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?