Sunday, October 9, 2016

October 3, 2016

This past week has been full of odd feelings and great stories. For one, there's the year-anniversary for my week-off for the Vegas mission. Understandably that doesn't really curtail to anything important, but it was fun telling myself, "funny, this is the time I'm spending Sep 29 to Oct 7 as a proselytizing missionary!" Means there's only a shorter time to the deeper fall and winter, because those are my favorite seasons for the work! 

The present has been coming around well though. We weren't able to meet with Oliver or Andrew again this past week, but we did have some other miracles occur. On Monday we found ourselves walking over to go see Brandon and Sis. Benderik. We caught them in the nick of time! Had we not walked the direction or route we did, chances are we would've missed them. Brandon's only 9, so we teach very simply to him. But after we left we walked over to the intersection, and in the midst of the yellow light (it was about 8), we pondered where to go next, with the time that we had. Just then someone called out to us from a corner house, and after walking over we got to take in the fellow who had called us, and met Nathen. He asked if he could borrow our phone to call a few people, and we didn't need to ask why. Because he was covered in blood. Kid you not, it looked like the guy just got out of the fight of his life. Fortunately he was no scrapper, he had just fallen into the  corner of a counter top and gashed his jaw open. Well, in the process of letting him borrow the phone, we got talking about the Plan of Salvation, and he seemed intrigued, to an extent. He had met with elders before, and we stayed and talked with him outside until one of his relatives came to help patch him up. At the end of the week we returned and he was outside with his friends. Got talking to him more about the Gospel, and although his friends excused themselves he stayed and listened and we answered his questions. He was intently listening too! And in the end he accepted a Book of Mormon, and committed to read and pray about it too. He even was excited to tell his Mom as she pulled up mid-conversation that he was meeting with us again! Seems like the guy's had it rough in life, so hopefully the Gospel will help him out.

In other news, I was treated to probably the saddest scenic view in my life. En route to dinner on Tuesday we passed by a couple of sunflower fields, and they were all wilted. Now I'm not the type to give sympathy for shrubbery, but seeing the thousands of flowers turned brown and facing down was just....depressing. I'll include a picture so you'll see what I mean. We also locked the keys in the apartment a few times this last week, so we had to break in through a window that we left unlocked. Previously the other elders would break into our apartment to steal goodies like cookies or brownies. That forced us to lock all the windows, and whaddya know, we still lock the keys in one night. Fortunately the landlord is in the ward and he was able to come with a spare. 

We've also been meeting with a certain Teri as of recently. She's a former investigator but has the nicest heart ever. She suffers from depression, and when we visit her we simply talk to her and let her express herself. Recalling Bro. Slade's experience from Yakima helped. But she loves us when we come by, it gives her hope. Last time we got talking about how much God loves her and how much Christ suffered personally for her. We offered a priesthood blessing to assist, and she loved what the spirit spoke to her. We'll continue helping her out all the way through. It's nice to simply be a comforter for someone who is brokenhearted.

General Conference was awesome! I probably don't need to go into too much detail. But I loved Elder Nelson's talk about how we have to right to feel joy everywhere we go, no matter where we're at in life. I also loved the member-missionary talks as well. Heck, I loved all of the talks! President Monson's brief address about the Plan of Salvation was so touching. It's incredible to know that Heavenly Father still speaks to prophets in today's world. I know that all of those men are inspired and direct witnesses of the name of the Lord. Because in the end, it is Christ at the head. No way those guys could do it all themselves. 

Afterward we got to see Cassie and Turk for a brief lesson on prophets. Cassie told us that the previous week she had prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true or not. She told us that only 10 minutes after she had said that prayer, she had pulled up to a 4-way stop. And across the stop, was us evidently! We had driven right by her without noticing. And then the next day she had walked into the Doctor's office and Sis. Van Quill, her immediate friend who was there with us, was there too! We told her that God has a funny sense of humor to give us signs like that sometimes, but ultimately true conversion comes from the heart, and what we feel. She understands, and she and Turk will do great! After dinner the next hour, we got to meet with another fellow named Mike. Long story short, it was a miracle we were able to catch the guy in the first place. We had set up the appointment the night before right as he was about to drive off. He has a lot of friends serving missions now, and he even showed us a video of one of them opening his call. When we talked to him about the Restoration and Joseph Smith, he got super interested in reading the Book of Mormon. He even downloaded the Gospel Library app as soon as we mentioned it exists. All that was great, because I recognized in the course of teaching how rust I had gotten from the lack of solid appointments in Ellesnburg. Still, after a prayer was said, I got a prompting that we should extend the baptismal invitation to him. We did, and he accepted! Even told us he knew it was the right thing to do to start new! Yeah! 

In short, it's been a pretty good week. I also got the package, thanks for all of it! You guys must've really loved that BBQ place in Atlanta because normally we don't get merchandise from restaurants. That's been something I've been hankering for a long while now, good BBQ. Who knows? Maybe it will happen. Until then, love you all! How's the house in St. George coming? I'm interested to see how that progresses. Let every one know I love them, and I keep you guys in my prayers. Thanks for all you guys do for me and the other missionaries serving. Little acts of service go a long way.






Love you all!
Michael