Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Meetings and Peeps

Tuesday, we had MLC where we received the training for zone meeting on Friday. That meeting is from 8:30-3:30 so it takes up most of our day and then we have to plan for zone meeting after that. We had dinner that night and then we were able to meet with Rick and Corban. They are doing great! We went over the first couple of commandments and then the word of wisdom. It was a great lesson! After that we went to the hospital because we received a call from James Kendrick, Paul's Brother, that Paul had a heart attack and he was just getting out of ICU. We went over there and gave him a priesthood blessing and just visited for a little bit. Please keep him in your prayers. I love that guy! He is running off of only 25 percent of his heart so he has to get a transplant within a year. 

Wednesday, we went over and met with Orion. Sorry I have been spelling his name wrong this entire time and I just found out this past week! We talked to him a lot about his baptism and he was saying that he was not quite sure if he wants to get baptized that soon. We talked to him for like 30 minutes with his grandma and it got nowhere so we just told him that ultimately it is up to him. It was really frustrating!! One thing I have learned about myself is that when I get frustrated, the Spirit ceases. We knew that it wasn't really effective to stay so we just thanked him and then got him a ride to young men's that night! 

We also met with Rick and Corban again on Wednesday and we went over the Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson with them and we had Brother Ure Sr. and his grandson Ben with us. It was a good lesson! They are doing really well and they love meeting with us almost as much as we love meeting with them! It is so much more effective when we can meet more than just once a week. 

Thursday, we saw Angel, Cynthia, Dante, and a new investigator Jesse. We watched the 20-minute Restoration video with them and it was really powerful. We then talked a little more in depth about Joseph Smith and the actual restoration through him. Dante said that he really liked the music that was playing during the first vision. It is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and it is "Joseph Smith's First Prayer," hymn #26. We explained to him that it was the Spirit that he felt and that was why he felt so good! It was sweet!

Friday, we had zone meeting and it went really well! One thing that we decided on at MLC was that as a mission we should have 3 investigators at Sacrament Meeting, and 5 member-present lessons per companionship each week. That is about double of where we are right now, but this was the standard of excellence that we all agreed on in MLC. I was the one introducing this new standard of excellence to the zone so I started out with an analogy that President heard at his mission president seminar. If you were stranded out in the middle of the ocean on a little paddle boat with nothing in sight, how hard would you be paddling? Most everyone said not very hard. Then I asked, "So, what if you could see and island in the distance?" Then everyone was like, "Well. I would be going as fast as I could! Sparks would be coming off my paddle!" Just kidding, but seriously. Okay, so what changed? At first, we had no vision of what to achieve, but once we had our minds set getting to that island it motivated us to work towards something. Then I went to Alma chapter 8 where Alma heads to Ammonihah and is at first rejected by the people so he leaves and then he is visited by the same angel that we read about in Mosiah 27. He tells him to go back and so he listens. On his way back to Ammonihah, he runs into Amulek and asked him for something to eat in verse 19 (meal calendar for missionaries). Then they go to Amulek's house and he feeds him and then Alma blesses his family. Then they go out together! Verse 29&30....member present!!  So we know that they go out together and in chapter 9 Alma basically throws it down and tells the Nephites that the Lamanites will be better off than they are if they do not repent. Then this is the part I love. In chapter 10, Amulek is testifying of everything that Alma is preaching and then in verse 12 we read that the "people began to be astonished." Obviously, not everyone listens and we know that Zeezrom gave them a bunch of grief but that is okay because he is converted in chapter 15:12. :) It's all good! Anyways, I just likened the scriptures unto us as missionaries taking members with us when we teach. It is so much more powerful and the investigators have someone to relate to other than a bunch of weird missionaries. 

Then I talked a little bit about our goals and asked each companionship the number of baptismal dates they are planning to have set by the end of this month. I then shared two quotes that my Mom sent me a while back. "If you are persistent, you will get it. If you are consistent, you will keep it." And also "To reach a goal you have never before attained, you must do things you have never before done." I shared these because we have committed to get 7 baptisms a month as a zone and we were able to do that in March because we were persistent, but in April we only had 2 because we were not consistent. It flowed really nice into what Elder Petersen shared about not being an elevator missionary, but rather an escalator missionary. Meaning don't just find someone to teach and bring them all the way up to baptism and then have to go back down to pick up more investigators to teach, but rather be constantly finding new people to teach as well as having the ones you are teaching. This way when you do bring someone to the waters of baptism, you still have people in your teaching pool. He did a really nice job at explaining it. This was why we were so low in April because we were only focused on who we were teaching in March. 

Saturday, we went back to the house where a bunch of our investigators live and we actually went over the Restoration again to make sure that Jesse understood the importance of it. Aaron Finch came with us and bore powerful testimony to them, and then offered to pick them all up for church the following day! 

Sunday was great! We had a Stake Correlation meeting in the morning so we were late to our Sacrament, but Rick and Corban came and Aaron picked up Angel, Cynthia, and Weldon who is another guy living there. Dante and Jesse didn't make it. Church was great and then afterwards we had the opportunity to give Rick a priesthood blessing for something that he is struggling with the word of wisdom. I did the anointing and  Brother Ure Sr. did the sealing. It was the most powerful blessing I have ever heard pronounced upon anyone. The Spirit literally filled the room. I cannot explain it. After that, when his children walked out we pulled him aside and explained that we ALL have our struggles and to not worry at all. He is such a great guy! We told him to not feel pressured about the 16th and if need by, we can push it back a week or two and he was like well I don't want to move it back so I am doing all that I can to be able to be baptized on the 16th. 

The gospel changes people. I know that! I have lived it and experienced it myself. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be out here sharing this wonderful message with those that Heavenly Father is preparing for us. Life is good here in the great state of Texas! I love you guys! 


Elder DeLuca

​It looked way better in person, but here ya go! 

​Here is our zone again! My companion was tired. 

​When the truck fills up, just ride on the mower! 

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