Tuesday, June 10, 2014

June 9th - Week 33

   Picking back up from last week, after p-day last week some of the guys in our ward took us out to dinner at Famous Dave's BBQ and bought us full racks of delicious ribs! Neither of us could finish even a half rack, it came with so many ribs. So we had ribs for lunch for 4 days after that ha-ha. When we got back from famous Dave's Bishop called us and invited us to have family home evening at his house. That's what we did Monday.

   Tuesday wasn't the greatest of days, just felt kind of unproductive. We couldn't find the car keys in the morning after we were done studying and we spent an hour and a half looking for them then finally found them lodged between the wall and Elder Hopkins bed ha-ha. Then we couldn't go anywhere because the housing coordinators for the mission came and checked out our apartment to decide if they wanted to keep it or not. They talked to us for a while, and we are not getting a new apartment, the mission is keeping the one we live in now. That took up our lunch so we had a quick snack then we had to get to Bryan's. We had a quick lesson with him, he's still working on recognizing the spirit. This lesson was rough though because he had a hard time staying focused. Later in the afternoon we got a member to come out with us and just be there with us while we went to contact people. It was great to have him with us! He had a great time being with us too. We were able to talk to all the less active members we stopped by while we were with him and he was a big help encouraging those people to come out to church. It's a lot different for a member of the ward to invite someone to church versus when we missionaries invite someone to church. After we finished visiting people with him we had to get over to the Campoverde's for dinner and a lesson. We had a good time at their place. For the lesson we went in the backyard and made a huge V with a long rope and had everyone walk down the V keeping a foot on each end of the rope. We had them go for as far as they could before they had to choose which side of the rope they wanted to commit to. We talked a lot about Matthew 6:24 and how we have to choose who to serve like how we had to choose what side of the rope to commit to so we could get to the end of it. That lesson went really well, it was perfect for the kids.

   Wednesday we spent the first half of the day doing a mission wide iPad update. The rest of the day was pretty busy after that. We had a really powerful lesson with Britney on the plan of salvation. After we got through the lesson she told us she wants to get to the temple as soon as she can (which might be a while). Britney has been doing really well lately as far as being involved with the ward and setting apart time every day for prayers and scripture study. She's just having a hard time making the next big step in her life... Herman came with us to Britney's and we had a discussion with him after we met with Britney. It's been hard getting Herman to change some things but we had a good discussion with him. Can't really go any further into detail there but... Anyway, We went right over to Andrew's house after that. We went through the restoration with him this time and throughout the lesson we could tell that he had some thoughts in his mind. The discussion went really well and at the end we committed him to prepare to receive the Melchizedek priesthood. After we asked him if he would take those steps to prepare, he told us that since we first started visiting him, advancing in the priesthood is something that he's seriously been thinking about and something he really wants. He also told us his girlfriend is interested in checking out the church (we've never met his girlfriend), and he told us how grateful he was to have us meeting with him. That lesson was a great experience, something that I hope I can make happen more often in the future. The rest of the night we spent at the church for food and coordination meeting.

   Thursday was a longer day. We had a good zone training in the morning, then interviews with President Anderson in the afternoon. The interview went pretty well, all I can really say is this upcoming transfer call might be interesting. I'm excited to see what happens. We we're only able to get through half of our weekly planning after interviews before we had to travel down to an appointment with Gloria and DJ. We just focused on discussing faith with them. Gloria had some interesting experiences she shared with us but Gloria and DJ are coming along slowly but surely. They're at the bottom of our area, after we met with them we had to travel all the way up to the top of our area for another appointment with the Tuvell's. They had us over for dinner and Brother Tuvell is an avid member missionary. For most of the time we were there he just shared with us cool experiences he's had in the past. If he didn't work so often, I think he would have had most of his close neighbors visiting the church every now and then.

   Friday we had to finish up our weekly planning, we did that in the morning through the afternoon. Late afternoon, some members from the Moorestown ward took us out to a late lunch and introduced us to one of their friends who works at the thai restaurant they took us to. The members that took us out we the Dunn's and their friends name is Toetoe. Toetoe is from Burmese and speaks Thai... The Dunn's speak Thai so they translated everything we tried to say to Toetoe. She understands a little bit of English but not much; she speaks very little English as well. It was a really cool experience talking to her though. Unfortunately she only works in our area, she doesn't live in our area.... I don't think we'll be teaching her. We had a lesson with Bryan after lunch/dinner then we had to run over to an appointment with the Brownlow's. Brother Brownlow cooked us some good food (I don't know what it was but it was good), and after we ate we discussed the word of wisdom and the testimony he's gained by living it. He's growing pretty strong in the church. The rest of Friday night we spent some time visiting people. We finally met Brother Bryant Friday night! He's an interesting guy. His family is the one's that have been inviting us over for dinner and lessons, but he's the only member in his family and he's never home. Interesting stuff.

   Saturday we did a lot of service, more than just working at the storehouse. Bishop Zmuda asked us if we could start mowing his neighbor's lawn for him and doing some yard work since he just broke his back. His neighbor, pap pap, is not a member so of course we did it. Pap ended up liking us a lot and loved what we did with his yard and told us to come back and do it again in a week or two. Service took up most of the day. We had dinner then went out to try and get a hold of people for the rest of the day.

   Yesterday, Sunday, went by pretty quick. Church went by fast, we were able to meet with Brother Brownlow right after church again, we were able to contact some less active members, and Sunday night one of the members in the ward introduced us to one of their friends. The friend seemed nice but the member just wanted to introduce us, his friend isn't interested in church...On our way back
home Sunday evening we felt like we needed to stop by a family we haven't seen in a while. It was interesting because when we stopped by this family, the Carmona's, they asked us to give them blessings. It was a really cool experience; Sister Carmona bore a strong testimony to us afterwards. She's been trying really hard to stop working on Sunday's and start coming to church. Things are starting to slowly work out for her.

   I'm glad I've been given this opportunity to serve a mission. There are so many amazing spiritual experiences I've had and so many people I've been able to help because of this and these experiences are something I would never trade for anything.

June 6th - Week 32

   So this week was kind of interesting because Memorial Day was Monday, school is getting out, and a good handful of the families in the ward are moving. Monday after P-day we met with Alfonz. He is awesome. The only thing that's holding him back from being baptized is his family and his health... That we know of so far. He's Italian so his family means everything to him and nobody else in his family really listens to us, mostly his wife, and he doesn't want to "dis-honor his family". As far as his health goes, he has the same cancer that Grandma Owen had. He's doing well for what he has but he's having a hard time getting around. Whenever we go over to see him he runs and grabs his copy of the Book of Mormon and asks "what are we going to read today" ha-ha. I really hope we can get his family involved when we keep going to see him.

   On Tuesday we had some cool experiences. We met with Tom in the afternoon and he agreed to start having us over every Sunday night to do a family home evening type thing with him and the rest of his family. Then as we were walking around trying to find people to teach we stopped by Sister Hewlett's house and met her 14 year old son, Sean (not a member). We talked to both of them about how they were doing for a little bit then we talked to them about reading the Book of Mormon. We ended up giving Sean his own copy of the Book of Mormon and Sister Hewlett said they are going to read her favorite story together before we see them again tomorrow. After that, Tuesday night when we went over for dinner at the Campoverde's, and the lesson afterwards went extremely well. We went over the second half of the plan of salvation and there were no disruptions. At the end of the lesson almost everyone voluntarily bore their testimony on the atonement too.

   Wednesday was an interesting day, just one of those days. Nobody would talk to us Wednesday. We had a lesson with Herman, and it went really well, but afterwards he took us out for a quick dinner and he just went on talking about the weirdest things... But other than that nobody else would talk to us. We would pull in front of a person's house who we planned to visit, and we would see all these people out we could talk to before we visit this person. As soon as we get out of the car, everyone would go inside. Not kidding. As soon as people saw us they would hide. Then the people we planned to stop by weren't home or didn't answer the door for us either. Wednesday was a slower day, but you can't enjoy the good without experiencing some of the bad right!

   Thursday was a good day. After district meeting we had a lesson with Britney (less active) and it was pretty much perfect. We talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ with her, and we had some other members with us that know her really well, the Prichard's. It was exactly what she needed. She was holding back tears for the last half of the lesson and the Prichard's related to her very well. She is getting her act together very quickly and intently. After we met with her we went back and got through half of planning before we had dinner at the Hansen's home. The Hansen's just moved into the ward and they're just what the ward needed to help compensate for all those who are moving out. They're a really cool younger family and Brother Hansen is already looking for opportunities to talk about the gospel with the people he works with. Since we only got through half of planning on Thursday we had to finish the other half Friday morning.

   Friday afternoon we met with Bryan and that didn't go all that well. He's still having a really hard time recognizing the spirit, if he recognizes it. After we saw him we went to an appointment we had with an eternal investigator named Cheryl, she's been meeting with missionaries for about 4 ever. She has no way to really get around but she loves the Book of Mormon. We met with her quickly and helped her understand why she's going through the hardships she's enduring right now. it was an interesting lesson. For the rest of the night a member had us reserved to help move some furniture between houses. He asked us to help so we could meet his non-member relatives. We were excited to meet them but they wanted nothing to do with us at the moment ha-ha. I'm glad he introduced us though, you never know what kind of impact you can really make.

   Saturday we helped more people move. Members from the ward next to us, the Medford ward, have family that were moving within our area and they asked us to help. Awesome experience! The Mass's were the ones who had non-member family moving. It was Brother Mass's niece, Jamie, and nephew in law, Greg, and their son Ayden. They remind me of the Shearers! Greg sounds and acts just like Marty! and Jamie is a fit chick like Tina. To funny. We helped them move most of the day and it went really well. We did have some appointments scheduled but they both called and canceled/rescheduled so we were able to help for most of the day. Later in the evening Greg called us and thanked us then told us as soon as they're settled in a little more they're going to have us over for dinner every week for the next month! Can not wait! This Sunday was fast Sunday and I included Greg and his family in my fast.

   Sunday was a good day. Combining fasting with prayer is really powerful, I bear whiteness to that. After church on Sunday we finally got a hold of an inactive member we've been trying to talk to
for a little while and we had a good talk with her outside her house. She has an interesting situation. She really enjoyed talking to us but we couldn't tell if she wanted us to help her and meet with her or if she wanted... I don't know what she wanted, we couldn't discern her. At least we have all of her contact info and we know more about her now. I feel like she's going to have us over soon but... I don't know. After we saw her we had dinner with the Spencer's, we had an awesome gospel discussion with them. After that we were supposed to meet with Tom and his family but he told us to get in contact with him later in the week. He's one of the most interesting men in the world, that guy. Now that last week is over, its already June.

The time is going by way to fast!