October 2016 – Joy

Oct. 10, 2016

Hey family friends mentors and the like!

Wow! It has been a while since I have sent out an update like this. Life has been pretty busy recently out here in Hoosier-land.
Elder Wright and I got double transferred into crossroads and started out with nobody to work with… I mean absolutely no-body! It was crazy, so what we did is we knuckled down and hit the streets. We found a ton of people and were really ambitious and confident in them, but slowly the investigators we had started to fizzle out. Then because of the hard work we put in, the blessings started to come.
It all really started with Kimmie Tiburcio and her son Bryant. They were a referral given to us from some other missionaries. Kimmie is a super strong independent mother and does the best with what she can. She loves the church and the gospel. They were baptized on August 27th.
We continued onward and strived to have faith despite opposition, such as losing a car for our proselyting area and investigators dropping us without explanation and admittedly we did get pretty discouraged at times. But I honestly believe that again because we showed our dependability to the Lord and because the members recognized it we had more success.
One night we received a referral from Bishop Sorenson for the Rudolph family. Gil Rudolph is the father and he was a non member (key word “was”) He has an amazing testimony of the restored gospel now. They had lost everything before they came here, their house, Gil’s job, Sis. Rudolph’s job. Everything. Now they have the gospel actively involved in their lives and it has done so much for them. Gil was baptized on September 26th.
After Gil was baptized, it seemed like everybody we were teaching fell off the face of the earth. It was frustrating to say the least, and so we did a lot of referral contacting and reconnecting with potential investigators. One day we were knocking a street near where a referral from the Spanish elders was located. It was the last door that we were planning on knocking that we met Jeannie Hucks. She was an older lady that was kind and said we could come back, but didn’t seem too interested. So we went on with the work and didn’t think much of it, but something kept drawing us back to their house. The next time we stopped by we met Jeannie’s husband Bob and he was nice too, and has an awesome mustache, but also didn’t seem too interested. Finally we stopped by the third time and met Bonita, their daughter. She seemed kind of interested and we came back with brother Fishburne and taught the restoration, and like to all of our investigators, introduced The Book of Mormon and exhorted her to read and pray about it. She did. She’s now nearly in Jacob. She and her son Anthony were baptized this last Saturday, October 8.
I know that we are imperfect people, that’s how we were made. I also know that we are imperfect servants trying to do a perfect work. It may be discouraging. Life in general is a difficult thing to get through. This I do know, and am a witness of, God has a hand in our lives. Whether we want him to or not. If we had not knocked on those doors, or would have just given up, Bonita would not have been found and her family would not have been blessed as it has been. If any of you ever think for a moment that God does not work in our lives to help us to follow the path that can bring true joy, I give you my witness as His servant, one of many in this church – that God lives. That he is active and involved in our everyday lives. I know it, because his spirit has testified to me, I don’t know everything about the church, I don’t have all of the answers. But I have the ones that matter most. This work is true: It is the most important work we can ever be engaged in. This world is temporary. If we look to things of the world we are chaining ourselves to temporary happiness. We share the message of everlasting Joy, and we invite all to come and partake of it.
Thank you all for your support, to some of you I wouldn’t be out here if it wasn’t for you. I am forever grateful for this. Keep working, don’t give up. I love you all. Have a great week.

 

Oct. 10, 2016

Thanks mom, for everything. Don’t know what I would do without you guys. Tell Bishop Feller to email me! He’s not that busy haha. As long as his work gets done that’s all that matters.

Btw, Elder Wright is getting transferred and president wants me to be district leader so that’ll be interesting haha.

Oct. 13, 2016

Hi Mama!! It was a busy week for us too! I miss football games and going to W’s baseball games and all that, good memories. So you got to go up to conference?!? Thats cool! What session did you go to? I loved it, I had a lot of questions and concerns resolved in the talks. Lots of talks about service, repentance, family and Joy. It was on point, absolutely on point with what the world needs I feel like. I love the salsa you make, its awesome. 🙂

I hope you have recovered from that harrowing incident of getting slapped in the face by said unknown substance. Doesn’t sound like fun haha I’m sure he thought it was funny though.
I don’t want you guys to think you have to raise a bunch of money for Indiana, the people here are great and I do want to visit some of them, but if it’s a year or two down the road then that’s okay.
By the way I had to buy some lights for my bike. The other ones broke last year and since it’s getting darker I need them. So anyway, I was wondering if you could put some money in my checking today because I need some more socks. And today is the only chance I have to get them for at least a week. Probably longer.

And now my shoes have ripped in half and we have to walk everywhere. There’s a Payless I can get some new ones at if you can somehow get money to me. Probably like 40 dollars… if not I can manage. I made the mistake of getting cheap Walmart shoes last time and now I’m paying the price.

Oct. 17, 2016

Hey Mom,

We had a pretty good week. We got a car so we’ve been driving to see people we haven’t been able to a lot. Not much else exciting going on. Just same old, same old. I’ll send pictures when I get the chance today. Left my camera in the car. Hope all you guys are doing well. Love you all.

Oct. 17, 2016

Indy to mama bear. Package delivered and secured. No casualties.

Oct. 24, 2016

Being a District Leader doesn’t seem like a big deal to me honestly. Just more responsibity which is good. I’m gonna learn and grow a lot from it so I’m looking forward to it for sure. We had a good week and had our investigator Taylor come to church. She is awesome and is moving towards being baptized on Nov 12. A lot of our investigators have flaked out so we will be finding a lot more this next week to find someone prepared. Elder Brown and I get along, we have similar views on a lot of things which is nice. He is from Hawaii, not sure if I mentioned that. He is half Mexican heritage and half white. His dad was in the Navy and was stationed in Hawaii then decided to stay there.

It’s not easy to be a missionary, that has crossed my mind a lot this past week haha. To get up at 6:30 and not get to sleep till 10:30 each night and constantly be prepared and planned for the days/weeks ahead, district meeting, ward meetings and have lessons planned with investigators all while trying to be cheerful and find joy in it and strive to not go insane. It’s a tough mantra we have. But, it’s the small joyful moments that I find in it like when someone actually believes all this that we say could be true or when a recent convert gets teary eyed when you have to get transferred. Things like that make it not only worth it, but hard to leave. That’s the miracle of my mission, the people that I have known for just a few months yet leave an eternal impression on me. I don’t want to give it up. It’s scary to think about. I look forward to seeing you all again, but its gonna be hard to leave my family here too.

Mom: Sound a little like being a parent.
Elder: Well it is definitely appreciated, all that you do haha. Thanks. I’m trying.
Oct. 31, 2016
Hey mom we had an awesome week!!!

This week went by pretty fast for us. I guess the highlight of the week for me was a couple things. First off we got to go to the temple for a mission wide temple day with our recent converts/returning less actives. It was awesome! We went with Ashton and Cristi Lucas, two recent converts from a couple years ago. And, I got to see some people from my past areas there as well, which was great. 🙂
We’ve been working with our investigator Taylor, who is still working towards Nov. 12th to be baptized. Her only hold up is smoking, and that will go away soon. On the temple day (Saturday) Elder Brown, Taylor and I all fasted to help her. Elder Brown and I did a normal fast from food and drink and Taylor fasted from cigarettes and didn’t have one all day!!! Then the next day she really tried hard and only had 6 when normally she has an entire pack. She is awesome and has such a strong testimony that this is the direction God wants her to go. We are excited for her and some of the other people we are working with.
We decided to make a fire pit in our backyard since Indiana has like no fire restrictions. I’ll send pictures later. Forgot my camera again. *facepalm
It’s a ton of fun. Stuff finna burn out here!!
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