Hello to all my family, friends, and coaches back home, serving the Lord, and at college! I hope this email finds you all happy and doing well. This week has been much better than last week. We still haven't seen a ton of success with finding people to teach, and I still haven't met any of our investigators, sohopefully this next week will bring more success and more people to teach the gospel to!
Last Monday night we didn't have any appointments set up so we decided to tract some town homes right across the street from our apartment. We shared a quick restoration lesson with a few people and gave away a Book of Mormon to a guy. He said we could come back One of the last houses we knocked this younger mom answered and we shared a little about the restoration and about the Book of Mormon. She said she was putting her kids to bed, but we could come back at . More on that story later... We had finished a street and it was . We were like, let's just start heading back to our apartment cuz it's like a 5-6 minute walk. I had a really strong impression to keep tracting until on the dot. So we turned the corner on the town homes and this dude was parked in his driveway in a car. We knocked the house next door and then he rolled down his window and asked what we were doing. So we told him we were missionaries, and ended up sharing a restoration message with him and giving him a Book of Mormon! He seemed pretty interested and gave us his number to call him. He actually lives in the Crystal Lakes area, but he said to call him in a week or so. I don't know if it will turn into anything, but it was cool to follow a prompting and have it result in sharing the gospel with someone.
we were supposed to have district meeting and interviews with the Mission President, but then they changed it last minute to . So we had zone service at Prince of Peace again . Haha this one lady that works there had her last week there. She is moving or something so it was her last time there. We got a zone picture with her, and they were some funny pictures. They are the ones that will be posted below. Elder R took the funniest selfie with the zone and his fly on his pants was open. After service, the Lake Marion Elders took us to Arby's to get a shake because we led the zone in new investigators last week. In our zone, the team with the most new investigators gets milkshakes from the team with the least amount of new investigators haha. So it's incentive for everyone to be finding people.After that we had a guy who said we could come by at . So we stopped by and he answered the door and was like, "My kid just came came home from school and he's sick. But come on in!" I thought for sure he wasn't gonna let us in, but he did! We sat down and taught him a restoration lesson and it was awesome! He had so many questions about the Book of Mormon and the people in it haha. We went into a lot of detail on the characters because he was really interested in all of them! He asked us if he could ask the elders of his church if the Book of Mormon was true and we said, "You can ask anyone you want. People are going to give you their opinion. We know it to be true. The only way to know for yourself is to read it and ask God if it is true." He really seemed to like that and said he would start reading it this week and invited us back for I was so happy after that lesson! That's the first lesson I've taught in like 3 weeks. It feels so good to teach and have someone be interested and listen to your message. He has some really solid potential, and if he reads and prays, I know he will receive a witness that it is true. He had some questions about personal revelation vs. revelation from the prophet. I shared my story of how I received an answer to commit to CMU and told him the prophet receives revelation for the church as a whole and not for each individual person. We each receive personal revelation from God regarding ourselves and our families (if we are fathers). He really liked that and believed in personal revelation so that was cool! I'm excited to see what happens with him.After that we had a lesson with some recent converts in the ward. They are the young men that got baptized a few months ago. We took Brother P with us cuz he is the YM president in our ward and can help get them ready to go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. We shared the "Hope of God's Light" Mormon message with them. Their mom, who isn't a member, sat in on the video and listened as we shared our testimonies of God's love for us and how spiritual light doesn't come to those who merely sit in darkness, it takes an act of faith to open our eyes to the light of Christ. It is such a great message in that video that God knows us, he answers our prayers, and he has a plan for us. We just need to have faith in him and press forward with hope. Later that evening we had a lesson with a less active guy in our ward that is trying to quit smoking and receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. We went over D&C 107 because he had read it on his own last time the Elders met with him. He had a lot of questions about it, so we answered some of his questions. Brother P came joint teaching with us, and he is awesome. He had some great insights as well to his questions. Then we went and visited Sister D. She has cancer and is a less active lady. Her daughter isn't a member but lives with her. We just popped in to say hi because Brother P is her home teacher. I hadn't ever met her, so it was cool so visit her!
we did ZL exchanges with Elder N and K! I got to stay in Apple Valley with Elder K. We switched at the church at like and then went to Subway and had some lunch. Elder K is a convert and is from Alaska. He has a pretty cool conversion story! It was fun to get to know him a lot better. We had a lesson with a less active guy at so we drove up to that and we read Mosiah 17 with him. We read like 10 verses and he seemed to lose interest and go off on these huge tangents that had nothing to do with anything we read. So anyway, we kept trying to bring it back to what we were talking about but it wasn't happening. When we left, some funny stuff went down. Elder K had some really bad gas going on. We got in the car and he just lets this huge fart go and says, "Elder. We need to go to a gas station right now. I just crapped my pants." I was like, "Are you serious??" And he was like "Yep! I'm serious!" I died laughing, and so we drove to a gas station for him to change his pants and stuff. It was bad. Then we had this super cool miracle after we got the problem taken care of. We stopped by this potential investigator who lives up by this trailer park and she was there and we shared our testimonies of the Book of Mormon. She said she was struggling with her faith right now. She just had a lot of trials recently and doesn't know what she believes in anymore. She said we could come back so that was cool! Then the major miracle for the day: I had scheduled in a less active to go visit at that lived in the same apartment as the potential. So we stopped by this less active's house. She opened the door and was like, "Oh good, you're here!" And me and Elder K just look at each other like, what the heck? So we go in and her mom lives with her, too. Her mom said, "Oh I'm glad you made it to help us move these boxes of stuff down to storage!" So we asked about the plan because we didn't know anything about it.She said she had talked to some Elders at church about coming to help move stuff today at and we asked them who they were because we are the only Elders in our building. The Eagan Sisters are the other missionaries in our church building. She said it was someone who looked like me but was taller. I had no clue who it was, but anyway, it ended up working out perfectly and we helped them get their stuff moved and move a dresser in their apartment. I had no idea how it all worked out like that, but it did, so it was a miracle for sure.We had dinner with a family in our ward and then we had like 5 appointments set up from with people we found tracting. So we went to go see all of them, and the first 3 weren't there, and the last two told us they weren't interested. One of the guys said he didn't believe in our church because we believe that Zion will be in Jackson County, Missouri, and then quoted Amos 3:3 (3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?) and said he can't listen to our message because of that scripture, which made no sense. So by everything had fallen through. So we had some more town homes nearby we wanted to go tract. We tracted those for about an hour and half until we got really cold. It was like 5 degrees with windchill, and we weren't dressed for the weather haha. We found a few potentials, but no one really solid. We did a couple stop bys on the way home, but no one was there unfortunately. It was a fun day all in all, and I had a good time and learned a lot from Elder K.
morning was MLC, which is Mission Leadership Conference. Every three months they have MLC where the district leaders come to it. It was good, but it was super long, and I had a struggle staying awake at parts haha. I learned how to work better with the Ward Council. As missionaries we just need to be more blunt with people in Ward Council and say, "This is what we can do for this person. Is there anything else we can do for them or to help you help them?" That was like the major thing I took away from MLC. Mostly it is for the ZLs and STLs. As a district leader I didn't say much, and most other district leaders just sat there and soaked it all in. I'm pretty sure most people don't like MLC. The funniest part of the day was the Duluth ZLs (Elder J that I served with in the YSA ward, and Elder A who was my ZL my first transfer) both lost their driving privileges and so the Duluth STLs had to drive the truck back up to Duluth and the Elders had to sit in the back. Everyone gave them so much crap haha. MLC got done at like and everyone visits for a while after, so we got home at like and had to run to ALDI and get some groceries cuz we finally got our car back . We haven't gotten groceries for 2 and a half weeks, so we've been living off oatmeal and stuff like that. Then we had dinner at a member's house. They are awesome but their house is insanely crazy. They have a boxer who is psycho and all their kids are teenagers and crazy. So it was a funny dinner to say the least. Then we went over to the G's cuz Elder W said he could bake a cake for their oldest daughter's 20th birthday. She is less active and their son is less active and he is 17. Their boyfriend/girlfriend live at their house too, and aren't members, so we baked a cake and had that, and then both shared a spiritual message. It was really good! Elder W's cake was insane. Chocolate cake with cream cheese vanilla frosting. It was the best cake I've had.I shared the Night Lights message and like almost everyone had seen Night Lights, so it ended up being really good! it was a really good night, and the son and his girlfriend came to church so it worked!
was super cool! Brother Ruff, our ward mission leader, decided he was going to spend the whole day with us so he could get a better feel for what we do as missionaries and what a typical day looks like. So he brought us donuts for breakfast and we did weekly planning together and he had this paper called the "Ruff Plan to Successful Missionary Work." We went over that for about an hour, and I learned a lot from that. He previously served as a bishop and he uses stuff from being a bishop and a missionary to create this plan. It was really good, and I'll send a copy home for Jackson! Brother Ruff took us to Panda for lunch and then we did some stop bys for like 4 hours. We stopped by literally 20+ people. We found this one guy who is a "lost sheep" for the Apple Valley ward. That means people who we haven't been able to get in contact with for like a year or more. So we buzzed this guy's apartment and he let us in and we go up to his apartment and this guy answers and lets us in and says "He is over there in the chair." So he had just had back surgery and has a lot of physical disabilities. He isn't interested in the church much, but he said we could stop and check in on him from time to time. So that was good! Literally everyone else wasn't home. Then we had dinner at Brother Ruff's house with his family, and then we went tracting in the evening! Haha literally nobody wanted to talk to us. It was crazy. Most other days we have people that will at least talk to us, but literally no one even talked to us. I said, "Brother Ruff, you picked a "Ruff" day to come out with us!" He had a good chuckle at that. He set up a lesson with an active member, Brother H. He is pretty newly married and has a kid. He actually served in the Dallas, Texas mission. Shoutout to dad! Anyway, Brother H just posed as an investigator that he taught on his mission. We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ by reading 2 Nephi 31 with him. It was such a good lesson. I love teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ! Now that I've actually tried to live it every day and seen how great it is, I love sharing it with people and teaching about it!After we finished teaching, Brother Ruff and Brother H said we did a really good job and the spirit was definitely there. I really want to be able to teach people more and help them feel the spirit and help them draw closer to God. It's hard to do that sometimes when you only get a few moments on the doorstep. I try to bear testimony as much as I can while doing our door approach so that the spirit can testify to them that our message is true! It was a great way to cap off a pretty long, slow day!
It's hard to do good work when you are sneezing and coughing and your nose is so stuffed up you can't breathe. was district meeting and interviews with the Mission President. District meeting was really good! I gave a training on this talk by Tad R. Callister called, "Becoming a consecrated missionary." It is a really good talk and I would encourage all missionaries and prospective missionaries to read it! Funny moment from my training: we were discussing this part about how you have to "leave your fears on the sacrificial altar and talk to everyone." One of the things it says is you just have to square your shoulders and just do it. So, Shia LaBouf has a motivational video called "Just Do It" and someone made a video of him giving this speech as if he's at general conference. I'll share it in the photo share. It is super funny. So I was like, "I brought a motivational speaker to pump you guys up to talk to everyone!" And I showed that video to my district. Well, the Mission President walks in like halfway through to get the next person for interviews, and I just hurried and grabbed my iPad and was like "....so just DO IT! Talk to everyone!" And Elder N was on the ground laughing because President walked in right during the video. It was so funny! Haha then the Prior Lake Sisters did a training on recognizing and understanding the spirit. They did the guiding game where you blind fold someone and then someone else is the Holy Ghost and the blind folded person has to listen to the Holy Ghost while everyone else distracts them. It was super funny. I'll include a video! Interviews were same as usual. In and out with President. Not much was said so I guess that means he's not worried about me or anything.Afterwards the Spanish district wanted to go to this place called El Super Taco where you get like foot long tacos. They were 10$, so I didn't get one, but everyone said they were way overpriced and not as good as the price indicated. Then we had a lesson right after that with a less active ward missionary. We invited him to church and he said he would be there, but didn't show up. However, his wife showed up, so that was good! We also met with a former investigator who is handicapped and in a wheelchair. Somehow she had requested a BOM online and the Sisters had met with her before a few times. We talked to her dad mostly. He said he is Catholic and is too old to convert, but we shared our testimonies of the truth of our message and our church as we talked. Like things would come up that would be related to something we teach and we would share a little about it and testify of it. He seemed like he felt the spirit but was kind of fighting it a little. I feel like he has potential, so we will see! We are meeting with him again ! We did some stop bys and then tracted this street in the southeast part of our area. We met this really cool guy. He said he only had a few minutes to chat because he was watching his young kids, but he liked our message and said to give him a call this week to set up an appointment. I really think he has some potential, too. He seemed very genuine and interested in hearing the message of the restored gospel! So I am excited to go back and see him this week! I woke up with a cold and I was dying by like . My nose was so stuffy and I was coughing and sneezing, so we went to Target and bought some NyQuil and called it a night. I took some walking out of Target and I was out cold by the time we got home. Elder W had to smack me to wake me up. So I went in and changed and went to bed. I HATE BEING SICK SO MUCH!
, no one came to church that we were planning on. But....a less active guy came to church and the G's son his girlfriend came to church, too! So it was pretty good, all things considered.After church, a super cool member of our ward wanted to race us in his mini van, so we tried to but we have a Tiwi in our car hah,. and can't go super fast. He killed us haha. After church we had a lesson set up for cuz she rescheduled . We talked to her at and she said we could come at . So we called her at to make sure we could still go over, and she's like, "I totally forgot and I'm out of town until !" So that was a bummer, but it ended up being for a good reason! We decided to tract these town homes for an hour by our apartment, and the first door we knocked, this lady answers and let us teach her the first lesson on her doorstep. The spirit was super strong and you could tell she could feel it. She said she had been looking for a church and I was like, "I think you just found one!" She said we could call her and set up an appointment next week cuz she is swamped at work this week. She said she would start reading the BOM though! We kept knocking for a while and this one guy answers and we had an interesting conversation. It went like this pretty much:
Guy: Who are you?
Me: We are representatives of Jesus Christ and are sharing a message that His church has been restored by a prophet called of God. We would love to share our message with you!
Guy: You believe that Jesus is a prophet and not the son of God?
Elder W: No we believe Jesus is the son of God and our Redeemer, but that God called a prophet to restore His church. You're familiar with the Bible and the prophets in the Bible correct?
Guy: Yeah, I believe the Bible. I just don't believe what you guys believe!
Me: So you're saying you don't believe in prophets?
Guy: (literally 10 seconds of silence. He had no clue what to say.) Have a nice day gentlemen.
Us: You too, sir!
It was so funny. He had no clue what to say. You could tell he was thinking about it really hard. So I'm glad if nothing else, we made him think about what he really believes in. We basically tracted the rest of the day. We didn't have a lot of success, but we met some nice people and it strengthened my own testimony that the gospel has been restored and our church is led by a prophet of God!
I love sharing the gospel. It is truly a blessing to be a part of the Lord's team and be sharing the message that His church has been restored to the earth. I know it is true and I want everyone to know it is true, too. It is such an amazing message. The Book of Mormon is also true and is without a doubt the word of God. I can't ever deny that after the witness I have received. I know the gospel of Jesus Christ is the way to living a better life and becoming more like our Savior and Redeemer. It is a privilege to be sharing this message with the people of Minnesota, even if they aren't super receptive! I know someone is out there that needs to hear our message. We just gotta keep knocking until we find them! I love you all and hope you have a great week. I pray for all my family and friends every day, so know there are prayers from Minnesota being sent your way.
Our zone after our service.