Happy August 1st to all y'all back in good old Cache Valley and my fellow Band of Brothers serving worldwide. I love all of you and hope y'all are doing well! I hope the Sky View football team is having a good time with Bobcat makersand are working hard to carry on the tradition of success. I'm excited to hear about all the success y'all will have this season!!
This week has gone by so fast, it seems like just yesterday I was writing about last week haha.
My favorite thing this week was our lesson with Janna's brother Dan. Dan is investigating the church and is the definition of "perfect investigator." We weren't really sure what to expect going in. Dan is a really nice guy and that's about all we knew. We taught the Restoration because that is the first lesson and he believed every single thing we taught! As we taught, he would tell us about things he believes and it was pretty much exactly what we believe! Dan used to be a party animal and had some drug and alcohol problems, but has come full circle and has been sober for just over two years. He has built a strong relationship with God and Jesus and loves the bible. We talked to him about reading the Book of Mormon and he says, "Well, I haven't read that much..." And we ask him how much he has read and he says, "About 15-20 pages." And we were like Dan! That is awesome!! So we are really excited for him. He said he has a lot of questions about foreordination and life after death so we will be teaching him about the Plan of Salvationtomorrowand I am hyped🏽🏽 Another amazing miracle we had this week was yesterday! Ann Pearson and her daughter, Laurel, came to church!! It was great. Ann knows like everyone in the ward because she has been investigating for a few years and she had a great experience coming to sacrament meeting. Laurel really enjoyed it as well but is really hung up on the whole Atonement. It is such a huge part of what we teach and believe and she feels like it is more of a primitive sacrifice, but we are teaching her againon Tuesday,and we can hopefully address all her concerns! I'm excited. Laurel is great and is really trying to figure things out for herself. She is going to Humboldt State in Northern California to become a marine biologist. She is almost done with school and is heading backon Wednesday,but will be back at the end of September! Anyway, the miracle of them coming to church was that EVERY single talk and song was about what we have been teaching them and you could just see them thinking about it and it was touching them. It was great! It's so easy to see Gods hand in everything we do out here. Sister Forbes, who is the mission President's wife, has a great relationship with Ann, so that is awesome because Sister Forbes is a convert from Catholicism. Things are really falling into place I feel like!🏽
We had dinner with the Trainor family on Wednesday and it was really great! They had a burrito bar and Sister Trainor had fried tortillas for it and they were so good Their family is really trying to be more involved in member missionary work so we were able to help them with the ward mission plan. I would recommend our ward mission plan to everyone back home. It has the acronym PIPA and I will discuss it in detail right now:
P- Prepare your home in a way that invites the spirit. Keep it clean and have church pictures around your home that will lead to questions from non-members.
I- Invite a nonmember into your home AT LEAST once a month. It doesn't have to involve a lesson or anything - just have a nonmember in your home and have your home prepared as a place they can feel the Spirit, and questions for you to answer about the church will follow!
P- Pray for the people you have in your home and also pray that you can be ready to answer questions they have.
A- Answer any and all questions they have about the church. If you do this, they will feel the Spirit and have a desire to learn more. If nothing else you have strengthened your relationship with them and "planted seeds" in them (Alma 32:36).
The Trainors are awesome and they bought Elder Cordara peach yogurt because he loves it haha They have a chocolate lab named Brownie and he is a cool dog! A lot of people here have cool dogs but none as cool as my dog!
We had Zone interviews on Wednesday and they were great! President Forbes is so funny and such an amazing guy. During my interview with him I sat in a chair and he paced up and down the room and ate cashews It was a great interview and time to get to know him better!
Wednesdaynight I had quite the funny experience while I was sleeping!We had taught the Restoration like 5 times that week and so I had a dream that we were teaching someone the Restoration. However, I was sort of half asleep, half awake, and I was sitting up in my bed teaching to no one! As I finished my part of the lesson and it was Elder Cordara's turn to teach, he didn't say anything (he was asleep, obviously). So I was stressing out really bad and I was like Elder! Elder it's your turn! But he didn't say anything. So I sat there for a minute trying to figure out what the heck was going on and finally realized I was having a dream haha. So I sheepishly fell back asleepand the next morning Elder Cordara was like "So apparently you can teach the gospel in your sleep!" And I was like yeah...
We got to teach Jephthah Gatei again and his brother-in-law, Prince, who joined the church about 4 months ago! Jephthah is a great man. And Prince is so cool! Haha Prince is 37 and we both thought he was 24-25 He is very energetic! Jephthah's wife, Mercy, isn't a member but she has been taught all the lessons and believes everything. She has a calling in another church she goes to so we wanted to talk to her about that. She wasn't there, so we talked to Prince and Jephthah for about an hour about her. Prince came to the conclusion that one day, she will just call the missionaries and say she is ready to be baptized, and that that day is in the near future! Jephthah agreed and it is so incredible to see how much faith is in their home!
We had a west African BBQ and had the ward council and invited all the Africans in our ward to come because a lot of them are less active. We only had Jephthah's family and Sister Saylee come to it, which is a lot less than expected but it was a good event. Sister Saylee even came to church the next day!
The elderly lady, Luann, that we help out with yard work has been a little more open about talking religion. We talked to her about her church and our church and about missionaries. We also mowed her lawn yesterday and she gave us 40$ to go to this place called Pizza Ranch, which is a really good pizza buffet but expensive so she told us to go there for helping her! She is so great! Keep her and her husband in your prayers!
Last thing, the Parkinson's next door neighbor isn't a member but is a very nice guy. His name is Jacque and he is the coolest guy ever! He used to do MotoX and BMX racing and now is an avid biker. He has been helping us out with bike stuff and teaching us how to tune up our bikes and keep them running well! He is such a nice guy! My bike has been having a problem making 2 clicks every time I pedal and I can't figure out what it is and Jacque didn't know either🏼 So if anyone has any advice, I would love it!
I'm having a blast out here! It's hot and humid, but lots of fun and hard work. I'm learning so much about the gospel and also about myself. It's amazing how many things I need to work on haha. But I'm glad that I have the opportunity to improve in those areas of my life! I keep y'all in my prayers every day and know that I love each of you back home so much, and I love my brothers out there fighting the good fight with me, whether that is at college or in the mission field. I read a talk this week by Elder Maxwell called "O Divine Redeemer." It is an amazing talk about the Savior, and I would suggest it to everyone! Anyway, I love you all, and best of luck to the Sky View Bobcats this year! Represent well at Maverick Stadium in the opener!🏽
Photos top to bottom are:
My workout board
A beautiful nature shot
Me with a football in my shirt because that is the only way I could carry it #ballislife
A goofy pic of me
50 Shades of Elder Gray (I borrowed Elder Gray's name tag for the photo)
A typical lunch for me: Turkey, cheese, and lettuce wraps, Gatorade, fruit, and chips