Monday, April 24, 2017

Sick as a Dog

Well we had planned to have Jim's baptism on the 22nd but after our lesson with him on Sunday night we were unsure about it because he was having a hard time comprehending some of he basic doctrines. Monday night we did a baptismal interview with him to see where he was at and he actually was doing pretty well. We saw where he was at and we were able to cover the things he was struggling with again over the next three days. He had his real baptismal interview on Thursday by Elder Brinkerhoff. Jim doesn't smile very often but when he does it is he best.   Well on Saturday at 7 he was baptized! He seemed very happy the whole time. I was also blessed with the opportunity to baptize and confirm him. I'll be sure to include some pictures. I was a little worried when we got into the water because the water was at my knees but it worked out fine and only took one try. 

Baptism day for Jim!

Tuesday morning we met with a girl named Kelsey. We had street contacted her two weeks prior and used the Prince of Peace video to introduce her to the gospel. We were able to have our appointment and she seems pretty open and honest. She has struggled with her relationship with God and seemed excited to strengthen it through the Book of Mormon. We had a retired member of the ward come with us named Brother Clay. He teaches really well and invited the Spirit through his testimony. We called Kelsey later in the week to confirm our appointment for tomorrow and to see how her reading has been going. She told us that her and her aunt were going to come check out church this up coming week.

Wednesday Elder Limón got hit hard with head cold. He had a fever and had a hard time breathing, etc. so we were inside for most of Wednesday and Thursday and Friday. But he has finally been able to start recovering. We were able to call a lot of people from the area book and actually got a hold of some people that had been taught back in 2007 and set up some appointments. Kind of cool.

So sick :(

We were unable to meet with Tyler this week but we were able to meet with James and Brandy who had requested a large print Bible a few weeks earlier. We taught both of them but they had some concerns about prophets and such. We taught their little kids I Am a Child of God and they ate it up. We will be meeting with them later this week.

I testify that repentance is real. If you want be forgiven, or if you want to change, turn to Heavenly Father in prayer, take the necessary steps to be fully forgiven and to fully forsake. I testify that Jesus Christ overcame death and sin. We too can overcome death and sin if we will but live the Doctrine of Christ. Exercise faith in Jesus Christ, repent, renew and make your baptismal covenant, invite the Holy Ghost into your life by honoring the promises you have made to God, and continue in righteousness for the remainder of your life. This is the only way to truly find joy in this life. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

This Week Has Been Really Good

This week has been really good! If all of our lessons would have gone through we would have found ten new investigators. This week if everything goes through we will find 20+ new investigators. That will be a miracle. But we are shooting for it!

We met with Jim I think 4 or 5 times this week. He is doing very well but he is having a harder time comprehending everything. We pushed his baptism back to next weekend just to make sure he is ready for the interview. He has been reading a little bit from the Book of Mormon but we are not sure how much he is understanding.

Elder Kelly, Jim, Elder Limon

We were unable to meet with Georgette and Tay but we will be meeting with them twice this week. 

Sunday night we were hoping to find a new investigator and we met a guy named Tyler Dodson. Tyler was going to start his laundry as we were trying one of our potentials. We asked if we could talk with him as he loaded the laundry. We explained what we were doing and asked if we could come in and share more. He kindly declined and we started to walk back up the stairs towards the exit. He had explained to us that he had just finished going through a divorce and was pretty down in the dumps. You could tell we had been led to him because of his situation, attitude, and questions. Right before we left we stopped him one more time and bore testimony of the difference it would make in his life. We also testified that what we share isn't just another religion or idea. This was the truth! He said "Alright you can come up." We shared the restoration and the Prince of Peace video with him. He made several comments in our conversation about how he thinks God may have possibly led us to him. It was a spirit filled lesson and E. Limón and I are looking forward to our lesson with him next Sunday. He reminds of some of the YSA guys from back home.

Elder Limon and Elder Kelly

Thursday we had Zone Conference in Olathe again and me and Elder Limón led a discussion on faith for about 20 minutes. We focused on 1 Nephi 16 and the brother of Jared's experience. It turned out a lot better than we had expected. 

Love you guys!

A few pictures

Elder Kelly, Brother Johnson, Elder Limon, Sister Pruett
We got to watch conference with them a couple of weeks ago.

Notes from Book of Mormon study

Monday, April 10, 2017

It has been a Fabulous Week

Monday we had our usual dinner appointment with the Crewe family and we taught about the power of prayer. Brother Crewe has a non member sister who lives with him and is almost always at dinner. She sometimes sits in on the lessons we have afterwards. Well last week we finally had the opportunity to invite her to take the lessons and she accepted! We have our first return appointment tonight and we are excited to teach her the restoration.

Tuesday we had a lesson with Micheal Fremont a less active who is willing to meet with us but informed us in our 2nd lesson that he did not want to come back to church. But he was willing to read the BofM and meet with us so we decided an appointment every two weeks would be perfect. Well our appointment on Tuesday was fantastic. We found out that he is now into 2nd Nephi and has enjoyed reading quite a bit. Mike said that before when he had read the Book of Mormon he always had a very hard time understanding what he read. But he was happy to inform us that as he has been reading he prays that he will be able to understand it and as he asks so he receives. It is really awesome to see him progress in small steps. He even is now considering coming to church and it has only been two visits over the span of a month.
That evening we went over to the Brackett's house. They are an active couple who have a LA daughter that is married to a non member. We sat down with just the parents and made a plan of how we can help Sierra and Charles accept taking the lessons from us. It was exciting to make a plan with them. You could tell we were all kind of excited to see what happens. I think they will accept the invite because they have been to a baptism and church a few times recently. The spirit has been working on them for sure.

Wednesday was DM and we had a training by Elder Brinkerhoff about having a vision of what we want to accomplish. He shared Proverbs 23:7 "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he." Love that. It is a powerful principle. If you want to develop in any way, obtain spiritual gifts, have any good attribute then you need to first be able to envision yourself being that way or achieving those goals otherwise... it probably won't happen. Went along really well with Elder Ballard's talk of Return and Receive. I loved that talk so much.

Thursday we had exchanges with the Hickory Hills elders. It was a fantastic exchange much needed by both elders. They had been struggling to communicate with each other and both are getting tired with the work in their area. At the end of the exchange we had a really good exchange review and we were able to help the elders make a plan of how they are going to work more closely with the members to get the work moving. I love an exchange where we feel like we really did learn something from each other. Much more enjoyable. We had dinner with Sister Foster that night and boy was it good. Mashed potatoes with baked chicken and stuffing. It was so good. 

Right after closing the exchange on Thursday night we drove out to Independence and exchanged with the assistants. Me and Elder Childress were together on Friday and it was a great throwback. We had a really good talk during the day and I just felt a lot of love the whole time. 

General Conference weekend... ROCKED! I love conference weekend. Friday I was literally so excited I had similar feelings that I used to get on Christmas Eve. It was awesome. There were so many good insights I had. One of my favorite things was shared by President Uchtdorf, he said that as leaders we are not there to simply lead others we are there to be led by God. A good principle to remind yourself of where you stand as a leader. I loved it.

I testify of the reality of a living modern day prophet. If you did not listen to all sessions of General Conference I highly encourage you to make the time available so you can watch and learn from Gods anointed. I know that Thomas S. Monson is today's modern day prophet. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen 

Transfer 11

Tuesday we met with Jim Brown again and we talked about the importance of the Book of Mormon. He committed to baptism on the 15 of April! He also made it to church on Sunday and seemed to enjoy it pretty well. He said he really liked meeting with the high priest group. We are meeting with him tomorrow!

Wednesday Elder Blake packed and we had Ivan's Baptism that night, we had dinner with their family before the baptism and ate a lot... then after the baptism she had cookies and tamales and jello and cake... and we ate a lot more! 

Elder Kelly, Elder Conley, Ivan, Elder Blake

Elder Blake got moved on Thursday. :( We were just starting to get things moving and into a flow with the way we worked with each other. But hey no complacency right. Time to stretch and grow some more. My new companion is Elder Limón. He was actually trained by Elder Blake when I was training Elder Write. E. Limón has been out for about 9 months. We have had a really good time together so far. He is originally from Texas but he came out from Saratoga Springs, Utah. 

Thursday after picking him up we went to the apartment and had a SWEET weekly planning session! I love good weekly planning sessions. I can go work 150% harder throughout the week. That night we took a woman named Brittany on a chapel tour. She was a street contact E. Blake and I had either Monday or Tuesday. We had Tay come as our team up and it was so great! They seemed to click like friends rather quickly and right after there was a Relief Society birthday party that she also stayed for. She committed to come to church! The next day though she texted us and told us that she didn't want to come to our church anymore. Bummer. The Spirit was pretty strong on the chapel tour. That is ok though. She will come around eventually. 

Dinner that night was with Brother Johnson (the one who received his endowments) and he took us to Smokin Joes. He bought two full racks of ribs. There was so much. His first words to us were "alright whatever is left we split in half and take it home". Well we have been eating ribs for every lunch since and still have some left.

left over ribs

 Not much happened on Friday... I don't really remember honestly. 

Saturday we hit it hard! We didn't have a ton of lessons but we got to talk to a lot of people. At the end of the day however we did have a lesson with a former investigator named Maria Torez and her family. We went by and they let us right in. They haven't been taught in a year. We shared the restoration with Maria and her two daughters Samantha and Jessica. There is a 15 year old boy Joseph he was just sick with a migraine so he didn't join us. They committed to come to church but they didn't make it. We haven't had a chance to follow up them yet but we are hoping to make it by tonight or tomorrow. 

A member gave us Girl Scout cookies!

Sunday we visited our High priest group leader. We role played with them how to invite people to watch conference while at the grocery store. I challenge all of you to invite someone to watch conference with you! Dallin H. Oaks quoted in his last general conference talk, “over the past twenty years, we have observed no correlation between the depth of a relationship and the probability that a person will be interested in learning about the gospel.” Please invite at least one person! You do not need to be best friends with them to invite!

Oh I forgot to tell you. About two miles from our apartment there was a huge fire in a new apartment complex hat is being built. You should look it up. It was seriously huge. It got homes on fire behind it and some of them burnt to the ground. A really sad crazy fluke. They think it was started by a welder that didn't clean up all of his stuff.

The house across the way caught fire but didn't 
completely burn down.  Sad

I know Heavenly Father loves all of us! He wants us to show our love for Him through consecration and obedience. What are you willing to put away for celestial glory?

Love you all! 
Elder Kelly

Pday with Elder Limon 

Elder Blake and I used to always flex and joke about our tiny muscles

Friday, April 7, 2017

Tay's Baptism

Elder Kelly, Elder Conley, Tay, Elder Blake

M- This has been a great week! Me and Elder Blake have had a good time working together. Throughout our lunches we have been watching the Youth Face to Face and I learned a lot about prayer. Elder Holland and President Eyring talked about how we should pray and that we need to be approaching the throne of God. My prayers are now completely different. I decided to stay in my church clothes at night for my prayer and I have really enjoyed it i stay more focus and it is easier to remember why I'm there.
I- Tay was baptized!! She shared an experience in gospel principles about how she was getting questioned by all her friends about her decision but then last week in church she had a peaceful feeling come over her and she knew that she had made the right choice in being baptized into the church.
R- Something I struggle with is not being able to study for a large amount of time. I love reading the scriptures but I feel like I don't get to really feast in one hour because I also need to be in PMG, pamphlets, talks, make training, etc. I was praying to know how the Lord would have me study. Well my answer was that 1. I need to stick to what  you suggest (initiatives, training plan, etc.) On top of that I learned that learning also comes through experience while laboring among the Lord's children. No amount of study can replace experiences that come while applying what you read.
A- Well we had a member come up to us and ask "Elders, when is the next activity that I can invite a friend to come to?" That is the best thing to hear out of a members mouth! We have had several people ask if they can participate in the end of this 40 day fast even though the days are well full. The baptism of Tay was very helpful too. I wish we could of had more people at the baptism but non the less the members are seeing that things are actually happening and they want to be a part of it.
C- Elder Blake is doing very well. He gave me a piece of advice that has been very valuable to me over the past couple of days. He told me to stop caring about what people thought. Just do the things I know are right and let the Savior take me to new heights. I have become more bold in my testifying and inviting, more dedicated to talking with every one, more excited to go work! I am grateful for the support he has shown me even though we are so different. I love him. :) In fact during weekly planning we set a goal to use the WofW pamphlet in our street contacting just to shake things up. People are really open to the idea. It is also a really good opportunity to testify of modern day prophets and our bodies being temples. Always nice to get out of the rut.
L- After zone conference I committed to actually repent of not using the pamphlets and I promised Heavenly Father that i would think up 5 inspired questions for each picture in the pamphlets. It takes a lot of effort to think of that many questions for one picture but it has really helped me branch out in my teaching. New ways of working new results. A sharper saw brings more wood.

That is a copy of the email I sent to President Vest. I don't have much time to email this week unfortunately. 

Four other things worth mentioning!
  1. Ivan Does now have work off on Sundays and was at church on Sunday. He had his baptismal interview and it went great! He will be baptized this Wednesday at 7 pm! In our ward we have about 5 or 6 native Spanish speakers who speak broken English but the nearest Spanish ward is too far away for them. But since our ward mission leader is a Spanish speaker he will start teaching gospel principles in Spanish and his wife will be teaching the english one like she has been.
  2. Sunday we stopped by S. Foster's home (She is the less active lady that feeds us all of the bomb food if you remember the pictures. Not s Diaz but the other lady) anyways she helps take care of one of her old friends. He is a really old guy named Jim Brown (classic white guy name). A sweet old man I wish you guys could hear him talk. Anyways S. Foster was not home so we started talking to him. He allowed us to come in and we shared the restoration. We invited him to baptism and he accepted! We will hopefully be setting a date tomorrow.
  3. Tays Baptism! Tay actually had three of her non-member friend there along with her mom Georgette. E. Conley came back and baptized her and I loved getting to see him! The following day I had the opportunity to confirm her in sacrament meeting. I love being able to do that... very humbling. A powerful experience for everyone really.
  4. Sunday night we had dinner with the Moncrief family. I can't remember if I've mentioned them before. They make all sorts of homemade bread and the dad just recently got the Melchizedek priesthood when E. Childress was serving here. Anyways they made us homemade pitas. They are health nuts and all of it was from scratch. Holy wow it was good. The reason they are such health nuts is because apparently she used to be "really fat" like "huge fat" her own words... I didn't want to ask a specific weight but apparently she was big. Anyways, she really loves chocolate chip cookies and what she does to not eat them is she figured out it takes two hours of really hard work out to burn all the calories from one cookie. For her personally. Don't know if I'm that committed but it was cool to hear everything about how they manage their health and stuff.

I love you all and would invite all of you to read from the scriptures! Also if you want some good suggestions on improvement go watch the Youth Face to Face. 
I know that Jesus Christ is our mediator with the Father. Remember to involve Him, the redeemer, in your efforts to change otherwise it is not actual repentance!

Elder Kelly