Monday, November 28, 2016

I'm glad y'all had a great Thanksgiving! Mine was pretty rad. We had dinner with the Averils. Brother Averil is the High Priest group leader. They're an older couple and they had their niece and nephew-in-law come up from Charlotte. It was a pretty classic Thanksgiving meal, the only difference was they called the stuffing dressing for some reason and it had walnuts in it. Oh and they had something called cranberry relish too. It was pretty tasty.  After that we went to the church because the Sisters asked me to play the piano for their baptism and I had to practice. In the evening we went and saw the Crouses and then came home and planned for the next day. All in all it was quite enjoyable.

We found a few new investigators this week. One of them was a referral from our WML Brother Davis. His neighbor recently had heart surgery and Brother and Sister Davis went over to give him some leftovers from dinner. They got talking about church and Brother Davis asked if he'd like the missionaries to come by. We've got a return appointment with him this week and he sounds pretty interested in reading the Book of Mormon.

We also went back to the family's home from last week. They said they prayed about the Book of Mormon and God told them not to read it. They're pretty solid Southern Baptist. The Bible is all you need and what not. She told me everything we need to know about Jesus was in the Bible and I opened up John 21:25 "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen." And she stills says all we need is the Bible. I don't understand; logically I feel it would make sense that someone would want to know more about Jesus Christ.

On the other hand, we met a former investigator this week who 100% believes in our doctrine. He's literally read everything the church has on and probably knows our handbook better than I do. He has a PHD in religion from Duke. The only reason we was never baptized was because he is a strong supporter of LGBT and participates heavily in protests, something against church policy. It's crazy. He's sooooo smart and knows the scriptures forwards and backwards. He basically said logically our doctrine is the only one that actually makes complete sense. The problem is, he's become intellectually converted and not spiritually converted. It's sad that one little thing is holding him back from all the blessings he could receive.

Also, Millicent doesn't want to live the Word of Wisdom. We should be meeting with her this week, but I'm not sure how much further she'll go. Nancy came to church! And Shirley did too!!!!!! She's finally got a new car, after being gone like a month. I was so excited to see her there!

All right time for me to go to dinner at the Rash's!!!! I love y'all so much and miss you and hope I answered all the things you wanted to know about this week! Thank you for being so supportive of me because I really do love being a missionary.

Elder Earnest

Monday, November 21, 2016

Sup squad?

It's been real good here. Being companions with Elder Hampshire is great and we're getting lots of stuff done. We were able to find 4 new investigators and teach quite a few people as well. One of the new investigators is a couple that was a Bible referral. When we knocked on their door to give them their Bible, their 25 year old autistic son answered and said "we always welcome servants of the Lord. You'll find we're a very spiritual family." Then we sat down and like the first thing they said was "we're trying to quit smoking." Pretty elect. We were able to help them move a dishwasher into their home from the truck and gained a ton of trust and then we shared the restoration. After we got done teaching about the first vision the mom of the family said " I believe it!'", it was pretty great.

Elder Hampshire and I get along really well. We're pretty unified teachers. Plus, he has his fiddle stick too so we play lacrosse every night and for workouts in the morning.

We're also talking with Nancy again. I'm hoping things in her life are set up for her to be able to live the Word of Wisdom this time around. She just needs an environment where there's no stress. It's pretty hard to give up smoking when your Muslim son-in-law and Baptist daughter don't want you to be Mormon and you have to live with them. So pray it goes better this time around!

We taught Millicent the Word of Wisdom this week. She's not having the whole coffee thing. I really want to see her get baptized, but I'm worried she just doesn't have the commitment. She committed to pray about it and if she got an answer, she'd live it. We'll see how this goes.

Well I can't wait to hear how y'all's week went! Miss ya!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Sup guys.

Elder Toki goes home tomorrow. Sad day.

Crazy stuff about Trump! Honestly, I don't even understand why everyone is so mad. I mean I think it's pretty cool we don't have some politician as our president. Did he do something that makes everyone mad or what? Also I heard California is trying to leave the union? What's that all about?

This week was pretty good. I was on exchange a lot. Monday night we went finding, hard core. I was committed to find someone, and we did! We met this lady named Kara and her family. They've been looking for a new church to go to and seem pretty promising. Sadly, they didn't come to church. But pray they continue to meet with us because they're a great family!

I went to High Point part of the week and Colfax the other half. I was with Elder Snyder in Colfax. He was my first comp in Providence. That was kinda neat, we pretty much spent most of the time moving people. I'm getting pretty good at moving. Then we got roped into attending a last minute baptism that was terribly unorganized. I ended up having to play the piano for it. Never played "When I am Baptized" before, but I played it perfectly. Talk about gifts of the spirit.

Speaking of past companions, my new companion is going to be Elder Hampshire, my MTC companion. It's pretty hilarious, I've joked about being Zone Leaders with him since we came out, and now it's actually happening. It's weird having a new companion that I already know pretty well. He's the one from Bountiful that plays BYU Lacrosse. We'll get along pretty well.

But yeah this week kinda flew by. I can't believe I was with Elder Toki for 4 months! Crazy. Now I'm ready to start a new chapter in my mission. It's strange how much changes depending on your companion.

I love you all and apologize for the shortness of this letter. It was a quick week.

Monday, November 7, 2016

It's been a fun week. We had MLC on Tuesday and I got to see all my friends. Then I was on exchange with Elder  Beaulieu in Salisbury. We had a pretty great time. Found this guy who had been chatting online with online missionaries. He's really sick with some kind of intestinal failure and was going to have surgery the next day. We just happened to feel prompted to go see him the night before during planning and we showed up just in time. He and his wife let us teach them the plan of salvation and I think it struck a chord with them. They want to have the missionaries back this week after he's out of the hospital. Sadly I'm not in Salisbury, but hopefully he and his whole family get baptized!

Then we had Zone Conference in Winston. It was a combo of Greensboro, High Point, and Winston Zones. President asked me to conduct the meeting, which was a really neat experience. I'm learning so much about how the church is run! I also saw Elder Watson and Elder Everett. They're companions now in Gilford and I'm so jealous of them! My two favorite missionaries are companions in downtown Greensboro with like 7 college campuses. I guess they're both going to BYU now and want me to room with them. Might be pretty fun, but they get home next November and won't start 'til winter time or so. That being said, Elder Watson and I are for sure backpacking Ireland that spring. It was pretty funny, Elder Everett was reading a scripture during President's talk and President called him Elder Earnest in front of everyone. We got that a lot when we were companions in Danville.

I also went on exchanges with Elder Blanco this week! That was super fun. He and I have pretty similar interests and tastes in literature and music so there was lots to talk about. He really likes the book 'A Thousand Years of Solitude' (I think you read that dad, right?). It's by a Columbian author and he's from Bogata so go figure. He'll be at BYU the same time I will and his only other close family that's not in South America lives in North Bend on the coast so I told him he could ride with me back to Oregon during the holidays. Hope you don't mind!

Today we went to hang out with some members in Salisbury. They have a manmade lake with a lake front and volleyball pit. It was super fun! Elder Toki goes home next week so he really likes spending time with the other missionaries. Now I'm just predicting who will come replace him. Hopefully it's not some goober....

The Crouses were confirmed yesterday! That was a great day. Millicent has been at the hospital all week with her close friend that's having heart problems so we weren't able to see her this week. Sounds like she still wants to be baptized so hopefully we'll be able to buckle down and teach her everything. We REALLY need to find some new people to teach this week. Our teaching pool is getting baptized and dropped faster than we can resupply it. Pray for us!!!!!

But that was pretty much it! Just a lot of stuff in a small about of time. I've never been so mentally tired in my life. It's so great. I'm having a blast! Sure love y'all!!!