Thursday, August 22, 2013

Consider the Lillies

P-Day was moved to today, (Wednesday) sorry if you worried about not hearing from me Monday. Part of our mission went to the temple this morning. It was way cool, every time I go, I learn something knew and enjoy it more.
I feel really grateful this past week. Lessons everyday and teaching new people. Also had a solid 4 days of doing service every morning with different people.
Last Sunday Darren Thames just showed up to church. Surprised us all, we had a great time with him. He loved it. By being a former minister and having a Master's degree in religion he participated well and was quick to understand things. His neighbor's are members and invited him and his family over for Dinner on Monday. We went by and had a good family home evening with both families. It was way fun.
In the past, nearly every day the conversation of me going to brazil gets brought up with someone. My least favorite questions are "You're still here? What's taking so long? Why don't you have it? ect." However I was happy when it was brought up with Darren and his family, he said "I hope you don't get it, I need ya to work here."
Yesterday we visited a less active family, the Houston's. Our last visit a few weeks ago I shared the spiritual thought "consider the Lilies." The story about You and our family, and how the Lord has blessed us. The Houston's went on a trip to visit family in California and told me they must have shared that story 3 times with people. It had such a profound effect on them.
We've been working a lot with a family I love deeply, the Hunsickers. (I think I'll write a letter about them and the cool experience of teaching them). I have often found that my experiences, and especially my trials of hard times that I shared with them, made a difference in their life. After visiting that family, I feel so strongly, "this is one of the reasons I was reassigned here." It has blown my mind, on how the Lord has used what I am for what this family needed. I think the Lord does the same for all his missionaries and people, regardless of how unqualified or how many faults he or she may have, that missionary or person may be the exact voice some need to hear. Our times of hardship and trial, can give us so much more love and compassion for others and we will be better able to help them draw closer to the Savior. Our simple testimony, can be the very power of God unto the convincing of men.  
I am so grateful to be here, right here. This is exactly where the Lord wants me, for how long is still unknown, but I am grateful I didn't have to wait until Brazil to see miracles. I have learned things I hope I never forget. I hope I never forget how good I feel. I have learned so much, the deepest questions answered.
 I love my family!   Love you all.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What People Expect... (photos)

What people expect from a missionary like me

What they probably get

What they expect from the 3 of us

What we are really like

Monday, August 12, 2013

??Questions Qusestions??

Wuz up Family? Something I've learned, is questions are amazing! Being asked questions can be awesome, whether they come from investigators, random people, or members. It gives a great opportunity to explain doctrine in simple terms, and bear testimony. Some questions are just awesome, we knocked on the Hold's door (The one family that had the dog that pee'd on Elder Titus) the father, Conrad, first tried to dismiss us at first, But we offered just to answer any questions he had about our religion. He then asked the best question I've been asked yet.  "I hear a lot of people who go to your church, say 'I've learned so much.' And I just always hear things like that from Mormons. So my question is, why is that you do learn so much, and what is something you've learned by being a member?"  With him standing in the doorway and us standing outside, I guess it was my first doorstep lesson, We spent the next 20 min bearing testimony. How we've learned of the very real relationship you can have with Heavenly Father, and how much he loves us. The atoning Sacrifice of the Savior. How much the Gospel blesses families and they can be sealed together forever. . When we each finished, he had tears in his eyes as he expressed the way he felt for his family and towards God. He had felt the spirit strongly as we spoke with him.
Other questions are pretty funny. A member asked me yesterday "So, self-checkout. That's okay to shop on Sunday. Because I'm not making anyone work, right?" (Can't believe I never thought of that one) Destry
I've learned asking inspired questions make a huge difference. Teaching a lesson, is more of just having a conversation with someone. I once felt impressed to ask Ryan, "what has been your favorite part about meeting with us?" He was silent for like a whole minute! I almost felt uncomfortable, but knew I just needed to wait for his response. He began to cry (People cry a lot here.....I nearly expect to see someone to cry everyday....for good reasons most of the time) as he expressed how great it feels to get back to reading the scriptures again. He hadn't realized how much he was missing out on, he thought he was having a good time and things were all good, but he hadn't realize how far he had gone from God, and he is grateful because from the day he met us he began to pray, and read, and search for the truth. He has found great joy in gaining that relationship.
There is this awesome family, the Hardingers,( Do you use a fake name when you put it on the blog? I just think it would be funny if one of the people I was talking about found the blog, and was like, hey! That's me) (For the record, no but I have kept names out when I feel it is appropriate.) Brother Hardinger went inactive at age 12 or something. His wife, people told me when they knew her a year ago they thought she'd be the last on to join the church. She went to Catholic school her whole life and hard feelings towards Mormons. They have 3 boys. And the wife and kids actually got baptized like 6 months ago and are now in our ward. We go over every week or so to help them out. They feel like they don't know much about the Gospel, and most of the time we just tell them you know enough. We've helped Sister Hardinger accepted a call to be a visiting teacher, and Brother Hardinger just got the Melchezidek Priesthood yesterday( and yeah, he cried). We are helping them get their family to the temple, it's been awesome to see how much they are growing.  
I dunno what else to really say. I could tell more stories, but I don't really like writing these emails, I bore myself. Does anyone actually read that blog? When I see other missionaries letters home it's like "Hey ya'll, things are good. Still teaching. Church is true I think. Eat good. Love ya." I'm over here typing away a big ol novel of the crying people I see.  
Eh, Love you mom! Thanks so much for everything! I love you Daddio! I love you Jo and doh, and Rayna and Sienna and Lilly! (And Toby, but I try not to think about him, or I might cry...just kidding)

Done in the lords time

Thanks for everything mom!  Crazy to think that dad is really close to where I am right now. If I did see him, of course I would love it and be filled with great joy. Yet, I would also think it would throw me out of whack, and take time for me to refocus after, you know?
Had a good Sunday yesterday, the Bishop got up and made an announcement or rather a challenge for every person in there. He said that he would like to challenge our ward to invite one of their neighbors over for dinner this week, it has to be someone you haven't invited over before. We should change our prayers from "please bless that the missionaries will find someone to teach, rather to, please help us (meaning the members) find someone." The buzz, and excitement for missionary work in this ward is amazing. We have the one of the smallest geographical ward boundaries in the state, with only about 6 blocks. Yet, we are having a lot of work to do as missionaries. Members have told us many times, how a year ago this place was dead or stagnant as far as missionary work goes. There was nothing, if anything, more were going inactive. Now with the new baptisms, the investigators and all the lessons, the less actives are becoming active. Members are stunned to see people at church they haven't seen in years. They get excited to find out we are teaching at their neighbors house because they gave us their name. Members are becoming more involved in being missionaries themselves. One of my favorites is Sister Bay, she's around 80 years old. yet is just a fireball. She walks around her neighborhood for exercise and says hello to every person she sees. Last week she asked us to give her 3 copies of the book of Mormon for people she would like to give to. 1 in Italian, 1 in Spanish, and 1 in English. She is a great fellowshipper in the ward, she makes an effort to talk to every person we bring to church and get to know them. Even though she's old, and hard of hearing at times, she is one of the best missionaries I know, haha. She also made me a pillow :D
Things are done in the Lord's time. As my ward mission Leader (Bro Hawley) was telling us yesterday, he use to tell me goodbye after everytime I saw him, like it would be the last time, because I would get a Visa and leave. Now, he acts as though I won't leave for a while, because things are done in the Lord's time, and he is convinced I am meant to be here to be apart of this push for the work. As am I. I am pumped for the work going on, and I'm excited to see more about to come forth here. I can only see things going up and up, and it's awesome.
I love you mom! I really love my family. Thanks for everything. I miss you all so much. Tchau Tchau