I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! It was so nice for me to be able to Skype with my family. I love you all SO much and I thank you for your continued support!
Tuesday, we had our first lesson with Zeke. We taught him the first half of the restoration lesson and then came back to finish the rest of the lesson on Saturday. That night we went finding and we didn't have a ton of success but we kept on going. It was getting a little late and it was after but we decided to knock one more door. The last house we knocked let us in! It is the Upshaw family and we are going back over this Wednesday to see them. They have friends that are members of the church and they live in the first ward I served in with Elder Christensen. The family they know super well is the Huberts. We shared the Christmas video and talked about the Savior's earthly ministry. They were probably one of the nicest families I have ever met!
We had our Christmas Conference on Wednesday and that was sweet! It is pretty cool to see a Sacrament room completely filled with missionaries. President and Sister Mortensen gave some training and then we had a huge lunch together and then sang Christmas songs and watched a slideshow that President's daughter Paige put together for the mission. All of the missionaries sent in two pictures about two weeks ago and she put together a sweet slideshow with them all.
After we Skyped with our families, we went to the Saenz's house and something really cool happened. One of their sons, Greg, was there and we started to talk to him and he opened up to us. He explained that when his parents were baptized he saw a change in them over night. He said, "I noticed that they were more happy and that they had more peace in their lives. I desire to have that." He has since been reading from the Book of Mormon and he attended his first church service yesterday and LOVED it! I gave him our number and told him to call us if he had any questions. He called me last night and said, "Elder DeLuca, I went to church today and it was literally everything that I needed. The speakers, what we talked about in class, and the fellowship from everyone was just outstanding." I replied, "Well I am so happy that you had such a good time. That just made my day!" He said, "No, Elder DeLuca, I didn't have a good time. It was great!" It was so sick when he said that to me. Now he is wanting to meet with the missionaries to work towards getting baptized. He lives in Spring outside of our zone, but he may be moving up here to Conroe so we will see which missionaries would be best for him!
Saturday, we brought Chris Saenz out to some appointments with us and we had something cool happen. After seeing Brother Bailey, we went to Zeke's. We finished our lesson with Zeke and then at the end of the lesson went over the steps to pray. We asked him specifically to pray for the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and he said that he would. He didn't mention it in his prayer, so right when he finished I said, "Did you notice how you didn't pray about the Book of Mormon?" He said "Yes," and then I said, "Would you be willing to say another prayer and this time include to ask Heavenly Father to know of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon?" He said that he would and he didn't have a problem with that. It was a little awkward at first, but if we don't help prepare him to receive and answer, then we are setting him up to fail. I only have a month left of my mission so I don't mess around anymore! Haha.
After that lesson, we had the thought to call Austin because he lives there in that complex, and right when we called him we saw him in the distance so I ran over to him and asked if he had just 20 or 30 minutes for a brief lesson. He said yes! This was a miracle because we had not planned to have that lesson with him, but we did plan on getting our mission standard of excellence with 5 member present lessons that week and the Lord knew that. Our district leader gave us a priesthood assignment to make sure that we got at least 5 member present lessons, and we did!
That night, we had a lesson with Nori and it didn't go as well as we would have liked. We were going with the intent to answer some questions he had left us with the previous visit and he came loaded with more. He basically was looking into things that are not church doctrine and they were stupid questions that he was just trying to trick us and catch us in our words and I called him out on it. I said, "Nori, are you asking these questions because you are trying to show us what you think MIGHT be wrong with our beliefs, or are you wanting to join Christ's Church and you just want some questions answered first?" He was like, "Uhhhhh.....Well I never really thought of that but probably just trying to show you what I think is wrong." I said, "We can go back and forth all night and answer these questions but it really isn't going to do either of us much good. I think you owe it to yourself to check out a church service and see how you FEEL inside when you come." He said, "I think you are right and I want you guys to know I think you are great and I love you guys so I'll come check it out." Well, he never ended up coming because he was in Houston, he said, but he knows what time we start next week. We will have members reach out to him!
That is the gist of our week! It was really good, and the temperature is finally starting to drop! I had my first 80 degree Christmas and hopefully the last! I hope you all have a great week and a Happy New Year!
Merry Christmas from our district!
Sorry for the light on this, but I thought it would be cool to get one with this plaque! :)