Monday, July 25, 2016

Elder Hayden: Chapter 13

Elder Hayden never ceases to amaze me.  Seriously!  The things he does is so outside his comfort zone which reaffirms to me that our Heavenly Father is completely and totally mindful of us including our shortcomings and comfort zones.  Then He help bolster us up when we are doing His work.  I know that He is doing that with our handsome Elder.  Miss him, love him more – but oh so proud of him ~ Enjoy!!

       1) Yea, the days went by slow and weeks went by quickly
I am pretty sure my mom is not going to agree with that "scripture". I want to start off this week with an extremely awe inspiring testimony builder that we received over the phone on Thursday night:

On Thursday morning, we get a text from the zone leaders. They simply told us to check our email the next day. The next day we left to exercise early so we can stop and check our email first and there is nothing. They tell us that it should be there when we leave for proselyting. We check then and nothing. This pattern repeats itself until we are back inside for the night without having received an email. We call the zone leaders to get to the bottom of this mystery and they give us the news. 

The email read that, "Elder Gardner and Elder May, your companionship, along with two other companionship's have been prayerfully selected by the leaders of this mission for a special challenge.  In your area, there is a person prepared to be baptized on August 6th. You task is to find them and bring them the gospel.  The only way this can happen is if you, be exactly obedient, have the faith to find them, have your eye single to the glory of God at all times, work efficiently at all times, rely on the Lord.  They are in your area and we know that you can find them. This challenge is to increase your faith and the faith of those in your district. Do you accept this challenge?"

We were chosen by the leaders to find a prepared person. I know that we could do it. We accepted (obviously) and went to work the next day.

We taught, we found, we blessed, we committed and all other aspect of the work. We found a ton of people and we testified to them. Only two came to church and they can be prepared by then but I don't know about trying to force a baptism in order to fulfill a challenge. 
I think that even if we don't baptize someone on the 6th, we still now have many more prepared people that will be baptized and I want to write about one. Her name will be changed just because it is a touchy situation:

Victoria: Victoria is a media referral. A lot of her family is LDS already and her father told her to request a Book of Mormon because she has had a few challenges in her life. In the past couple of days since we met her we have brought her the Book of Mormon, she attended our scripture study class and said that the Book of Mormon is true, we set her baptismal date, we committed her to come to church, she overslept and missed church (unfortunately) and when we came by later that night she apologized and felt terrible. But she is still extremely excited to learn and be baptized and I am excited to be a part of it. She is a miracle. 

I love all of you and know that you are praying for me because I couldn't do this without the prayers. Thank you for them and everything else you have done. 

Elder May

Monday, July 18, 2016

Elder May: Chapter 12

Every Monday this boy just inspires us to be better and work harder because of all the amazing work he is doing.  For our family, this week was a pretty stressful and difficult but ended up with a few miracles for ourselves.  We know that is because of the work and sacrifice of our Elder.  We are so blessed to have him serving the Lord and even more blessed to have him as part of our family.  We love him so much and miss him even more but oh, so proud of him!  Enjoy!!
Chapter 12:

Hello Everyone!

He is so handsome!
Love him!!
This was another FANTASTIC week in the Florida Tampa Mission. I just turned to Elder Gardner now that I am an experience 9-week old Elder and said, "Man, my whole mission has just been a blur." He busted up laughing because of how young I still am. 

Anyway, we had a great week this week! No sunburn, no biking in this insane heat, people were taught, interviews with the new mission president, small rain storms almost every night, I love it!

Also, THERE WAS A BAPTISM! Fred Lane is the newest member of the church in the Hudson ward. There was a problem at the baptism however. Because of the rain, at least that is what we think it was, the water of the font was brown as shown in the picture of Elder Gardner valiantly standing in it to unplug the drain. Luckily, one of the brothers in the ward said we could use his pool! So Fred was baptized in the

pool and it is a real testimony builder to remind me that it doesn't matter where the ordinance is done, as long as it is clean, because the important part is the priesthood, not the font. 

Let's talk about some miracles:

Joseph: Late last Monday night we went to visit with a person who's appointment we missed the day before. We got out of the car and I saw a person out of the corner of my eye and asked him if he wanted to say a prayer. It was raining slightly, and in Florida that means the sky is about to turn into a waterfall and you are going to get soaked in a couple seconds, so I expected him to say no. To my surprise he said he did. I prayed with him and then just started to teach him. I asked questions, taught doctrine, testified and set up a return appointment. We shook hands and I started to walk away, then remembered I should try and invite him to be baptized. I asked if he found out it was true would he be baptized and he said "yes I would," so his date is on the sixth of August. 

Bill: We met Bill two weeks ago on Sunday but he is an awesome guy. He is in his 50s or 60s and has been a faithful catholic his whole life. He is dating a member of the church and they talk about religion often and discuss one another's beliefs. This past week we went by to get to know him a bit and teach him the restoration. We did that and invited him to be baptized, to which he replied, "She warned me you'd bring that up. As of right now, no. But things can change." Then we went by yesterday to see him and talked with him more about religion and he told us that the true church on earth is either the Catholic faith or the Mormon faith. He has been studying the church for years but has never read the Book of Mormon so we told him that the Book of Mormon will solidify his answer on which one is actually true. Either the Book of Mormon is true and so is the Mormon church or the Book of Mormon is not true and the Catholic church is true. It's fun to meet with him.

There are many more miracles that I could write about but I will leave it here for now. I love you all and am thankful for you. Continue being awesome. Love you! The church is true. Bye!

Elder May

Monday, July 11, 2016

Elder May: Chapter 11

Boy, this Elder is amazing.  He never ceases to amaze me!  I love getting pictures from him and sweet ward members who take the time to send us photos of him.  We are beyond blessed to have him serving the Lord and love him to pieces.  Love him, miss him but oh, so proud of him!  Enjoy!!

Hi Mom!

This is the beginning of my two month mark as a missionary. I know some might say that it has gone by really fast. I will disagree because I know I will be in trouble with my mom if I say that.

WE HAD A FANTASTIC WEEK!!!! We have taught a BUNCH of lessons to people and seen some fantastic miracles! Want to meet one of them?

The lady in orange is named Coral and every one of those kids is hers. She has six kids all under the age of six. The other lady in the picture is her mom Jeane. Jeane is a member of the church and Coral says she knows she was baptized but we can't find her records anywhere so what are we gonna do?!


She has been coming to church for a long time now and she is just going to need to go through the lessons really quick and marry her boyfriend and then she will be able to be a member of the Church on paper as well!

Another one of our miracles is named Pearla - We were driving down the road to an appointment after about four things had fallen through and there is a lady walking through the tall grass. We pulled over to the side of the road, safely of course, and asked if she wanted to say a prayer. I think she was scared of us because we heard her quietly agree. Then she saw our name tags. She asks us, "Mormon's!?" We say yes expecting her to no longer want to say a prayer. Instead, she runs over to the car enthusiastically and says "I love the Mormons! I met with them a lot in Costa Rica. They are so friendly and I have been to every church around here and everyone is so mean and I didn't know the Mormons were here too!" So we prayed and set up an appointment. When we went to the appointment we brought the perfect member along. We brought Fred and Judy. Judy is a member from Peru who doesn't speak English and Fred is our number one investigator and he is getting baptized this Saturday! We taught an amazing lesson and Judy bore her testimony to Pearla in Spanish, which is Pearla's first language, and during the lesson Fred was able to talk about how he came to know the message was true. It was awesome to have them both out with us. Pearla has a date set for the sixth of August but we might push it up.

I am very excited for this upcoming week. Let me tell you one more cool thing:

In sacrament meeting we heard from a service missionary couple that is a town over from us. They gave their talks and in both of them talked about how awesome missionary work truly is. The wife, Sister Johnson, talked about how the hardest act of service she has ever had to do for the Lord is let her daughter go on a mission to Hong Kong. That would definitely be difficult and I know that the daughter is doing great things and that her parents are being blessed as well for their diligent service because I know I am being blessed and that my family is as well.

I am very grateful for the myriad of blessings and miracles that I have been able to have in my life, both pre-mission and currently. I know that this gospel can change lives because it has been able to do so for me. I am grateful for everyone I have in this life and for those I haven't even met but will be able to soon. I love you all.

Love Elder May

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Elder May: Chapter 10

I knew the day would come that he would cut his own hair and sure enough it was this week… I remember getting the first videos of Hunter on his mission shaving his hair off so at least this is a tad better.  Love this boy, miss this boy but oh so proud of him!  Happy Week 10 Elder May… Enjoy!

WHEW this was a fantastic week. I got to go on an exchange this week with my zone leader, Elder Casperson. All Elder Gardner told me about him, because they used to be companions, is that Elder Casperson "goes hard when finding." and he definitely does. This week has definitely changed my missionary work. A compilation of; a district meeting about having the faith to find, Elder Casperson teaching me so much in the span of one day, Elder Gardner and I working together and having more faith as we find, and something I read in personal study called the Riccardi Letter, has all literally changed our work that we are doing. 
Actually, I should start out with something funny that I did. I cut my own hair. I was attempting to be thrifty! The front looks totally fine and that is what I want people focused on anyway.....The back didn't look as good. BUT IT’S HAIR AND IT WILL GROW BACK.

On Monday of this past week Elder Gardner and I were pretty discouraged because of how many rejections we had the past week and Monday did not go too much better. Then came a great district meeting. We talked about how if we have faith, without any shred of doubt, that God will help us achieve our goals, then we can accomplish anything we set as our goal. God is no respecter of persons but he is a respecter of goals. That same day we had the transfer and instead of quoting this script that I had of asking if they want to say a prayer with us, asking if they had faith in Christ, asking how that has helped them through life, letting them know that we share a message to strengthen their faith, and then sharing the restoration, he would walk up and ask them what makes them happy. Or what is a miracle they have seen in there life? Heck, he even asked one lady if she had ever been baptized and she said no so he said we could do it for her! That day we taught 11 lessons and set 7 baptismal dates. He taught me a lot and a lot of those lessons he had me take the lead on them! 

Then on Wednesday we switched back companions. When Elder Gardner and I were back in our area, we started off the day with two hours of finding time, from 12-2. I was really worried the mojo was going to be gone because I didn't have anyone telling me what to do anymore. I was mistaken. We had taught 9 lessons by 2 and a total of 13 other lessons and 3 member present lessons with 8 baptismal dates that were set. It was amazing. We had set lofty goals to build our faith and we saw miracles from doing so. 

The rest of the week slowed down a bit but we still taught a ton of people and had miracles happen right in front of us. I will write down a couple

Eddie and Kristen Hilton- In our area there is a very....humble (that's the very nice way to put it) apartment complex filled with drunk people and crime. We were finding people and turned in to this complex solely because we felt we should. Right after the turn in, we met Kristen. She is a very kind lady that was walking with her two kids around her complex. We taught her all of the restoration, including me reciting the first vision to her. After we had taught her she said, "That sounds crazy, but what's even crazier is that I believe it." While Elder Gardner was writing down the address of the church and our phone number on the back of the pamphlet I asked her, "Have you ever been baptized?" She said, "I have been saved, but being baptized is a life goal of mine and my husband so no I have not." So I set her baptismal date!

Chilly Karrie- Her name is Karrie and her nickname is Chilly so we call her both! We were driving down a road and saw a lady walking down the sidewalk talking on her phone. We pulled off to the side and I yell, "Ma'am can we say a prayer with you?" Confused because I am yelling, she walks over and asks what I said, still talking on the phone too. I ask again and she says, "YES PLEASE!”, hangs up the phone without saying bye, then starts to tell me all about her life. She is soon to buy a house, have a job interview and is getting a car soon. She asked me to pray that all of that goes well and that her 11 year old daughter remains healthy and in the faith. I pray for her and when we finish she is crying. She asks us when the next time we can come by is, asks for a pamphlet then tells us that she is crying because the night before, she prayed to God that he would put a messenger in her path that would help her to strengthen her faith again. 

Both those miracles have a date set for the 23rd of July. 

I am very proud of the way that God is being able to use me. I am thankful that he is. I constantly thank Him for this chance to be here and pray and thank Him for all of you. I love you all!  

Love - Elder May