Monday, April 18, 2016

It's Raining, It's Pouring

The flooding came up to the gates of the Houston Temple.
I am currently writing this email whilst Houston is in the midst of a more than sufficient amount of rain and flooding in many places. Our apartment is in a good place that hasn't gotten flooded, so we're #blessed at the moment. Other places have flooding, and we've seen some stranded cars along the feeder (frontage road) of the freeway, but we've been fine. I had no idea it rained so much down here. I guess August is crazy rainy season, and it's not August. A lot of people lost power, but ours hasn't been out.

It was pretty loud last night, but the lightning was super cool. Unfortunately, we're on the first floor, so our view looking out the window is covered by trees.  With lots of flooding in the area comes lots of service opportunities, which is a blessing, because we've been praying to find service opportunities. 

We spent a lot of time contacting this week to no avail. Obviously, we don't know the seeds we may have planted and the people we may have helped, but it didn't seem as if many people wanted to find a way to access blessings for them and their family this week. 

I was on an exchange with Elder Schloer, the zone leader from Hafer on Friday and he asked "Have you run into many Jehovah's Witnesses down here?" and I said not really. Well, as you can probably imagine, we knocked the doors of 4 JWs in the next hour and a half whilst contacting. I have a lot of respect for them and their beliefs, but they are incredibly hard-headed.

It's amazing how many different interpretations there are of the Bible, and how so many different denominations are convinced that theirs is correct. There's a lot of truth to be found in other religions, but the power to bind on earth as well as in Heaven is only found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We definitely don't Bible-bash though. We're more than happy to talk to people about their beliefs and share ours, but we never argue because it's useless to do so, and does not invite the Spirit. Reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it with real intent brings converting power of the Spirit. So one can only know for himself, the truthfulness of the Gospel can't be proved to anyone. 

I love teaching lessons, but it's been difficult to find teaching opportunities. We'll have to head to the park someday and play some basketball in exchange for teaching lessons. I know that this difficulty of not finding many people is all part of gaining patience, love, and perspective, and learning what God would have me learn. 

I know I said I would take more pictures, and I haven't, so I'll work on that this week. I saw someone riding his bike in 4 feet of rain and didn't take a picture, so now I'm sad. Onward and upward. 

-Elder Barrus

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