Hello to all my family, friends, and coaches back home, at college, and serving worldwide! I hope and pray this email finds you well! I heard Cache Valley got like 2 feet of snow and was -26 so my heart goes out to all those back home who can experience what a Minnesota winter feels like!
This week was bike week... so that means we get to bike in the nice warm weather here haha. ️ we biked up to Plymouth which is a 10 mile bike ride from our place. On the way up I was turning off a bike trail onto a paved stretch of the trail and completely wiped out on black ice and slid like 10 feet on my back haha. It wasn't as bad as I thought, but it was a pretty decent wipeout! Elder N wiped out twice after that and a third time right when we got into the church parking lot haha. I was dying because he just turned to come up onto the sidewalk and wiped out right in front of me. was easily the suckiest day this whole week. We had two appointments that were scheduled up in Plymouth and both fell through so we did some stop bys in Wayzata which is about 2 miles from Plymouth, and one of the people we stopped by said to come back in an hour so we biked up to Plymouth to finish tracting this street then biked back down to Wayzata to visit this less active guy. Well... he wasn't there so we were pretty chapped haha. So we tracted in Wayzata for an hour before dinner. No one wanted to talk to us and some people said it was too cold and come back later. Then we went to Chipotle for dinner because our ward mission leader gave us 30$ gift cards there for Christmas. It was pretty good so at least that was a plus.🏽 Then we biked back up to Plymouth to meet Brother H to go visit less actives and families who don't have home or visiting teachers. So we did like 15 stop bys and one lady said the sisters had stopped by a lot and said she was going to call the cops for harrassing her, and Brother H was like, "If you write a letter to the bishop, you can get your name taken off the records so people quit stopping by." She didn't like that idea and just got more mad at us haha. So yeah... that's basically how the rest of the night went. It was a rough day.
was really good, though! We went to FMSC (Feed My Starving Children) for district service and that's always a good time. Then we went to Taco Bell after because that's our tradition. Taco Bell has these 1$ double decker tacos that are super good so that was nice! Then the Plymouth Elders blitzed our area evening so we could get more work done. We taught this lady named CH who is an investigator. She's been through a lot recently and loves talking to us about all her problems, and literally all of them we give her answers to with gospel principles so that's pretty cool. night we stopped by Brother C's because we hadn't seen him for like over a month. We figured he was dead in his apartment, so we better go stop by. He didn't answer but the TV was on so we figured he was still alive haha. As we were driving out of his apartment complex this guy stopped us and asked us for a bible. We didn't have one, so we gave him a Book of Mormon and said we would come back this week and bring a bible! Then we went up to the church and had a lesson with D which was super good! We went over the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity and he agreed to live both of them. We also answered some questions he had about the Book of Mormon chapter he was reading. Then we played some basketball and that was really fun! I love playing ball nights with our ward and investigators! Then we went back to our place with Plymouth and did district leader interviews with Elder S till like They were really good. though, and he told me a lot of encouraging things I really needed to hear so I'm grateful for that.🏽 I was struggling a little with feeling like we weren't having success and he pointed out a lot of little successes and some big successes I hadn't thought of, and it helped me a lot!
we had district meeting at our church and also the Mission President came up for interviews. Elder N and I gave a training on finding through tracting. It was a really good training and I was pleased with how it turned out. So many people say tracting doesn't work, but I am here to tell you if you do it the right way it DOES work and miracles happen. (Email me for advice)🏽 Then President was like 45 minutes late so we played basketball for a while, and had some lunch at the church. Then President interviewed the sisters first and each one was 30-45 minutes long and when he got to us they were like 10 minutes and not that great so I was kinda bummed about that. But it's ok because he's a busy guy and stuff. night we visited a less active lady named K who is so awesome haha. She loves to talk about the end of the world and how she feels bad for us because we will be here and she won't. Then we had a lesson with J that was super good! He has a hard time retaining the stuff we teach him but he loves music and music brings the spirit so we played piano and guitar for like 30-40 minutes before and he loved it and that really helped the lesson go much better. He said he had prayed several times that week and felt it went well! He also read the Book of Mormon assignment we left him so that was good! He showed me a little on the guitar so I could resurrect my long lost guitar skills haha. But I still suck.
we went to the YMCA with Brother C and D and played some basketball. It was super fun and we found a new investigator as well! This guy named D, who was jacked and was like 50. He is super cool and said he would come to basketball at the church this next week! He talked to me quite a bit about playing college football so it was fun to talk to him about that. After that we had a lesson with E, and went over the baptism interview questions. She passed everything except the Law of Chastity. She is really tough to figure out for me. She believes everything, reads the Book of Mormon, but won't come to church and won't move out or get married. It is so weird to me. And we have taught her everything like twice so it's basically to the point where it is on her to keep commitments. night Brother C came out with us and we had 3 super good lessons. We visited Brother H, an older single guy in our ward. Please keep him in your prayers. 🏽 He is struggling with health issues and family issues as well. He's a great guy and I love visiting him. Then we had a lesson with TF and went over some of the commandments. He said he will come to church when it is warm enough for him to breathe outside. He has COPD and lung cancer so he says he can't breathe outside when it is below zero. He is still praying and reading the Book of Mormon daily with his wife, which is awesome! Then we visited the K family, who is a less active Hispanic family in our ward. Brother N works with their two teenage boys a lot to help them be more involved with stuff. The oldest son is super cool and we've become friends really quickly. He's a good kid, and I'm glad we can help them out in any way we can!
we weekly planned and did a lot of knocking doors. We also had a lesson with Brother A who is a less active guy in our ward. He loves talking about Muslims and how they are liars and stuff, which is super weird so we just usually listen to him rant about that for a while then share a message and just try to be his friend haha. We stopped by D's night at to make sure he was good for church and he said he was, and was bringing his little brother who is a freshman in high school.
So morning we had Ward Council and then we get a text from JC, who is D's ride, and he says D isn't answering the door or the phone. So we called him like 10 times and he never answered and didn't make it to church. So we were pretty bummed about that. Now we have to move his baptism date back at least another week. However, J and K made it to church and loved it. It was super good to have them there and the K's came and so did some other less actives. So it was a super good turnout for church even though D didn't make it! evening we had dinner at the bishop's house with the Sisters. His daughter had a ukelele and was showing me how to play it a little. I decided I'm going to learn how to play the ukelele when I get home. Like I'm serious - I think it would be sick! So that's one of my goals when I get home. After dinner we did some stop bys to people we tracted into and told us to come back. We had 2 first lessons with people but no one seemed super interested, but oh well! We are master seed planters haha.
This week has been fun but challenging at the same time. I've really started to see a change in my desires to serve and help others. I hadn't really noticed it till this week, but I found myself thinking a lot about how to help our investigators and where God needs us to find more people to help. I feel like I've changed a lot for the better in the last 6 months and it is cool to see that change in myself. It made me think of a song by Chase Rice called "Boy Into a Man" which talks about how his high school football and college days made him grow from a boy to a man. I always thought when I listened to that song back home that that's kind of how my life was like. It is true. I grew a lot during my high school and I loved high school more than anything, but I've seen so much growth in myself in the last 6 months that I couldn't have gotten by being at home or at Colorado Mesa. It's really cool! I'm grateful I have the opportunity to serve a mission at this time and serve in this area. I love the people here and love the ward so much. I will be very sad to leave them. I finished reading the Book of Mormon for the second time on my mission, and I know without a doubt it is true. I feel that reading it every day has played a huge part of my change for better. It really is the word of God and I love reading it each day. President wants me to start reading either D&C or the New Testament, which will be good, but I'm still going to study the Book of Mormon every day because I love it!
I hope you all have a great week and know I love you and care about you so much! Thanks for the prayers and support, it means the world to me. Have a great week and live in the moment because time goes too fast to not enjoy each one!🏽
Playing Wednesday night basketball with D and the crew!