Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Elder May: Chapter 18

Elder Hayden sure knows how to make his momma anxious.  Last week it was teeth pain and this week sunburn/sun bruising (didn't even know that was a thing). I just want to fly there and make sure that you puts sunscreen on every day and then re-apply, re-apply, re-apply.  But I know that he needs to make those choices by learning and getting sunburned (sun bruised) is one of those things.  Boy, how I miss this young man.  I have been rolling along pretty good coping with him being gone until this last week.  It hit me out of the blue and I was just overwhelmed with missing him.  But in that same moment, I was overwhelmed with the comfort of the Spirit to let me know that he is doing what he needs to do, he is being watched over and he is protected by a loving Heavenly Father and even though I was still missing him, I was at peace.  Love him, miss him so, but oh, so proud of him!  Enjoy!!

Chapter 18:

Look at that tan line - if you look close
you will see it is flaming red
1) Jesus bled for me. I can get sunburned for him!

That verse has been my call to arms since the beginning of my mission and I might have used it before but since I got sunburned again I figured that I would use it again. It is interesting though! This sunburn didn't bruise or anything like the last one did. It is already healed and turned into a tan. My pictures from the beginning of my mission I just want everyone to know that my tan in those was actually just my sun bruise. It didn't feel good either. This was a lot milder and only came because for the first time in forever I had to bike this week.

Because of the excessive times that we are going to Tampa we are over on miles and had to bike. Then one day later we had to drive because we have a few people that live like 10 miles away and I will die. Members driving is the best thing ever. Just wanted that on the record. Really good things are happening though. We aren't finding a ton of people but we do have a few that are progressing towards baptism really well!

Coral - Coral we were teaching a while back and she was recently evicted from her house and moved south into a different ward but now she has moved back and is happy to be here. Yesterday we were teaching her outside and this guy came walking up to us and said, "Latter Day Saints right?" So we said, "That's correct!" He then proceeded to tell us how pathetic it was that we were there teaching those that are the lowest of the low, and the bottom feeders living at that motel. Coral then piped up and said, "I am a member of the church and they are here teaching me and I would appreciate you not talking to them like that." It was so awesome because he apologized probably 15 times after that.

Larry - Larry is one of Elder Sites first miracles. We offered a prayer expecting him to say no and to our surprise he just said "Yes," almost immediately. We prayed with him and he is really excited to continue to learn with us. He was told we were a cult and instead of believing the person that told him that he said, "Well even if they are, these two kids are pretty cool and they are talking about Jesus." That was pretty cool.

I am really grateful to be a missionary for Jesus Christ at this time. (A lot of the reason why is because I couldn't do this if I was biking and always sunburned.) But I absolutely love it. The children that God is trusting me with is incredible and I am very thankful for each one of them. Thank you all for your prayers, I love you all and will see you soon. Bryson has some videos that I sent. Ask him for those. They are pretty funny I think.

I love you all - Love Elder May

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Elder Hayden: Week 17

Boy, do we love this Elder!!  How he has grown in just the few months he has been out.  He is looking forward to upcoming zone conference with a visit from one of the Seventy.  We love him and miss him but are oh, so proud of him!  Enjoy!

Elder Hayden: Chapter 17

1) Remember, remember that as you love those that you teach, they shall give love in return.

2) Be wary of chips.

Ramen - A missionary's favorite dinner
I am starting to realize how much of a hippie I sound like with all this love and charity stuff. Sorry about that. But verse two has a very important meaning behind it. For the past week and a half I have had THE ABSOLUTE WORST PAIN IN THE BACK LEFT SIDE OF MY MOUTH. I hoped it would just go away but it never did. It wasn't until I prayed and called Sister Alexander, our mission home nurse, that it started feeling better. My only guess is super embarrassing on what happened and based on the verse you can probably guess. I bit a chip and it stabbed me directly in the gum. Not knowing what exactly happened allowed my mind to run wild on what in the world happened to me. I didn't know if a wisdom tooth grew back in, if I stabbed myself in the nerve, etc. I had no clue, all I knew was that it hurt and it was really distracting me during lesson because I would be about to teach and then just close my mouth and grit my teeth to have the pain go away. But it is gone now and I thank God for that daily. On to more spiritual pursuits.

Here's one- A family of three was baptized and confirmed this weekend! It is the Helgenberger family from Guam and they are extremely excited to be in the church once again! The mom is so cool too! She says prayer is Micronesian. (I have no idea what she says during them but it is still really awesome.)

We also have some very solid (that means people that are wanting to still learn) people that I am excited for. Keep a lookout for their pictures in the coming weeks.

A couple of fun experiences would be, in addition to the Helgenbergers being baptized, we were able
Helgenbergers Baptism

to use time effectively and find a really cool guy named Paul. Paul was raised in a very Christian household (He said that they were so Christian that his parents called Lucky Charms, Pagan Puffs.) and he is really knowledgeable about the Bible. We walked up to him in a Walmart parking lot as he was riding in circles on an electric scooter because he thought it would him play Pokemon GO. He was telling us we should be allowed to grow beards because it is a symbol of our manliness. I am going to continue shaving because I trust God and his promises more than Paul. But I am excited to teach him!

Next is our investigator named Jim. Jim is fantastic! He has strayed away from God but "God led us to him to bring back him. He’s a lost sheep and God wanted to have him back!" -Jim. He loves us soooooo much. We talked about the Book of Mormon and gave him his own copy and he said, "Thank you. I will keep it sacred. I won't even put anything on top of it." When we left he warned us not to go to the beach, which we won't, because there are women there and women are evil. They will tear out your heart first and then come back for your wallet too! He called us as we were leaving with the last few minutes he had on his phone and all he said was "STAY AWAY FROM THE BEEEEEAAAAACCCCCHHHHHhhhhhh!" and then hung up. He ends every phone call by saying something along the lines of, "Thank you both so much. I love you. Jesus loves you. Jesus loves me. He always will. God bless you both. Stay safe. Patches (his cat) says 'MEOW!!!!!' okay bye." and hangs up. I love Jim!

Those are some of awesome investigators that we have that God has blessed us with. I am thankful for everything that you are all sending me. Prayers, kind notes, all that good stuff. I love you all! Thank you!

Love, Elder May

Monday, August 15, 2016

Elder Hayden: Week 16

First week down as a trainer and he seems to love it!  They are just working up a storm and the Lord is blessing their area.  He told me in my personal email that he was looking at his pictures from the MTC and after about 15 minutes, he just missed his hair.  That made me smile.  I asked him if he found anyone to cut his hair and he said “No one cuts my hair like Julie (Spahr).  We love him, miss him but are oh, so proud of him. 

Elder May: Chapter 16

1) Although we were lost, through faith (and a GPS) God led us back home. 

2) I got lost driving home from Tampa.

As you all know, I have been assigned to be a trainer. Elder Gardner was assigned to be a zone leader in Tampa and he ditched me to do so. Not really though. Something that the twelve week (missionary training program) booklet tells us to do is to "train a missionary so that he would be able to train at the end of these twelve weeks." Elder Gardner did that. I am ready. 

My new trainee is Elder Sites. He is straight out of Woodstock, Illinois which is two hours away from Chicago in the northwest part, close to Wyoming. He is a fantastic missionary with a desire to serve and loving spirit. I made him promise me that no matter what happened, he wouldn't go home. 

I picked him up and we were taught by the Assistants to the President until around 2:30 and our area is probably an hour from Tampa. We got back in our area at nearly 4:30. That is my bad. I turned the wrong way down a road and thought it was correct so I just drove, thirty minutes, the wrong way. So another hour and a half later, (SO MANY MILES WASTED), we were back in the area and off to the work. 

That next hour we saw a miracle. His name is Frank. Our appointment fell through so we drove down the street to see where we could make a U-Turn, because missionaries don't do three point turns, and Frank was walking around out front of his house. We taught him about the restoration and set up to come by the next day. He told us right then he had already been baptized. We went by the next day and answered any questions he had which went from priesthood, to kingdoms of glory, to Joseph Smith, to the moon and back. But we got them all answered and he said he would be baptized. 

Elder Sites first investigator of his own is now a progressing investigator with a baptismal date. 

We have some amazing investigators right now and they are all excited to be baptized and we are super excited to help them to do so. Speaking of them,

We were blessed enough to finally have the standard of excellence for church attendance. Which means that we had six investigators of ours that are all progressing date sets coming to church. Eddie, Jada, Lori, Alecia, Mally Rose and Leaper. All six of them have dates set for these next three upcoming weeks and I am really excited for it. 
Under A Hornet's Nest

The first picture is the largest hornets nest we have found so far. I checked probably three times to make sure there was nothing in it before I stood underneath it. 

Elder Sites and Elder May

Second is a picture of Elder Sites and I that I took 11 seconds ago because I realized I didn't have one yet. He didn't know I was taking it. 

Sonic Squirrel

Third is a squirrel I fed at sonic. He was pretty cool. 

I love you all!


Elder Hayden

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Elder Hayden: Chapter 15

Fifteen short weeks and he is a trainer on his own which goes to show us the kind of missionary Elder Hayden is.  It is surprising a little because he is so quiet and never outspoken but we know in his setting apart, he was promised a voice and the ability to talk to those with authority and the Spirit would guide him. 

We are very excited for him and his next challenge because he is amazing.  He did admit to me he was nervous but I told him if he wasn’t I’d be worried.   We love him, miss him but are oh, so proud of him!
Elder Gardner and Elder May

Chapter 15:  A new challenge came to pass, as the transfer lists came in.

Cheryl Endowment
As always we are seeing many mighty miracles here in the Hudson area in the Tampa Florida Mission! Attached are some awesome pictures of us mini golfing, our recent convert Cheryl going to the temple, going out to ice cream with an investigator for her birthday, and a sweet shot of how cool Florida looks in the rain. I am very grateful for the place that I am at right now in this mission. I am seeing a lot of miracles and I am going to need a big one for what I have been assigned to do. As the scripture for this week says, I have been assigned to a new challenge of staying in the Hudson ward but I am also training a new missionary. WHAT?! 

Investigator's birthday treat
I am very humbled by this opportunity to do so and I am excited to meet my new missionary that I get to spend at least three months with. What is nice is the fact that I don't really have to worry about where I am going next transfer. I will be able to tell you more about him next week because I don't meet them until Wednesday so look forward to that email. 

I want to talk about a miracle and then I will bear my testimony. (I don't know which one to choose.)

Lori- I decided. This Tuesday we had a challenge issued to us as missionaries to find a prepared person that will be baptized on the 20th of August. Meaning that we had that week to find someone and invite them all to be baptized and you will find out on Sunday if the person you found will be the one because they need to come to church twice. I think Lori is that miracle. She has had a hard married life, has a five year old son named Michael and is going through a lot right now. We met her and offered her a prayer and she asked for her family’s safety and that she can find a church that she will feel comfortable at and Michael can grow up in. After we taught her and a few days went by it was time for her appointment. She canceled. The next day we went by again and she canceled but at our meeting with the ward mission leader we got six texts from her. She told us she was sorry she couldn't meet, she read the pamphlet, was curious about the Book of Mormon and wanted to read it, asked if she could get a ride to church, offered gas money to whoever would pick her up, and went online to find where the church was and when services are. She came to church and we gave her Book of Mormon.

Love has been a huge part of my life and mission. I am very grateful for my chance I have to show the Lord and Heavenly Father that I love them through serving a mission. Obedience to any commandment shows our love for him and always comes with a blessing. (Doctrine and Covenants 130:20-21) I know that it has been a hard time getting me on a mission but I also know that because I am here I am being blessed and so is my family and loved ones. God loves me enough to bless those I love. I know that He loves and cares for each and every one of his children. Our trials and challenges are not here to bring us down and they are most definitely not sent from him. He SUFFERS that we are tempted so that we may be able to grow and become more like Him. Nothing in God's nature would cause him to hurt us. He is always there waiting for our call because he loves us, and wants to respect our agency instead of delivering us without our asking. Ask and you shall receive is a very monotonous and repeated commandment in the Bible and the Book of Mormon but it is a phenomenal one because of its simplicity and truth. I am grateful for all that he has given me. The tools that I have to become more like Him and invite others to join me on the journey. I love my Father in Heaven, my loving Savior, the Holy Ghost and I especially love my family and friends of whom God has miraculously given unto me. Thank you all for all your love and prays and for suffering through the amount of times that I mention that I love something. With every fiber of my being I mean it though. I love you all and I pray for you. Thank you. 

Love, Elder May

Friday, August 5, 2016


On August 5, 2016, Elder Hayden is in the mission field 100-days.  Woo-Hoo!  That is our first milestone.  We have a package ready to send with many different items Hayden loves that will all be 100 in quantity.  

We have held off sending it because of transfers on Tuesday, August 9th but we didn’t want the day to go by without recognizing this special milestone.  We love him, we miss him but oh, so proud of him!  100 down, 620 to go…(and no, it hasn't gone fast!)

Monday, August 1, 2016

Elder Hayden: Chapter 14

Oh, how we love this Elder of ours!  As we are approaching the 100-day mark, it has really started to hit me how much of a piece to our family puzzle Hayden is.  His love and acceptance of everyone along with his ability to find the good or positive in everything is something that I miss on a daily basis.  I miss his face peering into the kitchen asking what is for dinner every night around 5pm and I miss hearing him playing Madden with his dad while his brothers are playing video games as well.  With all that being said, I wouldn’t trade his experiences and growth in the last 100 days for him being home for anything.  He is truly a disciple of Jesus Christ telling people about the only true church on the world today. 

He told me in my own personal letter that there were so many times that he heard certain things like “The church is true, the people are not necessarily as well” and other phrases we have all heard but he didn’t realize how true it was until he was out serving.  I know that our Heavenly Father is watching over him and helping to teach the people of Tampa Bay but also us as his family as well especially his momma.  We love him to the moon and back hundred times, we miss him terribly but we are oh, so proud of him!  Enjoy!!

Hello Everyone!
"And we did go forth suffering atheists in order to find the miracles. Of which there were many."

This past week, as always, was fantastic. I SET A PERSONAL RECORD! 5 people came to church. That's right! 5! It doesn't sound like a lot, but I have never had over three sooooo pretty cool actually. There is actually one of them that I will talk about later named Gene. 

This week though was pretty awesome! We taught a lot of lessons, set a lot of baptismal dates, had a lot of appointments where they didn't answer the door but a lot that did as well. We actually had a member of the church that is one of the greatest people ever. Specific Shout Out to Brother Anzures who came out and drove us around to any appointment that we had from 12 noon-8:50 at night. 

I love my area by the way and next week is transfers and I am very nervous I will get transferred and not be able to continue to watch these wonderful people I get to meet progress but that is the way the mission works pretty often. Either way is okay with me. Also I might be training but I don't know.

Unfortunately Veronica dropped us and she had to leave Florida because she missed her court date.
The pictures are my district, that's me on the far right with much shorter hair, and the other is our investigator Eddie because we needed him to learn how to tie a tie.

Alright lets talk about some miracles.~ 

Raquel: This is the miracle that gave inspiration for my verse for this week. We just got out of church, taught a guy the plan of salvation, turn down a road and talk to this guy and offer a prayer. He starts laughing all crazy and asks "Why do you do this? Why do you believe it will work? Who told you to do this? etc." He then tried miserably to diminish my faith and try to make me question my beliefs (Didn't work) all the while Elder Gardner is busting a gut in the drivers seat because this guy is so insane. We eventually just cut him off and said God bless to him. The next guy we meet is more polite but still said he was an atheist. The third guy we meet didn't specifically say he was an atheist but he didn't say no to prayer pretty quickly. Then came Raquel. We offer a prayer to her and it takes a few tries to get her to here us and she says "Oh I am already praying with my son on the phone." So we just told her to put it on speaker and we can all pray together. So she did and afterwards she is soooo excited and acts as if she just won the lottery and sets up that we come by on Tuesday to teach her more!

Gene: Gene is a 100% miracle. We taught a lady who we have since dropped but driving away from her house we meet a guy named Gene. I offered a prayer and he said "I have no faith in Christ. I haven't for 30 years. Just say a prayer for me that someone with some authority shows up and fixes this situation I am in. Without being too annoying I asked if he wanted to say that prayer right now with us. He said "I guess so." We then said the prayer, and he tells us more about his situation. He was trying to do a good deed of letting a homeless guy live with him. After about a month, the homeless man started hitting himself, called the police, told them Gene did it, and Gene was taken to jail. We taught him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and all about faith (we are out of restoration pamphlets so we can't teach that very well.) After that we drive away and he halfheartedly walks away. The next day we get a call from him. When he got back home, there were three police cars there and the police officer tells Gene they are going to evict the man from Gene's home and they believe his story. He now lives back in his home and we are teaching him about the gospel. He now reads from the Book of Mormon and attended church yesterday and loved it. We are super excited for his baptism on the 27th. 

I am very grateful to be a missionary in the Florida Tampa Mission where miracles happen on the daily. It is very humbling but awe inspiring at the same time and I love it. I am thankful for the prayers and appreciate all of you. Thank you all for being so inspirational to me in helping me to desire to serve a mission. 

Love you all –
Elder May