Sunday, April 17, 2016

We Taught as We Walked and Walked and Walked and Walked.....

Monday, April 11, 2016                                                         Port Arthur, TX

" Okay, So I had an exchange with a Spanish Elder. We went to our investigator, Justin's house, to teach him. When he answered the door he told us he had to go to work. Now, Justin walks to work, so we're like, " Hey, well can we walk and teach?" So we end up walking and teaching and his work is 2.2 miles away. We teach him about baptism and the word of wisdom. We finish just as we come up to the building. After that we have to walk 2.2 miles back to get to our car in the heat! That kinda sucked but hey at least we taught him. 

Then we taught Joann again. She had a question about 1 Nephi  chapter 4, when Nephi kills Laban. Honestly I was thrilled when she said she didn't understand why Nephi killed Laban because if she didn't have a question, it would probably be because she didn't actually read it. So we taught her and she understood! The coolest part is after we taught her, she's like, "Can I have a blessing?" She explained how eight years ago she had some health problems so the missionaries gave her a blessing. So....I gave her a blessing. Man, when I was giving her the blessing, I have never had words come to me that easy. I've given tons of blessings, but for some reason with Joann, I couldn't spit the words out fast enough before another line came to my head. It was a pretty long blessing.

So after I was done with one exchange, I had another one planned with the Elders in Bridge City. I took my stuff from the previous exchange and we drove there. When I got there I realized that one of their bikes was broken, so that means that we would be walking around all day. So we walked, and knocked and walked and knocked and then knocked some more. We literally had a horrible day! We had no set appointments and no one wanted to hear us out. However, there was a tender mercy. We were walking back to our house and we were about 5 miles away. We are tired and it's hot and honestly I am not the most happy camper at this point. So we were walking and this truck is coming down the road. He pulls over and rolls down his window. So we walk up and the guy said, " Man, do y'all need water? Y'all look like you've been working hard." I told him ha ha. We sure have been. He asked us, "Where y'all going to?" My companion tells him the street and the guy was surprised we were going down there. I said yeah that's what I thought when he told me we were going there. The guy laughed and then he said, "Okay, my house is around the corner and I'll get y'all some waters." Then he took off and we were standing at the street corner watching him leave and he drives and drives and drives and it's a really long road. He turns off and he's gone for like 10 minutes. Then he comes back and gives us two ice cold waters. I asked him how far away his house was and he tells me four miles. I was kinda taken back and he told us, "Hey it was worth it. Y'all work super hard and do a heck of a job. Y'all really make a difference in this world and I appreciate you." Honestly, he had the most sincere voice I have ever heard on my mission. I looked up at him and I was like, " Hey, man, God Bless. You have no idea how much you have helped." He then drove off but that changed how I viewed that day. It like pumped me up. So we finished the day and my companion has a watch that tracks the distance we walked... We walked 14.4 miles that day. Which I don't know what Brazil gets in a day, but I'd say that's pretty good. 

Today we saw some people and then went to the church because Elder Strong had to give a baptismal interview to two of the investigators that the Spanish Elders taught. The interviews went longer than expected and we had a lesson set up, so we took a member with us. Since the baptismal interview was taking longer, I took Elder Tukuafu(a Polynesian Spanish elder) with us. Man just going out and teaching with him made me want to be his companion. It would be a bomb transfer. He is so positive! We had a dinner scheduled but the Spanish Elders had a little league game scheduled and they invited us to go, too. We picked up Chinese food and watched the game. It was a cool game even though it was just little kids, but they were really good!!

I must say that today was one of the best days of my mission. Elder Strong is fixin to leave( that is not why it is one of my best days) and he got hurt a while back and he's been feeling not so good. He got permission from President Drake to leave the area and go to President Harris' house in Vidor. Now, President Harris is the most scriptural sound guy I have ever known. Every now and then he invites the Vidor missionaries over and he feeds them  and lets them ask him any doctrine question and he answers them all. It just so happened that it fell on the day we went! So we went into his house. We sat down at this giant table filled with doughnuts, fruits, cereals, etc. He came in and there was us and six other missionaries and his daughter. He asks us if we have any questions... So I asked him about the resurrection and the first and second Resurrection. I asked him where resurrected bodies go and someone else asked about judgment. President Harris thinks for a minute and answers all the questions so simply and easy so that anyone can understand them. Missionaries asked him question after question about super deep gospel doctrine stuff and about what it says in Revelations in the Bible. He answers all of them and proves them by quoting prophets and apostles and books written by them. After we were outta questions, he starts to tell us about Joseph Smith. Let me tell you he had thirteen points about Joseph Smith he wanted to cover. He spent an hour and a half on one of those points telling story after story about Joseph talking to angels and doing some amazing things. The amazing thing is all of those stories  I have never heard before. He still had 12 points left. He asked if we had any more questions and he answered some more questions. Then he closed the meeting. Man, I wish I could have taken notes, cause there was so much information that I learned in those three hours. 

So then everyone but us left and President Harris(who is also Dr. Harris) went and checked Elder Strong and evaluated him and his problem. It was cool cause he told us a lot more things, not gospel related but medical and how to work out, how to stretch, overall just how to stay healthy. So that was cool.

Our ride showed up and we drove to Liberty, Texas, which is about an hour and 20 minutes East of Vidor. Elder Strong got permission from President Drake to meet his sister's birth mom who is not a member. So we met in Liberty at this burger place called Jax. It was super good. I've heard it's the best burger place in the mission. I wouldn't be surprised if that was true. I had the Diablo burger that had deep fried jalapenos, spicy mayo, bacon, hot sauce, and a giant patty. Their fries were also the bomb, too. So Elder Strong meets his sister's  birth mom and they were talking so I tried to stay outta it and let them just talk to each other.
Elder Saunders 
Missionaries On the Porch at Chucks in Evadale, Texas. Evadale has a Paper Mill that makes the town smell like a Septic Tank according to the locals, ha ha.  Hence the Sign above our heads: "We're the best smelling thing in Evadale."

Eating my amazing potato skin Nachos. I love this Hole in the Wall restaurant called, 'Chucks' in Evadale, Texas. April 2016

Helping with the cleanup in Deweyville, TX after the flood. Apr 2016

Sign at Chucks in Evadale, Texas-Apr 2016

Chucks in Evadale, TX It is actually quite famous for being in the middle of nowhere!! Apr 2016

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