Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29, 2013

Dear Family,
This week has been going very slow! we are trying to meet with a hundred different investigators and potential investigators and non of them can meet!!! hopefully this week we will do better with lessons. but I did have a great lesson that made the whole week worth it! We visited a less active family that we visit about once every 2 weeks and the son was at home (we have never met him). He is in his high 20's and he has a real desire to come back to church. since his family moved to the United States from the Philippines he has not been active, since age 14. He has a non member wife and he discussed the challenges of having a non member spouse and how he doesn't feel comfortable going to her church. We told him that if he lives up to his covenants that he has made that he can receive all the blessings that Heavenly Father has promised him and everything will work out.  
We had a lesson with a potential that our ward mission team found while "member finding". He has had open heart surgery and he has other heart problems/ But he is very knowledgeable about the Bible and he is eager to learn truth. We were able to get him a large print Book of Mormon and he is eager to read! We are very excited to have another progressing investigator!
We were also able to have another lesson with our potential investigator Karma. Her husband seems more interested than she is so that is good! Kinda haha. she has had a hard life and she doesn't believe in anything. she said that she has tried prayer before but it didn't work then so why should it work now. So we are still working with her.
We were also able to finally have a lesson with our investigator Nelsy. She doesn't seem to believe in Christ and we are working on helping her with that. We asked her if she believes that the bad things we do have an eternal consequence. then we talked about justice and mercy. hopefully we will be able to meet with her soon! 
Thank you for all of your support and prayers!!!
Love you all!
Elder John

Monday, July 22, 2013

July 22, 2013

This week went fairly well. We didn't get to teach that many lessons but we were able to do some service and meet a few new people. We had a lesson with a pm/la family and their two young girls. One is 4 and the other is 6 years old. They have not had any upbringing in any church or anything relating to God. We taught them how Christ takes away our sins. we used the analogy of cleaning our rooms. We asked 'do you always clean your rooms exactly how mom wants it?' we then explained that we can do all that we are able to do and then mom will help us clean it up and finish it the way she wants it. The girls were so cute during the lesson! After the prayer we told them that they could open their eyes and after a few minutes told them that they can unfold their arms. haha so great!
We are also going to start teaching a la family with a 13 year old boy that is not a member. The dad is a very funny guy! when we call he sounds like he is bored until he finds out that it is the missionaries calling. After he learns who we are he says, 'This is the missionaries??!!" in a loud voice.
We had a party for the 24th of July this last Saturday. We have invited literally everyone we have talked to and nobody came!!! It was still a very fun event! we had Dutch oven chicken and vegetables. Elder Sanders and I were in charge of a few dutch ovens and got to help cook. It was 109 outside and plus the head of cooking the food, it was almost enough to make my tag melt. (I thought it actually might). But the party was not a complete failure, missionary wise. A returning less active, Ryan, brought one of his roommates and we invited her to come to the next lesson we have with him. She said she believes in God and I said, 'Well then we will talk about God.'
We had a lesson with an investigator this week who is our closest to being baptized. However, she does not have a social security number and does not want to quit her job, seeing that it will be even harder to find one without a green card. And She needs to quit her job to be able to come to church! So we will see! We told her to fast and pray about it and she has a lot of faith so I'm sure she will be able to find something.
I love you all and hope all is going well!
Elder John
"God does not send thunder when a still small voice is enough" - Elder Maxwell

Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15, 2013

Another great week! We were able to go on exchanges with the asistants on Wednesday and we had a great time! We were able to teach some good people that need to come back to church and also a recent convert as well.
We are working with the Stake to find out ways that we can improve working with the wards more. Elder Sanders and I are also working on an incentive that we can create so that the Zone will reach more baptisms in the future.
We had a lot of lessons cancel on us this week but we were still able to teach a few people. We were able to meet with one of our progressing investigators, Jasmine. She has had trouble in the past understanding, recognizing, and feeling the  spirit. We went in to start the lesson and we asked how her reading was going. she said that she read and prayed to know if it was true and then she felt that it was true and was able to recognize the spirit. I was so excited!!! When people actually do what we give them and want to progress, it happens! we then gave our lesson that we prepared on the holy ghost. we showed the Mormon messages from elder Bednar, Patterns of Light. We invited her to church but she wasn't able to come this week.
We were able to meet with a potential investigator Shirley. She opened the door and said 'Ive been drinking'. she then stammered out of the door and told us how here work had shorted her on her pay check and she was very upset... crying and a lot of stuff. we pulled out our book of Mormons to give her comfort. as we were doing that she asked if we could share the story from the bible about the well... So I was very grateful that I knew where the woman at the well story was! We pulled it out and talked about it then elder Sanders read 3 nephi 11. about putting the kingdom of heaven first. She came to church this last week and I was so grateful because I spoke Sunday about Finding Happiness. She really needs to find happiness through the Gospel.
I closed with reading Isaiah 53 and then said 'Jesus Christ died for you, so what are you going to do about it?'  I explained that through the gospel of Jesus Christ we can choose to be happy through our trials and find strength through the atonement of Christ. Its all up to us!
I love you all! Sorry I don't have much time left!
Elder John

Monday, July 8, 2013

July 8, 2013

Dear Family,
I love being in the Meadows 1st ward! It is a lot different from Red Rock however!
This is a very low income area but the people are great! (and interesting at times). We have a while list of potential investigators and we are working on visiting them. most of them are not home but we have been able to set up appointments with some of them. My zone leader in my previous area told me of his observation of missionary work, while on exchanges. He said, "its funny that all we do for two years is knock on peoples doors for 2 years and see if they are home". Its so true! all we do is knock on their door and see if they are home. if they are then we say what we need to and see if they would be interested, if we could set up a time... and so on.
Elder Sanders is a great missionary! He is very quiet but we get along great.
I love living and breathing missionary work 24/7!!!
We were able to have a lesson with a returning less active member on Thursday and it is great to see the change in people! He has tattoos all over and he looks pretty rough. but he is the kindest guy in the world! from age 15 he was out of the house and into selling drugs. Now he is in his 30s and he is changing his life. He talked about all of the horrible things that are on tv and even on commercials. He has been able to recognize areas of his life that he needs to improve on and he is doing it.
We had a discussion with a man named, Demario. He was a potential that neither of us have met before. We knock on the door and the first thing he says is, "hey guys I'm really not interested". but the conversation soon changed and we were able to see what he thought about religion. He does not believe in organized religion but he does believe in the original church that Christ set up. He basically taught us the Great Apostasy while he talked. We told him that the original church of Christ is back on the earth. we talked for over an hour in 113 degree heat on his door step and it was good to finally be able to see him grasp what we were trying to say. For most of the conversation we were trying to tell him that what he was saying is exactly what we teach! and he wasn't getting it! But by the end he started to understand and he was willing to have us back again.
I love the mission and cant wait to get out there and meet some more awesome people!
Elder John
"wishing will not make it so. The Lord expects our thinking. He expects our acting. He expects our labors. He expects our testimonies. He expects our devotion." - President Monson

Monday, July 1, 2013

July 1, 2013

This week has been great! I am being transfered to the Meadows 1st ward in the Meadows Stake. My companion and I are the zone leaders there and his name is Elder Sanders. I dont know him very well but he is very quiet so things should be great! haha
we were finally able to meet our mission president and his wife; President and Sister Ahlander. They did a power point presentation at a chapel with the whole missoin! it was very warm in that room :) They seem really nice and they have great stories and experiences that they shared with us!
We finally were able to get one of our investigators, mimi, to pray last week! this week we didnt even have to give her reasons why she should pray in front of us. After the lesson all we did was say, 'will you give us the closing prayer?' and she did it. She is progressing very well and I cant wait for her to be baptized! she said she wants to get baptized in October but we asked her to pray and see when God wants her to be baptized.
I have learned much in this area while serving with Elder Pierre-Louis. I have learned to be patient. I have learned to give my opinion and stick to it without allowing others to feel bad. Elder Pierre-Louis said the other day 'if you dont get what you want its your own fault'. and I feel that is true but its still ok if I dont get what I want because I could force my way and finally get what I want, but at the end of the day I wont have very many people that like me.
This week we were able to have a lot of great opportunities to talk to people! We met a 90 year old Italian guy who loves to talk with his hands! and we were also able to meet a guy who we met while knocking doors who actually seemed very interested!
This really wasnt a missionary experience like those but ater we had our mission meeting with the new mission president we went to 7-eleven to get lunch and when we walked in there was a female employee smoking outside and inside the 50ish year old female employee was helping all of these customers by her self. she had a line and she got us our hot dogs from behind the counter and she seemed to handle everything very well. we waited for everyone to leave, then bought our lunch. I asked her how long she had been working there and she said only 8 months. I said 'wow, it seems like you have been working here for a long time. You are doing very well.' I told her how well she handles the customers and how she can keep her cool. she then said, 'God bless you. I've had the worst day. that just made my day. God bless you'.
Let us not keep our good words to ourselves! :)
I am happy to be able to serve in Meadows 1st ward with new challenges and great experiences ahead!
Elder John