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

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.