The Walmart Run

Weekly update 4/11/16 

Monday 

So today we went to Midlothian for p-day.   As a mission all the zones ran a 5k and whoever got the fastest average time got a prize.  Running isn't my favorite activity but it wasn't too bad lol.  After that we just hung out with the other elders and played sports like normal.   

The Zone Running a 5K

The Zone Running a 5K

Tonight we had a lesson with Jackie and the kids and Fin, a priest in our branch, came with us.  We read the story of Alma the Younger with them and talked about repentance and forgiveness and how we do mess up because we're human, but Christ gave us a way to make it better.  They're doing really good with all the commitments and everything and the lesson tonight clicked with them.  They're still on track to be baptized on the 20th! 

Tuesday 

So today was alright, we went to Crewe in the morning and had our lesson flake out on us, so we just spent the morning in Crewe contacting people.  Like every house we tried there was nobody there, it was kinda disappointing.  After that we had a lesson with Earnest.  It was a pretty good lesson, but I felt like we should drop him because he wasn't wanting to keep any of our commitments.  We told him about the gospel of Jesus Christ and about how faith is a principle of action and if he wasn't willing to act on his faith then we were going to take a break for a while.  He was pretty distraught about it and didn't like hearing that, and Elder Thalman doesn't have a mean bone in his body so he kinda comforted him and un-dropped him.  Not the best scenario, but it was a good learning moment.  Sometimes people aren't ready for the full gospel yet, sometimes we need to give them a little air to breathe and then we can come back after they feel the absence of the spirit in their lives.  Everyone has to gain that testimony for themselves.   

After that we had something really funny happen to us.  So we were passing the house of a former investigator and decided to go see if they were home, they were and so we were teaching Tamari while his wife was in the bedroom doing her hair.  This was the first real lesson we'd had with Tamari and it was going all good until we got about 1/2 way through the First Vision and Tamari got a text.  So he was like "I have to run outside and give something to my aunt and I'll be right back..."  Well we were just sitting on the couch for a couple minutes waiting and his wife comes in and tells us "He went to Walmart, didn't he tell you?" And we were like "Ummmmm no....."  What the heck, this guy just got up in the middle of a lesson and went to Walmart! We were dying laughing, haha  Needless to say I think we're dropping them too.   

Tonight we went out with Big T to see this guy he knew in Kenbridge.  His name is David and his birthday is today.  He's turning 71 so Kendra made him a cake and we took it to him.  It was a wild visit.  He's had a condition for a long long time that causes him to have seizures frequently and he is a little crazy.  Well he also used to be like a preacher and knows his stuff.  He like totally preached to us for like 45 min and all of his doctrine was totally right, but he was just crazy haha  He was like jumping around and spinning and all up in our faces, but the thing he started out with was James 1:5, which is the scripture Joseph Smith read before he prayed and saw God and Jesus Christ.  So we told him about Joseph Smith and it just went downhill from there.  He said he read the Book of Mormon and found it to be false because it tells you to follow the devil and to not pay your tithing.  UMM nope sorry!  I don't think it says that, hahaBut it was fun to talk to him!  Happy birthday David!   

Wednesday 

So we had a couple lessons today that were alright.  The first one was Wilbur.  He's an older guy that enjoys talking to us, but he won't really listen to what we say.  He just kinda comes back with the same speech after everything we say about how he's not crazy and he knows God and he's not perfect but he's trying...  Well we tried to teach him the Restoration and he actually said he would read the introduction to the Book of Mormon at the end of the lesson.   

After lunch we went and saw Tyrone.  He's a younger guy that's been meeting with the missionaries for a while and likes the missionaries and lessons, but again, he won't really do anything with the stuff we give him.  It's really kind of sad.  Like the people just don't understand what they're missing.  So we read the introduction of the Book of Mormon with him and told him that if he really does read and pray about it he can know it's true and will want to be baptized.   

Tonight we had a lesson with Thomas and Crystal.  They're still working on finding their answer to be baptized and had a couple questions that we helped them answer.  One of them was "I've already been baptized?"  And so we talked to them about priesthood authority and about how their baptism and them choosing to follow Christ was right but it wasn't done with the right authority and they didn't receive the Holy Ghost.  They understood it and are going to keep praying about it.  It was a good lesson.   

Thursday

So first of all today was my dad’s, Brooklyn’s, and Elder Thalman’s birthday! So happy birthday to all of them, love them a lot and hope they had a great day.   

This morning we didn't have any appointments so we just went around and knocked doors, nobody answered but it was alright.  After that I took Elder Thalman for lunch to get some pizza for his birthday.  Then after that for a good chunk of the afternoon we had weekly planning. 

After planning we went out and saw some people, one of them was James.  He's an older guy that we talked to a while ago and said we could come back for a lesson.  We taught him the Restoration and it was going pretty good until we got to the Book of Mormon.  When we handed it to him he stopped and looked at it and said "I don't mean to be rude or nosey, but are you guys Mormons?" We said yes, and he kinda just thought about it for a minute.  He was like "I have a couple ‘Mormon’ friends, whenever I need a cow butchered or anything I take it to them" haha  Then he went on for a couple more minutes and totally just described Amish people.  So we had to clear that up and then he was like "Oh so you are the ones that have lots of wives!" And we said no and explained that to him too.  It was really funny and he said he saw all that stuff on TV which made me really wonder about what's going on in the world.   

After that we went to dinner at Farmer’s Cafe with Big T and Kendra and celebrated Elder Thalman’s Birthday.  Then we had a lesson with the Farmers.  They're doing really good and we taught them about the temple and how they can all go to the temple.  They really liked it and it was a really good lesson.   

Friday

So today for most of the day we had zone conference.  We drove with the Farmville Elders up to Short Pump, which is my old area, and had meetings with the other missionaries and with President Wilson.  It was a good conference and it was really fun seeing all the other missionaries.   

We got home and we had 2 lessons flake out on us which was kind of a bummer.  We went and had a quick lesson with Jackie on her porch though and talked about some of the questions she's been having and helped her out a little.  She's so ready for baptism and needs to just get baptized tomorrow haha 

After that we went and saw Shannon and Jaimé.  They're really cool and are pretty faithful in their church.  It's actually funny because as we were talking about the gospel of Jesus Christ he totally believed in like the same stuff we do, they even believe in like the priesthood and blessings and ordinations and stuff hahaI was thinking "Why aren't you Mormons?" But we had a good lesson with them.   

Saturday  

So this morning we went and saw Sister Nave.  She's the one that's moving into a “tiny house” and has a ton of dogs.  She wanted us to come over and visit with her, and see her house.  It's actually kinda cool if you ask me.  But we just talked to her and tried to see what we could do to help her get settled in.   

After that we went and helped Big T load some stuff at the store in town onto his trailer so he could take it home.  It only took a couple minutes and then he took off, we were supposed to go out and help him but he wasn't feeling too great.   

Then we went and met Brother Edgell and went to Burkeville to pick up some furniture for Jackie and we went and delivered it to her.  She was so grateful and was so happy, the gospel really is helping her so much.  We had a lesson while we were there with her and went over the baptismal interview questions so she's ready for her interview (Buck was there too) and they did awesome.  Brother Edgell asked her if she could say what she believed in one sentence, what would she say.  She said "We believe God’s our father, and Jesus died for our sins that we could be better each day and that Joseph Smith and other prophets lead the church today" (not exact quote).  Holy cow, I was amazed!  It's insane how far she'd come and how strong her testimony is now.    

We went to the Cases for dinner that night.  It was Brother Cases birthday and they invited us over to celebrate ETs birthday too.  It was so fun and a bunch of his family and friends from the branch were there and it felt like home, plus they had really good BBQ.   

Sunday 

Church was great today.  We had fast and testimony meeting because of conference last week and it was so good.  The spirit in this little branch is so great.  We taught the gospel principles class and the lesson went well, then we went and helped Brother Edgell teach priesthood too. 

After church we didn't really have any lessons set up so we went to see some less active members.  One of them was Robin and we didn't get talk to them for very long because they were leaving but it was still good to get to see them.  The rest of the night we went around and contacted less actives and potentials and actually got to talk to a couple people. 

One of them was an older lady that really frustrated me haha.  She didn't really listen to anything we were saying she just wanted to preach to us and tell us about her beliefs and then, when we actually did get a word in, she just said "Everyone has their own opinions."  Then we went and saw a guy who had 1 lesson with the missionaries before and didn't think the Book of Mormon was the word of God.  He didn't understand how God would tell Nephi to kill Laban, but he wouldn't let us come in and teach him about it he just cussed us off the door, haha.  Not the most fun night but we survived it.   

So this week was pretty good and one of the coolest things is that we've already been listening to General Conference again! It's so cool that the Church already has the talks up for us to study. 

Anyways, love you all, see ya next week.   

Elder Larson