Monday, September 26, 2016

Hey there,

It's been a very busy week, again. We had zone conference in Greensboro on Wednesday, it was the first time I'd been back to the Greensboro stake center since I served in Danville. Brought back some good memories! I got to see a lot of missionary friends including Elder Watson! He's in Gilford right now, which is a pretty coveted area. Sounds like he's liking it a lot. I also saw one of Cameron and Jackson's friends! He's serving in Caswell, another area I'd really like to serve in at some point. The conference was all about helping people keep commitments. We had a pretty good council on John chapter 15 and how we're an extension of Christ's love and a direct extension
of the Apostles.

After that I went on exchange with Elder Prestwich. He's one of my favorite missionaries in our Zone so I'll be pretty sad when he leaves. The exchange was pretty bland. Went to a meeting, stopped and talked to a few people, and then went home. The next day was service again at the Montagnards. Luckily it was all overcast and stayed in the 70's. It even rained a bit and felt sooooo good! But after that I was crazy tired.

We spent a lot of time getting Nancy ready to be baptized but today she messaged us and said she doesn't want to come to our church anymore because this YouTube video showed her the truth. Dang it Satan... Hopefully we'll be able to resolve what ever concerns she has.

Shirley was at church yesterday with Courtney and Dainger. She brought her boyfriend too! He's from Danville and drives down a lot to see her. She really wants to get married to a nice Mormon guy, but just can't seem to find one. It'd be super cool to come back in a year or two and see her family all be sealed together. Shirley started her new job today and is doing pretty well.

Today we went to the zoo again, wasn't as fun as the first time. I guess the law of diminishing returns is for real.

The highlight of my week was probably my study I did on the Christlike attribute of hope this week. I learned some things that clicked pretty well in my head from cross referencing Romans 5 and Ether 12 as well as a few other scriptures. 

Welp, that's about it. Hope you have a great week!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Email received from the church missionary department:

"As you are probably aware there have been demonstrations in Charlotte, North Carolina, that have gained national attention the last few days.  These have primarily been in a small isolated area where we do not have missionaries housed.  All of our missionaries have been advised to use caution and good judgment as they continue their missionary work.  They have been asked to stay away from large groups. We are in contact with all missionaries serving in the North Carolina Charlotte mission and have taken necessary precautions to ensure the safety of all our missionaries."

Monday, September 19, 2016

Hey there!

It's been a busy week here per usual. I was on exchanges from Monday to Thursday. First I went to Colfax with Elder Agler. He's got a yeast infection that's apparently pretty bad because he's got yeast in his brain. Literally inside his brain. As you can guess it makes him pretty foggy headed and he has trouble socializing with people. So that was a pretty long exchange. Elder Andersen is training him right now up there. After that I went over to Lakefield  (Southern Greensboro) with Elder Hatch. Elder Hatch just came out a few weeks ago and is all about Mario. I'm not sure why, but he's super into Mario. So during that exchange I learned just about every there is to know about Mario. And then we went finding together and found a TON of people to teach. It was the best thing ever. We had sooooo much fun.

Nancy is still doing really well. She was at church yesterday. Pray that she'll be able to live the word of wisdom because that's the only thing that could hold her back from being baptized. She reads like 4 chapters from the Book of Mormon every night and is just on fire!

We also went and did a service project at an orphanage in Winston Salem this week. It's like a super old facility with a bunch of buildings and a farm and stuff. Kinda weird. I guess this guy is trying to fix it all up and open it back up. So we were taping up things for them to paint and moving really heavy tiles and other building materials. We brought a recent convert named Christian with us and had a pretty good time. He's from Mexico and moved up here when he was 18. Then he got baptized down in South Carolina and moved up here a few months ago.

Dad asked how Zone Leader is going. It's pretty fun, I like helping other missionaries and going on exchanges and having model area. Sometimes it's hard because missionaries expect us to be "perfect" missionaries and I'm not exactly perfect. Also it's a pretty big responsibility to run the whole zone. President Alexander has a lot of trust in us and expects us to pretty much just be the mission president of our zones. We have to make decisions that can sometimes be tricky about different rules and what not. But those kind of things don't happen very often and I'm super happy here. This is probably the happiest I've been on my mission so yeah.

It's starting to look like fall here finally! The leaves are changing colors and I've got my fall scented candle thing,  I really love the fall here, it's by far the best time of the year.

This week we have a Zone Conference in Greensboro. Should be pretty fun, I'll get to see Elder Watson. He's serving in Gilford right now which is like downtown Greensboro and has 8 or so college campuses. I'm sure he's having a blast.

Yup, great things happening. Talk to you next week!

Monday, September 12, 2016

What a week! On Tuesday we drove down to Charlotte for MLC. The district leaders were invited and since it was quite a drive and we had to get up early we just had them stay at our place. For some reason after planning, the decision was made to play a game of Risk. Elder Andersen and I were like "heck no", but ended up playing anyways. It's funny though because at the end the two people that didn't want to play were one of the only ones left. Elder Andersen, Elder Prestwich, and I ended up making a treaty and each sharing 1/3 of the world. Honestly it was the best game of Risk I've ever played because it lasted less than 8 hours and I was stressing out the whole time.

MLC was all about the doctrine of Christ and how we prepare people for baptism. We had an interesting counsel about the difference between changing and repenting. Also about why King Benjamin said we "retain" a remission of our sins. Elder Blanco brought up the point that really we're all saved. Christ's atonement was infinite and everyone will overcome death, and when we're baptized God forgives us of all our sins. From then on its only a matter of continual repentance and faith to "retain" that forgiveness and most importantly to change our hearts so that we're prepared to live with God. It was a pretty good discussion.

Highlight of my week: We've been teaching this lady named Nancy who's come to church a few times and is progressing pretty well. The only bad part is she was supposed to move in with some guy in California this week. So we were messaging her on Facebook asking her if she needs help moving and she replies she's not moving anymore. She said she was reading the Book of Mormon and praying to know if it's true, and she felt the Spirit and felt the book was true and then felt like she shouldn't move to California because she'd be breaking a commandment and she wants to give it all to God now. So we're like super pumped!!! She's supposed to be baptized on the 30th of this month but she needs to give up smoking so pray that she'll be able to live the word of wisdom!!!

Now for P-day we're going to a zone activity.  That should be fun.

Here's the "family portrait" we took at zone meeting this week:

Monday, September 5, 2016

This week was pre good. Let's see....

We had a district meeting down in Salisbury this week and afterwards the member that drove us took us to Panera. Then the next day we went back to the Montagnard refugee place and did more service. So fun. Our zone is the best. I'm not sure how much of this I've already told y'all but we have the smallest zone in the mission with only 10 companionships (most have between 13-16) and we're like the most tight knit zone ever. Instead of calling us a zone Elder Toki started calling it The Family and it spread through the mish. Not only are we the smallest zone, but we're also the highest baptizing per companionship zone in the mission. So anyways, service projects like that are super fun because literally everyone is friends and we just have a blast.

After the service project I went on exchange with one of our new missionaries, Elder Zesiger, who's been out about 2 weeks. Even though he's new, he's super prepared to be a missionary. I was pretty impressed. And the best part was, that night Sister Smith (our Ward meal coordinator) took us out to eat at this place call Ricks Smoke House. We got ribs and hush puppies, best thing ever. I also can't remember if I already told y'all this either, but Lexington is the BBQ capital of the world and the best BBQ restaurant is right across the street from our apartment. It's called Lexington BBQ, or if you're a long time native The Honey Munk. So we end up eating there ALL the time.

I also went on exchange with Elder Clarke this week! He's still an assistant down in Matthews and he came up and spent the day in Lexington with me. He was a Zone Leader here before he became an assistant so he knows the area and members pretty well. We had a fun time, talking about good times in Danville and what not. He's only got another 3 months left on his mission which is crazy because when I became his companion he was only 7 months out!

Now me and Elder Toki are on our way to High Point to play volleyball with the Fam. Tomorrow is MLC and all the district leaders are invited this time so we've got a few missionaries staying at our place this evening. Hopefully that doesn't get out of hand... 

Hope all is well at home!