Monday, December 31, 2012

We had a really awesome week this week. We got a referral from
missionaries in another area and so we went and taught them a
Christmas message. We used the story of the 3 wise men in Matthew 2
and then crossed referenced it to 3 Nephi 1: 19-21. It is an older
couple, and they just loved it. We invited them to come to the Church
Christmas party on Friday and they came! They even brought friends! We
are going back this week to start teaching them about the restored
gospel and doing service for them! The lady is so sweet, she didn't
want us to come do service because she had no way of paying us, she
was gonna have her 64-year-old, 350 pound husband do all of this back
breaking labor, just because she can't afford help. It was so sweet to
see the smile on her face when we told her we want to help her without
any type of payment! It warmed my heart to know that she could feel
the Savior's love through us!
 
Another sweet totally awesome ridiculously cool miracle! This is why I
think I've been her for so long... So earlier this week we got a text
from Alex (an investigator that we have been teaching for nearly a
year) and he asked where he could get a marraige license at. He has
asked that before, so I wasnt too excited. But I asked him if he was
serious about getting married to Alicia? He said..."Yes, I have been
noticing a lot of changes in here, she has been a lot of the things
that I have been looking for her to do." Well we as missionaries know
why she has changed. About 2 months ago we got sister missionaries in
our area (they are amazing) but they started to meet with Alicia while
Alex was at work. They started off by just reading the Book of Mormon
with her, then Alicia started reading on her own. So they started
teaching her the lessons in a way that she could apply. Slowly her
actions reflected what she was reading and what she was being taught.
She has read up to Mosiah 7 and yesterday asked for a blessing to help
her to live the word of wisdom. She asked me to give her the blessing,
which I was honored to do. I was nervous to give this blessing because
I knew how big of an impact it would have on her. It would basically
make or break her testimony of the priesthood.  Well this morning we 
got a text from her, to summarize... "Hey guys I just thought you should 
know that I think the blessing worked, I lit a cigarette this morning 
and when I took one puff I felt sick to my stomach" The spirit hit me 
like a ton of bricks. I knew that it was because of her faith that the 
blessing worked, not because anything I did or said. I love Alex and Alicia 
like my own brother and sister. To see them progress to the point where 
hopefully, by the time I leave, I can see them get baptized, if not at 
least married, would make everything worth it. I feel it's the gospel
that changes people, not other people. And Alex and Alicia are huge
examples of how that is true!
 
So I got a new companion this last week. His name is Elder Gates, and
he is from Las Vegas. He is a really good kid. 
 
The beginning of the week was kinda rough, we weren't really teaching 
a lot of lessons. But Saturday and Sunday were really good. We were 
able to find a few people that are interested. Church was awesome this 
Sunday! Mainly because Alan Hettinger, who has become one of my closest 
friends in Morgan City,finally came to church. In all 9 months of me 
being here, he had never come to church. But this Sunday he did! We went 
and ate at his house last night and he had a friend over that was asking 
us a bunch of questions and said he is going to go to church with Alan 
next week! So that was probably the best part of my week! You couldn't wipe the
smile off my face when I saw him walk in. We could really use him in
the branch. 
President Wall wants us to become the best teaching mission in the
world. So we have been working really hard on using different ways of 
teaching the gospel. ie) pamplets, the scriptures, videos, pictures. We are
also working on getting really good at asking inspired questions--questions 
that make people think and really get down on a spiritual level. The more 
and more I practice, the more and more I realize that I have a lot of 
improvement to make! 
 
I love being a missionary, I know that the Savior lives and that this
season is the best of them all, to reflect on his birth and sacrafice
for us. This season I would wish that y'all would find someone that
maybe "uncool" or doesnt have a lot of friends, and then go befriend
them. Be an angel in their lives!
 
So the news on transfers is that I'm staying! I'm actually really happy 
about that. I get to stay here for Christmas and it should be really fun. 
 
I'm thinking of getting my records transferred here and
then I have tithing settlement with President Jordan on Sunday after
church. The members here are starting to joke about me getting an off
shore job and getting my own apartment. At the end of this transfer it
will be about 10 1/2 months I've been in Morgan City. Like I've said in
the past, I would like to get a few more things accomplished before I leave
here. 
 
I hope everything is going well back home. Just know that the Savior
loves you and that he is the reason for the season! 
Last P'day we went to New Orleans and played in a big turkey bowl. 
Our team was one of the best, but at the end they decided to just 
make an All Star team. New Orleans Vs Baton Rouge. I played with the 
New Orleans side and we won. Jake played on the Baton Rouge side. 
We had two main appointments on Turkey day. In the morning we went 
to the Jackson's and had Brunch. Then in the evening we went to the 
Albert's where they served a deep fat fried turkey! It was
so good! I loved it. Definitely one of the most unhealthy things I
have even eaten. But it was totally worth it. 
 
We had another rough week missionary-wise. One of our top
investigators moved back to Texas and doesn't want the missionaries to
stop by. Another one has just disappeared and Alex and Alicia can't
seem to get along. 
 
On a happy note.. the Gospel is still true! Jesus is the reason for
this wonderful season. And I'm so thankful for the opportunity that we
have to remember the Savior and enjoy this time of the year! I know
that as we push all the worldly items of Christmas aside and remember
the true meaning Christmas, the Savior, that we will have more love in
our hearts and have endless joy. I love y'all and I can't wait for next
year when I get to spend this time of year with y'all! 
I don't have much time this week cause we are going to New Orleans to
play football with a bunch of other missionaries! It should be really
fun.
 
Something cool that happened this week is that we had Zone
Conference. The Assistants instructed us on leadership, and then
President took a long time to talk about missionaries. Specifically
about missionaries feeling like they arent acceptable to the Lord, 
which I feel like every missionary feels a certain degree of. But
basically what President did was just quote President Uchdorf
"Stop it" It was great. I loved it because what I heard was... "
Get over it, man up and just be a missionary" President didn't really
say that, he said it in a much nicer way. But that's what I took from
it. 
 
I really do feel that if we do our best and do all that we can, even 
if sometimes we don't see success, then the Lord will say "Well done 
thou good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, 
I will make thee a ruler over many." He only expects our best. And that 
is different for every single person. But our best can always become better. 
I've learned that when we become satisfied with our efforts, then it's time
to look for more improvement in ourselves. It's our job to find out
what the Lord expects from us, and then we need to do it! "And If you
believe all these things, see that you do them" Mosiah 4:10
 
I can't believe that Madeleine comes home today!! That's so exciting! I'm
sad that I can't be there to see her come home, but I know you will
tell me all about it and send me plenty of pictures. I know she must
be going crazy right now. It's hard to leave something you have been
doing every single day and then go back to an old life. Madeleine, I
love you and I'm so proud of you! One more year and then I will join
y'all! 
 
But as for our week, we had a really good one. We were able to find
some really cool new people to teach. One guy said that we were
"glowing" at Walmart, and that even though he couldnt see us, he knew
exactly where we were at cause we glowed through the aisles. Kinda
weird, but really cool because he said that something told him to come
talk to us. So, we were able to testify to him that that was the Holy
Ghost telling him that we have something that he needs. We had such a
sweet lesson with him. He has had a real rough life, he has made a lot
of bad decisions, but is ready to change and said that he has finally
found God. He even said that this Mormon thing is what he needs. He
even came to church! We are excited to see what happens with him.
 
Alex. Alicia, their son Zackary and Chelsie all came to church as
well! It was a great day at church. They are all progressing, but at
different stages. We want them to go through this together as a
family. But first we need to help them become an official family by
getting married. Alex is still hesitant, but we are hoping that seeing
Alicia make these changes will help him see her as a wife. Chelsie is
so awesome, she is really sincere and wants to change a lot of things
in her life, and her actions are reflected on that desire to change.
 
A lot of really good things are happening here and I feel blessed to
be a part of it! This Branch is starting to get the feel of missionary
work and we hope to get members more involved than they have been in
the past. I have learned a lot about myself while serving a mission.
My strengths, my weaknesses, the things that bug me the most, and the
things that I enjoy doing and make me happy. But most importantly I've
learned that we have a loving Heavenly Father that is watchful over
all of us. He knows whats best, and allows others to help us get
through difficulties that we all have. We are never left a lone.
 
 
We had a really crazy and exciting week. Probably one of the better
ones of my mission. First of all we got a new Spanish Elder. Elder
Wilson, He is a cool cat and hopefully  he will help us make the
necessarily changes that need to be made here. President Wall called
me on tuesday and told me that I would be the new District Leader. I'm
very humbled, but excited for the new responsibility and learning
opportunity. Jake got called to be a Zone Leader! What a stud. We also
got two new spanish speaking sisters. These sisters are very sweet and 
supportive. I hope I don't let any of the missionaries down. I'm gonna 
try my best to help each of them grow into the missionaries that they 
can become. But first I need a lot of work ;)
 
We had a cool miracle happen this week. A few weeks ago while trying
to contact a less active member that has been nearly impossible to
catch at home, we were able to talk to his roommate named Chris.
Within in the first few minutes of us talking to him he shared the
experience of his Mom's death that happened just a few months ago.
Following his mom's death he lost his job and lost his car and has just
been in this rut that he just can't seem to find his way out of.
Luckily he has a Father in Heaven that knows him and  was able to
guide us to to go see him this week! We were able to teach him about
the Restoration and bear testimony that the Savior lives. The spirit
was so strong and I know he could feel it, so we invited him to be
baptized and he agreed! We are hoping to set a date with him this
week. I'm stoked to see what happens this next month and a half. This
area is full of miracles waiting to happen!
 
We were able to go to the Susan G Komen for the cure this past
Saturday. It was really fun! I can proudly say that I jogged the
entire 5k and finished in 30 minutes! Yes I know that's extremely slow,
but its not bad for a fat kid! I'll attach some pictures of all of us
at the race. I was proud to be able to represent Aunt Dan and Sister
Dupree at the race. They were my motivation to keep going when my
mountain dew belly was telling me to stop. It was so cool to see all
of the breast cancer survivors their at the race. It made me think of
Aunt Dan a lot. I hope to be able to do a lot more of those races when
I get home! 
 
This week we did a lot of service for different people. Mainly this
less active member that has been through the temple with his family
and everything! He has just lost his sight on the ultimate prize that's
all. But we helped him completely rip out his floor and then install a
new one. It was a lot harder and a lot longer than what all of us
anticipated. But he has opened up to us a lot and we hope that we
showed him that we love him and that's why we sacrificed three
days of time to help him. We want to start meeting with him and his
family each week now that we have a really good foundation with him.
He even invited us to go fishing next week! Which is always a plus. He
is the member that we went with one time and he straight up threw his
knife and stabbed a water maccasin while it was coming after him! 
 
We also had a lot of success this week. Alicia came to church with her
friend that is living with her and Alex. Sadly Alex had to work, but
it was great to see Alicia and Chelsie there. Alicia even got up and
bore her testimony! It was so sweet. We had one of the best testimony
meetings that I've been apart of on my mission. The Spirit was so
strong and I know everyone there could feel it. The best part was that
everyone had a big smile on their face and they just testified of how
happy they are because they are living the Gospel the way that it
should be lived. Chelsie said she cried, but with tears of joy. 
 
I also hit my year mark last week, which is a way weird feeling cause
I still feel so new at this. Time has flown by so fast, I don't want
the mission experience to end. Good thing I have a year left! I'm
excited to take what I learned from this first year and make this
second year even better!
 
Both elder Silva and I are staying! At the end of this transfer I will 
have been in Morgan City for 9 months! I might as well buy a house and 
get my records moved here! But, I'm actually glad to be staying. I 
have some unfinished business to take care of before I leave. Things 
are actually starting to pick up! We are trying a bunch of new things. 
They seem to be working and we are finding some really
awesome people.
 
We have been working really hard on "filling people's needs." We first
need to help people with whatever it is that they need before we just
throw all this Jesus stuff in their face. Cause if there is something
that is bothering them or something that's giving them stress, then
they won't want to hear what we have to say. 
For example, Saturday was our filling needs day. We played
basketball with all the neighborhood kids. Then we went and
helped this widow build a fence for her dog. Then we helped Alex with
his trailer and we went fishing with them afterwards! Filling needs :)
Because of helping people get over their concerns or problems, it has
opened new doors. So those  miracles that I mentioned last week are 
starting to happen. I can see the hand of the Lord in everything we do.

 
Lately I've been hearing a lot of people saying how they have lost a
loved one or someone they knew. It's a sad and dreary time when a life
is lost. Sometimes we don't understand why someone we love that is a
good person has to die when there are tons of really bad people
running around. I read Alma 14:10-11 and it gave me some comfort. 
I encourage y'all to read it. But I know that our loved ones are in 
a better place, a place of happiness and a place of rest from all pains 
and sorrows. We will see them again. I can promise y'all that. I can 
promise you that because the Savior lives and he suffered so we can see 
our loved ones again and live with them forever.
 

 

Monday, October 15, 2012

We had a pretty rough week this week. On Tuesday our other top
investigator dropped us. I was shocked. It's been real rough lately, 
one thing after another. I feel like this is the most obedient and 
hard working ive been on my mission, but then all these trials are happening. 
Funny how that works, huh? We do everything in our power to live the Gospel 
the way it's suppose to be lived and then we go through a bunch of trials. 
I've come to the conclusion that the Lord gives us those trials to test us and
see if we are really serious or not. It's easy to do the
right thing when everything is going right, but adversity brings out
the true person under what everyone can see. When adversity hits, that's
when the person that God see's is displayed.
 
But I can testify to the fact that after those trials miracles come.
This Sunday and this morning a miracle or two came. On Sunday we
had 3 or 4 less active people come to church that havent come in a long
time. The great thing is that I think this time they will keep coming
back. We had some really good lessons with them this week. We also
did a lot of service for each of them! The other miracle was this
morning while we were fishing we got a text from Alex,an old old
investigator.  He texted us and said that they
are planning on getting married and want to get married at the Church!
To see them get married would be such a sweet blessing. That's the
biggest road block for them to be baptized, and if we were able to see
them do all of that, then all these hardships and trials would be soooo
worth it.  I know that's just one of many miracles to come from
enduring these things with a good attitude!
 
President Wall has been instructing a lot on Loving, Serving, and
teaching. When we do all three of those things at the same time it
creates a beautiful harmony of energy and love. It was cool to get some 
ideas and hear some miracles that other missionaries have see while doing that.
 
 
This was a good week. We were able to get a lot accomplished and received tons of instruction both from Specialized Training fro President, and also the Prophet and Apostles! What a historic conference! I can't believe the age limit was reduced, (Caroline!) I can't imagine how much prayer and thought had to come from that!

I loved Elder Cook's, Elder Ballard's and Elder Holland's talks this conference. But, I'm excited to get the conference issue of the Ensign and re-read them. Elder Holland's will be my pump up one!

The rest of the week was alright. Gabby texted us Saturday night and told us that she no longer wants to come to church! We were so bummed. We fasted for her all day Sunday. I'm so sad cause Wednesday she was sooo excited to be baptized on the 13th. But everything willbe okay, there must be opposition in all things.

As for the rest of the work, it's going good. We have a lot of old investigators showing interest and we feel like we have a lot of good finding ideas. As long as we work hard and be obedient, the Lord will provide.

We went fishing this morning and caught some Bass and Catfish, so we are
going to fry them up tonight.  Be jealous!


We are focusing most of our efforts on Gabby right now. These next few 
weeks Satan will do everything in his power to stop her from being 
baptized, it's our job to be a shield for her from that mist ofdarkness.
 
We had a great testimony meeting yesterday.  A lot of members bore their testimonies on 
how being in a small branch really allows them to grow as Christians and help them 
become more converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Holy Ghost was booming. 
I could really feel the pure love of Christ in that meeting.
 
Greg is such a stud! He said the opening prayer, passed the sacrament, bore his 
testimony, and brought a friend to church that wants to be baptized! He is really 
progressing! We also had a really good lesson with Catherine.
 
I love and miss y'all so much. I had an awesome Birthday! Thank you momma for
the package, Grammy and Grandpa for the package, and Aunt Noel for the pizza! 
That was a great surprise! Easily one of the best birthdays yet! Everyone go read Mosiah 5:2. 
That's in the Book of Mormon. If you need a Book of Mormon wave down the white shirt and tie guys 
on bikes and ask them for one.

Monday, September 24, 2012

This week was good! It was hard to get back into the swing of things since the past month or so has been a little different schedule than normal mission life. It was hard to get back to waking up and having studies for 3 hours instead of kicking down sheet rock and ripping out carpet. I will never look at the construction of a house the same way. In fact, I was going to the bathroom in a members home and I just had this sudden urge to take a crow-bar to the wall and start taking all the dry wall down... luckily I held back.

But things are pretty much back to normal we had interviews with president this week. He is  such a awesome and inspired man. He has really helped me stretch and develop as a missionary and as a man. G came to church this past Sunday and I feel like she really enjoyed it. She is set to be baptized next month after Conference!  This week at church I blessed the sacrament, taught the youth Sunday School and taught the combined Relief Society and Priesthood!  All without any notice. I don't mind because that's what we get paid to do (not really, that was ajoke) But Bishop Dilger, don't get any funny ideas for when I get home.

We also started teaching G's ex wife this week. G is so awesome, he passes the sacrament every week and is really trying hard to be a good branch missionary! He bore a sweet testimony about the Book of Mormon in the lesson with her.

But thanks everyone for the Birthday wishes! I cant believe ill be 20 this Wednesday. Gosh I'm getting old!


It's been another crazy week here in Louisiana! It was filled with  lot more service.  It's been about 3 weeks since we have really done any "missionary work" It's hard, but I know that good will come out of it. During the week we went and helped Sister D move. Her husband is offshore, so she had no man power to help her move everything. Plus, she has little to no energy because she just had another dose of Chemo. I was happy we were able to help her move.

Then this week end we went down to LaPlace again and did service, same thing as last week. I guess there was about 6000 houses that were effected, and we have helped 644 of those houses with whatever work that needed to be done. There were volunteers from all over the place. Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas. It was so cool to see all these people camping out on the church's yard, some even had campers. And they came to give their time and efforts to those that needed it. They did it out of their love for the Savior. It was so cool to see their love and dedication for helping others. Some drove 10 hours to get to LaPlace. We only drove an hour and a half. What great faith they have. I hope I would do the same as them, in fact, I know I would. Because they have set the example. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be able to serve. We meet so many awesome people and I have grown to love them dearly. This disaster has been a huge heartache for the people. But a blessing for the community. It has really brought people together that otherwise would have never. I love this work, I know that the Lord has a reason for everything that he does, and that's our job to figure out what it is! :)

I love and miss yall so much! Be safe, have fun and enjoy life!

Cleaning Up LaPlace





Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Helping with the Aftermath of the Hurriane


Sorry I havent' emailed. It's been a crazy week. I can't tell you everything I will have to wait till next week. But we are fine and safe. Isaac hit a city named LaPlace really hard. [Note:LaPlace is where President Obama visited on Monday] So we are doing service there from 8 in the morning until 5 at night. We are basically having to gut many house because of flood damage. We helped this widow women all day today! 

I love helping people in need. If you remember, this is what I looked forward too the most to coming to Louisiana! I'll tell you more next Tuesday when I email. I'll send lots of pictures! But, I just want you to know I love you and that I'm safe. I'm in the place that the Lord needs me to be and where I can serve his
children!



From email dated September 4, 2012.  Picture of LaPlace, LA five days ago

From the mission office...


Louisiana Baton Rouge mission has weathered the storm!

All our missionaries are safe and are now involved in the clean-up effort after Hurricane Isaac.  This may be a difficult project; but will be very rewarding and very necessary.  We appreciate the hard work of all the sisters and elders in the mission. 

Thank you for your prayers on our behalf.

From email dated September 4, 2012

Hurricane Isaac


We got evacuated yesterday from Morgan City to Baton Rouge because the hurricane is coming right towards us! So crazy! We are expected to stay here until Friday. I don't know what 40 missionaries are going to do in Baton Rouge for 5 days!
It will be an interesting week for sure. I'll definately have some stories for you next week. But I am safe, so there is no need to worry. Prayers would be appreciated though for all the memebers and stuff that will be hit by the hurricane. Let's hope it's not too bad. Someone told us that Wednesday is the 7 year anniversary of Katrina... So that's kinda weird how Isaac is supposed to hit on Wednesday.... Hope its not as bad though.
Well, that was the exciting part for the week. The rest of the week went by pretty fast. We had some really good lessons with Gaby and also with Jay and Michelle. Gaby is committed for the 8th of September. We feel she wil be ready! Jay and Michelle are gonna be a little longer of a process, but they are so sweet and I love them a lot. They have the cutest little girl that is always
asking me to borrow my mini Book of Mormon and she just sits there and
pretends to read it while we read it with her parents. It's so sweet.

Church was great this week! Gaby came. I think she really enjoyed it. She came into our class that we teach and she seemed to really like it. We had 50 people there at church this week. That almost doubles our 27 from last week! I guess with he hurricane coming everyone is trying to get right with God. We are still struggling to find new people to teach. But this gives us a chance to focus on the ones that we are teaching. 

Things are going great here. I love every second of it. Something that really hit me hard this week is about being prepared--both in a physical way and a spiritual way. It's crazy to see that once a hurricane is about to come all the food, water and gas just seem to disappear. People are panicing and just not knowing what to do because they don't have a plan or aren't prepared beforehand. It is like when the Savior comes again. It would be a funny sight to see if we were told that Jesus was coming in 3 or 4 days. Imagine how many people would start going to church, or start to repent or read and stuff, I could just see all the bibles at Walmart just start to disappear, or all of the Book of Mormons from Deseret Book. Imagine how many people would be trying to go to the temple. Yes, all those things are good, but by that time, it's too late!!!! Why can't we just live the Gospel now so we don't have to panic when the Savior comes. This really hit me hard this week, and I know it's because I need some changes made in my life. But I love the Savior and I'm so grateful for this time that I have to be able to testify of him and bring people TRUE happiness.

I love and miss yall tons!


From email on August 27, 2012

This week was a much better week. It rained a ton. We didn't have too many lessons because of it. We had to chnage our plans a lot according to the weather, which really stinks.  But, it helped us learn patience again. But, I'll take this kind
of patience over the stuff we went through last week any day. We had
really good lessons with both Gaby and Jay and Michelle. We re-taught the plan of salvation to Gaby and she was able to basically teach us what it was at the end of the lesson. She is so stinkin' smart.

No one came to church this week. It was flooding everywhere on Sunday due to all the rain. But we just read from the Book of Mormon with Jay and MIchelle, they even invited us over for a shrimp boil they had on Saturday! They taught us how to do one, so when I get home we can have them whenever the whole family comes together! That would be so much fun! Michelle asked us to help her with some things she is struggling with because she notices that we have something that can help her and she honestly wants it. She and Jay are a long way from being converted, but they have that desire that it talks about in Alma 32:27. I love them a lot. We hope to see them progress a lot this week.  

There's this lady in our Branch names Sister G, I'm sure I have mentioned her before. She was brought up in the church here in Morgan City by her Mother that's a member, but her father isn't. She has 4 or 5 sisters that were brought up in the church as well. But, slowly throughout the years all of her sisters have fallen away. She and her mom are the only ones coming to church out of
everyone in their family. Her husband works off shore for more than half the year and so it's just her and the kids. Her only support is from her mom. And yet she is at church every week, fulfilling her calling plus more. She is always helping us out and doing more than what is asked. Her quiet, strong testimony is always with her. She knows the Gospel is true and she lives it. People like her are the reason why the Gospel still remains here in the South. I look up to her so much and she gives me,and everyone else, hope that even though we might not have all the support in the world or even none, we can still live and love the Gospel. Life is rough, we have all things of the world stacked up against us, but
if we ground ourselves and be humble, we can fight through it and find REAL happiness. I don't know a whole lot, but I do know that we have more help than we can see and feel, we have people rooting for us. I love you all.

Monday, August 13, 2012

"This week was full of challenges and trial. Elder Silva and I decided to both work on Patience this month, and boy did we learn patience. Some of the pretty crummy things were, getting a flat tire, having to wait in a doctors office for two hours on our pday so spanish could translate a piece of paper... Also locking ourselves out of our apartment, having to sleep on spanish's floor and only getting and hour of sleep, and to top it all off we had nothing but rain this week. It was a pretty rough one. But with trials comes blessings. 

One of those blessings happened this week! We went and visited a family that we had been stopping by and talking with but never really about the gospel. But this time we felt like we should. So we introduced them to the book of mormon and also taught them the first lesson. They loved it! The ladies name is Michelle and she keeps telling us how much she loves us. It's pretty funny. But then the guy, Jay, just sits there and says "that makes sense" and "Yeah of course its all true." They are so sweet. We also met there friend Shelly. She is always asking us questions and wanting to know "the truth" She said she can't wait for her husband to get home (offshore) so we can start teaching him too. She after all that rain, came an awesome rainbow!

The lesson I learned this week, is that no matter how down we get, no matter what crap is going on... things always get better. The Lord remembers us in our trials. He is very aware of what we are going through and lets us struggle just long enough to allow us to grow. I don't like that sometimes, but looking back I'm so glad I've had those experiences. I love this gospel, I know it's true. When times get hard it's something that we can fall back on and gives us hope to get through those storms. I love y'all and I miss y'all tons."

Friday, August 10, 2012

Training!

"First things first! Happy 25th Anniversary Momma and Old man!! I'm sorry I missed it. But I love you and I'm proud of you!

What a crazy week! Both of my past companions went home this week! And I found out who I will be training! I'm training Elder Silva. He is from North Ogden Utah. He is a nice kid. We don't have a lot of the same hobbies or interests. But he is a great kid and is excited to learn and work hard. We have had a really good first week filled with lessons, service and dinner appointments! He is still getting use to the bike. Wait, I'm not even use to the bike! But, I see a lot of great things happeneing with E. Silva. He is not prideful, and that's all that I care about. I don't like prideful missionaries cause it's not about us!" 


Goodbye, Elder Heaton

"This week was kinda weird cause it was E. Heaton's last one in the field. So we spent most of our time saying goodbye to the members and other people he has gotten close with. But because of him leaving I obviously have to get a new comp. And so I got a call from President Wall last night, and he asked me to be a trainer! I'm really stoked for that. Being a trainer is probably the best calling you can have as a missionary. Mainly because you get to focus solely on missionary work and teaching the new guy how it's done. I feel blessed that the Lord and President Wall trust me to do this. It should be a fun time. I cant wait to learn from him!
 
But this week we had a lot of dinner appointments! We ate like kings all week. Church was good this week. Sadly none of our investigators came. But E. Heaton and I were asked to talk this week. I spoke on being an example to
those around us and how we can make that difference in someone else's life to make them want to be a better person. I used some scriptures that were really helpful. ( 1 Tim 4:12,15,16 Alma 17:11). 
 
We had a meeting this week and so we spent the night at another missionaries apartment. We woke up the next morning at 5 and played dodgeball. It got pretty intense. E. Heaton sprained his knee, another elder sprained his thumb and I cut up my thumb trying to pull a White Goodman from dodgeball and ended up crashing into the curtain divider in the gym! But it was pretty fun!"
 

New Orleans

"It was a weird week. I'll start with New Orleans (Nawlins)... it was really fun. So much to do with such little time. We started off by taking a ferry across the Mississippi River from the west bank to the east bank where downtown New Orleans is. I got some really cool pictures from the ferry. But we walked to the
WWII museum, we didn't go inside the museum cause it was so expensive and didn't have much time, but they show like a 30 min 4D movie that we did see. It was pretty sweet. I wish they would have given more historical info but it is definitely something that I recommend to go see if you are ever in New Orleans. Then from there we went down to the French market which is across from the French quarters, which is off limits to missionaries. The French market was just like those long walk ways with a bunch of venders, like a swap meet or stuff down in Mexico, which I love! It was cool to see all the different items they were selling. I didn't buy a lot of the stuff that I liked cause I have the faith that I will serve there someday. Overall it was a fun trip. Like I said, lots of things to do, with not a lot of time. But it was so cool to just walk the streets and feel the culture just sinking into you through the sidewalk. 
 
On a good note Gaby came to church! It was really cool. I don't know how much I've said about her but she is 12 and a less active member's daughter. She is a devoted follower of Christ. She has been going to a different church by herself since she was 5! So she really enjoys learning about the Gospel. We had a young women's activity this week and she was able to meet other girls her own age. Which was great cause that is one of the hardest things for a kid, is finding people to fit in with. So it was great. We hope to see her progress and be ready in August. Our other main investigator didn't come. She has a lot of family issues and plus she lives with another less active member. We hope to see her sometime this week. As for our recent converts go... Greg is so solid, he passed the sacrament again this week and is just a total stud! Ralph went to work again but this time on a boat on the river so he is able to communicate with us."

Thursday, August 9, 2012

"We are going to New Orleans today for Pday! I'm so stoked! This week went great! We picked up two new investigators. We are starting to see a lot of fruit from our labors. One of them is a less active member's roommate and she and the less active member actually came to church this Sunday. Another is a less active member's daughter who is 12. We went over to help the less active member, who just happens to be Catherine's, our recent convert, sister, do service and found out that her daughter was never baptized. So they
invited us over for dinner this week and we taught her about the Book of Mormon and invited her to read it, she loves to read and was excited to get started on it. We had a really powerful lesson with them on the importance of families and why the Lord commands use to obey the Law of Chastity and Word of Wisdom. 
 
Church was really good this week. We had a bunch of less active members there that we have been working really close with. Also Greg passed the sacrament for the first time! After he finished and was sitting down, he came up to us with a huge smile on his face and shook our hands. I was so proud of him and I'm sure he was proud of himself. There is no doubt in my mind that he felt the Spirit and felt important while he was doing his priesthood duty. It was a tender mercy of the Lord for sure. Sister Dupree also gave a great talk on Charity. I'm not sure if I have told you about Sister Dupree or not, if I haven't, I need to repent because she is soooo amazing. She has breast cancer and is going through a lot, I'm sure Aunt Dan knows exactly what I mean, and yet she is so caring and loving and is always looking to help other people. She is always asking about how Aunt Dan is doing and has even given me a few things to give to her. Sister Dupree is definitely one of my heroes. She never complains and always has a smile on her face."
 

"This week flew by so fast! Im surprised cause we havnt been able to teach anyone. We have just been focusing on less active members and our 3 recent converts. Ralph received the Arronic priesthood yesterday! That's two
weeks in a row that we have had a recent convert receive the priesthood. Greg is planning on passing the sacrament next week. This is starting to remind me of Many where we had both Larry Austin and Jeremy both passing the sacrament! Such a sweet feeling to see them exercise their priesthood.

 As in I've stepped back and looked at what things I can do to help my companion, I was able to just love him and serve him instead of trying to make him do things. Sometimes that's what it takes. I've been studying a lot about how the Savior taught and dealt with people. He didn't force people or tell them direct orders. He loved them and led by example through humility and obedience. I've learned a lot and was humbled once again. 

But we did have a fun 4th of July! The four missionaries and Sister Gore put on a branch activity. We worked really hard to make it a fun activity where people could bring their friends! We of course BBQ'd, but also had volleyball, wiffleball, badmitton, a waterslide, even karaoke! It was a blast. We had a great turn out. Nearly 60 people came! I wish they would all come to church! But that's another topic for another time."

"Gosh time is flying by. Today is my 8 month mark! But this week was good kinda crazy, but good. So to start off we did not get hit by the tropical storm "Debbie" President Wall called us last week and told us to be ready to evacuate to Baton Rouge if necessary. But another minor disaster happened here in Morgan City this week. One of the transformers for the power companies blew up! It caught on fire along with the back up generator and who knows what else! So we were out of power for about 2 days! We were actually driving by when it started to catch on fire and I got a video of it! hah But we stayed with President Albert for 2 days due to the no electricity thing. It
was way fun! We went fishing off his dock, His back yard runs up to the Bayou! Not to mention we ate like Kings while we were there! I love their family. They are Samoan and are so much fun to be around. Another cool thing that happened this week is I finished my first Journal! Yes me, "Carter-who hates to write in a journal-Bailey" completed my first journal. I realized I didn't want to forget all the fun and amazing times I've experienced on my mission.
But as for the missionary work goes... None of our investigators came to church! The only 3 we have are kinda at a stand still right now. But, we are trying to work hard with them along with finding new ones as well! But even with no investigators at church, we had all 3 of our recent converts there! Greg, Ralph and Catherine! It was so sweet! Greg and Ralph bore two of the best testimonies I've heard. Ralph's was literally... "I know that this is Jesus Christ's restored gospel, it has truly changed my life." and then sat down. It was so sweet!  Greg also received the priesthood today and Ralph will receive it next week. After Greg was ordained (given the priesthood), He shook everyone's hand and then Ralph stood up and gave him a big ole hug! Catherine is working with president Jordan to get ready to go do baptisms. I was so happy to see her at church! So our 3 recent converts are really becoming strong members of the branch!"

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Humility

This email is going to be really short... I'm sorry. A member just came and surprised us at the library and is taking us to the Zoo! 

This past week was branch conference, so it was nice to have all the stake leaders come. No investigators came.  But, we had 3 recent converts at church. Ralph, Greg and one that was baptized awhile ago. It was awesome, The one that was awhile ago is preparing to go to the temple, so that's really cool. Greg is getting the priesthood next Sunday! Wohoo! I'm excited for him. So, I'm really happy with the progress that each of our recent converts is making. 

A great lesson that I have had to learn the hard way recently is that being humble is the key to being a great disciple. Pride brings us down lower than what our calling is. The Lord has definitely helped me learn that lately, and I'm sure he willl continue to help me with that.

Greg Got Baptized!


"This week was great, full of plenty of different events...Monday we went to the gator farm! We went with some of the Hispanic members that have some hook ups! It was really cool.  But also this week I experienced my first bike crash! It's been raining almost everyday, and so we were biking from the area that we were working to the Adams apartment so we could take cover until it cleared up. The roads here in Louisiana are not level so there are a lot of puddles. Well I went through one at a weird angle and I laid my bike down (yes I only say that to make it sound cool). I did jump off, but my right leg got caught under the frame of the bike. So, I braced my fall with my right hand, forearm, elbow and shoulder. Not to much damage though. My whole right side is a little sore. And I have a huge chunk of flesh missing from the palm of my hand. I thought I was going to have to get stitches, but it wasn't as deep as I thought. But after I wrecked I popped back up and we rode the rest of the way to the Adams. And Sister Adams took such good care of me. She treated me like one of her own Grandchildren. Speaking of which, she has a cute Grand daughter that I'm gonna start writing :) But, anyways I really appreciated her love and care!

Greg also was baptized this week! It was so cool, he invited his wife and grand daughter to his baptism, And I think we are gonna start teaching them this week! He is so funny, he wanted to know how the water felt before we started the service so he walked right on in and sat down so only his head was dry! He was like, "Oh yeah, that should be good." When he walked into the chapel, his wife said, "Wait you were baptized already!?!?" She was so worried that we did it with out her. Greg is so awesome. Ralph came back this week. but not in time for Greg's baptism. But we got a serious "Bromance" going on with those two! It's so sweet."

Gator Farm



 "Another solid week in the mission field. I'll start off by talking about how the work is going and then get into everything else... So this week was slow with teaching. But on the bright side, all our investigators are progressing in the Gospel. Greg is getting baptized this Saturday! I'm so excited, he is such a great example of a dedicated follower of Christ! Don't worry I will send home pictures. Then ALex and Alicia are taking huge steps in their relationship and in the Gospel. They are so awesome, I love them a lot. We had Stake Conference this weekend. Elder Zivic of the Seventy was the visiting authority. 

Okay so now for some funny stories and events that happened this week... So we recently have started going to a donut shop from breakfast every morning. (We bike there for morning workouts) And let me tell you... it's a hoot. It's like those old fashion diners where all the old men go and just cut up (joke around) and tell stories. It's so funny. The chef loves us and calls us her adopted grandsons. The old men love us too, I think I've only paid for my breakfast once, cause usually one of the old men just say "Aye, BeBe, just throw these 4 young fellas on my tab" and just walk out the door.  We have been doing a lot of service for people. Members, non members, I even bought a hot n spicy for our good friend Maurice. (Homeless guy under the bridge). President Wall has put a lot of focus on serving people so that we love them. So we hope to see some miracles from that pretty soon.

Monday, June 4, 2012

"When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your Lord."





We had a good week with teaching lots of lessons. We went back and tried a bunch of old investigators and are starting to teach them again. But on the other hand we didn't get to see any of the less active families that we have been working with. So this week we are going to try a happy medium. We helped move in the Senior Couple this week, the Adams. They are so sweet. They seem to really like us, so I'm sure we will see a lot of sweet miracles with their help. 

This week at church was awesome. We had 52 people! Sadly 12 of them were visitors, but that's okay! I'll take what the Lord will give us!  Greg came to church and he bore his testimony! He is committed now for June 16th! 


But something cool that I read this week that I want to share with you... D&C 98: 2-3
2 Waiting patiently on the Lord, for your prayers have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and are recorded with this seal and testament—the Lord hath sworn and decreed that they shall be granted.
3 Therefore, he giveth this promise unto you, with an immutable covenant that they shall be fulfilled; and all things wherewith you have been aafflicted shall work together for your good, and to my name’s glory, saith the Lord. 


Heavenly Father hears and answers your prayers. I can promise you that he does. He loves us and sometimes doesn't answer us right away, and that's because he does them in his own due time and for our own good, even if sometimes we don't see it that way.


I love and miss yall so much! I only ask one things from each and every one of you. And that's for M&M's... just kidding. But just live life, and don't get caught up with the world. Stay strong and be happy. Now ill get off my soapbox... Have a great week! Love y'all!


This past week was quite the crazy one. We had Zone Conference, which was really. We talked a lot about the Book of Mormon and how it is so key in our conversion because everything relies on whether that book is true scripture of God. We also talked a lot about how to strengthen our wards, or in our case branch, and how to get the members more active. We also moved apartments. It took us about a day and a half to move everything over and then we cleaned our old apartment. 

Greg, Alex and Alicia all came to church on Sunday! It was go great! They only stayed for sacrament meeting, so we will work with them on trying to stay all three hours next week. But, at least this is a step in the right direction. We had to move Greg's baptismal date back because we weren't going to teach him everything in time. 

Yesterday was really fun! One of the members had a craw fish boil and a BBQ. They invited us over and it was tons of fun. They are Hawaiian and Samoan and so they of course had tons of food and tons of fun. We had a good time. 

I miss and love yall so much!