Friday, October 10, 2014

September 22nd, 29th & October 6th, 2014

September 22nd, 2014
Dear family,
Well, this week followed a similar as of late. 
Monday we had a lot of lessons which was a good last night for Elder B. We had a really good lesson with the G family and a great lesson with the Ws. We were going to watch part of Elder Holland's talk from last conference, but when we paused it, he asked us if we could watch the whole thing so we did. He asked us if we could text him in the morning so they would be up on time for church, and we did and they drove all the way to the church and then one of the kids threw up all over the car, so they drove back and he had to clean that. Such a bummer, but we were pleased he wanted to come.
Tuesday morning we dropped off Elder B at the stake center with the other departing missionaries. It was weird. We went to the mission office to take care of some things and it was fun to see Elder T, S, and the office couples. Me and Elder W mowed a lawn for a family and helped Sister A move. We had a couple other lessons with some new people that we are still trying to determine their interest.
Wednesday we hit the pavement hard and didn't have any success and didn't have any lessons, but we worked hard, so that was all we could do.
Thursday was transfer meeting and I found out I am senior companion again and Elder H would be my new zone leader companion. Elder H is a newly assigned zone leader and he is from Spanish Fork and lived there his whole life. He has been out about 18 months and is a solid missionary. He is really easy to work with. Our zone is awesome, I am way excited. Lots of missionaries from Round Rock and other ones I'm friends with. Elder W(Round Rock), Elder O (Round Rock), Elder J (Round Rock), Elder S (Round Rock), and Elder L. As well as Elder T, Elder H, and Elder L is my district leader (MTC district). I do feel pretty inadequate that I am in charge of this huge zone (29 missionaries) and it has been a humbling experience to realize that I need to improve a lot of things. We had an awesome first evening together. Brother C called us and said he had someone for us to teach at 6, so of course we went there. It is a co-worker they have been working with and she had had a spiritual experience the night before reading an Ensign they gave her. We planned to teach the Restoration, but she had a lot of questions about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, so we switched to that. It was awesome to teach a friend in a member's home like that. She didn't come to church though, so that's too bad. We had a lesson with Sister S too. She had some more good questions. I told her I think she knows the church is true. I really like teaching her a lot and I think she likes the way I teach too. We have just clicked really well because she loves well thought out lessons and responses and I love coming up with well thought out lessons and responses.
Friday and Saturday were both really slow but we worked hard and talked to a lot of people. Basically my only goal for the zone is to silence the saying that zone leaders are "all talk." Says who? We are probably going to go on a lot more exchanges. 
Sunday was pretty good. Sister M came to church and we have another lesson tonight. We also taught R, her brother who was finally home. I really like him too he is hilarious. I would LOVE to be a part of his baptism. We had a lesson with K. The young women will play a HUGE role in her conversion. We are still kinda working with a couple other people, but we are trying to get some new people in as well. 
I know this work is true, it's amazing and I know there are people prepared for the gospel everywhere. Thanks for the support and love!
Elder Pew

September 29th, 2014
Dear family,
This was a pretty good week that definitely climaxed with zone conference on Friday about Christlike attributes and we got to watch Meet the Mormons which is probably the best movie I've ever seen. It is SUPER powerful. I'm sure everyone in Utah knows about it already, but the stories are really amazing. The church always does such a good job of portraying ourselves. Definitely a must-see. Other than that, it was pretty much like the last few weeks, we have been working really hard and talking with everyone but have yet to see a lot of visible results. We have faith that it will turn around though if we keep working hard. This has definitely been the most challenging time of my mission and it's really made me stretch and grow to try different things to stay effective. I'm becoming more grateful for trials. I figure as a leader, you can't help others through tough stretches if you haven't been in them yourself. 
Monday we had a pretty good lesson with Sister M and Brother L came. She seems to be progressing.
Tuesday we have to do all the administrative stuff as a zone leader and our zone had 6 baptisms this last week, 4 that were Elder T and H. The zone is still the highest in the mission so far this year. We had a cool experience where Bro T called us (he's the new WML and he's awesome) and said there was a family Bishop wanted us to stop by, so we did and it was perfect timing and the mom needed a blessing. We think there are other non-members living in their home, but we tried to gather them all up for the lesson, but they didn't come, but we will follow-up there. 
Wednesday had a lesson with N at the Valentines. It went pretty well. We also taught K and brought Sister P and her kids because she is friends with Sister M. We had an awesome lesson and the Ps invited her to the Women's broadcast. We also had to do a baptism interview for Highland Hills which is the Spanish Branch, and two of the people only spoke Spanish. The other Elders were worried that I couldn't do it and wanted to make sure I knew what I was getting into, but it was easy. I pretty much understood everything they said, I just couldn't really add my thoughts since I can understand better than I can speak. They were both really ready, so it wasn't hard to tell since that isn't a language thing, you can just see it.
Thursday we had another lesson with Sister M and Bro A came. We were able to get a Women's Conference invite in and she went with her mom, but didn't come to church. We were suppose to teach R, but she went out of town. 
Friday was zone conference which was a blast. It was combined with North Zone, so basically all of my friends in the mission were there. It's weird to know basically everyone that was there. I forgot to tell you guys, but Elder W replaced Elder R as the new moving Elder, so that's a hoot. We had lunch with the Moving Elders and the Assistants and it was fun to be with Elder W and T. I am really good friends with both. Zone Conference was life-changing as it usually is when President speaks. We went on an exchange right after zone conference and Elder L came with me. It was pouring rain which was awesome. Sister S canceled our lesson because a close friend died. We worked hard but again didn't find anyone receptive. Elder L almost smoked out our apartment trying to cook a pizza for dinner because of crumbs on the bottom. He's just a funny guy. 
Saturday we exchanged back. The Ps and YW are doing a great job with K. We had coordination with the Ts and it went really well. He is going to be such a good ward mission leader. His wife shared a quote that said something to the effect that when you are going through trials not due to unrighteousness, it is a sign that God trusts you more and is giving you experiences that will help you grow and develop more and you are ready for it. That was exactly what we needed to hear. We had a really awesome experience at night too. We stopped by the L family. The dad came out and joined our conversation and so I jumped on that and asked him why he's never liked religion. He explained people just use it as a way to control others. I explained that is true, and that is why God needs an organization with people in authority to keep the teachings pure. He really agreed with that and said it made sense. He said it's still not really his "cup of tea" but when Elder H went to the bathroom he asked me what the odds are for the Cowboys game on Sunday. He is a huge football fan and pretty funny, so he basically asked me to prophesy. I told him Cowboys win by 10 if he comes to church, and they lose by 3 if he doesn't. The deal was if they win he comes to church again, and if they lose we have to mow his lawn. We shook on it. They came to church and his daughter and wife stayed for all three hours! He left after sacrament, but I invited him to the rest. Hopefully the Cowboys won by ten, I haven't heard yet. That was a sweet miracle and I really think God is opening his heart to the gospel. It's amazing to see how God prepares HIS people for HIS gospel. We are stopping by tonight, and hopefully we can start seriously teaching him. That was definitely the highlight of the week and I fasted to yesterday to find the next prepared family. I just want it to come to light or to see someone really catch fire. I know through faith anything is possible and that this is God's work. It's the best thing we could ever be a part of. I'm so thankful to be doing it here in this area, despite the trials we are facing. The church is true! Thanks for everything!
Elder Pew

October 6th, 2014
Dear family,
I don't have a lot of time, but Conference was incredible! I went in more prepared than ever before and I got so much out of it. This has definitely been a trying time in my mission so it was good to get some extra help from the Brethren. Of course Elder Bednar's talk stuck out and it was so cool that he had already told our mission back in January that he was going to speak on that. We watched all sessions at the church except for one with Brother A and S. We were suppose to watch Sunday afternoon with R, but he canceled. Luckily we had time to make it over to the church. Elder Hamula who spoke in Conference is coming to the mission at the end of the month which is sweet!
We had a lot of exchanges and an eventful week. Elder H went on double exchanges on Tuesday and Wednesday and I worked with Elder O from Eden and then Elder L who was my MTC District Leader and I was his zone leader so that's kinda funny. They are both really good missionaries. Neither days we taught much, but we did teach R one of the days. He is so funny and we are really good friends. 
We had a good lesson with Brother W, but he just has really lost his fire but he still really likes us. We brought Brother W but he just didn't respond much us and him. They move to Round Rock at the beginning of November.
Sister S had a heart stent put in and she has been recovering from that, which is really sad. They said they were watching General Conference and we gave them cookies. We had a good lesson with Sister M on the five characteristics of baptism, it went well. We had a lesson with D again, and he really liked the chapter we read with him. We worked hard again to find new families, and we had one glimmer of hope late last night I felt prompted to visit a family I saw in the area book and we visited them at like 8:40 and they seemed like an awesome family. A mother and two teenage sons. They seemed happy to see us and wanted us to come back, so we have a lesson set with them this week. We keep talking with everyone and working hard. MLC (mission leadership conference)
was also this week and it was really intense. The night before we got a message saying that we all needed to be prepared to give a on-the-spot training at MLC, so I was nervous about that because of my friendship with the APs. But luckily I didn't. Our zone is still the highest in baptisms so far this year, and hopefully we can keep that going.
Thanks for all that you do, I know that we truly have living prophets and Apostles on the earth. They speak the will of the Lord and if we follow their counsel we can safely maneuver through the challenges we face. I love you all!
Elder Pew