Monday, January 23, 2017

This week was a blast! Elder Tingey and I receive lots of opposition but we don't let that get us down and we are pushing forward. There have been miracles everywhere and it is wonderful as well! 
We are working with a lady named Laura. She is a champion! She has been reading and praying a lot and is loving it. She has come to church 2x now as well. When we asked her what she feels when reading the Book of Mormon she responded, "Thirsty for more". She also has said she feels her faith has grown a lot. A member had her over for dinner and called us afterwords saying that Laura told them that when she gets baptized she would like it to be in the Fairfield Ward. So much fun!
We have also been working a lot with members to receive member referrals. And we have been seeing some good success so far. It takes a bit of work and time, but the results are far better and more lasting normally than finding through personal efforts. Invitation: if you have people whom you love, help prepare them for the gospel by being their friend. You do not need to teach them the gospel. Let the missionaries do that. But provide opportunities where they can meet the missionaries so the missionaries can offer the gospel. It works. I promise!
Have a great week everybody. Love you all!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

I was transferred to Fairfield Ohio this past week. I am serving with Elder Tingey. He is so great. I love that Elder. I have been learning so much from him as well! Our address is 11651 Norbourne Dr. Apt 216, Cincinnati Ohio 45240.
This past week we have seen lots of good happening, we gave a church tour to this wonderful Ghanaian women. She has such a great spirit about her and is progressing well. She is here and has her family (Husband and 1 or more kids) back in Ghana. This area is so diverse in the cultures. We have Brazilians, Africans, and lots of Micronesian's. At the end of the church tour she was expressing how great she felt and she accepted the baptismal date of February 18th. So please keep her in your prayers! 

We are working with another lady named Laura, and we had leadership council which is a training for zone leaders and sister training leaders. It was great. All about connecting to our purpose as missionaries which is to teach repentance and baptize converts.
This transfer has been a blast. Serving with Elder Westover taught me much. I have been humbled and changed a lot and I am grateful for it. Serving with new companions is always a growing experience and can change you for the better when you choose to allow it to. The same with each area and the people in it. Serving in Auburn/Kendallville was incredible. I loved my time here in this area of the vineyard but am excited to move forward. I am getting transferred to Fairfield, Ohio and will be serving with Elder Tingey. I love that Elder and have heard many great things about him.
A couple highlights from this past week!
1) We planned a branch activity and had around 45 people show up, 24 of which were non-members and a few returning members. Everybody LOVED the activity, it was a hit! After the activity one of our investigators who has not been to church in 15 or so years (been backstabbed badly multiple times and was scared to get hurt again) text us asking when our church service was and committed herself to all 3 hours of church, it was a miracle!
2) Sunday we had 9 investigators show up to church and 3 returning members. One of which is a part member family we have been working with for a little over a transfer. The husband is a returning member we reactivated and his daughter has come 5 or so times but the mother Amanda had no interest. Then we had a powerful lesson with her and resolved some concerns. She then came on her own to church last Sunday with no invitation, it was quite a nice and welcomed surprise! The work is truly going forth and it is a marvelous work.
Elder Westover is now training and will do a marvelous job. I am proud of him. I hope you all have a great week. Love you all!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Good morning everyone, its a beautiful -4 degrees here in Indiana this morning. Hope it's warmer for all of you. It's supposed to get to -20 today, I was just told, isn't that special? ;)
This week has been a week of miracles. We have found multiple new families to begin teaching and a couple of other elect individuals who are excited for the gospel in their lives. I am going to leave the miracles and share a neat experience I had though.
This past Sunday I had the special experience to pass the Sacrament with the youth. While passing the Sacrament, I handed the bread tray to a mother and her 2 year old son, with a look of "excitement" and "need" for the bread, thrust his hand out and grabbed a handful of the bread! Then, of course, his mother corrected him and he partook of the bread as he should. Well, while I know that his need and excitement for this bread was motivated by physical hunger, it made me wonder and think. How many of us have such a spiritual hunger and need for this bread that we feel similar to what this child was feeling? How many of us truly are excited and ready to partake of the sacred emblems of the Sacrament? And how many of us truly repent daily the week before in preparation of partaking the Sacrament? It helped me to realize how much more I need to be doing to prepare myself to partake of the Sacrament to truly make the Sabbath more holy. I leave my testimony that Christ has asked, and desires of us, to partake of this sacrament, but he desires us to do so worthily. As we worthily prepare and partake of his Sacrament, the spirit truly is poured out without measure upon the faithful.
Brothers and Sisters, I love this Christmas season. It is miraculous. Day after day, Elder Westover and I, have been witnessing miracles. I want to share one of my favorites with you. 
 We have been teaching a couple, Chris and Karen Crooks, who have been married 18 or so years but are on the brink of divorce. Karen was reactivated back in March, and Chris was reactivated as we transferred into the area we started to teach him because he took leap of faith and was willing to meet one time. Well, Chris and Karen have been arguing almost every day for years, they are pretty much just roommates at this point. Elder Westover and I, last Tuesday, urged them to pick up the scriptures and to read and pray together every morning and we promised they would see the fruits of the truth and atonement in their life. They committed. We went over on Saturday (Karen not home) and after sharing that they have been reading and praying together Chris covers his eyes and with emotion shares with us,"The past two mornings Karen has hugged me. That has not happened in years." As he uncovers his eyes, tears are strolling down his face. The Atonement is healing their marriage. It is a miracle. I know that Christ wants to heal us. All he asks is for us to come unto him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. I love this gospel. I am grateful for it and I bear my witness that I know Christ lives and he loves you. I leave you with my witness of that and hope you have a happy new year. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.