Monday, June 27, 2016

Finding new investigators

Hey y'all!

We've been working really hard and we hit our goal of three new investigators this week!

Elder Brown (my zone leader) and I went on exchange on Thursday and had a really fun time. We pulled into an apartment complex and I was like "alright we've got 45 mins to find someone to teach" and he was like "alright, we'll see about that." (He's kinda sarcastic sometimes) and then the first door we knocked on they let us in to teach them and accepted a return appointment. Bam! That's how it's done. We also met a lot of other people and have ton of other people to teach next week. One day we planed to be at a park at a certain time and when we got there no one was there, dang it. Then this guys walks up with his dog. He told us he'd been meeting with Jehovah's Witnesses for a while but wasn't sure if he was going to join their church. When I asked why he came to the park today he was like "I'm not sure, I haven't been to this park in years." Pretty neat. He couldn't really set up a return appointment because he's in the middle of moving, but we're gonna try and go teach him this week.

Allen was supposed to come to church this week, but didn't. I really hope he starts keeping commitments because I really don't want to have to stop teaching him.

We also had zone conference this week with the Charlotte Central zone. It was pretty great. President Alexander talked a lot about the fall and the importance of understanding it. He also brought up the creation a lot so I've really been studying that. Elder Sagers gave a pretty good training on finding. He's one of the senior couples in our mission and has served as a mission president in Texas. Right now he's over the Greensboro YSA branch so I got to know him pretty well while I was up there.

On Friday we were walking to our apartment when this lady drove by and flipped us off. Then we got over to where we live and she was parked right next to us. She yelled out of the window and was like "you boys Mormons?" And I was like "yeah we are!" Then she said "do you wanna know somethin' about Jesus?" And I was like "sure!" Then she went off about how he's not really the messiah and how Jews rule and we suck and some other profane things. We were like "neato!" And we went inside. Then I remembered we were supposed to wait outside our apartment because President Alexander was dropping off an Elder that was going to stay the night at our place. Oh, I forgot to mention the lady was blasting Metallica and smoking like crazy. So that would be
super awkward waiting there for President. We ended up waiting a ways down the road and when he got there President looked over at her and then looked at me basically told me never to smoke a cigarette. It was pretty funny.

Today we played basketball with the zone leaders and some of their investigators, it was pretty fun.

Thanks for all the letters and packages, I'm really grateful for y'all!!!! Also have a happy birthday mom!!! I'll be thinking of you! Love y'all!

Elder Earnest

Monday, June 20, 2016

A rough week

Hey there! Good to hear from y'all.

It's been a really long week. Elder Leach snores terribly and I haven't been able to sleep well at all. I finally went to Walmart halfway through the week and got ear plugs, but he still wakes me up in the night. And then I'm super irritable during the day because I didn't sleep well at all the night before. Summer is making me pretty trunky too. Every single night there's people having a cookout at the pool that's in our backyard. When it's 100 degrees and I'm wearing a button-up shirt and a tie, the only thing I wanna do is jump in a pool. Plus, I keep imagining how good it'll feel a year from now when I'm looking at going home. So that's been my struggle lately. Just trying to put that all in the back of my mind and keep focused on what I'm doing now. I've been reading my patriarchal blessing a lot too.

I'm so jealous you guys got to go to the temple! There are a few missionaries that were temple workers before they came on their mission and know a ton about the temple. They always talk about temple stuff and I can't even tell them which of the temple videos I've seen. When you've only seen one it makes it pretty hard to tell them! I hope Dad had a great Father's Day! I'd love to see pictures from Sunday!

I'm starting to like Charlotte a little less. I'm really sick of buildings and roads and homes everywhere. Like there's absolutely no open space and I feel really claustrophobic. I just want to get way out in the middle of the woods and sit in silence. In Danville we had a lot of country we could cover if we wanted, but here it's just city, city, city. I'm not cut out for city life. 

On a better note, we're finding a lot of people to teach! I told you about Erika last week, the one who's an excommunicated Jehovah's Witness. We taught her this week with Abel. She had a lot of questions about why bad things happen to good people, particularly why a two year old got killed by a gator in Florida. We taught her
part of the plan of salvation and committed her to read a chapter of the Book of Mormon. Pray that she'll feel the Spirit as she reads. She has a lot of potential, but is really discouraged about any form of organized religion. We finally got to talk to Allen.  His grandma is out of the hospital and into a rehab center. Her surgery went well, and they found out it isn't cancer. I can't remember if I told you, but we went over and gave her a blessing in the hospital. She's quite a hoot!

The one family who randomly showed up never called. I think they were from Charlotte Christian, a local school here that has their students go visit different churches. But it was still a pretty neat story! Oh, and President and Sister Alexander came to my district meeting this week! That was pretty neat, but a little scary. Sadly my training didn't go as well as I wanted. Trainings and role plays are so hard to come up with. I'm still happy here, it's just been rough lately.

Today we played disk golf and went to Ming Fu with the district. It was super fun, but I'm way better at regular golf.  I love y'all, and miss y'all and all y'all.

Peace out!

Monday, June 13, 2016


Elder Blanco and Elder Earnest

Elder Earnest and Elder Leach

"The Wintry Day".....

Welp it's been another crazy week.

On Thursday we were volunteering at this thrift store and all of a sudden I heard this terrible scream and when I went around the corner there was an older lady laying on the stair steps. She'd fallen and hit her head and couldn't remember much and was flipping out. It was pretty freaky and the ambulance had to come get her. Then the very next day I walked out of the stake center from Zone meeting and saw a huge car crash on the road the church building is on. I'm not entirely sure what happened, but I heard one car honk and fly into a side road and another car smash into a telephone pole at 40 mph. Elder Watson ran over there and helped the ladies out, who miraculously both could still walk and I called 911 for the 5th time on my mission. It was really scary, I hate seeing that kind of stuff. That fact that those things happened two consecutive days in a row made me think I might be
cursed or something, so the next day I was super careful. Luckily the only noteworthy thing from that day was good!

We were out finding and were running a bit behind our plans to be at a certain complex to find people. The complex was on the other side of town and there wasn't much time and it was about 97 degrees and 60% humidity so we really didn't feel like going over there. We tried finding around where we were and nothing was working, so we decided just to stick with our plans and push through the weather. When we got there we went to the former investigator's door and they weren't home, so we started walking around and this lady called us over to talk to us. She was super nice and really interested in what we were doing. Turns out she's also an excommunicated Jehovah's Witness and none of her friends or family will talk to her now as part of the shunning. Pretty sad stuff. But she said we could come and share our message with her this week!!!! So pray that Erica will be ready to receive our message and be baptized in the next month or so!!!!

Last night we were out finding and this guy walking his dog told us to leave because it was a "no soliciting" neighborhood. (I didn't see any of those signs, and I actually keep my eye out for them.) That being said, I didn't want any trouble so I said "okay!" And we started walking off to our bikes to leave. I could hear him cussing at us
under his breath and then he turned back and said "and stop ringing the doorbell! My wife is disabled and... JUST STOP WHAT YOU'RE DOING!!!" like the situation escalated really quickly. I'm sure he's had some terrible experience with some "soliciting Jehovah's Witnesses" and was just taking it out on us or something, so I just said "okay, have a nice evening!". Then we got to our bikes and I was undoing the bike lock and I noticed he was just standing there with his arms crossed watching us. I was like "really?" So I took my sweet time undoing the lock and he was still standing there watching us. Then as we rode off I yelled, "we love you sir!" And he kindly replied with "f***ing idiot!!!" Like super loud for everyone to hear in whole neighborhood. Like what the heck? He told us to leave and we did and then he got mad at us!? It was ridiculous... The funny part was he reminded me SO much of Mr. S (a teacher at the high school). He looked and talked just like him.

We also had a great lesson with an investigator named Lamont on Thursday. Committed him to baptism on the 25th of this month. Then we went back for his return appointment Saturday and he wasn't there and we haven't been able to get a hold of him since. Classic. Also, we're in the ward choir now!!! There weren't a ton of people helping out so we decided to show up and it was actually pretty fun. We're singing hymn 37, "The Wintry Day, Descending to Its Close". I've never heard it before, but it sounds pretty cool.

So that was my crazy week! How was y'alls? Today for p-day Elder Leach and I are going fishing so that should be pretty fun. Oh yeah, on Tuesday I had MLC and I got to see Elder Galvin!!!!! It was super great.

Alright, love and miss y'all!

Elder Earnest

Monday, June 6, 2016

Hey y'all! 

It's been another good week! Elder Leach and I have been getting along great and working hard. He's from Rancho Cucamonga, California and just came down from the Greensboro zone. We get along really well and he's also Sister Alexander's favorite missionary.  They're obsessed with him, and I'm pretty sure that's why he got transferred down here. He broke his leg and went home the week they got here and ever since he came back in December he says they always tell him how much they like him. It's pretty great. I saw Elder Everett at transfers.  He told me all I really missed since I left Danville was a few shootings and a few baptisms. Sounds about right. Allen and his family is still doing well.  They were up in Virginia this week so they couldn't come to church, but it sounds like they'll be there next week. We had an investigator named Lamont come to church and he really enjoyed it and told us he'd be back next week. I didn't really expect him to actually come, but now I'm pretty exciting to start teaching him.

Our district had a fast this Sunday that we'd be able to find more families to teach and the mission as a whole was asked to fast that more investigators would start coming to church. Yesterday a random family showed up at church and said they decided to visit because they'd read about our church on the Internet. Fasting works!!!! They
said they may be interested in meeting with us, but they'd have to talk to the whole family about it. I'm praying they'll actually have interest and want to learn more.

I've been studying the Book of Mormon a lot lately. I really want to finish it again before I hit my year mark. There's so many interesting things in there that I've never noticed! I just finished the Book of Mosiah, and I've been thinking a lot about the story of Zeniff. At the beginning of his record he talks about how he was taught the language of the Nephites and knew of the land of Nephi. He's clearly not of Nephite lineage and he's probably a Mulekite (the people of Zarahemla). Because of this he's zealous to go down and claim the land of Nephi, since Mosiah and his people basically took over and there's not Mulekite leadership. I'm also pretty convinced he's not a Nephite because he talks about seeing much good in the Lamanites. But anyway, he does listen to those who know what the Lamanites are like and have actually been in the land of Nephi and lets his pride get the better of him and goes down there. Then slowly his people are lead into more and more bondage and more and more sin. I feel this applies to us with listening to the council of leaders. We can't let our pride get the better of us, or feel that we know better. This morning I read a great Neal A. Maxwell talk about being willing to submit your will to the Lord's and how important that is. It went along really well with what I've been reading. He's my favorite general authority to read. Every Monday for personal studies I have Maxwell Monday.

Well, Elder Leach and I are going to play disk golf! I'll send you pictures of it next week but here's a picture of the two of us.

I love you guys!