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!!
"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 –