This has been a pretty good week. It has had its ups and downs. Over all things have been good. Last Sunday I went around and set up a lot of appointments to meet with members so we could continue to go through the lessons with them. You can just see how much the members are wanting to have missionary opportunities, and the lessons are just getting them excited. The ward is now looking for more chances to share the gospel with others. It is really good, and we know that it is the members that will help this work to progress. We have been able to teach many lessons this week.
Monday was P-day and it was fun because we carved pumpkins as a zone, but afterwards me and the Zone Leader Elder Stewart went on exchanges with each other. It was really good we taught 3 lessons just on that Monday night which was really good. It went through Tuesday, and we were able to do a lot on Tuesday as well. It was really nice being able to leave the apartment at 10:00 am instead of around 12:00. The Church has a 12 week training program for new missionaries, and so since I have been in Texas and me going through that, and now me training another missionary we have been doing that up until around 12:00. But we went out and tried to street contact. We didn't have much luck, but it was still a great chance to be able to learn some new things from the Zone leader. We exchanged back later that day, and we went and taught Lexi. It was a good lesson, and she is still progressing which is good.
Wednesday we had zone conference, and so it is were different parts of the mission gather for a big meeting and training. It was so good. We talked a lot about how we can help out our individual areas. Again me and my companion were thinking that we need to try and do some more family history stuff. So we will see where that takes us. But we both felt spiritually exhausted by the time it was over. We had to be there by 8 am and we left around 4 pm so it was a bit of a long day. There were some really great things that were said though. The spirit was so strong while we were there, and it just made you want to go back to your area and just keep using new ideas on how to find people. Also the members were brought up again so we will continue to work towards that. But something that stuck out to me was when you go out, pray for someone to be put in your path that you can talk to. It would not leave my head and I knew it was something that I wanted to try and do more often.
Thursday rolled around and we did some service over at the bishops house. He just had surgery on his eye. So we helped him out. He needed some things built on his wall so I was able to help him with that. It took a couple of hours but I think the end result was pretty sweet. I built the things on the walls, and my comp took the meat off of a deer skull. So that was our day there.
Friday!! We had a great miracle happen on this day. We went out and I was trying to figure out where we should go that day. And me and my companion decided to grab out bikes and put them on the back of the car. We drove to a certain point in our ward. We were going to go to less actives around that area. There were 8 we wanted to try and visit with. We started and door after door, no one was home. But we kept going to the next home, and we came to one home where we were going to talk to this family, but they didn't really even want us on there property. They weren't too happy when we showed up. We talked to them for just a little bit, and we kept going after and we went down the street and took a right into a dead end. We didn't want to have to turn around and go past that house again, so I thought well lets just try to find a way through.
Well we found this path that lead to this park. And we followed it until it came to a parking lot. I saw this person who was in the car, and I thought I would just smile and wave to them. We kept biking for like 100ft and I heard a faint voice saying something. I turned and looked back and I see this hand signaling to us to come back. We turned around and started to go back. It was a man named Paul. He said he had a Mormon roommate, and always wanted to learn more just never had the time to stop and talk to missionaries. So we sat down right there and taught him the beautiful message of the restoration. He said that he was going to read the Book of Mormon. He said he would be interested to learn more. So we are waiting to hear back from him.
The coolest part of this whole experience is before I took my bike off the rack, I said a little prayer in my heart. I asked Heavenly Father to please put someone in our path that we could talk to. That thing I heard at zone conference absolutely helped me. I believe that is the reason that we were able to find and teach Paul. God does prepare others to hear this great message we just need to pray with sincere intent to have those opportunities. So I would like to invite/challenge y'all to pray for a missionary opportunity each day. They are out there. Please look for them because as you do, you will be able to feel the love of our Heavenly Father more. I promise that you will be blessed for it. This is a wonderful work that we are all apart of. Keep up the great work.
Saturday we had the great chance to do more service. Sean Micheal is a recent convert in one of the wards near us. He is a CEO for the Montgomery Food Bank. We helped with this big project to give a lot of people food. So we were going to be in charge of directing traffic. But Sean Micheal wanted me to go with him. I was helping him with a lot of the organizing of what would be happening that day. So I was running all over with another missionary checking on stations and making sure people were ready and prepared to help out. People started lining up at 5:00 am in there cars to come and get food.
These people come from very humble lives. They don't have enough money to provide to things in there life. So they came to get food to help them out.10:30 was the time that we were scheduled to start handing out the supplies, and we were there by 8 am to help. Well at 10:30 Sean Micheal and I along with another missionary that was there, (my companion was out with another missionary helping with other things) started to help direct traffic at the very front of the lines. It was a great time. I got to help, but I also got to talk with a lot of these people who had been sitting for quite sometime. My love really grew for the people of Texas in just those early hours of the morning till the later hours of the afternoon. So many people have been struggling, and I just wanted to help each of them so bad. Many people asked me if I was in school, and I had the chance to explain to them that I was a missionary. Many of the older people thought it was just mind blowing to have an 18 year old Elder. That sure gave me a good laugh! I just loved being able to smile and talk with them. It was really such a great experience to share with these people.
Saturday night to Sunday we had stake conference. For the first time the missionaries were invited to go to the adult session of stake conference. The Spirit was so strong. The whole message of the conference was to help members become the full time finders. It was a great chance to be able to hear from the mission and Stake President. They bore such great and sincere testimonies! Again just this whole week has been so great, and we have truly been blessed in many ways. Lots of little miracles have been happening! I love being apart of this work, and I am so grateful to know that I am not alone. I know because of the saviors great and infinite atonement that we all can be helped from day to day. It is just one way that we are able to see the great love that our Father in Heaven has for us. I love the Lord and this gospel, and I am so happy for the chance I get to share that with others.
I wish Y'all the best and safe week.
Elder Joshua V. Christensen