Sunday, December 11, 2016

Obedience and Trying New Things Brings Success (Week #79)

My week's been pretty interesting! 

Elder H is a great guy. He's a really good replacement for Stone. We get along super well. He's from Salt Lake and he was going to go play D-1 football, but he tore his ACL his junior year. A school in Iowa called William Penn gave him a full ride after his mission. He's reallllly good. Super hardworking guy.

Yeah Sister F is from Hillsboro. I don't know much about her honestly. She's really quiet. She likes to run. Doesn't know anyone I do.

We're still working with M. Every Sunday something keeps him from church. This last one was the closest yet though. He was literally in the parking lot of the church at 10;30 and backed out cause he thought it was over (lack of cars apparently...only 6 people at churchSunday  including us...). G has completely dissapeared...we tried by everyday but she never answered...weird..

What are the main things that happened on the following days?:
• Monday - Went to the H's like every pday and ate with them. Taught a lesson about obeying parents (obviously I know nothing about that...)
• Tuesday - Today we had a meeting in Corpus, where President Torres came up and talked to the missionaries and the ward leaders. Basically trying to get everyone on the same page and working together. It went well but it's a little tough to plan with your ward leaders when you don't really have any...
• Wednesday - We had a lesson with M and tried to help him get an answer that Joseph Smith is a prophet...We testified super hard and prayed with him, but he still doesn't get it..The spirit was really
strong. I don't think I've ever testified so hard, so many times to one person, without them feeling it. Something's holding him back...
• Thursday - We had our monthly leadership conference thing. It was really good. President changed things a little bit. Now we have an hour a day where we go out and just knock doors. It's weird haha drove 8 hours...the whole day was driving and in a meeting. Craziness
• Friday - First day trying out the knocking doors was super weird. The first one pretended they weren't home even though we saw him walk in, the second was a JDub who tried to convert us and just about everyone slammed the door in our face and turned us down. My sarcasm came in real handy to keep a positive attitude haha but we found a really cool lady named C who has buddies in Utah who are Mormon and wants to come to church!
• Saturday - Finally got to see the G's again! They're doing good. We're still working on church with them.
• Sunday - Had 6 people in church. We got to talk to M. He asked us for a church tour on Wednesday which'll be cool.

What has been your biggest challenge this week?
We had a lot of time spent in other places cause of meetings and stuff like that. So we had to make up a lot of work.

What has been your biggest concern?
Sorta concerned about what M is missing. We've done just about as much as we can. We'll see what happens.

What has been your biggest success?
Finding C was a really cool thing. Good sign that obedience and trying new things brings success.

Who has been your favorite person this week? Why?
Elder H. He's a really fun guy and works and works and works.

What has been your most significant tender mercy?
It's been super hot over here. It'll rain for like a minute and then get so humid it feels like 115. It's nuts. So anytime we get water it's a huge tender mercy.

What are you looking forward to this coming week?Teaching M and C and knocking doors everyday.

Which scripture has had the biggest impact on you this week?
I read a little bit about the atonement the other day. I felt God's love really well when I read it. It was awesome.

How has your testimony grown this week?
I've seen the importance of listening and obeying God's servants. We'd never tracted in our missions before so it sounded a little crazy before, but once we tried it, it was simple. Kind of like the Israelites and the brass serpent.

Love you guys tons!
Elder Hess

Jumping in Puddles and Such (Week #78)

The week's been real good! 

We head to the mission office on Thursday. 

Elder Stone went down to be a zone leader in McAllen. My new comp is Elder H from Salt Lake. He's a good guy. Yeah Elder Ho is the District leader in Robstown now.

Now we have:
Me and H in Sinton,
Ho and J in Robstown,
Sister St and Sc, Sister E and E, Elder L and P, Sister P and F (she's from Hillsboro)B and S, H and W. They're all really good people. Fun peeps.
Sinton is good. We finally got a ward list, so we can work by knowledge instead of just'll be nice. We had 13 at church. It was small again.

L is awesome. He's never really wanted to join the church. His mom is bedridden and she's Catholic.

Brother M connects with everyone. He's had a crazy life and a really cool conversion story that he shares with everyone. He's only been a member less than a year, and he's a better missionary than most
member's for their whole lives.

The new apartment is really big. Well bigger. I don't have any pictures, but the old one was probably the size of the downstairs bedroom in total and it had cockroaches everywhere....

What are the main things that happened on the following days?:
• Monday-Last full day with Stone. We stopped by people so he could say his goodbyes.
• Tuesday-Worked with Elder J while transfers were going on, and took Ho by a bunch of people to introduce him.
• Wednesday- Stopped by M. Had a really good lesson with him and he asked us to stop by on Friday to help him not drink. Also talked to
a recent convert named G, who really wants to go to church but has tough health issues.
• Thursday- Really tough day. Worked suuuper hard in super hot sun and then a random rain storm, and didn't get to talk to anyone. Literally like 2 people, but they wouldn't let us teach...
• Friday- Stopped by M and he wasn't there.... Actually all our appointments fell through. Turns out in these little towns, all there is to do is watch high school football....Fridays will be tough for a
while...but we had a really good talk with L about Ether 12:27 and how we can help him with his weaknesses.
• Saturday- Appointments fell through again...But we got to talk to M, and he didn't drink and he said he would come to church and wants to be baptized.
• Sunday- Had a ward council in Portland and no one came to church..

What has been your biggest challenge this week?
Keeping a good attitude. H will be a huge help.

What has been your biggest concern?
Finding something new to try, so we can change the area and make it really good.

What has been your biggest success?
Teaching M has gone really well. He feels the spirit really strongly.

Who has been your favorite person this week? Why?
L. He's a huge help. Has us over to eat and jokes around with us. Just an awesome guy.

What has been your most significant tender mercy?Rain. It's a huge blessing no matter how hard it dumps. Takes away the heat for a while. I mean it comes back twice as bad, but it's nice while it lasts.

What are you looking forward to this coming week?
We're having a meeting with president and all the leadership of the stake, which should be a really good meeting. And we're going over to help out L organize his house. And I get to see stone on Thursday!

Which scripture has had the biggest impact on you this week?
I've been studying PMG a lot and the chapter on finding is awesome. Taught me a ton and gave me some good ideas to use here. We're going to focus a lot more on service this week.

How has your testimony grown this week?
I saw on Thursday, how much God trusts us. We were having a real sucky day, but God put us there for a reason. It was weird revelation. It was a hard day, but we made it a lot of fun. Jumping in puddles and such.

Love you guys a lot!
Elder Hess

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

We're Doing God's Work, What More Could We Want? (Week #77)

Things are going well! This week was really rained for the majority of we didn't get to talk to anybody really because they all make excuses...super lame!!

Elder V only has about 3 months left. Yeah tomorrow is when the switches happen. We already know Elder Stone is leaving and I'm staying...So yeah...
"God Be with You" is a depressing song. I think we'll sing it at your funeral and dress you up in a clown outfit for the viewing. [Personal note to me, his mother--nice! Something for everyone to look forward to, but I have demanded no viewing when I die].

Speaking of flooding in the south! I got a call from Bill Christensen this week! He said he was in Louisiana and wanted to come visit me! So I got permission from President and he drove all the way here and visited with us for a couple hours. Taught us some more harmonica and such. It was awesome! He's a great guy!
Church attendance was better but only because we had a huge family from Portland come to give talks. They asked me if I was related to the Napoleon Dynamite guy...we really should figure that out...
Yeah S doesn't really get what the Bible is trying to tell him and seems to be stuck on his conspiracy that the Pope and the Catholic "system" he calls it, is trying to take over the world. A bunch of random crap about how if you add things up it equals 666....weird stuff.
The best ways to find are pulling yourself out of your comfort zone. God's made you who you are for a reason. He's given you your talents and weaknesses too so why not use them both right?
The families we found have disappeared. I'll have to refind them...

What are the main things that happened on the following days?:
• Monday- Regular pday stuff and visited the H family for dinner. They remind me a little bit of our family. They have a little 7 year old named M that's a lot like L.
• Tuesday-We went to a meeting in Kingsville (about 45 minutes away) in some of the craziest rain I've seen. Like driving into a wall. Portland prepped me though. Not many people talked to us...Kinda depressing haha but we got to visit a guy who's not a member but he's helped the missionaries for 30 years or so. His name is L.
• Wednesday- Tried to visit people in Taft. Super tough day.
• Thursday-We had splits with some of the members in Portland. I went with a guy named Brother Mu. He is the coolest guy I've ever met. He's only been a member for 11 months or so and he testifies to everyone. We had a tough time finding people to talk to but at the end of it, one of our investigators, M, was home. and we had the coolest lesson. We sat down and Mu just went off. I could barely get a word in but M was blown away. The spirit was really strong.
• Friday-We went up and worked with Beeville all day. Didn't get to visit many of the people I knew over there but I got to work with Elder Puga who's probably the funniest kid ever.
• Saturday-Went by L's antique store to check it out and visit him. He showed us all the cool stuff there and we got to share a message with him. 
• Sunday- Tried to visit our investigators but nobody woke up to come to church...

What has been your biggest challenge this week?

 Finding people who aren't afraid of the rain to talk...

What has been your biggest concern?

 I'm a little worried about transfers. Who my next comp will be. Me and Elder Stone had a ton of unity and it was the most fun i've had on my mission. I hope this next one's as good as he is.

What has been your biggest success?
I think the lesson with M was pretty great. He saw the light a little more I think.
Who has been your favorite person this week? Why?
 Elder Stone, L or Bill Christensen. They're all super cool peeps.

What has been your most significant tender mercy?
I think the new apartment is a big one. We have more room and it's not a tiny little cockroach infested place...

What are you looking forward to this coming week?
Seeing who my new comp is and who comes to the zone.

Which scripture has had the biggest impact on you this week?
I really like the scripture about Jesus casting Legion into the swine. It says that they came and worshiped him. They were afraid of what he could do and that's the same way Satan feels about us.

How has your testimony grown this week?
I've seen a lot of how hard work helps out. There's a quote in PMG that talks about how work makes us happy as missionaries and it's absolutely true. We're doing God's work, what more could we want?
Love you guys!
Elder Hess

Our navy jumpsuits

We were running to get in the frame and somehow we ended up looking like this (not planned at all, but we still look like goobers)

Bill! (I'm sure the van looks familiar)

Sunday, December 4, 2016

A Fiery Pit of Misery and Torture (Week #76)

Singing was good. It sounded a lot better than when we practiced it. It was us, Elder V, Elder J and the E family. We
sang "God Be with You Til We Meet Again." Never thought I'd be singing that song at so many funerals....

The weather here...You know how they tell you that hell is a fiery pit of misery and torture? It's a little like that...haha it actually rained yesterday!! First time in like 3 months! It was awesome!

Church attendance was pretty good for here. The people in Sinton should go to the Sinton group and the people in Taft go to Portland. But if they have kids, they go to portland because they have a Primary and Young Mens and
stuff there. It's doable..

We saw M and shared a scripture with his family. He's a super good guy.

Brother J lives in Taft. His wife is getting chemo treatments all the time so he can't help us as much as he wants to, but they buy us groceries a lot which is awesome.

S pretty much told us he wants us to spread what he's teaching was a little weird. He doesn't believe a lot about the Sabbath and church's and stuff and he told us we have more influence on people than he does so he talks to us to spread his ideas. yeah....Everyone else has kinda dissapeared...really weird..

The H's are doing good. Yeah they help us out in Sinton. The people in Portland come over here to help us out actually. It's pretty cool.

President Torres doesn't really tell us what to change. He basically told us if you've never failed, then you've never tried anything new. So if things aren't working then you have to change something and left it to us to do it. We're trying to teach really spiritual lessons with people using scriptures from all the books. It's working really well so far.

We do a lot of street contacting and referral work. we haven't had a lot of opportunities to be creative yet.

What are the main things that happened on the following days?:
• Monday - 
We went all over the place trying to find people and no one was home for 3 straight hours...
• Tuesday - We went up to have a district meeting with Beeville. We also got to talk to Brother R. He's a less active but only because he's a corrections officer in the prison. He said he'd do his best to get work off on Sundays.
• Wednesday - Went and saw S. He showed us some weird pastor talk he had on his computer. The guy said some good stuff, but it wasn't amazing or anything...IDK the true church seems a little better to me than some guy yelling crap.. maybe that's just me..
• Thursday - We had interviews with President Torres. He's an awesome guy. Just talked about the zone and what we've been changing. Then we met with M's family. We talked about seeds and growing them and how they can grow their seed.
• Friday - Elder C (one of the AP's) came and worked with us until yesterday. We found a super cool family in Taft with a mom and dad and 2 little kids that are reaaally interested in the church. They said they've been looking for God for a long time. So we're bringing them to him.
• Saturday - Found another really cool lady who had a Book of Mormon and had some questions. She likes the idea of Christ's church being on the earth and stuff. It's really cool to be able to answer questions with scriptures.
• Sunday - IT RAINED!!! Nobody answered the door BUT IT RAINED!!!

What has been your biggest challenge this week?
Still working hard through the sun. It's been reaally hot. It's weird, whenever it's hot people don't answer the door, and then when it's rainy they don't answer either...

What has been your biggest concern?
Well, we dealt with the whole who-goes-to0Sinton thing. So that's pretty much been solved.

What has been your biggest success?
Finding people. It's always really exciting when you find people here who are interested. It's so small sometimes it feels like missionaries have talked to everyone. But there's always more people.

I'm out of time! I'll try to write some more later if I can! Love you guys!
Elder Hess