Friday, May 16, 2014

May 5th & 12th, 2014

May 5th, 2014
A member who knows Elder Pew's Aunt Amy posted this photo on Facebook of him and his companion (so fun when people do that).
Some members texted this photo to Elder Pew's dad.

Dear family,
I am going to apologize ahead of time if I repeat anything that happened last week, I honestly can't remember what happened when, it's just a big blur. Things are going well. I sit here and chuckle every week just thinking of all my thoughts and how to explain everything. Here we go again! 
Monday we stopped by a part-member family, the H family. Brother H let us right in and we sat down and talked to the family. His wife and 9 year old daughter aren't members but they don't go to any church and are open. We talked about priesthood authority and eternal families. They really liked that idea. I also said that "the church needs good families like you, but good families also need the church." Brother H really liked that for some reason. It's cool what some people really grab onto. It was a short and powerful visit, and they wanted to come to church and learn more, but were busy the rest of the week and didn't show up for church. We both felt like we should have invited them to be baptized after we came out, but we didn't and now we are kicking ourselves for not having the faith.
Tuesday we had to go up to Austin and we delivered a bunch of things, but we left a little later than we should have. We had to make it to a lesson with Sister H, the active non-member in the ward. It was a blast driving up though, because Brushy Creek is finally getting their new car, so the car person wanted us to take it up. So we drove separately and I got to drive a brand new 2014 Corolla. It was beautiful and definitely the only time I'll ever drive a new car. It had 68 miles on it when I got in. It was such a smooth ride. It was super hectic trying to get back on time because we had just enough time, but we were almost out of gas, our gas card was out, we had to wait for other missionaries to come pay for us, and then we hit downtown Austin traffic. We got back about 15 minutes late and the H's were really nice and had gotten us dinner. We ate and then taught a lesson on eternal families and tried applying our zone conference by committing them to a temple date, and then the obvious step for Sister H would be to get baptized so she could get sealed. She is really nice, but said she had some concerns and didn't allow us to come back to discuss them or help her, so it's going to be on her time when she decides to join the church. We were a little bummed that we couldn't commit her to baptism, but it's just not her time.
Wednesday we had to go back to Austin to do the things we hadn't finished the day before. We got to drive through Brushy Creek which was strange as usual. That evening we didn't get much done.
Thursday we had a slow morning with Moving Elder stuff but it felt like we didn't get anything done. We dropped off a washer and dryer to the Sisters we moved in last week. That evening we taught a former investigator L. He is like 60. He doesn't show any emotion and I could not read his thoughts for the life of me. I had no idea what he was thinking, but we explained authority and the Book of Mormon a bit. He seemed somewhat interested, but he liked talking to us, but said he would read the Book of Mormon and pray about it, but he wouldn't commit to church, and he set the next appointment until three weeks.
Friday was district meeting because the Assistants were busy since one of the leaders from the missionary department was with them Wednesday. We also planned to do exchanges with them after District Meeting. Oh yeah, so the Assistants told me on Wednesday that the District was being re-aligned. Also, President wanted to meet with me and Elder N after District Meting too. So Las Lomas was at District meeting. It's Sister J and Sister P. Sister J was in my MTC district so that's fun and Sister P is from Lone Peak. I think she's even from our Stake. Maybe the 6, 7, or 10th ward. They are both really cool and great missionaries. I'm excited to have them. Our district meeting was great and we talked about Preparation especially. It's been something on my mind a lot lately and it is SO important. I emphasized that we have been prepared, God is a God of preparation, faith and preparation removes fear, there are people being prepared, and how we need to prepare for them. God won't trust us with people who are ready for the gospel if we aren't ready to open our mouths, commit them to change, and teach them powerfully. After lunch we met at the mission office and I went first. It was a great interview. President Slaughter is the best. We mostly talked about Moving Elder stuff. He asked how much time we left the area and I explained the situation and he said that it is too much. I agreed and he asked what we could do to simplify things, so I shared a few of my ideas. He said that one reason I'm here is to help change things and make them more effective. We set up another meeting on Wednesday to meet with Elder Williams too to figure things out. We talked about the interviews and he opened up finally. We had a lesson with the Rs which went well. 
Saturday was our exchange. I went with Elder P in Deerfield and Elder N took Elder R in San Pedro. It was amazing. Elder P taught me what the missionary department taught them how to teach the Restoration in 7 minutes using the pamphlet. It's incredible! We used it a lot. He is a really good missionary. Just watching him made me feel more confident in my abilities and now I feel like I really know what to do. We had a lesson with a referral named F and taught him with the pamphlet. He had some questions so it took more like 25 minutes, but it worked perfectly and he accepted a baptismal date for the 24th of May. It was cool for him to ask questions that have always bothered him about religion and to know the answers. He has always not like the idea that if you are not baptized you go to Hell. What about the babies, people who don't hear about the gospel? Why would God want anyone to go to Hell? We explained Christ paying for children's sins, Spirit World, and the three degrees of glory. He liked it a lot. We had another really amazing lesson. We were leaving an apartment, and Elder P saw someone on their balcony going inside. He yelled to them and asked what they were cooking and then said that we were "his" missionaries and share a message about Christ's Church being on the earth. He said he only had 10 minutes and Elder P said we could do it in 7. We went up and taught him and his roommate the whole Restoration using the pamphlet in literally 7 minutes. We explained all the points of the lesson, it all tied together, we invited them to church, to learn more, to read the Book of Mormon, and to be baptized, all that they accepted. They were really into it and said it was a sign. It was sweet. I can't even explain all that I learned. Elder R and Elder N had a great time too and it really pumped up Elder N which was great. Elder R is super bubbly and energetic and no one can get mad at him. It was a great experience for both of us and got him excited. Sunday was good. Elder N forgot it was fast Sunday so I came out in the morning and he was eating a bowl of cereal, so I just walked past and waited for him to realize. Finally he's like, "oops it's fast Sunday!" It was pretty funny. We have a good friendship. Church was pretty good even though the H family didn't come. We went out and applied the things we learned from the exchange and it felt great. We didn't teach any first lessons, but we set up a few return appointments and it just felt to really do our best. People really respond well to "we are your missionaries, and we are here to help you." We had a few lessons with recent-converts, and less-active members that went great. 
I know that this church is true. I know that through the Atonement we can experience joy, peace, and comfort despite trials. I know that this gospel changes peoples' lives. I know that there are people who are ready to receive the gospel, we just need to work "all the day long" (Alma 26:5). I know Christ is our Savior and this is His church and gospel. I love you all and I am excited to call you for Mother's Day! 
Elder Pew

May 12th 2014

Dear family,
I just wanted to start by saying that it was such a great experience to talk with each of you yesterday! It lifted my Spirit and motivated me to continue to work hard, so thanks! And thank you again mom for all that you have taught me, it has helped tremendously on my mission and I don't know what I'd be doing without it. I'll get on with the week.
Monday was a largely unproductive evening. We only had an hour or so to proselyte and then we had to set up our apartment for a bunch of sisters that were coming down for a Sister's Conference. We blew up a bunch of air mattresses and got it ready for them. It was weird since they got there right before we left and they were walking through our apartment and a few of them were sitting on my bed, it is just weird. It was pretty funny too because Elder N hadn't cleaned his toilet yet, so I had to distract them while he quickly went and made sure it was acceptable. We stayed with the Assistants. It sounded like the Sister's Conference went well. 
Tuesday was a good day. We taught a great lesson to a new investigator D. He lives with his cousin B, and yes we are teaching her too. She was in a different room but walked in and I invited her to join and she did. We used the pamphlet and taught the Restoration. It went well and they both accepted baptismal invites and accepted the 31st. Unfortunately we weren't able to have much contact with them the rest of the week and they couldn't come to church. We are still trying keep the momentum. D said that he read through 1 Nephi 6 though, so I'm still faithful things will work out there. We also had a bunch of lessons fall through, but we were able to teach Brother P. They came to church and are on their way back. There is also some potential with his daughter-in-law whose husband also just decided to start coming back. Not in our area, but still good to hear. 
Wednesday we had a bunch of deliveries to make and things to pick up from the furniture store. We also had that meeting with President and I sent him an email today with some of my ideas so we'll see if anything changes. We had a lesson with Bro H and it went really well. We've been pretty bold with him and he's responding well. He had read some of the Book of Mormon but he was more interested in what the Urim and Thummim was, which we just explained briefly. We also stopped by the H family and had an amazing lesson with them. We talked briefly and then the 7 and 9 year-old walk right in and sit down. We taught with the pamphlet and it was powerful. The Spirit was so strong! At the end we invited them to be baptized and the two kids said "yes" immediately. We have really clicked with them. Sister H said she's not sure, and she said she's pretty comfortable going back to her church. We should have been more bold, but we said okay and set a return appointment for Tuesday so hopefully the Plan of Salvation helps her. We invited them to church which the kids also accepted, but they were already going with Sister H's mom to their church for Mother's Day. They are an awesome family! I love them a lot. Brother H was grateful for us coming and we think he wants to come back he's just nervous to go against his wife at all. I think it will work out.
Thursday we had some more stuff we had to pick up and we got the Assistants and President lunch for transfer planning so we got to eat with him. He just asked us what we are studying and it just turned into asking him deep questions and he would answer. It was suhweet! We went to our storage unit to pick stuff up for deliveries but the Rs were there re-organizing their packed unit, so we decided to stay and help them which didn't finish until like 7:30. They were really thankful. 
Friday we had to help two sets of missionaries move, so that was the bulk of our day. We went and picked up a mattress and some end tables, and headed to their apartment. It was pretty dark skies and we ended up driving right into a HUGE storm! I wish you could have seen what it looked like. From a distance it looked like there was a line across two huge clouds where they separated, as we got closer it became apparent that these two clouds were crashing into each other, and at the slit the clouds were spinning on themselves. It looked SO COOL, almost like being under water when two waves hit each other and watching it spin. Like 20 seconds later there were huge clashes of thunder and enormous bolts of lighting and we got hit hard with rain. It was beautiful. The problem was that we ruined everything that was in the back of the truck, but whatever. We helped the Elders move and it wasn't too bad, mostly just the washer and dryer but President wants us to buy back braces and things to make it easier to lift. I cut my finger pretty badly on a screw, but it's fine. That evening we had another lesson with Brother H and this was great! He wanted us to watch something with him, and I was like "oh dear" but he started to pull it up and it was a discussion on 2 Nephi 9 from the Book of Mormon on BYUtv. That is basically what we were going to do anyways was read from the Book of Mormon so it was perfect. Wow those guys (BYU Religion Professors) were geniuses. I learned a ton and am an expert on that chapter now. Afterwards we talked about the Book of Mormon and Elder N brought up baptism again. He says he wants to work for that but he's not ready. Even though it was already 35 minutes in, I felt like we should go over the interview questions so we did and the only thing he has a problem with is the Word of Wisdom and whether or not Joseph Smith is a prophet (which can be answered the same way through the Book of Mormon) and he said he would pray to know that he was a prophet. We pointed out how close he was and explained how he would receive an answer and he said if he knew that this church was the only church with that authority as restored to Joseph Smith that he would definitely be baptized, so we have a much better picture of where he is at. We invited him to the Assistants baptism the next day and he came!
Saturday was the baptism. The guy's name is B and he is amazing! He's been smoking for 48 years but has completely quit and has been taught for like 3 years. He wanted to get baptized so badly and he finally could. He was crying and yelling hallelujah like the whole time which was awesome. The Spirit was so strong and he bore a very simple testimony on the spot, and he didn't really know what to say, but he knew that this church had what he had been searching for his whole life and gave him what he was looking for and no other church did. It was neat. We also had to pick up the bikes for the incoming missionaries which was fun. We stopped by a few more people and knocked, but didn't have any success.
Sunday was great. Church was so good, Bishop B gave an incredible talk on Motherhood. Brother H didn't come to church for some reason so that was frustrating but besides that it was a great meeting. We taught Elders' Quorum on a day's notice and I thought it went really well. We have a small quorum and no one really wants to participate but we were okay with awkward silences until someone spoke. We taught about Joseph Smith and read a bunch of quotes from the talks that President Slaughter gave us on him and I think it helped them. We got our transfer calls but we pretty well could guess what was happening, so I'm staying and Elder N is leaving. It's been fun to serve with him. He just looks more alive and happier since I got here. For the rest of Mother's Day we went to the F's and Elder N skyped his family but he went really long so I didn't have time which is why I didn't skype. Brother F gave me his copy of King Follet's Sermon so I read some of that while he skyped. We also dropped off some cookies for Sister H for Mother's Day. It's been an interesting transfer, but I've learned and grown a lot. I know that God knows each of us and I know that he doesn't give us something that we can't handle. I know that we have been prepared for everything we do and if we are prepared, we won't fear. When we are on the Lord's Errand we are entitled to the Lord's help. I know this gospel is true. It's amazing and eternal and brings us true happiness. Thanks for all of your support and your good examples!
Elder Pew