Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Elder May: Chapter 5

Elder May seems to be loving and thriving in New Port Richey especially now that he has short sleeve shirts - which was a very big deal.  Sure love and miss this Elder but oh, so proud of him!  Enjoy!!

Elder May - Chapter 5

This week has been phenomenal. We had district meeting on Tueday and we set a goal for June baptisms. As a district, we are going to have 8 baptisms so two per companionship. (As a frame of reference, we had a goal of 13 for the month of May. We got 2 as a district.) So after we all felt bad for coming so short, we were able to discuss and plan ways to get to 8. Elder Gardner and I have been praying, working hard, being exactly obedient and all those other things we could be doing and as it stands, and hopefully stays, we as a companionship will have a baptism this weekend, on the fourth, next weekend, on the eleventh, the weekend after, on the eighteenth, and we have a few people who said they would be baptized on the weekend after but they aren't solid enough to be listed here yet. We might have every weekend. I am extremely excited and blessed to be in this area at a time where so many amazing things are happening. 

So the pictures are as follows: One is us with our investigator that should be baptized on the eleventh and the others are just a couple pictures of what Florida looks like. Flat and green and cloudy. That is the best way that I can describe it. 

I will tell a real quick story about effective usage of time and then hit send. So a couple of days ago we finish with all of our lessons for the day and it was 8:30 and we had to be home by 9. So to kill some time we pull into the walmart parking lot. We say a quick specific prayer, asking for just one person to listen to us and let us teach them. Fifteen minutes go by and one family let us say a prayer with them and then we mentioned the word "Mormons" and they wanted nothing else to do with us. Discouraged, we walk to the car. While walking there we see one more guy. He is getting into his car and we just say "HELLO SIR" and he turns around and says "What's up?" so we walked over and asked to say a prayer with him. That prayer turned into talking about our church, which turned into him telling us about his brother and his drug habits, which allowed us to set up a return appointment and a lesson with him right there that lasted a solid 20 minutes. Heavenly Father truly loves each of us, he answers our prayers, and blesses our lives, as long as we put forth the effort. I am glad that I am able to be here. 

Thank you to anyone that is praying for me or sending me love from home. It is truly being felt. I love you all and will email next week.

Elder May
Got his first flat tire and fixed it himself - got a little dirty though... 

Elder May's Apartment
Flat and gray alot of the time... 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Elder May: Chapter 4

Elder May has arrived in Tampa and is loving it.  He is actually in a town called New Richey Port which is very close to the water.  He is dying in long sleeves so we have short sleeve shirts already on there way to him.  He is also very sunburned- he forgot he had sunblock but he said that "He is willing to do the Lord's work, sunburned and all"  Below are some pictures and his latest email...enjoy!

The Book of Elder May - Chapter 4

He is very sunburned!
Hey everyone. I got to Tampa and I am dying from humidity but I am loving it. We have a lot of rules that aren't in the handbook but they are definitely helping the work. Apparently I have been assigned to the most successful and most hard working mission in Florida so I think that is a good thing. We get up a half hour earlier than usual but we go to bed a half hour earlier too. We aren't allowed to have dinner at a members house unless an investigator, recent convert or less active member is attending and a lesson is being taught soooooo we haven't had a member dinner yet Grinning face with smiling eyes but we have instead set baptismal dates with 10 people I believe. We try to teach 60 lessons a week as our standard of excellence and we would have had it but this week was kind of strangely set up. I will explain in a little bit. 

My trainers name is Elder Gardner and we are in the Hudson area for our mission. The mission area map that I got only shows the town called New Port Richey on it and that is the only town name I recognize and that is where I am at. He has been out for a year and six months and really good at talking to people. He has also been teaching me to make food cause I don't know how to. I now know how to make eggs and french toast soooooo I am getting there. 

First I want to talk about a few of the people we have been teaching. First is Bill. He is a labor worker that has been being taught by the missionaries for a while now and the only thing that he hasn't done is go to church enough times. He WILL be baptized by the first weekend of June. (He counts as my baptism because I am in the area and helped teach a couple lessons.) Next we have Sheryl, and she is extremely solid and ready to be baptized but she is waiting for her friend to come into town and that will be happening at the end of this next month. The 28th I believe. Third is Alex and this kid is super cool. He is as old as we are and recently worked as the sign guy for Little Caesars. We were biking to an appointment and saw a guy walking in the sonic parking lot and yelled "Can we say a prayer with you?" and he said yes and then after that we have been teaching him since. He is amazing at keeping commitments. He read the restoration pamphlet and asked us for a Book of Mormon to read after that and showed up at church on Sunday so he is fantastic. We are teaching him again today. He has a date set for the 18th of June. Fourth was a media referral from Church HQ. We just get a text that someone wanted a free bible and so we brought it to him. His name is Michael and his girlfriends name is Kim. He is so interested in the church that he invited us in, we taught him, gave him the
bible and the next day he asked if he could have a tour of the church and a Book of Mormon and you should never say no to that so we did! Finally is a guy named Greg and we call him Greg Miracle. We were riding our bikes and suddenly we here "HEY ELDERS!" and we turn around and talk  to him and he says "I have been taught for a long time and I am ready to be baptized. In fact, I would drive the elders around all the time to appointments and sit in them with the elders and be taught while teaching someone else. The only problem is I am on probation still so I don't think I can be baptized yet." So we are waiting for him to not be on probation anymore. 

Those are the main experiences. We mainly just ride around and offer prayers, let them know we are christian and then talk to them about Jesus. There are a lot of Cubans and baptists out here so a lot of people love Jesus so that helps. 

The weird schedule came from an event that came to the mission for one day. Gladys Knight is LDS and she came, with her choir named Saints United Voices, and bore their testimony in word and in song. It was held in a church chapel to accommodate people and let them into the church to show them that we aren't weird or anything. In the program we had a little piece of paper that they wrote their name and address on and we got about 18 referrals from doing that and I am excited to go out and utilize those. 

I love this work and I am so very excited to be here. It is always fun and I am constantly smiling. Funny story really quick, we called a guy that left us his phone number and the second we say "It's the missionaries" ; he hangs up and we laughed soooooooooooooo hard!

Love you all. Here is the address if'n y'all wanna send me a little something. I don't really talk like that and no one out here does. 

7732 Isabella Drive Apartment G
New Port Richey, Florida 34668

love you all - Elder may

Monday, May 16, 2016

Elder May: Chapter 3 - Elder Hayden May Heads Out To Tampa

"I Love To See The Temple" and this handsome Elder! 
Tuesday, Elder Hayden will be leaving the MTC to begin his mission in Tampa, Florida.  He won't have a P-Day so no email but we plan on talking to him at the airport so that will be awesome.  He leaves on Tuesday and his younger brother, Bryson arrives on Wednesday so they miss each other by a day but I am sure that Hayden has already sent Bryson a list of things to embrace and things to watch out for.  Elder Hayden was able to send Bryson a pic to wish him good luck on his farewell talk so I thought I would post because it is so classic Hayden!  Love this boy!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Elder May: Chapter 2

Boy, how we love this Elder.  Today, he found this picture in the MTC and loved it so he sent it to me.  It is a picture by Simon Dewey called "...that ye may know" and I think that is so poignant to have in the MTC.  When I think about Elder May being a mouthpiece for the Lord, this is what I would envision.  
We spoke to him on Sunday for Mother's Day and what an amazing experience.  Anyone who knows Hayden knows that he is very quiet and introverted.  Except at the MTC.  He has found his voice and is loving to preach the gospel to those that are listening.  He has really come out of his shell and we couldn't be more pleased.

He has decided he wants to do his blog entries like chapters where each week will be a chapter in the book.  So below is the the first chapter in the book of Elder May.  Enjoy!

The Book of Elder May
Chapter 2

1) I, Elder May, having been born of goodly parents have had an amazing opportunity to come to the MTC at this time and in general. Everything I have in this life comes from the gospel and my loving Heavenly Father. It has taken me a long time to realize that but I do know that it is true. These past few weeks have been, by far, the most spiritual of my life. Anytime that we are able to talk about something important and essential to His Plan, the power of the Spirit comes rushing in. The feelings that I have here strengthen my testimony every moment that I am here. I know that this is the best place for me to be and the right one to help me the most.

2) In the short time that I have been here, so much has happened. We have learned to testify and follow the promptings of the Spirit. We have taught investigators the things they need to hear because of that Spirit. We have studied the Book of Mormon and learned countless new things every day. We have experienced a taste of God's love as we meet new missionaries, teachers, leaders, and investigators. We have had scriptures, experiences, and analogies brought to our head immediately when we needed it. We have bonded as a district solely because of the knowledge that we are all brothers and sisters. 

3) We have the chance to meet those that need the gospel in something called TRC. I have no idea what it stands for but I do know that I love it. We have taught a total of four people and been able to have them feel the Spirit. They have all had a desire to change and take what we have that we are letting them know of. The best experience I have had so far was that we taught a man named John that has ADD and a six year old son. While we were teaching, he learned of the importance this gospel has for families and eventually, after the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation, accepted the invitation to be baptized. I am thankful for all the ones I have and love this gospel. 

4) I know that this church is true. It is the only way to attain salvation and feel of His eternal and never- ending love. I love this Gospel and am extremely excited to share the message with the people I come in contact with.

5) Thank you to anyone extending me blessing because they are being received very well. I am grateful and love you all.    

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Elder May: Chapter 1

Today is Elder Hayden May's first P-day!  He seems to be doing amazing and is loving the MTC.  He gets along really well with his companion which, as a mom, makes me very happy.  He even sent pictures.  I can't believe it has only been a week but at the same time, it has already been a week.  Love this boy and love his desire to serve the Lord.  Enjoy!
***Best news - he gets to call home on Mother's Day which we didn't think he would get to since he is in the MTC!!***

Hey Mom!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is my first P-Day that I have. The weirdest thing ever is to be in street clothes with a name tag on. I wanted you to be the first one that I email because I know you're the one that wants to hear from me most. I am having such a great time here. The Spirit is felt constantly and I am really glad that I was able to recognize how to feel his presence before I left. Things have been absolutely amazing here. I love my Elders and my Sisters in my district. We have been here and met all of each other 144 hours ago and we act like we have been friends for life. I have a few picture on my camera of all of us together during our temple walk but I didn't bring it to email because....I forgot. I will send them though. 

Where to even begin. There are eight of us in our district and its a split amount of Elders and Sisters. Three of the sets of companionship's are going to some area in Florida and one set is going to Dallas. Are teachers are great and I just love being here. We actually went as a district today and did an endowment session and we get to go one or two more times before we leave. We all participate as a class and something weird has happened to me. I am open, I talk to everyone, I discuss my thoughts and feelings about the things we talked about. On a multiple occasions I get told, "When I first met you, I thought you were going to be shy and quiet but you are definitely not." It is just super strange how this happened to me and I am glad that it did. 

Elder Peterson and I are still getting along extremely well. We laugh and joke and have fun and then its time to get serious and we flip a switch and can talk openly about the gospel. We have two TRCs that we have assigned to us. (I don't know what the acronym stands for but it is basically a person that you teach the gospel and you don't know if they are an investigator or not.) Both of them are amazing people. One is an ex-cop who needed to retire because he had pneumonia for a year and he wants to learn about God and how he can talk to him and while we were teaching him we showed him a pamphlet and he got choked up and cried. He accepted the invitation to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know it is true. The second guy has ADD, a six year old son, and works at a nursing home where his mom lives. He asked, "What kind of God would have his children suffer and then not help them out of it." and I was able to testify of how pray and faith will allow him to deliver us through our trials and afflictions. The spirit was there and he is going to read and pray as well. 
I do miss everyone back home but I truly know that this is the place to be for me. I love the Spirit that is here and what it can teach each one of us. Thank you for your help in getting me on my mission. You truly are the best mom anyone could ask for and I love you. 

I do have two things though. First off, Elder Peterson's mom is going to friend you on facebook. Secondly is there any way you can send a black or dark blue pair of basketball shorts? I have red shirts that I can't wear with my red basketball shorts. Thank you so much.Face throwing a kiss