Hello to all my family, friends and coaches back home, at school and serving around the world! Hope this finds you all doing well and enjoying this Christmas time of year. We’ve had some insanely nice weather for the first week of December here in MN but it’s supposed to drop down in the single digits and negatives this week. Elder L is pretty excited for that. This week has been good and we’ve been really busy with both areas. I almost feel overwhelmed at times, but it sure beats having nothing to do and not many people to teach!
So Monday was P-day and I talked about it in my last week's email, so I’ll spare all the details from that!
morning, Elder L and H drove to the mission office to drop off Elder H and then Elder L worked with the Eden Prairie Elders for 2 days until transfers. So Elder W and I worked in Buffalo for a few days until Elder L got back with us! So morning the apartment was thrashed. So we cleaned it and ended up taking a whole closet full of old clothes and assorted sporting goods to Goodwill. We took 5 garbage bags full of stuff missionaries had left behind in this closet. So that closet is good and cleaned out now and Elder L is using it! After that we had a quick lunch and then had a lesson with DA who is a date set investigator in Buffalo. He’s from Transylvania and started meeting with missionaries about a year ago. His baptism date is for the but he hasn’t come to church so we aren’t sure he’s going to hit that date. He’s a really genuine guy and has a testimony of the church and Book of Mormon, he just doesn’t come to church because he said he “needs to learn more and read the Book of Mormon more before I can come.” So we are going to work with him on getting to church and understanding that the reason we go to church is to learn. We don’t learn then go to church. We go to church to learn. It’s like school! Anyway, we walked around this way cool lake in Clearwater with him and we talked about reading the scriptures, prayer, humility, following the prophet and a few more things too! It was kind of a unique lesson, but I felt like it went about as good as I could’ve given as we were walking around a lake haha. After that we stopped by some people who lived out in the sticks but none of them were home. A few of them had some really nice houses. Holy cow they were sweet! We had dinner with the Ss! They are way nice and I’ve actually eaten at their house before on exchanges. They remembered me as the Elder “who ate lots of salad and doesn’t eat dessert.” Brother and Sister S are way awesome. Their oldest son has a girlfriend he’s really serious with and I’m not sure he’s planning on serving a mission, but we will do our best to influence him in that way. We knocked a few doors after dinner and there were a few people we gave out Light the World cards to and one guy said we could come back this week, so that was cool! After that we had a lesson with PE and his fiancé. They got married this last Saturday so that was sweet! She is an investigator and she hopefully will be getting baptized soon! Her family belongs to another church and they said they basically will kick her out of the church and disown her if she joins the LDS church. That’s sad, but it happens so we are working with her to overcome that road block. She loves the missionaries and the Book of Mormon so that’s awesome!
we went out to Annandale and that was kind of a weird day haha. We stopped by every single person in Annandale and literally no one was home, interested, or had moved! Haha this one dude we stopped by was a less active member and he lives down on the lake so we took this super steep driveway down to his house. We knocked on the door twice and no one answered so we started leaving and then this huge dude answers the door with a t shirt and boxers on, and his boxers are just hanging wide open. The cows got out of the barn- let’s just say that... He’s like, “My siblings went to BYU and I hate the church.” and then grabbed a thing of Diet Coke sitting on his porch and slammed the door. Elder W and I almost died laughing haha. We knocked some doors and met some really nice people. We gave a Book of Mormon to this one lady (can’t remember her name) and followed her on Facebook, too. She said we could swing by next time we were up in the area. I love having the Light the World campaign as a fall back technique when we tract. We start out sharing about the restoration and the Book of Mormon and stuff and then if people aren’t interested we share the Light the World stuff with them and invite them to participate in it! Almost every person we talk to says they will at least visit the Mormon.org website, so that is awesome. It’s been a great tool for us so far! After that we had a lesson with Brother A. I had met him twice before on exchanges in Buffalo and Elder H and W didn’t know who he was. He’s a less active dude who is trying to get back into the church. The Elders would go by and read the Book of Mormon with him. So we visited with him for a while and then talked about coming to church and his patriarchal blessing. He said he had lost his, so we are going to help him get a new one this week! He told us he just didn’t seem to be finding answers to his questions in the scriptures when he read them and the first thing that popped into my head was, “When was the last time you read your patriarchal blessing?” He said it had been a while for sure and he didn’t know where his even was. So we are going to talk to Bishop G this week and get him another copy of it! So that should be sweet.
we did a lot of knocking doors. In the morning Elder W and I knocked an entire town home complex in Monticello. We found a lady who is from New Jersey that had met with the missionaries while she was there and we are going to meet with her again this week! So that was pretty cool. One story that was way awesome to me was that we got to the end of a row of town homes and this older lady was outside smoking a cigarette. She told us to keep walking before we even got to her, so we did and then knocked the last house on her row. Nobody answered the door so we ended up talking to the lady smoking about the weather for like 10 minutes and then slowly transitioned into the Light the World video. She was like, “There’s so much darkness in the world, no one is gonna make that much of a difference.” I was like, “That’s why we invite everyone to do this! Because if every single person on earth participated in this that gets invited, that’s a lot of light being shared around the world.” She was like, “Yeah I guess that makes sense. I’ll give it a try.” I thought that was cool that even though she didn’t want us to “preach” to her, we still were able to share the Light of Christ and the Light the World initiative with her. So that was awesome. After that we went to Culver’s for lunch and waited for Elder L to arrive with the ZLs heading back from transfers. I got a chicken salad with Thousand Island dressing. I will never understand why salads are so expensive at fast food places. It literally costs less than 3 dollars to make the salads they serve and they cost like $6.99. I will never understand why they’re so expensive. But then the Culver’s double deluxe with bacon combo basket with a shake is like $8.99. I’m still trying to figure out why food that is way more healthy and way less in quantity is way more expensive. If anyone can figure that one out please let me know. It’s crazy. Anyway, after Elder L got there we did some more knocking doors for about 2 hours and it was a party with all three of us. We actually had a decent amount of success and found this lady who was from Washington and her best friend was a member of the church! She had some little kids and didn’t have a church she and her husband liked, so they didn’t go to a church, but she was very familiar with the LDS church and really liked it! We are going to get her a Children's Book of Mormon Stories Book of Mormon for her family to read! So that was way sweet. Knocking doors with 3 people is a little crazy, but we make it work haha. We have the “spokesman, wingman, and dude who stands in the back and tries to play it cool.” It’s pretty funny, but it’s been working pretty well for us so far! We gave out like 4 Books of Mormon and like 20 pass along cards and invited people to check out the Light the World initiative. It was pretty “dope” as Elder L says haha. After that we had dinner with the Ps. They are way awesome! Haha so we typed in their address and we got there and went and knocked on the door and we are like, “Hey! How’s it going?” And the lady that answered was like, “Who are you guys?” Haha So we found out it was their old house, but the lady living there was super nice and was like, “Oh yeah, they moved so I live here now haha!” So we found their new house and had a great dinner with them. Their kids were crazy oh my goodness! It was a zoo. They are super nice and really awesome though, so it was awesome. After that we stopped by a few people who weren’t home and then called it a day!
morning we did service at Brother Y’s house in Monticello. We helped him rake up the rest of his leaves for fall and got them out in the horse pasture so we can burn them this winter and have a big ol’ bonfire. He took us to Jimmy Johns for lunch and then when we got back we got to ride the 4 wheeler around their trails for a little bit. It was pretty fun. Brother Y is way awesome. He and his wife are ward missionaries and they are super good at it! I got to talk to him for a while and he’s such a good dude. I’m way excited to be in this ward! Like everyone is awesome. After that we stopped by a couple less active people in Monticello that Brother Y told us to swing by. We didn’t get in contact with any of them but we talked to a few spouses, so that was good! We will have to go back by them again because they all seem like they have good potential. After that we knocked doors for about an hour and we gave out a couple Books of Mormon and invited a lot of people to do the Light the World campaign. Tracting is such a hoot. We almost get a little too crazy sometimes and have too much fun, so I get to rein us all in when we get carried away haha. After that we went home and had some dinner and then weekly planned. We didn’t have anything night, so we moved it back to the evening because people don’t seem to like us knocking on their doors much after dark pretty much. Weekly planning was a grind planning for two areas. Oh man. Lots of mental exertion haha. I was mentally dead when we got done. It’s just a lot of coordinating and logistical stuff but we got it done and good to go for this week. While we were weekly planning this dude came in and was shooting pool. He asked us if we wanted to play, and it was at the end of planning so Elder W and I played him. He was a hoot. He would cuss every time he missed a shot and was telling us all these super weird jokes. I’m pretty sure he was a little off, but he was a nice guy. Hopefully we can get a pool relationship going and then transition it to Gospel stuff.
was awesome! We started off by helping some lady in the Buffalo ward move a couch from her house to this townhouse, and it was a beast. Metal frames and all that. It barely fit through the door of the town home and we had to carry it up the stairs right at the entry, then swing it up over the stairs and drop it down in the living room. Pretty nuts. After that we drove to Hector which is about an hour and 45 minutes southwest of Buffalo. We went there to help Brother and Sister H split and stack wood! It was a party. We had a grand old time with them and we split basically a whole tree and then moved about another tree's worth of wood over to their deck and stacked it there. Sister H had a sandwich bar for lunch and it was so good. Lots of meat, cheese, tomatoes, avocados, apples, pears, etc. It was awesome. I forgot to get a picture of us splitting wood unfortunately, so you won’t be able to see all the wood we split. After that we stopped by the crazy dude LJ that we met last week with Brother C. He wasn’t home or didn’t answer the door, so we weren’t able to meet with him. After that we stopped by the Ns. We hadn’t met them ever so we stopped by them on the way to Fairfax. They were home and let us in! They actually were at church last week and I passed the sacrament to them out in the hall, but they left right after and I didn’t get to talk to them. So when we got in I was like, “Oh I know you guys!” Sister N has super bad anxiety, so they just sit out in the Relief Society room usually and then leave after the sacrament because Brother N works Sundays. He is a pig farmer and the company he works for butchers like 1.4 million pigs a year. So he raises and sells a lot of pigs to them to help contribute to that number. We were able to get to know them a little bit and give Brother N a blessing. They’re super cool! After that we had dinner with the M family down in Fairfax. This is the AM family. I love them. They are probably my favorite family in the branch. We had a blast with them. Their son really opened up to us and was cracking jokes and talking about serving a mission next year. It was a great dinner. Brother M gave Elder Woolley a $200 baseball signed by Harmon Killebrew. He has like 3 of them so he’s like,“Yeah, just have it! I got more haha”. He is such a good guy. He’s awesome. After that we had to head home because it was like and the drive is about an hour back up to Hutch.
we had branch council in Hutch and it was great again! We had a few people show up for church so that was great! J and V both came again! After church we got all our stuff packed up really quick and then went to stop by this Bible/Book of Mormon referral in Hutchinson. All we had was 860 whatever street but it was a town home complex so we didn’t know what number it was. We started knocking all of them and met some interesting people but didn’t find her there. She called us right when we got done and said she lived in #6 but wasn’t home. So we left them in her door and we are going to go back later when we are down there! After that we drove up to Cokato and visited the Ks. Sister K has a lot of health problems and isn’t able to attend church and Brother K takes care of her so he isn’t able to make it either. They love to talk and told us a lot of stories about their lives haha. We were there for almost 2 hours and towards the end we finally were able to jump in and talk about church and shared a video about the atonement of Jesus Christ. Sister K really opened up and said she has a hard time trusting God and people and so we talked about how prayer can help us with that and I actually used Alma 37:36-37 again and shared that with her. She said she probably just needs to be patient in waiting for God to answer her prayers. We talked about how that’s part of it, but we also need to do our part. We can’t just pray for things to happen and then sit around and hope for them to happen! We need to work at it and do our part. We invited them to come to the Christmas party and meet the branch members in a very informal setting. They said they’d love to do that and would try their best to make it.After that we drove up to Monticello to have dinner with the Ms. Brother M is the ward mission leader in buffalo and Elder W said he hadn’t met him and he’d been there 6 weeks, so I’m not sure about all that haha. Hopefully we can meet with him a little more and coordinate stuff with him! After that we watched the Christmas devotional and it was so good! I loved the messages that Christmas is all about the Savior and about giving of our time, not just our money or gifts. It’s like that quote from President Monson: “He who gives of his money gives much, he who gives of his time gives more, but he who gives of himself, gives all.” I love that quote. As we devote not only our time and money to serving and helping others, but also our whole selves to lifting and building up others this time of year, we truly give the greatest gift we can give to others and to our Savior. I absolutely loved the Christmas devotional this year.It was great. After it was done we did some Facebook work to try and get ahold of some less actives and potential investigators in both areas. We got in contact with some potentials so that was solid!
Well, Hutchalo is pretty sweet! I love serving with Elders L and W. They’re great guys and I feel like we are best buds already, I’m grateful to be out here doing this work and being the Savior's hands in ministering to others. It truly is a wonderful work to be a part of! Thanks for all the prayers and support! Couldn’t do it without them. Love you all and have a great week!
Elder W and I met Olaf out tracting!
We live in a beautiful area!
Teaching as we walked around the lake.