Friday, July 7, 2017

2 Mormon Missionaries, a Jehovah's Witness and a Catholic...

The Bachelors of Boiling Springs: Our district posing for our English class picture on our Facebook page
L to R: Sheen, Blackham, Holmstead, Peck, me, Willardson

2 Mormon missionaries, a Jehovah's Witness and a Catholic met together in a double wide. Sounds like the begining of a bad joke, but I promise it actually happened Saturday morning! We met one of our active member's dad while street contacting in a trailer park.
He is bien chistoso! We talked for a few minutes and then the JW came inside. We all sat down and he asked us what our topic of teaching is. What we teach people. He proceded to ask us to look up certain bible scriptures. Elder Willardson wanted to go because he was afraid it would turn into a bash. I just sat there and listened to him. I was able to explain the restoration a little bit, and find some common ground. He was a really nice guy. The dad of the member- the Catholic, he just was sitting there listening intently.

We do a thing we term "conTACOtando" where every Saturday around 11 or 12, we hit up a tienda and buy some food. I got a torta, claro. We talked to lots of hispanics, and that is the whole point. We did not teach anybody, but we handed out English class tarjetas and stayed visable. A guy actually told us that he used to meet with missionaries! In the parking lot we were spotted by a member of another ward and we chatted for a few minutes. The son that was with her is actually the grandson of that Catholic I just mentioned. So, within a few hours, we met more of the member's family!

Speaking of members, we REALLY need their help. Especially now more than ever. We are struggling with investigators and so, we have doubled our efforts to visit the active members recently. Our members love us! We go in, chat for a few minutes, and then share some sort of message. What we have been doing is inviting them to write their testimony in the front of the Book of Mormon and invite them to give it to one of their friends. Two of the members have told us they know exactly who to give it to. We visited the Ramirez family the other day, and when we showed up, Hermana Ramirez had just pulled up, and her friend Maclovia who we met a few weeks ago was standing outside! We were invited in, and talked to them. I shared scriptures in Mosiah 5 talking about having Christ engraved on our hearts. I asked them both what they have done this week to serve somebody else, and Maclovia that morning had picked up a lady on the side of the road and drove her home. Hermana Ramirez told me "buena pregunta Elder" and commited to pray for opportunities to serve. Service wins hearts. So go win some hearts! It is fun, free and rewarding!

We collected a couple dozen free water bottles while proselyting this week. We were in a lesson yesterday, and a guy brought us out plastic cups and a full 2 liter bottle of mountain dew haha.

We hiked table rock last Monday. 7.2 miles made us a bunch of tired missionaries. It was so worth it though. The view and being able to say we did it was sweet. This is the tallest place in South Carolina, I believe. It was nice to finally not be surrounded by trees.

All week we struggled. Not many people found and not many people taught. But somehow, God was like "you know, just show me your diligence, and on Sunday I'll make it pay off." That is how its been the last two weeks! Yesterday we talked to a guy named Miguel Angel. It was really cool. Like I don't know how it is when you are not a missionary, but it seems that you can tell if someone is prepared to recieve you by the way their countenance is. I guess it is the gift of discernement. We have a return lesson on Wednesday. We also taught Ricardo Javier. He has lived here for 15 years, has never read the bible, and has never gone to church while in the US. He wants to come close to Christ, and started to open up a little bit more. We go back on Wednesday as well. We ended last night by teaching Alvaro and Teresa. Teresa is fluent in Spanish, but is American and Alvaro is her boyfriend of 5 years. They are so prepared. They both listen really well, and give good comments. Teresa is special I feel like- I mean we all are, but I hope you get what I am saying. Before her mom passed away, her mom was baptized into our church. She remembers having missionaries come and teach them. This was in Idaho. After sharing the restoration, she committed to ask God if what we had shared with her is true. She was just SO sincere about it all. She told us after the closing prayer that she feels like her mom sent us to her. We met them last Sunday. We were about to get into the car to leave, but I saw her and some others on a porch and thought to go and talk to them. So glad I did.

This morning, we walked into Walmart and right off the bat, this guy named Nick comes up to us and asks if we are the Mormons. He explained that sister missionaries came to their house two years ago, but they lost contact with them. He was so excited to see us and wanted the missionaries to come teach him today! So we got in contact with the sisters who cover his area, and hopefully this goes somewhere!

New mission president is finally here! We meet him at zone conference tomorrow. Super stoked!

I can now, along with cut my own hair, make ties too!

I am currently in the book of Luke and I wanted to share one cool thing I learned thss week:

Luke 14:23
In this part, a man had made a great supper an invited various people to dine with him, but they did not and made excuses as to why. Then the man told his servent to basically bring in people form the streets to eat with him, since there was room.

22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.
23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.

The Lord has invited all to come unto him, through saving ordinances. Sometimes we make excuses and choose to reamain in sin. Sometimes we don't feel worthy, but that is why he has sent his servants whether that be prophets or missionaries, to go and bring people in to fill the feast. I guess you could call us feast fillers!

I am grateful to be a missionary. I am grateful for the many cultures I have come to love. I am grateful for the Gospel and this country!

Service this week

Resident Missionary Barber
Epic FAIL in spelling 'HABLAMOS'

Top of Table Rock

Elder Winn doing a handstand

Holmstead, Peck, & me

Me, Staley, Beck, Holmstead, Peck, Winn, & an investigator:)

Related to Elder Peck-- we are 9th cousins on mom's side
waterfall at the base of Table Rock
Why not pretend to be on the Titanic? Me & Elder Winn

Costco Lunch es muy bueno

Carpool Karaoke Lip-Synching

Carpool Karaoke Lip-Synching from Shayla McLaughlin on Vimeo.

Traced my family history back to Adam

Traced my family history back to Adam from Shayla McLaughlin on Vimeo.

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