Monday, September 26, 2016

This week has been a joy, about half way through the week Elder Glad and I realized we needed to be more diligent in listening to the spirit for finding and speaking to our brothers and sisters. So we have been doing our best to do so and we are starting to have more success now in finding. Though it was towards the later part of the week so we only found 2 new investigators but will find many more this week.
This week I have been working hard towards growing in my temperance/self mastery. I quote I heard this past week was something along the lines of "self mastery is necessary to invoke the power of the priesthood". I believe that full heartedly to be true. If i get frustrated or angry and cannot learn to control those emotions and reactions I will have no power and will end up listening and acting based off satans views. I do not want that. I have been working towards learning to control thoughts and motivations and pushing through when i am tired or unmotivated. For example in the mornings I do as you suggested and when i get up and as we run i start to think of the future, of visions, goals, and dreams i have and how i need to learn to push through and keep going in diligence to get there, i know to well that without being uncomfortable i am likely not growing. As i have been doing this there has been much change in me. I am also doing the same with diet, as i have realized God has blessed me with a beautiful tabernacle and i am the steward over and need to take great care of it. Especially if i want to access the full blessings the holy ghost can offer. If i am not taking care of my body I will have limited access to this gift and blessing from Father.
Henry is doing alright but not as hot as he was before. He has been slowing down quite a bit on his personal prayer and scripture study and that is where his problem lies. Our last lesson we invited him to pray and think about where he wants to see himself in 1 year and in 5 years and to write down his goals/vision for himself. Next time we will help him make plans to get there. (reading,praying, listening to spirit). We also were blessed to be able to get Pat Spurgeon to go to womens conference with Sister Reed, we heard she had a wonderful time. That she showed up in a bad mood after fighting with family but was about in tears by the end of it, she felt the spirit.
This was part of a talk I loved.
After Jesus had been teaching the Nephites as a resurrected person, giving them as much truth as in his wisdom he felt they could absorb at one time, he counseled them to go to their homes, and to ponder in their hearts the things he had said, and to pray to the Father in his name to find out if they were true, and then to come again on the morrow and he would teach them more.
Now that gives us the pattern by which we should operate in the Church. We come together in congregations, seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit, studying the revelations, reading the scriptures, and hearing expressions of doctrine and counsel given by those who are appointed. These teachings ought to be delivered by the power of the Holy Spirit. They ought to be received by the same power. And if they are, then the speaker and the hearer will be mutually edified, and we will have true and proper worship.
Then when the meeting is over, the “amen” should not end it. We should go to our homes and to our families and to our circles, and we should search out the revelations and find out what the Lord has said on the subjects involved. We should seek to get in tune with the Holy Spirit and to gain a witness, not solely of the truth and divinity of the work in which we are engaged but also of the doctrines that are taught by those who preach to us. We come into these congregations, and sometimes a speaker brings a jug of living water that has in it many gallons. And when he pours it out on the congregation, all the members have brought is a single cup and so that’s all they take away. Or maybe they have their hands over the cups, and they don’t get anything to speak of.
On other occasions we have meetings where the speaker comes and all he brings is a little cup of eternal truth, and the members of the congregation come with a large jug, and all they get in their jugs is the little dribble that came from a man who should have known better and who should have prepared himself and talked from the revelations and spoken by the power of the Holy Spirit. We are obligated in the Church to speak by the power of the Spirit. We are commanded to treasure up the words of light and truth and then give forth the portion that is appropriate and needful on every occasion.

I want to say I love the Lord, he works in such mysterious ways you never know what he has on his agenda and if you follow the spirit you find out, and it is wonderful! We have been working with Pat Spurgeon, the lady whom your wife and grandson kimbal came to see and we felt we should invite her mother to take the lessons with Pat. Well, we followed that prompting and while in the lesson she was not to keen on the idea. So we spent some time asking inspired questions and made some observations and she opened up a lot! After asking to "make an observation" she opened up about her history with her deceased abusive husband. Which then gave us an opportunity to bear testimony on the Atonement. As I had been looking around the room trying to observe and read things better (goal I have been working towards) I noticed some Native American decorations and that she looked a bit native. I then asked her if she was native american and she opened right up! She then spoke of 2 native americans that live down the street and referred us to go see them. Well we did, and the lady opens the door and says "Well where have you guys been?" and told us to come in. Turns out she is a member who feels left out and forgotten because nobody has visited her. Only 1 lady knows where she lives (not on roster) and her phone number had changed. So because we chose to listen to the spirit we found out Gods agenda and we are now starting to re-fellowship and teach these 2 wonderful people! :D

I am grateful to be serving as a missionary and to be able to serve as a District Leader, to be able to watch carefully my brothers and sisters and see their growth is a joyful work. I love being able to serve in any way they invite me to and try my best to grow my Charity for each of them daily and to make sure they know that I love, trust, and care about each of them. Thank you for giving me this opportunity. 
Also as for Henry he is doing okay. He did not make it for his baptismal date and it really is working on him and his level of hope went down a lot. He is bipolar and Schizophrenic and is on one of his lows as he did not make his date but is still desirous to learn and grow. We are going to work towards building his faith and desire to be baptised and he will go for it again and make it this time.
I love you and hope you have a wonderful week! :D 
We also had a wonderful sacrament meeting this past Sabbath, we had 3 wonderful speakers. One of whom really shocked me, he is so mature and spiritually strong and powerful and knowledgeable in the scriptures already. He is only 19 and is preparing to serve a mission (mission delayed a year) and leaves to Poland probably in November.  He has 2 callings already. I believe he is a teacher in young mens, something in elders qourum, but also got his third calling yesterday as stake young mens secretary. Holy Cow! He will go very far in the church and do much great work if he keeps it up. 

Monday, September 19, 2016

This week is going real well! There was transfers of course. Sister Tawzer left and we got Sister Lee. Sister Tawzer has been one of my favorite missionaries. That was my 2nd time being her district leader but Sister Lee seems really great and I am excited to have her here.  We lost Elder Nielson and Elder Quinn got sent here and I haven't had much communication with him yet, but have heard great things. Will get to know him more today.  Then for our zone leaders we lost Elder Blackburn and got Elder Tolbert who came out with me. He is a great missionary from what I can tell, but has a bit of maturing to do as well, but that is okay. He has a strong testimony and is a hard worker.
    (snippet from Presidentsemail)
Henry Sizemore has had his baptismal interview to be baptized on September 24 so we are excited! This past week he has had a total change of heart! We found out his eyesight isn't the best for reading, so we got him the cd's and he has been whizzing through them. We got them to him on Monday and he is already ending Mosiah, and he is retaining a good bit as well and is feeling the power and spirit that comes as he reads the scriptures. A cool experience and miracle though, was we started a fast with him. He started at 3:00pm on Saturday and we went over around 8 and he told us there was a point where he was really struggling and feeling withdrawal symptoms. Well he humbled himself and started praying to Father and was comforted and the suffering was eased immediately. He started to feel the atonement work in him. He was glowing and the spirit had filled his heart. He had the baptismal interview the next day. He is struggling to overcome smoking though, but has no desire as all to do it, but is fearful of the suffering from withdrawals. For the fast he had the feeling he was supposed to not sleep during the 24 hours so he stayed up all night praying and listening to some scriptures, came to church in the morning and had his interview. I love his willingness to be so diligent in trying to follow his fast, however it did tire him out and he did smoke a couple times. But is giving it a fresh go this morning and is excited and hopeful.
    We also had the privilege of Sister Welch and her grandson coming out teaching with us and it was amazing! She is so kind and loving, yet so bold and powerful in her knowledge and testimony. I could easily see her in some future time in a general presidency for young women's.
   It has just been a real good week and I am excited for the one to come.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

So transfers are tomorrow and Elder Glad and I will be staying together. The other 3 companionship's in the district will be changing though. I am excited to see what wonderful people we will get in the district. I am excited to work with Elder Glad for another transfer. We work well together. President one time told me in an email, "You two work real well together. I bet Satan shakes in fear when you two wake up each morning." It made me laugh.
This past week was cool. We met 2 people from our ward that haven't had contact with the church in 7+ years and want to start coming back and want us to come by. Both of which were moving within the next 3 days. We now have their new address's so that is quite awesome! The Lord always looks out for his children. 
It hit me yesterday how wonderful testimony meeting is. You literally get to hear people share their heartfelt sincere feelings and experiences of what they believe and how they gained that testimony. The spirit is so strong when you recognize that. Also we got to witness Stake President Foister baptize his daughter, Maryann. Such a sweet experience. For the closing song we all sang, "I Know My Redeemer Lives." It was amazing! The spirit was so powerful as we all put our whole heart and soul in to it. We also got to get a ride home with our Stake Patriarch Garcia. He is a beautiful man. The spirit he carries with him is so wonderful. It was a privilege to be able to ride in his car for 10-15 minutes. Got to learn quite a bit. I'm very grateful.
It is interesting to see the changes that President Welch has been making. There have been quite a few changes. It is interesting. I am excited about the changes though. I know each and every one of them is inspired of God. Before Zone Leaders and Assistants to the President had tons of responsibilities and now they have few. Other than going on exchanges and being an example area, much of the responsibility is now on District Leaders. We used to have extra meetings like zone meeting and zone weekly planning where zone leaders do training's bi weekly and we would have morning scripture reading and nightly calls as a zone and those are all gone. Also for our weekly indicators that we would track there is only 9 that Preach My Gospel says to track and we tracked a lot. So the extra ones we recorded were Doctrine of Christ lessons, member lessons, in home lessons, member and other referrals, referrals taught in a members home, family home evenings, morning schedules (waking up on time), baptismal extensions and a couple others. Those are all gone. A lot of what is going on is he is changing to a lot more of a "higher level of accountability and trust" type thing. Similar to going from Law of Moses to when Christ came. President Porter did amazing and I honor all he did in preparing us for this change, but I am so excited for these changes. They will be so amazing! :D  There are also quite a few others but those are some examples.

He says you know you're in the ghetto when you see cars like this.