Hello to all my family, friends, and coaches back home, serving the Lord, and at college! Hope you are all doing well and have had a great week. This week has been one of the toughest of my mission. We have had a lot of rejection and appointments fall through. However, as we have continued to work hard and put our faith in the Lord, we saw some awesome miracles and success to end the week!
We had district meeting again. I'm actually really loving being a district leader. It's really pushed me outside of my comfort zone and made me stretch to be a better missionary and have more charity and love for those I'm serving. It's been a good experience for me! I love giving trainings at district meetings, too. I feel like I learn a lot and also can help my district learn and apply things that relate to being better missionaries. It's cool and I also learn a lot from the people in my district, too. I am one of the younger missionaries in the district, so it's a blessing to learn from more experienced missionaries.
🏽After district meeting we had zone service at the Prince of Peace food shelf. That is really fun and we were way more busy this week! We had a lot of people come this week to get food, so we were filling carts full of food for about 2 hours straight haha. After that we took my bike to the bike shop to get it fixed. We met the lady who hit me at the shop and got everything squared away. She's a single mom and a school teacher. She was super nice and really good to help with the bike and everything! The bike store guy said it needed a new back tire and would take a week or so. We wouldn't be getting the car back for at least a week and then we couldn't bike either. Elder N let me borrow his bike until mine got fixed. 🏽 So we tried to talk to the lady that hit me about the church, but she wasn't super interested. She goes to this church right by our apartment haha. We are going to text her and just be like, "Hey can we come share a quick message with you?" And see what she says.🏼 We then had to walk home after we got done there and that took like 45 minutes. Elder N's bike was at our apartment, so we grabbed our bikes and biked up to this guy named M that we had found last week. He was there and said he was too busy. This is basically the story of the week. We have appointments set up and either on the way there or right when we get there, people cancel. So then we had to bike all the way back to dinner and basically wasted an hour. I hate when people set up appointments with absolutely no intention of keeping them. That evening, Brother R went out with us and we visited the D/S family. They are less actives and are pretty cool. Their son goes to Iowa Western college. I remembered that a girl I know from Sky View goes there for soccer, so I asked him if he knew her and he said he sure did. So that was cool to make a connection there. He and I kind of hit it off after finding we had a mutual friend. We talked about football and soccer and track and we shared the "I'm a Mormon" video about Jason Smyth who is a 4 time Paralympic gold medalist. It ended up being a cool evening. We also visited the Ls, who are a less active family. We visited with them for about a half hour and when we left we invited them to church. Brother L was like, "Yeahhhh... we might come soon. We've been going to Community of Christ church." I guess they've been struggling with their testimonies. He said we could come over whenever though. Hopefully we can help them with their testimonies and help them find their faith again!
was a rough day. We had an appointment set up with a lady down in the south part of our area in the afternoon. So we biked down there and of course, she wasn't there. So we finished tracting this street we had started last week. We had zero success and it was a bummer. We biked up to the north part of our area after dinner to stop by some less actives and investigators. We met this one lady who was less active. She said we could visit ! The bike I was using got like a half flat tire so it was half flat and wouldn't pump up or go all the way flat. Go figure. was a long day. We didn't see hardly any success and basically just ended up biking all day on a semi flat tire. I really was struggling with why I was even out here. It seems like all we've done since I've been here is bike and knock doors. We haven't taught a single lesson with an investigator since I've been here. Everyone has been telling me how great this area is and when I got here we had 4 people with a date set and now we have 0, and I've met one of our investigators and we haven't taught anyone since I've been here. So I was struggling . When we got home I just was like, I need to workout and burn off some steam. That helped, but not as much as I would've liked. So I just unloaded some stuff to God and told him all my frustrations and dropped all my anger on him. That helped a lot. Then when I got done this scripture from D&C 58 popped into my head. It's verses 2-4: 2 For verily I say unto you, blessed is he that keepeth my commandments, whether in life or in death; and he that is faithful in tribulation, the reward of the same is greater in the kingdom of heaven.
3 Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation.
4 For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand.
I REALLY needed those verses at that time. I just felt like I was sucking as a district leader and as a missionary. I realized that was just Satan trying to get me to feel down and depressed and not work hard. I am grateful we have the scriptures and prayer to uplift us in times of need!🏽
we had a lesson with this less active guy! He is a cool dude. He is like 80 years old and is married to a non member. His wife is kind of anti Mormon so he hasn't been to church in a while. He told us he wanted to meet with the bishop and have us come over once a week and start trying to get back to church. So that was pretty cool! After that we had to bike all the way to the south west corner of our area for another lesson with Brother P. He called us and cancelled when we were halfway there. So, once again we wasted like 35 minutes of biking. I am basically about to kill someone at this point because we have had like 7 appointments fall through this week already. Oh, , another less active guy we are working with, called and cancelled like last minute, too. So that's basically how our week went haha. Anyway, back to . So Elder W had to use the bathroom so we stopped at Walmart really quick and then hustled home because it was freezing. I've decided that when it's in the 20's with 20 mph winds it's colder than when it's -15 with no wind. Wind is an absolute killer with the temperature. We then walked down to our dinner appointment because my bike currently had a flat tire. We tracted these townhomes by our dinner appointment but... no one listened to us. It is so frustrating when people are like, "I believe in Jesus already," and then just shut the door. I'm like, "We have so much more to offer!! Please listen to us!"🏽Uughh,h it's frustrating sometimes. Haha dinner was awesom,e though! We had dinner with the L's. They are super awesome. They grew up in Missoula, Montana and so we talked about University of Montana and football and CrossFit and it was great. Then Sister L pulls out these nerf guns and starts shooting her kids. The kids had some and were shooting her and us and there was like an all out nerf gun war during dinner. It was a party. I hope my family is like that! Then we met with this less active. He is a big time gamer and loves video games and stuff like that. He lives with his girlfriend who is Japanese and is moving to Japan with her next year. He was an interesting guy, but really nice and I felt like we hit it off pretty well considering we have like nothing in common haha. Then we walked like 2.5 miles home and it was super cold because the wind was blowing right at us the whole time. Rough week....🏼
Friday was weekly planning again. I tried to kind of be in charge of planning this week, so it went a little more smooth. We got our whole upcoming week planned out. So that will be good because the last few weeks we've kind of been winging it when appointments fall through. We will have much better plans this upcoming week though! afternoon we just did a lot of tracting. We decided to tract these townhomes just off the main road in Apple Valley. Not a lot of people were home, but we just kept knocking and talking. Haha this one door we knocked, there was a cat outside the door and it looked really cold and it was super fat and had a huge part of its back shaved. I felt so bad for it, but I didn't know what to do for it. So we kept knocking and it followed us for like 6 townhomes haha. Like it would go door to door with us. No one answered at any of those 6 doors, but man, if someone opened a door and 2 missionaries were there with a fat, orange cat, what an interesting conversation that would be! Haha so we kept tracting and had no one who wanted to listen. When you tract for 2 and a half hours and no one wants to listen, it's a little discouraging. After dinner we tracted for about 2 hours as well and literally. NO. ONE. WOULD. LISTEN!!! I was so down in the dumps. We went to the D's house at 8 because Elder W wanted to get cheered up and they're awesome. Brother D shared some cool stories about finding and tracting from his mission and it got us pumped up again to do some finding. It was a good way to end the day and I really needed it, too. I'm grateful for good people who can pump you up after a bad day!
morning we helped a less active family move all the stuff in their apartment into a storage unit. He got in a motorcycle accident last year and has a rod and 8 screws in his leg and has a bunch of plates and screws in his arm too. He got majorly messed up and is lucky to be alive. So we got to help them move and it was pretty fun! We had a lot of the Elders Quorum there and Bishop C came, too. There was some crazy heavy stuff we carried down this super narrow staircase to get it out of the apartment, and I got to volunteer to carry the heavy stuff. Grateful I have had football workouts and current workouts to help me stay strong and able to move stuff. See, I try to use football as much as I can to share the gospel haha. After we loaded up the U-haul truck, we took it all to the storage unit. They had a football buried in the truck and Brother D found it and wanted me to throw him a pass so he could say he caught a pass from a college quarterback. Oh! Cool side story. So this part member family in our ward have a son playing QB at a D2 school in north Minnesota. The dad isn't a member, but I talked to the mom at church and she said when her son was home next month for spring break they would have us over for dinner and we could talk football and throw it around a little bit! I'm going to try to use that as an in to the dad and share the gospel with him. Anyway, the bike shop called and said my bike was done and ready to go (thank Heavens because we had been walking the last two days.) Brother C, who is the assistant ward mission leader, needed help getting a fridge out of his truck and into his house, so we helped him move that in exchange for a ride to the bike store. We met the lady that hit me there and got everything payed for and biked to our dinner appointment after that. We visited the Bs again after dinner. Brother B was so grateful for the blessing we gave him last week and said his diabetes is doing better. We had a great visit and they enjoyed having us over! They're great! I love visiting them. Then we tracted some more at some townhomes right by the assisted living place. We prayed before hand and said, "Heavenly Father, we don't have any appointments, and we are going to tract for an hour right now, so please help us find people." So we tracted and we found a few families and some cool people that said we could come back night! It was a blessing to have some success to cap off a rough week!
was easily the best day of the week! Elder W and I were supposed to speak in church, but they had 2 youth speakers, us and the high council speaker, too. So they ended up postponing my talk for a few weeks due to time constraints. But we had H and the G less-active kid came to church, so that was good! And BB texted us and said her husband potentially has a job lined up starting ! So was good at church. After church we had this lady that said we could come back and teach her. So we biked for a half hour up to her house and we get there and, of course, she isn't there. Her mom answered the door and said she wasn't there. I was like, "Oh my gosh, ok." I asked if we could get her number so we could call her before we came up again to make sure she was there and the grandma was like, "I'm not gonna give you her number!" And I was like "Why not?" And she said cuz she didn't even know us. I was so mad because this was like the 10th appointment we had gotten stood up on. I said "We would just like it so she doesn't waste an hour of our time next time we come up here. We just wasted an hour of our time coming up here to share a message with your daughter and she isn't here when she says she will be here. We will stop by another time." I just left because I was about to lose my mind. So then we biked all the way down to this other appointment, and of course, they weren't there either.🏼So we were right by these townhomes and we were like, "God, we need a miracle and we are going to tract for 45 minutes before dinner." So we knocked like 7 doors before anyone answered and the first one that answered was this girl named M. She was super cool and let us teach her a first lesson on her porch. She took a Book of Mormon and we set up an appointment for . Then the next door we knocked basically the same thing happened! She said we could come back . Then the next door, this lady answers and says, "Are you the Mormons?" And we were like, "Yes ma'am, we are!" And she says, "Yay! You're back! Missionaries used to teach me and now you're back." She said she had read the Book of Mormon twice and had taken all the lessons multiple times but didn't pray ever and didn't believe in prayer. She said she wanted us to come over though, so we are going over and visiting her Then we had to hurry to dinner with the L family. They're pretty cool and we had fish and veggies and it was super good! Then we decided to tract these other townhomes by their house until or till we ran out of Books of Mormon. We had 4. So this neighborhood had a sign that said private property: no soliciting or trespassing. But obviously that wasn't going to stop us, so we started knocking doors! We saw some incredible success evening. We taught 3 first lessons and had like 8-9 people say we could come back night and share a message with them or continue to teach them. It was so great to have so much success after such a tough week. Elder W also got over his shyness of tracting and just had some killer door contacts and defended the faith well. It was awesome, and I felt so proud to be a missionary ! I wish I could just feel like that all the time. But that's not how it works unfortunately. We gave away 3 Books of Mormon and 5 total . We ended with one left and couldn't find anyone to give it to, but we worked our butts off and last week and the Lord blessed us with some success and miracles . It was amazing!
I'm going to share a little bit of advice to those preparing to enter the mission field this summer and fall. The mission is the hardest thing you'll ever do. If you think school is hard, it's not. If you think 2-a-days for football is hard, it's not. If you think relationship troubles you have are hard, they're not. The mission is seriously so hard and there really is nothing to fully prepare you for it. Some things you can do to prepare are 1. Read and study and gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. 2. Live the gospel of Jesus Christ and gain a testimony of the atonement. 3. Pray for charity and love the people you will serve. If you do those things, you will be a great missionary. Now, the mission is the toughest thing I've ever done. But it is the most rewarding and the greatest thing as well. I've grown so much in these last 8 months and I've gained a rock solid testimony of the Book of Mormon and of Jesus Christ and that this is His church. The Priesthood has been restored by a prophet called of God. I know that to be true and I will never, ever deny that. If you let it, the mission will change you and mold you into what God wants you to become. It is hard, but anything that's worth it never came easy. Bringing people to Christ and to the waters of baptism is very, very hard, but there is nothing sweeter than seeing someone who wants to change and become better and being able to help them. So all you future missionaries, it will be hard and it will be tough. Not gonna sugar coat it. But it is so worth it if you work hard and put your heart into the work and "lose yourself in the service of others and God!"
I love all of you and hope your week has been great! Thanks for all the prayers and support, I couldn't do it without you all. Sending lots of love to my family and friends back home. I love you all so much
Teaching one of our favorite couples.
The fat, orange cat that followed us around.
This is what a rough week in Minnesota looks like! (We found some empty bottles lying around and it made for a good picture...)
Here's me at the playground, doing fire pole climbs.