" Man it is a struggle to type this everyday, to capture the real catchy way they speak down here, like I read over and over and still some of them get through. I do want to have everyone at least have faith that I can come back somewhat not a redneck. So here we go, please buckle your seat belt cause this is going to be a gentle ride because nothing happened this week.
So on P-day we went to the park and played tag with the district. We did exchanges to Vidor again(cause Elder Hunter had this leadership training thing which is an 8 hour long meeting) I am not in a leadership position so I did exchanges with Elder Boyack. (I came out with him from the MTC.) I guess I'm a good luck charm. Right when I got to Vidor, we went to go teach a person that they have been teaching forever, and when I got there it took 20 min. and we committed him to baptism. Also, I had Blue Bell ice cream for the first time and really is super good.
So I am apparently like a pet whisperer or something like that. We met with some members in Vidor and they have wolves as pets. I didn't know that so I was like, 'wow, these are sweet dogs.' I started to pet them from beyond the gate and the owner like flipped and said that usually a random person can't just go up and pet them cause they are wolves! We saw some less actives and as we were talking to her, this really fat cat comes up to me . I start to pet it and the owner freaks out and says that the cat is super shy and hates people. She said I was the first guy in 5 years that she has let pet her. Then we got a ride from this old guy to go to our dinner appointments and he almost killed us. He said he can't see at night so he told me to keep a prayer in my heart. Honestly, that prayer probably saved our lives. So we got to our dinner appointment which was at an elementary school. It was fun because a bunch of high school kids were there and we talked to all the people. One of the girls is a member in the church so she introduced us to her crew. After that we visited another member and talked. We went back to Orange and then went on exchanges again but this time with Elder Hobbs.
The mission president made a rule that you have to do 10 hours of service each week, which is a ton. We now work everyday at either a soup kitchen or a food bank. Today we went to the food bank-OCS. It was a good day to go. We were helping them and then at the end a person brought in a turkey and stuffing and vegetables and cranberry sauce. We had a pre thanksgiving workout. We then went finding and I yes I tried. Today was a pretty average day of battling with the Bible lovers. We knocked on this persons door and she answered. She was kinda hesitant but we talked with her and she warmed up. She told us that her nephew is Mormon and one of her co-workers goes to our church and we are good friends with him and she wants to come to church. We set an appointment on Tuesday and we got a member to come with us tomorrow so hopefully this works out.
We knocked on some more houses with no success. We were heading back and we saw these people so we rode up and talked to this mom and her daughter. They said that they were visiting family down here. They were in the garage and the mom said they were atheists that really hate God. The funny thing is that she tried to offend us and told jokes about Jehovah's Witnesses. We laughed and she was confused so we told her we were LDS. She asked us if we wanted a beer, as a joke of course, (over here in the south you have to be able to answer people by saying something they don't expect so they don't trap you and makes them think more) So she asked us if we wanted a beer and I was like, "No, I gotta be thinking clearly if I'm going to share a message with you." Her daughter was smiling cause she didn't expect that. So her mom was taken back, but then said, 'Okay then, I'm going to go and drink beer." I said, 'Cool, what kind of beer is it?" She was so fed up that she just ignored us and sat down. Her daughter started to talk to us and said it was Bud Light. I was so happy when she said that because if any of you watch sports, Bud Light has the best commercials. So I was like, 'Sweet, their commercials are so funny." Finally her mom gets really fed up with us and said in a super mean voice (which was average to us because we get that every day) " What in the ***** are you still doing here. I just laughed and said, "Well, if we could sit down with you for 10 minutes, we would love to tell you." We decided to leave and said thank you. I didn't think much of it but later on I hoped that her mom would change, but instead if the mom would have not been there, her daughter might have listened to us. I was sad because it is almost like I could feel that she needed God but she was raised hating God. I don't know where they are from cause they were visiting family. I just hope we planted a seed. After that we ate dinner and the member who fed us was born in Layton, UT-in the same hospital! So we talked about Layton cause no one knows what Layton is. I usually tell people I am from Salt Lake City because most people know have heard of that city. We went home and Elder Hobbs went back to Vidor and then finally I got Elder Hunter back. Elder Hunter and Elder Lawrence bought a slack line so we do that for exercise and sometimes P-day and it is so fun. We can't do tricks yet bu we are getting okay with it and that is the first step. It is seriously a good workout believe it or not.
The next day we went back to OCS cause we thought since we do 10 hours a week, that is where we were needed most. We get there and surprise everyone. The good thing is that while we were there 3 trucks came to drop off food. One of the trucks was carrying 45 bags. Each one of the bags weighing 50+ pounds of oranges. So if you do the math thats....fifty...carry the two...add the five...and its 2, 250 lbs of oranges. Some of the other trucks came with cranberry sauce and some other things for thanksgiving packages. When we left, the person in charge thanked us cause usually older people work there and it would have been a huge task for them to carry all those heavy items in and sort them. Instead 4 missionaries showed up and did all the work and had fun while doing it. She was amazed and said that God had to have told us to come. We then went to lunch and I had a 1 pound burger and fries and some other missionaries had the same thing. When we were done the waiter came out and was amazed that all of us ate everything. She said that she has never seen anyone actually finish one. So add that to the books. We then taught a lesson and after that Elder Lawrence got super sick so we went on splits and I am now staying with him while he sleeps like a baby. The other two are teaching people.
"We taught Casey(who was baptized in the last post and her son) and she was talking about how happy she is and how ever since she got baptized she has wanted others to know about the gospel. We then talked to a potential elder and he loves the church and especially the missionaries. He made us dinner. The problem is that he didn't believe the Bible and the Book of Mormon are true, it was just man's writings. We were still able to get him to invite us back and we made sure to leave an open Book of Mormon on his table. He said he would feed us again. We went home and went to bed and when we woke up, it was pouring rain. We went to the elders and made hot chocolate and pancakes. We then went to the church because we have a potential elders list that we had to divide up between the areas. So we did that and came back to our apartment and with the other elders made a pasta for lunch. It was actually very good and we added chicken to make it chicken Alfredo. We put on some of the 'punch your daddy' sauce and it was perfect. We had a bunch of people cancel and at the end of the day did some solid night lining.
Here is how to be Texan: The word is 'yonder'. Ex: The shop is over yonder. Sorry, its a pretty boring word, and there is no story behind it. Hey, sometimes life is disappointing and this is one of those times.
Anyway, love y'all and I will try to help out in any way possible. Also, about the whole LGBT policy, if you watch the video by D Todd Christofferson it says that it's the same rule as if the kids grew up in a polygamist family. Why they ruled it 18 years is because the church doesn't want the kids to have to leave the family to be baptized. At age 18 they are considered adults so they are able to make their own decisions without the parents permission. This way they can get baptized if they disagree with the parents actions but still be part of the family. Now this doesn't mean you have to hate the parents. You can love people but dislike the choices that they make. What this means is that you can have the best of both, you can love your family and be part of the church. Also, this doesn't mean that the kids are automatically going to hell-they can participate in church, young mens/young womens, scouts, and they can receive blessings. They can do it all. Being baptized is one of the most sacred covenants that you can make. There is nothing wrong with being baptized later than some. If you aren't able to be baptized, but still follow God and say prayers, read scriptures, you can receive the light of Christ. God loves all of us and will help all of us. If you ever start to think that the church is no longer true, then think about this: Is it the church policy that has changed or your mindset that has changed? God policies don't change so if you are going to turn your back on the church and say it has gone downhill, maybe you should stop asking the people on Facebook their opinion and you should ask God what his is. If there is one thing I learned from being out here is that too many times(and I was apart of this, too) people share how they feel through social media. Then they forget to express it to the one that will actually help you-Heavenly Father. I can't tell you how many times during school when life was rough and I was tweeting about it instead of praying for my trials to be lifted. Yet somehow I was convinced that his was supposed to make me feel better. Satan uses many things to try and prove us wrong . One of the easiest things he uses is pride. Pride is if a person asks to help you and you say no. How many times has the Lord asked to help you and you say, 'No, I got this." Then you screwed it up more and asked God why he put us through these hard trials. This might be a surprise to some but God doesn't give us trials all the time. Sometimes we use our agency and create situations that cause us to be stuck. How about instead of cursing God, we look at him the way that he is, the only one that will truly help out. How about instead of questioning whether God made the right choice, we be as Mosiah says,"as a child, submissive , meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father." Sometimes we may feel confused and question what is right, but the power of the Holy Ghost will tell you the truth of all things-not may tell you, or lead you to come up with your own conclusion- he WILL tell you. I pray that you will pray and know this truth for yourself. I gave you pretty much a bunch of topics and hope one of them will help you someone today, if not then maybe I will read it over and it will be a good note for me.
Love y'all. If you have any questions or if I said false doctrine, please know I am a teenage boy on a mission, and am not a prophet of God. I am just a man with too much emailing time." Love ya,
|Park in Orange, Texas|
|Eating lunch with my district-Orange, TX|
|Elder Hunter and the district in the background|
|P-Day at the Park|
|Rain, rain and more rain in beautiful Orange, TX|