Monday, December 2, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Howdy Y'all, this week has been a good one. We had a great opportunity on Monday to have a thanksgiving Preparation day. We went to the stake center and got to watch Ephraims Rescue. It was such a great movie. It is very similar to 17 miracles. But it was great to watch, and the spirit was there as we watched it. I loved seeing how obedient Ephraim Hanks was. Whenever asked to do something by the prophet Brigham Young. It was very touching to see that when Brigham was asking some of the men to go and help the saints coming across the plains. And many of them were willing but needed some days to get ready to make the journey, but Ephraim was ready to go at that moment. I love the message of how we should always be prepared for callings or things we are asked to do by the prophets. 

Tuesdays was just going around to visit with members, but we were able to go do some service at a local food bank.  So that was fun. But then after we did that we then went and talked with members. But that night we had an opportunity to teach some new investigators. So that was a great experience. We were able to set up a return appointment for tomorrow. 

Weds was a bit crazy. So we started out by visiting some members and we were actually able to help someone who was moving out. He was a really nice guy, and after we just continued to go to members homes. So after going to a couple different homes we parked and were getting ready to go meet some more members. My companion tried to open the door, and it made a clicking noise and the door would not open. Something on the inside of the car had broken off. So then we got to call our vehicle coordinator, and he already doesn't like our car cause it had different problems. But we basically spent 4 hours in the car in traffic driving to get it fixed and then driving back to our area. But luckily it was a quick fix once we got there and we decided to go to the mall that night and see if we could get some more lessons there. 

So we got to the mall and went in and with in the first 15 minutes of being there we were able to teach 3 lessons to some members. We had a big family stop us and we were able to talk with them and teach them a lesson. So after a crazy day we were able to teach some lessons. 

Thursday was Thanksgiving, and we only had a few set appointments that day. But in the morning we did our studies and our weekly planning. And while doing our weekly planning I started to set up this Christmas tree in our apartment that we had and started to get the lights to work with it. And when you are poor missionaries with know decorations you need to get creative. So we did. We decorated our tree with cards and with pictures of the temple. 

We also put some other things we had there in the tree. I found a golf ball and thought how I could use it in the tree. So I also realized that I had a couple other golf balls in one of my bags, so I got those out and then I had the thought to put a push pin in them and tie a string to them and I make decorations out of those. That was what we did during planning for the morning. 

So then we went over to the Jackson's home where they made us a wonderful thanksgiving meal. It was so good. I really enjoyed being able to have a thanksgiving this year. I joked with these members about how last Thanksgiving I couldn't eat anything because I had just got my wisdom teeth out. But then following this meal we were able to get to know the members a lot better. We then went to some more members homes and we had the chance to be able to teach some lessons. So it was a great day! 

Friday we had zone meeting and I was having a hard time concentrating during it. This week I came down with a cold, so I didn't feel to great. But it was a good meeting we just talked about how we can do better at making commitments and following up with our investigators. Because we we invite our investigators to do things like read the scriptures or go to church or to live certain commandments then we are inviting them to repent. Or in other words helping them to make changes in there lives where they can come closer to our savior Jesus Christ. 

But that night we had dinner with a a member of the ward and with her non member friend named Stan. And Stan is a great guy. We were able to explain some of the things that we believe as well as why were came out on mission. And he thought it was very interesting. He told us he will not convert, but we aren't out here only to convert people to the gospel. We are here to help others come closer to Jesus Christ. And as we do this it does help them to gain a testimony as they do read or pray. So that helps them, and that can lead them to want to make that decision of baptism and becoming a member. But we are not here just to increase  membership in the church. 

Saturday we had a cool miracle happen. So we got a referral from the church, and usually when we get them from they really aren't real. They always fall through. But we got a referral and we went to go check on it. And we pulled up to this house that was in the same neighborhood as a different referral we got a couple weeks ago. That referral wanted nothing to do with us and wanted us off his property. So we were a little nervous when we went into that same neighborhood. But the new referral we got was two houses away from that old referral. And we saw a black ford fusion in the driveway and we both thought, why do we know that car? And it turns out it was one of the people that lives in our apartment complex named Ben. So we knocked on the door and Ben answered and we told him that we got information about someone wanting to learn more about the church and he told us that it was his brother Stephen that was interested. 

So we set up an appointment to meet with him yesterday. And we took one of the priests with us and he was so awesome during this appointment. It was really good. Ben let us teach over at his apartment and Ben invited one of his friends that is a member. And it was just an incredible lesson. The spirit was there and we invited Stephen to be baptized and he said if he is ready and has an answer to his prayer he will get baptized on January 4th!! And they are both going to try and go to church this next week! Stephen is going back to school until December 14 but Ben said he would come. So it was just a great night to be able to and teach. 

I love being out here, and it is crazy to think how fast it is flying by. But I know that this is where I need to be. I am grateful for this gospel and the chance I have to share it with others. I hope that all y'all have a great week! Keep praying for missionary experiences! 

Elder Joshua V. Christensen 

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