Monday, April 25, 2016

Turn Around, Don't Drown

Good afternoon! You probably weren't expecting two Mormon missionaries to show up on your doorstep this evening?... wait a minute, I think I just got my door approach mixed up with my weekly email. Sorry about that. But anyway, everyone has been asking me about this "Historic Flood" that allegedly went down this past week, but I have yet to see much flooding--a little on the freeway underpasses, but that's about it. Oh and the signs on the freeway, "If you see water on the road, turn around, don't drown". The serious flooding happened about an hour away, but since we can't watch the news, I couldn't tell you much about it. A member showed us some pictures, though and it looks pretty epic. Apparently the flooding in Katy about an hour away closely resembles the flooding that happened in the time of Noah in the Bible, but who knows, I don't watch the news so I couldn't tell ya. 

This is about the extent of the flooding we saw. 

I think Elder Gibb was trying to make me break the 
"No Swimming" rule by parking so close to this ditch.

We haven't helped with any clean up, because there wasn't anyone affected in our area by the flood and so we're just doing our regular service. 

The weather is starting to get hot. It's like 70s and 80s right now, but it will become 100s in the summer with humidity, so that'll be crazy. I love it when it rains, the rainstorms and lightning are super rad. Elder Gibbs and I keep our apartment very clean. We got a perfect score on our last cleaning check! As far as receiving any packages or letters, I have only received the one you sent last week, after you learned we have a different apartment number. 635 is where the elders lived before us, but the office forgot to change it. It's #116 now.

I just started the first week of my 2nd transfer here in H-town. Not much has changed in our area, but we are still diligently doing all we can to bring others to Christ. We have taught a good amount of Restoration lessons, but have yet to have any progressing investigators with the exception of an 8 year old named Gio. To be fair, he wanted to get baptized before we started teaching him, so we probably could have taught him nothing relating to the Gospel and he would still want to get baptized. We're still not sure if we are going to be able to baptize him or not. His grandpa Franco is one of our investigators who goes to church fairly often, but we would prefer for him to finally commit to living the Gospel and be baptized along with Gio. If Gio doesn't see his father figure doing the things he knows he should do, how can he be expected to live the Gospel himself when he's only 8? We don't want to baptize him into inactivity and without the support that he needs. So that's a challenge we've been praying for guidance with.

As far as some of our other investigators go, some of them have fallen off the face of the earth, unfortunately. Wendy and Savannah, who seemed super solid, have stopped returning our phone calls and text messages, and when we visited them yesterday, they told us they weren't really interested anymore. I get the feeling that Wendy may have come across some anti-Mormon literature that concerned her. We should have reminded her that Satan will do anything he can to keep people from finding the truth, so we must go to the source if we want to find the truth for ourselves. Obviously there's both sides of the issues that need to be considered, but we won't know if the Book of Mormon is true, or if Joseph Smith was a prophet of God unless we study it out in our hearts and our minds with sincere intent. I would challenge anyone who questions the authenticity or divine nature of the Book of Mormon to read it, and tell me whether or not anyone could have made up a story and written a book like it.

I don't want to keep this email negative though. I would like to share something from a devotional Elder Holland gave a while back from his days as President of BYU. He reminds us that none of us came to this life intending to be perfect. We should be pushing ourselves, always learning new things. We're going to fall short, but if we do the best that we can, the Savior Jesus Christ will make up the difference. We need to always accept the invitation to "come unto Him." It's hard. It requires change. It requires doing things maybe we don't like doing. But it's worth it. Church isn't a place where we go to put ourselves on a pedestal above others so we can show how righteous we are. Church is like a hospital where we go to heal ourselves each and every week. Going to Church and partaking of the Sacrament with the right mentality helps us to come away each week with a renewed desire to improve and overcome sin. I've felt this healing power in my life. I've lived it. And I promise that it will help you gain more inner peace, joy, and comfort.

-Elder Barrus

Sister Childs and Sister Christensen offered us some
of their spaghetti, but apparently I wasn't hungry.

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