Week 4 8/24/15 - 8/30/15

Week 4 8/24/15 - 8/30/15

Pday again! We went to the church but didn't have a basketball. But someone ended up bringing a soccer ball and we played chair soccer. Fun stuff. We sat and emailed and took online surveys and messed around on a piano. That's about it for pday. 

After pday, we went on exchanges. I'm with Elder Udall, my DL. Super cool guy and a great missionary.

We spent the day biking around. Like all day. Right after we left, the rain hit... Texas rainstorm. Crazy downpour. And we got caught in it. We kept going for a little while on our bikes, but ultimately decided to stop after the road flooded. We pulled off to the side and sought shelter under a couple of trees. After a few minutes, something told us to go to the other side of the street, so we did. We waited under some trees for a few minutes, just trying to wait out the storm. After a few minutes a car pulled up and the lady rolled her window down and asked us what we were doing, so we told her that we were trying to wait out the storm... She told us to follow her to her house and get dry. So we did. We got to her house and she brought out towels and water bottles and everything for us to be comfortable with. Super nice lady. Never got her name though. She told us that we could hang out on her back porch with her dog for the remainder of the storm and so that's what we did. We didn't have anything to write our thanks on cause all of our papers had gotten soaked, everything but one BoM that had somehow managed to stay dry. Go figure. So Elder Udall and I pulled that out and wrote our thanks inside the front cover saying that all our other paper wasn't paper anymore. We also might've added our testimonies and an invitation to read it along with our number saying that if she ever needed anything to give us a call. Honestly goes to show that there really are good people out there. You never know who they are or what walk of life they come from, but no matter what happens if you are out doing the Lords errand, the Lord will watch out for you and take care of you. That's our miracle for the day.

We also realized today that missionary work without the members help is extremely tough, basically impossible. I hope that all yall pray for missionary opportunities everyday with the intent of loving and sharing the Gospel with them. The Lord will provide situations. All you have to do is to recognize an opportunity to do good then have the courage to open you mouth and share you testimony. No one was ever hurt because they were trying to bring someone else to the light and truth that the Gospel brings. If you aren't praying for opportunities to help someone, more often than not you won't get those opportunities. So pray! The missionaries can't effectively do what they're supposed to do without the members! Without the help of the members, missionaries get discouraged, they knock doors all day trying to find someone to teach. David A Bednar said that missionaries are supposed to be full time teachers, not full time finders! Try to help them. Anyway, that's enough preaching.

We were able to contact quite a few people today. It was a good day! We set up appointments for almost everyday this week. We will see how many of them hold up. Today was all about contacting members, investigators, and former investigators to see if any of them have been stuff! Goodnight and sorry that was long, but I had to say it. Not really, but I wanted to.

Today was new missionary training. It's where all the new people come together with their trainers and get taught by President and the APs. It was actually really good! I,was able to learn a lot. The overarching principle that was taught was that our investigators ability to feel the Spirit hinges on our personal worthiness and preparation. As long as we are prepared and worthy to conduct the Spirit, they will feel the Spirit. It doesn't really matter what you say, cause they'll feel the difference about you. 

3 Nephi 7:18 "And it came to pass that they were angry with him, even because he had greater power than they, for it were not possible that they could disbelieve his words, for so great was his faith on the Lord Jesus Christ that angels did minister unto him daily."

This scripture is talking about Nephi's faith and how it was so great that there were none who didn't feel the Spirit about him. Through sheer faith, he was able to make them believe, yet they still had agency of whether or not they wanted to act on that knowledge or not. Faith is amazing!

We had a lesson with a fellow named R. He's completely Cajun and has been coming to the church for a while. He grew up boxing and his entire family also boxed. He's such a cool guy! He's going to cook some Cajun food for us sometime. Tonight was our first lesson with him and when we came and sat down in the living room with us, the first thing he asked is "what do I need to do to be baptized?" My comp and I looked at each other and the surprise on Elder Leftwich's face was priceless! R married the daughter of the first counselor in the mission presidency about 2 months ago and has been wanting to take the discussions ever since. He wants to learn, but he says that there is so much info on Gospel Library that he doesn't know where to start learning! So we pulled out a paper copy of the BoM and gave it to him. Told him to start reading at the very beginning. So yep, he's getting baptized on September 12. 

I woke up today. I can't hear out of my right ear and I hurt all over. I don't even know why! But it isn't too bad, it just another trial that I have to overcome. 

Christopher! The other day I met somebody down here who is 7 but is turning 8 on September 17th! He's your exact same age! 

We spent the afternoon helping one of our neighbors move about a mile down the road. His name is B and he and his wife are both music majors here at Lamar University. Most YSA age people are in college at Lamar right now. So that's what we spent our afternoon doing till about 4. Then we came back and had dinner.

After dinner, we spent a few hours transferring the paper area book onto our iPads. It's a pain and we just found out that it has to be done by this transfer. All the former investigators have to be put into the iPad. Each former takes 10 minutes or so on average, depending on how many times the missionaries taught them before they were dropped. We have to put records of every single visit into the iPad. It's crazy.

While we were sitting doing the area book, we got the feeling that we needed to go out. So we got ready and left. That was about 6:30 or so. We looked at a map and picked a general area to knock doors. We rode our bikes there and finally found a street that felt right. We started knocking doors. As we've been knocking over the last few weeks, the JWs leave their pamphlets on the porch. We've been collecting them. The less Jehovah's Witness stuff out there, the better... My comp calls it Proselyting Warfare. Anyway, the second house we knocked on, a nice older lady came to the door. Her name is R. She looked at us and stepped out onto the porch to talk to us. Come to find out, 14 years ago she had moved to another house. While moving, one of the workers become sick so everybody took him to the hospital. Like EVERYONE. All her boxes were on her lawn and here's this 60 year old woman wondering what the heck she's going to do, cause she needs to be out of the house by that night. Long story short, two missionaries ride past her on bikes, wave to her, and keep riding. But she watches them go down the street, flip a u-turn and come back and ask if she needs help. So 14 years ago, these two missionaries loaded up all of her belongings into the back of the moving truck by themselves and R said that she is forever grateful for those two young boys dressed in white shirts. They stopped, they helped, and changed somebody's life forever. As a result, she started wondering what SHE could do to help people. She's goes to a Baptist church and is a home realtor. So she buys old houses and fixes them up then sells them again. So she knows how to fix windows. (By the way, she is totally still fixing up homes and she's now 68) In her church there's a lot of poor people with run down houses, so she became the Window Lady in Beaumont! She's been fixing up windows of these houses for years and so many people know that she's the Window Lady who fixed their windows! Super cool lady. And this came as a side result of two missionaries stopping by to help. That's all. You never know how much good you can do in the world. Because of these two missionaries 14 years ago, we were able to have a lesson with her. Because of these two missionaries, countless people and families have had their windows fixed. Follow every prompting. Every single one.

Woke up with a full blown cold today. I don't know what it is, but I've got a sore throat, stuffy nose, runny nose, I hurt all over, and have half a voice. And I can't hear out of my right ear. Good thing my job has benefits like eternal life and exaltation! And compassion, and a bettering of myself, and a better understanding of the Savior's love for everybody and why He did what He did for us. Good thing this job has awesome benefits like having Angels watch out for me, a loving Father who I can turn to with anything, a power that enables us to do anything, the power to heal, awesome people who love everything that we as missionaries are doing, not to mention the miracles that happen every single day! Oh and did I mention the fire insurance at the last days for only 10% of my $$$ and 100% of my ego? Yep this job is pretty great:) I love it!

We've spent all afternoon contacting and teaching lessons. We met an awesome guy! He's a WWII vet. Go figure. He's 92 and his name is T. He was a mechanic on a B-24 and he has some awesome stories! Definitely the highlight of the day. His family is consisted of Mormons. His granddaughter is on a mission in California and she's the one that sent to referral in to us. We called him and he was wondering how we got his number... I tried explaining it to him for a few minutes then handed the phone to my companion. After he was profoundly confused like I was, he told T that we were going to show up at his door in about a half hour. T said that was ok. So we did and half an hour later we knocked on his door. He let us in and he was a completely different guy than the guy we talked to on the phone. At least we thought he was. But it was the same guy! We talked to him, sorry, listened to stories, for an hour or so. There were some really interesting and cool stories! He is the sweetest, kindest, guy! After we left, we were sitting in the car and he comes walking out and starts mowing the lawn. Remember, he's 92... Can't hardly walk to the mower and it took him a few tries to get up onto the riding mower, but he did! He told us he goes to the gym 3 times a week. Last week he was in a car accident and ruined his favorite car. He's 92. And still driving. But he has to have glasses...:) definitely one of my heroes here in Beaumont.

Church was good! R, the Cajun, was there with his entire family and they thoroughly enjoyed it! T, the Vivent guy, wasn't there:( we got a text from him later in the afternoon saying that he didn't want to rush into baptism and he cancelled our lesson for this evening. Kind of a bummer. But he's coming back to Utah and going to Weber State! He says he's going to continue with the lessons and get baptized up there. So that's a good thing!

We went out biking about 3:00. We started talking to this kid, about 20 yrs old, in this kind of ghetto neighborhood right? His friends start coming out of the house and we start talking to them. After a few minutes, a car pulls up and these kids all hop in the back seat. The exchange of $$$ takes place... Anyway, my comp and I look at each other and realize that we are talking to these kids while their friends are getting drugs. Crazy. So Mom, that my first drug deal! I promise it's only the first and not everything down here is too crazy. Speaking of crazy, there are more fire trucks, ambulances, and police here that I've seen, than any other place. Every 10 minutes, I kid you not, the sirens come down the street. Without fail.

Well we just went to a mission call opening for one of our YSA friends named I. I is from the Philippines and is going to be a stud missionary. One of those that just knows everything is true and will convert everyone he sees, just cause they are around him. Anyway, he's going to Hong Kong. He's pretty stoked about it. So yep. That's my week. Oh and we are out of food and $$$ and just found out that our cards probably won't be reloaded before this pday... We are getting creative with top ramen;)

-Elder Allen

Ps. I actually got money, so I'm good.

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