Friday, November 25, 2016

Elder Road!

This email was sent November 14, 2016

This week was jam-packed with all sorts of missionary appropriate fun activities. On Tuesday we had our temple trip and after that I went on an exchange to Jersey Village with Elder Hunt on the ole' bikes. That was pretty fun because Jersey Village is a lot like my first area H3. It's close to Houston so it's pretty sketchy but awesome because people like to talk and you always see weird stuff that makes you laugh. We knocked an apartment complex and had 2 families that let us in. 

The first one was a family from Mexico where the mom hijacked the conversation and told us the story of how she came to know Jesus. She talked about how she grew up in a dangerous place and saw lots of bad stuff. And then she became a prostitute and became addicted to drugs and alcohol. She was not in a good place but had a desire to get out and so she prayed and felt inspired to read in the Bible. So she did and 5 years later her life has changed for the better. It's fascinating to listen to people who so readily tell you all about their life story. 

The second door we entered was with a black guy from Cuba. At first we spoke English to him, but he didn't speak any English so we spoke Spanish to him. He was a really cool guy, said he wants to learn more about our religion and the Book of Mormon. His only issue is that he's Cuban, and trying to understand Cuban Spanish is like trying to understand somebody who's talking underwater. On a completely unrelated note, knocking on doors can get awkward because I'm never sure what language people speak. There are people that look like they speak Spanish but speak like Arabic instead, and people who like they only speak English who are from Venezuela. Really confusing so we just have to guess and hope they can understand us. 

On Wednesday we taught Omar and set a baptismal date with him for December 4th! The only sad part about it is when we had another lesson on Saturday with him and he said that he and his girlfriend are going through a hard time so he requested to be taught by the Bear Creek Elders because he lives much closer to their chapel. So we'll have to turn him over but it's okay, he'll be in good hands with Elder Tidwell and Elder Blackford. On Thursday we planned for the week and knocked some more doors. Friday we had district meeting and more finding. Saturday we stopped by all our investigators and only 2 answered. So that was kind of frustrating but that's okay because we talked to a Hispanic family at the park who had made fajita meat and gave us a whole bunch.

On Sunday we had church and then our mission president's Spanish fireside. It was really uplifting to hear the testimonies of 3 recent converts who are grateful for the change the Gospel has brought about in their lives. I felt the spirit so strongly and hearts were touched. All the Spanish missionaries were there so I got to reunite with some of my favorite missionaries in the THM. 

Anyway, yesterday during sacrament Hermano PadrĂ³n gave a really good talk about obedience to God's commandments. He talked about how God gave Moses the 10 commandments, not the 10 suggestions. Sometimes we may not understand why coffee is not allowed but really we should be looking to keep all of God's commandments, not just picking and choosing the convenient ones we like. Sometimes we may not understand. But I love this quote from Joseph Smith that talks about the long-term effects of obedience:

"Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof until all of the events transpire.”

We are free to choose for ourselves. But we are not free to choose the consequences, so we should choose wisely. Obedience brings blessings, and exact obedience brings miracles. Sometimes it's hard because our faith gets tested and nothing happens even though we do our very best. We talked about the story of Thomas and how he said, "Unless I see, I will not believe." That relates to us as missionaries because sometimes we won't work as hard unless we see some blessings as a result of our efforts. But that's not faith. Faith is believing and acting even though you can't see. 

Elder Road!

Alberto from H3! I saw him at the Mission President Fireside.

Temple trip with the district

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