Monday, June 27, 2016

M.O.M. (Mother Of all Miracles)

This week has been fantastic and it was capped off with some diet dew delight.  The miracle, it was literally the "MOM" MOTHER OF ALL MIRACLES.  Elder Matthews & I went on two exchanges this week and on one of the exchanges a kind young lady attempted to sell me drugs.  She mingled the sales tactics with the gospel, but I wasn't buyin any of it.  She could not fool me.  Let's start with the MOM this week.  Yesterday after dinner Elder Matthews & I went down to our favorite apartment complex for some Sunday evening family finding.  We had a family in mind to go see first thing.  As we knocked, we were quickly denied.  A second door... Denied!  But a third door... Proved to be success.  We had planned to visit a new move in on our ward directory at apartment 10.  Along the way to this apartment, we spoke with a kind lady that was going through a hard time, a death in the family, and she was looking for some comfort.  She accepted a pamphlet and told us she lived in apartment 14.  Onward ever onward to apartment 10.  We looked down at our ward map, and that’s when we realized our reading comprehension had faltered. The apartment we were really looking for was number 14.  We had just talked to the lady we were looking for!  Around the corner we bolted back to apartment 14 where we met this kind lady’s mother.  Yes, her mother was traveling down north to visit her daughter and you will never believe what her mother said to us.  She did not comment on our dashing good-looks... nor our classy Target dress slacks.... but she told us after 15 years of inactivity she was ready to come back.  Seeing us that night confirmed that she needs to come back and she will be at all the lessons we teach her daughters family to see them happily back to activity in the church too.  She lived 45 minutes away... And she happened to be dropping  off some of the grandkids the minute we walked by.  This kind lady living in apartment 14 has 6 kids (all of them over the age of 8 –Yah!)  What a bounteous blessing, indeed the Lord is good to us.  Okay, now let's talk about the exchange I had where I was sold cannabis ( or the attempted selling of cannabis to a stalwart warrior named Elder King).  We went late evening finding / hunting for some of the elect of God and found a wonderful family.  The mother came out to speak with us about her faith in Christ and the conversation was happy.  After 5 minutes she invited us to attend a session of her services which consist of "smoking a joint" and praising Christ via Christian Rock music.  I denied such a gracious invitation, but I was told the spirit is in greater abundance when you are under the influence. I tell you this story for a specific reason! Not to mock this lady!  Not to tear her beliefs down!  As we talked, we promised her the Lord would bless her even greater and she would feel peace & freedom if she stopped smoking cannabis to keep the commandment of the Word of Wisdom.  She agreed that we were probably right.  After we left we counseled about that particular visit.  We wanted to make sure we didn't tear her down and as we counseled the spirit whispered "I'm proud of you two". Sometimes putting others in an awkward and uncomfortable situation is for the greater good.  This week we also had a splits miracle with a member!  We took Bro Porter out from our ward.  He served his mission in Brazil and speaks fluent Portugese.  Our 7 o'clock appointment fell through, which caused us some grief but we figured something better must be in store.  We took him on a journey of door knocking to find some elect to teach.  Three doors into the expedition we knocked on the door of a fella displaying a Brazilian flag in his home ;). Pretty soon we had a return appointment and a burning in the bosom.  Today we are going to have a picnic by a beautiful lake.  We may stare at the lake and wish we could jump in.  We may even day dream of swimming to find the Loch Ness Monster.  We received some very sad news today.  Brother Lambert, who just returned home from serving as a missionary couple in our mission passed away.  Can't believe he is gone.  Sending love to comfort Sister Lambert at this time.  He was a 1 in a million, and he had such an amazing impact on my life.  I'll always remember you Bro. Lambert.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Cajun Comedy

Pres. Taylor's farewell feast.

What a good week in the Couve.  I will explain the subject of the email later.  But this week was fantastic and the weather has been cool over here therefore we don't have sweaty forehead as much.  Elder Matthews & I had some pretty cool experiences this week.  5 appointments cancelled, but 5 new investigators we found!  Okay, cool miracle number one could probably be the day when 5 appointments cancelled.  We planned the day of a lifetime. I'm not kidding we had it all lined up to teach all day and have members with us at every lesson.  By 11 o'clock all 5 had cancelled and two of them even said they never wanted to meet with us again. I'll be honest, sometimes I wonder what the heck is going on.... But then the spirit whispered to us "all things have been done in the wisdom of Him who knoweth all things". We hit the streets after that WHISPERING. We met with the coolest family.  At least 10 of the relatives of this family joined the LDS church.   They had even met with missionaries before we found them!  They had some problems with the last elders and we specifically did not do any of the things they did not like about the other elders, and before you know it the Lord gave us a wonderful family to work with.  They even said I look like the guy from Princess Bride.  (Okay they didn't say that but I kinda think I do when I have a mustache).  Okay, next miracle / story.  Not really miracle actually but really funny.  I was on exchanges with Elder Munger in the next ward over and we went to visit one of his favorite investigators, Claude.  Claude is one of the greatest human beings I have ever met.  When he first saw me he looked at me up and down... And then said "OHHH BOY YOU NASTY”!  Then he asked me how many wives I had.  I then got the grand tour of his trailer house and learned about all his family from down in Louisiana. He shook my hand a little less than 34 times.  He was Louisiana’s finest in eastern Vancouver.  If we're being honest... I drank a lot of soda yesterday.  It was Father's Day and some wonderful members had us over to a supply of endless diet drinks.  It was a good Father's Day, but not really good to knock on people's doors.  I will tell you of another miracle.  Yesterday we had a lesson with a returning less active member, and every week we choose a conference talk and then the next week he chooses one that we listen to.  He chose one this week that I NEEDED TO HEAR.  You may think most of your mission you will be helping others progress, but by helping others you end up helping yourself.  This talk soothed my very soul similar to aloe vera on a sunburn.  The essence of the talk was "grow up & let things go". You will be happier and feel the spirit and you don't need a complex gospel relayed formula to get over things that make you worry or frustrated.  Like a light switch,  you can simply decide to let things go.  Some things require deeper and more of the atonement, but right now I speak of anxieties, grudges and petty surface blocks.  REMOVE THEM.  The day gets a lot better.  It's what the Savior did.  He forgave.  He was happy.  The church is true.   Have a great week.  I learned how to make pancakes with packets of oatmeal.  Delicious!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Basketball and Bowling

Sorry about the lame, short email, but I am just really enjoying basketball today and we went bowling so currently my right fingers are sore from the lumpiness of my fingers not really fitting in any of the balls less than 92,940 pounds. Yeah almost have nothing to do with missionary work or really anything spiritual.  A family made us Wingers wings as a special treat and another family had a Star Wars sign and named their kids Luke & Leia.  Almost as cool as Strider.  That is what I will name my firstborn in the wilderness.  I will tell you one miracle!!! We were having a day when all our lessons cancelled and we really didn't know what to do... So naturally we prayed!! We went working and following our promptings and nothing happened... No luck.  We went to two more doors... No luck.   We saw a lady walking right around the corner and ran over to catch her just before she went inside and she said she wasn't interested and happy in her faith.  We felt just to ask her "what makes you happy?" & then "if you could ask God any question what would you ask him?"  Pretty soon we had a new investigator!  Really cool and after that we had some energizer bunny in our bones.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Smoked Servants of the Lord

Saying good-bye to Brother Lambert (senior missionary and my favorite!)

This week has been real warm here in Vancouver. Not even the tree coverage could stop the blazing heat.  We were smoked by mid week with farmers tans, sun burnt foreheads and sweaty collars.  The coolest thing about 100 degree weather... Is that missionary work can never be halted.  We had a fantastic week of miracles.  Okay let's talk way cool miracles.  Yesterday we were trying our best
to find people to teach and a less active member offered us water & started to say diet... Then stopped himself because he assumed we did not drink soda.  I piped up "I LOVE DIET" and got a free Diet Pepsi to help my proselyting.  A few minutes later we got out of the car to take a visit to an investigator and two kids were walking by.  We approached them to preach gospely stuff with them and I realized the very same kid was investigating the church while I was in the YSA.  He since then broke up with the member he was dating and moved on... The Lord sent him right to us and he said he would begin reading the Book of Mormon again because he needed something to help get his life back on track.  He even read the BOM with us while we talked in the 85 degree weather standing in the street.  We have been experiencing trouble trying to visit a less  active member of our ward for about 6 weeks now... And we finally grew a brain and decided to just send her a text instead of dropping by 6 times a week and never catching her home.  She accepted a visit the next day and we found out she needs the missionaries and would like to meet with us once a week to take the lessons over again.  I wish I had a bigger brain.  Some missionaries invited us to come help a member of their ward move on Saturday.  We laced the converse up and headed over to help and got the news the move wasn't happening that day.  All 4 of us felt inspired to pray and find others that needed service.  We prayed and started walking to find a nice family hosting a garage sale next door. They seemed to be really excited that we offer door to door service for free. We sensed an opportunity to teach the lessons to a family with softened hearts! Next thing you know we found a new investigator.  We then walked down the street to another member of the church that needed some serious WEEDING.  Farmers tan enhanced and got to use garden tilling weaponry,  what a good day.  My favorite senior missionary got released this week. What a sad day to lose Elder Lambert.  Sometimes I would prefer a senior companion (don't tell Elder Matthews lol). Elder Lambert was  A Washington Vancouver missionary legend to say the least.  We took an honorary selfie (or so he thought it was called a selfie) right before he left. President Taylor leaves at the end of this transfer too.  I THOUGHT LEAVING HOME WAS KINDA HARD?!  The whole mission presidency will be changed next month!  Sad to see them go... But here's a cool thing... The missionary work still goes on!  Heat, rain, loss of favorite senior missionary's... Nothing frustrates the work of the Lord.  Overall it's been a great week and I figured out how to make delicious smoothies in the morning.