Monday, January 26, 2015

Doing Fantastic !

Hey Momma, its super cool to hear about Ryan and his band winning in a battle of the bands competition!  (Ryan’s college band was in a Gorilla Battle of the Bands in Salt Lake City and will perform again in May.)

Also with Elder Lott leaving that is a sad time, but hey I heard John Stanley got his mission call to Hungary. Crazy business... 

How is it going? Its not really cold here ‘cuz I wear long johns all the time, it is just rainy. Really, really raining.... a lot.... like, you have no idea how long it drizzles here.... it goes for 5 hours, takes a 15 minute break then the sky seems to forget that it was supposed to be raining so it starts back up super hard for like 2 minutes then goes back to drizzling.

I'm doing fantastic here and we have discovered the miracles of obedience, more on my part mostly with meals with people lasting only an hour, that has been really hard because, heck, I love to talk and listen and am a slow eater (when its not pasta) and we have had some amazing meat and potatoes, and Chinese takeout here is cheap and heavenly its like 8 bucks for the weight of my head in food.

Yesterday (Sunday) we were pretty much perfectly obedient and we saw many great rewards from it. We met someone who wanted to be baptized during our first 6 minutes of talking with him! It will be in February, a guy who works at a restaurant and is a Bouncer/ Security guard at a club. His name is Nickolas, we joked about stopping by to say hello.

We had 4 other lessons that day with people that we knocked on their doors tracting and one lady was from Venizia Italy who came to Virginia and she wanted to learn more and had already been given Il Libro Di Mormon (Italian copy of the book of Mormon) so I gave her a promise by reading aloud both copies side by side entirely cover to cover that she will be able to know English almost fluently.

We met some other kids playing soccer who are in 9th grade who were from Sicilia and Morocco who their parents had moved here for better education and stuff. There was also a man named Dion who we couldn't get in contact with for the past month but we prayed for a miracle and we were able to see many miracles, including teaching him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he said that he partied on the weekends a lot and found that he was not as happy as he knew he could be. We told him that there is always help from God waiting for each and every one of us to seek it. He fully knows that we came at the right time and wanted to have us know that we were there for a reason, to help him.

Here is some street art we found. Super crazy things in the downtown.
We have been going out on Mission exchanges a lot with two young men, Hidden Canite and Shown Canite where I will go with Shown and we will tract and knock doors while Elder Hopkins and Hidden will go teach someone, then we will switch off and it is really cool to see the improvement that we all get from the experiences we get from sharing the gospel. Hidden is super excited to go on his mission March 25th to Columbia. There was one person we were knocking on his door and he opened it, smiled and said Goodbye then closed it quickly. we started laughing after that happened, it was super funny.

I am learning so much about the blessings of Serving others and have the attitude of "Go and Do" instead of "sit and stay" because that is the only way I know of that things will actually get done and people will be blessed, whether it be the go and do person or for the receiving end.

 A super interesting ride we saw
We were in the downtown area of Richmond to contact a referral and I think we were there for another reason we went there, to talk with a college student at VCU named Lauren walking home. She had given Sister Missionaries her contact info and said she wanted to talk more but never got the sisters contact info so she was extremely happy to have their info when we gave the referral to the mission office.



Love

Your son


Elder Day

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Dulcimers, and magic? hats

Hey hey hey its Elder Day again, I have been living the life here and because it was Martin Luther King day yesterday, (and the libraries are closed for emailing)  the mission president had our preparation day (p-day)  put to today.

Guess what happened, I found an instrument I really like playing and I can play a ton of church songs on it too, it’s called a dulcimer. It has 4 strings but 2 are the exact same note and octave, it is tuned to D, A, D and the guy who talked with me about it was an inactive member so I was like "hey you should come back" and we talked about it and he's like "alright, I’ll try it out again." that was last p-day, a lot has happened since then.
 
The dulcimer
 I went to a place called Bdubbs (really its buffalo wild wings and I got the honey mustard boneless chicken wings because Thursdays they were halfoff) it was super good.

It turns out some of the missionaries have a card to get other people for free to a gym so we have been up at 5:50 because it takes 15 min to get there and we get picked up by the zone leaders who come as well so we have all of us working out (and I can now pump out 5 reps of 165! I have also gained 3 pounds... I’m 128) I am getting uber ripped but i always wear the super thick sweater and we have the slacks so... I feel good inside too :)

There is a brother in the ward named Hidden Canite (write to me how you pronounce that name and i'll let ya know next week) who just got his mission call leaving to Columbia in March and so we have had him come out with us for the last 4 days for like 5 hrs. a day. He loves the work and we love having him.

We go on splits a lot and have found a few new people who are interested in the gospel, a lady named Caroline who is a slightly older lady then us (in her 40's?) and she loves what we shared with her. We just were knocking doors with Hidden and she was like "yeah come on in boys". Hidden's younger brother, Shone who is 17,was with us.

While we were checking up on some people in an area I thought "Hey we should stop by this house" and so we did and we were able to teach two people, an older couple named John and Tia, they are super cool and have amazing questions about the gospel like about the apostasy mentioned in Amos and 2nd Timothy chap 4 and other things like that. John is a bass player for a Baptist church and Tia is a lady who helps the homeless at another Baptist ministry.

There was a kid named Kaden (7yr old) who saw us passing by and said "Hey you're the missionaries, have ya seen my momma today?" and we as missionaries had no idea there were members in that area so we said "not yet, which door is it man" and he pointed it out, we said thanks and we stopped by that house and there were 3 people who we talked with in that house alone who hadn't been to any church in years and they wanted to go back but they felt they wanted someone to know they were there and had some other questions we were able to answer and they came to church the next day! Crazy the miracles God has for each and every one of us.

I am rewriting the Fresh Prince song to work for missionaries when we are knocking doors and its turned out good so far. I have also figured out the rubix cube thanks to lunch hour we eat for 10 minutes then either study, clean, sleep or do something like Elder Hopkins showing me the rubix cube. 

The magic missionary hat
The hat that I wear I call it "the magic missionary hat" because usually when I wear it and we talk with people on the street or passing by they stop and they say "nice hat" and stuff like that. Then we ask them about the Book of Mormon and what they know, want to know more about it.

Monday was my first day I tracted from 11-8pm with an hour break for lunch and we had a ton of potentials and one lesson at the end of the night. That was super fun! We talked to so many people and started laughing when this guy opened the door and looked at us, said "blankity blank you people are everywhere, not today boys". We’re pretty sure he was not all the bit together but it was still fun seeing that and seeing that every time we were tired of tracting there would be someone that would be super interested, but usually they were leaving somewhere... we have been jammin' out to gospel music a lot, the Praise Jesus Stuff which is super awesome! I am groovin’ in my shoes every time. 

Hope your week is wonderful!
check this video out about the Book of Mormon 


Monday, January 12, 2015

a transfer????after 6 weeks #10

Hey Momma,

I am doing well and guess what happened for the month of January, we looked at our food calendar (congregational dinner assignments) and there was only one day that someone did not sign up to feed us, then a day later a family from the ward called and asked if there was an empty day where they could feed us... so every single day in the month of January we have a dinner provided for us, isn't that crazy!!

The Assistants to the mission president called and they said I am being transferred tomorrow so... I’m being transferred... that was a shock to both Elder Hopkins and I and then we realized that... just kidding!!! They just dialed the wrong number! So I am not being transferred. gotchya didn't I (heh heh heh sorry, had to be done. I won't do that again.)

We did many a interesting things pertaining to missionary work, first was moving a bed from a hoarder who had not cleaned his house in... since he moved in so there were cobwebs reaching from the ceiling to the floor.... it was grody, there was a moldy solid bagel on the floor and I kicked it and it hit something within the house and dented it, either I should start playing soccer or that was a rock and not a bagel...

There are 4 people we are teaching who have come to church the last week and they all want to be baptized! the only thing is a few have to work on getting married because one is in a yearlong process of divorce ‘cuz in Virginia if there is a family and the parents want to get a divorce there is something along the lines of a waiting period to officially complete a divorce for custody issues and legal shanangans. I don't even want to know about.

Elder Hopkins and Elder Day Finding 
We then were coming home from church and we were both really hungry but I had this thought in my head that we should go check on a potential investigator and we went over there, knocked on their door and they said that we caught them just as they were about to leave but to come back around 6:30 that night. So we went home, ate, went finding some more, went to eat at a members house, went finding a bit more then stopped by the people we checked on and they said come in. Their names are Billy and Mary and honestly the best way i can describe those two amazing people is a couple who is (in their early 20's) always happy and as fun activities with each other play Mario kart and super mario galaxy and Nintendo type games. They are awesome, we discussed with them the Restoration of the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and they both felt the comfort and knowledge of the Holy Spirit to let them know the things we talked about were true and this was all for a reason. They also have the desire to be baptized and we felt it was an answer to our prayers and the prayers we felt from others for us.

We also went on member exchanges a lot this week (where we have a member of the congregation to come with us to a lesson). one of the people we taught with a member called me and my companion "the elder twins" and we got a good laugh, we talked with him more about the gospel and he decided that he was not interested and had little desire to read the Book of Mormon and Bible as well as come to church so he "dropped" us. But no worries, that doesn't stop our spirits because what we are doing and teaching is still true! We had 4 other "member present" lessons with each one being different then the other. One lady, Sharon, moved from Jamaica and two minutes before we knocked on her door she said a prayer to have a desire to come closer to God and Jesus Christ. We told her that we are here to Invite others to come unto Christ and she was glad to let us in! It was super crazy the things we had happen...

Elder Hopkins,Elder Olsen, Elder Nelson, and Elder Day
I cannot believe I have been out in "the Field" for more then 6 weeks. It has flown by way too fast and looking back the days are long but the weeks are short. I find it interesting how when we focus on things other then ourselves the day may seem different, but it becomes a shorter and shorter week or trial that we go through. My trials have mostly been waking up and staying awake all day but that’s about it and I’ve found ramen noodles and working out help me in the morning. Here is a photo of Elder Hopkins and me tracting and another photo of us and Elder Olsen and Elder Nelson, our zone leaders (Elder Nelson in the neon shirt is leaving tomorrow to go home).

The mission is the hardest and best experience I could ever possibly have at this time in my life and I am grateful for it every day.


Elder Day

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Finding with Cats and Chinese Take Out #9

Okay, so this may sound slightly strange but it seems even stranger how it happened, 

Where we live there is a really good Chinese takeout/delivery place so the first time we ordered it for dinner, we were just knocking doors to find people in the area (as well as we didn't want to be in the house, we wanted to work, but we also didn't really want to cook for dinner that night).  

We knocked into a less active family's house just because my companion Elder Hopkins asked what door we should knock on and I said the first one with lights on- that was the less active family's house and they were like "We have wanted to come back to church but never found a good reason... looks like you are it!" so we were cheering inside and talked with them about Christmas and the New Years and stuff and then said that we had dinner to eat so we went home, had Chinese food. No big deal right?
Photo texted to us by a member

Well this week (that was 2 or so weeks ago) we had another situation where we didn't want to cook and so decided on Chinese takeout place again (same one) and were knocking doors again waiting for our food and lo and behold we knocked on the door of a different less active member and their spouse who wasn't a member and they both wanted to come to church. The husband who wasn't a member wasn't really interested a few years back when the missionaries stopped by, but because he had 3 different experiences this hunting season where in his mind he literally thought these words "if I get a deer I’ll go to church" and each and every time he shot a deer, so he was basically telling us that someone wanted him to go and when we knocked on his door, he was on the couch thinking about it. Strange things happen with Chinese delivery... He came to church and had a super good experience each time!

Miracles are amazing -when we see those whom the Lord has prepared, how he prepares them and how we find out about them as missionaries.

Another crazy story was again when we were knocking doors and I was thinking in my head "dang, I wish we had a guide we could see to lead us to places we could knock and they will talk with us" and not 2 minutes later did a tail-less stray cat bolt out from under a car and stood right in front of us, we kind of looked at it and we started walking, then it waked ahead of us and walked straight up to an apartment door. we knocked and it was someone that became a potential investigator right off the bat. It was crazy! This happened the 2hrs we were tracting where we'd follow the cat (we named it Doug) and every like 5th or 6th door they kept saying come back, its cool to see how things are put in our lives to give us hope.



Another day we went street contacting in downtown Richmond with mission president’s approval and we talked to a ton of people! There was a man named Fred who said his New Year’s resolution was to be more close to God and to find a religion that could do that. So we taught him about God's plan of happiness and why we are here on earth. It was a great lesson and he said he wanted to get baptized! So we set up the 31st and then gave him a Book of Mormon and then said goodbye, this was all one street contact.

Crazy stuff, I had my first zone meeting and it was really a boost of encouragement. That’s where the leaders of a big area that many missionaries give training conferences to everyone in that "zone" (about like 20 missionaries total). We always have good foodstuffs that the members of the ward feed us so that’s a good sign.  Here me and Doug.

Elder Day