Sunday, April 23, 2017

Week 42: April 17, 2017

This past week was pretty good. We had our zone conference in Antioch, my old area. It was great to see the same old streets in good old Antioch. Not much has changed there. After zone conference, we went back to the burger place that I have mentioned in previous emails. If you've been a long time reader of my emails, you may remember a giant burger that I've talked about. Our zone went and we filled up the little burger place. Since I've had this giant burger multiple times, I figured I'd try something else on the menu. My companion has passed the Antioch Initiation. He finished the burger and the fries. He is now qualified to work in Antioch if he is ever transferred there.

A lot of people that we meet with and talk to are referred to us through online sources. People will request a Bible or a Book of Mormon or missionaries in general. These referrals are then texted to us through the computerized system. Unfortunately, sometimes, these texts are sent at like 3 in the morning which has happened a few times this week. Good times.

We met a lot of really cool people this week. Many of them are very interested in hearing more about the gospel and the message we share. It's incredible to see how these people have come to have the missionaries in their lives and how the Lord has prepared them for this moment. I love this work and I see blessings and miracles every single day. I love you all and I can't wait to hear from you next week!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Week 41: April 10, 2017

This past week was a great one. We were able to set two new baptismal dates with Raphael and Pat. Raphael is the son of a member in the Spanish ward. He has mentioned that he is satisfied with his life physically and financially but feels that there is a hole in the spiritual aspect of his life. As we talked this past week, he gradually guided the conversation closer and closer to himself getting baptized. We were able to set a date with him. He is doing very well and continues to come to church and progress. Pat's parents were both members but renounced the church when she was very young and she never got baptized. She continuously expresses the desire she has for baptism but keeps evading a commitment. After talking with her, we expressed our testimonies of the Holy Ghost and the blessings that come with it. We were able to set a baptismal date as a goal for her to pray about. 

Sierra, our recent convert, has been doing very very well. She has been assigned visiting teachers and has also been assigned to be a visiting teacher! She spoke at a recent fireside that our mission had called "Why I Believe" where recent converts share their testimony. She did great. She also signed up to feed us in a few weeks and has also told us that she wants to come with us to missionary appointments to share her testimony with others. Awesome to say the least.

Today, we had a fun zone activity where we went to a trampoline fun house called "Sky High" I couldn't quite hype myself to do a backflip but I did have fun jumping into the foam pit. We also played dodgeball with a bunch of little kids who were also there. For those of you who know me, you know that I absolutely did not go easy on them. Hahaha just kidding. But it was definitely a good time. 

Also, an update on those doggie treats. There was a fenced in housing complex with a big ole dog inside. We simply gave it a treat and walked in and he followed us around and was overall a good dog. 10/10 would pet again. And from that, we were able to find a new investigator for the Spanish elders hahaha they were like, "How did you get in here??" and then they saw the ruthless guard dog smiling up at us and following us like a meek little puppy. 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Week 40: April 3, 2017

Hey Everybody!

This past week was pretty great. Elder Roberts, from Hickory Creek, Texas, has had to endure many Spongebob quotes regarding, "dumb old Texas" but he seems to be holding up well. We've had a great week and an amazing General Conference weekend (which I will get to in a  second).

Sierra is, as usual, doing very very well. We talked to her again about the Plan of Salvation and were able to go a little deeper into doctrine and details. She has a great spirit about her and is earnestly seeking for more. She has already related to us how much the Spirit has influenced her life just these past few weeks. It's really awesome to see the blessings the gospel has in someone's life and watching as they recognize it and are grateful for it. It has made me really appreciate more the gift of the Holy Ghost, something I've taken for granted.

We had this genius idea to buy doggie treats to give out to random pups on the streets so that 1. We can make friends and 2. They don't eat us. A lot of people here have dogs. Big dogs. So far, it's been a big hit and even a good teaching tool. Often times, when we talk to people who are just walking their dog, they easily use the excuse of them walking their dog to keep going and not talk. However, upon offering their dog a treat, we are able to stand and have a conversation and eventually tie it into the gospel.

The message I truly loved from this past conference was from Elder Dale G Renlund. He spoke about seeing people as Heavenly Father sees them and not looking down on people for their sins. God loves us no matter what, even though He cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance. No one is perfect. Just as a healer spends his time among the sick and the afflicted, the people who desperately need his help, so should we spend our time among those who need our help instead of criticizing them and looking down on them. I really loved the overall theme of "love one another" throughout all of conference, regardless of race, gender, religious background, sexual orientation, it doesn't matter. We are all brothers and sisters, sons and daughters of a Heavenly Father who loves us all equally and unconditionally.

I love you all for your emails, love, support, and prayers. 

Week 39: March 27, 2017

This past week was great! My new companion, Elder Roberts is from Hickory Creek, Texas. He has been out a year and is a great missionary. We've had a great week of finding! We were able to pick up 6 new investigators this week. Sierra got confirmed as a member and received the holy ghost. She's still doing awesome and continues to progress. We are looking forward to great things happening in this area in the coming weeks. 

Usually, as missionaries, we struggle with gates locking us out. Not this time. We were walking into a gated home (the gate was open) and this guy was on his way out. We talked to him for a bit but he said he was headed out and pointed us to the house to talk to the woman in there. We talked with her and she wasn't super interested so we started to head back out. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to us, the gentleman had locked the gate on his way out, thus leaving us stuck within the confines of the fence. Looking left, then right, then left again, we waited until no one was around and jumped the fence. We hurried and left the scene of the crime before anyone else saw. Good times.

On one of the days this week, we were having kind of a rough tracting session. There wasn't a lot of success or people opening the door. It seemed like a really long street. But at the end of the street, there was a big dog behind a little fence and he was the nicest dog. He propped himself up over the fence to say hi and we played with him for a bit before it got weird.

It was a great week with lots of miracles, lots of blessings, and lots of good times. We look forward to all that the Lord has in store this upcoming week!