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!