Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Hello again. I'm still a missionary in Russellville. Life is good. We find out soon though if I'm getting transferred. Not lookin forward to it. President announced that there won't be STL's in Spanish anymore and that Lewis is going English to be a STL in Memphis!!

So this week I'm going to do something a little different and just highlight a thing or two or three from each day. My plan is for this to be short..but y’all know how that goes..

Tuesday: Instead of doing exchanges this transfer both Mac and I went to Little Rock and blitzed with Hermana Lewis and Ponce. We had a goal to set dates and by the end of the day we had 3 set! One of these dates was found while we were talking with someone at their doorstep. We saw in the corner of our eye a young lady with a little boy walk into her apartment. We knew that was our next stop. She is golden. And accepted a date with a door step lesson. Oh and we also found this awesome southern BBQ restaurant. I'm a little ashamed that most of my pictures I send home these days are about food..but I'm in the south, so it’s justified right?? I got to teach with both Hermana Ponce and Lewis. It’s fun to teach with Lewis again! It’s just like old times :) After 7 months of adapting our teaching to each other’s we were able to pick things back up real quick. haha
Wednesday: On Wednesday nights the ward and branch has all of the meetings, mutual activities, and scouts so it gets pretty busy. Sister Fish is in charge of scouts and so her friend and her son were at the church with her. We were able to show them around the church a little bit and went into the chapel and explained how services go and the sacrament. As we were explaining things he made known all his opinions on organized religion. Without going into detail what was cool about all this was just a few hours earlier Hermana Macfarlane and I were talking about wanting to have a super spiritual experience, we were feeling a little slow and we felt like we needed a real cool lesson to reenergize us again and so we prayed for one. And this certainly was our answer! I'd never had a lesson in the chapel before and the spirit is definitely more evident. We were able to testify powerfully about the importance of the sacrament and that God does things in order. By the end there was a definite change in him. We invited him to come back to church. I say this a lot but I LOVE these moments. When someone disagrees with the church, my testimony of it all sinks deeper. 

Thursday: This day was kind of the worst. But Katie came with us to the YSA activity at the Hardways so that was good! 

Friday: We helped the hermanas in the branch make tamales...and we were really bad at it..and the hermanas tried talking really fast Spanish about us being bad at it but I still understand..so that’s kind of sad. haha Weekly planning is death...I've now weekly planned like 42 times now..that’s like...upwards of 90 hours of PLANNING. yikes. But Friday was good! It definitely made up for our bad Thursday. It’s amazing how a couple good lessons can turn the whole work around! We found this sweet lady outside of her apartments with her kids on Thursday, so Friday we went back, her name is Patty, her mom was Mormon so she already had a BOM and knew some bits and pieces about Joseph Smith. Really accepting of it all. We were able to set a date with her as well. We are real excited about her. We had a lesson with Mirium tonight as well, her daughter is a member. She has been taught a lot so before going in we prayed really hard that we could have an awesome lesson..and it was awesome. I've never spoke better Spanish in my life. I was saying words I NEVER use. Those are the lessons that I don't teach are the best ones! She doesn't want to set a date yet but she knows that she needs to be baptized. Yay!
Saturday- Chase and CJ got all mad that we didn't go to their basketball game last weekend..we got an earful. So this week we went and watched a little bit of their games. It was held at the Baptist church here, which is fine we were just worried that we would look like we are proselyting, which we could get in trouble for. So when we pulled up we couldn't get a hold of Nikki to walk in with us. We said a prayer and the second we opened our eyes and looked up they pulled in and parked right in front of us. #blessed. We definitely stuck out like a sore thumb but it was fun to watch the boys! 

We had good lessons with Sister Fish and her friend and also tonight had dinner and a lesson with another investigator and her family along with the MacArthurs. The lesson took us over an hour to plan. We had a whole lesson planned out and after practicing it and finalizing it we didn't feel good about it so we ended up scrapping the entire thing and it took forever to replan it all but it worked out and it all went well! 
Sunday- Our investigator came to church! Woohoo! And we had a stake broadcast with Elder Hales and Rasband. Danville came to watch it so I got to see old friends! Sunday we did a lot of "ITM-ing" (inspire the members). We teach them the restoration and then invite them to bring their non member friends into their homes to be taught. We also had a Sunday dinner with granny Bett (Bishops mom). It’s nice to have a grandma Sunday dinner :) I don't ever want to leave these people. 

President Wakolo often talks about putting on our "spiritual eyes." 
 A conversation Hermana Macfarlane and I had this week was about the gospel being "crazy." Either all these Mormons have the "crazy coolest experiences ever!" or it’s that they are all actually crazy for thinking that this is all true. So to some of you all my stories are just a bunch of cool coincidences, you’re happy that I'm out here because most people, no matter the religion, think it’s awesome for a young adult to dedicate time to preach about Jesus Christ. But maybe you think..yea they are a little "crazy." But for those of you who read this with spiritual eyes know it’s so much more than that. That these are real experiences that come from a lot of time on our knees, fasting, obedience and studying. The answers we receive because of those efforts aren't coincidences at all. This is not our work, everything we do is divinely inspired. So I hope if you are reading this as a bunch of cool stories, that you can put on your spiritual eyes  and recognize that these experiences are in fact crazy real, and are guided by Christ himself.  The Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ is sweeping the entire earth, Gods work is moving forward! Just like that "crazy" Joseph Smith promised. 

I also had a dream that I came home and was at the gym to see everyone. And Kam kept beating me in the workouts, which was annoying! And Carson was too into his workout to come say hi, which was also annoying. Both were pretty accurate. haha So see y’all never. #LongLiveMyMission

Also nothing can pump me up more than Elder Holland. If you’re bored go look some of his conference talks. Kills it every time!

Love y'all 

Te quiero 

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