April 6th, 2015
|District Leader Training|
This was a great week! We held a District Leader Conference for the mission this week and we had Elder W give a training on keeping apartments in order. The first thing he said is "President Slaughter and the Assistants are like the First Presidency. Elder W, Elder R, and I are the Presiding Bishopric. We take care of the temporal needs of the mission." It was hilarious. His whole training was funny, but he went like 15 minutes over.
Monday we had a great lesson with J at the Bs. She is doing incredible. We taught her about family history and temples, but she already knew everything. We were going to show her familysearch.org, but she already had an account and found some relatives. She is working on Personal Progress, and she knew which prophet's teachings are found in 2 Nephi 9 without us telling her (and it's not Nephi if that's what you are thinking). She is great. We tried contacting her mom all week, but we didn't make contact.
Tuesday I was on exchanges with Elder W. It was a blast. He has made so much improvement. He is a very stable and steady missionary now. We got a call from the Balcones Heights sisters and told us they had an investigator that moved into our area, and that their day off was Tuesday, so we went and contacted them. They are a cool couple. They are really young and have two kids. They are trying to get back on their feet. and living in their friends apartment who is being generous. They were taught several times and we showed them "Because of Him" and they loved it. They have been reading a little bit in the Book of Mormon, so hopefully they progress well. We also shared the "Because He Lives" video with several people on the street on their smart phone, so that was cool.
Wednesday we had our District Leader Conference. I gave a training on conducting effective exchanges and giving correction. My main emphasis was that we often correct others too much. Much of the "correcting" should be taught by example. The missionary handbook makes it clear that is what it is suppose to be like. Also, there is a difference between correcting and suggestions. We should rarely give correction, especially in the TSAM because everyone is so obedient. That is vocally helping someone that is way off the path to and is doing something harmful to their effectiveness or salvation. Suggestions are merely things that could help them improve, but aren't life-altering and even many of those should be taught by example. So on exchanges we should do everything we can to be examples because that Spirit we bring is what will teach the other missionaries more powerfully than anything we can say. I talked about the three most important things we should be examples of are constant faith, consecration, and conversion. The three C's. President got up in MLC and used those same things and read letters he receives about exchanges and it was really cool to hear that they often said things like, "the things I learned weren't said. I was so impressed by their constant faith" or "their consecration." Those are also the things that should last after the mission too. We had a great meeting. We had a good lesson with P and he seems to get really excited about what we teach. He was so excited about Apostles, but he didn't come to General Conference.
Thursday we did all the office work we needed to. We helped the As. They are such a good couple. They also told us they allowed this Medical student from Mexico live with them and so they brought them to Conference. We are also teaching a different friend in their home on Friday. They are such good member missionaries simply because they don't worry about being awkward or slow with things, they just be themselves. We brought H with us to a lesson with the Os. It was a good experience though to have H add his testimony and give him a chance to vocalize it. We figure that is all we can help him with at this point.
Saturday was incredible. We had to print off stewardships for transfer planning this week, so we didn't have any time to proselyte, but Conference was so good. Several of them stuck out, especially Elder Bednar and Elder Andersen of the 70 and Elder Ballard in Priesthood. That was perfect. J watched Saturday afternoon at the B's and loved it. The As brought their new roommate and she seemed to enjoy it.
Sunday was also incredible. Elder Holland and Elder Nelson's stuck out but they were all good. We went to the D' for afternoon session and the Ms came! We brought them cookies. I think Brother M enjoyed it and hopefully they stayed after for awhile. We stopped by the As just to see what we should do with M and they have already talked to her a ton about the church, and they brought her down so we showed the "Because He Lives" video and basically invited her to investigate. She will only be here for a month or so, but she has a great spirit about her. She would be a great kingdom builder in Mexico, especially since she is working on her PhD. We had a great meeting with President. We counseled together and decided it is time to bring in and train another Assistant and I am going to go back into the field. I'm not sure where, but it will be good. Elder C is my replacement and he will do really well. It will be sad to go, but I trust that there is somewhere I need to be for the remainder of my time.
|Elder Pew's district|
We had such a great opportunity to witness one of the great characteristics of being part of Christ's true church. To hear prophets and Apostles speak. One thing I've learned on my mission is the need to be "quick to observe." We all heard things that we can improve and do better, and there is no point to the Conference if we don't quickly observe them. I hope each of us take the inspiration we received and act on it. It was also special to be representatives of Christ on Easter, to bear witness of Him. He does live. He "stands betwixt [us] and justice" and he made it possible for us to overcome both physical death as well as spiritual death. We can return to live in His presence as we accept Him and live His gospel. This is the church that contains the fulness of it and the authority to teach and administer the ordinances necessary to access His Atonement. Thank you for all you do!
|Elder Pew and his companion with a friend|
April 13th, 2015
Monday we picked up Elder C and he's doing well. He's so teachable and humble. He's great. We had a lesson with this man we met several weeks ago street contacting and he missed the appointment but we saw him Monday night and he beckoned to us and wanted us to come in. It was a great lesson, but we haven't been able to get together again. His name is A.
Tuesday we started transfer planning. It is always incredible to see the love and inspiration from President Slaughter. It gets easier every time because I know all the missionaries so much better. It took awhile to find a place for me. It just so happened that the best place would be in Brushy Creek. I would be over 8 missionaries in the district and Elder T just happens to be there and he is in his first transfer but he's going to be really good. We finished out the planning for the day and I had no idea what to think about going to Brushy Creek. Lots of mixed emotions. We had a great evening. We had a lesson with P and again he was so excited to see us and loved everything we taught. He canceled our next lesson and missed church. Not sure how to help him. We had a lesson with J and S and talked about missionary work but unsurprisingly J is already doing tons of missionary work. She's great. We had a lesson with this lady named M about the Book of Mormon. She was another person we street contacted and she was really interested. She didn't come to church but was excited to start reading.
Wednesday we finished transfer planning, and throughout the day I felt uneasy about going back to Brushy Creek. I don't want the mission to think that I just chose where to go and moved everyone out of the way so it could happen and Elder M, who is in Brushy Creek right now has been very clear about the fact that he doesn't want to leave Brushy Creek. I voiced these concerns with President Slaughter, but he didn't see a problem and really liked the idea of me going there, so that is where I am going! So I'm very excited and also nervous for how people react. I'm sure it will be good. My only goal is to baptize a family. That is my only desire. That night was the night Elder H left, but Elder C and I didn't have much luck besides the Indian couple we taught.
Thursday we had zone meeting in the morning. It was great. Elder W and I sang our own words to "Oh Savior thou who Wearest a Crown" to the tune of "If you Could Hie to Kolob" and it went really well. I wish we recorded it. That will probably be our last chance to do that. We had to do a bunch of office work after that until dinner. We also didn't have much success that night, but we set up a bunch of lessons for the next few days.
Friday we had to go pick up Elder H in Austin and bring him back. We got more of the office work done and then headed out. We had dinner and a lesson with M at the As. We had a lesson with R and we just watched "Come, Join with Us" with him. He really liked that, so we'll see if he starts to open up some more. He's doing better. We also had a lesson with the Ms that was great. I had the son build a lego house while we opened to the scripture. We talked about the importance of having a strong foundation and that the way that we build that foundation is by hearing and doing the words of Christ. That is exactly what they need to know right now too. It went well.
Saturday we finished the office work for the weekend and headed out. We had a lesson with J and S and we had J and S teach us since they both understand the gospel so well. They did a great job and we are just waiting for her mom still. We might have an FHE with her at the B's again tonight. We talked to this lady who thought she was Jesus in the flesh, but besides that, not a lot happened.
Sunday at church everyone figured someone was leaving since in this ward a trio means someone is going home, so they all found out I was leaving. This ward is so incredible. I am going to miss it. We didn't have any investigators at church, but Paul came back into town for church, so that was great to see them. They are doing so well. We are eating with them Tuesday so I will see them again. We had an incredible lesson with the A family. They are so awesome. They had been out of town but just got back and they let us right in. We read 2 Nephi 32 with them and they were just eating it up. They are all in. They had been reading on their own too. I'm sad to leave them, and I'm sure they will get baptized soon. We did transfer calls that night and it went well. Everything is worked out for transfers. It was sad for it to be a last meeting at President's house, but it was great.
This is the true church. I know this is the way of salvation. Thanks for all you do!
|A fellow missionary made this for him when he was on splits with him!|
April 20th, 2015
This was a crazy week, but it has been such a great experience. I know I'm already a better person this week than I was last week.
Monday we taught that Indian couple again. They are such good people. We made it simple and just invited them to read the Book of Mormon. That was mostly it.
Tuesday we got the departing missionaries. We had a great lesson with the A family. I am so sad to leave that family. I hope they get baptized. They are so great.
Wednesday morning we dropped off the departing missionaries at the airport. We had our district leader meeting which was strange knowing that I was going to be one of them. It was good for me though to have some time to think about what I want to accomplish with them. We picked up the new missionaries which was an interesting group because all three of the Elders had already been out for a few transfers but either got reassigned or were coming back. We took them to the Alamo
Slaughters left for a meeting in Dallas, so we were on our own. We
still took them to the Mission Home and did our best to replicate the
presentation the Slaughters give. The Pressers were there and the
kids, so it was only us. It went well.
|At the Alamo|
Thursday morning we took them to transfer meeting. I bore my testimony in the transfer meeting in San Antonio and I actually got really emotional. I was reading from Alma 26 with my own words a little too.
April 27th, 2015
I think I've regained the knowledge of the area I had forgot. I will just go through our investigators again.
2. M- She came to church and we also taught her twice. She told us of this awesome experience reading the Book of Mormon when she was not feeling well and she read in Alma 17 when it says to "be of good comfort" and "bear with patience thy afflictions" and it was exactly what she needed. That was incredible, but she still says the Book of Mormon is just another book. Oh well.
3. O- We weren't able to meet with him. We might need to move on from him if he isn't ready.
4. A- who has been taught once and we read Moroni 6 and invited him to church but he didn't come. He is cool though. He lives on his own and is about 50.
5. G family- Didn't come to church and we stopped by. She still responds over text and had to work until 2 in the morning on Sunday so that is partly why. Hopefully we can just start teaching her son this week.
6. Fs and E get back this week so hopefully we can set something up and hopefully they progress.
7. D & S- We met this couple trying to go by a part-member family but we accidentally went by the wrong apartment and the couple we met was super nice and were in a hurry but they let us in and were interested in the Book of Mormon. We talked about it and gave it to them. They were pretty interested but are busy until the summer, but we are going to stay in contact and hopefully start teaching them as soon as possible. We talked to sooo many people this week, it felt good to have so much time.
Friday night and Saturday was an open house for the new church building they built in Cedar Park as part of our Stake. They set up the church with tons of information about the church and made it a great missionary opportunity. It didn't have the biggest turn out but there was a good number of non-members that came. Our whole zone had to be there the entire time so that was pretty long and there wasn't always stuff for us to do, but it was good. I hope it yields some positive results.
Thursday we moved into a new apartment that actually isn't in our area but it's in McNeil and isn't too far away. The washer flooded after we finished moving in so that was an adventure.
Wednesday was my first district meeting and it was a blast. I focused on prioritized planning and preaching by the way and I made it very flexible so I could really help the district with the things it needed. They had some questions on how to find new investigators through current investigators so we practiced that for awhile which went well and then we talked about what makes a good street contact and then I just asked what they needed to work on and then I gave a demonstration and then we practiced. It went fairly well. I am excited to work with this district. It's me and Elder T, the Sign Language Sisters and Sister Training Leaders Sister W and R (yes the one from Lone Peak), Elder D and O (our zone leaders and the ones we live with), and Elder B and J (the one from South Africa). It should be a good transfer.
Thank you for all that you do and your examples. This is the true gospel of Christ on the earth. It is the way to true joy. I love you all!
May 4th, 2015
This was a busy week and it flew by! We had some good things happen, although no family yet.
Monday we showed up at O's house perfect timing. He was needing help moving some furniture so we did that and had a lesson. We basically read with him and he realized he needs to read more often. It was kind of a make or break lesson, and we haven't heard from him since, so he might be done taking lessons.
Thank you for all that you do and your examples! This is the Lord's work!