Monday, January 16, 2017

Clemson!!!

This week was sooo crazy! Lots happened!
Monday for p-day we went to Clemson University to check out the campus. The only cool things were their clock tower and the stadium- and well, that is all I needed! Their stadium is huuuge!! It is a good location too. Monday night we rode up to West Columbia for MLC with Elder Douglas and Elder Boone-- super fun car ride hahah just catching up on old memories and inside jokes!

Tuesdays MLC was pretty good! President gave a good training on virtue. Virtue has so much to do with your thoughts. Not necessarily immoral thoughts, but making sure our thoughts build us up, and aren't destructive in nature. President said "if you learn to exercise virtue through mental exertion, you will be successful in cultivating the faith necessary to bring about miracles." Virtue is 
the substance of our faith and gives faith its power. It can be a deep topic! Study it out! Another thing he told us was that "if you radically alter your thoughts, you will be astonished at how rapidly the material conditions of your life will be transformed." It is all a mental game. Everything you do starts in your mind, and your view on life comes from that same place! As we become more virtuous, it will make an impact on the timeline and magnitude of our conversion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

If you have a negative thought, push it out! Those negative, discouraging, and doubtful thoughts we receive are small so to say "practice tests" preparing us to push away the immoral thoughts that may come to our minds. Find something meaningful to turn to when these lame thoughts come to you-- make sure it is memorized too, because you won't have enough time to push the thought out immediately if it isn't. What has helped me is reciting my missionary purpose, the standard of truth, the first vision, and DyC 4 all in spanish…as well as singing hymns I have memorized in Spanish. Find what works for you!

Also at MLC, Elder Jacobsen, Overson, me, Fife and Douglas sang "brightly beams our fathers mercy." I do not have the video someone took yet, but I will have it soon!! 
It was good--  I hope! I sang the alto line, and kinda struggled.

Thursday night before coming in, Elder Fife was prompted to go visit someone, and we saw this guy who was standing outside of his ranger with his hot dog stand trailer in the middle of the street. The hitch was broken and he was stuck and did not have his phone with him. We let him call whoever and then met his wife too when she showed up to help! They seem like a cool family! His name is Randy, and he used to work for a corporate company, but now sells hotdogs- and get hired to cater at events, and he owns a gospel recording studio just up the street from our apartment! We are going to his studio on Tuesday to teach him…maybe we will hear some of his gospel music!!

The first 4 days this week, we could not get anyone to come out with us to go finding, and we were struggling with teaching appointments as well! We had to cancel an appointment on Monday night so we ould drive to West Columbia after p-day, and then all day Tuesday we were in West Columbia and then had to drive back home (stopped to get cost pizza and churros BTW) and then Wednesday we planned for ZTM and Elder Fife was down sick, but it ended up turning out great! We worked our little booties off trying to teach as many people as we could, and we ended up teaching 8 lessons with members, we got 5 referrals, we had 4 at sacrament meeting (and two of those 4 went to the Albrecht's son Camden's baptism Sunday afternoon- which was pretty cool btw) and 7 new investigators. 

One of those 7 new investigators is a guy from Guatemala named Victor. He is such a happy guy!! He literally laughs non-stop! He gave us a call my first week here asking about service opportunities. We met with him last night, and talked about the service that is available in the church. I have never met a guy who wants to do so much for others. He knows the importance of charity as we talked about it. He is from Xela (pronounced Shayla- I think Pops told me he served here and that is how my mom got her name!?) which is outside of Quetzaltenango. He was in seminary to become a priest, but decided that it was not right for him. We shared with him the Book of Mormon and explained what it was and what it could teach him. He seemed very excited to read it. I hope this will go somewhere soon!

Friday we had ZTM and the trainings we gave seemed pretty good! It felt like nobody was really listening because people were half asleep, and the majority were not taking any notes-- I mean maybe someone learned something, but it was discouraging that we spent time to prepare our messages, but their hearts and minds weren't open---now there were a row of sisters that seemed into it, so if we helped out someone at least, it was worth it. Friday night (it was Friday the 13th) I sliced my right ring finger and middle finger--oops!! We were moving a fridge out of an investigators trailer and one of the cords was stuck, so Frank (who is investigating) cut the cord, and I thought he put the razor away, so I reached over to move the cut off cord, and grabbed the razor--immediate pain and blood...I got through it though! It actually was not that bad.

The mission department has rolled out a new missionary schedule!! President told us about it in MLC, and has told us to start following it. So we have. It is a bit looser of a schedule. Instead of getting up at 6:30, exercising, eating, showering having 8-9 personal study, 9-10 comp study and then language study we have from 6:30 till 10 to fit in 30 min of exercise, 1 hour of personal study and 30 minutes for a planning session (instead of planning at night). We have from 10-9pm for prosylting, service, language study, lunch and dinner. At night from 9-9:30 we have journal time and then 9:30-10:30 prepare for bed. This gives us the option to going to bed an hour early, helping us with our sleep. I think that it is preparing us for real life, where we have to fit what is important into our schedules. Missionaries when they get home can sometimes revert to old habits because they were so pressured with a strict schedule for their 2 year missioary service. I think it will be a good change!

I felt a lot of push back form people about the Book of Mormon this week. It has been hard to get people to read it and even accept one. As this has happened I realized that the Lord is helping me grow my testimony of it by bearing testimony that is sincere and powerful. The words from a verse in Alma have come to my mind frequently: Alma 4:19 "...seeing no way that he might reclaim them save it were in bearing down in pure testimony".

Other service we did this week was push a

dead car from the street, the moving of a refrigerator, and diggign 10-inch deep trenches around a guys house to install a drainage system...that was pretty fun!

Last night some guys asked if we were from Bob Jones (a Baptist college that doesn't like us). Never have been asked if I was Baptist before. Only Jehovah's Witness.

Well....that was long!! I hope we stay busy!!











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