Monday, July 27, 2015

Some Real Wacked Out Things Happened This Week

Elder King and the Bearded Dragon

It has been a great week and the rains finally came down in Washougal for the first time in about a month and a half.  Elder Johansen got his first rain drops this week... what a precious moment for my son.  Some real wacked out things happened this week.  Trying to remember them is perhaps even wackier.  Tuesday we had somewhere around 5 lessons scheduled and all 5 fell through.  So, it was one of those times where we had to be like the British in WWII and be real creative.  We ended up finding about 3 new investigators that day!  The Lord has his ways.   Let me tell you the tale of James Simmons.   James Simmons has been investigating the church for approximately WAY TOO LONG,  and has made little to no progress towards baptism...  We both fasted and prayed about him pretty much all month long and we decided to go visit James the other day only to find out he has had "a feeling that he must come to church this Sunday and he has felt a great feeling being around us lately". James also had a few dreams for us to interpret.  James likes it when we call him at night while we are planning just to have a little chat and to get him excited about coming to church and so forth.... but James can barely hear.  Not quite sure what things he actually understands in our conversations during nightly planning but apparently he feels the spirit Via phone conversation.  Then, James walked around at "Camas Days" on Saturday and was too sore for church Sunday.... so that’s the tale of James Simmons, the man who has been investigating the church WAY TOO LONG.  A Born Again Christian man came up  to me and I started sneaking Mormon words into the conversation and this came to that and he then asked me "Can I pray over you?"  I accepted... then he grasped my hand and started praying fervently while pushing my hand back towards my heart (I was resisting this) and when he finished his prayer he said no words but walked off very swiftly....  This experience really hasn't changed my life in any shape or form.   I hope that experience brightens your day.  We also taught a young lady at her doorstep for about 30 minutes and she was reluctant to hear more but we have been doing something new lately.  Every person who is reluctant to hear more we ask them if we can say a prayer with them on the doorstep and just ask to bless them and we did this with this young lady and after the prayer she decided she would like to learn more... but it would come with a trade.  So we gave her a BOM and some chapters to read and she gave us "Kingdom of the Cults" a wholesome book full of negative comments about the LDS faith.   So, until we  got back to our car we were carrying Kingdom of the Cults while walking around downtown CamasJ  Elder Johansen and I have done our best to let the Lord take over our planning, finding and teaching this week.  I usually stress about everything that happens from the price of whole wheat bread loaves to whom we will go see the next day... & it was the best week we have ever had.  We taught A LOT of lessons and two investigators showed up at church.  One investigator that has been trying to get us to leave the Mormon church... just waltzed right in and started hugging most of the congregation after sacrament meeting.  I really have been learning it is OKAY to have to rely on someone else... It is OKAY to let someone else help me every second of every day.  I actually NEED the Lord’s help every second of every day.  & what wonderful things he will do in our lives if we call upon him.  I was even able to hold a Bearded Dragon this week.  WHAT. A. BLESSING.  Little rascal tried to take a chunk out of my phalanges. Every week seems to be a good week in Vancouver Washington and that is because the church is true... what the heck else matters.  

Monday, July 20, 2015

Birthday Week in Washougal!

Celebrating My Birthday
Greetings from WASHOUGAL!  Now let me tell you a little about this past week.  First thing first, and most importantly, it was my birthday.  I dined on fresh cod and taught the word of God to a lady with a parrot.  I could not have asked for a better day of birth.  Elder Johansen and I have been teaching a lot of lessons each week and really enjoying this area.  The free Wi-fi at McDonald's has become our best friend.  After a hard days work, nothings sounds better than a diet Coke and some AC at McDonald's.  This week we taught James Simmons twice.  James is a man of few words because he can't really hear.  We can't meet in his house either because his wife dislikes us.  Therefore, we have our lessons gathered under an oak tree beside his dwelling.  Which happens to be next to the freeway..If you are connecting the dots right now you are picturing a lesson where we are standing VERY CLOSE to one another and talking VERY LOUDLY and sweating profusely.  The lessons typically go well and James likes us to decipher his dreams.  He is quite prophetic.  He recommended us to his neighbors Moses and Dezi...who turned out to be Frank and Maggie when we knocked on the door!  So...anyway we started talking about the pros and cons of only having a Safeway shopping center around and this came to that...and they invited us back the next day.  This week we were also able to attend the Pioneer Day Vancouver East Stake Celebration and the Parker's Landing Ward pathetically lost in the tug of war contest.  Didn't even make it past the first round.  But there was tons of soda and a booth set up talking about pioneer history so I had a great time.  They were even playing Keith Urban on the speakers (not that I was listening)  BUT THE BEST THING THAT HAPPENED THIS WEEK WAS THAT MATT BAHR FROM MY LAST AREA WAS BAPTIZED AND I GOT TO GIVE A TALK ON THE HOLY GHOST AND BE THERE FOR IT!  Matt was more ready than you could ever imagine.  I will probably be friends with Matt forever and we will watch WWII documentaries sometime down the road.  It has been an excellent week and I have learned so much about VIRTUOUS thoughts.  I have truly had humbling experiences this week.  Remember always that we are all the same in the eyes of the Lord.  No matter who you are or where you are from.  Love you and merry Pioneer Day. 

Matt's Baptism

Monday, July 13, 2015

Washougal Wonderland

East Vancouver Stake missionaries hiking to Ape Caves

Greetings from Washougal WA!  This last week has been an excellent one.  We even put someone on date for baptism.  Taylor Howard will be entering the waters of the straight and narrow on August 29th.  We taught a lesson to 16 people at once.  We disobeyed traffic rules.  Someone vomited on our car & we had another lunch outing with one of the mission presidency.  Let’s start with the best and most spiritual story first... We had a lesson with the Schubaugh brothers on the priesthood and it was just great.  Real nice, spiritual, even a little tears were shed.  SO, YOU KNOW... we are feeling GREAT walking out to the car to conclude the evening.  I opened the door to my car while pondering upon the things that happened in the lesson, but it smells rather gross.  Someone decided to vomit on the car windshield while we were attempting to bring others close to Christ.  What fools.  Not much time to email today because we got to hike to Ape Caves today.  Pretty awesome!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Welcome to Washougal!

Elder King and Elder Johanson admiring the Mission Pres' car

HAPPY 4TH of July to everyone in the lands round about.  I hope you pondered about life, freedom, cheeseburgers, coca cola & McDonalds this 4th of July.  My wishes are that nobody lit any homes on fire or firecrackers in any mailboxes.  A missionaries 4th of July is a special day.... because our curfew gets extended UNTIL 11.   It was wild, I tell ya.  We were sitting on an overlook of luxurious downtown
Washougal until 10:30 & our wild side was just coming out throwing snaps every which direction.  You would have thought it was Christmas morn.  We actually had a great week besides all the 4th of July foolery.  One of the members of the mission presidency lives in our area and wanted to take us out to lunch and give us some words of advice about this area.  So, we ate some burgers and oreo shakes and became enlightened.  I gain more and more a testimony of modern day prophets and the power of the priesthood as I listen to the mission presidency here in the WVM.  These men truly are inspired of God.  Tuesday
morning we had a trainer/trainee meeting which lasted the majority of the day.  During which my allergies went crazy.  My head felt similar to a bottle of Pepsi that had rolled down Mt St Helens.  All the rest of the day we attempted to contact people and at the end of the day we felt very discouraged because basically nobody was home.  We felt like we HAD to go across the street and knock on this humble little abode.  As we did, a woman opened the door who explained she had been talking about "Mormons" for most of the morning and it is funny that we show up at her house now. I certainly believe Heavenly Father is not only converting many others out here in the world, but he is converting his missionaries every step of the way also.  Thursday we had a lunch lesson with Brother Cox @ Taco Bell.  Just a win-win situation there.... the spirit is unrestrained within the walls of Taco Bell.  After this, we began to knock doors and to find the elect.  When 8:55 rolled around we were spent... but this last house just looked too good to pass... SO WE KNOCKED.  Found a new investigator after a long & engaging conversation about life. Church has been changed to 8:00 AM over here in Washougal so we rise early on Sundays... after we stayed up late on the 4th.... not the best idea we ever had.  But this week has been really excellent.  The work is really moving along here in Washougal & I see the Lord’s hand in every aspect.  This is his work.  He is so present in my life I sometimes can't believe it.  He even gives me the strength to fast all day until dinner @ 6:30.... which is difficult.  I gotta get some grub in me or else I get grumpy.  I love you all.  Merry independence day.