Wednesday, November 26, 2014

November 10, 17 and 24, 2014 and some photos

November 10, 2014

Dear family,
We had a great week here in the TSAM. Some awesome things happened.
Monday night we taught J.
Tuesday we had a lot of zone leader stuff to do and had a baptism interview. Elder L has a SWEET investigator getting baptized. We also had a lesson with A, that less-active guy we just met.
Wednesday we also had a lesson with Sister M. Sister Marshall is excited and committed for her baptism. We tentatively set Saturday for the interview. 
Thursday was MLC so that was incredible as usual. President laid down some sweet doctrine and we basically counseled for like 2 hours on how we could apply the things we learned from Elder Hamula. I think the Assistants (and probably President) were impressed that we hit our goal again for baptisms and we led the mission too. It's really paid off to track the investigators in our zone so we can be so accurate and then work hard to make them happen. Our goal for the month is to go on lots of exchanges and really work to find. We have a goal to find one new family in each area we go on an exchange. I'm really excited. I just want to help the Elders so badly and give them a great experience with a new family. Elder Hamula said that we usually have more success in other missionaries' area if we are really trying to help them and raise their vision. 
Friday we went straight to work on exchanges and I went with Elder J in Cibolo. He is a great missionary and they have a very country area but are on bikes. That was fun to ride Gimgimno again (that's my bikes name, named after the city destroyed in 3 Nephi 8 I believe), and we talked to a ton of people. We even worked through dinner and talked to probably 100 people. We taught these two ladies who were very religious, but they weren't ready and so we moved on just making sure we are finding those who are ready. We were exhausted and starving by the end of the day and a little sad to not find a solid family, but we did our best.
Saturday we were trying to get a hold of Sister Ml and finally we called Sister B and talked with Sister M because I guess her phone broke, so we set up the interview for 4 and then had to call Elder L to see if that even worked for him. He said it worked so we went to pick him up and then we couldn't get a hold of Sister M again, so we just showed up and luckily she was ready to go. Sister M passed her interview with flying colors, so it's all set for the 14th at 6:30. 
Sunday was awesome. Sister M came to church and the H family did too. J and his wife came to Gospel Principles and the Ts did a great job of helping them to feel welcome. They loved it and they were making some really impressive comments. I don't think people were expecting J to be like that, but he was on the money with his comments. We were talking about the role of parents in a family and he even brought up how your kids should know you are a father first, then your friend, so they understand the importance of listening to their counsel. He said he would love to have an eternal family and it was just 40 minutes of heaven for us. They had to leave partway through priesthood because the kids were getting really fussy. We were very pleased to see both Sister M and J at church and for the successes we have seen with them. We worked really hard to find some new people, but didn't have any luck this week. The gospel is true and it really is such an amazing experience to see others experience the joy that we feel. Thanks for all the support!

Love, Elder Pew

November 17, 2014

Dear family,
First, we have a family that is just here for 2 months at Randolph AFB and they were at dinner yesterday with the V family and their last names are the Bowns. Super nice young family and gave a great talk in church last week. I recognized the name, but when Bro. Bown asked where we were from and we said Cedar Hills, he asked if I went to Cedar Ridge. I said yes and he asked if I had Mr. Bown. Turns out it's his dad. Small world! He took a picture to send to his dad. Anyways, I'm going to just write this by major events:
the baptism. We had a ton of drama this week trying to get all the details worked out for the baptism—normal for most baptisms! The baptism itself went super well. Her whole family came except R and the ward was very supportive. Sister B gave a great testimony and Sister M bore her testimony too. We told the M about the baptism and K really wanted to come and she loved it! We had dinner with them Friday and Sunday with the Vs too. We had everyone write a congrats to her. Anyways, the Hs came too and J really liked it and the ward has been awesome with them too. Their heater went out and it was almost Utah cold this week being in the high 30s and low 40s with wind and occasional freezing rain, and the ward helped a ton and Bishop was actually the one to invite them to the baptism. Later Sister M told us she wouldn't be at church (something came up) and we were able to talk her through it and at least consider coming and she finally understood that she needed to be confirmed. She didn't want everything to be a waste, so we told her that the confirmation and activity in the church would close that out. We kept the Bishop well informed and he handled it super well. He's awesome. We are still in contact with her and will confirm her next week if she starts doing better, or we might just do it during the week. Either way it was a challenging experience and Satan is working really hard against her. Prayers would be great. It's been interesting to notice how peaceful though I've felt through it all. Every now and then it hits me how bad that is, but it's always followed with peace and assurance that it will work out. 
Second, the Hs also came to church and even brought J's brother M that we met. The talks seemed like they were really good, so that should help J. He's loving the church and is really on fire. We got them a piggy bank to put their money into instead of buying cigarettes or beer. Hopefully that will help.
Third, we had zone meeting this week but the Assistants and STLLs were coming, so as a zone leadership we only had an hour to train, so I just had 15 minutes to present our plan to implement Elder Hamula's trainings. We are really going to strive for doubling our finding since by the numbers 4 new investigators a week would put us at 1 baptism a month as a mission and as a zone we are even doing better and it would be 2 baptisms a month. We had 15 minutes before lunch and the Assistants asked me to give some thoughts, so I basically had to get up and give an on-the-spot training, but I had something in mind so it wasn't a crash and burn. We also had interviews with President but nothing really to report from that. President Slaughter is just incredible. It was fun to talk to Elder Thorn during lunch.
Fourth, I went on exchanges in Highland Hills, the Spanish branch and that was an adventure. I wasn't able to contribute much, but I understood almost everything going on. They have some awesome investigators. We also found a new lady and her son at like 8:30, so we accomplished that goal.

Fifth, we moved this week! I forgot to warn you all. We just moved to a bigger, nicer apartment (strange I know) so that Cibolo could move in once their lease ends to save the mission money, but that means for now me and Elder Hughes have a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom apartment to ourselves. I realize that that was bad timing since my birthday is coming up, so hopefully nothing gets lost in the mail. I forgot my birthday was so close. We had to spend almost all day Thursday packing everything up since we had to be out of our old apartment by the end of Friday, and it was also the first day the new apartment would be ready. We got everything moved over pretty well and are settled in the new one. So from everything going on, we didn't have as much time to find this week as we'd like, but we did teach a first lesson to a lady named E that seems fairly promising.
Sixth, A, is one fire too. He's been a really cool experience to be a part of. I can't remember if I even told his story, but basically late one night we were walking past his house and we saw him inside painting and we walked past, but I figured we might as well talk to him and knocked on the door and he told us he was LA and was wanting to come back to church. He loved church and wants to meet everyday if we can. His daughter E is like 4 and is super cute and she really loves us. 
Overall it was a great week despite the little hiccup we are still working out. The work is true and it's real. It's more than a good idea or a nice fantasy. It really works and really changes lives. Jesus Christ is the way to true joy. Thanks for all the birthday wishes!
Elder Pew
November 24, 2014
Dear family,
Happy birthday to "Zane the President of the USA and Pompeeface Sr." today!

This was an eventful week. 4 exchanges, driving to San Antonio twice, and becoming two decades old. 

I first want to start by saying thanks for all the birthday cards and wishes! It helped "another day" to be a good day. I also want to give thanks for each of you. Thank you for being such a great family. I am so grateful to be a part of the crazy, pompeeface Pew family. I am thankful to have such great parents who have taught me so well. I still brag about you guys to every missionary who ever talks about their parents and the counsel you have given me comes back to help on a weekly basis. One example was this week on an exchange, teaching a recent convert that after 40 days of quitting drinking, slipped up and fell back into alcohol. The missionaries have been lost how to help him. In the lesson when he retold his story of drinking again, a question that dad once asked me after making a dumb decision came into my head, "Did you read the Book of Mormon today?" So I asked him. He sat there, and realized that it was the first day he missed reading in a long time. We testified that it would give him the daily power to give it up again. I'm thankful for growing up in a home where the gospel was the center. Even if no one listened to me that little kids only have a 20 minute attention span and FHE shouldn't go any longer, I'm grateful for the consistency of daily scripture study, prayer, and weekly family night. Thank you for helping me to gain a testimony of this gospel.

Monday was a hard working day. No one was home and it got into the mid 30s, and we ended up knocking for a lot of it.

Tuesday I left on a two-day exchange, the first one being with 1st Ward. That is where P and L moved, so I got to have a lesson with them. It was awesome! P was super excited to see me! The lesson went great and hopefully they are more motivated to go to church. I accidentally interrupted a drug deal in that area. We racked up a lot of referrals just by asking everyone. My goal to find a new family was accomplished. We went by an old media referral and the lady let us right in. Her name was G and she said that missionaries had stopped by before and gave her a "Merman Bible." We clarified to make sure it actually was the Book of Mormon and she still had it and said she knew she should be reading it. We asked what she was looking for in life and she said "humility" so that was cool. We read part of Alma 32 and she really liked it. In the closing prayer she thanked God that she was able to open up her "Merman Bible" again. Those Elders have been struggling so hopefully that helped to find a new person for them to teach.

Wednesday I was with Mission Creek. I went with them to their district meeting. Elder S in Mission Creek is the District Leader and he's pretty great. We spent most of the day teaching and they have some really cool investigators. They didn't have a clue it was my birthday until President texted at like 10 to say happy birthday. It was just how I wanted. A normal working day serving the Lord without any attention. It's weird to think that on a mission a birthday just doesn't mean that much and I honestly kept forgetting. 
Balloons and poppers for Elder Pew's birthday

Thursday I returned and found that Cibolo had moved in with us. While I was gone they had a lesson with J and he was super excited about his baptism, so they talked about the 29th but we haven't been able to teach him again, so we will need to move it to the 6th since he hasn't quit smoking. We had to take Elder S to the mission home and it was weird being there again. I feel like I'm always the one who ends up at President's house and it was clear that I was the only one who felt comfortable there. I asked him about Sister M and he said it's not a huge deal. He said he will only start to worry if it's been 3 months and she still hasn't been confirmed. We stopped by to give them some goodies just so they knew we were thinking about them.

Friday Elder H was on exchanges and so I was with Elder J double working Randolph and Cibolo. Not much happened other than a lesson with the L family (the one who loves the Cowboys). Me and Bro L get along super well, it's too bad he's just not interested in religion still but he was the one who wanted us to show him a mormon message. We also found out Elder J was getting a new companion Saturday. He was super stressed about it because they don't have anything going on in Cibolo and I think he was looking forward to working with us and having some help, so I helped him go through their record and get a ton of people to go by and I just talked up the potential in the area and I hope it helped him, he seems to be doing much better.

Saturday we had to go to the mission office and saw Elder T and President again. We picked up Elder J's new companion Elder R, who is from PG. He has been out 6 months and totally reminds me of Elder V. Knows tons about every subject and is pretty funny. Good addition to the apartment. We got Elder H back and went to work. We had no luck for a Saturday and I have really exhausted this area. We have gone by nearly every single former and potential investigator, as well as every less-active member. It's just hard that everyone we are working with can't have lessons. It started to rain at about 8 and turned into an absolute typhoon. It was awesome!! We were at a less-active member's house and it started coming down soooo hard. The entire street was flooded so we decided we needed to quickly leave if we wanted to make it back. Driving home was the funnest, most dangerous thing I've ever done. It was insane. In some places there was a feet or two of water and at one point it nearly stopped us and I had to floor it pretty good to get out. We made it safe and were done for the night and I loved it. The rain here is just amazing.
Sunday was pretty good. Church was great and the Hs came again, but only for sacrament meeting. They didn't really have a reason to leave other than fussy kids and being tired, so that was too bad, but we have a lesson tonight that hopefully won't fall through. J's brother Mo did come with, the same one we referred to the missionaries in Castle Hills and he moved in with the Hs. I told him we were happy to have him at church and he gave me a big smile and said "you'll be seeing a lot more of me around here, I love it!" Of course if he's there tonight we will start teaching him too, although he might be better in the Singles' Ward. We had another unsuccessful night trying to find new families to teach, but we are talking to lots of people everyday. We know it will turn around soon.

Out of all things I'm thankful for, the thing that I treasure the most is my testimony of this gospel and of Jesus Christ. I'm so thankful that it's always been firm and that I know how to keep it that way. I am thankful for the peace and joy it has brought me despite whatever hardships we face. I'm thankful for the direction it has given me in life. I'm thankful for the knowledge of the Atonement and of repentance. I'm thankful for the knowledge of eternal families. I'm thankful for the example Jesus Christ set for us to live joyful, successful lives, and to return to live with Him again forever. Thank you all for all you do!
Elder Pew

Monday, November 10, 2014

October 13th, 20th, 27th & November 3rd, 2014 and some photos

October 13th, 2014
Dear family,
First of all, I want to say happy Birthday to Emily and Gwen! And good luck to Brynn as she heads out this week, I know she will do great things! This was a decent week, but I'm getting the flu and feel pretty sick, so I'm sorry if this is short and not eventful. The subject line (I'm gravy) comes from R, who has had an eventful week and has been doing better. I'm not sure if I've talked much about him, but he is just hilarious. "I'm gravy" means "I'm good." Also he always stops us and says, "wait a sec," and then he wipes the bottom of his eye, and then flicks a fake tear and says "just had to grab that tear." He does it randomly and it's hilarious. He really likes me because I use all of his phrases. He is always saying "sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride," We taught him twice this week. He seems determined to change, but he hasn't really done much to help, other than he has been reading a little in the Book of Mormon. He didn't come to church and he didn't read the Tad R. Callister talk we gave him. 

Overall, we are really running out of ideas on things to do, because we have already contacted nearly every single person in the area book and less-active or part-member family, and it has been more comforting to see that the other zone leaders have been struggling too, not that that is good, but that we aren't the only ones trying to figure out what to do. But we have been working really hard and just laying it all out there, so it's just a matter of time. I feel like I'm at the peak of my application of Preach my Gospel, but we aren't seeing much visible success. Oh well, we will just keep trying and things will work out. 
Tuesday was a crazy day with a ton of administrative stuff we had to do to get ready for zone meeting and we had to meet with a high councilor in the stake over missionary work that went pretty well. I think we were able to address some of the needs of the missionaries in the zone. We had to finish up planning for our zone meeting the next day, but we still got out and taught two lessons, one to R, and the other to Sister M. She is doing pretty well and wants to get baptized, but she didn't come to church, but if she comes the next two weeks, she can still make November 1st. 
Wednesday was a crazy day. We had zone meeting and my trainings felt really scattered, but I thought they went pretty well. The first one I just had a bunch of thoughts and I just really wanted everyone to feel excited to be a missionary and get people excited about the success of each other so we read part of Alma 31 and Alma 29, so we started a thing where missionaries call in great stories particularly with finding new investigators that we send out to the zone so we can rejoice in each others successes. My other training was about changing who we are not simply changing what we do, and I got a little into sanctification which was really interesting to me and I really felt like I needed to share, but I didn't have as much time as I thought, so it wasn't as smooth. We also held a meeting for District Leaders and Sister Training Leader before and it went really well, we are really trying to get the zone unified, but with the doctrine, not just doing stuff together. So far, so good, we had 11 stories called in this week. After the meeting I was on exchanges with Elder T and we had fun and we are just so similar. They have a great area and people are just very prepared there. They have another 5 or 6 that should get baptized soon.
Friday we had another exchange with Elder B and he is a great missionary. He came with both of us. We had a pretty cool experience where we were contacting an investigator and then stopped by somewhere down the street, but we saw someone down a side street, so we talked to them and they weren't interested, but we didn't want to freak them out so we kept walking and then we decided to go by a less-active family nearby, but they weren't home and I saw this guy outside his truck, so we talked to him and he wasn't interested but we asked for referrals and he gave us someone he knew a couple blocks down but didn't know the address but they had a yellow ranger, so we drove until we found it, but it was parked in between two houses and the first house wasn't home, so we contacted the next house and the lady who was referred came out and let us teach her the restoration. It went well and she had some good questions, she is super busy, so hopefully they can contact her again this week. It is still cool to see how people are prepared for the gospel and in ways you wouldn't expect.
Sunday was good, and N and K came, so that was good. N said her mom is feeling better, so hopefully we can have a lesson this week, I really like the S family.
We are praying to see a miracle here, because there are some great things that could happen. We know that if we have the faith that the Lord can bless us with miracles, we can help some of these great families, or ones we don't know come to the gospel. Thanks for all that you do!
Elder Pew

October 20th, 2014
Dear family,
This was a very interesting week, but overall a great one. I will just go straight into it.
Monday I felt like crap so after writing and shopping I basically just slept. I woke up around six but I felt sick still, but a little better. There were a couple people I really wanted to visit and I got really antsy, so at 7:30 we left the apartment, but no one was home and then I had to come home again, so we were back by 8:15. 
Tuesday I woke up feeling almost all the way better, with just a slightly upset stomach, so we worked. We got a message from the Assistants that Stewardships were due early, so we had to go back and do that which takes forever. We have a really impressive zone and I think we have a lot of future leaders here. Also, Elder T was emergency transferred because of his nasty crash on his bike, but he didn't brake anything, and they set him up to be a zone leader in West Zone next transfer I'm pretty sure. My stomach got worse in the evening, but we had a few people we wanted to visit so we went out anyways and we stopped by the Bs to see if we could meet with R after getting the double-sided picture frame and signing it like Sister B asked. Sister M came out and while we were waiting for R she asked us if we could read a chapter from the Book of Mormon with her, so of course we did that. I almost suggested that myself, so I was really pleased she wanted to do that.

Wednesday Elder H woke up feeling really sick. We decided to have District Meeting in our apartment so he could still be there. We had a powerful district meeting in the humble study room of our apartment. Elder S gave a training on how to prepare for meetings so we can receive revelation, and I had actually read a talk by Elder Eyring the day before called "Listen Together" about that exact thing, so it was really ironic that that talk really prepared me for this training on how to prepare for trainings. The basic ideas are to pray for those who will be teaching, humble yourself, and be diligent on acting on even the faintest promptings to assure you will continue to receive them. Elder S started feeling sick, and Elder L was doing exchanges with Cibolo, so his companion, the other Elder S came with me, Elder L and Elder J worked in Cibolo, and Elder S and Elder H stayed home and slept all day. I really wanted to find a new investigator for Elder S in Universal City, but we were unsuccessful. We had a lesson with Sister M and she had stayed up all night reading about the Spirit World because she was so curious about it, so we taught about that. She was doing super well, but for some reason didn't come to church. My stomach was still giving me grief so I was still only eating Jello and Chicken Noodle Soup. Sister T brought us a ton of stomach-friendly foods for Elder H. They are sooo nice. That night we were also contacting a part-member family and they were sitting on the porch so we walked up and basically just started teaching them. The wife is the member and the husband looks like Chris Bosh. He really likes his family and is open to the church so we felt prompted to teach about how he could receive the Priesthood to serve his family and he really liked that, but he's not religious at all, so we have to start with the basics. It went super well and we were really thankful for that experience. We set up a lesson for the next day.
Thursday Elder H was still sick, so I took Elder J with me to the lesson and it went really well. We taught him about eternal families and asked if he would like to live with his family forever and he said, "well... that'd be rad." He is like a really mellow version of R. He had work on Sunday so they didn't come to church but we have another lesson tonight. Elder S was feeling better so Cibolo just worked and so we were stuck at the apartment. I got a lot of good studies in though so that was good.
Friday Elder H was still really sick and my stomach was still giving me grief and I was getting really sick of Chicken Noodle Soup, but it felt better by the evening. Since we were in the apartment, I decided to call pretty much every potential in the area book. I made about 50 calls and some of them were pretty interesting, but I actually set up one lesson for this Wednesday. I feel like I learned a lot about goals this week. It's been very helpful to think "Do I really expect to reach that goal?" And when I do, I really work for it and strive to reach it since I expect to get it. It made our goals lower than normal, but they actually helped me work harder and be more determined to reach them. 
Saturday Elder H was still sick, but Cibolo texted that Elder J was feeling sick now, so me and Elder S double worked Randolph and Cibolo. We had dinner with the Ms. We had a lesson with R and we really wanted to get him to church. He was very mellow and totally listening and we had a powerful lesson. He 100% promised to be at church.
Sunday Elder H felt well enough to go to church, so we did and it was the Primary Program. It was amazing! I love kids. Unfortunately none of our investigators came, but we had a few non-members of part-member families that came, but none are interested right now. We talked to one of them for awhile and his whole family has joined and he said he plans on joining, but he hasn't been able to quit smoking so he doesn't feel ready and doesn't think there is much we can do, we asked about the reading the Book of Mormon with his family to strengthen his conviction so he will have the power to quit. Interesting situation. So we have about 10 people that could call us any day and say they are ready to be baptized but we can't really do anything for them other than show that we care. It's tough, but we know there are people ready now for the gospel, so we are doing all we can to be placed in their path. It's amazing to see how the gospel really does bless and change people. I think it's so funny that we are so resistant to change because we are afraid of changing, and we forget that when we let the gospel change us it will never be a change that we aren't happy with. The gospel is all about change and happiness. Thanks for all the love and support!
Elder Pew

October 27th. 2014

Dear family,
Anyways, we had a killer week.
Monday we had an awesome lesson with J. We taught the importance of the Book of Mormon and he understood it well. He was really curious to learn about the commandments.
Tuesday we taught him again because he set up the return appointment for the next day without us even asking. We had a great lesson on the Plan of Salvation. He understood it very well and he surprisingly pulls a lot out of scriptures. They read Alma 34 on their own. We had to take care of some zone things and then we had a good day but no other real successes besides teaching Bro. R again. He likes us and hopefully we can help him to come back to church.
Wednesday we taught J again because once again they set up the return appointment for the next day. We had an amazing lesson on the Word of Wisdom. He has really been on fire and he easily accepted the commitment because he could see how much it would bless him. Me and him are really good friends and he's awesome. I always stare at him when he is picking the closing prayer, and finally this time, he says, alright Pew, I know you want me to say it." So he gave the prayer and it was beautiful. He prayed for us and our families. He prayed that he would have the strength "to do this," He has made us sooo happy. We also taught this potential in our area book and she said she's looking for a church. She had sat in on her friend who doesn't live here anymore and she enjoyed the Restoration. She didn't come to church, but she was surprised we actually caught her home, so we told her that was a sign. She agreed, so hopefully we can see her again this week. We also showed S a mormon message and him and his roommates really liked it and we invited them to church, and S actually came this week with the Ts which was awesome. We had a lesson with the Cs right after, so we had four lessons before 2:30 which is a miracle. We tried finding some more, but no luck until our lesson with Sister M.
Thursday was when Elder Hamula came to San Antonio, and it was awesome. Here are some highlights:
-They noted that only 24 percent of you claim to open your mouths always.  Elder Hamula said, “If you are not preaching by the way, you are not living consistent to your divine commission.”  He also said, “Opening your mouth is the price you pay to succeed in all things you have been called to do.”
East Zone Conference
 -Elder Hamula noted a weakness of daily planning and companion study, which go hand in hand.  If you do not have effective daily planning sessions at night, then your companion study the next morning will be less effective.
-Elder Hamula said, “You cannot teach what you are not living.  You can say it, but you cannot teach it.”  Then he outlined how to receive revelation: 1.  You need to ask, seek, knock.  2.  You must sincerely desire.  3.  You must be committed to act on that which you receive.  4.  You need to listen.  In connection with listening, Elder Hamula said, “If you cannot stand the quiet, you won’t hear the quiet voice that speaks.”
-Elder Hamula mentioned that there was one thing that could help us all to attain the next level: complete consecration.  He felt impressed that many were still holding on to their old world, and that these needed to identify their weapons of rebellion and bury them deep.  He said, “It is full consecration of the soul that carries missionaries to the promised land.”
Elder Hamula said, “You have enough faith to come on a mission, but not enough to succeed in your areas.”  If we would do those things that we were counseled by the Lord’s servant and by the impressions of the Holy Ghost, we can achieve the next level in the Lord’s work.
-The Spirit of a group is a direct reflection of the man leading it
-The righteous seek correction. Great leaders seek correction
-He explained some really cool stuff about prayer and "realizing you are in the dark and dreary wilderness" like Adam and Eve, and Lehi in 1 Nephi 8 and some really cool parallels to the temple. Jesus Christ is the only way out of that. 
He really praised the mission. He said it's the best he's seen on his mission tours and he really praised President Slaughter, who also gave an amazing training on enduring to the end and how we must each endure to the end. President selected 10 people to be interviewed by Elder Hamula, and he chose me as the zone leader. I was pretty overwhelmed by the task of representing the mission, but it was such a good experience! I got to sit with him one-on-one for 15 minutes. He asked me questions about the mission, my zone, and especially member-missionary work. He said he was going to take a bunch of those things to the leaders of the church and to the leadership meetings he had that night. Then he asked me if I came with any questions that went unanswered. I told him my question and he gave a great answer. Basically my question was, "I feel like I have a good intellectual understanding of Christ and the Atonement. I realize why we need Him. I know why we need a Savior. It all makes sense, but I want to know if there is something more I can do to really FEEL that more, so that my desire to share the gospel will increase even more (PMG pg. 2)" He said that those who have never had to seriously make changes to their nature often have a more intellectual understanding. He said that's okay. He said that as I increase my love for those who really need that redeeming power, I will start to feel it more personally. He addressed me by name and promised I could have that. It was really a sacred experience and I wish I could have sat and talked with him longer. He was so wise and discerning, it was so cool. We had baptism interviews that evening for Highland Hills again, so that took up a lot of our evening (by the way we are going to hit 8 baptisms this month as a zone and the top 10 on Sunday nights has been great). 
Friday we had another lesson with Sister M that went well and we re-set her with November 8th for baptism which she is totally committed for. She came to church.
Saturday morning we had a special MLC with Elder Hamula that I can't even describe how awesome it was, but he even told more amazing stories and taught such amazing things. He basically showed us that it takes us about 15 investigators to baptize 1, and we find about 2 a week and 8 a month, so if we double that to 4 new investigators a week, we will baptize every month like our purpose statement says. It got me really fired up to find new people to teach. We had another great lesson with J on keeping the Sabbath and he says he wishes he knew the commandments better. Unfortunately they slept in, so they didn't come to church. It was the tri-ward trunk-or-treat, so we went to that. They had some super good chili and there were a couple non-members. The Cs brought their same friend that is from Venezuela and we talked to her for awhile. She is really cool and totally seems like a member. N was there, but not at church, but we set up a lesson for Thursday (oh yeah Sister S had gone back to the hospital and that's why we didn't teach them for so long). We took Cibolo home and still had 30 minutes left so we went to the Ls and had a good little lesson and discussion. Brother L still owes us a time at church and said he would come next week, they were going to Windcrest ward this week with Sister L's mom and dad. He really likes us.
Sunday church was great and testimony meeting was really awesome. Hopefully it really helped S and Sister M. Ever since Elder Hamula, I've just been in such a good mood and so motivated to work hard here. I'm learning more and more to not hold anything back and really give it 100%, it's really the only option. I have found so much joy in the quest to help others see the blessings of the gospel that we enjoy daily. The gospel is true and real. Thanks for everything!
Elder Pew
p.s. we are both staying as expected, lots of changes in the zone

November 3rd, 2014

Dear family,
This week was gravy and there couldn't be a better time to be a missionary. I'm a little slammed on time, but I'll get what I can. I'll go by investigator:
1. Sister M- good week for her. We have her set for the 14th, Friday night. She came to Stake Conference and we read three chapters with her this week. We also brought a new 34-year old single guy who just moved in and they got along SUPER well. They went to Stake Conference together! We may have accidentally just hooked those two up, but it would really help her to have a good friend who is strong in the gospel like him. She already told him she wants him to baptize her.
2. J- He is the guy who looks like Chris Bosh and his wife is a member. They were pretty busy this week, but we had a great lesson with them Wednesday on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and he committed to be baptized, but for the 22nd and then they went out of town on the weekend and didn't come to church, so that will need to be pushed back. He's super solid and loves us. We found out it was his wife's b-day so we went to drop off cracker candy for her, and they weren't there but J's brother was there, so we talked to him of course and he said J has been talking about becoming Mormon and he really likes the religion. We invited him to be taught, so hopefully he's being taught in Castle Hills now.
3. S- He started reading the Book of Mormon again, and we invited him to church and he came again, so we are going to start teaching him again.
4. K- We set up a lunch with the M's for Saturday with the hope that we could teach her and we did. We taught her about temples and she really likes the temple and has really been wanting to go. We were very pleased with that meeting.
5. S family- We finally had a lesson with them on Thursday and it went well. We really emphasized gaining a spiritual conversion, not just intellectual and how important it is to act.
6. Brother H- He is the active non-member and we had a great discussion with him. He loved "Meet the Mormons" and he said it was more than a movie to him. He told us he just doesn't feel like he knows the doctrine or history well enough, but he loves what he sees in the church. We talked about Matthew 7 that a bad tree cannot bring forth good fruit, so if everything about the church is good, the church is true. He invited us to come back and explain the first 20 years of the church, so we think he might have some issues with Joseph Smith.
7. Brother W- We went by to check up on them and they were in the process of packing. We had a great conversation with them and they missed meeting with us. We showed them a Mormon message and Sister W loved it (that was huge for her) so they wanted to watch another, and we ended up watching like 5 and showed them the Mormon channel so they could keep watching them. We went by Saturday to help pack and move things and Brother W said he really liked "Earthly Father, Heavenly Father" and he's been thinking about it a lot. We are helping him today again for part of P-day and Elder H just bought some new scriptures and he's just going to give them to Brother W and we marked some of our favorite scriptures and wrote a note for him, so hopefully he catches fire in Round Rock. 
8. S, S, D- we had a couple first lessons with random people that we aren't really sure what their interest level is, but we were pleased to teach some new people. 
Halloween was honestly super boring. We had to be in by 6, so we just weekly planned then and ate some candy. 
Transfers were this week and we lost some great people in the zone, but we gained some great ones too including my former District Leader Elder W. He's the one that is super good at basketball.
We had Stake Conference and Elder Greer of the Seventy was there and it was cool to be around General Authorities for 2 weeks in a row. He was great. He was very sincere and you could tell that he really loves everyone. President Slaughter was there and all the members fell in love with him as usual. He talked about growing up and participating in so many sports, but his wall of achievements was all "participation certificates" and not trophies. He quit sports and did band instead in High School, but he said if all he gets is a certificate of participation in Heaven for the work of salvation, he will be more than happy. He urged all members to participate and not worry so much if they succeed. He said the work of salvation is more than increasing numbers, it's about deepening conversion. He's incredible.
I know that this work is real and such a great thing to participate in. I have received so many blessings out here and I've grown so much, I'm so grateful for this gospel and what is has done for me. People say that "the mission" changes them, but really it is Jesus Christ and His gospel. A mission is just a unique chance to be so immersed in the gospel, you can't help but jump on board and see how much it helps you. Thanks for everything!
Love, Elder Pew