Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Elder May - Chapter 56

I will have to admit that yesterday's email got me off guard.  I was not expecting to hear/read "Mom, don't freak out but we have bed bugs and are being quarantined".  (Gross!!)  I know that it is something that is rampant in Florida - in fact, we had to purchase his bedding from the mission home to cut down on the risk of bringing bed bugs but nevertheless, their apartment has them.  What was interesting to me is that one of the discussions at their zone conference was focused on how to spot bedbugs and fumigate if necessary.  He of course is in typical Hayden spirit and is just finding the positive in the experience.  Other than that, seemed to be a jam packed week of miracles and blessings.  We love him, miss him but are oh, so proud of him!   Enjoy!!

 Chapter 56

      1.      Zone Conference! 
      2.      The Power of the Temple! 
      3.      Exchanges and fruit cups 
      4.      Baptism and Bedbugs 
      5.      "Abso-nothing is goin' my way today." 

We can start this week on Wednesday when we had zone Conference. Those always help to increase faith and motivate the mission. I'll send the picture of our zone with this weekly email.

Second, we went with a member to give a blessing and he took us out to eat after at a pizza place. 
While there he tells us a story about the power of the temple. Apparently when temples were popping up like crazy the NSA was monitoring them because something strange was happening and you can see it in the blurry temple picture. There were energy spikes around the temple and the picture was taken in what I believe is the Philippines. The woman who took it, not a member of the church, was wondering why there was a huge dome over the temple. She took the picture and brought it to the temple President who explained the importance of the temple and that God places a barrier over it between the wiles of the devil and those that are inside. For anyone wondering why you can
never be tempted to sin in the temple, here is a great answer.

Third is that we had exchanges for the day. Our zone leader came to Clearwater with Elder Swapp and I got to go speak Spanish with his companion for the day. A girl named Ashley answered a door we knocked on and was really cool. We told her we were teaching people more about Christ and His restored gospel and she said "okay, how does this work? What do I do now?" So we gave her a pamphlet, invited her to read it and the St. Pete missionaries (which is actually Elder Peterson, my MTC companion) would teach her more about it. Before we left we asked for referrals and I asked for a water. She said to try her neighbor but she didn't have any water. After she closed the door we knocked on the neighbor’s house and Ashley came back out and said "I found a fruit cup." Handed it to me and closed the door. Miracles. 

The Clearwater sisters baptized the husband of their most recent Convert on Saturday and after that Elder Swapp and I were asked to stay inside. Why? After a training in zone Conference about bedbugs we decided to check for them. We found one. So they called the exterminator and we have a lot more than one. So we have been quarantined for the weekend. Today we found out that the complex is wanting to use their exterminator so we are on quarantine until Wednesday now. We are loving it. 

Because of the bedbugs we missed church and decided we could go visit some people (it's okay, we took precautions and put on freshly laundered clothes, and have separated anything that could be "contaminated" and put that in a separate garbage bag) none of them were home and we didn't want to risk any bedbugs so we came home and got ready to go to a fireside they were having about an hour from us that we got permission to go to if a member drove us. We left at 6 and journeyed over there and arrived at about 7:20. Little did we know that we had wrong information and it started at six and ended at 7:30. So we got back into the car and drove home. It was a fun car ride though and I got to see some missionaries that I hadn't seen for a while. 

It was a crazy week but we made the most of it! Love you all! I have no bed bug bites just to make you all aware. We are clean and just waiting for the apartment to get fumigated. (Stop freaking out mom!!)  LOVE YOU!

Love – Elder May

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Elder May - Chapter 55

What a wonderful treat to speak to our handsome Elder on Mother’s Day!  He looks so happy and good which makes this momma rest easier.  He loves his mission but most importantly, he loves serving the Lord.  We love him, we miss him but we are oh, so proud of him!  Enjoy!!

Chapter 55:

1) I don't even know how to mission anymore.
2) POP! Tsssssssh.
3) I won't keep y'all from lunch. Come by tomorrow.
4) I don't like just reading one chapter at a time so I'm just going to keep reading when I am not doing anything.
5) I'm on Mosiah 4 now
6) I start my job on Monday. 

Man, we saw so many miracles this week. It all started out with district meeting. We got a phone Administrative item apparently from the first presidency that missionaries are no longer allowed to teach a single person of the opposite gender with a responsible adult of your own gender present. Whether inside or outside. Before we could just meet outside and teach anyway but I guess some missions are having some issues because otherwise they wouldn't have made this change so we need to involve members more because we teach a lot of single people. That's where the first quote comes from. 

Second is on Tuesday, right after I had spent an hour patching my tire Monday from 9-10 we ride to our first appointment. We locked up our bikes and after waiting for our investigators we hear that sound from the quote. My back tire pops and deflates very quickly. It was crazy. I went through 5 patches and just bought a new tube this week. So many flat tires. 

Third is when we were teaching a nice lady, Kisha, and she wanted us to come by and just read a few chapters with her. After we finished reading with her and we were wrapping up the appointment she said "oh do you have somewhere else to be?" We said "well lunch" and she said "oh okay, I'll keep reading and y'all come back tomorrow and we can read more cause I like the Spirit y'all carry." So we did and now she is continuing to read. 

4 and 5 go together. We are teaching a really cool lady named Dorothy. She has the Book of Mormon downloaded on her phone and literally just wants to come closer to God and put Him first in life. She told us she knows the Bible and Book of Mormon can do that for her. So went went by on Friday and she told us the fourth quote. She said she will just listen to a chapter, write down what she learned, and move on so she can just keep reading. At this time she was at 1st Nephi 5. The next morning we went by again and she is listening to King Benjamins speech because she literally just sat and listened. She told us that now she just wants to finish it, then start over and study it because she likes listening and doesn't want to slow down. She is awesome. 

Six is another cool miracle. Last week we went to Jonathans house to show him the Joseph Smith prophet of the restoration video and after that he and his wife understood a little better. He's been looking for a job for two months so we told him if he reads the Book of Mormon every day for ten minutes, he will find a job this week. Instead, he read for thirty minutes and found a job the next day. Then when we went by a week later, learned he got a job, his wife told us, "I know that Book is from God." They are invested in their church until July so they said they can't come because they are working on a thing for their culture in America (like a Micronesian get together) but they will come to our church the first weekend of July and if they like it they will be baptized. Jonathan’s family is finally understanding all of this and that is really cool to see. 

The Book of Mormon is true. I have witnessed many miracles from it during my mission but even in this past week. It brings blessings. It brings peace. I know it is from God and translated through a prophet of His. I know we are truly blessed by having so much scripture available to us so easily. Please don't waste such a wonderful gift from our loving Father in Heaven. 

I love you all. Thank you for your prayers. I hope any mother reading this had a fantastic mother’s day but most especially my mom. I love you mom! 

Elder May

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Elder May - Chapter 54

Many missionary moms and dads have a love/hate relationship with Mondays.  We love Mondays because we hear from our missionaries, but we hate Mondays because after connecting, we lose the connection.  Being able to connect and stay connected with Elder May is my work in progress but I was very grateful for this email and all the pictures (see below).  He is getting better about taking pictures so that helps me stay connected.  We are so excited to talk to him in 5 days. 5 hours and 35 minutes.  We love him and miss him but oh, so proud of him!  Enjoy!!

Chapter 54: 

1)      "Can you guys come back tomorrow evening too?"
2)      “I drive a really nice car"
3)      "I'm a missionary but I'm not here to do that right now."
4)      Me and Elder Swapp decided to take pictures of all the wildlife here in Florida.
5)      That moment when a lesson gets really heavy REALLY quickly.
6)      Ochan's lesson.  

We met with the Bayless Family on Monday and Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning we got a call from them saying that they don't want to meet until Jeremy has a lesson in which we have a member that has learned Hebrew or studied something that relates with what his hold ups are. Luckily, there is a member in the ward that studied the classical languages and read the Old Testament in Hebrew for his personal study. He also was a professor at BYU for many years. We had a long lesson with Jeremy and Brother Sherwood and hopefully it helped but I don't know yet. 

Second is that we asked a sister to meet us at a lesson so that she can fellowship Kim. We get a call when we 2 minutes away from her where she says she wants to know exactly where to go because she doesn't want to be away from her car. I wouldn't want to either if I drove a 2017 Alfa Romeo. It's a nice car. Pretty funny though. 

Third is when we got to go get some packages that were sent to a wrong address by mistake. We knocked on the door and it was really weird to not try and teach him. He had all the stuff that had been sent right by the door. It was an interesting situation but I'm glad it all got worked out. He had my year mark Box, laundry soap, pop tarts and because of that my mom was kind enough to send another box with those last two things. See picture. 

Like the fourth quote says we started taking pictures. We so far have an ibis which is basically an ugly seagull, squirrel, a grasshopper, a crow and a cat. 

Fifth is more of a shout out to missionaries in which they are teaching and out of nowhere the person you are teaching starts crying. With because they share something personal, feel the Spirit or any other reason. When it happens you basically don't know what to do, especially with the personal stuff because you can't counsel at all so you just sit there. It is intense but I just wanted to share that. 

Lastly is a lesson we had with Ochan. We read more in the Book of Mormon. I love teaching him because he doesn't really understand English great so he doesn't know what I mean when I say "Elder Swapp can read a couple verses now" and he will just keep on reading. He read probably 35 of the 43 verses in Alma 32. Then we asked if he believed Joseph Smith restored the church and he said yes very quickly and then he felt the Spirit so strong because he knew he was telling the truth and it was true so he got a huge smile on his face. I love it so much!

I love you all so much!  Thank you for your support and prayers
Love – Elder May

"Elder Swapp, Ochan and I"

"When you get all the 7 packages in one day, you need to make a tower - Thanks Mom!"

Gorgeous Elder and Gorgeous Rainbow - Love him!!

"The poptarts just BARELY fit. #ElderSwappTetrisSkills"

"This is an Ibis I think"