Called to Serve

Monday, August 25, 2014

Increasing ones ability to recieve and follow spiritual promptings

Hey Family!
Its crazy that Ryans senior year of football is already starting! Time is flying by!
We had a really good week this last week. Elder Armstrong and I had about 4 nights in a row that we went to sleep after 1 in the morning but we were able to have some awesome experiences. We had zone conference on Wednesday in little rock and Thursday in Memphis and they went really well. Armstrong and I focused our topic on Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement. I love and hate speaking at these conferences. I hate is because I get so dang nervous every time! I don't think I will ever break my pacing-around habit. But I love it because the spirit always brings things to your remembrance that you can say and teaches you new truth while your up there speaking!
In this mission the focus that President Wakolo brought is "increasing spiritual capacity." In other words increasing ones ability to receive and follow spiritual promptings. I am not very good at this yet but it is amazing to see what miracles can happen in someones life when they seek to follow the promptings of the spirit.
Yesterday we were able to go to our ward in the first time on forever! It was way good. Last night we went to our investigator Stephanies house and had an amazing lesson with her. She gets anti'd out the wazoo by her family, friends, and co-workers. Last night we had a lesson about eternal families and at the end of the lesson we asked her to pray and ask if what we have taught and if the church we represent is true. So she did and then we sat in silence for a long time. We asked how she felt and she said that normally, if she heard so many things about someone, she wouldn't let them in her home like she lets us in all the time. She said that she always feels like she needs to let us in though. She also said that when we are in the home, it feels really peaceful and she feels loved and when we leave it leaves with us. After some questions we helped her recognize that it is the spirit! She is coming along! She has an awesome family and its so easy to see the difference the Gospel would make in their life. Please pray for them! I am grateful for the family I have back home. Thanks for all your Prayers!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Ran out of Gas!

Hey Whats up!
Its been quite the week! Its been the first week in a while that we didn't have anything big going on so we were able to go on exchanges. We went to a district meeting in Memphis on Tuesday and then I drove one of the ZL's, Elder Derrick, back to little rock for an exchange. We had a good time! Found a couple of great people and set a baptismal date with our investigator Mark. The next day we were driving back to Memphis and the truck had about a quarter of a tank of a gas left in it. So we were planning on filling up but we just got to talking and completely forgot. I know yall are shaking your heads reading this right now, but its worse than you think. So we were driving and we just entered on to the bridge over the Mississippi river bridge when I felt the truck slowing down. Before I knew it we were at a complete stop on a 2 lane bridge over the Mississippi river. Luckily, these types of situations have come to be all too familiar to me throughout my life. So we decided the only thing to do at this point was to push the truck across the bridge, because there was no shoulder to push off too. So although there was a line of semi's waiting behind us we pushed our little chevy Colorado all the way across the bridge into this coned off area. Shortly after that a highway emergency response team came and brought us gas. It was pretty wild, but now I can atleast say I have pushed a vehicle from Arkansas to Tennessee.

Yesterday me, Armstrong and President drove to Hope for the sunday service. It is the smallest branch in the mish. Only 3 members were there last sunday but it was good! The people there are awesome. During sunday school I was teaching about obedience and comparing it to breaking a horse and the branch president came up to me afterwards and asked if I could get permission to come down on p-days and ride his Tennessee walker that's green broke right now. ha ha He even asked President if I could. Its a pretty tempting offer. But anyways Hope was the branch that Uncle Kelly served in. Apparently it used to be on fire back in his day. They still remember him too! After like 50 years!
Its been a good week. We taught Stephanie and her family again. They are doing really good. This is one of those families that I will never forget. They are working towards baptism but have lots of challenges. Please pray for them.

O and Elder Soelberg went home today! Its too bad. He was one of my favorite companions and one of the best missionaries out here!

Tell Ryan Happy Birthday!  What are you doing for his birthday?  And also tell Kendall I am proud of her and Happy Birthday!

When is Chantz going to back to school?  Is he married yet?
 Thanks for all the support fam!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy!

Whats up fam!

Let me tell ya right now.......this week has been one of the craziest weeks of the mish! A lot has happened so I will tell you what I remember.

We had mission council last Tuesday and then the rest of the week we drove around to each zone in the mission and did a little instruction in the meetings. On Saturday we went to Searcy with President for their stake meetings. At the evening session they were calling recent converts of the stake up to bear their testimonies and one of the ones that was called up was Jessica Cooksey. Some of the greatest joy you experience on your mission is when you hear people you taught bear their testimonies! It was way good. After they were all done President Berkheimer called me up to bear my testimony of missionary work. It was weird because I am not even serving in that stake but it was good!

The next day we went to the sunday session of that stake conference and it was way awesome. They called Grandpa John Sherwood up to bear his testimony. They were going to bring the microphone to him but he refused and walked up to the microphone himself. He is exactly like Grandpa Larry. That evening we drove to Jackson Tennesee which is the far east corner of the mission to do a question/answer fireside with non-members. It was an awesome experience. Jackson is about 4 and a half hours away from Little Rock ad we didn't get done until 8 so we made the drive home but when we were about an hour away we were almost empty on fuel and it was 10:45 pm. So we pulled into a one gas station town in the middle of no where called Carlisle and decided to wait an hour and 15 minutes until it wasn't sunday anymore so we could buy gas. There is a Kodak moment for ya......A Fijian,  a black guy, and a red-head sitting in a parking lot in the middle of no where Arkansas. Really weird but it was awesome. We got home at about 1 in the morning! Crazy week but it was awesome!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Missing the Van keys on Transfer Day

Hey Family!
So there is a lot to catch up on from these last 2 weeks! They have been crazy. I have now almost seen the whole mission with Elder Armstrong and President Wakolo. We have driven so much these past 2 weeks. From Jackson Tennesse to Danville Arkansas down to Camden and everywhere in between. But it has dang fun!
So I am assuming you heard the transfer van key story? I knew once it hit the mom blog there was no hopes of keeping it from spreading. But ya it was crazy! The morning we were supposed to get all the departing missionaries from Presidents home to the airport. First off we set our alarm for 5:15 and it didn;t go off so we woke up and 5:30. So we were rushing to leave for Presidents and halfway there I realized I had forgotten the van key. So we had to go all the way back to the apartment and I ran in there and grabbed the key and ran out then we made the 20 minute drive to Presidents. By this time it was 6:20 and there flight leaves at 7:10 and the airport is 25 minutes away. So when we got to the mission home i rushed to the van and where all the missionaries were waiting and I went to put in the key wouldn't fit. That was the worst feeling ever. I grabbed the wrong key! I grabbed the truck key instead of the van. They are both chevy's so they are identical. Anyways, we unloaded the trailer full of luggage and put it all in Presidents mini-van and SUV. There was 7 departing missionaries so you could imagine the amount of luggage. obviously it didnt all fit in the back so everyone had suitcases on their laps. Elder Armstrong jumped in the mini-van and I hopped in the SUV and we headed to the airport. By the time we left the home it was 6:30. So lets just say both of our mph was rarely under triple digits the whole way to the airport. We were hauling. So we got there and the workers said they probably wouldnt make the flight. But then an angel of a lady stopped everything and made everyone move out of their way in the lines so they could make. It came down to the final call for the flight but every missionary made it on time. It was intense.  
Anyways, everything else has been going good. Yesterday we drove all around southern arkansas with President doing baptismal interviews and at the end of the day we broke our fast at the mission home. Sister Wakolo made us rotti, tapioca, talapia, and octopus! Yes I ate octopus. Sister Wakolo made it special for me last night just because I told her I would never eat that. Last week we had transfers and transfers is always crazy. Things are getting busy in the ALRM but I am learning a lot and having a good time. Thanks for the letters family and for all of your support.
The long road trips with President have been awesome. Armstrong and I just ask him question after question about every topic ever. Its crazy the amount of wisdom he has. He knows a lot but more importantly he lives everything he knows. Presidents influence has already changed my life. Thanks again family for everything.