Tuesday, February 18, 2014

February 17, 2014

Dear Mom and Paps and everyone,

Well this week has felt like forever! It was a great week, just really long haha. We had zone training up in Worland, that was pretty good. I saw Elder Rasmussen from the Mtc so that was fun. I had an interview with President, which is always nice. As a mission he has asked us to take a Book of Mormon and mark references to Christ, and the next time reading find the doctrine of Christ, and the 3rd time Christlike attributes. Well I did the first one and marked the references to Christ. Then I decided I wanted to just read and mark what I wanted. Plus I didn't want to have to use one of the paper back books of Mormon. He told me in the interview I needed to start.  I did not understand why and he said that (I think it was Elder Holland)...promised that if we do this, by the end we will have gained so much more knowledge and understand of the Book of Mormon. I did not realize that this promise was given and that it was that important to mark a copy of the book of Mormon with all these references.
When I left on my mission I had 2 main personal goals, one was to write in my journal everyday, which I have done..ok with, I have written about everyday. The 2nd goal was to come home with a much larger knowledge of the scriptures and to retain the information I have been reading.  When president promised me that I would have this knowledge and understanding that I have been working on, I Immediately promised president that I would begin. The next day I started and it was awesome! I normally have a ok personal study, but this time I got so much more out of it! So for the last 4 or 5 days, that is what I have been doing during my personal study and I have been able retain so much more information and learn a ton. I have felt for a couple months that I have been at a plateau in my personal study and now by marking the references and doctrine and Christ-like attributes I have finally overcome my plateau! I have also been really bad at keeping a study journal because I just like to write in the margins, but well there is not always room, so I have started a detailed study journal! I absolutely love studying and I am so thankful I have an hour of personal study everyday, even though I tend to always want more haha. I would encourage all of you to do the same just get a copy of the book of Mormon and start making the references to Christ. I personally chose to make references Heavenly Father as well.
The mission recently decided that missionaries need to tract for an hour a day, which to me is probably a great idea, even though I do not like tracting. Usually we have enough work, lessons, service and contacting referrals that we never need to tract, and so I have only tracked about 2 times my whole mission up til this rule was created. I have only gone twice because it was something we did just to have the experience. Tracting for an hour a day is a great idea because it gets us out in public so people can see us. Second There are a lot of missionaries who will do everything possible to make sure they don't have to tract because let's face it, tracting is scary! It really is for me at least. I will admit this rule was implemented about a week ago, and for the first couple days I really did not want to do it and we did not, mainly because we had so much stuff to do we didn't have time, which is ok. We only tract if we don't have appointments. Well finally I think it was Thursday we decided to tract. Let me tell you, I was not happy about it and I was so nervous. We knock on doors and all of them are not interested. We have been tracting for 45 minutes and nothing, I was fine with that cause really I did not expect any success from tracting.  We then knocked on this door and this little girl sees us from the window, she is about 3 years old. She yells "missionaries" and runs away. Her mom comes to the door and said "Come on in!" We find out that her parents are members but she is not. She is currently going through a really hard divorce but she would love to meet with us and talk. So we set up a return visit for tonight! A couple of doors later this blind man tells us we can come back the next day. So we came back on Friday and well he was not interested but he sure enjoyed talking to us and was very kind, and we tried to clear up that our clergy are not paid. So hopefully we got through. He was super nice though. That same day we tracted again and we ran into this guy, Clark, he is probably about 26. He works on the rigs he has two little girls. We met him and we asked to share a message and he said of course. I had no idea what to say, cause normally people just say come back later. We talked about prayer with him...I know lame...I am still working on the whole tracting thing. We also talked about Christs Original church and we asked if we could come back. He said come back Saturday at the same time. So we went back the next day. 
When we met with Clark on Saturday we sat on his porch (cause it is like 55 degrees here, so nice!) and we taught him the restoration. We talked about the priesthood and that it would bless his family and children. He talked about how he would love to have that authority of God to bless his family. The lesson honestly was not super amazing on our part, we stumbled over words and it was kinda awkward, but because the spirit was there and he could feel it and is prepared he was able to really learn and the lesson went fine. it was not because of us though. We committed him to reading the intro and the first chapter of the Book of Mormon. He agreed.  Sadly since he has 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off, he was leaving the next day for North Dakota. We were really bummed out cause we were worried he would not want to set up a time for us to come back BUT he said  "Come back on March 3rd at the same time." This is the same day he gets back, he is super excited to learn more, so much so that he wants to see us right when he come home! How cool is that! How amazing is tracting. I really did not have any hope for it and then we got 3 potentials out of it! One was not interested, one we have an appointment with and another is officially an investigator. I have gained a testimony of tracting. I love knowing Heavenly Father makes sure that his children who are prepared to hear the gospel will hear it. So if no one refers them to us, or they don't have a way of being contacted then we will find them through tracting, even if it is is just to invite them, even if they say no. Tracting has a purpose and I just learned that this week. I AM SO THANKFUL FOR TRACTING! I never thought I would say that.
This week Dawn one of our investigators, who I love so much, got a priesthood blessing, which was so powerful! Everything is going well here! We got dropped by a less active this week. It was a blessing for me, because every time we left her house I just felt empty and awful, I don't know how to explain it and last time I was just praying to find a way to get out of that appointment and when we finally left I practically ran out of that apartment. So I am really grateful that she dropped us. I could never go back there it was just a empty feeling, plus she was not going to change.
Well this past week has been awesome and this next week will be great also! Tonight we are going to the Karikers, who are not members. They are from new Orleans and were in hurricane Katrina. Super sad stories they have told us about that. Anyways they have been telling us all about Mardi Gras, the good parts. They said that it has gotten bad within the last couple years, and only certain parts. Anyways!  they have given us a ton of Mardi Gras beads and tonight we are making king cakes with them!!! so I will take tons of pictures and send them home next week :) or email them :) So I am so excited for tonight! Well I love you all so much.  Have a wonderful week! And hopefully you will get my package soon :) LOVE YOU!

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