Hello to all my friends, family, and coaches back home, at school, and serving worldwide! Hope this email finds you doing well and enjoying the last few weeks of summer break! I can't believe that college football season is upon us yet again! Time is flying by! This week was pretty slow but we had some awesome miracles, so I will share all the highlights as usual!
we went down to Medicine Lake to do P day with the Anoka Zone Leaders and hang out with the Gs! On the way down we did some work in Clear Lake and Becker. We tracted for an hour in both places and didn't really find anyone. We had some good conversations with some people and got yelled by others, but that's how it goes haha. We played basketball at the Crystal building for like 4 hours with Medicine Lake and Crystal and then the Gs came up and we went to Applebee's and visited and then went bowling with them! It was so awesome to see them again. And they got to stay with my family in Utah this week, so they got a lot of the Beaches this week. They're awesome!
was MLC in Bloomington and that isn't my favorite thing in the world, but it is what it is. We spent like an hour and half talking about how much exercise time we should get during the day. Elder N, Elder B and myself brought up the comments that we have people playing collegiate sports when they get home and are trying to stay in shape as best they can (myself included). President B said he didn't want us working out in the evening (which I do) or getting up early to workout (which I also do). There was a lot of heated debate about it and no final decision was made on whether or not we can workout more than 30 minutes a day. I'm getting in about an hour and half a day and still proselyting a full day, so I said that to him, and I said, "I get up early to work out, I work out at night, and I proselyte a full day. If it doesn't take out of my proselytizing, then I'm going to continue to do that." He didn't really have anything to say, so I figured I'm good to continue to do that haha. His main thing was he didn't want it taking out of our missionary work time, so I was like it isn't taking any time out of my missionary work time so it shouldn't matter. Pretty much all the Zone Leaders felt the same way, so nothing should change with that. So Elder M and I got home at about and had time to teach one lesson to a less active family in Becker on the way home. We shared a lesson on the importance of reading the Book of Mormon each day to continually strengthen our testimony of Christ and the restoration of the gospel. It was really good, and the spirit was definitely there!
was a pretty solid day. We worked on our training for Zone Conference, which was . And then we did some stop bys and stopped by RB, who is R's brother. He really has no interest in religion, but he's a good guy and he believes in God and Jesus Christ. We've been trying to get him to read the Book of Mormon, but he wants to read the Bible first. He hasn't seemed to have time to read the Bible yet, though. He doesn't do much, so I don't know why he hasn't had time yet. We left him a chapter from the Book of Mormon to read though and he said he would read it, so hopefully he does! After that we helped the Bs move their washer and dryer out of their trailer and into their garage and then move an ancient washer and dryer from their garage into their trailer. The washers were insanely heavy and we had to just pick them up and carry them because they didn't have any wheely things to lift it and wheel it on. So that was fun! When we brought the dryer up into the trailer it didn't fit because the pipe that goes in the back was too big and the plug was different than the outlet so we ended up just leaving it there and bringing the washer in too. It wasn't super organized or anything but we got 'er done haha. We did some tracting after that and met this lady named AM who is Roman Catholic. She took a Book of Mormon and said we could come back and teach her and her husband so hopefully that goes well. After that we had a lesson with F and Sister D at the church. Sister D had the exact same situation as F is currently in. She wanted to get baptized in high school but her parents wouldn't let her, but they finally did after some coaxing. F's parents were still super against getting baptized, so basically those two talked the whole time and we just sat there until we got asked questions about doctrinal stuff that F had questions about. It was really good for them to talk about the whole situation! We had dinner with the P's way out west of Sauk Rapids after that, and then came back to stop by some people down in the ghetto part of our area. We stopped by this guy Elders M and S found on exchanges a while back, and as we got out of the car, this guy walked by so we stopped and talked to him. He said he was atheist but knew some LDS people. As we talked to him, we realized he just had no idea who God was! He wasn't really atheist, he just didn't know who God was or His relationship to us. So we taught him about the nature of God and gave him a Book of Mormon and told him that if he read it, he would feel of God's love and know He was there. It was really cool! After that we stopped by MK and he was getting ready to head up to Canada for a week to stay at his cabin and fish. He showed us some pictures from their last like 4 trips. It looks super sick up there. Their cabin is right on a lake and they have a dock and a fishing boat. It's pretty nice We invited him to read from the Book of Mormon while he was up there. He said he might crack it open (haha) so that was good.
we did a blitz exchange with the Alexandria Elders so they would already be here because Zone Conference was . I went with Elder S again and we had a blast! We did some stop bys in the afternoon and it was pouring rain so we got soaked, and then it quit raining and was super windy and cold haha. We stopped by this way old former investigator that none of us had ever met. We stopped by and she told us her son had gotten baptized and then left the church after like 4 months. She and her husband had been reading some anti stuff I'm pretty sure because she was like, "I just have a lot of problems with the church." I asked her what her problems were and she said, "Colored people can't have the Priesthood, women can't have the priesthood, you believe Jesus Chris is our Lord and Savior..." etc etc. She also had some other problems that aren't appropriate to mention on here, but I had a good chuckle about haha. We told her about all those things and that she had been misinformed about all of them. I told her I have a very good friend who holds the Priesthood and is serving a mission just like I was, and he was black. M, you are the man!Love you bro! She was blown away by that, and I thought that was interesting. Anyway, she just had a lot of weird ideas about the church. On her teaching record, she had been to church almost 20 times and had been taught like 10 or 11 times. So I don't know how she got all those crazy ideas about the church. After that we tracted for like 2 hours and found some cool people. We met this college age girl and taught her a restoration lesson and gave her a Book of Mormon. She is going to school up in Duluth in like 2 weeks, so hopefully we can get her in touch with the Elders up there. Then we met this lady who had read the whole Book of Mormon! No joke. She had some friends in the cities who were Mormon and they had given her a copy of it and she read the whole thing, but felt it wasn't really for her. We asked her if she had prayed about it and she said, "No, I guess not." We invited her to read it again and pray about it as it directs in Moroni 10. Funny story: she said her favorite book was the Book of "Esther". Pretty sure she meant Ether, but I didn't say anything. She then was like, "Yeah! I think Esther was a super bad A with all that killing people and stuff! So cool for a girl to be doing all that!" I didn't have the heart to tell her it was Ether, and he was a guy. She was way to hyped about it so I just let it be haha. After that we had some dinner with the other Elders at our apartment and then drove up to Royalton and Little Falls with Brother C. We went to some way out of the way people, but none of them were home unfortunately. We stopped by this one less active in an apartment building that none of us had met. We buzzed her box and she answered and said, "Who is it?" We replied, "It's the missionaries!" She then screamed, "I'm not coming to church! Goodbye!!" And hung up. Sad day haha. We had a lesson with the Ds after that and it didn't go super great. Brother D and Zach were mad at each other so Z never came down for the lesson and Brother D just ranted to us for like 30 minutes about everything. We shared the Jeffrey R Holland Mormon message about the Book of Mormon and invited them to read it each day. If they would, it would help them a lot and bring the Spirit into their home so much more. Keep them in your prayers for sure!
was Zone Conference in Brooklyn Park. So we got to drive an hour and half one way. Zone Conference was really good and President B gave a training on having the companionship of the Holy Ghost always with our companionship. It was really cool and Elder M and I have decided to always pray for the Spirit to be with us when finding and teaching so it can help us. Because just us by ourselves we aren't nearly as powerful! It was fun to see Elders P, L, and B again. We had a good time at lunch haha. Elder M and I gave a training on obedience. It taught me a lot and made me realize that even though some rules seem stupid and we don't understand why they're there, they all have a purpose and a blessing with them if we follow them. So I thought that was pretty cool! After Zone Conference we blitzed Bloomington with the APs for our exchange this transfer. I had a doctors appointment in Maplewood in St. Paul so Elder C and I went to that and Elder M and Elder L went to a lesson. I got my A1C done and I still don't know the results, so sorry Mom and Dad! After that we went to one of their investigator's birthday BBQs at a park. There was a decent amount of people there. I started talking to this lady. She was from Mississippi and we talked about Mississippi and that Jackson is serving in Alabama and about technology and family history work and temples and the Book of Mormon and the Bible. She was really interested in the Book of Mormon and we gave her a copy and promised as she read a page or more a day she would have more peace in her life. She said that is something she really wanted, so we promised she would have that if she read from it each day! It was pretty cool! After that we went and just walked around some neighborhoods and talked to people and stopped by potentials and less actives. We found this park that had a ton of Hispanics playing soccer and hanging out. Neither of us spoke Spanish, so we told the Hermanas to get down there and contact some people haha. It was a really fun exchange and I learned that I should just talk to people and get to know them and stuff before I just straight up say, "Hey! We are sharing a message about Jesus Christ, let us share it with you!" It works way better to talk about random stuff and tie it into the gospel haha.
morning we drove right back up after working out in the morning. The APs had a weight vest in their apartment that no one uses, so they let me have it. We mowed C's lawn again when we got home. She had us prune her trees and bushes and all that good stuff. So that was fun! After that we had a lesson with M, our last one because he is heading home to Iowa this week since his internship is over. I'm really going to miss him. He has changed and progressed so much since I got here. He has started coming to church every week and reads like 5 chapters of the Book of Mormon every day. He even told us he is considering serving a mission, too. We had a lesson about temples and he said he would talk to his Branch President about getting a temple recommend and going through the temple when he got home! It was awesome. After that we went to Kwik Trip and got M some donuts for his birthday. TR got baptized so M came to that and it was awesome. The whole time I felt the Spirit so strong. It was seriously one of the strongest times I've felt the Spirit on my mission. TR asked Elder M and me to be in the circle to confirm him, and I was pretty much bawling by the time it was done. I was just feeling the Spirit super strong and could feel how much love God had for T and how proud he was of him. It was super cool. M loved it, too, and is excited to get baptized in a few weeks. His date is the 26th, but is still a tentative, so keep him in your prayers that it will all work out for that day!After that we had dinner really quick and went to Brother C's house to share a lesson and do our weekly coordination meeting. While we were doing the lesson, his wife just got up and left, and she's like, "Sorry, I just farted and it smelled really bad!" Elder M looks at Brother C and says "Must run in the family!" I died. I was laughing so hard for like 2 minutes and so was Brother C and like everyone haha. It was way funny.
morning we went to Petra Lutheran church with D. He invited us to come and check it out, so we did. It was really different. I've never been to another church so it was a new experience for me. It made me realized how different our church must be to people investigating our church. Their whole service was just scripted out of a textbook thing. All the prayers were rote prayers and it was a lot different than our church! The people were really nice though, and quite a few people said hi to us. After that we went home and did studies and then went to church. M, F, M, and DS came, so we had a full house again. It was awesome! M said he was trying to get his parents to come to check it out, but they didn't want to. His dad is all for him getting baptized, just not his mom. Anyway, church was awesome, and I really enjoyed it. After church we stopped by a bunch of people in this neighborhood we had tracted. We ended up talking to like 10 people there that we hadn't met before because everyone was out BBQing or doing stuff like that. We met this guy and his wife who were making homemade wontons on their front deck and they gave us some. He was wearing a Vikings jersey, so we talked more about football and then the gospel haha. It worked way better.His wife gave us some wontons and they were dang good! After that we had M's going away dinner with the R family. They've been his fellowship family in the ward, and have had him over for dinner a lot and friendshipped him at church. It was a really good dinner, and I had a ton of fresh corn. Super tasty! After that we did some stop bys but no one was home or interested, and then did some tracting and met this guy who was way cool. He was working on a big project in his garage and he talked to us for like 15 minutes. We are helping him with remodeling his bathroom morning! Then this lady walked by right when we left his place, and we talked to her for a little bit and shared a Book of Mormon with her. She gave us her address and said we could come back in a week. After that we had a lesson with the Bs and E had read like 3 chapters of the Book of Mormon, so that was awesome. We talked about 2 Nephi 31 and left her to read Alma 7 so we can talk more about the atonement of Jesus Christ next time! night at around F texted us and said her parents had signed her baptism record/form thing so she could get baptized! Elder Meyer and I were literally hugging and jumping around for joy. It was like the "Frolic in the Surf" from Rocky 3 haha. It was such a great way to cap off the week. We are planning on her getting baptized the 19th and then M on the 26th!
I'm so happy to be serving a mission right now! I'm loving the work and it is so hard, but I love the small moments of success we have where it makes it all worth it. It's weird how so many hours of rejection and hard work and sweat and tears all seem to be worth it when someone texts you and says her parents will let her be baptized! I don't know how that works, but it seems to work out somehow. Cool thing from this week was I've been struggling a lot with why I got sent to Sauk Rapids. I've been praying to know that answer a lot, and to see it in the work. I realized this week that M was one of the reasons I got sent here. We've really connected and been able to open up and share our feelings and insights and questions with each other, and we've been able to help him be active and want to prepare to go to the temple and possibly serve a mission! That was such a tender mercy to see that this week in the work. Just be able to see how much he has progressed and increased his faith and testimony. I know this is God's work and nothing will stop it. I know we are led by a Prophet on the earth today, and that this is Christ's church. I know that God lives and loves all of us, and I know the Book of Mormon is true and was brought forth by Joseph Smith in these last days to bless us and bring us "happiness and hope in the travail of the last days." Love you all, and have a great week!
M with the R family.
TRs baptism. He is awesome!
Elder S, Elder B and me flexing.
Me and Elder B.
The Sauk Rapids Sisters wanted to take a selfie. Elder M and I didn't...
Elder C on exchanges.
Me and Elder B flexing our lats.
Me and Elder L.
Trying to help Elder L get his coat on because his lats are so big!
All 4 Type 1 Diabetic in the St. Cloud Zone.