Monday, October 21, 2013

October 21, 2013

Dear family,
This was a solid week with a lot going on, so hopefully I can remember everything. Before I start though, I need to say happy Birthday to Gwen and Emily this past week since I forgot to say something about it last week. I hope you both had awesome birthdays and make sure Emily stays away from the boys now.
Monday was pretty great. Zone P-Day was fun since it was everyone's last one together, so almost everyone was there and we played a fun game of volleyball that climaxed when Sister B (really good athlete) rocked Elder L's soft spot with the ball and stopped the game for like 10 minutes. We also taught Sister S, a lady who is completely inactive but wants to come back, so we talked about how she could gain that conviction she once had. It was a powerful lesson and it is really cool to feel the Spirit working in you, which happened many times this week. 
Tuesday we taught J for Elder V's final time. We went over the baptismal interview questions and the only thing he has a problem with is Joseph Smith being a prophet. He also needs to quit smoking and get married, but that will come shortly after he knows Joseph Smith is a prophet. We brought Bro. B who was also Baptist growing up and told of his decision to finally get baptized. It seemed to help J a lot and he is still really close. I continue to stress everywhere I am about the Book of Mormon, so we are going to teach a lesson about the Book of Mormon, and get back to the basics with J about praying to know the Book of Mormon is true and the testimony that will come that Joseph Smith is a prophet as well. He gets hung up on some stuff that he looks up and researches that is not a big deal, while skipping over the fact that he has accepted the Book of Mormon as scripture in the past. We also taught a lesson to R, and it went really well. He asked if we were there to convert and baptize him, and so we basically boldly said, "Yeah, we know that joining our church will strengthen your faith in Christ and that is our ultimate goal." He did understand the Restoration really well and committed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. 
Wednesday not a whole lot happened. We taught two lessons to members about missionary work and those continue to have little visible success other than the families are more excited and set some goals and we continue to be indirectly blessed for our efforts to work with them. We also visited R and J one last time for Elder V. I am grateful that I had a chance to be his companion. He was an awesome trainer and let me do a lot. I know a big reason I have progressed as fast as I have is because he let me be so active in our work.
Thursday was transfers. We went to transfer meeting and before we even went I knew who my companion was going to be. I had felt like he was last time I saw him, and it continued throughout the week until someone at the meeting confirmed it before it was announced. His name is Elder T. He is really excited and enthusiastic about everything, and he has a very likable personality. He is also a district leader. They changed our district a little, but it is still a great district. Elder T is awesome and he has been out for like 9 months. He has served the last few transfers as a moving Elder, so he pretty much just went all over the mission moving furniture in and out of apartments. He enjoyed it though. Thursday night we had Bible Study and since Elder T didn't know about it, I pretty much led the entire thing. Only J and Sister R showed up, but we had a great discussion and the Spirit was really strong and they both said they had people they planned to invite for this next week. 
Friday was a solid day. We taught a man named E that went to church and was taught many times about a year ago. He is super funny and nice. Elder T used the ice cream truck analogy about having authority, and when he asked E what he would say if he was pulled over by an ice cream truck and he was like, "I'd tell him that my wife likes vanilla." He's pretty funny. We gave him a Book of Mormon and asked him to pray and read it, and said he would and accepted an invitation to be baptized if he found out that it was true. Sweet! We stopped by R's and he had read the Book of Mormon and really liked it, however, when we asked him to be baptized and he shot it down and didn't want us to try and convert him so we dropped him right there. It was a little sad, but he wasn't willing to accept further commitments. We also had a long chat with a man who had a lot of questions about what we believe. It was more of an honest inquiry than a bash, but he didn't agree with everything we said. I do think that we asked him some really good questions that helped him realize that we have much more truth than any other church. He had a really hard time answering what God's purpose is for us, and I think he was a little surprised at how much we knew. Another guy tried bashing with us on the street, but we just kinda ignored him and it was nice to see that my faith isn't really affected by that kind of thing anymore.
Saturday was sweet. We went to a baptism in San Antonio from Elder T's last area since the guy wanted Elder T to baptize him. It was fun to drive all the way down to San Antonio. The baptism was sweet and the dude has a mohawk and tattoos but bore a really powerful testimony after he was baptized that nearly made me cry and I don't even know the dude. We stopped at Buc-ees (?) the biggest gas station in the world on the way back. They have like 83 toilets or something like that and the place is huge. You should all look it up. I'll upload pictures sometime. We also stopped by the mission office to pick some stuff up for Elder T and it was cool to see the mission office. We ate at an amazing burrito place called FreeBirds. We also drove past the temple and it made me want to go so badly. We got back really late in the afternoon and went to the Fs, a part member family. It was awesome. The wife has usually been really quiet and they don't talk a lot, but this time the wife was there and there daughters and she expressed her frustration with the church because of their experience in Nebraska which was pretty horrible. It was great to get those concerns out and she doesn't want to force her children to go to a church that hurt them so much, but she does understand the blessings that come from church. They said they would come to the Trunk-or-Treat and we have a lesson with them tomorrow morning. I have clicked really well with the teenage girls that we finally met since they are HUGE soccer players (oh, by the way they are only 13, 12, and 9) and Elder T is so outgoing and happy and they seem to really like us. Bro F did take the youngest 4 to church while the older girls watched a soccer game with their mom and soccer team. We hope to play some soccer with them at the Trunk-or-Treat and our trunk is going to be sweet. I had the genius idea of taping candy to a pass-along card, so every member who gets one can pass it out and every non-member who comes can have one. We also taught V, but she was pretty depressed and was talking about all sorts of stuff  Sunday was great. In PEC Bishop H welcomed Elder T and told him that he is working with an amazing missionary and we will do great things. That made me feel like 100 bucks. At church we helped out in Primary and got the kids excited to invite their friends to the Trunk-or-Treat. We also bore pretty powerful testimony in there and it was neat to see. When we walked in a bunch were like"Hey Elder Pew!!" It was sweet. Since we have been working with them more he was able to go off and meet them all while I went and followed up with all the families and saw how their goals are going. Elder T felt really sick after church but we had a lesson with a family in the ward. It went well, but he didn't feel better afterwards, but the dad was a chiropractor who apparently can heal anything with this technique that he has. He worked with Elder T for like 5 minutes doing all sorts of stuff and then Elder T felt way better. Bro D said he has had people get out of wheelchairs, get their sight back, hearing back, healed diseases, and all sorts of things. It was almost freaky. 
In other news, Elder V was transferred to T which is in our zone still and Elder S and Sister J stayed in their areas too, so I have a lot of friends in the zone still. Also, Elder L from the MTC came up to A so I was able to chat with him for a bit. He is funny. Thanks for the love and prayers, this has been a great week and I know it is from your help. I know that this is Christ's church on the earth. I know that Christ suffered for our sins so that we don't have to if we will take advantage of the Atonement and change to become better. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and I honestly do consider it a friend. Sometimes I do just want to run on a roof and yell to everyone to read it. I know it will change our lives if we let it. Because of the Book of Mormon I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet and that he restored the keys of the priesthood back on the earth. I'm thankful for that knowledge and it has been a huge blessing in my life. Thanks again!
Elder Pew