Monday, October 16, 2017

Elder May: Chapter 77


2nd week in Brandon, FL and he is loving it!  And… the weather is FINALLY cooling off so he has officially made it through his LAST summer in Florida – not that I am counting or anything.  He is official 10 days from being out 18 months.  I remember when Hunter was gone, once we got to 18 months, time moved much faster.  Much faster the last 6 months than the first.  Love him, miss him but oh, so proud of him!  Enjoy!!

Chapter 77 ~

1.  That zone Conference though!
2.  These former investigators are so cool!
3.  I don't care about my happiness anymore. All I want is for my family to be happy.
4.  Danny came to church again!

Hey everybody! We had a really good week. There were a lot of places we stopped by, people we met, and life's we blessed. First off though, I'll talk about how our lives were blessed.
We had a visit from a seventy to our mission. He and his wife came and taught us so very much! He taught us more how to work with members of the ward, how to teach by the Spirit, shared stories about missionaries he knows, and his wife told an awesome experience they had.

One of the stories they shared was that an elder walked right into another churches sermon and listened to it. Gladly he was following the Spirit when after the sermon he and his companion talked with the preacher and said "we were sent here to help you find true happiness." After they taught and baptized the preacher, the preacher closed down his church. His last sermon he introduced the entire congregation to missionaries and told them "this church is going to be closing. This is the last sermon. It will be given by the Mormon missionaries. Anyone that wishes to leave can do so but I testify that what they teach is true and will bless your life." Of the 300 members of the congregation, 200 or so listened and were baptized. Then the Church bought the building and switched out the signs out front and now that is a branch of the Church. Because those missionaries were bold and followed the Spirit.

The seventies wife then stood and told us of her conversion, and the conversion of most her family. Her brother has now been reading and finished the whole Book of Mormon but refuses to meet with the missionaries. During the zone Conference she was inspired to send a text to her brother, explaining what the missionaries’ do, why we are out here, what we sacrificed to come here, and why he needs the Church. She knows that was a prompting from the Lord and will keep us informed how it goes! So cool!

The second quote comes from this week as we have been talking to all of the former investigators that we feel inspired to visit. There has been a lot of blessings that have come our way through doing so. We will be teaching; a family of 6 that couldn't come to church because they had no car at the time but have recently bought one, an interested woman that still had her Book of Mormon, and we have been able to find in their neighborhoods and we have a lot of work to keep doing.

Third, there was an investigator that we recently found that we got to meet with who told us he just wants his family to be happy. We were teaching him about the restoration of the gospel and it was going great. He was engaged and saying things like "I think God should put some prophets or apostles back on the earth so we can know what to do." We keep going and he didn't have a ton of time so we went to the part about Joseph Smith. When he sees the picture of the first vision and reads the page in the pamphlet we gave him he says "Wait, Joseph Smith....saw....wait....what? I don't believe it." Then his phone rang and he said "hold on a second." How do you hold on a second when he just said he doesn't believe in this?! We knew that we'd either be asked to leave or we can try to understand what was wrong. We stayed cool, calm and collected, answered questions and random off the wall concerns, and eventually he understood what we believe about prophets and apostles. He told us he doesn't like reading but wants to know if this is true. It was intense but he said we can come back and share this message with his family and they can all learn and understand together.

Fourth, our investigator Danny came to church again and he loved it again. We are going by to 
finalize his baptismal date and start on the path to help him understand, live commandments, and enter the gate. I'll keep you updated on all of that. He's so cool.

I love you all and will talk to you later. Enjoy these pictures! Bye now!

Haydon Lane - so cool!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Elder May: Chapter 76

Love and miss his face! 

What a great email!  It makes my heart happy to hear him so happy and doing well in his new area.  He talks about 76 weeks of emails and it is funny to think that he has less to write than he has written.  He will be out 18 months on the 27th of this month.  I can hear him talking as I read this email and that brings a smile to my face.  Love him, miss him too but oh, so proud of him!  Enjoy!!

Chapter 76

1) You’re transferring to Providence!
2) Meet and greet Elder Stockham
3) This is a blessed area!
4) Not a coincidence
5) Who knew I was such a baller!

Hi everybody! I’ve been sending these emails for the past 76 weeks, save the couple that I didn't send one. Like last bad. But I was busy. 

I was busy packing because I was transferred up to the middle of the mission in an area called Providence. The mission office (basically the middle point of our mission) is 20 minutes away now. This means I am in Tampa which has some crazy traffic and I am not used to that. Our normal "main roads" that we use in our areas move so slow every once in a while. It’s okay though. 

My new companion is Elder Stockham from north Salt Lake City, Utah. He has been out since about February of this past week and is super excited to hit the ground running. And we have definitely been running. 

We have tried a lot of different ways to meet some new people this past week. We have gone tracting in apartment complexes, some former investigators (those that have been met with missionaries before) which has brought some cool results, less active members which now we are teaching a nonmember husband, and a list of unbaptized members and now we are going to teach a man named Joseph Smith. Hopefully he will be able to relate well to the message. 

One huge blessing is that our progressing investigator, Danny, has a date for baptism on the 4th of November and hopefully that works out. If not then we can reschedule it. We found him doing some service and he wanted some help because of the winds of the Hurricane that came through here. He now is reading the Book of Mormon by himself and reading a lot. We asked him to read just 1st Nephi 2nd and he read all the way to chapter 8 and came to church this past Sunday and loved it. Even better is that where we were sitting in church was right behind a couple in the ward and the wife turned around, and said "Danny how are you and your brother Randy?" She grew up on the same street as him and knew his family so when he came in she recognized him and started talking to him which was awesome and we are going to try to have them over for some lessons. 

We have a couple of promising lessons this week that we just randomly called because we are both fairly new in the area. One of them came because we had a little bit before we met with our ward mission leader so we called a former that lived one street north of our ward mission leader. That person answered the phone and after we established who we were said, "I haven't heard from you guys in a while! Want to come by on Tuesday?" There have been a couple phone calls like that in the past couple of days which have been awesome and built faith. 

The fourth quote is actually really funny. We met with our ward mission leader and talked a little bit about where I am from and where he is from and found out that not only did he serve in this same mission 10 years ago but he also is from Arizona, is in college to be a software engineer, and his brother lives in the same neighborhood as me. WHAT?! This is actually the second person I've met that served in this mission and met his future wife while he was out here serving. It has been pretty crazy.

Last, we played basketball on Saturday and this morning and guess what, I am a baller. Elder Stockham and I are going to start working out by going to the church to play basketball more. It will be awesome but don't be surprised when I can dunk when I get home (I can already touch the front of the rim).

I'll talk to you all later! Love you!

Love Elder May

Saying Good-bye

Elder May and Elder Stockham

Monday, September 25, 2017

Elder May: Chapter 74

Our very happy, handsome missionary helping those in need!
Thank you for all the extra prayers and temple rolls entries on Elder Hayden's behalf.  After almost a month, he is finally feeling better.  He is back to helping and serving the amazing people in Port Charlotte.  There are so many that have lost so much and some still without power and water.  It really is a true miracle that nothing happened to Elder May and Elder Shakespeare's apartment.  We love him and we miss him but we are oh, so proud of him!  Enjoy!!

Chapter 74

           1.      I finally feel better
           2.      We did a lot of service
           3.      Like a lot of service.
           4.      You're fighting about the Mormons coming over 

Hey everybody! First off, thank you for all the prayers sent our way because we were sick. We are all better now. No more bronchitis or amoxicillin so that is a blessing. I was sick of being sick.

Second and third,  we have done a lot of service over the past two weeks especially. So many trees, and move outs, and flooding and everything but it has been a ton of fun. The Spirit was very strong and each person we served we asked to end with a prayer and each accepted, including a man who claimed he was atheist. They each appreciated it so much.

Lastly, we finally got to meet with our investigator who has learned everything and likes to make us dinner. His wife is pregnant right now and doesn't feel good most the time so she stayed in her room. But the daughter came out and said, "Mom isn't tired, she's mad at you because the Mormons are here." That was hilarious but made the lesson pretty awkward for us and the member we brought.  We busted up laughing as soon as we got into the car. It was hilarious.

Not too much else happened though. It sure was a fast week though. I am very excited for conference this weekend and excited to hear more from our prophet. Although he is unable to do much nowadays I know he is still inspired and will tell us exactly what we need to know, and more importantly do, as members of the church. I love this gospel and testify God loves each and every one of us.

Love Elder May 

Zone Conference

Zone Conference

Zone Conference - Back Row on Right