Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April 8, 2013

What's up!? well it's been a fan freakin tastic week here in petoskey! :) haha. Conference was awesome! we had a different investigator at every session! it was sooo good. Everyone of the investigators felt the spirit was strong too. Elder Nelson's talk on how the church is important too was perfect for one of my investigators. he's a 60 year old man that is a baptist and he doesn't really think there is a difference in any of the churches all that is important is faith. so he and i were discussing that a couple nights ago and now i'm just gonna print out that talk and let elder nelson teach him. haha. it was frustrating trying to teach this guy authority though. he doesn't think authority matters even though we talked about at least 5 places where christ gives people authority in the bible. but that's alright. we'll get through to him sooner or later. haha. we were really blessed with our finding this week. we knocked into a family that are just seekers of truth. they go to a church but they only go to that one because they know they need to. they don't beleive everything that it teaches. they let us in, fed us, and let us teach them our beliefs. haha. it was AMAZING!! it was such a good lesson. the mom didn't beleive that god would damn someone that didn't have the chance to hear the gospel. so we were able to share part of the plan of salvation with her on how we know that god doesnt do that. how god gives everyone the chance to hear the gospel. then at the end we were told to come back soon! and the best part, the daughter is the girlfriend of a priest in the ward. he is going on a missino soon and we said, ya we'll have adam come by and teach you the lessons for practice. so they are going to let us teach them all the lessons! we're pumped about them. we also found a less accountable man to teach. he's 23 years old and he's kinda slow. but we're goign to go by when he and his dad are there and teach them both at the same time. Elder wright went to the sault and so i got to run the area. i was in cheboygan with elder ballard and we were teaching kory! the black guy that loves the book of mormon. well there was a guy there that sat in and he is the husband of the woman who owns the home. well this guy started saying a bunch of stuff about how he burns crosses and all this stuff. well he's like, "i can't see, feel, or touch faith." so i asked if he could see feel or touch air. and he said no but that's not how air works. so then i said, well don't you think that's how faith works? and then he was like well i'm just not a faithful person i don't beleive in faith. i beleive in science. so then i ask him if he realizes that his argument is based on the faith that there isn't a god. cuz science doesn't disprove god. well then he says, now your switching my words on me and he stopped saying dumb comments. haha. but kory got his two scents in too! haha. he started telling this guy how faith is like a building on a firm foundation and without it it would just fall. haha. kory made me proud. haha. kory is a champ, i wish you guys could meet him. he tried to give us front row tickets to his first cage fight that is in a week, but we told him we probably couldn't go since we are missionaries. haha. but it really has been such a great week! we've gotten lots of work done and we're doing work out here in petoskey! i love being a missionary! it's the most rewarding work in the world. seeing peoples lives change drastically from keeping the simple commandments of god is amazing. i've never really realized how valuable what we have is until seeing people add it into their lives. i love it! i love being a missionary! well, my people, have a great week!

April 1, 2013

Another great week in Petoskey! We saw a couple signs of spring the last couple days, but it's snowing again today. . . haha. maybe eventually the sun will stay here. This week was a great week! We were extremely blessed all week. So it started out just the same, we were working really hard and doing lots of teaching and finding, but by thursday we kinda started to realize that miracle after miracle was happening. So in your mission (i'll just explain this for people that don't know), the mission president sets up things called standards of excellence which are goals that will push you. there are seven weekly standards and if you hit 4 or 5 you can tell you were using your time effectively and really had a great week. Well, back to the story. Sunday, monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday come and go and we worked hard just like normal. but Wednesday we realized that holy crap, we have taught a ton of lessons, found a lot of people to teach, and set three baptismal dates. we had hit a lot of the standards by the end of Wednesday. so we keep going and working hard like usual and then sunday at church roles around and we have 4  investigators at church. We reflected on the week and we had hit all seven of the standards of excellence. not only hit them, but crushed a lot of them. it was pretty humbling to look back on the week and look at the lessons we taught and realize how much god put us right where he needed us. now, missionary work isn't about hitting numbers, but it was just cool to see how many miracles that had happened right before our eyes. a few cool stories i'll tell you about. so early on in the week we were going to see an investigator that really wasn't moving forward. we had just let him simmer for a few weeks so we decided this week was the week to go see him. so we were planning on just sharing a spiritual though with him but we got in there and i had a way strong feeling to ask him about Joseph smith. well by the end we had retaught him the restoration and we were really bold with him and i had the feeling to set a date with him. the guy accepted and committed to reading the Book of Mormon everyday and praying about Joseph smith. it was a crazy experience. Elder wright and i after we left just looked at each other and were like, "what just happened?" haha. it's pretty crazy how we're just the tools in the lord's hands. then we went to a lady that had stood us up like four times and we were going to give her one last shot. so we go and she answers! we were able to teach the restoration and this time elder wright put on the bold pants and committed her to baptism and set a date. and yet again, we leave and we're like "what just happened?" haha. We had a ton of those moments throughout this week. it was honestly crazy to see all the miracles. saturday we also had a pretty cool experience. we had a member go with us to charlevoix which is about the distance from layton to salt lake. he drove us and we also took a priest with us so we could go on splits. well elder wright took the guy with him and taught our lessons and i went with the priest and we went to go door knocking. well, he and i talked for like three hours as we were door knocking and it was cool just to share my testimony with him on how amazing serving a mission is and how much happiness it brings to your life if you work hard. he still doesn't know what he's gonna do, but i told him he better pray about it and tell me what he thinks at church this coming Sunday. so if he's honest with himself on the answer he recieves, he'll be deciding to serve a mission. haha. hopefully he does. he was really worried about school so i talked to him a lot cuz i was in the same boat as him. so it was cool. and he was able to see successful doorknocking. haha. we talked to SOO many people that day on the doors. and we didn't get yelled at which was pretty nuts. haha. it's kinda funny, it's usually the people with really nice welcome matts and happy decorations that are the meanest. and they are usually old ladies too. i have a lot of funny stories about old ladies yelling at us. haha. Well my homies! have a fan freakin tastic week!

Friday, March 29, 2013

March 25, 2013

Well it's been another great week here in Petoskey! We worked hard and accomplished a lot of things. the weather here is still cold and it snows everyother day. haha. but soon it'll be spring. it's gonna be weird when spring hits and i don't pull out an areater! haha.

This week was a good balanced week. We taught Gina some of the commandments and she loved them. she agrees with all of them and has prayed about all of them.  the only downer is that we taught her on saturday and she had relapsed that day! she'll get there though! one in a week is a lot better than where she was. i think she gets confident with herself so she stops following the program. so we are going to tell her that she needs to be exactly obedient for the whole week so she can be rid of smoking. we had a couple pretty blunt lessons with people. there are a couple of our investigators that are at a stand still, so we told them if they didn't start keeping commitments that we weren't going to be able to drop by anymore. it worked though, cuz for the most part they kept there commitments. we had a really cool lesson with an investigator named Ron. he answered the door and saw it was us and told us he was having a terrible week and just ranted to us for like forty minutes and we just listened. then after he was done we were able to share a lot with him about scripture study and the blessings of the gospel. his whole countenance changed. you could tell that he was feeling the spirit and he even told us that when we come by he is so lifted up and feels that spirit. it was amazing to see the spirit work on him. the church is true! otherwise a bunch of teenage boys and girls but especially the boys (the missionaries) would have destroyed it a long time ago. haha. do you people remember my sense of humor? haha. well the lord seems to be making my personality work thus far. haha. We also had a cool experience in a card shop (i hate going there) one of the less actives in our branch owns it and it's a card shop and the cards are creepy and weird. but anyways, we go there to help her out. while we were sorting cards for her this guy came in and asked who we were and we taught him and the less active bore her testimony on some things, and it was just a really good experience. the guy really appreciated us talking to him. We also had our half mission training on thursday. we had to wake up at 5 to get to it by nine though, cuz it was half the state away! haha. but we made it there and back safe. We talked a lot about using visuals while teaching and how to follow the spirit when door knocking and not just have some wrote thing that we say every single time. it was really good. it came in handy especially on saturday when we were teaching kevin, the guy that had a lot of plan of salvation questions. we went to his house and went through the plan of salvation with him and he just wasn't getting it and i remembered that i had paper in my scriptures in case i wanted to use a visual for a lesson so i drew him the diagram of the plan of salvation and he got it and it clicked a lot more for him. he has sooo many questions. haha. so we are going to teach him the gospel of christ next lesson. we haven't even taught him the restoration yet. we've told him the general stuff and explained about joseph smith, but he has so many questions about other stuff that we don't feel like it's quite time to go through the restoration in depth with him. I hope all is going well out there! i'm jealous of the spring time weather, but i'm sure when summer hits here i'll be begging for winter to be back. haha. well, you stay classy san diego!

March 18, 2013

another great week in michigan! this week was miracle after miracle. We found six new people to teach and taught a ton of lessons! it was great to see everything go through and see it all work out. We found out where kory went. haha. he ended up going to gaylord (a couple hours south of me) to visit his grandpa for a couple weeks. so we weren't able to teach him again this week, but at least we know where he disappeared to. haha. so we found out sunday that gina got antied by all of her family on sunday so we got to go clear some things up. we went over to herapartment and she was like " my family says you guys worship joseph smith and all this stuff." so i looked at her and asked, " when you came to church, who is the only person we worshipped?" and then she was like 'jesus. . . " and then she was like," i know it's true, i've prayed about the book of mormon and i just know it's true. i hate that everyone trys to tell me otherwise." so it was pretty easy to clear up her concerns, because she already knows it's true and that her family was wrong.  it's funny how much satan trys to bring down the church, but just can't. people think that the commandments are just restrictions on us, but if only they knew how free they really make us. We had a cool lesson on preisthood authority with a couple that are in their fiftys. they were really confused and we cleared a lot of stuff up and i showed them my line of authority and showed them how we can trace our authority back to christ and they were pretty amazed that we could do that. a lot of people out here confuse the light of christ with the priesthood. we've had to teach the difference quite a few times. I went to traverse city on a trade off with elder manning. it was a pretty short trade off because our schedules were way busy. but the zone leaders have to go on at least one trade off per transfer with the district leaders so it had to be done. but it is fun to go work in other areas and see how the work is going there. Like i said, this week we have been extremely blessed. i'm looking forward to another great week! sorry i don't really know what to say this week. haha. so it's kinda short today. You Stay classy!!
Petoskey, Michigan

March 11, 2013

What up my people!? haha. it's been a great week in Michigan! first i'd like you all to know that i ate the second hottest pepper in the world on wednesday.
 This is the Bhut Jalokia Pepper.  It is 400 Times Hotter than Tobasco Sauce.
it was the hottest until just a little while ago. you'll be getting a video of that pretty soon. haha. 
Day of Eating the Pepper with a Doctor standing by
So we did trade offs on wednesday and i stayed here with Elder Mosely while Elder Wright went to the Sault. We didn't really have a lot of visible success this week. it was kind of a weird week, not a lot of people answered their doors and not a lot of our lessons went through. but it was still a really good week. like i said, Elder Wright and I are really similar so we didn't get down at all, we just kept going. haha. cathryn (one of our investigators whose had a lot of missionaries) says we are definitely the goofiest/happiest missionaries that have taught her. haha. i definitely take that as a compliment. We are starting to help Gina quit smoking because she really wants to be baptized. so we've been working hard with her so she can move forward.  We went to see kory on thursday but he hadn't been seen in a few days... haha. so hopefully we see him again soon. he doesn't have a phone and he lives forty miles away in cheboygan, so he's not really one that we can go try to catch everyday.  Holly unfortunatly shined us this past week so hopefully we can catch her again.  unfortunately there is a TTOONN of anti stuff up here so before lessons we have to clean up a lot of things which isn't a big deal, but it sucks when people wont talk to us about it. but we'll catch her. haha. so i was reading in Doctrine and Covenants and found some sweet scriptures!  Doctrine and Covenants 35: 13-14. Its SOO sweet! haha. we (20 year old kids) are the weak things of the world and we've been called to Thrash the nations!! SO SICK! man, it's cool to be a missionary and know that god is behind you one hundred percent as long as you're being obedient. i was seriously pumped after reading that. god's army of missionaries is thrashing the nations! Well, i'm basically out of things to say. like i said, this week there wasn't a lot of visible success, but we still worked our butts off and know that no missionary work is wasted. ok, one last scripture Doctrine and Covenants 130: 20. this one is sweet too. it's basically saying if we keep the commandments god cannot go against the law that is in heaven. he has to bless us. so don't make exceptions to keeping the commandments of god. god knows it's hard. he's trying our faith, but he WILL bless us. That's all i have for you folks today so cya later! haha.

Monday, March 4, 2013

March 4, 2013

another great week here in michigan! Unfortunatly we weren't able to teach holly this week cuz she wasn't home all week, but we'll be seeing her tuesday. We have to do a lot of door knocking out here because the church is pretty small here. but we found some people to teach this week which was awesome! i'm a little pressed for time this morning so i can't share a whole bunch but i have a couple awesome experiences that happened this week that i'll share. so we were up in cheboygan at lunch with a family ( the dad is in the coast guard, fun fact. haha) and they said they were out doing there home teaching and they were seeing a sister that is less active and this family the home teachers were like "well we have to go because we're feeding the missionaries lunch." and this black guy in another room heard and freaked out and was like "you mean the elders?! the elders are back in cheboygan?!" some how this guy got lost in the mix and no one filled out any paperwork on him so we didn't know about him. so we went to see him and he was pumped! haha. he was like " oh man, let me find my Book of Mormon! the Elders are in my house!" he was way awesome! he is a lutheran, but he has a testimony of the Book of mormon and loves the book of mormon. so we'll be visiting with him when we go to cheboygan.  So that was way cool to find him and start teaching him. moral of that story, do your home teaching!! it is SOOO helpful when members do there hometeaching and are willing to help.

 So thursday night i was trying to find a member to bring to gina's lesson (the one with the baptismal date) while elder wright was filling in the area book. i called like nine sisters to come along with us and none were around! so i called the ward mission leader to see if anyone popped into his head and he gave me a couple sisters names so i gave one a call that i didn't really think would fit for gina but she said she could come with us. well we go and teach gina and the sister was a champ!! there stories were exactly the same! god proved to me how he knows best on that one. well to continue the story we told the sister before the lesson to invite gina to church and she did and it was awesome! so yesterday at church we had four investigators there! Gina and Kory ( the black guy) sat with us and the other two were with other families that we asked to fellowship them. and it was testimony meeting and nobody bore weird testimonys, they were all way powerful and everyone felt the spirit. so it was awesome! then to show how much kory loves the book of mormon, during priesthood the guy teaching was like does someone want to turn to alma 40? and kory jumped and grabbed his book of mormon and was like" oh man nigga, I got that!" haha! it was sooo funny! he loves the book of mormon. i'm loving it here in michigan. elder wright and i don't get down. it's sooo nice not having a companion that gets down with things don't go smooth. in fact for the most part, days do not go how we plan. but we always have a good time and keep laughin and rollin with the punches. no need to get down over something that you can't really control. remember to always find the good in life. cuz it's always there. well, my people, i'll cya later! haha. Peace!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

February 25, 2013

holy crap crackas! this week flew by! I guess before I start there are a few questions that i need to answer.  We get fed almost every night. occasionally we will have to feed ourselves, but our apartment is loaded with noodles and soups from past missionaries so all we have to buy is bread and milk. haha. Elder Wright is a stud! he and i are a lot alike. so we haven't killed each other yet. haha. our district is small. it is four elders me and elder wright included. elder wright is the district leader and then there is elder ballard and elder mosely. they are both weirdos, but they are way funny! haha. they are the elders that are in the upper peninsula. there is also a senior couple up in the sault (upper peninsula). So this week i went to Traverse city with one of the Zone leaders and it was cool working there. out here in northern michigan there really aren't a lot of people in the winter. haha.
We had zone conference which was good. president hess talked to us and i really like something that he pointed out. he was talking about Doctrine and Covenants 6:36. he pointed out that it's a commandment to doubt not and fear not. those are two tools that satan uses to destroy the work and we have the agency and ability to choose what we are thinking. often times we worry about stupid things. well stop worrying about it. worrying is a waste of time and you have the ability to choose what you think about. i loved that becasue it is so true, worrying doesn't change the circumstances of anything. it really is just a waste of time. put your worrys on christ. that's why he atoned for us. he knows how we feel so get on your knees and ask to quit worrying about certain things and WORK for it. think about what your thinking about and change what your thinking about if necessary. you become and you are what you think you are and what you think you'll become. so be confident. like me! ;) haha jk. I just had to throw that in there. so friday we talked to holly (an investigator that we knocked into) about the plan of salvation and invited her to be baptized. she said she will have to think about it but that she would pray about it. and now for telling you guys about saturday. the most tiring day of my mission by far and the weirdest day and just a crazy day that i felt just about every emotion there is. So i'll give some of the highlights. so about mid way through the day we go and see an investigator ( by this point a bunch has already happened and the day has already been nuts) her name is Gina and we knocked into her i think tuesday. but we had an amazing first lesson with her. we had to clear up a lot about the church because anti material is everywhere up here, but by the end of our lesson she felt loads better about the church and was sincerely going to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. then we set a baptismal date with her!!! i was SOO pumped! haha. then we went and talked to the guy that wanted help to quit smoking. we got all the stuff for the quit smoking program and took it to him. we started talking about the necessary steps and i told him to go grab his tobacco. he asked why i wanted him to grab it and i told him cuz he was going to throw it away and get rid of it. then he told me that it was expensive and he didn't want to throw it away so i kinda got blunt with him and asked if he was just blowing smoke when he told us that he wanted to quit smoking. he said he wants to quit smoking and he just can't now. so i asked why he couldn't start now and blah blah blah, moral of the story he isn't doing the stop smoking program with him anymore, but we are visiting with him about personal stuff and we gave him a blessing. Well then later that night we go and talk to a mother that has had the missionaries for a long time cuz she had kinda a bad experience happen with her daughter so we go over and we talk to her and comfort her. this lady is cool though, Elder Wright and I are able to teach her things that other missionaries haven't been able to because she tells them to stop teaching her. but it's cuz we're real with her and we aren't pretending to be someone else. so side note comment, remember the lord called YOU on a mission. you don't have to act like someone you're not. YOU can touch someone that others can't. so then we went to dinner then after dinner we go to the hospital to give a recent convert a blessing. well in the same room as this lady is an old woman who is obviously in her death bed and in loads of pain. her daughter who is in her 50's is right next to her trying to comfort her and she is crying. so we ask if we can do anything for her and we tell her we can give her mother a blessing. this lady was so grateful and you could tell felt the love and sincere care that we felt for her and so she said she would love that. well, i'm about to start when the daughter's husband walks in and the daughter tells him that "these kind young men are going to give mom a blessing." well he looks at us, looks at our badge, and says" no there not." So i looked at the daughter and wished her my best and told her we'd pray for her. then this guy says my mom's a christian! you devil worshiper! then elder wright was like "sir, we believe whole heartedly in christ and we wish you the best." I can tell you, i have never felt so bad for someone in my life and never wanted to punch someone in the throat so bad in my life. that one took a lot to just walk away from and not yell or say anything bad at this guy. cuz we just wanted to help that poor woman and her mom. so then we went on a walk with an investigator and helped a guy that was stuck in his driveway cuz of the snow and told him a little about who we are. so that made us feel a lot better, but we still had to pray hard that night to not harbor those hard feelings against that guy. cuz i really wanted to punch that guy right in the head. but i didn't and we didn't do or say anything to disgrace the name we have on our badge. but ya, that day i felt every emotion in the book. haha. it was nuts. haha. well hope you all have a great week.