Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Preaching and Pizza

Black Jesus- Lots of these around here :) 
May 23, 2016

   Whitehead family
   Dilworth's house and Dorothy
   Deep Dish Finish
   Mormon Missionaries sing as they Knock and Knock and Knock aaaand Knock.
   Cruz(in) Move in

So the Whitehead family was found by knocking doors. We met Sister Whitehead and she was super excited to hear our message and gave a copy of the Book of Mormon to her mom and her mom (in 4 days) read the first 200 pages of the book so... Let's just say she was very interested in our message. Sister Whitehead, her mom, and her three kids (Alea, Tydarious, and Lamaria) all have the desire to be baptized!!! The sad thing is they were not able to come to church this week... When we taught them though, Sister Whitehead was telling us that long questions she had been wondering about were answered and she felt that God had sent us to be a part off their family. That was super nice to hear! So keep them in your prayers my home-dogs back in the non-Lawrenceville area.

We had dinner at the Dilworth household and (per the usual) we had food that they were all super happy there was no leftovers. What can I say, when people make pasta with meat and ricotta cheese bake.... I just gotta have it all! Also, Dorothy has had several dreams about being baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints... She just won't do it!!! Gahhhhh!!!! That is my main frustration at this point in time.

We saw Jeff (on one of those crazy random happenstance kinda days) and talked with him for a "good minute" and he asked for a blessing because of all the stress he was having. He said that he felt something powerful and it was from God and he also said that "I might have to break out my church tie sooner than I thought". We both got a chuckle out of that. We saw him today with Brother Lewis and had a great brief conversation about       .

My companion and I felt super impressed that we were able to eat the entire deep dish 18" pizza which no missionary (according to the branch president) had never been able to finish in one sitting. We did a lot of finding and helped the Cruz family move in their last truck (which had at least 3million sports cards).

The Dilworth family and me

Teaching in Spanish?

May 16, 2016
   Padre Celestial él oración... En Español... Intercambió Español
   The baptism?
   Dilworth's Grandma
   Lesson of preparation (Kim whitehead)

Soooo.... Went on a Spanish exchange (basically means I went with another missionary to their area and they were assigned to teach those who spoke Spanish. There were a few things I realized from this...
1. I would like to be at least trilingual
2. From growing up in the Los Angeles area I knew a lot more Spanish than I thought I did
3. I can now say very simple personal prayers in Spanish!
4. I now more understand what people refer to "the gift of tongues

It was an awesome experience and I learned a lot from my companion for 24 hours (his name is Elder Harmer) and we had a lot of fun just talking about stuff. A lot of the stuff we talked about was doctrine of the church but here and there we got into some other topics like healthy eating and even just life in general.
The next two bullet points go hand in hand. So we were talking about gospel stuff with Dorothy and she had a question on baptism and said that it would take a long while before she would get baptized because she wanted to "know" that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that Thomas S. Monson was a prophet of God as well. We explained to her that a belief in wanting to know is sufficient and that knowing comes after trials. She thought a minute and said "ahh well I already believe that Mr. Smith was a prophet, it's just the new guy I need to find out more about." And she said that she would find get baptized before I left the area (which honestly, is probably in like 3 weeks...) so that's why the word baptism has a "?" At the end.
We were “finding” during some free time we had and decided to stop by the Dilworth's home and it turns out when we walked in, they were having a 88th birthday party for Brother Dilworth's grandmother so we came in, sang a song and received quite a many "thank you for preaching the word of God" comments from the 40 or so people there and then we had to go. But seeing the unity of the family was what really made that day a blessed one.
So this past week we had about 7 scheduled appointments not happen, so what did we do instead? We went to find those prepared to hear the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ! And we did. We had talked to a family next door to an investigator's house and she said come by another day and it seemed to be the perfect time for her to talk with us! We found out that she might not have been as interested as we thought she was originally and after our lesson Elder Shupe asked if there was anyone who she (Ashley) knew that we could teach. Ashley said (almost immediately) that her friend Alexis who lived two doors down the road needed the message so...
We went and met Alexis and Kim W.   Kim asked most of the questions as Alexis listened in and Kim's questions all were about the things restored in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Some of the questions were "where do we go as a waiting period after we die and before the resurrection" and "why aren't there prophets that are led by God today? So we taught her a bit and gave (as she called it) "some homework assignments" that she asked for us to leave with her. Please continue to pray for Jeff and Dorothy,  and also Kim. We are finding more and more prepared people who are ready to hear the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the fullness of truth that has been restored

This is me and Elder Harmer. Freaking love this bro.
For our service hours we usually will help out at the food bank, other than that its yardwork on request and moving people from here to there. We usually have a nonmember or inactive come and help too so its a win win scenario.

Lasagna and skyping with Family

May 9, 2016
So this week was fairly interesting...
   Presidential Interview
   Video all home (Happy Mothers Day!)
   Got my bag back
   Got in contact with Jeff!!!
   Teaching Miracles
   Personal Pasta Platter

So, it seems like a lot right? Well... It might not take as long to read as ya might think... That is about as false as.... things that are false? I'll think of something that will work with that phrase.
The "Presidential Interview" was with my mission president. Whatever may be happening with the presidential elections, I try to stay out of it as much as possible. And from what I have heard, I am glad I am on a mission.
 Anyway, found out my mission president's favorite animal is a jaguar. That was super cool, then he gave me some advice for preparing for home life (when the time comes). The craziest part was getting to the interview. Originally it was a five minute drive away, but our mission president was running late so he asked if we could meet at another location which was an hour drive away (because if he didn't meet us there, all 8 other interviews would be pushed back 3 hours). We found out about this about an hour and a half before our interview time. So it was super hectic trying to get a ride over there. We were able to get one and were 3 minutes early to the interview. Good stuff.
About 7 weeks ago I left my bag at an investigator's house and we haven't seen him since then besides the past Tuesday and when he saw us, he pointed at me and said "Your bag, here you go". I was so happy (not 100% about getting the bag, that was about 7% because I could have obtained another bag, I was just glad we got in contact with him, and he invited us to teach his girlfriend, who has a copy of the Book of Mormon and wants to read it with him daily!!
 You might notice I am not going in order of the bullet points... I wish to save the Mother's Day call for last. We hadn't seen Jeff in a long while and it was my goal on Thursday to go and see him, so we went to the bus stop and walked down the street and Elder Shupe recognized Jeff from a distance and we waved and he did too! We set up an appointment with him the next day and we had a wonderful discussion with him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and about how prepared he is to change and be baptized.
After our lesson he asked us when he would be able to come out with us and teach people and we said, come with us right now! He had to look after he 4yr old daughter then but said that he will be baptized and the only thing left is to have his wife agree. I fasted for him this past week. He is keeping all the commitments we left with him and doing well. Please pray for Jeff.
So we had about 4 lessons fall trough Friday night and we decided upon lunging down a referral that we had been trying to locate for the past week but this night I think we were a bit more determined because the Spirit said "it's time". We found His house!! But he wasn't home... So we knocked some doors around the neighborhood and almost every single person whose door we knocked on, they not only let us in but wanted to be baptized as well!! Even the Baptist preacher said that he wanted to read the Book of Mormon again and ask God to know if it was the best to understand Jesus Christ. What we told him is that "it goes hand in hand with the King James Bible and tells of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ" and that he will know.
Okay so this picture is wonderful, especially the backstory behind it. So there was recently a baby born in the congregation and people will volunteer to make meals for the family. A member made a meal for this family and found out that the family already had 2 meals that night made for them and the dish was something that couldn't really be eaten over a period of long time, so they gave the entire pan to me. An entire homemade Italian lasagna. The reason I say it was homemade Italian was because they made it from scratch and both of the parents went to Italy for their missions. They said they wanted me to have it to thank me for the service that I have done so far. It was very appreciated.
 Mom. Mother's Day. Got to video chat with my family!!! That was so wonderful, I forgot how much I missed them. Coco the dog is still alive!! Hang in there Coco!!  That is like my one main fear... if Coco dies.... But is all good, she is part of the family and I am sure God will help me out with it somehow. The family is doing good and we are all excited for my sister going off to college!! That will be an adventure! Basically they asked me a bunch of questions about what was going on and I did as well, apparently I have changed a bit... In a good way! No worries. But yeah, life is good. God is Great. Don't ever think ya ought to hate. Love the people, anyway. Soon you'll see, it's a beautiful Day.
John 3:16

May God Bless and catch ya next week.

Movin' trucks

May 2, 2016

   Jeff. The Glorious Jeff
   Move of a lifetime
   Pizza Complete-za
   God's Gangstas are back?
   Unification of the Saints

Soooo.... Jeff. The dad who is as prepared as Paul to follow Christ (after he got rid of his Saul like stuff n stuff). He is really prepared and the only thing left is for him to get married and he is ready for the ability to bless his family with the priesthood of God. Please pray for Jeff.
We helped move a new member who came out with us the day he got in town. His name is Brother Cruz and he has come up with a name called "DaynLewis" which background, Brother Lewis is a member of the branch that knows a ton and is a practical jokester. I apparently am under that classification as well (but according to Brother Cruz, not as much as a jokester). Elder Shupe and Brother Lewis and I helped unload a Budget rental truck with Brother Cruz and his friend and his friend's boys. About 2/3 the way done... The Mendez family shows up as reinforcements of the second wave. It all was done in about 2 hours! The Pizza Complete-za (and nickname) comes from us going to Pizza Hut after where Elder Shupe, Brother Lewis, Eric (the Son of the friend) and I got breadsticks unbeknownst to the other table of people and when Bro Cruz found out he said something along the lines of "if it wasn't Brother Lewis it was Elder Day". Brother Cruz is a great man and will be a blessing to the branch.

We have been “finding” like crazy and got in contact with a family of 4 and another of 6. The Grandma of the family of 6 was the one that requested the Book of Mormon asking to herself and saying "when will be the day I can get one of those Mormon Bibles?" So we delivered the Book of Mormon and explained to her we Love the King James Bible and would never want to replace it. The "Mormon Bible", also known as the Book of Mormon, helps us understand and clarify the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness. Because of the years of taking away and adding things in the Christian realm there needed to be a Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and that came with the purpose of the Book of Mormon, to have the fullness of the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. She really loved our message and Kevin (the recent convert to the church that was there) testified to its truth that he found for himself. We findin' the Crew and teachin' The Word to all we see.
That was something I noticed this past week. Every single person we talked to that knew something about the church loved the family oriented atmosphere and the "Unification" being the word I heard most often this past week. Before the 2nd coming of the Lord, there will be a unification of the saints, and many will be un-unified  (if that is a word). I pray all will be well with all y'all that read this and may God bless!
This is an upside down photo of the moving company (the 2nd and third row came an hour after we started)

Elder Day