Family and Friends!
It has been another amazing week here in Alabama. Huntsville is great and Elder Holm and I are loving it. The members are awesome and the people aren't usually too rude to us. We've been able to find quite a few potential investigators and are looking forward to starting to teach them more.
We finally met Matt! It wasn't a super long experience or anything but it was worth putting at the beginning of the email. Last night we were riding back home from teaching another investigator and we saw that Matt's garage was open. We had rode by before and he was outside but we didn't think it was him, long story there, but we slowed down and couldn't see him so we just kinda kept going. Elder Holm was leading and after we went a couple houses past he turned around because the Spirit told him to--go Elder for listening to the Spirit. When we pulled up Matt was walking from around back of his house and we were finally able to meet him. He has been someone we've been trying to see for over a month; he was on date but is getting bombarded with life and all sorts of things. Not really in a good place right now but it was a miracle to put a face to the name and introduce ourselves, assuring him that we are here to help.
We started to teach the Latham family this past week. Mom has been in and out of activity depending on how much she has to work. She is basically supporting five kids by herself so she's playing the role of SuperMom (all Mom's are that way by the way, just a side note). Anyway her son who is nine years old wants to be baptized and she wants him to be baptized so we are taking the opportunity to teach the whole family. They are hilarious and full of energy so it's been fun and exciting. Just pray that they'll be able to start coming to church so that the little boy can get baptized!
Tasha was a lady we met last week I think. I may have mentioned her name in last weeks email. But, we had thought she gave us a wrong number and turns out she accidentally messed up one of the numbers. With that though we didn't think she was going to be a solid follow up, but she was! Gotta love how God surprises you sometime. When we went to teach her this past week we shared a little about the Restoration and answered some questions about the Book of Mormon. She was really receptive and interested to learn more. Right now she has a goal to be baptized on the 30th of June so hopefully that works out! It was a really cool lesson and amazing that we were able to teach her so tailored to her needs and questions.
Cathy is doing good, we've talked to her this week but we haven't been able to teach because she's been sick. Torries is becoming hard to catch because he has a ton of stuff he is working on for the summer. But still high hopes there. We talked with Mike again this week, had a good conversation with he and his neighbors. Things are just getting hectic in his life but he hasn't really given up on us so that's good. We had a good lesson with AL this Sunday as well. We talked to him about Modern-day Prophets and how we receive revelation. He is a logical man, but I think he will do what we've asked him too so that'll be exciting to see where that takes him. Logan was another investigator we talked to this week. His mom is a member and he's not really Christian but when we went over yesterday we answered some questions he had about baptism and the succession of a Prophet. It was good to sit and answer his questions again without the distraction of Mom and Dad being there. Logan is in his 20s by the way, we weren't over there teaching a teenager without Mom and Dad I promise. Also had another good lesson with the Harris family about baptism this week. The Spirit was there and it prompted Sister Harris to ask how to keep the Spirit with her after she's not felt it for a while. That was really cool to see her open up.
This week we went on exchanges and I went out with Elder Hanratty (throwback to the MTC). We had a lot of good, funny, interesting experiences but one of them was meeting a guy named Marlon. We were talking to this lady in an apartment complex about the Book of Mormon and Marlon came out and asked for the Book. He lived above her and cut me off while I was explaining it. But, she ended up not being interested so we went up and talk to him. He asked for the Book, said "Thank you!" and started to walk inside. We set up a return appointment for Sunday afternoon and I didn't really know what was going to happen or expect anything to come of it. Annette, Marlons mom, answered the door yesterday and invited us in. We talked briefly about the Restoration and both her and Marlon were interested. She told us a little bit about Marlons conditions which made sense of why the situation was weird when we first met him. And, we are going back this coming Sunday. The Lord sometimes let's people come to you, and He is always in charge of his work.
We had a couple other cool finding experiences this week. One was when the Spirit spoke to Elder Holm's stomach and directed him to Sonic at the end of the night. The lady we were ordering from hooked us up with a $5.00 sticker that gives you .99 cent Route44 of anything for the entire year. Pretty solid; anyway back to the cool part... While we were waiting for our drinks a guy pulled up and asked who we were. His name is Brian and Brain literally told us, "Hey I'm interested in learning more about what y'all believe." So we are currently trying to set up an appointment with him.
Also, before I forget we talked to a guy named Kyle who I didn't think was too interested and when we texted to confirm our appointment he canceled but he had read out of the Book of Mormon! The Lord was just proving me wrong this week.
Another finding experience was Nick. We talked to him for a couple minutes only to find that a youth in our ward was one of his student and he (the youth) gave Nick a Book of Mormon. Go him! We explained more about what the Book of Mormon was and what it testifies of. Considering he was Catholic we also talked about Authority and where we each believe our authority comes from. It's was an interesting conversation but he was very accepting and I hope he will read from the Book of Mormon and we'll be able to talk to him again.
We found some other possibilities but no one to really mention yet. We did re-contact this family that Elder Matthew's began to teach about a year ago, the Folies. We went in and talked with them about things they remember and stuff. They loved the missionaries but apparently had a bad church experience and so they haven't been interested since. Mom also said that they are "very Catholic" whatever that means. I'm going to figure it out. I'm determined. They made the comment that I was "Matthew's incarnate," lol. Shout out to Jax!
Some funny stories from the week:
● The Book of Mormon Play just ended up here in Huntsville and a lady stopped us at the store last week and asked if we were Mormon. She then told us about the play, what she liked and didn't like, and then she asked for our picture.
● Elder Hanratty and I got caught in the pouring rain. We got drenched and I almost got hit by a car. It was chill though.
● Got some bomb Tacos on Tuesday.
● A guy named Bobby was talking to us about how he got his bowels taken out and he was very upset about it.
● We were told that we needed to come to christ on a doorstep.
● I told a joke to an older guy who wasn't really interested... Why did the referee blow his whistle in the leprosy hockey game?.... Because there was a "face off" in the corner. He thought it was funny.
● Met a guy named Mr. Lovelady and talked to him about Family History.
● A guy named Austin took us on a tour of his car collection this week.
● Brother Messervy called and took us out to Burger King for lunch again this week. These older guys hang out with the missionaries a lot haha!
● We went out with a guy we met last week who was somewhat contending with us about Jesus and the nature of God. He took us out to lunch and us and he and his friend “talked” about the Bible. Long story short we don’t believe in the same Jesus because they believe that God the Father is Jesus Christ. The end of the conversation was, “Well, one of us is right and one of us is wrong…” ….yep. Probably to be continued.
Lastly, before I get into my finally comments, we were fasting this past Sunday for our District to find more people to teach. Right before we were about to break our fast we got a phone call to help move some furniture for a guy whose wife is/was a member of the church. We went to help and it was a miracle to me how the Lord gave us that opportunity. He has been gone for 18 months or so but is now home and he's very knowledgeable about the church and about the lessons. He loves the church and the people there and we are hoping to be able to teach them a little bit in the coming weeks. He wants to feed us for helping them out so we already have a foot in that door.
It was a good week and a lot to learn. I had a couple take-aways but one of them was my testimony of Preach My Gospel. There were several instances where, had we had to teach a wrote lesson, people would've been frustrated, confused, or simply not interested. But since we are able to use the Spirit in determining the needs of the investigator and then share with them what we know it makes the gospel so much more applicable and meaningful. Also, we had a change in our Bishopric this past Sunday. The Stake President taught Sunday School and talked a lot about the Priesthood and the offices of the Priesthood, etc. But one thing he shared was a training that a Seventy gave years ago when President Vaughn (our Stake President) was in a Bishopric. There was a pyramid with six steps on it and it read, beginning at the bottom: Doctrine, Principles, Procedures, Programs, Policies, and Style. He said that the bottom two never change. The Doctrine or Christ will always be foundational and will never change. He said that the middle three sometimes change depending on various circumstances, but they are not set in stone. The last level is when Leadership changes and that happens frequently. Everyone is human, and everyone has their way to do things. That pyramid is how the organization of the church works. I thought that that was an interesting thought.
The church is true, and miracle exist today! Read your scriptures, say your prayers, and have a blessed week!