Thursday, April 26, 2012

A Few Seinfeld References...

"Well another good week here in Morgan City. I wasn't here for half of it because I went on an exchange with one of the Zone Leaders and since I don't know the area too well I went up to Lafayette for two days. It was fun and Elder Killpack, one of our Zone Leaders, is awesome. Next transfer is his last, so it was a great chance to learn from an Elder that has served for so long. But while we were there, we went to Stevens Fried chicken!! Probably the best fried chicken in Louisiana! And fancy this, it was run by Asian people... Sounds familiar, right Wayne?? haha But this week was defiantly a long one. It felt like one of the longest weeks of my mission. I'm not sure why, we were pretty busy for the most part. 

But yesterday was awesome because 3 investigators came to church! That is just unheard of in Morgan city!  It was "another festivus miracle!" After church we had a "linger longer" (pot luck) and no, there was no feats of strength. Sorry to disappoint you. But one of the talks during sacrament this lady from the stake came and talked. She told us that when we do temple work, other than their parents and the Savior, we are the most important person in their lives. For some reason that really struck me hearing that this time. I'ts so true, sometimes we take doing temple work as a personal thing to help make us feel good. But, we are actually doing one of the greatest acts of charity. Allowing people to partake in ordinances that they in no other way could. Wow, what a blessing! 

Back home sounds like things are going great! One of the members has a dog that reminds me of Jeter. I miss that big guy! I printed out the picture of him and taped him to my wall :) But I miss and love y'all so much! Please remember that its never too late. Remember the parable of the 99 and 1 lost sheep! Be safe, have fun, and enjoy life my friends!"

Life in Louisiana...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Ralph Got Baptized!

Another Solid week here in Morgan City. We have been working with a lot of less active members this week. The missionaries that have been in this area in the past haven't worked with less actives or part members. But, that's how Elder Davidson and I had so much success in Many--by working with less actives and part members. And by how this week has gone, that's probably how we will have success here! We had Ralph's Baptism on Saturday. It went really well. He was so prepared, I love it! We hope to get him the priesthood next week and then hopefully get him called as the Branch Mission leader. I had the blessing of confirming him yesterday. It was a sweet experience! 

I actually didn't do to much English work this week. We went on an exchange with the Spanish Elders and so I went with Elder Nelson to do spanish work! I learned how to bear my testimony in Spanish and I got a bunch of chances to do it. Some laughed and others were quite impressed! hah To tell you the truth though, I sounded liked a real gringo! I'm basically the one that all the Spanish members in our branch make fun of! So, first the prayer in Spanish at the baptism, then I bear "mi testimonio" and I even read in Spanish! So, I'm expecting a call from President Wall any day now asking me to go Spanish speaking for a few transfers :)

None of our investigators came to church this week. We are going to work hard to get some next week. We have a lot of solid people that say they want to get baptized but just haven't put forth the effort to make it there. So we are gonna start working even harder than before!

Be obedient and faithful. And I can promise you that if we endure trials well, those promised blessings from having both Mad and myself serving the Lord will come! Read D&C 122. It brings tears to my eyes!  I love y'all so much. And I'm proud of each and everyone of you. I miss you, family! Be safe, Have fun, and enjoy life!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Lord is Just Keeping His Promises

"What an amazing Easter week! Ralph is ready and excited for his baptism this Saturday. He came to church and I said... "Hey Ralph, thanks for coming, it's great to see you here." and he said..." Well, I'm going to be a member of this church so I thought I should come to that church!" haha How simple that seems to us, but yet almost all of Louisiana doesn't grasp that same concept. But Church was good, I was told last Saturday that I would be speaking in church Easter Sunday, so I had less than 24 hours to prepare. Good thing I'm a missionary! But, I talked on the Doctrine of Christ and focused on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We have an average size branch of about 40 members regularly attending. It'a quite unique because half of the branch only speaks Spanish so the Spanish Elders have to translate. My goal before I leave this area is to get the average attendance up over 60! We will see how that goes.

This week was full of awesome miracles, so I would like to share a few with y'all. The first one happened Tuesday. We got a call from a member in our branch saying that this lady that uses to work for them was in the hospital and wanted us to come give here a Book of Mormon. So we gladly went to go see her. She is a wonderful, sweet lady that said she has studied all religions before but never really got a chance to study ours. So, we left her with a Book of Mormon, with our phone number in it, and a few pamphlets along with our testimony of the Savior. A few days later she called us and said she had read each pamphlet twice and wanted us to come see her again! So we gladly went to go see her...again! She said it was so interesting and she loved what she had read. She also said that the Book of Mormon seemed to go hand in hand with the Bible and they supported one another! It was so cool, we are going to see her again tonight and she said she will have tons of questions for us! It was so awesome. I'll keep y'all updated!

Another miracle was on Thursday we went to dinner at McDonalds :) and as we were in line a lady at the register asked for "one of our books." We assumed she meant the Book of Mormon. So I gladly went out to get her one. Before I could even pop the trunk to Spanish's car, Elder Nelson (Spanish Elder) came out and told me that another lady wanted a Book of Mormon and a Bible. So I gladly grabbed them for her. When I got inside we gave the people the things they wished for. The lady that asked for the Bible and Book of Mormon told me she was a member awhile back, and that her ex-boyfriend had burned her Book of Mormon and Bible! She told me she has been looking for us and that us coming there that night was an answer to her prayers! But wait there is more, as we were leaving 3 more people that worked there stopped us and asked for Books of Mormon! It was remarkable! In one trip to McDonalds we handed out 5 Books of Mormon and a Bible. Remember kids... Follow the promptings from the spirit when he tells you to go to McDonalds! haha Heavenly Father has been preparing me for the last 19 years for that night. :)

There were several other miracles as well, but Not as great as the ones I've shared. One short one is that Spanish had a baptism last Saturday and I said the closing prayer in Spanish! hah The gift of tongues! It was pretty sweet, I think it meant a lot to Alberto. (Baptizee) The biggest testimony builder for me, I didn't find this out until after all these miracles, is that the last six weeks before I got to Morgan City the missionaries were walking around trying to find people to teach. Literally teaching no one and having not one ounce of success. So I testify with all of my heart that the Lord blesses us when we work hard and are obedient. He is aware of our every need, and wants to bless us in numerous ways. If we rely on Him and go to him first before we do anything, He will show us the way. I know that the Savior walks with us, He even talks to us but only if we are willing to listen. I don't know why I'm saying all this in my email home, I just know that the spirit is prompting me to do so. This work is greater than me, I know that this success has nothing to do with me. The Lord is just keeping his promises."