Huge Lessons in Simple Principles

Blog 9/22


Today was so spiritual.  So I woke up and I wasn’t really feeling it, but then I started planning my training for district meeting.  Yeah last minute I know, haha.  But, I chose to speak on one of the training chapters "We Invite, They Commit, We Follow Up" and just talk about how important it is to have the spirit there while we invite and teach.  Well I had this training planned out and it was perfect.  We got there and everyone was just so in-tune already and it just started off with the spirit.  We were talking about what we needed to do as a district and it came down to having more "quality" lessons, teaching people not lessons, and teaching and helping people repent.  Well we started talking about everything and just had a really great discussion then it just led so perfectly into my training.  We talked about how we can help people make commitments and repent(aka change their lives to follow Christ).  I felt the spirit so strong and I wasn't really even speaking, it was totally a group discussion.  I have my notes from my training so I’ll send them to you but it was unreal.  We were all super pumped leaving there and I was so ready to go out and just do missionary work. 

Today we had exchanges and I went to White Oak with Elder Arvidson.  We had a really good day and I think it was so good because it started off so spiritual.  He has been out 3 weeks and is a really good kid.   He knows tons of stuff and is now learning about how to be a missionary.   We had a lot of talks about a ton of stuff, especially the spirit and just the people.  It was really good. 

We didn’t get to teach that much today but it was still good.  It just seemed like a regular missionary day.  Tonight though I had my first baptism interview and that was good.  It was with Kayden who is a 9-year-old that the White Oak Elders are baptizing.  He’s a really good kid and has the desire and spirit.   We talked about the interview questions and it was great.  But, he's gonna be baptized Saturday!

Overall today was great.  Lots of spiritual feelings and hopefully I can learn from all the things I told Elder Arvidson and I can go back to the basics and just keep learning.  I know that I can’t do anything without the Lord. 


So this morning after studies we switched back and that was good.  Elder Maedgen did awesome in Hartwood while I was gone and I’m really proud of the missionary that he’s starting to become.  We went over to Del’s and did some more studies and 12 week [new missionary training] and then had lunch.  Del got me an old license plate which is one of the souvenirs that I wanted from my mission and I’m so happy, holy cow, it’s the coolest thing ever and I’m totally gonna like frame it or something and hang it up when I get home!!  Idk what I’m gonna do but it’s cool.  After that we went to an apartment complex and knocked some doors of people that said we could come back.  Well, we got tracked down by one of the employees and they ended up kicking us out.

Tonight was crazy.  So we went to the church with Brother Boyd, but first we were able to get Cody to come to scouts with Sister Dudenhefer and it was sweet.  Well we had a ward missionary meeting at the church and all of our ward missionaries were there and we were having a meeting about how we can move the work forward, but then we got pulled out of the meeting to help with the Van Ommerens, who are the ones that have the funeral for Kyle this Saturday.  They were prepping for the funeral and we helped them and the bishop and some others with things.  Well while we were doing that we were also asked by Brother Van Ommeren, who is not a member but a great guy, if we would speak at Kyle’s funeral on Saturday. 


Today we spent a ton of time inside.  Between studies this morning, weekly planning, and then writing our talk we were inside forever.   Planning was good and writing was good.  We got stuck a couple of times on where to take the talk next but prayed and talked it out and it seemed to work out.  By the time we finished we seemed to have a pretty good talk written and just need to take it tomorrow and finish it. 

This afternoon and evening we had a couple lessons which was good.  The first one was with Cecilia and Kareem on tithing and she’s always interesting.  Then we went over to Del’s and had dinner.  Right when we got there he was watching the new Jungle Book and I wanted to watch it sooo bad, but I made him turn it off haha.  Definitely a movie I watch when I get home, that’s my dad’s favorite movie.  Then tonight was great.  So, I used to teach this lady named Felicia, she's really, really great and super in-tune with the spirit.  Well we happened to run into her again and are going to start teaching her again and it was so good.  We had a lesson about the Holy Ghost and what she can do to have the spirit with her always and I really think if she seeks out her answer she will be baptized.  No doubt.  Really excited to teach her again! 


Today was pretty good.  We spent another couple hours on our talk but I’m pretty confident with it now that we’ve worked on it so much.  This morning we went tracting and talked to a minister named Melvin who was pretty interested in the Restoration and said he would read the Book of Mormon.  Then we found a guy named Derek who is a gymnastics coach and was also pretty interested and we had a pretty good lesson with both of them.  We also had a really good lesson with the Gerbers.  Sister Gerber has a lot of things on her plate right now, she’s really stressed and we talked to her about good things that can come from God if we just follow his commandments.  I just know if she comes to church and stuff that it might not necessarily get better, but it will all work out.  We also had dinner with the Dudenhefers, they made gumbo, soooo good!!

Tonight was really, really slow.  We had about an hour of tracting and seeing people and nothing really came from it.  It’s starting to get dark here a lot sooner and people don’t like talking to us when its darker outside.  We met up with the White Oak Elders because they went to Richmond for a meeting today and got us a new phone so that’s good, ours is really, really broken.  We met in an Arby's parking lot and while we were there Maedgen and Arvidson went and handed one of the workers who was on break outside a Book of Mormon and taught him the Restoration, so that was pretty cool. 


So today was the funeral.  This morning we got a curveball thrown at us though.  So originally they asked Elder Maedgen and I to speak together and kinda go back and forth.  Well we sent our talk to the bishop last night and he read it and edited it and then called us this morning.  They changed the program so what ended up happening was that I spoke and gave a shorter talk and Maedgen said the closing prayer.  So, this morning I was running through the talk and piecing it together so that it could be shorter and sound good.  The bishop helped out so that was nice.  Then we went to the church and helped set up.   It was a good funeral and the talks especially were really good.  His grandpa spoke, father, me, the bishop, and the old bishop.  They were all about the atonement and just focused on the plan of salvation.

After the funeral we went home and I crashed during lunch.  Just been wiped the last couple days because of all the prep and because I’m still pretty sick.  My throat is killing me and today my joints are all sore.  But I’m surviving.  This evening we went to the Boyd's and had dinner.  They invited the Leonards too and we had a lesson about faith and action and it was really good.  The spirit was definitely leading it and they were all pretty into it.  I really think the Leonards are going to start coming to church, I hope so.  We also taught Alex tonight and went over the Plan of Salvation with him.  I really don't think that he’s that interested but I could be totally wrong.  I just get a weird vibe when we go over there and I feel like he’s not even letting us teach.  When we started teaching he grabbed the pamphlet and read through it while I was talking and then started asking questions about the kingdoms and we hadn't even talked about the earth life yet.  So we will see how that goes. 


Church was good today.  We had fast and testimony meeting because conference is next week, I’m super excited for that BTW.  Besides that it was a normal week with classes and stuff.  We got home from church and I was sitting on the couch and looked over and our ceiling was leaking!  That was not good since we live in the basement apartment of the Dudenhefer’s, haha But, it wasn’t leaking that bad so we just went up to the Dudenhefer’s and they are gonna fix it.  Glad I caught that though so the whole ceiling didn’t get destroyed.  For dinner we went over to the Gessel’s and that was great.  Sister Gessel’s mom was there and isn’t a member so we were able to have a lesson with all of them and gave her a Book of Mormon.  After that we were supposed to have a lesson in Old Forge but they canceled on us so we went and tried seeing some people.  We ended up having a lesson with the Taddeos and talked a lot about what we can do for their special needs son, who is a teacher.  We watched this video called the Mitch Mobile and are going to try and see how we can help him feel more included.  It was really great and obviously close to my heart because of Ally. 

Overall this week was good, transfers are coming up in 2 weeks and that’s so crazy! I feel like I’ve only been here for like a month!  I love this area and hopefully I can stay one more, guess we will see.