Thursday, March 6, 2014

February 24th & March 3rd, 2014

February 24th, 2014

Dear family,
This was a pretty great week! It was filled with lots of jokes about how long I've been here, and as far as we know, no one in this mission has ever been in an area this long. It's pretty sweet. I re-read my call letter and it actually says I was called to serve in the B C Mission. I guess I missed that. I think I might just buy a house here and move in and my companions can just room with me. I should be getting a calling soon and maybe they will move my records in too. Those are all JOKES but they have been the jokes that we've told or heard this week. People now call me grandpa Pew or warlock Pew, but that one was a request from me and I don't think anyone has actually called me that yet. Anyways, we broke our personal record for lessons with a member present, but we didn't get as many people to church or progressing as we would like. E and J had quiet weeks and we didn't talk with either of them for long. We are going to go by less frequently which is tough. E was talking about why he thought they kept me here and I was hoping he would say it was so he could get baptized, but he said it was probably to show other missionaries what we are suppose to be like.
We weren't able to get a lesson with the Fs either but we did have contact with them. One night we went by and they ended up telling us stories and thing for 30 minutes so we didn't have time to teach anything. We planned a sweet lesson on the commandments using a "Walking Dead" theme to get H and A interested. They didn't come to church and they are starting to get busy with soccer again.
We had a lesson with two part-member families that we usually don't get to visit. We had dinner with one of them and talked about the Book of Mormon and the other couple had us for dessert : King Cake and a message. They went well. Bro B showed us the REAL C3PO helmet and it was so cool!
We had really good visits with J, B, and R, except R found out yesterday that his brother died, and his mom was already on her death-bed. We found out in ward council so we went by and he said he was having a rough day but we showed him a mormon message titled "Hope You Know I'm Having a Hard Time." We also sang him How Great Thou Art, but I had a hard time singing because I was so sad. I tried bearing my testimony but I was too emotional. It was kinda strange since he wasn't even crying really, but I could see how sad he was and how he is questioning why everything is going wrong for him and he is the only one in his family who has the gospel. It pained me and we gave him a blessing that I also had a hard time giving. I really love him a lot and I just wished he could feel our Heavenly Father's love for him like I could feel in there but there were no words to describe it.
The Ds are doing really well. We helped them fix their fence again (hopefully for good) because people keep breaking it. It's frustrating but at least it helps us teach them. We finally confirmed that her name is E. She read from the Book of Mormon and we had a great lesson on the gospel of Jesus Christ and she believes everything that we do, but she doesn't think so for some reason. but she does want to please God and so we invited her to continue to pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true and to know if she should be baptized. She came to church and Sister S, the lady we have been using to help with M sat by her and when we picked up our dinner calendar from the Relief Society they were talking to each other in there too, so that was amazing. She is really close, we just need her to realize that this is exactly what she believes, we just have the authority to act in God's name so she can enter the Celestial Kingdom. I would pray for her.
M had a pretty solid week except she got really sick Saturday night and couldn't make it to church. She got food poisoning or something. We had a really great lesson at the Ss on Wednesday about the commandments. It was perfect. The Ss are such a good example of keeping the commandments. With every commandment Bro S talked about how he overcame it, from the bigger serious stuff, all the way down to not listening to rap music that swears, watching sports on Sunday, and fasting the full 24 hours. He bore pretty powerful testimony which was sweet. We told her the story about fasting for T and we invited her and the S to fast this Sunday that her probation will get worked out for her baptism to be on April 5. We also committed her to completely quit smoking three weeks in advance, and she is excited for it all. The ward is warming up to her.
S had a pretty rough week. Baseball started up and we had things set up for him to get picked up an hour early for mutual but his ride called us while we were waiting at the church for them and told us he couldn't get him, so we frantically tried getting someone to bring him to at least mutual but no one did and we couldn't get a hold of him so he just didn't get picked up. He had a game on Sunday again, so he couldn't come to church. He is going to have some HUGE decisions to make in the next  year or two about who he really wants to be and if he has no gospel foundation he will go the wrong way. Without family support it will hard and the only thing to help him is the gospel as well as the good examples. We are going to try and set up a big FHE with his family and the Ls since Sis L and his mom work together. If we can get his mom on board with church that would be great.
We had a pretty funny experience Tuesday night. We were on the way to the Fs biking and I came off a curb to the sidewalk and when my back wheel hit the ground, I don't know what happened but I went flying over my bike and onto the street. I was shocked at how little I got hurt and really all I had was a scab on my elbow. I went flying pretty far and I don't even know how I landed, but I was fine.  I just picked up the stuff from my pocket and kept riding. I was cracking up because of how funny that must have looked for the cars that were driving towards us, they must have had a hilarious view. The Fs noticed the cut so we were joking about how I needed training wheels or something. Then on the way home from their house we were riding on the 620 (the big highway in our area) and it clearly wasn't safe and there was a little indent that I decided to pull off on to wait for cars to pass, but it was slightly higher than the road and when Elder W came onto it, he wiped out. I was dying laughing. He was also okay except he got a scab on his elbow in the same spot! He was pretty sore but I couldn't stop laughing because of how funny it was that we both crashed within an hour of each other. We were pretty defeated, so we just got a ride home. It was so funny and we were totally fine the next day.
I know this work is real. The Book of Mormon is true. Joseph Smith is a prophet. Thanks for everything!
Elder Pew

March 3rd, 2014

Dear family,
Well we had a bit of a slower week as we didn't stop by some of the normal people and focused more on finding new people and we didn't have much success yet. Things are going pretty well with M though so that is really positive. Before I forget like I did with Micah, happy birthday to Izak and dad this week! I can't believe that Micah is already a deacon and Izak is a teacher. That makes me feel like I've been out for a really long time.
Well we had a really eventful week with M. She called us Wednesday when we were on our way to a lesson with the Ss. She was super stressed and asked if we could meet. We weren't really worried and we knew everything would work out but we stopped right there and called around to set something up. The As offered there home and we had a lesson there. It went really well. She said she is terrified but she knew that getting into the scriptures would help her feel peace. It was awesome and the As were super nice and had prepared popcorn and cookies for us all. The Spirit was really strong and we just read from the Book of Mormon since we didn't have time to prepare a lesson, but it was a great experience. We found out later that her homeowner figured things out so she gets to stay! We helped her fix her car on Saturday which was a mess because everything is broken and she just read how to fix it, so we basically followed her orders trying to jimmy-rig the roof of her convertible and it took a few hours, but we got it mostly done. We had a stake priesthood leadership meeting that was entirely focused on missionary work and so we were invited and they really emphasized the ward mission and the ward being much more involved. Brother A (the High Priest Group Leader) even told us that we are the best missionaries he has ever seen in the church, anywhere. He said the Stake emailed in prep. for the meeting and asked what the missionaries in the ward could do better and he told them "Nothing. They are out here kicking butt every week working really hard ever day." That was a really high compliment since he's been around TONS of missionaries as a 70 year old dude who worked for LDS family services for 40 years. That felt sweet! He's really nice. Brother G came up afterwards and also told us the same thing that he wrote essentially the same thing to the Stake.
We had a good lesson with S and he went to mutual, but again, he has baseball on Sundays, so we need to figure that out. We are trying to set up a FHE with the Ls so his family can be more on board too.
We had two really good lessons with E this week. We taught her Thursday and A was too tired to come, so we had a lesson about the Book of Mormon and the gift of the Holy Ghost and she likes the Book of Mormon.. Sister S also set up a dinner with her on Saturday and so we had dinner and a lesson with them on the Atonement. It was right after helping M and we didn't really have time to plan the lesson, but we talked about three aspects of the Atonement: it cleanses us from sin, brings us comfort, enables us to do good. It was a powerful lesson and I really like teaching her. She understands everything so well and believes the same we do, it's just showing her that means this is the true church and that really sinking in. 
We had a lesson with M, and we shared powerful testimony of the church and the Book of Mormon and it seemed to hit her pretty hard. We had a great lesson with the Fs after a really rough Friday where no one was home and our appointments canceled, and I've stopped by literally every single LA member and former investigator in the area, so it's hard to know what to do sometimes. We just talked about adversity and the peace of the gospel, and H was once again very engaged in the lesson. It is really cool to see the progress she's made, hopefully they will actually come to church someday. I really think there will be a miracle with them soon.
Nothing happened with M, so that's a little worrisome. Hopefully she is still interested. 
B is doing pretty well, although he missed church again and he is pretty stressed about work, but he's trying to change jobs. 
A is doing well and the sisters are teaching her and Sis S's dad so that should be good.
We stopped by E and it was sad because we taught them a little bit and E said they are pretty good with where they are at so we bore testimony that they need the church in their lives and need it to be a priority. I was filled with the Spirit as I told them how much I loved them and I wanted them to have every blessing that I've ever had. They said they would try to make it to church in a few weeks but they were busy yesterday and this week. They probably won't change right now, but it felt good to say everything we said and then in E's closing prayer he thanked God for us and for the light that turned on in L's eyes every time we come over. I almost cried when he said that. My heart aches for them, but it's alright. 
We tried something new this week that actually worked pretty well. We tried knocking, but instead of immediately talking about the church, we asked if we could sing a hymn. We got a lot of people that said yes, and then afterwards we asked if we could share how Christ's gospel has been restored. We had one lady who had 10 minutes so we quickly taught the Restoration and gave her a Book of Mormon. I don't think she was super interested and we haven't heard from her yet, but it was a cool experience. 
I know this church is true, this work is real, and it's our Savior's work. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and Christ is our Savior. I know we all can receive comfort, love, cleansing from sin, and be enabled to do good, through the Atonement. Thanks for all the support, it means a lot!
Elder Pew