On Monday we did some laundry, threw the football around, emailed. It was a pretty normal P-day, so no complaints from me! The C's made us dinner and it was super good! It was grilled chicken fajitas with grilled onions and peppers. So good! After dinner we knocked doors for about an hour and it was a little chilly haha. We knocked this rich area in Sartell and literally no one wanted to talk to us except one lady named L. She is from West Africa and moved to Maryland a while back and had met missionaries there. She invited us back for a lesson morning, so we were pretty stoked to find her! After that we had a lesson with LJ and Brother P. Brother P is like the nicest guy and just makes you feel like 100 times better about yourself and just gets you pumped up to do hard things. He really made LJ feel like he was an all star and it was a great lesson. I am so sad to leave LJ and this ward. I've really grown to love the people here. Anyway, our lesson was great with LJ and we finished up the 10 commandments and started the Word of Wisdom.
, we did some Facebook work in the morning and sent all our investigators and less actives different quotes and clips from General Conference. I have really enjoyed having Facebook for that purpose of getting in contact each day with people we work with and help them know we are always there for them and we care about them! After that we had a lesson with J and we watched the talk, "The Priesthood and the Savior's Atoning Power" by Elder Renlund with him. He really liked it! We talked about the Priesthood and how J literally holds the power of accessing Christ's atoning power and through his Priesthood, he helps unlock that atoning power through Priesthood ordinances such as baptism and the sacrament. He seemed to really get it and it clicked for him and he agreed to bless the sacrament this week, so that was awesome! J has progressed so much since I got here, it's been so cool to see! After that we had a lesson with this lady who lives next door to J and S. Her mom has been going through chemo for pancreatic cancer and we were able to talk about the restoration of the Priesthood and how we know about the spirit world and how she can be with her mom and family forever through temple sealings. One thing we talked about that was really cool was about how God gives each of us trials in our lives, but the purpose of those trials is to make us stronger and bring us closer to him. She totally agreed with that and said she had seen that in her own mother's life. It was really cool and Elder M also got to talk to her husband for like 20 minutes about hockey. He told me he totally winged it, but it seemed like he knew what he was talking about haha. After that we drove down to Becker to knock some doors. We had prayed about a street to knock, so we get to this street and knock the whole street and there was one person home. One! It was insane haha. So we got done knocking the whole street in like 30 minutes and we had planned like a little over an hour to knock. So we just decided to start walking down this street and go wherever we felt inspired to go. So we eventually found our way to this cul-de-sac street thingy and we knocked all 5 doors on it and found 2 new investigators!! It was so crazy! The first lady was named S, and she was just letting her dogs out to go pee, so once again, I played with the dogs and Elder M taught the restoration! We are quite the pair with that! Then the next door we knocked this lady named A comes out with this huge Rottweiler named Otis! Basically a similar thing happened haha. Otis was so happy to see us he peed all over my foot and got drool all over Elder M's pants so it looked like he peed his pants too. So A had actually investigated the LDS church on her own and knew a ton about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. She had never met missionaries before and she was way interested in talking to us. We talked to her for about 20 minutes and set up a return appointment for Monday. That was a miracle if I ever saw one haha! We stopped by D after that and had a good chat with him on his porch. He said he just got a new job and was super busy getting settled in with that. He said he kept the Book of Mormon we gave him on his night stand and always had intentions of reading it but would konk out before he ever did. We re-invited him to read it and promised him it would bless his life and bring peace and joy and hope to him and his family. He said once work slows down a little bit he will for sure read it! Our dinner fell through, so we went to Subway because they have $4.99 footlongs for certain subs. Subway is my fav. It's pretty healthy for fast food, and it's only $5 so you can't lose there. After that we did some stop bys of people who live way out in the sticks in Big Lake and Becker and no one answered/was home etc. We stopped by MK on the way home and he was out working on a car in his garage. We had a good talk with him about coming to church and why we go to church and the importance of the sacrament. He seemed indifferent to it all, which made me sad because church is so awesome and is such a spiritual recharge for my week. I love Sacrament Meeting and church. I hope one day he will realize that is what is missing in his life and it will bless him so much!
morning we had district meeting and I got to give a training about faith and I loved studying for it and giving it. I learned so much about faith. I can really see why it is the first principle of the gospel. Without faith, we really have no drive or power to do anything. Faith in Christ and his atonement are what motivate us to repent and improve and change ourselves to become better. After that we went to campus and did some contacting. Not a whole lot of success, but it was fun and the weather was great! After that we did a few stop bys and then did some tracting. Tracting was an adventure! We found this older gentleman named JP. His dad was in WWII with a Mormon and so he grew up listening to the MOTAB and loves Mormons. He is Lutheran though, and has no desire to convert, but he let us right in and gave Elder M some brownies (I am still not eating desserts and junk food haha), and gave me some apple cider that was way good! He was such a nice guy and after he talked with us we raked his leaves for him! It was pretty solid because we only knocked for like 20 minutes and then found him haha. After that we had some dinner and then had a lesson with Sister S and her kids. Her husband is out of town for a few weeks and they just moved in, so we got asked to take some members by to visit them. We took Brother P with us and they seemed to hit it off pretty quick. While we were talking, one brother locked the other brother in the pots and pans cupboard under the bar and couldn't get him out, so he started crying because he thought he would be stuck in there forever. I was trying so hard not to laugh because it was pretty funny. They are crazy kids haha. We shared a message about the Book of Mormon and invited them to follow our prophets' and apostles' counsel given in the past 2 general conferences to read and study the Book of Mormon every day. It was good, and they said they would start doing that because it has been slacking a little bit. After that we had the stake report meeting and that was good and we got some things to talk to EQPs about and WMLs about how to help the work progress in each area. So that was good and after that we called it a night!
morning was an adventure! We accounted with Alexandria and then had a lesson with L, who we found on Monday night. So we get there and she lets us right in and we sit down to teach her and she's like, "Ok, teach me what is different about your church." So we start teaching about the restoration and when we come to the Book of Mormon she pulls out the Revelations scripture about how you can't add or take away from the book. We talked about how it says that in Deuteronomy 4 as well and that nearly every religious scholar today agrees on the fact that that scripture is talking about the book of Revelations and not the Bible as a whole. She didn't seem satisfied with that unfortunately, so we just said, "Look, read the Book of Mormon and pray and ask God if it is His word. He isn't going to lead you astray with this and you will feel if it is the word of God." I love that about the Book of Mormon. You literally can feel the power of it as you read. Anyone who has sincerely read it and asked God has received an answer that yes, it is true. I have never met a single person who has taken that course of action and received a "No" for an answer. So if you really want to know if it's true or not, maybe try that out for yourself! Just a thought! After that we went to go visit this lady named SH who is a ,devout Catholic, but used to live in Utah and Idaho and has a ton of Mormon friends. We had visited her before and she wasn't too stoked to see us. One of her friends had called Bishop M and asked us to go give her a Priesthood blessing because she's been having a lot of medical troubles recently. So we showed up and she brought us in and sat us down and basically said we were barking up the wrong tree if we were trying to convert her. Elder M was like, "We got a call from a friend of yours to give you a Priesthood blessing of comfort and healing. That's the only reason we came here today." After he said that, she was basically our best friend and was overjoyed to have us give her a blessing. I got to give the blessing and it was really cool. I felt God's love for her and knew she has a great amount of faith to be healed and just a great amount of faith in general. It was a cool experience for me once again and further strengthened my testimony of Priesthood blessings. She was very thankful we stopped by to do that for her and I am grateful we were able to serve her in that way. After that we had lunch really quick and headed to the Humane Society to do service. We were on dishwasher duty again, but it was fun and we had a good time joking around and quoting our favorite movies haha. Time flies when you make things fun! We knocked doors for about 45 minutes after that because our lesson with A fell through when we got there. She had been having a rough day and was asleep when we arrived, so we just knocked this newer development that was super nice and upper class. We met a really nice lady, a really mean lady who told us we didn't believe in Christ and so we set her straight on that one haha, and this other dude who was pretty nice and took a BOM from us. So it was pretty fun and it was a beautiful day to be out and about. We were supposed to have dinner with the Cs, and they cancelled on the doorstep because they had like 12 dogs at their house and had family over. So... we went to Subway! Once again, 10 outta 10. We had a lesson with the D family, who live a quarter mile from the Princeton/Sauk Rapids boundary. They have a huge property and some farm animals and stuff. It is really cool and I would love to live out on a ranch like they have and just have a ton of land to explore and camp and have a good time on. We had a really good chat with them and Brother D showed us his canoe he built from scratch. It was really nice and I was amazed at how well it was made. I also found out Sister D is Type 1 Diabetic, so we got to talk about that for a while, too. That was a good connection with her. They are a cool family, and I am really glad we got to go out there and visit them! After them we had a lesson with the Ss. I love the S family. We showed the Mormon message, "Same Jersey" about the rival QB's who had their rivalry game and then the one baptized the other the next day. Their son talked about a friend he had who had invited him to go to church with him. We told him that it would be cool to check out his friend's church and then bring his friend to church with him, too! I have enjoyed visiting other churches and getting a feel for what others believe and how they worship. Nothing beats Sundays at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints though. The spirit there is so strong and so real. I love it!
we weekly planned and then had a lesson with C on campus. We read 2 Nephi 31 and talked about what the gospel of Jesus Christ is. I love that the Book of Mormon clearly defines what the doctrine or gospel of Jesus Christ is. It is so easy to teach from it and I love using the scriptures to teach others the gospel. We asked her if she came to know the Book of Mormon was true and Joseph Smith was God's prophet on earth, what would she do? She said, "Well, probably get baptized, I guess." We talked about how to get an answer and invited her to be baptized by the Priesthood authority of God. She was like, "So if I get baptized, will I have to convert?" We were like, "Uh, yeah!" She's like, "Oh... I am a Catholic." So we talked about how there's only one true church on the earth and how if you come to know one is true, then you should probably join it! She seemed to get it but was still hesitant. I think she is just scared of the change that would bring about in her life. She isn't actively going to any Catholic church right now, but it would be a change from everything she grew up with. I take that for granted sometimes and wonder, "If someone asked me to read the Book of Mormon and ask God if it was true, would I do it? If I got the answer yes it is true, would I have the faith to join God's church on the earth?" I feel that at this point in my life I would say yes, because the gospel has brought me so much peace and happiness and hope and I feel like without it I would be so lost. I would basically just be existing and that is not what I want. I feel like I am living with the gospel in my life and not just here and going through life. That is something that is so cool to see when people fully embrace the gospel and it helps them live life more fully, rather than just exist. It is so cool. I love that about the gospel! After that we had dinner at our place and then went to stop by KS and all the people in her house. She was home and so was her boyfriend and another roomie, T. T is from Beaver, UT, and is a less active member as well. K seems to really love having us come over! Her boyfriend was sick so he passed out on the couch and we and T and D played this way fun card game that is similar to bridge but a little different. We shared some of Elder Anderson's talk "The Voice of the Lord" with them and invited them to go back through the conference talks and find things that they need to improve on and apply that in their lives. It was really good and I am glad we could get in there with them again finally! After that we had a lesson with LJ and it was insane. We reviewed the Word of Wisdom and he told us he couldn't stop drinking coffee. When we asked him why, he just kind of got mad and started yelling about how he just couldn't and he never would stop. We just talked him through ideas of how he could stop and most importantly, that if he really wanted to, God would help him stop! After a while he settled down and eventually said, "Guys, I am going to stop drinking coffee!" That was cool to hear him say that. I really hope he can continue to progress in his ability to understand the gospel and feel the spirit. He really has the desire, I just don't know how much he understands. But he seems to be doing good for the time being. He kept getting up and walking around and yelling, "W!! W! These guys want to talk to you!" Basically whenever we ask him if he can come to church he yells for W and we talk to W about it haha W is the staff member at the group home. Anyway, always a good time there haha.
morning we helped Brother H with the roof on his trailer for about 2 hours. We cut out over hanging edges and built the pieces of the overhang thing he is building onto his trailer. It was fun and we had a good time. We got to practice our measure and drilling skills and stuff like that so it was fun! After that we stopped by a few people in St. Cloud and then knocked doors on the same street we found J on. We only knocked like 6 houses so we figured we should go finish the street. We gave out like 3 Books of Mormon and found this super nice dude who said we could come back (but I won't be here). This one door we knocked on this dude comes to the door and proceeds to tell us we are going to hell because we don't believe Jesus Christ is God. I asked him why we were going to hell for that? He's like, "Because Jesus can't save you if you don't believe in Him!" I was like, "Look dude, we believe in Jesus Christ just like you. We just know He is the Son of God and not some part of God that morphs into Jesus." He wasn't too stoked about that and just went off yelling at us, and I let Elder M take over because I usually get too heated in Bible bashes, and Elder M does better at keeping his cool haha. Then J comes up behind us and is like, "You should listen to these two strapping young men! They're good guys!" I almost died because the dude yelling at us had no clue what to say. He was just like dumbfounded haha. J then turns to us and says, "Come over when you're done teaching this guy and meet my wife!" Then he left and the guy yelling at us was like, "Uh... have a nice day." And shut the door haha. So we went over to meet J's wife and she was super nice and we also helped them a little bit with finishing raking their yard. So that was cool! J also gave us these really nice wind proof and water proof jackets he was going to give to Goodwill but just gave them to us for no charge! Such a nice guy! After that we went up to Rice and had a lesson with the Ds and we read the end of Ether 2 and the start of Ether 3 with them and talked about how we need to do our part when we pray, not just sit around and hope God will do everything for us! It was pretty good! After that we had a lesson with the S's family. We shared a message about "Christian Courage" and it was pretty good! Brother S didn't join in on the lesson, but he came to church so that was good! Sister S called us after we left and said he just feels like he doesn't have anyone to talk to because he is really shy and that he likes snowmobiling, baseball, and video games. So I talked to him after Sacrament Meeting about snowmobiling. I know next to nothing, but I just asked him a lot of questions about where he snowmobiles and if he does races or jumps them and stuff like that. He really opened up and talked to me for like 10 minutes, so that was way cool! I hope some others can be able to fellowship him and become his friend. We had a lesson with Sister H and Brother C came with us after the Ss. They ended up talking about the Plan of Salvation, and it was exactly what we had planned to teach her about. Many tears were shed and the spirit was so strong there as they talked about losing their spouses and how they had found so much peace through the knowledge of God's plan for us. It was really cool, and we literally just sat there for an hour and listened to them talk and enjoyed the spirit. I learned sometimes the best teaching is to let others teach and talk. It was great and she loved it! After that we had our coordination meeting with Brother C, and he did our apartment inspection, too. He said it was the cleanest he had ever seen the apartment since he started doing inspections for the Elders, so that was good haha.
was awesome as usual! We knocked some doors in the morning and found some pretty solid people we have return appointments with for . Tracting is so fun because we always seem to find someone who is interested! This one guy answered the door and was like, "I'm Lutheran and I ain't interested." I literally just started teaching about the restoration and the Book of Mormon and how we have prophets on the earth today. When I finished,he's like, "Can I have one of those books?" I was like, "Of course!" So we gave him a Book of Mormon and set up a return visit for . We also got to talk about the Vikings game a little because they were playing when we knocked on his door haha. Church was awesome! The only investigator to show up was DS, but I really enjoyed Sacrament Meeting and all the lessons. Elder M and I got to bless the sacrament, and it was such a neat experience for me! I love participating in Priesthood ordinances and helping others receive the power of the Savior's atonement through those ordinances. After church we had dinner with the Ps and they made some way good pot roast and carrots and this huge salad. I had like 4 plates of salad and it was super good! We shared the Mormon message "Reach Out With Love" and invited them to reach out to a friend or neighbor in the ward or not of our faith and help them come closer to Christ by sharing their love with them. Charity is such an important attribute and when we show others charity, we also help them feel the love that God and Jesus Christ has for them. We then had a lesson with the O family! They are so cool. I am glad we could visit them this week. We hadn't seen them at church for a while, so we decided to visit them and see how they were doing. It was a good visit and great to just bring the spirit into their home and help them feel it. That is my favorite thing to do with members is just help them feel the spirit and invite them to do something to share that spirit and keep it with them. I love it! Having the spirit with us is seriously so awesome! We had a lesson with F after that. She has been struggling with her exchange student. Her exchange student has been telling a bunch of lies to people about F and her family and making them seem like they are mistreating her. But they aren't, so F has been stressing about it, so we actually read Moroni 7:44-48 and talked about charity and how to develop it. It was a great lesson, and I hope we helped her realize how she can have more charity in her life even when it is hard to do so!
This week has been so amazing. So many miracles here in Sauk Rapids. I am sad to leave and I will really miss working with Elder M. He has taught me a lot, and I have learned a ton about being a more patient, loving leader from him. It's been a blessing to serve around him, and I am glad I can still be in the same zone with him though! When we had our lesson with F, as we were reading about charity, one verse really stuck out to me for some reason. I have read these verses probably 50 times, but this verse stuck out in particular to me:
46Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—
We got to play tennis with our friend before he had to go to school.
Our friend, G, made us a Korean lunch!
Our Korean lunch G made! Yum!
Helping Brother H with his roof.
P-day morning celebrating 4 months together with pancakes and a workout!
We love teaching F!