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!