Friday, February 24, 2017

Week 58...I think

Alright let's do this!
So this last week we were able to meet with Tay 3 times again. She is currently in the Book of Ether. We were able to help Georgette start reading the BofM as well. She is in 1 Nephi 15 I believe. Elder Blake and I were able to sit down and make a plan of how we are going to help them progress the rest of the way to baptism. We decided to make every other lesson focused on either Tay or Georgette. So we can focus on both their needs. Unfortunately Georgette still has to work heavy hours and so when we meet with her she is VERY tired. She fell asleep in one of our lessons so we need to figure out how to better teach her.

On Sunday we had dinner with both of them at the Githens home. Brother Githens is the second counselor in our bishopric and it went really well. For our message we invited all of them to bring someone to Tay's baptism. Hopefully we can have many people at the baptism.

Exchanges! Exchanges are always fun and this week we exchanged with Elder Deurksen and Elder Bytheway. Elder Deurksen came out with me but he is Spanish speaking. Me and him stuck together for the day and we had a good time. Elder Deurksen is a new DL and he cares so much about the assignment he has been given and it was just a good example to me that I can probably care a little bit more about what I do. His district meeting on Wednesday went so well. There was a training on "Hope" and they suggested that when we read the word hope in the scripture replace it with synonymous words such as "expect" or other words. I think it kind of helps us understand that Hope isn't a fleeting wish but more of a resolution in our minds that God indeed is bound when we we do what He says.

After District meeting we had scones that the Browns (Senior Couple) made for us all. They were super good and I think I had four.

Tuesday morning Elder Blake and I gave each other a big hug and called it a day.

Tuesday night we had a lesson with Don Smith. He is an African American traveling pastor that we had met several weeks ago and set a return appointment. It went alright. Our team up started talking about the temple and I'm not sure he understood everything that was being said but the Spirit was there so hopefully he will actually read from the BofM.

Sorry this email is not good but elder Blake needed to go to the eye Doctor and then we got him new glasses and a prescription eye drop for his eyes. We haven't had a ton of time to email. The lady at Walmart almost convinced me to buy a new pair of glasses. She was a good at selling to me. They were sweet but I held strong. Glad I didn't buy them haha

Sweet glasses I didn't buy.  ha ha

Snack time

One last thing. While on exchanges Elder Deurksen and I visited a woman who is less active in our ward. We taught about how we can have the Spirit in our life specifically by honoring and renewing our baptismal covenants through the sacrament. She had been a member for years and had never fully realized that when you take the sacrament at church it is as if you were just re-baptized. You just laid down another old life of sin and brought up a new life of righteousness!
Every time we partake of the Sacrament we are promising God that we will hold true our promise to 1. Take the name of Christ upon us. 2. Always Remember Christ. 3. Keep His commandments. If you want the Spirit in your life make sure you repent everyday and make sure your sacrament experience is a spiritual one.

I know Heavenly Father loves us and expects us to work. It really is a blessing to work hard. God is on our side and His one goal is to have us back in His presence to stay. There is no reason to fear or doubt we already know who will win in the end and we must simply choose!
Don't forget you're royalty as joint heirs with Christ. (Romans 8:17)

- Love E. Kelly


Elder Conley and I couldn't stop laughing at how 
lame this quote was so we took a picture.

Elder Conley and I have had so much fun serving together and it is so easy to be excited about the work with him. I can't remember if I told you this but there are often times where we found ourselves running from place to place trying to move as swift as possible so we could accomplish more. I haven't felt that excited about the work that many times in my mission but it is the best.

Tuesday we had dinner at our Bishop's house and Tay and Georgette were able to come over again. There we taught about keeping the Sabbath day holy. For dessert we had brownies and on the top were melted Andes mints. WOW super good. Mint is probably my favorite flavor of sweets. That or cinnamon I've recently developed a craving for cinnamon flavored mints. Tay has not yet been able to choose a date for baptism because the work schedule still isn't set. But what she does know is that she will have one weekend in March off and that is the week she wants to be baptized on. Hopefully she can convince her boss to give her Sundays off or let her go in on the later shift on those days.
That night we found out that Elder Conley was being transferred. :( Very sad day. It came as a pretty big shock to us honestly. That was only his 2nd transfer here and we were putting in WORK! But what are you going to do! 

Wednesday we went and visited an older gentlemen in our ward named Brother Clay. We learned that he is fond of doing family history and has in fact document his mothers entire life in a bound book. He also typed up all of her journal entries which is now printed into a bound book. The third book we were shown was about his older ancestors. Brother Clay shared with us a story about how his ancestor was the man who helped David Whitmer come back to the church. We asked if we could have print outs of the story and he gave it to us. I'll have to send you a picture of it so you can read it. Very interesting.

Generations picture.  Training progression

Thursday we got a text from Sister Whittlow and she asked if we could come switch her dead bolt on her door and so we swung over there around 8 and then drove out to Independence for transfers. We arrived right at 9. Elder Conley is now serving with Elder Taylor and Elder Taylor's old companion, Elder Blake, (who also served with elder Odland) is now my companion. Many of my companions have all now served with another one of my companions. It is weird. Elder Blake is from St. George Utah and grew up on a small ranch out there. He also graduated in 2015 and has been out for 18 months now. 

Elder Blake and I

Friday was a great day. We went over to a less active woman's home, Sister Foster, and did some service for her. She also fed us. She grew up on a farm and so everything was very country style. Thick gravy with heavy potatoes and pork chops. Holy guacamole it was so good.
 We met with Tay again and she told us how she is almost done with the Book of Alma. She told us that when she read the story of the Strippling Warriors ,"When they was looking to see how many had died and they said none of them had died! I thought I was going to cry like they were my own boys!" It is always exciting to know your investigator understands the BofM. 

Dinner was grilled shrimp and chicken ratatouille creole. Again WOW. Elder Blake and I were very very full that evening.
We also had a lesson with Kali that evening. We had the YSA sisters come teach her with us along with a male team up and so there were 5 of us. Thankfully Kali is super cool and easy going and told us she wouldn't mind. We taught about the importance of the Spirit and then explained what the gift of the Holy Ghost is. Kali told us that she is leaning towards being baptized but is very nervous. She has been reading the BofM as well and told us that she feels like those people who partake of the fruit from the tree of life but then feel ashamed when they look at the great and spacious building. Her parents are both "PK's" (Preacher Kids) as she puts it and Kali is nervous that they will be mad. That was our last lesson with her now that the sisters will be taking over. I forgot to take a picture, unfortunately of that lesson but hopefully we will be able to go to her baptism soon and I can snag a pic there.

Saturday we got a referral for a guy name Tjaun (twan). Went over and he let us right in. He told us that he feels that there is something missing in his life even though he has come much closer to God over the past few years. He actually knows quite a bit about the bible. He told us that he had been studying on his own and was curious about baptism. Tjaun wanted to know if it was necessary for salvation and came to found through the bible that it was. But when he had the opportunity to be baptized he felt like people were doing it to just do it. He didn't think that was right and didn't want to be a part of it. We told him that baptism is our hope for him and he seems all game. We have our second appointment with him tonight and it should be fun!

Something that the Spirit has taught me this week is that God loves us so much!!! We make so many mistakes but he just can't help but love us! What a wonderful truth. We must simply learn how to show our love for him.

On Elder Conley's last night the Diaz family
fed us many tacos!  Mmmm

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

One Week Closer to Summer

What to say... What to say...

Alrighty so we will start with Tay and Georgette

We had the chance to meet with them three times this week. We taught the Doctrine of Christ the first time and then taught about prophets the second time and the word of wisdom the third lesson. The second lesson was actually with the Giroux family. They had all four of us over for dinner and it was so perfect! We were able to share good laughs with each other and at the end had a short and simple lesson on modern day prophets. When we taught the third lesson Tay was more than confident in living the WofW and she shared a cool experience. Apparently she had felt that she was addicted to soda a few years ago and so she quit drinking it! She told us, "I don't have a problem with any of that stuff. It ain't worth it!" They both committed to live the word of wisdom and our next appointment is tomorrow.. Dinner at Bishop's house!
Tay is now a third of the way into Alma in the BofM. We tried to set a baptismal date with her but she didn't know her work schedule because her manager is going out of town for two weeks and she is going to have to cover him. So there should be one set tomorrow.
We are working to have Georgette on date as well. Her struggle is she works 6 days out of the week at a hotel and she never has Sunday's off and is often on call as well.
Pray for them!

Kali just had a super crazy week apparently last week. We were able to meet with her on Friday and Saturday. Friday we read through 3 Nephi 11 and it was pretty good. We brought up baptism again and she still is hesitant to the idea of being baptized. Saturday we went over authority and the pattern of dispensations. She had the realization that God's church could be on the earth and decided she would go to church to check it out and promised to read from the BofM as well so she can know. Somehow Kali still doesn't see the need to be baptized again even if God has established a church on the earth with authority. But we will be working on that this week. We had her attend the singles ward nearby and she loved it! I guess when she was talking to the sisters there after she told them she was so happy she had come and was definitely going to be there next week. We will be passing her off to the YSA sisters this week, on Friday hopefully.

On Tuesday we had a lesson with a man name Michael Fremont and his girlfriend Karen. He is an inactive member and she is a nonmember. We were able to teach the entire restoration to them and boy was it something. The Spirit was so obviously present; there was no denying that it was there. At the end they both recognized that what they had heard was truth and accepted to read the BofM and pray to know of it's truth. Elder Conley and I both really enjoyed teaching them because they are both pretty easy going people. Hopefully Michael can have the courage to follow what he felt because he looked a little uneasy at the end.

Wednesday was MLC and there was a really awesome discussion about desires. President Vest always invites us to check where our desires are so we can make sure we are laser focused on what is most important.  This idea is particularly inspiring to me. We are granted our desires as Alma teaches in chapter 29:4.

Got to visit with my buddy Patrick before MLC!

Elder Kelly, Elder Conley, Patrick

Friday was Zone training and it went very well! There was one training given by Elder Lancaster (my grand kid) about the Doctrine of Christ and he taught an interesting principle. He suggested that for every weakness we have there is a spiritual gift available to help us over come that weakness and develop it into a strength. Found that quite profound.

In fast and testimony meeting this week Brother Dan Larsen (direct descendant of Joseph Smith.)  got up and bore his testimony of how grateful he was for the Spirit testifying of truth. He told us that he feels the same Spirit at the Kirtland temple, the same Spirit when he sits with the General Authorities, the same Spirit when he is in sacrament in Overland Park KS. A principle we should all remember.

Gospel Principles was also a good one. Brother Methner (who is an ex first presidency member of the RLDS church) kept throwing out these random verses of scripture that contributed to the lesson. He knows his scriptures so well sometimes it's unbelievable. #goals Know the scriptures like that one day.

I actually had a really awesome realization during that class. We were learning about the Pre-Earth life and we read Revelations 12:11 "And they ​​​overcame​ him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their ​​​testimony​;"  Testimony has more strength than we realize. It was one of the two tools used to cast Satan out. When we bear testimony to anyone we are able to be the conduit for God's words to reach his children. We can dispel all temptation. We can protect ourselves and others from harm.  Don't forget to always share your testimony!

I know that God and Jesus Christ have physical bodies and live today.
I know that they can call us by name and care for us each minute of the day. I know that as we turn to them we can accomplish more than we could on our own and help others stay on the path to Eternal Salvation in the life to come. I know that the Book of Mormon is scripture and God speaks to us through it along with the Bible. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

E. Kelly