Monday, August 26, 2013

August 26, 2013

Dear Family,
This week was another great one in Meadows Stake! It started off pretty slow and we were not able to have many lessons because our preparation day was mixed up due to our temple trip on Wednesday. Nevertheless we were able to have a lesson with Teki and we read 3 Nephi 11 with her. We discussed baptism and we committed her to be baptized. She said that she wanted her kids to be baptized and she also asked whether she could be baptized again. So we explained that the authority is necessary and that authority was gone after the apostles died. Once we told her about that  and related that it was necessary  for the restoration of the gospel, in order for that authority to be restored, she was so excited that she finally understood! So her and two of her 3 kids are going to be baptized soon! Unfortunately, she did not come to church this week so we are going to have to make sure she is committed. 
We did, finally, have an investigator at church this week! His name is Reese and he was welcomed very well by the ward! He fell asleep a few times but he seemed to have a good time anyway :)
We were able to also get in touch with another investigator, Demario. We talked on his door step with him for over an hour about the restoration. He believes that there was an apostasy from the original church and he basically believes everything that we do. However he seems to feel that there is no need for one man to be a prophet and he thinks that everyone today is a prophet. So we asked him how well that seems to be working out for the world today! He said he would go to and watch videos of Thomas S. Monson and that he would read the Book of Mormon as well.
We had another lesson with Karma on Sunday. We introduced Elder Manning to her and talked a little bit about events that are going on in her life. Then I felt like I should bring up prayer, something that we discussed in earlier lessons. In previous lessons she has expressed that she does not believe in prayer, as she has prayed when she was younger but it did not seem to help.  So I brought it up and explained how prayer is to bring our will to our Father in Heavens will, not to bring His will to ours. I told her that her that I believe her prayers as a young child are being answered at the present, as missionaries are meeting with her now. I told her just to think about her relationship with God and think of how God may have been in her life in earlier years. To me that seems like a form of prayer; at least it is better than her not praying at all!
We had an elders quorum activity on Saturday. The activity was to go in a certain neighborhood and knock doors to try to find people interested in the Gospel. Only the Elders quorum presidency and Elder Manning and I showed up but it was a good experience. We need more elders!!!!
This week has been great and the work is finally progressing!!!
love you all!
Elder John
"If you pray for strength, the Lord will give you something to lift"

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

August 21, 2013

This is going to be a great transfer! This first week, however, was difficult. We were not able to have a good number of lessons but we are working on finding new investigators and working with the investigators that we have, who actually want to learn.
We had some very funny experiences this week as well! While we were tracting we had knocked on a door and this Hispanic man opens and motions for us to enter. we slowly walked in and he said something about them already having a meeting. We thought it was with another faith but as we walked into the main room we saw three Spanish speaking missionaries sitting on the couch. We felt bad because we interrupted their lesson but the woman said that this experience just shows her that the message we have to share is really important and that she needs to listen to it.
We had another funny experience while contacting a man. He was pushing on his tires with his feet to check the tire pressure (how they helps you know if they are flat is a mystery to me) and I said, "Checking your tire pressure?" followed by a laugh that I can only spell as "hurph". and we kept on walking and it was super awkward! but that's how missionary work is! haha
It is great serving with Elder Manning! He is going home in a few months and I am excited to continue serving with him near the close of his mission.  I am going to learn a lot from him and I have learned much so far. He is a great missionary and I feel dwarfed compared to his gospel knowledge and mission experience.
We had the opportunity to go to the temple today so sorry that I didn't email Monday. The temple is an amazing place and everyone should have their goal be the temple. Our goal as missionaries is not only to bring people to the covenant of baptism but also to help guide and prepare them for the temple.
Things are going really well and we are working hard. A lot of tracting and contacting which, hopefully, I am getting better at. We are here to find the elect that want to hear this message so for all you missionaries don't worry if you mess up or think you say something dumb because it wont matter either way! If they are ready they will still accept it if you are trying your hardest!
Love you all!!
Elder John

Monday, August 12, 2013

August 12, 2013

Dear Family,
This week went pretty well. It started off very slow as we did not have any lessons at the beginning of the week and it seemed as though none would come.  Wednesday was specifically a trial when no one we knocked on opened the door. All or our potentials and some less active members that we tried to visit did not open. We knocked on the door of a potential investigator named Myca (Mica). I was thinking in my head, "we have knocked on her door 10 times in the past transfer she has opened once and never let us in. She will not open and she is not interested." Well she answered the door and before we could say anything she said, "come in... do you have a message to share?"  so we went in and got to know her a little better and then we shared the message of the Restoration with her. When we asked her about how she felt/what she thought after we shared the First Vision she answered like it had been a fact of history that was shared in the U.S. History text books. we committed her to be baptized and the lesson went very well! We are finally having success!
I feel that I have faith that something good will happen in the future and that we will have success at some point, but it is very hard to realize that something good can happen when the entire day everything is going wrong. I will try to stay positive even through those hard days because sometimes the Holy Ghost will slap you across the face and get you to wake up to your blessings!
We also were able to get another new investigator, Reese. We were only able to teach a few principles from the Restoration lesson because he like to talk a lot but he is great!
I think that 9:00 church is too early for some of the people here because we have not had any of our investigators come to church, even though they are very excited to come!!!
I love you,
Elder John
"We know that God loves his children. Sometimes that has to be enough" -Elder Maxwell (paraphrased a bit)

Monday, August 5, 2013

August 5, 2013

Dear Family,
this has been a bitter sweet week. We were able to get a couple media referrals and from them able to get two new investigators. They live right next door to each other in an apartment complex that we call the "homicide apartments" because there are always police cars there :). One of them Jackie is in her 30's and her father is a very religious man and she said that 'he can tell you how every religion is wrong. its amazing'. so of course she had some questions that he had put into her head. One of them was of the Sabbath day being Saturday instead of Sunday. I told her that I can show her in the Bible how the day changed from Saturday to Sunday and we also explained that it was changed to commemorate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. She then proceeded to call her dad and tell him the great news of what we opened her mind to! After me arguing with him for a little while we said that we don't want to argue and then after hanging up the phone told her that we teach truth and she needs to pray about it. She seems lie she will be a great investigator!
The other investigator we were able to meet with was actually referred to us by Jackie. According to Jackie, her neighbor needed some financial help of which he heard that the church might help out with. When we were finally able to meet with the neighbor her situation was a bit different than what we expected. Her name is Teke and she was just looking for a job. we went in and talked with her for a while and told her about the church's recourses and about what we do as missionaries At the end of the conversation she was like 'man you guys are pretty cool. I was expecting you to come in and shove that literature down my throat. But you guys did a very good job!".
We were also able to get some good progress with our other investigators Karma, Gary, and a few others.
The down side to this week was that no one came to church! we had 3 individuals that we were totally expecting to come and a few others that were questionable. but no one came! I was very... disappointed. and the ward mission leader, as we were talking about them not showing up said, "our job is not to worry. Our job is to work". So that is the little bit of wisdom that I would like to leave with all of you! no matter the situation that you find yourself in and no matter the trials that come your way. "Our job is not to worry. Our job is to work."
Elder John