Monday, January 26, 2015

Week 11 – January 26, 2015

Here I am once again at the library typing away… This last week has buzzed by, as usual.

Last, Monday the 19th of January, we had a district P-Day where the six missionaries in my district got together at the Hicken’s home to watch the movie, “Frozen”. I was very surprised my mission president let us watch that movie but it was kinda a nice little break. I know there are a bunch of “Frozen” lovers out there, but since I have very limited time, I ended up just writing letters the entire time. I may have looked up at the screen a couple of times but for the most part I was just writing away. So many of you are good about writing me that I try my darn hardest to write back whenever I have the chance.

Sister Bone and I ended up staying over at the Hicken’s for FHE (Family Home Evening) later that night. Mercy came over to watch a video on the scriptures. The video was a great reminder about all of the sacrifices people have made over the years in order for us to have the Bible and Book of Mormon today (1 Nephi 5: 21-22 and 2 Nephi 4: 15-16).

Tuesday, January 20th, the Elders introduced us to Melanie. They had met her a while back and were going to pass her along to us to teach. She is a solid Christian with a strong belief in Christ. It was great to meet her and start teaching her. Her family has had many preachers so she is very familiar with the Bible. Melanie has very good questions for us. She is definitely making us work. We might not have all of her answers right on hand but it gives us something to study and look into for her. We were able to bear our testimonies to her of the power of prayer and how God can answer all of her questions. Sometimes we don’t have all of the answers but we know we must trust God in ALL THINGS! There are plenty of things that don’t make sense to us, but God knows all and we must exercise our faith in Him. We tried meeting with her later this week but she wasn’t home, so hopefully we will be able to catch her next week and keep meeting with her.

That evening we went over to Bob and Carol’s. We were planning on teaching them the restoration lesson (since Carol hasn’t had it yet), but for some reason it just didn’t feel right. Instead, I opened up with them and shared a little bit about my past and why I am here on a mission. It invited the spirit into their home and Bob was able to open up about some of his past. He had a near death experience a few years back that really seemed to shake him up and put things into perspective for him. Bob was very overwhelmed with the Spirit and just began sobbing as he shared his story with us. It was awesome to see Bob be so open and vulnerable with us. I knew it was time to be BOLD with Bob and Carol! We have come over a handful of times and we always have a wonderful time, but they seem to just like our company. It was time they understood our purpose as missionaries. We were here to share our message, not just to come visit and simply be friends. I then explained this to them and invited them to take 5 lessons from us. I told them that these lessons would help them draw closer to Christ and help them understand where we came from, why we are here and where we are going, as well as learn key principles such as faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. As soon as I asked them, Carol instantly started back peddling and tried to come up with reasons why she couldn’t take the lessons. Eventually, they told us they weren’t interested in having us over to share our lessons with them. When it came time to leave, we said our goodbyes and told them we loved them and then we told Bob to CALL US when he was ready to have us back over. Instantly, Bob realized how serious we were. He just said, “Wait, you mean you aren’t going to CALL US anymore?!” I just looked at Bob and very lovingly told him to call us when he was ready. We left that night thinking we probably weren’t going to be seeing Bob or Carol for a while. Interestingly enough, we got a call two nights later around 9:30pm from Bob. When I asked him what we could do for him, he said, “I’m ready for my lessons.” I could hardly believe my ears! Go Bob!!! I was so happy to hear this from him! I guess my BOLDNESS worked ;) I knew he wanted more! Every time we went over there the Spirit was always present and it was something Bob recognized and wanted more of. BAM! The Holy Ghost is real and He really does work miracles!

Bob and Carol and granddaughter, Nia.

So now on another note… Sister Bone and I go and visit Brother Dam (a little old Vietnamese man with Parkinson’s disease) once every week. He got baptized about a year and a half ago. He is the cutest little man—very little, feeble, weak, but he has a heart of gold. Every time we go over there he always has coke and orange juice and some little treat for us like cookies or donuts. Any who, so two weeks ago Friday, we went over to visit him and he didn’t answer his door. Now you need to understand Brother Dam always answers his door for us. We set a scheduled time to meet and he usually has the door opened before we even get there because he is waiting and watching out his apartment window for us. After knocking a few times we left thinking maybe he went to bed early or something. But we decided to call and leave him a voicemail. Now Brother Dam always returns our calls, however, he didn’t this time. When Sunday rolled around he wasn’t at church. You don’t just miss Brother Dam at church because he is one of our greeters before sacrament meeting. Sister Bone and I were a bit worried since we didn’t come to the door on Friday and now he wasn’t at Church on Sunday. But we got busy and forgot about it. Tuesday rolls around, and we realize we still have NOT heard from Brother Dam. Now we are really worried! We end up asking the Elders to go over to his apartment to check on him just to make sure everything is okay. The Elders go over around 7:45pm to go check on him and they find two meals sitting outside of his front door, the lights are on, but when they knocked no one came to the door. When they called and told us this we started freaking out thinking that Brother Dam could have fallen and broken his hip a week ago and couldn’t get to his phone for help. We realized we needed to do something! There was a good chance Brother Dam could have been on the other side of that door hurt or even possibly dead. We ended up making some phone calls and the next thing you know his home teacher (our ward mission leader, Brother Broadbent) was there with the Elders. They were able to get the apartment management to try and get in his place, but they didn’t have the right keys so then the neighbor joined them in trying to open his lock with a screwdriver, but that didn’t work. Eventually, the police were called and they tried getting in, but still no luck. The police had no other choice than to kick down Brother Dam’s door! It’s 11:30pm by this time and they go inside to try and find Brother Dam—but—he is NOT there! The good news was we didn’t find Brother Dam dead on the other side, but the bad news was we totally busted his door. Oops! The next day, we got a phone call from Brother Dam, turns out he was in Sunny California. Lesson learned, Brother Dam will never go out of town without letting us know again and we are making a spare key for Brother Broadbent to hang onto for future situations. It really is a pretty funny story now, but for a few hours there Sister Bone and I were freaking out a bit. I’m just grateful everything worked out the way it did.

Brother Dam's Door.

Thursday, January 22nd, I was able to put my BOLDNESS to the test again. We went to visit Sister Ennis (She is a less active member who has been less active most of her life). She is so sweet and nice! We were able to have a wonderful chat with her. We talked about Mosiah 2:41 and how we will be blessed IF we keep the commandments of God. She totally agreed. She shared some awesome personal stories with us and was brought to tears as she remembered all of the blessings God has given her. I then asked Sister Ennis WHY aren’t you coming to church anymore. She explained how she was comfortable in her life and didn’t feel like she needed to change and that she also had a hard time being around certain people. We were able to talk about how the Gospel is perfect, but people aren’t. I told her that going to church was a commandment and it was where God wanted her to be. I went on to explain that not only did we need her at Church, but that she needed the Church in her life! She was choosing to pass on some many wonderful blessings God had for her and her family because of her choice to not go to church on Sunday. I reminded her of the blessings of being able to partake of the sacrament each week at church and how she can renew her baptismal covenants with God. Once again she was brought to tears as she realized what she was giving up by choosing not to go to church. I then asked her to pray to God and ask Him if He wanted her to go back to church. She said she had never thought about doing that before but that she would do that and ask God if He wanted her to go back. She actually ended up saying a prayer to herself right there in front of us- sniffling her way through. BOLDNESS is POWERFUL! We are planning on going back to see her in about a week and a half. I am praying that she will realize how many blessings God has in store for her if she will but bring herself back into His fold.

That night we had a lesson with Jennifer over at the Fors on tithing and fasting offerings. Jennifer is so ready to be baptized. She has a testimony and knows this is true. The only thing that is holding her up right now is she NEEDS to get to church. It has been crazy with the Holidays and with her work schedule but we are hoping she will start making church a priority so she will be able to be baptized sometime this spring.

Friday morning, January 23rd, we went to “Feed my Starving Children” to bag up food to send down to Africa. I love when we get to go and serve there. I always end up leaving, feeling so good! Plus you get to rock a hairnet while you are there which is always awesome ;)

Tonight we went over to Sister Mercede’s for dinner. She made some chicken rice soup from South America. Ok now this was no normal chicken soup. It was soup served with a straight up drumstick in it. Sister Bone and I pulled off the meat and ate the chicken with our soup. However, Sister Mercedes and Roshawn (her 10 year old daughter) not only ate the meat off of the drumstick, but they straight up ate the BONE! It was SICK! We couldn’t believe it! Roshawn was just going to town on this bone—it was crazy and nasty all at the same time. They told us we needed to try it. It didn’t think I was going to be able to but I figure I need to try everything at least once. So I did—I ate BONE! And you know what—It was— NASTY! You can just take my word for it, no need to try it out for yourself.

Sis. Mercedes' soup.

Eating bone with Roshawn— nasty!

Eating bone with Roshawn— nasty!

Eating bone with Roshawn— nasty!
Playing with Roshawn.

Saturday, the 24th, the youth and new converts in our ward got to go to the Temple to do baptisms for the dead and our Mission President was nice enough to let us join them. It was so cool to see Mercy (our convert who was baptized four days before I got here) get to go and do baptisms for the dead. I’m so impressed with the strength of our ward. The youth are incredible! They had to wake up at 5:00am in order to go to the temple, but they made it a priority. It was my first time going to the St. Paul Temple. It is a small temple, in fact it looks just like the Spokane Temple. Since the Temple was in St. Paul I was able to drive through both St. Paul and Minneapolis. It was kinda fun to be able to see the actually cities. But at the same time it made me feel happy I was serving outside of the huge cities.

Sis. Bone, Mercy and me.

Temple, St. Paul, MN. 
Minneapolis, MN.

St. Paul, MN.

Saturday afternoon, we were able to stop by Tanneh and Josh’s to say, "hi". Apparently, they had been sick all week and we hadn’t heard from them. So once again, it was good to know they were alive and not dead on the other side of their apartment door.

While we were over there at their apartments we had the chance to teach six teenage boys about the Restoration of the Gospel. We had actually bumped into them earlier that week and told them we were going to be back on Saturday and we happened to see them again in the hall of the building. It was awesome to be able to teach these teenage boys. They were teenagers and boys so they weren’t crazy interested in church stuff but they did have some pretty good questions that we were able to answer and before we left we said a prayer with them right there in the hall and they were really cool about it. I just love working with teenagers! They are so much easier to teach and get through to! Not sure if they will go anywhere with us, but at least we were able to share something with them and hopefully help them in some way.

Saturday night, we went over to Bob’s to teach him the Restoration again. It was good to be able to go over there with a purpose. He knew we were coming over to teach and that was exactly what we got to do. Bob is going to get it. He is very aware of when he feels the spirit and that is so important when you are trying to find the truth. I’m really proud of him for being so willing to humble himself and listen to what we have to share with him.

Yesterday, Sunday the 25th, CIRA CAME TO CHURCH!!! We haven’t seen Cira in a while. We have tried stopping by but we aren’t ever able to catch her. We are really good about leaving her notes on her door so she knows we are thinking about her still though. But let’s be honest, we have invited Cira to church for almost two months now and she hasn’t ever come so when we saw her walk in on Sunday we were totally shocked! She ran out really quick after sacrament meeting. I’m not totally sure what she thought but I’ll keep you posted.

Today at church, they asked Sister Bone and me to teach one of the Sunday school classes. We have taught that class before. It was an awesome class today. We talked about the Holy Ghost. We had a great discussion and were able to have the kids teach each other. I am so amazed by the strength of the youth in the Church today! They just blow my mind! It was awesome to see them just step up and teach each other. This generation really is a marked generation. The youth is strong! They are going to do some powerful work, that is for sure!

Sunday night, the Robisons invited us over to come and visit their neighbors. We got there just in time for their traditional lighting of the candles (this is when everyone goes around and shares a time when they felt the spirit during the past week and then lights a candle). It was really cool to be there for that and to be able to meet their neighbors. Their neighbors seem really nice, hopefully we will be seeing them again soon.

Okay, I think I covered most of the major points from this last week. It was a busy week but then again every week is. Love and miss you all.

Also send me your favorite scripture please! Thanks!

Sunday's sunset.

Good morning, from my house to yours.

Family of snowmen.

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