Monday, October 24, 2016

Elder May: Chapter 26

I think this was one of the craziest but most fulfilling weeks we have had since Elder Hayden left.  His older brother, Hunter, was sealed to his sweetheart for time and eternity in the Gilbert Temple.  Hayden was definitely missed but he was there in spirit  (or cardboard as the case may be).  We love him and miss him terribly - but we are oh, so proud of him!  Enjoy!!

Chapter 26:

1) Our obedience and diligence today, influences the day we have tomorrow

2) "If the Congo won't come to the Elders, the Elders will go to the Congo" -Brother Rossell (my ward mission leader)

Okay so this week we had the absolute biggest miracle of my entire mission so far. This entire chapter is going to be devoted to this one miracle. I am going to over-dramatize how it went in an attempt to make it extremely epic. 

Tuesday: We went on an exchange as a companionship of three in our area because the zone leaders wanted to take Elder Brau for the day to their area. We strategically planned to evenly teach the lessons from our companionship and Elder Reese's investigators as well. Doing so was difficult with as many people as we talked to and were rejected by but earlier that day we had a zone conference about diligence in the work and it was really good so there was no slowing us down. Tuesday was the inspiration for the first verse. I actually coined that phrase so I take credit for it. 

Wednesday: We are making breakfast for the day and the phone rings. I answer and it is a sister from the ward that is giving us a referral. She tells that she met a young man outside of his house that says his family is Christian and that he wants to find a church to go to. She told him that the church she attends is really close and is a Christian church. He was so excited and told her that his family wants to attend. This sister called us to tell us about this family. She tells me that there is nineteen of them in one house. Obviously a little confused by this I asked if she was sure and she said we can go and make sure on Saturday evening but she will secure rides and everything (yet another miracle)

Saturday: We meet with Sister Gomes and walk to this family’s house. They answer the door as happy as they can be. The father's name is Eecha and as we were greeting him, suddenly people just come flooding into this room. Sure enough, there 19 people living in this one house. There is Eecha, his wife, his father and mother and then his 15 children ranging from 2-18. They are from the Congo and moved to Tanzania and then to the United States. Eecha speaks pretty okay English and the rest do not speak too much so we start teaching and every couple of sentences he translates for us. Every couple of translations the entire family will start clapping and say "Tank you so much!" We leave them with a copy of a Book of Mormon and they are excited to come to church.

Sunday: Using cars from four different sisters in the ward the entire family makes it to church and stayed for all three hours. Tonight we are set up to go to their house and have a family home evening in which Elder Sites and I are going to have a lesson about baptism and what it means. We downloaded the Book of Mormon in Swahili for Eecha so that tonight we can have him read 3rd Nephi 11:23-26 in Swahili so everyone can understand. I am so extremely excited for all of them and you better believe I took my best selfie I could and got them all into one picture. 
Also I had the perfect Kodak moment with Elder Sites as he was calling someone that said they'd
attend church and I wanted to share that with you as well. I love you all! Thank you for all of your prayers! You are in mine as well!
Love you all – Elder May

Monday, October 10, 2016

Elder May: Chapter 24

It is hard to believe in some ways that 24 weeks have passed and in other ways, we have felt every moment pass by.  I think that our family misses him right now too with Hunter getting married and knowing he won’t be there physically but he will most definitely be there in spirit.  It’s a huge milestone for our family and his absence is missed more so than I think in normal circumstances. 
We are especially relieved that he is safe especially all the news coverage of Hurricane Matthew.  I am grateful for his leaders that follow the promptings of the spirit to make sure that the Elders and Sisters in the mission are watched over and protected.  Love and miss this Elder so much but oh, so proud of him!  Enjoy!
(the pictures with Hunter are a life size cardboard cut-out of Elder Hayden for the upcoming wedding festivities…see below)

1) "You two are great missionaries."

We had a great week here in Hudson and we had a lot of fun while doing so! We actually had two exchanges take place here this past week but all of us were here. A zone leader came to our area for the day to talk with us about the recent decision for a new stake to be built and then Elder Brau took Elder Sites to my area and I went with Elder Reese to his. Really we just went to one another's investigators for the day. It was really fun though! Elder Reese has absolutely no fear. We also had interviews on Wednesday so that is why we are all gussied up in that picture. 

We were able to do a lot of amazing things this week and meet some really cool people! Some of the advice that President Cooper gave to Elder Sites and I is not letting someone know who is the senior companion and so I have been having some fun with that. I told one lady that Elder Sites is training me on how to be a missionary and she completely believed me. Also another really cool miracle. Last week all us missionaries went to church in gray suits. But there was a problem, I don't have one. But then we got home and I found a suit in the closet I am using and it is gray, from men's warehouse and it fits pretty alright. So miracles are happening in this mission. 

Nick- Nick is sooooo cool. We met him at a parking lot when we only had 15 minutes before we had to be home. We talked to him and said a prayer, taught about the gospel, he invited us to his house, and we set his baptismal date. He wasn't able to make it to conference this past week but he did come to a really powerful church tour Saturday and church yesterday.  He had to go to work at 12:30 but he made it to sacrament meeting and really enjoyed it as well! He is excited!

Agnes- Agnes I talked about a couple weeks ago. She was a tracting miracle. Anyway, we haven't met with her since that day so we sent a text to let her know that if she was interested to call us. She then, almost immediately, responded and said "Sorry I have been sick. When is church? I will try to make it." So if we see her there we will start teaching her!

On a final note I want to mention a baptism we had here at the church. It wasn't a convert one but it is the inspiration for the verse for this week. A family in the ward just had their daughter baptized and it was really cool. The mother was walking quickly everywhere before church to get it all set up. She asked us how we make the programs for our baptisms so she can do it. Instead, we just told her we would do it. We finished doing so right when the program started and we were able to help with the font and the father asked us to join in the confirmation circle. After the event we went and thanked them for letting us be a part of the circle. The mom thanked us for all that we did and was on the verge of tears as any mother would be on such an awesome day and she told us that we were both great missionaries. That is a wonderful thing to hear when we hear rejection all day. 

I just want to let each of you know that I love you. Thanks for all that you do. You all excel at every task you do even if you don't recognize it right now. I love you, so do countless others and especially our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Love you all,  Elder May

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Elder Hayden: Chapter 23

Love seeing his face - Love our Elder Hayden!
Our family had a CRAZY week last week and I found myself thinking about why we were having such difficult trials even with two missionaries.  As I read through Elder May's letter this week, I was humbled that the Lord doesn't bless us necessarily the way we want or think we should be blessed.  He blesses us because we are obedient and faithful - He blessed us that no matter what happened, no one was seriously injured and the overall damages were fixable.  He blessed Elder Hayden with a multitude of people wanting to learn more about the church and He blessed us with insurance both home and health.  I found myself repentive and then grateful for the many blessings that go unseen at times but are all around us.  Love this Elder more than words can say and miss him like crazy but oh, so proud of him...

Chapter 23:

1) Sharing a car sucks
2) I walked 12,000 steps yesterday from the space of 6:00 pm-9:00 pm
3) Having faith never tasted so good

WOOOOOOOOOOO I am so excited! We are having a ton of fun as a unit! (that is apparently what it is called when you have more than one set of missionaries in the same area. We are a unit.) I am not as excited about the prospect of sharing a car. I will do it though because I love God. To be very truthful though, my tan is getting pretty good. 

Anyway we had a lot of fun just walking around and meeting all kinds of new people. In order to save on some miles we just parked the car and started walking one day. We got to our appointment that fell through at 6 and walked to our next appointment which was at 8 and that went really well but we taught a few lessons along the way as well. I will talk more about that appointment in a second. We were able to see quite a few miracles this week and I am excited to share! 

Nina: We taught a man last week named Ricky and apparently he was still in high school. We generally try not to do that because the parents will get mad. We didn't figure out he was in school until we came back for his return appointment and met his mom. Instead of getting talked to sternly, she said "Oh he is in school. But I will listen to you!" That caught us a little off guard but I thought it was really cool! 

Jason: Jason is a man that was referred to us and just recently moved into the area. He isn't too religious and wouldn't answer his phone when we called so we just walked to his appointment (it is the one that was at 8) and he was home. He opened the door for us before we even knocked and had us come in and teach him. He apparently had a church tour, been to a baptism, attended sacrament and the sisters helped him move out of his old house so he is pretty awesome and really is appreciative of everything we have helped him with. He is interested in learning more as well!

Jen and Ariel: When we left Jason's house we start walking and call the other elders to have them pick us up. Elder Sites is on the phone and I see a lady on her porch and walk up and start talking to her. She really appreciated the prayer and wanted to learn more so we taught her about the restoration. We set a baptismal date with her and a return appointment and start to walk away. We see Jason again and talk to him a bit more. Then Jen comes running back outside to us and yells, "My daughter wants to be baptized too!!!" So we set up to teach her daughter as well. That was a pretty awesome experience!
This was a pretty great week and I am super excited to continue in the work! I love this gospel and Jesus Christ and all of you for all that you do. Continue being awesome! I will see you all soon!
Love you all – Elder May