A big hello to all my family, friends and coaches back home in Cache Valley, at college, and serving the Lord around the world! Hope this email finds you all well and happy with life! I sure am happy with life right now! It's been an amazing, miracle filled week in Sauk Rapids!
Monday was a normal p-day for us. Laundry, shopping and throwing the football around for a few hours haha. There isn't much to do up here because the missionaries are so far apart, but throwing the ball is always fun. I love that. After P-day we had dinner with the Bs. They are an older couple that live in a super nice trailer park. Dinner was a little interesting to say the least haha. Basically Brother B told us all these super weird like "urban legends of Mormonism". There were some weird stories! And he complained about the Presidential election the whole time, too. He has a giant rock on his dining room table and named it "Heart of Trump". I about died when he said that but he was dead serious so I had to hold in my laughter. After dinner we tracted for about an hour and we felt we should go to this little street we had never been to. As we started knocking, we realized the neighborhood was inhabited by elderly Catholics, Lutherans, and various other religions who weren't super happy to see us! But we kept knocking and at the end of the street this lady was out on her driveway talking to another guy. She called us over and told us she had known the Elders down in Red Wing and absolutely loved them! They had helped her son with home repairs and yard work while he was going through chemotherapy for cancer. So we got to talk to her for like 30 minutes! She had some ducks in her yard and let us feed them and stuff. The crazy thing was she was only visiting her daughter for the day and actually lived in Brainerd. It was amazing that we felt we should tract that street and ran into her. Super cool! We then had a huge rain and thunderstorm with lighting, so we ended up having to be inside the last like 45 minutes of the night which sucked, but it is what it is,
Tuesday morning I was not feeling it. I was just having one of those days where I wasn't in the mood to go talk to people and was just not myself. I really am not a very outgoing person, but that has changed so much. I really love sharing the gospel with people now. It's crazy how much easier it is for me to approach random people and share a message with them that they may think is totally insane. It's cool how the mission changes you for the better! So anyway, we did some walk around stop bys and I was just hating life for some reason. I was just like, "I hate knocking doors when no one is home because it's and no one wants to talk to us." I was having the adversary get into my head a little. Our last stop by we did to a potential was awesome. He was out working on a car and as we walked up I literally had like an epiphany moment o,. "This man needs the gospel and he is a child of God." As I felt that I just immediately started talking to him and those negative thoughts went away and I felt so much better. I find it so interesting that whenever I get down on myself or the work or whatever, the best remedy is to work and talk to people. It always brightens my day. Super cool! There's a quote in Preach My Gospel about how the best remedy or medicine for worry or stress of homesickness is work. Because if you work, you will have the Spirit with you, and if you have the Spirit then others will feel it and the work will be successful. I agree with that 100%. We had a lesson with GW right after lunch. He's an interesting fellow haha. He's been taught on and off for about 5 years and doesn't progress at all. I really tried to listen to him and figure out where he is coming from and all that, and he just kept contradicting himself and saying he doesn't want to be more happy in life or burden God. I finally just bore my testimony of the fact that God loves him, Joseph Smith is the prophet of the restoration, and the Book of Mormon was true and would bless his life and bring him more happiness. He didn't really have anything to argue with after that haha. I don't know how much more we will be teaching him, but I hope he felt the Spirit and God's love for him! We drove down to Becker after that to visit some less actives and potentials and literally no one was home. It was insane. The two people we talked to were A, who was the Ukrainian guy we found a few weeks back, and this less active guy who lives next to the Bishop. He didn't even know the Bishop lived next door to him haha. We talked to him for about 30 minutes about football and DJing. He DJs for a living and is kind of a party animal, but he's a nice dude and loved talking to us. We invited him to church and gave him a Book of Mormon and invited him to read it.After that we headed back up to St. Cloud to go to YSA institute. The Stake President asked us to start going to just add some more numbers to it and be a support there so that was super cool and really fun.
was kind of weird day. We had district meetings in the morning so we Skyped into those, and then had a service opportunity with this lady set up at . So we show up and she's like, "I told you I have a doctors appointment right now and can't do today." She never told us that which was a bummer, and then she talked to us for literally 30 minutes about tornados and how there was going to be one in Sauk Rapids that day. She said she was a weather spotter and knew what to look for and there was going to be one that day. Well, there wasn't. It was rainy for half the day and super hot and humid and sunny the later part of the day. We did a zone finding hour after that and we knocked this street in Sartell and literally no one was home. We talked to like 2 people in 40 doors, so that was kind of a bummer. However, one of the 2 people was super nice and talked to us for about 20 minutes. He was from Las Vegas and his best friends were Mormon so we talked about that for a while. He said his wife was a staunch
Catholic and I asked him if he was too, and he said, "No... I'm a half A Catholic!" I thought that was pretty funny. And so did he haha. Anyway, we had a nice chat with him! We did some less active stop bys after that and met RB, who is RB's little brother. He is pretty cool and a lot different than his sister haha. He used to be in the military and now lives off of veterans assistance and just drinks whiskey and plays X-Box all day. He doesn't work or anything so I don't know how he affords a house and liquor and all that, but he does haha. Anyway, he was pretty nice and we talked to him and read a little of the Book of Mormon with him. He asked for a Book of Mormon and a Bible so we gave him those to read. Hopefully he does read them! We had dinner with the O's and Sister O made Kamut pancakes. They are so good, and we need to make them when I get home, Mom! It's this Middle Eastern grain that is super healthy and super dense so like 2 pancakes made me stuffed haha. They were really good! We did some NAC list stop bys after dinner and met some of them, but they all said they weren't interested and to not stop by anymore. ☹️ Sad day. We had a member lesson with the Ps after that about the 40 day fast, and that was really good! And then we called it a night.
morning we had a lesson with J, who was the lady we found last week during zone finding hour. She had like a notebook full of questions and had read Moroni 10! It was awesome. However, her husband and pastor told her not to pray about it! I was like, "Who the heck tells someone to not pray? That makes no sense to me." In 2 Nephi 32:8 it says: "8 And now, my beloved brethren, I perceive that ye ponder still in your hearts; and it grieveth me that I must speak concerning this thing. For if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray, ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray." We shared that with her and she said it made a lot of sense. So hopefully this week she will pray about it! She had a lot of really good questions about the Godhead and stuff like that, and just random questions from the Bible that people at her church couldn't answer. We have another lesson with her ! After that we went to Quik Trip so Elder M could grab some lunch really quick. He got some corn dogs and squirted ketchup on his pants, and then when we got in the car he grabbed my water bottle to squirt some water on it to wash it off and it squirted all over him so it looked like he wet his pants. I was dying and he was so mad, but laughing, too haha. It was pretty funny! We had a lesson with F at like and it was awesome. We taught the gospel of Jesus Christ and committed her to be baptized on ! Please keep her and her family in your prayers. Her parents don't know she has committed to be baptized yet. We fasted and prayed for her parents to be cool with it . After that the APs were supposed to come up, so went to our apartment to meet them and did comp study while we waited. When they got there, I went with Elder L and Elder M went with Elder C. We went to have a lesson with M at his house and also taught the gospel of Jesus Christ and committed him to be baptized on ! So we had a sick day because we got two dates set ! After that we drove out to Foley and had dinner and lesson with the Cs, and we got to take some pictures with his custom assault rifles haha. We talked about the Sacrament and the importance of taking it each week and how it renews the Spirit to be with us and give us a remission of sins. Elder Bednar gave a bomb talk called, "Always Retain a Remission of Your Sins" that talks about how our baptism and the Sacrament are interconnected. It makes the Sacrament so much more important to me after I read that talk! I would encourage all to read it! After that we had a lesson with B and TG. Their basement flooded so we helped them move some stuff up and outside. There was a dude named D there and I ended up talking to him and gave him a Book of Mormon and he said we could come by and teach him this week.We showed the "Mountains to Climb" video by Elder Erying to them and it was super cool. We talked about how faith can help us endure our trials. B really seems to like having us over, and I hope we can help him progress and come to church and all that. After that we did service for Sister N, and her husband actually came out and talked to us! He was pretty nice and gave us gloves to use to pull weeds and stuff. We destroyed their flower bed and got all the weeds out of there haha. Then we headed back home for the night!
morning we had to account with the DLs about their districts and then we went with Brother H and Brother B to help one of Brother H's friends clean up their farm and get it ready for an auction. They had a super cool/weird farm house and we cleaned out all of it and also some stuff from the barn and moved rocks and stuff. It was super fun and a good workout too, so that was good! It was out in the sticks in St. Cloud area, but it was super cool and we had a good time. We got to talk to a lot of folks there about missionary work. After that we drove up to Little Falls and stopped by the pastor dude who we talked to a few weeks back. He hadn't read the article we gave him yet, but we had both read the book of John, so we let him know that and told him to get on it! We also had a lesson with the Ds. They are not really progressing right now and are letting really dumb things get in the way of coming to church and reading the scriptures and stuff. It makes me sad for them. We then drove up to Brainerd, which is like an hour and half north of where we live. We got there at around and I went with Elder F and we knocked some doors in the pouring rain. ️ It was super fun though, and we gave a few Books of Mormon away and found a pastor who we set up a return appointment with to discuss religion. It was pretty fun! was long day haha.
morning we worked out (I did) haha and then got to work. I went with Elder S and we did some stop bys and met this lady who we talked to for like 30 minutes. She could've talked all day haha. We listened to her stories about how she came to know God and all that. It was really cool! She said she loved to serve others and help them find God too, and I shared Mosiah 2:16-17 with her and gave her a Book of Mormon. She was super happy to accept it, and I told her it would help her with sharing the knowledge and love of Christ with others. She loved it! After that we stopped by Ms who was a potential investigator they hadn't seen for a while. She was going through a lot of struggles when we talked to her and we shared the "Mountains to Climb" video with her as well! She really liked it and we had a really good talk with her about relying on Christ's atonement to help us get though challenges in our lives. After that we had lunch really quick and then went and did some chalking in a park. Haha these two girls that were like 10 kept walking by and watching us, but wouldn't talk to us or help us out. I was hoping they could help us but they didn't! I had a blast on exchanges, and we did some good work up in Brainerd with them. We drove home at like and stopped by this less active dude in Little Falls who lives way out of town, but his address was no good, so that was a bummer for sure. Oh cool story I forgot. when we were in Little Falls we stopped by another less active, but his roommate was there. His name was H and he is in the military and lives in Duluth, but was down for a few weeks. He joined the church a few years ago after getting introduced by a friend in the service. He had no idea we had a church down in St. Cloud, so we had a member pick him up for church and he stayed all three hours! It was super cool! Back to . We had dinner with Sister K and D and D sent us the articles on Mormons his pastor had sent him. It was anti stuff and it was the Plan of Salvation with a lot of twists making it very not true. One thing I thought was funny was it said in order to be temple worthy you had to follow laws of Mormonism including: keeping a journal, having at least a years supply of food storage, and always reading the Book of Mormon. I just had to laugh. People have no clue what they are talking about sometimes but it is what it is! D listened a little more closely this time and didn't argue as much. Some of the stuff his pastor told him was BS, and we showed him that it was. I think that helped him realize we actually know what we are talking about haha. Like his pastor told him that it says in the Bible you are supposed to baptize little kids and it doesn't say that in the Bible and we showed him that. So I think that helped him a little. He just believes whatever his pastor says and doesn't figure things out for himself, so we are trying to help him do that! After dinner we tracted for a while and found this super nice older lady who had been to temple square and loved it and we gave her a Book of Mormon, and she said we could come teach her some more this week and possibly do service for her too! We then had a meeting with Brother C to discuss the work in the ward and how the Ward Council could help! Haha Brother C is a hoot and half.
morning we had Ward Council but we left early to go pick up a girl Elder M and Elder C found on exchanges. SB drove us there and we show up and she isn't there. Her dad was like, "I think she's at her boyfriend's house." So that was a bummer. But M and F came to church! And so did H, and M finally made it as well. The chapel was full once again, so that was awesome. Elder M and I both spoke on missionary work and blessings we had seen from the 40 day fast. It was cool, and I'm glad we could speak on member missionary work.After church we had dinner with the R family. They are awesome and made a bomb burrito bar for us and chocolate lava cake. We talked about college football like the whole time so that was awesome. After that we had a lesson with N, who was a lady we found about a week or so ago, and unfortunately she wasn't home. So we tracted for like 2 hours and found like 3 new investigators and gave away like 5 Books of Mormon, so that was awesome! It was a great week and I'm loving life right now!
Cool learning thing from this week: We did a Christlike attributes activity in Preach My Gospel and I realized that I really sucked at having faith. I hadn't ever really thought about that before. I've really been focusing on patience and charity this transfer. And I've improved majorly on those two attributes. So I started studying about faith and how to increase it. I read the talk "Mountains to Climb" by Elder Erying and one line that he says really stuck out to me. He says, "If the foundation of faith is not embedded in hearts, the power to endure will crumble." That really stuck out to me. I've been reading in 2 Nephi about the prophecies of the last days and how the world will be wicked and people will be complacent and not work to keep and increase their faith. I realized that I needed to really work on increasing my foundation of faith. I had faith, I just needed to increase it and always focus on that. Faith in Christ leads us to act and to change and to repent and become better. It all finally clicked for me this week and it was super cool. Like I just finally understood what faith means to me. It's hard to explain, but it was really awesome! I would encourage all to read that talk as well as the one by Elder Bednar. They are both stellar talks with great messages. Anyway, life is good, I'm happy, I love sharing this gospel with people and I realized how sad I am going to be when I have to come home. I am really living the life right now and I love it! I love you all and hope all is well for you. Thank you for all the support and prayers. It means the world to me. I definitely can feel the power and strength from them. Thank you all and have a great week! God bless!
My workout list.
Exchanges in Brainerd.
Chalking with Elder S.
Cleaning out the barn.
Checking out the guns at the C's house!
Sunset on the Mississippi River.
Feeding the ducks with our new friend!