Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Never Give Up On Others!

Yo, what up fam??? We had a NICE week in Groton this week, I mean a really NICE week. A lot of exciting things went down. Pday we went up to Norwich with that district over there and met at a members house who is a big time Disc Golf fame. I can't believe it, but I had never actually played Disc Golf in my life. There is a first for everything, but let me tell ya. The woods of CT are not the ideal place to play for the first time, the trees are a little bit thick out here. But we had a good time, I got the hang of it by about hole 5. It was a pretty decent pday! That night we had to drive up to Narragansett RI to exchange with the Elders up there for a day. I came back down to Groton and spent the day here with Elder Nelson.

Tuesday was quite the day, we were crazy busy like the entire day, we didn't even have time to eat. I was hungry...but those days are the best. We had a lesson with Bob, we went over with the ARP leaders in the area and introduced the program to Bob and talked about how it can help him finally overcome this lifelong addiction he has been battling. Bob seems super stoked about giving this a shot, he desperately wants to change and we promised him this program will finally be the thing to help him do it. Bob is super hard on himself and is really discouraged. He has screwed up pretty bad in life and has lost everything he ever had, except for his mother (her name is June, she is a saint and helps him out a lot). But we try and encourage Bob along and help him see all of the wonderful things the Lord has in store for him. A lot of us do that though, we tend to dwell on the mistakes that we have made throughout our life. When we screw up we can't just sit down and beat ourselves up, we gotta pick ourselves up and keep on going! I know it is easier said than done, but it is possible. We try and help Bob keep in mind that God doesn't see us where we are at, but rather what we can become. Bob will get things back on track, and hopefully we can help him do so!

Tuesday night Elder Nelson and I had probably one of the most amazing lessons of my mission! It was incredible. That afternoon we had this less active member call us up and tell us we could come over later that night and visit, so we set up an appointment around 730 or so. This guy that called was Adam, he grew up in the church out in Arizona with his family. When Adam was 16 he stopped going to church, and picked up some pretty nasty habits along the way. He is now like 37, single, owns a very successful business out here, and hasn't been to church in 21 years. Missionaries have met with Adam for like the past year on a consistent basis, and I have gone there at least once, sometimes twice a week to have lessons with him to try and get him to come back. For some reason he just wouldn't come to church. I would get so frustrated with this guy, I couldn't figure out what we could do to get him to come back. It didn't seem like there was anything we could do really, but we just kept going every week and praying for a miracle to happen. Anyways, Tuesday night we go there for our lesson and we watch part of a talk by Elder Holland that discusses the significance of the Atonement, and why it was necessary, how it can help us overcome our struggles. After we watched the talk we just had a very frank, open discussion with Adam and bore sincere testimonies about the Atonement. Elder Nelson said some really powerful things as he bore his testimony that just really seemed to hit home with Adam. The Spirit was there sooo strong, it was incredible. We didn't really do anything out of the ordinary, we had taught lessons on the Atonement before, but for some reason things just clicked with Adam this time. Adam opened up to us about how miserable he was in life, how badly he wanted to come back to church and get his life back in order, he was just super open with us. He finally took down his walls and we were able to see the real Adam. But anyways, we finished our lesson and then knelt in prayer, and usually we let Adam pick who prays but I knew for sure we had to invite him to say it this time. About halfway through his prayer Adam just broke down crying, and was crying all throughout the rest of his prayer. It was such a sincere prayer though, wow it was powerful! There wasn't a dry eye in the house, well except mine cuz for some reason I never cry...I guess I am heartless haha. As we were leaving Adam promised us he would be at church, and I finally actually believed him this time! We went back Thursday night and had another great lesson with his home teacher, and then just prayed like crazy the rest of the week that Adam would show up to church. Sure enough, Sunday morning Adam comes walking into church (in a really fresh looking suit). After 21 years the wait is finally over!! He was super stoked to be back in church, and we were stoked for him. After church he had us go outside and take a picture with him, he said he needed to remember the day he finally came back. It was a miracle, I still can't believe we finally got this guy to come to church. He says he is back for good, and is really looking forward to sticking around and serving in the church. So moral of the story, never give up on people. This has been 21 years in the making, and then all of a sudden one lesson on Tuesday night just changed things. Ya just never know what can happen.

Wednesday we went and did some service for some of our investigators, they are what we call eternigators, they have been investigating the church for 7 years. We went and sealed their driveway with a new coat of sealant, it was quite the task. While we were out working the wife brought us out some peanut butter cookies. Elder Minson is super allergic to nuts, especially to peanuts. It still isn't clear if he was just trying to be polite and eat it or if he didn't realize it was a peanut butter cookie, but I ate mine and looked over and saw that he had taken a bite out of one. Yikes, haha I grabbed his cookie and ate the rest of it so no one would get offended, but it was a wee bit too late. Needless to say he was down for the count for quite a while while and I finished the driveway myself. That night we had Stake Reporting with the Stake Presidency and President Packard, it went really well. Lots of exciting things going on around the Providence Stake. After the meeting we went out to eat with President Packard, which was pretty sweet. We soak up any amount of time we can get with that man!

Our investigator Hannah just killing it right now. She gave a talk in church this Sunday and she did sooo good. It was a great talk, and her non member parents were able to come and hear her speak and stay for the rest of Sacrament. It was really good for them to be able to come and see what we are all about, and get a feel for this church that their daughter is now super involved with. Hannah's talk was just basically her telling her conversion story, and the experiences she has had so far. She gave us a nice shout out over the pulpit, she refers to us as "my missionaries" haha. It is nice to see that we are actually really helping people and making an impact on their life out here. Friday we had a lesson with Hannah and we talked a lot about baptism. What it is, why we do it, the requirements to be ready for baptism etc. It was a super good lesson, and at the end we just knew we needed to invite Hannah to be baptized. She has mentioned in the past she wanted to wait a while, but she is beyond ready to be baptized. I invited her to be baptized on the 18th of October, and she jumped all over it and said YES! Then like 2 hours later she text us and said that she had just talked to both of her parents and told them about her baptism, and they were both super supportive and positive. Everything is just falling into place with her, Heavenly Father seems to be pretty good at finding a way to make things work out alright.

There was a lot more that happened, but I am going to be lazy and consider this a worthy letter home haha. I will fill ya in on other stuff next Monday. Hope ya all have a wonderful week! Fall is (almost) here by the way, it is starting to get really pretty! Byeeeee.

Our man Adam. Pretty nice suit he is rocking, right?
Playing some disc golf out in the woods of Norwich, CT.  We probably contracted Lyme's disease, but it was fun so I guess it was worth it.
Some good lookin' guy we found out in the woods!

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