A Stellar Week

Update 8/15/2016

Tuesday

Today was alright.  We had studies this morning then we were supposed to have a lesson with Nicole and Taylor at 10, but they no-showed.  We went home and finished our studies and the 12 week and then drove to the church to exchange with King George.  I went there with Elder Shirley and Elder Maedgen stayed with Elder Rhinehart.  It's Elder Madgens first time alone in the area but he did great and they had a lot of lessons.

We started out with a couple lessons in some trailer parks and did a little bit tracting.  It brought me back to my Burkville days and was kinda fun, even though nobody wanted to talk to us.  Their area is kinda sparse with places to just go and knock doors because it's even more spread out than Burkeville.

We contacted some people in a neighborhood and met an old potential named JJ.  He is probably in his 20s, is a firefighter and had talked to missionaries before.  He was kind of negative at first but we started talking about the Restoration and he had lots of questions about the authority.  We tried to explain to him how the [priesthood] authority works and by the end he started to get it.  He had to rush out though because he got a notification that there was a house fire so he ran inside grabbed his stuff and left. 

We also found this other dude who thought he knew a lot about Mormonism and really liked to bash with us.  It was kind of funny because everything he said contradicted himself and he really didn't know anything.

We had dinner with a family in Elder Shirley’s ward which was fun.  The rest of our night we went to Colonial Beach and try to have a couple lessons up there with some of their investigators.  Everybody we tried seems to not be there, but it was pretty cool to see the beach and out across the waters to Maryland.

Wednesday

After studies this morning we drove back to the church and had district meeting which was really good.  The spirit was definitely there and Elder Maedgen and Rinehart gave really good trainings!  After the meeting we met the zone leaders and did exchanges with them.  Elder Maedgen went to Aquia with Elder Sundh and I stayed with Elder Martin.  We did lunch with the District at Mione's, like usual, which is this little Italian joint and the only restaurant close to the church.  It's pretty ok but really not haha.

Elder Martin and I had a good day and it was cool to go out with him because we served around each other in the Gayton area and never went on exchanges.  He's going home next week, for school, and has been a good example for me.  We started our day off seeing Sister Gerber.  We have been sending her scripture texts and so we just talked about it.  She seems to like the texts and hopefully it's helping her get scriptures every day.  The kids should be home soon so that we can start meeting with them again. 

After that we drove to Old Forge to see Sheba who we had a lesson with about the Restoration.  We were able to teach her about the Book of Mormon and committed her to read it again and come to church.  We also saw this lady named Kathy who I have been trying to see the whole time I've been here!  In the area book it says that she has read the Book of Mormon all the way through and was really interested but the missionaries never saw her.  We caught her, and had a little lesson with her and set up a return appointment so we can come back, she's a great lady.  We also had a lesson with Alyssa this afternoon who is one of Nicole's daughters, a lady we talked with last week.  We taught her the Restoration and she seemed really excited about it and said she read the Book of Mormon.

We had dinner with the Burdsals, then Josh, who is leaving on a mission soon, came out with us.  We had a couple great lessons mostly with new people we found.  One of them was with a lady named Jerra.  We were walking down the stairs in an apartment and she happened to open her door right when I was walking past, I turned to her and started asking her questions just like we had been having a conversation!  It was really random but really awesome at the same time and we had a great lesson with her.  We also found a chick named Brittany who is really excited to meet with us.  We talked with her about the Restoration and she was especially excited about the Book of Mormon and even said she would consider baptism.  We are going to see her soon for sure.

Today was so full of miracles and we taught a ton.  I love teaching and especially when you find someone that you know is prepared for the gospel, it's just the best.

Thursday

Today was pretty good too, I think I was still on a high from yesterday lol.

We had studies then came home and switched our companions back, then Elder Maedgen and I studied a little.  We had weekly planning too which took up a lot of our day but that was ok.

We had dinner at the Brodie's tonight which was awesome.  Seth just came home from his mission a couple weeks ago so it's really fun to talk to him because he still in the missionary mindset. 

We saw Kathy again and she's having a little bit of a rough time in her life with some emotional things are going on.  We tried to talk it out with her and help her understand this gospel is something that can bring her peace.  She was about to drop us then I kinda helped her to not to so that we could keep seeing her. 

After that we saw Alyssa again, she hadn't read her Book of Mormon so we read the Introduction with her.  It was a good lesson and she was really engaged and said that this week she is out of town but will try and read and pray about it.  Hopefully she does.

Lastly we had a sweet lesson with Britney.  She hadn’t read either, so we went outside and read the Introduction with her on the sidewalk.  She definitely loves God and wants to follow His commandments.  We went over the Restoration again a little bit and by the end of the lesson she was really excited to go read her Book of Mormon and said she was going to do it that night! She is definitely ready to be baptized soon.  Today was awesome.

Friday

Today was a really long… We were out in the sun a lot.  This morning after studies we went to a church in Fredericksburg where they were doing a service project for kids that don't have school clothes.  There were tons of volunteers there and they had the whole church set up like a mall or something.  All of the sister missionaries were helping out inside and all the elders helped outside.  Basically we got to sit in the sun for 2 1/2 hours and direct traffic for the volunteers and people picking up clothes.  It was good to serve but the heat killed me.  After that we went with some of the others to this Chinese buffet that was pretty good.

Our afternoon was kinda slow.  We tracted this street for like an hour in the sun and it was dead.  Nobody was home, then we had a lesson close by and the lady canceled on us! Haha gotta love being a missionary.  We had dinner at home and then just chilled for a bit which was needed.

Our evening wasn't the most exciting either, we basically had our plans fall through, which is normal, so we went over and tried to see some families.  We have been working with the Taddeos on trying to get Keisha to church which is coming along great and so we went to see them.  Our lesson with the Taddeos went great though and they're really excited to bring Keisha to church.

Lastly we finally caught Chandler again which was lucky.  She's got a crazy life.  She still hasn't read but wants to be baptized so idk what to do.

Saturday

Today was soooooo hot oh my heck.  The temps got up to like high 90s and with the humidity it was just brutal.  After studies we went back to help at the service thing and that was good.  Just helped direct traffic again for like 2.5 hours.  Felt good to get some sun even though it was like an oven. 

The afternoon was rough, I'm not gonna lie.  I think the sun exposure just took everything out of me and I was just so tired.  But we did get to teach Richard this afternoon which was great.  We've been going through the Plan of Salvation with him slowly and were able to talk about the fall of Adam and Eve and our earth life this time.  It was a great lesson and Richard is really progressing in his learning and understanding.

We had some appointments tonight but they didn't happen.  We were supposed to meet with Brittany but she was asleep when we went over.  Besides that, we went and just tried seeing some people.  It was kind of a slower night.

Sunday

Church today was pretty awesome.  John, one of our new converts, was able to bless the sacrament today and he did great!  He really has a love for the gospel and is on his way to the temple when he hits his year mark.  We also had Keisha come to church with the Taddoes and she liked it a ton.  She met with the bishop after sacrament and they talked about how the church can help her and stuff.  And we even got Sister Leonard to come to relief society!  So great!  Classes were good but we are always running around during class and stuff.

This afternoon we had a lesson with a lady that Elder Maedgen found on exchanges named Janice.  She's older and at first I wasn't sure how interested she was, but we read the Introduction with her and were able to set her on date!  Hopefully she reads and prays this time and it would be great to have her at church.  We had dinner with the Holcombes tonight which was fun, then we went out with Colin, a priest in the ward.  We saw Kathy but it wasn't the meeting we were expecting.  We stood out on her porch in the rain getting soaked and she kinda told us that she loves the Book of Mormon and knows that it's true but isn't ready to change yet.  I think eventually she will see the importance of it, but for now she doesn't want us going back...  Bummer.

We also went to a lesson with Brother Holcombe tonight to see the Newagos.  He's their home teacher and so we brought him along and it was perfect.  They hit it right off and we had a really spiritual lesson with them.  We walked out the door and were walking to the car and sitting outside I saw one of our investigators Austin so I went and talked to him.  He said he had been reading a little which is great.  We only had a minute so I just read Moroni 10:4-5 with him and we talked about how he can gain a testimony.  Brother Holcombe also shared his testimony and just talked to Austin a little and the spirit was definitely there.

My week was actually really stellar.  Love you all!

Elder Larson