Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Better Planning, More Miracles!!

This past week was great! Tuesday, we went over to Trey and Xavier's house and we read from the Book of Mormon with them. It is still really hard for us to get them motivated to read on their own. Niki and Pamela are pretty good about reading with Xavier, but Trey doesn't really have much of a desire to read so we get some Jolly Ranchers for them when they read. :) 

Wednesday, we went back over to Chris' house who told us that he was going to talk to the boss to see if she wanted to meet with us, I guess she wasn't super stoked because they didn't answer the door. We also went back yesterday and the same thing. Anyway, on a more exciting note, we had the best lesson yet with Paul and Melissa that evening! Our ward mission leader and his wife picked us up and we all went over there. Paul likes when we bring people with us. We were a little hesitant about four of us, but it was the best thing ever. Satan didn't want us all to go because he know what would happen. So get this. We reviewed the first half of the plan and then finished the rest of that lesson. It went really well and Paul said, "I could see how this all makes sense from your perspective." Yes, please. At the close of the lesson, we said, "Really, what it comes down to is not if the Plan of Salvation is true, but rather if the Book of Mormon is true. Does it bring you closer or farther away from God? It's either true or false. It's that simple." We walked them back through the introduction and insisted that they each had their own copy to read from. I asked Paul to go get the copy we gave him a few weeks ago and then Elder Allen gave Melissa her own copy. We had Paul read the first paragraph looking for what the Book of Mormon contains and then asked him if it contains a fullness of the everlasting gospel (and we are claiming that it does), what percent would that be? He was like, "Well, I would hope 100%." Then we said, "So, if it contained a fullness, wouldn't you want to know if the book was true or not?" He said, "Well of course." So, we then had Melissa read in the second to last paragraph to see how we can know. Read, ponder, and Pray. Then I read the last paragraph stating what further knowledge comes when we come to find out that the Book of Mormon is true. Then Brother Small and I bore powerful testimony. The Spirit was strong you guys. Here is the miracle: After that, Paul said, "You know guys, I appreciate all that you have done for us and I like you guys coming into my home and I wish more Christians did what you do. I will read the book." Are you kidding me!?!?!?! This is one who just a couple weeks ago was completely AGAINST the Book of Mormon. Then to top it off, he was saying that Melissa was reading through the entire page of the introduction and then continued over to the three and eight witnesses!!!! Their hearts were softened and I know if it because of all the prayers from you all and also our prayers and fasting. Thank you! We are planning on seeing them again this week and see how their experience has been from their reading. 

Thursday, we had our weekly planning and we have been doing a lot better. It takes us about 3-4 hours to weekly plan. That's a long time, but we have to get into all of the details with everyone we have been entrusted to be stewards over. President actually told the mission that we should be taking that long to plan. If not, we are doing it wrong. My testimony of planning has strengthened so much these past few weeks. When we plan the Lord's way, he blesses us so much more than if we were to try and do it our own way. We have been having so many more member-present lessons and it is all because of our planning. Our mission standard is 5 member-present lessons each week and we were usually like 3 or 4 and this past week we had 10. We are teaching more and our lessons have been more powerful ,in my opinion. 

Friday was sick! We had a really good district meeting on how to respond to an investigator if they do not want to read from the Book of Mormon and then after that the sisters made french toast for us. It was good, but it was no "Mema's French toast." No, it was not even on Mema's level! After that, we went on exchanges with the assistants. They met us at Panera Bread where we were teaching Caitlin, a new investigator. Hence, more blessings. We met Caitlin at Wal-Mart a few months ago and things just didn't work out. She was always super busy with work and then we lost contact but then like 2 weeks ago she was working and she was our cashier and she complimented me on my tie (the flower one that Elder Graves gave me) and I was like, "Wait, I know you!" Then we set up a lesson. So we taught her the restoration on Friday and it went really well then we committed her to be baptized if she knew it was true and she said something really cool. She was like, "Yes! I had a lot of friends get baptized when I was growing up and I was always a little jealous because I wanted to be baptized!" How cool is that? Then we had a lesson with Angel and he told us that he wanted to quit smoking so we are going to try and help him with that. Ryan Barnett came with us to both of those lessons. He is one of the most solid youths in the ward and he has only been a member for just over a year. We had Brother Williams meet us at HEB and then we went over and had a great lesson with Horace. Brother Williams was so bold with him and that is what Horace needs. He is stubborn! 

Saturday was sweet too! Friday, we had dinner with the Cannons and we asked Westley who just returned from Brazil like 4 weeks ago to come to a lesson with Caitlin the next day and he said, "Of course." He also invited a non-member friend to come! It turns out that Caitlin had to cancel, but we taught Westley's friend Michelette. She came to his homecoming talk and really liked church! We taught the restoration and it was good. She lives outside of our area so we are going to have to pass her off to the other missionaries in Cypress. Later that night, we had a super yummy dinner with Horace and Brother Mason. We went to Horace's house and dropped of our car then rode with him to pick up Brother Mason. He took us all to this really nice seafood restaurant, like really nice!! It was so good! Then we had a lesson with Horace after that and he committed to come to church and he did!!! 

Sunday was great! We had a good ward council meeting and then Horace came to sacrament meeting! He sat with Brother Williams, but had to leave right after the hour to make it to his church as well. We had a dinner with the Clarks and Caroline. Caroline is about to go to school at Utah State and she is going to meet with us on Tuesday with Caitlin. They are about the same age so we thought she would be a good person to come to the lesson. Then we had another mission president's fireside that night. It was so good! Charlie from my Copperfield area was there!!!!! He left really fast after, so I was not able to talk with him but we participated in the choir so I saw him. 

Anyways, we had a great week! There is so much to share and this is just part of it! I hope you all have a great week and know that your prayers are felt. Thank you, and I love you! 


Elder DeLuca

​Petey just couldn't get enough of me. He came back with his family and they took us out to lunch! 

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