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.

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