 6 times because she couldn't understand. The meeting was pretty crazy, but we'll still try to teach her!

Then on Saturday we were walking back to the apartment at like 8:55. We walked around this corner and right as we did this lady walked by the corner and we had enough time to say hi then she was by us. It was perfectly wrongly timed. Anyways we're like "Dangit!" because we never see anyone out walking! Well she turns around like 50 feet away and said, "Hey, do ya'll have any pamphlets?" So we gave her a few pamphlets and we taught and testified, and gave her our number. It was super sweet!

Well, that's about it for me here this week. I hope everyone back home has a great week! Keep the faith!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Week of January 20, 2014

How's it going? So there's a little bit more to write about in this week's email, but still nothing flooring. One of our Zone Leaders is going home in a couple weeks, so this transfer he's been trying to do exchanges with all the elders in our zone. So on Monday I was in Norman. The Zone Leader I was with actually went to the same high school as Payton Dastrup. He knows him too! His name is Elder Traasdhal. He's a great missionary! Anyways we exchanged after P-day, and he accidentally left his wallet in the church building, and didn't realize it until right before dinner. So I got to drive the zone leader's truck around! Haha that was on my missionary bucket list, so I can check that off now! haha That was a fun exchange though! We watched the Mormon message "Wrong Roads" by Elder Holland. I think that's what it was called… Anyways while I was watching it I had a story click in my mind. I was thinking back to the recruiting process, and how it felt right to go to Pepperdine. But things totally did not work out with that, and as soon as I found Davis I knew for 100% fact that Davis was where I needed to be. Looking back on it, I know that Davis was the best place for my life, and I did question a little why things felt good with Pepperdine, yet it didn't work out. Anyways that video helped me relate that. I shared that story with the less active we were visiting and the spirit was really strong as we talked. So that was sweet!

We had a really cool experience on Tuesday. I'll back it up to my study. I was thinking about Helaman 13, and how it says that the voice of the Lord came to Samuel the Lamanite. I was thinking a lot about that, and I realized that it probably wasn't a voice booming out from heaven, but rather exactly how the voice of the Lord comes to us- through a simple thought. When he acted on that thought, it was obvious that it was the Lord speaking to him. Well on Tuesday we were about a 25-30 minute walk from the apartment. It was about 8:30, so I was like. "Alright let's head back." We started to cross the street and Elder Barrett said, "We should go see our friend Ryan at the gas station." It's a guy who works at a gas station that we met. Anyways I said, "We probably don't have time tonight." We walked about 50 feet toward our apartment and I thought, "We should go visit him." So I said let's go and we turned around and walked about 5-10 minutes in the wrong direction to this gas station. We walked in and Ryan wasn't there. So Elder Barrett got something, and when we were checking out the lady there leaned forward and said, "I knew it! Are ya'll Mormons?" We said we were and she said, "I honk at ya'll all the time! I wanna here what ya'll have to say!" So we talked to her for a little bit and gave her a Book of Mormon! She doesn't live in our area, and she said her mom probably wouldn't let her have the missionaries over there, but maybe we can work it out. Anyways it was a way cool experience. The other cool thing was we walked a normal pace all the way back and we still made it back to the apartment at 9! I learned there's always time to follow the spirit! And now looking back at it, that was totally the voice of the Lord telling us to go there! That was my cool experience of the week.

Other than that not much else happened. We had a super powerful lesson with Lee, but she's just not willing to give up beer. She told us she'd call us if she wanted to meet with us, so we don't think we'll be invited back, but it was still a super powerful lesson and things went great, so we did all we can do.

Well that's about it for me here. Hope life in the real world is doing everybody well! Have a great week this week!