Monday, June 22, 2015

We Are Set for Saturday!

This week went by pretty quick but I'll spill it out for you. Tuesday, we had 3 solid lessons. We had our usual visit with Brother Mason and Elder Petersen shared Helaman 5:12 with him. After that we met with a former investigator and he was prepared to bash with us. Not cool, man. Haha....we taught the restoration and it was a sweet lesson and then he was like, "Well, I have a few questions." And we were like, "Sweet! Lets hear um." He was very slick with how he went about this. He started out in the Doctrine and Covenants 9: 8-9 and he was like, "I love this scripture and as I have studied from the Book of Mormon I have had some questions that contradict my belief of the Bible." He had 3 different scriptures (which I am not going to waste the time to share), all of which were in completely different parts of the book. We addressed his concerns and I could feel the Spirit starting to leave the room and I had a thought to share something. I said, "Listen, there are many questions that we do not have answers to and it is really easy to Google contradictions in the Book of Mormon and see what you can find. If you are sincere with your questions, that is one thing, but what is really comes down to is the promise found in the Introduction of the Book of Mormon. If you read, ponder and pray you WILL receive an answer that it is true and all of these little concerns will not be as big of a deal because you know that the book is true." We kinda left it at that and we left on a good note, but if someone is going to try to bring up some anti with me, I am not about that. At the end of the day, it all comes down to our own personal testimony with the Book of Mormon. That is literally the keystone of our religion. I have told missionaries that have asked me what to do to prepare to make sure first and foremost that you have a testimony of the Book of Mormon. It is crucial for us all. If we do not stand firm in our belief, we cannot withstand the blows that come. I know I couldn't. Missions are tough! If I didn't know what I know, I couldn't do this. But guess what? I am here because I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that it brings me closer to my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that an evil man could not have written this book. I am so grateful for Joseph Smith and all that he has done for this world. Oh yeah, and we met with a part member family that evening and it was good. :) 

Wednesday was pretty good! We went to TEAM as usual and then met with Sister Harthan (Orions Grandma) and talked about Orion and how he was doing in regards to his baptism. He was on the high adventure with the young men from the ward all last week. Then we saw the Castillo family and the Morgan and Brenda Mertes! It has seemed like a super long time since we have met with them, but they are doing well and we went over the Restoration as a new member discussion with them at Panera Bread. It was so good to see them. We then met with a brother from the ward who just recently moved back in with his parents so we haven't ever met with him. We had planned to share Alma 7: 11-13 with him and talk about the Atonement, but that changed about halfway through the lesson. He started talking about temptations and how he doesn't believe that we are never tempted above that which we can bear. We shared a few scriptures and did our best to explain to him that we can overcome certain things on our own however, there are things that we NEED the Savior's help with. He kept on saying "Then why do people kill themselves? Obviously they were tempted more than they could handle." He was saying things like that and just wanting to argue so I did a nice job at biting my tongue, to the point to where I thought I was going to bite it OFF! At that point I did my sign language that means "time to go" to Elder Petersen and then we had a prayer and left. We have picked up that sign from the ASL Elders that live above us. It is really helpful when you want to get out of somewhere that could turn ugly. 

Thursday was a good day. We had a last minute dinner with the Cannon's. They tell us every time we go over there that if we ever do not have a dinner, call them and they will whip something up quick. I hate to do that to members, but we did because we were going out that night with their son who is about to leave on his mission to Japan. We had a nice dinner and then headed out to get to work. We had three appointments and they ALL fell through. We had planned on attending a young adult worship/bible study that night. We tracted into a guy who was so nice to us and then told us that we could come check out his church the following Thursday and we could meet after. We showed up at 8 and when we got upstairs they had a bunch of food at the back table and people were gathered around talking to each other and the music was bumpin'. I thought I had walked into some sort of a party! We probably look so nerdy to everyone there....hahah!! I just smiled. I was talking to Brandon at the doors so I didn't look too awkward. :) After about 5-10 minutes of me trying to say anything that I could so I didn't have to stand in the back with Elder Petersen and Jordan Cannon they finally announced that it was time to take their seats. Everyone sat down so fast and the only place that was left was the front row, where no one was sitting!! Oh my goodness. I have never felt so out of place my entire life! I just smiled really big and walked right up to the front and we took our seats. Everyone was staring at us, but I really didn't care that much. We started out with a prayer and then we sang some songs. Have you ever been to a non-denominational Christian church? They play like rock music. I don't know about you, but I cannot feel the Spirit when I am jammin' out. After like 20 minutes of me being Bon Jovi, the sermon finally started. It was some younger guy who was reading out of the book of Job. The topic was why does God give us trials. I learned some things that night. First, he never answered the very question that he posed. He danced around it for like 30 minutes by sharing personal stories which were pretty crass when talking about our Father in Heaven. Second, and perhaps the most important, there is so much more that we know as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We literally have answers to everything. Obviously, I myself cannot, but there are members who have so much more knowledge than I do and I can go to them for answers. We can listen to our beloved prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and the Apostles and obey their council. We are so blessed as members of the church and the really sad part is that more than half of us take it for granted. Third, I learned that we as missionaries and members of the church literally carry a light with us. People see that and they desire to have it. After the service we felt like movie stars. There were so many people coming up to us asking us questions it was crazy. We talked to a guy that I met back in January at the Lone Star College and he was really excited to come talk to us and he said, "I know a lot about you and your church. I know that you took time out of your evening to come check out our church and I really respect that and because of that, I would like to come see one of your services if that is okay!!" Is it okay?? Dude I'll get you a ride there!! Haha. These two girls came up to us and they asked us if we knew so and so and we were like, "Nope!" and then they asked if we knew some more members and we didn't. Then they asked us if we knew Mr. Mortensen!! I was like, "Uhhhhh, yeah. That is our mission president! How do you know him??" Well it turns out they went to school with one of his daughters that just graduated and one of them was texting her right then and sent a picture of us and sent it to her. It was pretty funny. We thought we were going to get a call from President and have him chastise us for being at another church...haha! No, not really. He actually tells us to go there and offer service. The last thing I learned is that this church has really good fellowship. Most of the leaders came up to us and talked to us. They were genuinely interested in us and that is what people want. They want someone who will listen to their story. They were great about that! They also do really well for what they have. They worship God with the knowledge that they have of Him, and it is much greater that what some of the members of our church do with the knowledge that they have. I liked this church and we met some really great people there.

Friday, we had district meeting and President showed up part way through and he threw it down. He is so inspiring. When talking about our door approaches, he said when you get turned down from someone that you knock into ask yourself "Would you let you in?" That is a sobering thought. It is a pretty big pill to swallow if you know what I mean. After district meeting we went to Subway with our district leader and his companion then elder Petersen and I had exchanges with the assistants. I went to the Woodlands with Elder Louder and Petersen stayed with Elder Barlow in our area. We had a really good exchange and I learned a lot. We practiced door approaches in our companionship study and I felt better about mine. 

Saturday, we saw Orion and we asked his uncle if he wanted to start meeting with us and he said yes. Trey is 11 years old and he is the son of Sister Harthan. He is pretty excited to start talking the lessons. We saw the Castillo family that night and invited them to come to church again after we explained the importance of the Sacrament. We did not see them at church. Sunday was a good day. Happy Fathers Day to all you daddies. We had a dinner with the 1st Counselor of the Young Mens Presidency and it was really good. We started talking a lot about how Orion did on the high adventure and there arose a lot of doubt in me that he may not be ready to be baptized. We then got a ride over to the Ure's house because Brother Clark picked us up on account of us forgetting to get gas on Saturday evening. We didn't want to get gas on Sunday so we relied of the members to help us out. When we got to the Ure's we had a second dinner with them. It looked too good to decline! We were full, but Sister Ure knows how to cook. We had some of the best salmon I have ever tasted, a really good salad with homemade poppy seed dressing, and a home made chocolate pie. Would you turn that down? That's what I thought! So we talked about Orion because the Ure's were on the trip and Brother Ure was just released from being the Ward Mission Leader so he knows a lot about Orion. I don't know why but something just didn't feel right. I thought that if it were possible for us to teach Orion some more before his baptism, then he would be better off in the future when he is on his own. We ended up going over to Bishop's house because he holds keys over the missionary work in the ward. We talked to him for like 30 minutes and decided to go talk to Orion ourselves. We wanted to ask him how he was feeling about his baptism. He first asked if we announced it in priesthoof because he had to leave early. We told him yes and then asked how he was feeling, He said, "Pretty good." We then said, "Pretty good about what?" "To get it over," he replied. "To get what over?" Then he said, "Well, I just really don't like people holding me under the water, so I want to get that part over with." THE TRUTH COMES OUT may I add, (and it always does). He was nervous the entire time about the actual baptism itself. He was worried about the water. We explained that it would be really quick and that he need not worry! We asked him if it something that he really wanted to do and he said, "Yes." We asked if he was feeling any pressure from his grandma or us and he said, "No." After this visit, I felt way better and we both knew that he was sincere. We are going through with it. He is going to be baptized this Saturday!! I want you to know something about me. I will never baptize anyone just to baptize them. That is the last thing I want to do. I am not an overzealous missionary. 

Well that is pretty much our week. We have some Sister missionaries from our zone that came here to email and they were like, "Is that your email home?? It is so long!" takes me so long to type, but I want you all to know all of the little details! Hopefully, I am not annoying. I want to send my love and prayers out to the Rasch family. I love you and I do not know or understand what you are going through, but I know Heavenly Father does. I know I love you guys and I have been praying for you. I know that we all can receive a tremendous amount of comfort through our Savior. Congratulations Jaden for serving a serving a full-time and honorable mission. I look forward to seeing you in January. I love you guys and I love my family. I hope you all have a wonderful week! 


Elder DeLuca

​I am going to miss this guy next week. Sorry for another lame picture! We have been too busy to be taking pictures. :) 

Elder Stone and Elder Rock! We are going to pass these around the different families in the ward and, for the week they have one, they have to share their missionary experiences with us. They belong to our ward mission leader, Brother Small! 

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