Hello to all my family, friends and coaches back home, at college and serving worldwide! I love you all and hope and pray this finds you well! First off I would like to give a happy birthday shoutout to my Grandpa Gary! I love you and appreciate all you've done for me and the family! Also, I wanna give a shoutout to my cousin Andrew for his decision to get baptized! What an incredible day for you. I'm grateful for your example in following the Savior!
Well, this week started off pretty much like any other week. We had a fun P-day at the H's house playing basketball with the zone and then we had to take the Lake Nokomis Elders back to their place and it took 2 hours to go 20 miles. Traffic in the twin cities is a joke during rush hour. We decided to work from morning so we could go to Applebee's and catch a little bit of the Clemson vs. Alabama game for dinner. So we went there with the Plymouth Elders. When we got there we found out that Applebee's has a night special where any burger and bottomless fries is 6.99$ so we scored big time! We stayed till so we only saw the first half, but found out the next morning that Clemson had won a thriller right at the end. So that was pretty cool.
morning we woke up to a few inches of snow, so we decided to finally use our shovels we acquired from a member. We shoveled some less actives' driveways and one of them, Brother A, gave us little smokies haha. So we shoveled about 5 driveways and then we decided to go out to Orono and shovel/tract this one street. So we drove out there and as we drove around this street, I realized most of the driveways were already shoveled. I think it was about at this point that I started getting a little out of it because I don't remember a whole lot else after that. I remember just driving around for like an hour and getting to Hopkins Crossroads for dinner and that's about it. Elder N said I drove us like halfway to Minneapolis and back from the very west side of our area, so we now have a joke that I was giving him an area tour... I am honestly very grateful to be alive, and I'm not sure how I even got us to dinner safely, but I know God had a hand in all of it. The next thing I remember is waking up in the hospital (worst feeling ever), and I felt really crappy and I was throwing up in a blue bag. The doctors said I had a seizure and I was doing better now. They tried to get me to eat some food but I wasn't feeling it. I drank a bunch of water but just puked it all up in like 5 minutes. So they decided to keep me over night in the hospital. Elder and Sister F (the mission doctor) and Elder N were there with me until like and then the APs (Assistants to the President) came and gave me a blessing with Elder N. That was a really cool blessing! I remember that Elder O gave the blessing and he said something like, "God still has a very special mission for your to accomplish here, and he has kept you alive so you can fulfill that mission." That kinda floored me and I realized I needed to quit almost killing myself and do a better job with my health. I get so caught up in the work and helping people that I just disregard myself sometimes. My grandma gave me some great advice though! She said, "You can't help others if you are in a hospital bed." or something like that. But it is very true, and I realized I need to take care of myself so I can be able to help others as best I can. I've tightened down on checking my blood sugar more often and making sure it is good before and after exercising. It's been really good this past week so I'm optimistic that there are no more seizures on the horizon at all.
at about I got checked out of the hospital and went back to the mission office to meet Elder N and get back to work. I love the Mission President's wife, but she babies people too much haha. She was like, "Just take it easy the next few days. If you need to work in the mission office for a few days then you can." I was like N-O. Send me back to work in my area. haha So we went back to work afternoon. night we had basketball at the church and I played like Michael Jordan in the "flu game." I hit like every shot which was weird cuz I usually don't but it was fun. We had a couple less actives make it out but no investigators, which was a bummer. But we should have K and D there this week and a guy we met at the Y when we went with Brother C! Brother N finally was able to come play with us and he was talking crap like the whole day before basketball via text and then he showed up and was like, "I'm guarding Elder Beach." Haha I owned him the whole game. But he's still got a good jump shot for a 57-year-old. I'll give him that. He hit a few shots on me but he didn't play much defense.
morning we had FMSC (Feed My Starving Children) service project, which is always a good time! They always show this video at the start giving like an overview of what you will be doing and stuff, and the director of FMSC has a little part where he talks about it and one thing he said really stuck out to me: "This is people helping people, and bringing hope to those who have none." That's basically the gospel for you. It's people (missionaries, ward members, bishops, etc.) helping people (investigators, less actives, etc) and bringing hope (the message of the gospel that all can be changed, redeemed and perfected in Christ) to the outcasts, the downtrodden and the sick and afflicted. It was pretty cool when I thought about it in that regard. After FMSC we went to Taco Bell as usual and then we did some tracting before dinner. I feel like so many missionaries say tracting is a waste of time and doesn't work, but it does work! It is an act of faith for sure, but if you work hard while you tract and bear testimony, God blesses you in lots of other ways. It's cool! night a family took us to Wayzata Country Club for dinner which was pretty crazy and cool! It was like 15-45$ a plate haha! Brother B gave us a referral for a porn producer that lives by him, so we are stopping by him this week haha. Not sure how it will go, but it's a referral so we will take it! night we had one of the Young Men from the ward come joint teaching with us. He is really great! He killed it with both lessons we had night. We had a lesson with J and taught the word of wisdom and the young man had a cool story about how living the word of wisdom saved his life. It was super good. We have been using music way more when we have been teaching J and it is working so well. We just play hymns and mess around on the guitar with him for like 20 minutes then have the lesson and it really brings the Spirit, and I feel it helps him retain what we teach him. We taught the restoration last time but did it with the hymn "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" and he remembered a lot of what we taught last time which was a huge step in the right direction. He is a cool guy and I'm hoping he can continue to progress and get his answer that this is the church for him and that this is God's church on earth today! After that we taught this lady who is HP's sort of girlfriend. HP is the guy we were teaching, but I guess he ended up being a drug dealer or something so now we are teaching his ex-girlfriend who still likes him but wants to break up with him, so it's a sticky situation right now. She is way into alternative medicine stuff, which I don't fully understand so we are trying to help her see how the gospel will help her way more than alternative medicine and all that weird stuff. She is still getting her head wrapped around that right now, but she's getting there slowly but surely. She has been reading the Book of Mormon, so that's been good!
we had weekly planning which is not my favorite but I'm getting way better at it! Planning is seriously the hardest part of being a missionary. After that we had zone finding hour where we all prayed as a zone on a conference call and then did some finding for an hour. We went for 1.5 hours though and we had 2 first lessons and that was about it. We were almost done and knocked on this door and a dad and his young kid answered and we shared our message and the kid was like, "Yeah I want to hear more!" But.... the dad said he would pass. So we almost had a miracle with the zone finding but not quite. That night we had a really good lesson with TF and his brother came too for the first time. We watched the living scriptures video when Nephi builds the boat and sails to the promised land. We each had to pick one thing we learned from the video that applied to us. T said that arrogance, greed, and ignorance leads to destruction. I thought that was pretty cool that that's what he got out of it! He's progressed so much from where we first started which is cool! I've really seen the atonement work in his life even though it is bit by bit and inch by inch. It's working!
we helped a less active family with cleaning their house and painting it. They are really cool! Their kids are awesome and I really hope I can help make a positive difference in their lives. I'm really trying to befriend them and help them with school and missions and stuff. But anyways, we and the Minnetonka Sisters helped them out and it was really fun! The mom made us "real" Mexican tacos and they were pretty tasty. After we finished cleaning and stuff we went to visit another less active family. They have 4 boys that are all less active. They're nice kids but whenever we try to bring up anything related to church they shut it down or act uninterested. They also always request work so they don't have to come church. But we had dinner with them and played "Scriptionary" which is scripture story/character pictionary. That was super fun! I felt like everyone had a good time and it was a good activity for them. Then we had a lesson with Brother H, who is the nicest guy, but has been through the ringer the last few years. We had a great visit and Elder N asked him if he wanted a blessing at the end of the visit. He said yes and asked me to give it. It was amazing. I have such a strong testimony of priesthood blessings because every time I give one, I feel God's love so strongly for the person I am able to bless and I know the Spirit is speaking through me. It's hard to describe, but it's a very cool spiritual experience. I'm grateful I was able to give him a blessing and offer words of comfort and healing that weren't my own. It was a great way to end the day!
was crazy. We had one investigator at church, K. He is doing super well and progressing really quickly towards baptism. Brother H, who is the less active guy in our ward I helped reactivate, spoke in church and did such a great job. He is the funniest guy and his personality was on full display during his talk, but he also just kills it with his testimony, so that is awesome! He also came joint teaching with us night! After church we had coordination meeting with Brother B and then drove out to Orono to the S's house to do a lesson with K. It was super good and we taught the law of chastity, word of wisdom and law of tithing. He said he would live all three and pretty much already does except for tithing haha. He's awesome! We talked about if he had received an answer yet about if baptism was the right thing for him and he said not yet but was really hoping to get one because he feels everything is really good for him he just wants to be 100% sure, which I am good with.I got to share my experience of how I decided to sign with CMU on that before signing day and it was really cool and spiritual. I'm hoping it helped him understand how spiritual answers can come to us through thoughts and impressions we receive. night we were going to go to Mission President's fireside with K and D, but they flaked again. They said we could stop by and do a lesson with them though. And they are coming to basketball too this week! night we visited C and K who was that newer family again. C is soooo funny! I was dying while we were talking to them haha. We had a good lesson though and he said he would come to basketball and she is coming to YW and church this week! It was a great ending to a week!
Man, the mission is hard, especially when you don't always see the results of your hard work. I'm doing my best to just be a positive influence in someone's life each day! I love serving the Lord and the people of the Minnetonka ward. This gospel truly changes and blesses lives and it is an honor and privilege to share it with people. I love you all back home and pray all of you are doing well! Thanks for all the prayers and support this week
"When you finish a 2 mile run and body weight circuit while your comp does his 2 mile run."
Winter and wildlife in Minnesota!