Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Elder Hayden: Chapter 31

Last week was the second major holiday since Hayden left and he was missed.  Christmas is coming in less than a month and we get to talk to him then so that will be wonderful.  For those that are looking for Christmas ideas, he would love gift cards to Chili’s, Subway, Taco Bell, and Burger King.  He would also love ties.  Boy, we sure miss and love him but we are oh, so proud of him.  Enjoy!

Chapter 31:
1) We created our own how to begin teaching bullet point. Missionaries will understand that more.
2) Three thanksgivings is a ton of food

I loved this week! We had a zone development day to improve the unity in the zone and watched Ephraim’s Rescue, had a thanksgiving dinner, and were trained on how to plan for investigators and the new way we are going to be planning now. It is a huge benefit and I love the new way we do it. So now we plan for the day what we are going to be teaching people, study accordingly and then go over as a companionship to perfect the lessons. They are so much more spiritually powerful.

Also another really cool thing was that the other elders had their first baptism in this area. The brother they baptized invited his entire nonmember family to come and see and it was powerful to have them there.
"Pure Bicycling" - I love his smile!

One less fun thing was the five biking days that we had this week. 12-9. Pure bicycling. I have a picture of that.

Our how-to begin teaching point is, "We will end every lesson with a "will you" question. We want to commit you to do something. Doing the commitment will qualify you for the blessings we promise and will always build your faith. They will never be incredibly difficult but if you say yes we expect you to do it. You can say no and we can start smaller but you need to let us know." It is so cool because people are so much more committed after we do that.
Sherry: We met a lady Thanksgiving evening and when we came back she and her husband let us teach them and they had met with the missionaries before. We are teaching and everything is pretty disruptive until we share the First Vision. After that, it is silent in the house and the Spirit is almost tangible. We made sure to point it out to them that they can now feel that the Spirit is here and telling them that it is true. They committed to reading the Book of Mormon.

Sister Wheeler and Paula- We are bicycling down a road and suddenly we hear honking so we wave and they slow down next to us. While we are confused they pull into the parking lot and start talking with us. They are members of the church and recently moved but can't find that church. We give her the number for the relief society president, the address to the church and our phone number. When we finish talking a different lady asks us a question. That other lady is someone Elder Sites and I taught when he first got into the field. By some miracle I remembered her name and she said we can come by again and share more.

Anthony- Every Sunday we go with a ward missionary Brother Rossell and when a couple of things fall through we will go to a less active member’s house. This week was completely different. Brother Charity wasn't home but a neighbor was. His name is Anthony and he has had some hard times very recently. He let us say a prayer and we gave him a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and taught that shortly but when we were leaving Brother Rossell says, "We should get his phone number" and goes back by himself and gets the phone number, invites him to church and says we can send his new address to the missionaries to where he was moving to. While meeting with him Anthony said, "God has a purpose for everything so I know He sent you here for a reason."

I also had a few people rave about how cool it is that we are serving God right now. Those are so cool to have happen. Phrases like, "That is amazing that you are doing this", "You are going to be blessed now and for eternity for this", and "you are learning life lessons that you will always remember." They are so cool and so true. A mission is one of the absolute best decisions you can make in your life. Coming to earth, like we all did, being baptized, mission and marriage. Best decisions ever.

I love you all! God Bless!

Love,  Elder May

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Elder Hayden: Chapter 30

Gosh – I miss this boy!  Probably because this week Thanksgiving but I am so grateful for him and for the obedience he shows to his Heavenly Father by serving his mission.  I am also grateful for those in this current ward that show their kindness and love to him and myself.  When Elder Hayden’s didn’t email on Monday, I was able to reach out to an awesome sister in the ward where he is and asked if she could just make sure he was ok.  This dear sister went above and beyond to make sure that Elder Hayden was ok.  

For these blessings, I am grateful for her, the missionaries who serve and of course, our very handsome missionary.  Love him, miss him but oh, so proud of him.

Chapter 30:
        2.      Apparently he said madrigal
        3.      I don't know what a madrigal is
        4.      Madrigal- Old Latin A cappella music
        5.      I'm trying to seek that kingdom -Dwayne Gordon

This week was really good! Sorry I didn't get to email yesterday but we had a zone activity day to relax and bond as a zone. President Cooper gave us special permission to watch Ephraim's Rescue and we had a thanksgiving meal together then had some training. It was pretty awesome. One thing hasn't changed and that is I still am not good at basketball.

Pretty awesome week though! Had an exchange on Wednesday with a zone leader but it's elder Brau and he lives with us so we didn't need to go to another area but it was still really good. They had some zone leader things to do so it was pretty unorthodox about when we were companions and when elder sites and I were companions. It was still really good though. I always learn new things on exchanges. One of them being that I have strengths and weaknesses and my strengths compliment Elder Sites weaknesses and vice versa. That was helpful.

On that exchange we say a former investigator that worked too much to meet up and we had what we call a commitment lesson with him. Elder Brau shared Mark 6:32-33 and committed him to keep any commitment he says he will. We committed them to do that and to pray as a family if the message we share is something they want in their life. He also told us he is still listening to the Book of Mormon when he is commuting and he is now in the Book of Jacob. He is so cool and kept his commitment when we came by for the return appointment. He literally told Elder Sites and I, "I am trying to seek the kingdom but it's hard with these bills to pay. Christ will help though." That was so cool.

I also want to share another awesome Miracle. Her name is Francesca. An appointment fell through so we had some time to find. We are walking around and I, for the first time ever, decide to knock on the door of a house. I have done it before but it's never been my idea. Generally I just talk to people on the street. Anyway, we knock on the door and a 4 foot tall lady answers and we start talking with her and ask if we can say a prayer with her. She says, "absolutely! My son is a pastor! I love seeing people so passionate about Christ. Are you thirsty? Or hungry? Come in!" We explain the rule about having a male and so she didn't make us food but she's cool with it and still wants to get us a drink. She yells from the back if we want soda or water and anyone that knows me knows I asked for a soda. Then as she comes walking back she says "you can have some candy too." So to recap, we knock on a door, the lady gives us candy and soda and is happy for us to come back and share more about the restoration.

Also the 2nd Counselor in the bishopric asked Elder Sites and I to bear testimony of the Savior for 5 minutes because they had a problem with the speakers they had set up for. Before going up I literally cut my "talk" I had written in half and it still was borderline 5 minutes. I am thankful for that opportunity though because each one will help boost confidence for the next time.

Really good things are happening here and I appreciate any prayers that are being sent to the missionaries. Please keep doing so as well. You are all awesome! Love you!

Love - Elder May

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Elder May: Chapter 29

What more can I say than I love and miss him like crazy but oh, so proud of him… Enjoy!

Chapter 29:

1) I...I am sorry guys.....my wife.....doesn't want you back.
2) My white shirt and tie feels more like a t-shirt than this t-shirt does nowadays
3) I want to learn about THEE HOLY TEMPLE!!!!!!
4) My job ends when you are sealed to your wife for time and all eternity

The first verse comes from an awesome guy that we were teaching and we came by on Wednesday night. This was the saddest moment of my mission. We pull into his driveway, he is in the garage waiting for us, we pray for the spirit, and we get out of the car and he is walking over to us. I ask how he is doing and he, with tears in his eyes, says "My brothers, I am sorry. My wife, she doesn't want you coming back." We tell him we understand and to talk to missionaries when he sees them and we are about to leave and Elder Sites gives him a thumbs up. Louie sends one back and then slowly turns his thumb to the side and walks away. He will find the truth another time but WHEW that one hurt.

We did service for the city of New Port Richey on Saturday and we wore service clothes all day. We got ready that day and I see Elder Sites and just say, "you look weird" and he responds by saying it right back to me. I felt weird too. Today in the car, I literally felt as if I was wearing a tshirt and pajama jeans because this is what I am comfortable in now. It is a weird transition.

We texted Aaron, one of our most solid visitors and asked how he liked the baptism. He responds by saying "I loved it." Then in a separate text immediately after says "I want to learn about THEE HOLY TEMPLE!!!!!!!! PRAISE BE TO GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!" He is pretty cool so we had a temple and eternal family lesson yesterday with him are meeting with him again tomorrow. Verse four comes from a quote I had during our lesson last night because he asked what our purpose for teaching him was and where we saw all of this going.

I love my mission and I am very grateful for it. It has been a humongous blessing to my life and it truly is what has converted me to this gospel. I have had a testimony for a long time but I am converted to this gospel and learn more about it every day.

I am incredibly grateful for the prayers and the different blessings coming my way from your prayers. I love you all!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Elder May: Chapter 28

What can I say about this Elder of ours?!?  I love more than anything his continuous positivity and joy in teaching and spreading the gospel – even when it was hot and humid, he loved serving the Lord.  When there is so much turmoil and despair in the world, I am so blessed to know that he is doing what is right and his faith is unwavering.  I love him and miss him so but without a doubt so proud of him and proud to be his momma.  Enjoy!

Chapter 28
2) Can we just go to the pool and baptize him?

We had a fantastic week this week! It started off great! Teaching a lot of lessons to a lot of new people! In the middle of week I got pretty frustrated on Thursday and Friday but then a general authority came and shared doctrine with us and helped us to realize that we are loved by God at all times and we are always qualified to do His work. He will bless us more as we are humble, obedient and all those other great things and the fact that absolutely no effort is wasted. Anyone we ever talk to, as long as we leave on a good note, is benefiting from us being there and that we are there to help them come closer to Christ. He let us know that there is a study that the church did that let us know that with almost every convert to the church, it is after 7 or 8 different contacts with missionaries or members of the church that they learn and become converted. He told us that we should be thankful no matter what number missionary we were to a person. Just too always have their contact with us be an uplifting one. I loved it.

He also shared a personal motto that he always told his missionaries. "Don't be weird." If we are weird then that is people impression of the church is that the members of the church are weird and chase people down and offer prayers in parking lots so we are done doing that. I have a lot more joy and fun doing the work and we have been meeting some very prepared people because of it. 
Thirdly, I made an omelet and I was proud so I added that as well. 


Felicia: We had some time left before we had to be in so we are biking home and I talk to a lady who is outside with her family. We offer to say a prayer and she gathers the rest of her family and has them come outside for the prayer. We prayed and asked for a time we could come by to share the message of the restoration. She said "Well you are here now. Just share it." So we did and they seemed really interested. They said they'd read the pamphlet and call us if they want to learn more.

Paige: We met Paige and she has been going through some tough times. We first talked to her boyfriend who wasn't very interested but said Paige might be so he went and asked and she came out of the garage and said, "Are you Mormon or Christian?" I replied "Mor...wait both!" and she came to say a prayer. We talked with her about eternal families and how the gospel blesses families especially going through hard times and then taught about a modern day prophet. We told her about Joseph Smith and she said, "No way! That is cool! There is a person like Moses out here?" She seemed really interested and said she will come to church.

Aaron: Aaron was a media referral from the sneaky ways that the church uses. There is a Bible application that shows an ad for a free bible and when people click it and give their information they send the information to us to deliver the Bible. So we do that and bring a copy of the Book of Mormon as well and he was pretty interested in learning. We told him we'd call him and see if he wants to come to church so we called him Sunday morning. We set up a ride for him and he comes to church. We didn't see him walk in or anything but during the meeting I noticed him. Then testimony starts and he immediately walked to the front and bore his testimony that God told him to move to Florida and this church is the reason why. After sacrament, a good number of members asked if he was baptized already because of his strong and sincere testimony. He then learned about Eternal Families in Gospel Principles and Missionary work in Elders Quorum. He participated a lot in Gospel Principles and asked if he could be a part time missionary and help us out when he can. We later went by and set his baptismal date and he was so excited to be joining the church!

I love you all and appreciate all the prayers said for me.  Please continue to do so we continue to see miracles in God’s work.  Have a great week!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Elder May: Chapter 27

Our Elder Hayden never ceases to amaze us.  His attitude is always positive and he finds the good in every situation.  He always seems to know exactly what to say to help us even though he doesn’t know what is going on at home.  We love him and miss him so but we are oh, so proud of him – Enjoy!!

Chapter 27:
1) Another six weeks in Hudson! 😁
2) That awesome moment when you have the same tie as a general authority (Approaching the Throne of God with Confidence-October 2014 General Conference-Elder Jorg Klebingat) 

So transfers are this week and for Elder Sites and I nothing has changed. Elder Reese is getting transferred to Gulfport which is one of the most western parts of the mission, right on the Gulf and then Elder Brau is getting Elder Gneiting from Gulfport who is the missionary that trained Elder Peterson, my Missionary Training Center companion. I know all these names are just confusing to many of you but they mean something to me so thanks for reading them. Elder Brau said that the leaders of the mission will soon get another apartment for them so that Hudson A and Hudson B are in separate apartments. 

We are having another General Authority visit our mission and in preparation for it we get to watch this talk and that is when I realized that I own the same tie as him. It is yellow so I don't wear it often
because yellow is pretty off putting on me but my teacher at the Missionary Training Center gave it to me. I am going to wear it to the conference out of pure respect.

It is really starting to cool off here or at least be less humid and that is a miracle in and of itself. For that we are biking and walking a whole lot more and I am still a little hesitant for that because I am worn out now but I think it is good. We meet a lot of people because of it. 

We are teaching the family from the Congo daily now to help them prepare for their baptism and doing so I now know some Swahili words so I can say thank you because all of them say welcome when we enter the house and I say welcome when they come to church. I also know faith, repentance, baptism, the three kingdoms of glory and can follow along with what they are saying when they ask questions. It is a ton of fun to teach them and they all have a baptismal date for the 12th of November.

I am really loving this area and loving the way that the members here are lighting up because of the great work the Lord is blessing us with. I am thankful to Him for all He has given me. I thank you all for all that you do and I love you all. Thanks and I will talk to you next week.