Called to Serve

Monday, August 26, 2013

Happy Birthday 21 years old!! Lots of pictures today!

Hey Hey Hey!!
Can you believe i'm 21 today? Because I sure cant. Thats just crazy stuff. The Elders chorum president Brother Brown took us out to IHOP this morning and it was really good! So this last week was pretty dang awesome! I went on exchanges with my zone leader in Cabot and that was a lot of fun! Elder Boyer and I were on bike week this week and it was really hot and humid! I never sweated so much in my life! Its a lot easier to get in peoples doors that way though because you just ask them if you can get a drink of water and they invite you in and then BAM! Your in. So we did that a lot this week. So President is going buck wild with transfers right now. He is keeping everyone on there toes. As 2 days ago I was supposed to go to downtown (sketchy ghetto) Memphis but I didn't get the call this morning! I think I am staying here another transfer. The zone leaders told me they think Elder Boyer and I are going to be the new zone leaders but I don't think so because I already talked to President on the phone today and he didn't tell me anything about that. Him and sister Petersen just sang happy birthday to me! ha ha So I guess I am staying here one more transfer but I dont know anything else about it. last week Elder Boyer and I were out knocking doors in this neighborhood and we found this girl that going to Harding right now and she let us in! SO we explained to her our purpose as missionaries and set up a return appointment with her for last night. And before we left Elder Boyer told her it was going to be my birthday on Monday! So after the baptism last night we went over there and she had made me a whole plate of cookies for my birthday! O ya! It was crazy that she remembered. The sisters have been working with this 9 year old girl named Anna who is really smart and I was able to baptize her last night! It was awesome. This week wasn't as successful as I would have like it to be. It can get hard some days when things fall through and you feel like your not being effective with your time. I have learned a lot about why the Lord puts us in these situations though. I know that He is teaching me how to rely on Him. One thing President always says is "Pray like it all depends on the Lord, and work like it all depends on you." I know that is true. I have really been able to see the power of revelation this past week. I know that we can all receive personal revelation for ourselves and parents can receive revelation for their families. Earlier this week I was frustrated because we had a hard day and it felt like we were not being productive at all. So I prayed and asked what I needed to change about myself to become more effective. I then started reading my patriarchal blessing and I totally received revelation form Heavenly Father. It was awesome. If you haven't read your patriarchal blessing in awhile I would definitely recommend it! The work here is going good though. Darryl and Jessica are progressing and both reading and praying about the BOM. They haven't got an answer yet so we explained to them a little bit about the feelings of the spirit and are preying that they get that answer soon! We are teaching a guy that played 4 years of basketball at Harding and he is so good! He is really humble too and started reading the Book of Mormon as well! Thanks for the new shoes mom! They are awesome! And thanks Laura John for the package you sent! ha ha ha I loved it!  Hey hows Macy doing? thanks for forwarding her letter to me Aunt Becky! She sounds like she is loving it! And by the way.....the cookies were awesome! My comp and I loved them. SO how did kylie like her 1st week of college? How is the rest of the fam doing? Cammie I am going to write you soon! Thanks for everything that was sent to me! it made my week!! Thank you Uncle Dennis for all you sent me too! I am so grateful for you all. This is an amazing birthday. I am so grateful I get to be out here right now. Even though its not all sunshine and rainbows the rewards definitely outweigh the work! Its so worth it. Helping people come closer to their Savior is the most fulfilling thing we can do here on earth. If someone is having a hard time being happy I would suggest that they serve someone else. Do what the Savior would do. I know that He lives. I know that Heavenly Father wants us to reach our full potential. Without trials we could never do that. If we choose to make our trials a stepping stone and not a stumbling block then we can become the person that God had in mind for us and we will be prepared to meet him someday. I love the peace of mind the restored gospel brings. Anwyays I love you all. Thanks for all you do for me. UDALL OUT!    

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Work is Finally Starting to Progress!

Wow that is so crazy that Kylie is going to college already. Who are her roommates in the towers? Any that went to EA last semester? I probably will know them! Kate good luck with the campaigning! You have my vote! So how was your last week everyone? Is ryan excited for his scrimmage? what positions is he playing? Man this last week was pretty crazy. We had our interviews with President Petersen and that was pretty cool. The sister missionaries and Elder Boyer made me put gel in my hair before my interview because they said they are sick of me not doing anything to it so I did and I was complaining about having to do my hair to sister Petersen and asked if she liked it and she said "If you weren't one of my missionaries I would say you were hot but you are on of my missionaries so I am just going to call you handsome!" ha ha so that's my claim to fame on the mission! Anyways the interview was good! We had to teach in front of him which was kinda scary though, but it went well! During the interview President didn't tell me anything about transfers which are coming up next week! But he told Elder Boyer 3 options for me and  through much torture and interrogation I got the truth out of Elder Boyer. 1. I could be training in this area.  2. Elder Boyer and I could both stay. 3. I could be getting transferred to somewhere around Memphis. Those are the options Pres. told Elder Boyer. crazy stuff. If it were up to me I would want to stay here! I love Searcy and the people here so much. I want to at least be here for the first 6 months of my mission. My feeling is though that I will be transferred to somewhere in Tennessee. Anyways this last Wednesday we got 2 of our investigators, C and B, out to play basketball with the ward. They loved it! They were scared of coming at first because "ain't no color in da mo'mon church," in other words they were the only black guys. But our ward is the bomb at fellowshipping and they loved meeting everyone! Afterwards C told us that he felt different when he walked in the building. He said he felt like he was at home and that everyone there was his best friends. C is a really good guy. He is so good at basketball too. Me and him were on the same team the whole night and it was sweet. Elder Boyer and I go and teach C and his wife j about 3 times a week. C should already be getting baptized but we just figured out he is on probation! which means he has to wait like 6 months or something! So frustrating. The way we figured it out was we were going to take him out to North Little Rock for stake conference yesterday and at the last minute he said he couldn't go because he had a warrant out for his arrest there. So that's kind of  a bummer because i want to be here when he gets baptized. I told him and Jessicca that I might be getting transferred and they asked form Pres. Petersen's number so they could call him and tell him to let me stay! ha they are so cool! We are teaching the most awesome people right now!! The work is finally starting to progress and I really want to be here when this area explodes! Anyways I have had the chance to have a lot of converting experiences this last week. My understanding of the atonement increases everyday because on a mission its imperative to use the atonement everyday, several times a day. Its crazy, never in my life have i tried harder to serve the lord and obey his commandments and yet never in my life have i repented and been chastened as much as on my mission. I have come to learn that the atonement is not just about receiving forgiveness but its about changing us. Changing our very nature. I love 2 Nephi 4. In this chapter we read about Nephi and how frustrated he is with his weaknesses and how he desires to put off the natural man. Its amazing to see that even a man like the Prophet Nephi is in desperate need of the atonement. In Mosiah 27: 25-26 the Lord tells Alma the importance of changing through the atonement and becoming a new creature in Christ. It really is only through the atonement that our full potential can be reached, that we can be truly happy, and that we can return to live with our heavenly Father again. It is SO IMPORTANT that we take full advantage of this blessing in this life and allow Christ to change our nature! Anyways I am just so grateful for what I have learned on my mission so far. I love the experiences I get out here because they are helping me to change! O and thank you Inmans for the letters y'all wrote!! I want to give a special shout out to Deanna because she told me too! ha ha and thank you mom and Christie for your letters too!  love you all so much. I pray for you every night and I am so grateful for the family that I have. Aunt Becky thank you for sending me Macy's letter! She is so nerdy and awesome! O and happy birthday yesterday Kendall! and happy birthday on Wednesday Ryan! See y'all later! Love you!

Monday, August 12, 2013

5 New Families!!

Whaaaats up Family!
So you went up on the mountain without me eh? Just save all the good stuff for when I leave why don't ya! ha ha It looked like a lot of fun! So school starts today? Wooow that summer went by quick! Anyways this week was great! Our finding efforts are finally paying dividends for us! We have found 5 awesome families that we have taught this last week!! I love teaching families. There is on in particular that is awesome! We felt impressed to go knock on their door one night and so we did and the Dad (Darryl) answered and we started talking and he is like the funniest dude ever. We set up a return appointment for Saturday. When we went over there last Saturday they had bought us pizza and made us Iced tea! Obviously we didn't drink the tea but they were just super nice and they had so many questions. The wife (jessica) is really smart. She teaches at Harding University and unfortunately in order to work their you have to be a member of the Church of Christ. So that kinda sucks but the Lord will help us out with that one. Anyways they have a son named Alex that is 7 and he loves Elder Boyer and I. When we came over on Saturday he ran into his room and put on a white polo shirt and a clip on tie because he wanted to look like us!! ha ha Seriously though that family is awesome. Darryl is really in to college football and hunting and so we clicked from the start! He told me after my mission that he is going Elk Hunting in AZ with me. Darryl and Jessica have 3 kids together and they are just awesome. We left them with the commitment of reading the BOM and praying to know if its true. Please keep them in your prayers! We have been blessed in finding a few other really good families that want to know the truth. Last Tuesday we went on exchanges and one of the zone leaders came down to Searcy with me. it was awesome. We taught a couple of lessons and then we had a dinner with a member. That's where the day started being.....not awesome. We had a dinner with a less active member so I just figured since i was in charge I would find the house by looking at his address on the ward roster and using the GPS. Turns out he had moved and it wasn't the right address so we found out from another member that he moved out to Letona (the styx) but no one really knew the exact address. So we drove out to Letona and started knocking doors. We met some interesting people out there to say the least. Everyone is afraid to talk to us out there because they think were the cops! Anyways we were able to get one of our awesome investigators, Chris, to church yesterday! He is the baller that played AAU ball. He stayed for all 3 hours and loved it and is going to play basketball with the ward on Wednesday night. Antwan promised us he would go to church too. he had promised us for the last 3 Sundays and we always tell him we are going to give him a wake up call. Yesterday morning Elder Boyer and I pounded on his door for like 10 minutes and then started knocking on all his windows and stuff and nothing happened. it was pretty frustrating. he is a super cool guy though and he has been reading the BOM and he likes it so far. So was Kate excited for school today? Hows Ryan doing with football? Is Kylie excited for Thatchnasty? How long are Christie and Grizzly Adams in AZ for? When does Cammie start school? Keep on writing people! I love and appreciate it. Thanks for your letters Grandma and Grandpa. I love you all and I hope you all are remembering to read the scriptures everyday and have sincere prayers to build that relationship with your Heavenly Father. See ya!  

Monday, August 5, 2013

Bike Week!

you cant really tell but I am soaked head to toe in this picture! we rode our bikes home in the worst storm ever last night! it was so much fun!

Hey Yall! (yes, I just said yall)
Hows the family doing?! Kate I heard you made the 7th grade softball team! BEAST MODE! You must take after your oldest brother. So ryan starts 2 a days this week huh? That sucks. ha ha I am so excited for his season to start! Thanks Kate and Ryan and Mom for your letters this week! And also Kendall and Jersey and Jagger! I love getting letters! So I am not going to lie this week was no walk in the park. We were on bike week this week and when it wasn't raining it was dang hot! On Friday I forgot to put my water bottle in my backpack before we left the house and I got super dehydrated. It was not cool. This week was still jam packed with tender mercies though. On monday night Elder Boyer and I took a member out with us to Meadow Lake apartments, we call it ghetto lake because its really sketchy. Anyways we went over there and taught these 4 people about the BOM and challenged them to read. Then when we were leaving the complex we walked passed these Ghetto lake gangsters playing ball and I was like hey I got a deal for yall. (yes I said yall again) And I said "If i make this 3 yall have to listen to a message about Jesus Christ." they all agreed so I took the ball, took off my backpack, and shot it and drained it! It was pretty lucky and it would have been really awkward if I didn't make it, but hey it worked out. They were true to their word too and we all 8 of them gathered around and Elder Boyer and I taught them the Gospel of Jesus Christ right there. Probably not our most successful lesson but it made for a good time. Anyways Elder Boyer and I have been working hard on finding the elect and we have been able to find some great families that I really want to progress. One of the families invited us wakeboarding on saturday!! I wanted to call President and get special permission from him but Elder Boyer said we shouldn't. One more cool story: We were knocking doors saturday and we knocked on this one house and this girl answered and right away she was trying to kick us off her porch. We quickly explained that we were representatives of Jesus Christ and that we just wanted to say a prayer with her. She agreed to this so we asked her if she had any family or friends who needed a prayer. Then the tears started flowing! She explained how her dad just died and her brother was having drug problems. So we went in her house and said a prayer and I could hear her crying as I said it. She was prepared. It really helped me realize how much people need this Gospel. Everyone needs it but a lot of people don't realize it yet. I love the chance I have to study and learn more about this Gospel everyday. The Plan of Salvation God has made is for everyone. No matter who you are or where your from or what you have done, we all have the exact same oppurtunities. We all have the chance live with our Savior again and our families again and to be happy for eternity and it is ONLY through the atonement that this is possible. President Petersen said that we need to learn to love to repent. We should be using the atonement everyday to become better and to overcome our weaknesses because this life is the time we have to do it! And its short. Sorry to go off on that rant but I just want to testify that I know Jesus Christ suffered for everything personal sin, pain, and guilt we have ever experienced. Through him we can become perfect even as he is! Anyways family I love you all so much. O and by the way I will send a picture of me soaking wet in a minute! Elder Boyer and I got caught in a rain storm last night on our bikes and we were like 8 miles away from our house!! ha ha alright I love you all. Don't forget to write!