Tuesday, August 4, 2015

We Got a New Companion!

Alright, another great week in Tomball. Tuesday, we went to S.O.S and we did some service there at the food bank and they always let us take a bag of whatever we want from there, so that is always a treat. My wallet loves it! We had to leave a little bit early, though, because we had a lesson with Caitlin at Panera Bread again. Karloline Clark met us there for the lesson and it went so well! We taught her the Plan of Salvation lesson and we committed her to be baptized on the 29th of this month. Yes, please! She said yes and she was super excited about that. When we finished the lesson Elder Allen and I left but Karoline and her stayed after and had lunch together! That was really cool to hear back from each of them and they told us how nice it was to stay and get to know each other better. Everyone needs a good friend! Later that night, we went back to a lady named Anna's house and we taught her and her boyfriend Corey the restoration. It went well, and we left a Book of Mormon for them. I'll report on them when I talk about the return appointment we had with them on Friday

Wednesday, we went to the usual TEAM service that we do on a weekly basis. This week was different, though. There was a girl who was like 18-20 years old there volunteering with her grandma who was kinda staring at us, not in a creepy or weird way haha, but I could tell she was looking our direction. Elder Allen and I started to arrange some kitchen supplies in this little area, then "all of the sudden" this girl was stacking towels like 10 feet away from us. That's when I was like, "Okay, I'm gonna go talk to her." I don't even remember how I started the conversation but I led into us as missionaries and I started talking about the foundation of Christ's church. She was Christian so it was an easy-going conversation you could say. She had all of these super good questions and I was answering them, then all of the sudden, her grandma walked up and was like, "Are we working or talking?" This girl, Clare, was like "Grandma, we are having the best conversation ever!" and then her grandma was like, "Come with me to the back to sort clothes." Party pooper! Obviously, her grandma didn't like us. So, we continued doing our usual tasks and then one of the workers asked us if we would go help them in the back....haha, awkward! Oh well. So we did and it was fine. We made little conversation with her grandma to show her that we weren't crazy or anything and then I gave Clare a card with our number and told her if she has any more questions to call or text us and that was about it! That was the only time I have actually talked about the gospel while volunteering. After we left TEAM, we went to meet up with the Spanish Elders that gave us a referral. We taught them about the Book of Mormon and set up a return appointment. Their names were Cody and Jazmine. 

Thursday, we got a new companion! Elder Erickson went home two weeks early for school so Elder Hendrickson came with us. We were super pumped about it, but our apartment is tiny so it is a little crowded, haha. Thursday, we did our weekly planning after we got back from the mission office. Our planning took the rest of the afternoon and then we had a super good dinner with the Kuhn family. 

Friday, I taught my first district meeting since Copperfield! Elder Erickson was the district leader for the Fallbrook district, so I covered for him because he went home. We talked about likening the first 15 chapters of the Book of Mormon to our investigator's journey to "the rod." It was good! Elder Allen went to the Inwood area with Elder Walker and Elder Perkins and then Elder Hendrickson and I came back to the promised land. We had lunch with Sister Rittman at Chick-Fil-A and it was great. We brought Brother Mason with us to Horace that evening but Horace wasn't feeling super well so we didn't stay too long. Right after Horace, we had Wesley Cannon come back to Anna and Corey's with us. They conveniently were not home. I say that for a number of reasons: 1. They didn't answer our call when we were just checking to see if it was okay to come; 2. They didn't reply to our text; and 3. They came home when we were talking to their neighbors and saw us AND TURNED AROUND....TWICE! They clearly didn't want to meet with us again. When they didn't answer, we saw their neighbors out front so I was like let's go talk to them! We walked over and he was working on his old truck and telling us all about his vehicles that he has had in the past. Normally, I would be all over talking about cars, but I wanted to get to the good stuff. I was like "Similar to the restoration of your truck, Christ's church was restored to the earth by the Prophet Joseph Smith." Then we taught he and his wife all about the restoration. We were there for a total of an hour or so (car part included) and Anna and her boyfriend were not planning on us still being in the hood that long. We were talking to Chris and Liz and then they pulled up and drove really slow past us and then turned around and left! Are you kidding me? Say it to my face, man! Haha, just kidding. But seriously, if you don't want to talk to us or meet with us, just tell us and we will respect your wishes. They'll hear about it sooner or later right? So, we continued talking to Chris and Liz and right as we were about to leave Anna and Corey came back and they stopped partway down the street so they didn't have to talk to us. Is my bald head really that scary?? Haha. I want to go back and see if they are at least interested in reading the Book of Mormon or not because if they say no, we will find someone who does and give it to them. 

Saturday was interesting. We had a lot of appointments fall through but we had a good lunch at Panera Bread and then we each bought a salad for the McLanes in our ward. He has been really sick and is now fighting pneumonia at the age of 90. That is tough and we wanted to go check on them and make sure that if they needed anything they knew to call us. Sister McLane was talling all about their conversion story and get this. They have added up roughly all of the people that they in some way introduced to the church and ended up joining and it is over 500 people. She told us this because she said you Elders have no idea of the impact that have on those you teach. That was super cool! After that, we went down to Inwood to pick up Elder Allen. We went to drop his belongings back off at our apartment and then headed to dinner with the Smalls. Great family. We went on splits after dinner. I went with Brother Small and my other companions went out together for the remainder of the evening. Brother Small and I went to an appointment with Cody and Jazmine and they didn't want to meet with us that night. BUT, it's okay because we had the sickest visit with Julie Stewart right after!! She is going to get baptized this weekend! She has been on and off about a date for a while now, but she explained that it's time now so we are going through with it. We contacted our stake president and let him know and he is all for it! He flew her daughter from Provo out here today actually so she can be a part of the baptismal service this Saturday. She was interviewed by our district leader Elder Roberts yesterday at church and she passed. We are good to go! Im going out with a bang! I am pretty sure I am being transferred this next week on Tuesday the 11th. 

Sunday was sweet. I knew I was going to bear my testimony because I was going to do it last month and I chickened out. I was not backing out this time. There was a less active member that came to church this past Sunday. This was the first time he has been here since last fast and testimony meeting back in February and he told me then that he was going to bear his testimony and then he chickened out. He said, "Next time I come, I'll do it." So yesterday, I nudged him and I was like "you said next time" and he smiled and said you go first and Ill follow you up. Now I really couldn't chicken out! I waited for a second after someone was done and then I was like, "Okay let's go.' We walked up and Sister Hiatt was up towards the front of the room and she got up as we were walking up and beat us to it. We sat down in the seats up front facing everyone and, for some reason, I was so nervous! My heart was racing. I could literally feel it beating inside me! I wasn't sweating though, so it's okay. I was trying to collect my thoughts and then before I knew I heard the word "Amen" from Sister Hiatt. Now it was go time. I just got up there and smiled . :) Haha, that was the first thing I thought to do. I thanked the ward from the bottom of my heart for all that they have done for me and my companions. I told them that we would not be as effective as we could without their help. I don't remeber all I said but I know I said something like this. Missions are tough. I couldn't do what I do if I didn't know with a certainty that the Book of Mormon was true. Even with that knowledge, I still seem to surprise myself with making mistakes I know I shouldn't make. Every time, the Savior is there to pick me back up and I ask myself "Why me? Why not someone much greater and much better than me." It's because he loves us each individually and unconditionally, more than our finite minds can comprehend. I have learned that it doesn't matter so much what step we are on on the stairway to heaven, but rather what way are we facing. We are going to slip up. We are going to fall sometimes, but what matters is that we pick ourselves back up and acknowledge our dependence on our Savior Jesus Christ. With the enabling power of the Atonement we will reach far beyond our own natural capacity. I know this. I know that God lives and that He is literally our Father in Heaven. He and our Savior Jesus Christ will always be there even when we feel that no one is. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that it brings me closer to my Savior. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored in these, the last days and that the Priesthood Authority that seals our families together forever is here in our Church. In the Lord's church. Of these things I am certain of. And then I closed in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

I love you all so much. I am most likely going to be transferred this coming week. I will be really surprised if I stay. Tomball is the land of milk and honey. I might have to name one of my sons Tom. haha! Have a great week everyone! Thank you for your prayers! 


Elder DeLuca   

​Sorry I didn't take any pics this week. Much love from the Three Musketeers! :)  

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