Hello to all my family, friends, and coaches back home, at school, and serving around the world! Hope this finds you doing well and enjoying this beautiful fall weather. It's been in the 50's and 60's this whole week in Sauk Rapids and I love it!
Last Monday we had the transfer board come out, and as you know, Elder M and I are staying for our third transfer together here in Sauk Rapids. We did travel plans later in the afternoon after an insane thunderstorm and hailstorm. After that it cleared up and we went to dinner at the O's. It was their daughter's fifth birthday so they had a bunch of her friends over, too! Brother O was telling us all these way funny stories from his mission in LA, California. He's a funny guy. After that we knocked some doors and then had a lesson with LJ. He had read 7 chapters from the children's Book of Mormon we had given him, so that was awesome! We are going to start teaching him twice a week to be able to cover everything we need to and to help him retain what's being learned and apply it a little better. We still haven't had any luck getting him to church but hopefully this week will be better.
morning we planned out a presentation we had been asked to do by Brother C for mutual for the YM. He wanted us to talk about how the YM can share the gospel with friends at school and on social media, so we got our lesson all ready for them.After that we went to campus and had a lesson with G. He is a Korean dude in our ward that is a YSA. We are trying to help him get the Melchizedek Priesthood, but he feels like he isn't ready yet. Not sure why, but we are helping him work towards it! Anyway, he checked out a room in the library for us to meet in. As we were having our lesson, the "library cops/mall monitors" show up and tell us we can't meet in the library because we are having a religious meeting. We told them that he is a member of our church and he's a student so he checked out the room and we aren't technically "proselyting". So they let us finish our lesson and then told us to come talk to them after. So we go over to their building and they told us we couldn't proselyte on campus because it was against the law (which it isn't). So they told us to go over to this other building and talk to some other guy about it, and I was a little fed up at this point because no one had a straight answer as to what we could do and couldn't do. So we go over to the Atwood building to talk to the dude in charge of "Free Speech" stuff on campus. He told us we can walk around and talk to anyone we want, and there's nothing that says we can't. He said if we do lessons with people to do them in the Atwood building because that's where that stuff is allowed on campus. So thankfully, he was a good guy and was like, "Yeah, there's nothing those "cop guys" can do. You can talk to anyone wherever on campus." So that's good now. After that we were sick of being on campus so we did some stop bys and no one was home unfortunately. was a rough day haha. Then we knocked doors for two hours and literally no one talked to us. We talked to 2 people and neither of them were interested haha. So it was one of those days for sure, but we worked hard all day, and even though nothing happened, we did our best! After dinner we went to institute and that was super good! Brother B had some insight from his mission that he shared with everyone: "As missionaries, you are called to invite people to repent and turn towards the Savior. As you are courageous and talk to everyone, even if they don't get baptized or accept the gospel, if you can do something that will make them focus on Christ more or change one little thing in their life to be better, then you are fulfilling your call. If you can help people make those changes little by little over time, eventually, they will want to make the big change and get baptized and follow Christ." That really hit me that even if people don't want to hear this message, we should still leave them something to read and ponder or just help them in any way to focus more on the Savior. As we do that, and as other missionaries do that over time, they will make baby steps to repent. So it made me want to be better at just helping everyone we talk to want to change something or just think, "Maybe I should read the BOM or pray today or serve someone." Because as people do that, they are repenting! Pretty cool!
was another kind of slow day, but it ended on a good note! We mowed C's lawn for her in the morning and Elder M talked to her while I mowed. They talked about tithing and a bunch of random stuff in the church, but at the end when I got done mowing, Elder M was like, "She said every time we come over she gets more and more interested in the church. She reads more, she has more questions and she is definitely feeling the spirit more!" She said she wants to come to church but is super busy right now with work and some illnesses she is taking care of. We will continue to do service for her and help her progress. She took a Book of Mormon and said she would read it, so that's great! We went to campus and did some more contacting after that. Contacting for me is really hard. I don't know why, I'm just not good at naturally talking to people and then tying it in to the gospel. I've gotten better, but it's hard with college students especially. We didn't find anyone solid but gave away some pamphlets and cards and stuff, so it was good! After that we stopped by M's to see if he was around since we've had no contact with him for like a month. He wasn't home, but his mom was, and we talked to her for like 10 minutes. She's really nice and she told us he is working night shifts at work now. Not sure why? But she said she'd tell him we stopped by and all that, so maybe we can start teaching his family. After that we knocked doors for about 2 hours in Sartell. The street we picked was right by the high school and they had football practice going on. I got a little trunky when we drove by, haha cuz I'm so excited for football next year! Once we get going knocking doors though, I love it! We met some nice people and no one was super interested until the last house we knocked on. This Hispanic lady opened the door and we started talking to her a little bit and she told us she also knocks doors for her church, too. So we realized that she as a Jehovah's Witness and she started telling us all these reasons the Book of Mormon wasn't true. We sat and listened to her for like 20 minutes, and then we just taught a really simple restoration lesson and bore our testimonies. She still wasn't really listening but we listened to her and did what we could to invite the spirit. I hope some day she will recognize it and realize that the Book of Mormon is true and that this is Christ's church on the earth. But it just wasn't her time when we knocked on her door! After that we had dinner at our place and then went to mutual to talk to the YM about sharing the gospel. It was really fun! We did some roll plays and read some of Preach My Gospel chapter 5, and taught them how to use the Book of Mormon to respond to objections about the church. We also talked a little about Facebook and how to use social media to reach out to friends and family to share the gospel! It was really fun and we had a good time.
we accounted with the Alexandria district in the morning. So the Elders left their keys, iPads and bags in the church and then accidentally locked themselves out of the church. So when we called them they were walking like 3 miles to their ward mission leader's house to get keys. So that was pretty funny haha. After that we had a lesson with K and her sister on campus. She is an investigator that Elders M and N found like right before I got here. We texted her to see if she wanted to meet and she said sure and asked if her sister could come too, so we were like, "Heck yeah!" She had a page of questions from her world religions class she was taking, so we went over all of those. We originally were going to teach the Plan of Salvation to them, but she had all these questions, so we answered them. At the very end, her sister was like, "So what's the purpose of life?" So we ended up getting to share a little of it with them and gave her a Plan of Salvation pamphlet! It was cool how it worked out that we still ended up getting to share that with them.After that we did service at the humane society and we got to clean up and tape labels on "poop buckets". So that was an adventure for sure, but luckily they weren't too messy when we started so nothing bad happened to us haha. After that we went and knocked some doors on this little street in Sartell we found last week and felt we should go knock. So we knocked the whole street and we only found one guy, but he seems pretty solid! His name is M, (I know, ironic ) and he said his family is Catholic but haven't been practicing for the last few years because of some issues they had with the church. We talked about the Book of Mormon and how God had restored His original church to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith, and M thought that was super interesting. He took a Book of Mormon and said he'd read it and we could come back and talk more to him. He's like, "I can give you an hour to talk. Is that too much time?" We were like, no that's great! We'd love to talk for an hour haha. After that we had dinner with the S family. They are a part member family, and it was great to have dinner with them. D isn't a member, but he is a great guy. He was in the army for like 28 years and is retired and works at the Foley High School weight room now. He's a big dude.We talked about all his adventures in the army and I talked to their son a lot about football because he is in 8th grade and just started playing. So we looked at some of their plays and talked about his position and all that good stuff. He's really excited to play so that's sweet!After that we had a lesson in Foley with a less active named SZ. She got baptized like a year ago in the Princeton ward and moved into our ward a few months ago. Her husband isn't a member and is always out hunting or fishing so she's home a lot with their 4 month old and big old dog haha. She's really cool and has a great testimony of the gospel. I'm not sure why she doesn't come to church, but we are getting the Relief Society involved to help her out and get her some fellowship! She is a florist, so we talked about how she got into that and she showed us her portfolio of flower stuff and it was pretty cool! After that we had to go to stake council meeting to talk about how each ward is helping the missionaries and the work progress and what we can work on as a stake to improve. It was good, and I feel like President B is really pushing to hasten the work in the St. Cloud zone right now, so I love it.
morning we did accounting and then did weekly planning. That was decent as usual haha. We had a lesson set up at with C that we found on campus last week! We taught her the full restoration lesson and it was super weird because the whole time she kept talking about the people that were being affected by the hurricanes and if it was God's doing or just nature taking its course. So we got to talk about signs of the times a little bit and how it says in the Bible and Book of Mormon that there will be great natural disasters at the last days. Anyway, it was a good lesson and she said she felt a lot of peace and happiness after meeting with us. She hadn't read the Book of Moron at all, but she said she's been really busy and will have more time this weekend to read. After that we drove up to Rice and knocked some doors until we had a lesson at with Sister D and her kids. Brother C drove us out, so that was great! While we were planning our lesson for them, we originally were going to teach the Plan of Salvation, but when we were driving up to Rice,, I had the thought to read in Alma about the Stripling Warriors and talk about their characteristics. So that's what we did! And it just so happens that it was Luke's favorite story and his favorite song is "Army of Helaman" so it ended up being a really good lesson with them! After we read the story in Alma we sang all 3 verses of the song with them and it was awesome. The spirit was super strong. After that it was time for us to head home because they live about 30 minutes from our place and we still had to drive back to Rice. It was a good day!
morning we helped Brother H some more with his siding, and we mostly did insulation and got all that squared away for the siding to go on. After that Sister H called us and asked if we could come over and help her tear down her shed, so we did that really quick, and by that point it was like We had a lesson with F at so we hustled home and got showered and changed and went to the church. We sat there for like 10 minutes and called F and she didn't answer, so we were getting a little worried. Then she called us and was like, "Ah! I'm so sorry I was taking a nap and my alarm didn't go off!" So we ended up just doing a Facebook video chat thing for the lesson. It was really good and worked out super good! We read 2 Nephi 31 and talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ and how we can still live it by continually having faith unto repentance and then partaking of the sacrament each week after we are baptized and receive the Holy Ghost! It was a good lesson and after we had some fun doing the filters on the video chat. After that we had a lesson with Sister K. She's been going through a tough time with work and D has been a handful for her. We shared "Mountains to Climb" Mormon message by Elder Eyring. It's one of my favorites and I love it. It hits you right in the feels haha. After that we knocked some doors in Sauk Rapids and had some great gospel discussions with some people! We knocked on this one dude's house and he said they were moving. We offered some service, but he declined. Then we knocked on his next door neighbor's house and ended up having a 30 minute chat with his neighbor. His neighbor was an atheist. I don't think he was, he just didn't know what he was looking for in life! He told us why he felt like that and how he wanted to believe in a God, but he just needed some hard physical evidence. We gave him a Book of Mormon, 2 pamphlets and invited him to read them and pray to know if they were true and if God was really there. As we were talking to him, the neighbor we offered service to originally came over and asked if we could actually help him haha. So we went over and helped him move like 50 boxes out of his house and into his garage. He and his wife were so happy we helped and took a picture of us to share with family haha. They were offering us donuts and all kinds of stuff and were so glad we helped. It was pretty cool! After that we had our coordination meeting with Brother C and called it a night! Even though numbers wise we did like nothing that day, we served a lot of people and had some really good gospel discussions.
morning we finished weekly planning and then had Ward Council. Brother C kind of got on the Priesthood auxiliaries for never joint teaching with us and not visiting part member families and prospective Elders. We've had 2 people joint teach with us in the last month - Brother C and Brother P, so we are trying to get some new people out. After that we had church and it was great. We had 4 investigators there. DS came, J brought his sister to church, and since T spoke in church, the Ss brought some non member friends to support him! So it was pretty sweet! After church we drove up to this little town called St. Stephen, which is way out west of Rice. We knocked doors for like an hour and half and gave away 5 Books of Mormon and found 2 new investigators. It was awesome! This one door we knocked on this older dude came out and was like, "You can leave right now!" And slammed the door. Then as we are walking away, he opens it again and says, "I'm a military veteran. I don't agree with your beliefs!" I was like, "We just believe in Jesus Christ." But he had slammed the door before he heard me. Elder M told me he thought we were Jehovah's Witnesses because they don't believe in going to war. Anyway, Elder M thought my response was pretty funny. I don't know why, but he got a good kick out of it! After that we had dinner with the Bs. I love dinners there because they always have a ton of fruit and veggies that are super good! So I had like 3 plates of fruit and salad haha. After that we had a lesson with the Bs. T was vaping the whole time were were there, and I was just like, "T, what the heck are you doing with your life?" They all know what they need to do, they just don't do it! It's sad and frustrating, but you just gotta love them and keep helping them make the right choices. After that we did numbers and called it a night!
This week flew by! Time is going so fast. I hit 15 months in like a week and half, so that's pretty crazy to think about. I don't have a super cool learning experience or anything this week, but please friend me on Facebook to see posts from my mission and parts of my testimony of the gospel I will be sharing! Congrats to Colton and Brianne. I can't believe you are getting married, that is so awesome! I'm so happy for you guys! Also, happy birthday to my aunt Chris today! Thanks for all you've done for me and all the love and support! Hope it's a good one.I love you all, have a great week, cherish each moment and give it everything you've got in whatever you are doing. Live in the moment and never have regrets. Until next week!
When the Sisters want to do pictures, but you and your companion don't...
A family of ducks we drove by.
Elder M trying out a different bike...
Elder M with the Poseidon statue.
Fall is in the air!