Monday, October 26, 2015

Food Poisoning

Good morning everybody! This week has been going pretty good. Monday after about 6 I started throwing up and was up till 3 am throwing up 2-4 times an hour so I had to stay in Monday and Tuesday to rest and recover which stinks. I wanted to be out working but I could barely walk up a flight of stairs without passing out, but I was able to get out and work Wednesday which was great! :)

So for our investigator on date!!! Rylee Fanning is a 10 year old girl whose mom is a less active member who is starting to return and wants her daughter to learn more. So we started teaching Rylee last week and had a lesson yesterday at a members house (Jones's) which was so much fun and so spiritual! We were able to commit her to read 5 chapters of the Book of Mormon with her Mom for next time and she is on date for baptism on her birthday which is Nov 27! So exciting! :) Her mom was in tears remembering her baptism and thinking of her daughter being baptized. It was so cool. :) We had a fun time relieving a little bit of Rylee's fear of baptism by demonstrating a baptism with power rangers in a bowl of water and imitation baptizing Elder Searle. It was a lot of fun! :D

So every week we make goals for the week and currently our goals are something like baptisms and confirmations (0), investigators with a baptismal dates and baptismal extensions (6/14), investigators who attend sacrament meeting (8), investigators with a member present or member in home lessons (7/2), Member and other lessons (5/11), progressing investigators (8), and referrals received and contacted (4/4), new investigators (5) and lessons taught to less actives and church tours (5/1).  These are an example of kind of what we shoot for every week with goals. They vary and whatnot but that's a good week if we can hit those goals. Usually if we hit a goal for 2 weeks in a row we raise it by 1 or 2 and have done pretty good and have raised a couple this transfer because of the grace of God. It's a lot of fun being able to see progress in yourself and others as you always strive to work harder. :)

Oh! And the Jones' are so awesome! They are a great family and are helping so much with a  couple investigators, especially Rylee. :) Also with Jaine and Skylar. So Jaine has had a very rough past. All 3 kids are in different families now and 1 has tried to kill a couple people before and was hooked on different sorts of drugs and he is a less active that is 19 that we work with. He needs help. But their Dad was severely mentally, emotionally, sexually, and physically abusive for years. Now Jaine chooses to be mute, by choice, so teaching her can be a challenge at times. She usually has her sister, Skylar , to help speak for her (Jaine speaks to a few people). But she is an awesome girl, oh and she's 16 and living in a good home now. We are having a family home evening with her family tomorrow which will be good .:)

Our other investigator, Tyler, is having a rough time. His girlfriend, of like 3 years, broke up with him and cheated on him. So now he is getting kicked out of the house cuz he can't pay enough for it (Girlfriends parents house=discount) Then he just lost his job and got his licence suspended for some reason I heard. So he has to move this week and we will see what happens there, but we have a lesson Wednesday so that will be good :) Have a good week y'all.
Demonstrating baptism to Rylee

Dinner with ribs at the Anderson's

Teaching Rylee

Monday, October 19, 2015

Baptism Date Set
This Wednesday we had the privilege, as a Muncie Zone, to be able to go and do an endowment session in the new Indianapolis, Indiana temple, which is gorgeous! It was such a spiritual and great experience. Temples are so great! It was about a 1 hour drive from where we are located so its no too far. It was well worth it. We went with the other Elwood missionaries and the Crowders who are legit! They are such a cool couple. Love em. :)
Then last Monday we got to go to the worlds biggest ball of paint in Alexandria, Indiana and paint a coat on to the ball, therefore helping break the world record on the biggest ball of paint. It was sick! It started out as a baseball and now weighs almost 5000 lbs. That's insanity!
This week was pretty great for missionary work though. We had a huge fast as a whole mission and it works! ;) Miracles everywhere! :D So one of our new investigators, Tyler Adams, (Not sure if I mentioned him in the last email) is SO SOLID! Love that guy. :) He is 22 years old and has a 4 year old kid, Levi. He always believed in God but never went to church really in his life. Maybe 1 or 2 times. And now that he is starting to learn more he is getting super excited and happy to learn more. We have taught him the Restoration and talked a bit about prayer and he text us the next day and said,"I just got done having a nice prayer with Roxy (his dog)" which was the coolest thing to hear! We didn't even ask him if he was praying, so that was legit. Then we also had an awesome church tour with Tyler and he came to church. We extended a baptismal date to him of November 7th, which he tentatively accepted, but we will have to work with him a little more and make it more of a sure yes. But HE'S ON DATE!!!
Elder Searle and I are still doing really good. He's great and so obedient and hardworking. I love it! And at the apartment we are able to keep it clean and organized as a companionship which is so nice. I'm not the only one doing ALL of the cleaning by myself! Haha! I'm learning a lot living out on my own. A lot about myself and places where I need to mature and grow. It's fantastic! Also, I cut my own hair on Monday and dyed it on Thursday. I wanted unity with Elder Searle. Hahaha! Just kidding. It was just for fun like usual. It doesn't look too bad though. It turned out better then I thought it would. It's confusing some of the people here so bad. They keep looking at me strange and asking me if there is something different. So many people have only seen me one or two times so they're not sure what's going on. It's hilarious!
Super cool week guys. I love and miss you all and know you're all in my prayers. Have a great week! :P


Monday, October 12, 2015

Love This New Area

So this week was pretty good. I enjoyed it for sure! ;) So let me see if I can remember some cool stuff that happened. So yesterday we had this AWESOME Doctrine of Christ lesson/family home evening with some of our members. They all were participating so much, opening up, and bearing their testimonies and it was just a super spiritual experience that was full of the spirit and smiles. :) Ah! They are just such an amazing family! It was in the Hamilton's home but with the mother and cousins and aunts and whatnot there was 10 people there. Nothing puts a bigger smile on my face then seeing families that are such you know,"That family". The kind that you hope your own family can be like in some way or another. Not too often do you meet families like that but I've met a couple on my mission and they are so great. :)
So we have quite a few investigators here in Elwood but they are terrible at keeping commitments. They have a lot of potential just never do anything to increase their faith or come closer to Christ. So we are going to have to teach a few commitment lessons this week and see what happens to help us find who we need to focus on.
Funny story: So we were asked last minute to teach sharing time in primary this week. It was about missionary work and the primary president asked the question (to junior primary), "What are some things we can do to help the missionaries?" And one of the little girls raises her and says,"We can help them get dressed!" Hahahahaha! Elder Searle and I just about died trying not to laugh. It was so funny.
So I totally ripped my pants the other day... Elder Searle had to take a call, so while he was on the phone I was pulling wheelies in the grass on my bike and wheelied over cuz I leaned back a little too much. So we started riding and I felt like my pants were getting caught on my seat. So I felt them and they were ripped all up the back! Haha! Luckily it just pulled the seams out so it was easy to repair. Thank you to Sister Anderson who repaired them for me! So that was an adventure. ;) But other than that we had another awesome family home evening around a camp fire with a recent convert family and a new investigator. That was a lot of fun! We talked about the Sabbath and then had a cool object lesson with ice cream. :) And Tyler and Levi (investigator and kid) were going to come to church but Levi started puking at 6am so they weren't able to make it sadly. :/
Anyways, I've only got 2 more minutes... But  I just wanted to let you know Mom, you are so amazing and I love and care about you SO MUCH!!! I miss you a lot and you have had such an amazing influence on my life. So thank you so much for everything. Being out here on a mission and seeing so many different families makes me realize way more how much of an amazing family I have and how blessed I truly am. Thank you so much Mom! Love you to death!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Loving Elwood Indiana

So I got transferred to the Elwood, Indiana area, and it is legit! It's an older town a little more in poverty and going down hill because most of the business' have moved out and it is hard to find a job here. Also, interesting fact, Elwood actually used to be the headquarters for the KKK awhile ago I guess? Kind of interesting, maybe I'll meet a couple in the group? ;) The area is super cool though! It is very flat, not a ton of trees but there are a lot of corn fields and fields of soy beans. It's cool though. :) My new companion is Elder Searle and he is from Heber City, Utah and is the coolest guy! We were in the same MTC district and we sat next to each other on the plane ride here. He is so set on following all the rules, even the little ones which makes me soooo happy! You have no idea! He is awesome. :) We are in an apartment and its not bad. Smaller than the one before but my companion is really clean and organized which I am so grateful for. We share a car with the other Elders in the branch. Pretty small area though so its easy to get around.

So I'm kinda starting to get to know the people a little bit but not super well. One thing moving into an area is you start teaching these investigators that you know like nothing about but they have been taught for awhile so you don't know what they do or anything but your companion does. So its kind of awkward but gimme another week or two and I'll be good with that. :) But we did find these new investigators that are pretty cool! Their names are Ashley, Donald, and Kazen, who is the son, and they are boyfriend and girlfriend and have dated for 10 years (Just get married already right???) ;)

General conference was fantastic though. I loved it! I was really paying attention and trying to get stuff out of it! Priesthood session was super powerful too. There was a lot of cool messages that I liked a lot. There seemed to be a big focus though on a couple subjects. Faith, being temple worthy, listening to the spirit, and being prepared. I especially loved Elder Holland's talk on women. There's so many mothers that don't really get enough credit like they deserve so I loved that. There may have been one or two others that I missed or forgot but yeah it was great! President Monson was getting kind of sketchy though towards the end of his talk he looked like he was really struggling to keep going and looks pretty ill. Hopefully we won't lose him soon as well.

FUNNY STORY TIME! :D So Elder Searle, on our second night, left the keys in the apartment and so we got locked out... BUT, we have a balcony in our back yard, so I decided to climb the balcony and get on the deck to see if our back sliding glass door was unlocked, but NOPE! So when I went to get down, I was hanging off the side and was going to jump and do the whole, jump tuck and roll tactic like many times before (cuz I'm a ninja like that) and well, I failed... I jumped and my foot caught on something on the deck and I fell awkwardly and landed right on my left tail bone/lower back, and the neighbor right below saw me fall off the deck.... AWKWARD!!! :P So yeah, fun fun fun.

The new area is great! I really like it a lot. It's super cool and I like the people too! It's a lot more in poverty than Milford for sure and we've gone into some pretty beat up houses. One of our investigators pretty much has a camping cot and blankets for a bed with no heating, water, or electricity and is about to leave cuz he can't pay rent anymore and whatnot. Rough area! But its good. We are in a branch, not a ward. I barely know anyone cuz I haven't been to church here yet. But there is about as many members here as there were in Milford from what I've heard.  Love you all.