Happy 4th Y'all

Blog 7/4

Tuesday

This morning we went and tracted and tried contacting some people.  It was soooo freaking hot today, the humidity was horrible. 

After lunch we went and talked with Delanie and Brooklyn Gerber, they're super cute little girls and were teaching them.  Their mom is a member but she isn't active right now, they're the best family though.  We talked with them about who God and Jesus are, again, and why they're important, I really think they're starting to get it.  It's so true that the veil is thinner for kids.

Our afternoon was kinda slow, it's the hardest time of the day because everyone is at work.  We did help a lady who was carrying some big boxes to her apartment and she was nice; didn't want to hear a message but service is always good.  Then we taught a really friendly Muslim guy who was interested in our message.  We told him all about the Book of Mormon and about Joseph Smith and everything and he said he wanted to learn more! Super great and he gave us pizza, haha

We saw a couple people tonight but only had a lesson with one of them.  We talked to the Dembys while they were loading up their car and leaving somewhere, they're doing good.  Then we went and talked to Sheba who is still kinda interested and we just read the intro to the Book of Mormon with her.  She was pretty sick so after like 10 min she got up and went inside and didn't come back, haha.  That's happened to me a couple times and it's always so weird!

Wednesday

We tracted all morning in this really nice neighborhood and didn't really have any luck, there was one guy that wants us to come back another time and that was about it.  We went and saw the Gerbers right before lunch and that was good.  They were a lot more rowdy than yesterday and the lesson wasn't quite as good but they're still coming along really well.  Hopefully they can be baptized soon.

Right after lunch we got a call from Brother Hilsinger to go and help him take down a shed he has and load it in a trailer for a guy.  He came and picked us up and we did that.  It was way fun actually, I love doing service and I always feel the spirit when I'm helping others, plus the 2 other guys weren't members so it was a good missionary experience.  But, we helped him and 2 huge marine guys take the roof off then take down the walls and load them in a trailer.  It was pretty tricky and I almost got squished once but I survived.

We ate some Chinese food for dinner then went out and tried to contact a list of formers (aka people that had been taught and dropped) for the rest of the night.  It wasn't really successful and we didn't get to teach anyone but we did clear some people off our list who had moved and stuff so that was good at least.

Thursday

This morning wasn't very interesting, haha just more knocking doors.  Then we had weekly planning for the first part of our afternoon.  This afternoon we went and saw the Leonards.  Man it was a really great lesson.  They've been having a hard time with their daughter who lives with them, she's just falling away and isn't doing good things and it's hard on her kids and hard on them ‘cause they have to take care of the kids.  Well I remembered the "Wrong Roads" video and we showed it to them.  

Then the spirit took me over so strong haha I really don't know where I came up with this;  I turned to Mosiah 27 which is the story of alma the younger and told the story a little, then stopped on the verse where the angel is talking about how his dad's been praying for him.  I related this to them that they just need to be the example and really keep praying for her and show her that the Lord really does bless us when we follow him.

We went out with Joe tonight and he's definitely one of our cooler priests, haha.  We started our night by seeing Cecilia and Kareem who are members and we just shared a quick message with them, then we helped them hang some blinds in their apartment.  After that we went and saw the Taddeos who are less active but are super great.  But we just talked to them about tons of little things but mostly about God and the Atonement, it was a good visit.  After that we went to an apartment complex and knocked doors a little till it was time to go home, it was a good night.

Friday

So today was zone meeting and that was great, we have a good zone and I learned a lot in the meeting.  After that we went and got lunch like usual and then had exchanges.  I stayed in Hartwood with Elder Rhinehart and we had a pretty great day.

So today was super hot and we were out knocking doors and decided to help someone move into their apartment.  Well they were also deaf so it was really neat.  We helped them move all of their stuff then at the end we used my iPad to talk back and forth and told them who we are and what we do and everything and they were really excited to have us come over and talk to them.  We have a member in our ward who served an ASL (American Sign Language) mission so we're gonna have him help us.  That was super cool.

We saw Danny and Del really quick because they like to meet the exchange missionaries then went out with Colin.  He's a good kid and we had a lot of fun.  The first family we saw was less active but have been coming back a little.  One tactic we use is asking them if we can practice teaching on them so we can be ready for our investigators and so that's what we did.  It was a really good lesson and I think they felt the spirit for sure.

The last lesson we had tonight was a miracle.  We went and saw the Gerbers and it was awesome.  So we went in and I was just feeling the spirit already.  We started by playing Uno with them, I took my Uno deck and it was a blast.  It worked for the kids really well because they got their jitters out first then we talked about important stuff.  The lesson was awesome and we just started like normal with God and Jesus, who they are and why they're important.  Then we talked about the Atonement and about baptism and the sacrament and we set all 4 of the kids on date to be baptized on July 30th! They were really excited and felt the spirit a lot.  It was an amazing lesson and I really hope the kids can keep this up so they can be baptized, they were asking and answering questions and everything.  Sooo good.  God is good.

Saturday

This morning was interesting.  We met our new mission president for the first time.  We all went to a chapel and had a little meeting.  He and his wife bore their testimonies and introduced themselves for about 30 min.  They also showed us a video that one of their daughters made about them and their family and it was really neat.  They seem to be awesome.  They have 4 kids, one daughter on a mission in Florida right now.  They're from Idaho and he used to be in marketing so they've lived a bunch of places.  But they seem awesome.  Really funny, really loving, really dedicated and really wanting to do their best for us.  Their personalities are different than the Wilsons but I think it's going to be good, obviously the change is going to be good and it's exactly what God needs for this area right now.  After that meeting we all went to Chick Fil A and then went home and changed and stuff.

Our afternoon was really productive.  We taught Carolyn first, she's a lady we met a while ago and is kinda interested.  She didn't really have time to talk so I just read a couple verses (Mosiah 2:20) and invited her to read the Book of Mormon and she said she would.  After that we went and had a lesson with Angela.  She has the 2 little girls.  Well they're doing great and have been reading their Book of Mormon every day while they're with their dad which is so awesome.  We talked to her about trials and stuff like that and also showed her the "Wrong Roads" video.  She's really awesome.

After that we got a call from the Gerbers and they said they found a snake that they wanted us to come kill.  Well we got there and couldn't find it haha so we just taught them a lesson.  We talked about the Book of Mormon and the scriptures and they were asking more questions and wanting to read so it was great, they're gonna be baptized.

After dinner we went back out with Colin, he loves coming out with us, but didn't really have a good night teaching wise.  It was good and we tried and it was good for him to get the experience but didn't get to teach anyone so that was a bummer.

Sunday

Church was pretty good, normal fast Sunday.  I love the ward here and everyone has gotten to know us so it makes it feel a lot more like home.  We tracted for a little bit after church hoping we could find some families home on the holiday weekend but we didn't.  Then we went to the Olbeters and had dinner, they're great, love them.

Our evening was really interesting.  We tried to see some less actives and the first one we met was Sharon.  She's a bird lady, haha, she loves birds and that's what she does for her job.  She has 4 exotic birds living in her house right now, but she's has up to 19 at once!  She has 2 smallish white ones, like the size of my head, and then 2 big macaws that are insane.  They're so cool and we talked about birds a lot.  We also shared the Family Proclamation because she said the church's view on families is the whole reason she joined the church, she's really great and it was fun to talk with her.

Lastly, I just wanna wish everyone a happy Independence Day! It's awesome to be here in one of the oldest places in America on the 4th of July.  I'm really grateful for this country that we have and I know it's a promised land.  Have a great 4th y'all!

Elder Larson