Monday, August 19, 2013

First Week in Missouri

Hello everyone! Oh my goodness, isn't life just grand! Missionary work is the best!!!
Anyways, I made it safely to the mission field. On the plane ride over here I sat down next to a Catholic lady who immediately fell asleep for most of the ride but as soon as she woke up I started talking to her. I tried to give her a simple card but she just kind of chuckled and refused the card saying, "Oh no. I'm Catholic." as if that was all the information I needed to give up. I wanted to say, "Okay, that's cool I guess. But I'm a Mormon. Let me explain what we believe." but I didn't feel like that would be an appropriate approach. I told her if she ever wanted to know more about our church then she could just go to the web site. It's too bad she didn't want to listen to me. But I found out that one of the sister missionaries who was also on the plane with us was talking to this ladies son the whole time and he seemed extremely interested, so that's good! So we arrived in St Louis and met President and Sister Morgan. They are so great! They took us to the mission home and fed us a marvelous dinner. The evening was spent visiting with everyone, playing ping pong, eating, a testimony meeting and one-on-one interviews with President Morgan. It was very nice. There were 35 new missionaries that arrived so they couldn't house us all, so all the elders spent the night at a hotel while all of the sisters slept at the mission home. The next day was transfer meeting where we were introduced to our new companions! My new companion is Elder Vincent. He is from Orem and has been out here for about 15 months. He is very great! He is diligent and productive but also very patient. We get along very well. He seems like the perfect companion for me to start with. Our area is Carondelet 1. It is a small area situated just south-west of downtown St Louis, so I am in the busy city. We don't have a car, we just take the bus everywhere which I'm definitely not used to. There are so many black people here, it's so awesome!!!! I hope by the time I get home I will be able to speak jive fluently. Ha ha! The members here are awesome!! We've had a dinner appointment almost every single night I have been here and the only night that we haven't had a dinner appointment with a member we ended up having dinner with some very less-active members who we had been with all day helping them move. I love service!! We hoped that by having us around them all day that they might build a desire to come closer to Christ, and it just so happened that the next day they came to church!! How awesome is that!
We don't really have many investigators, but we have a bunch of potentials. One of the two investigators we have is named Larry Davis. We were able to meet with him on Friday to give him his second discussion (my first one out on the field). It went so well! I felt the spirit so strong as we taught him about the plan of salvation. I could tell that he was understanding it and really feeling the spirit with us. He committed himself to being baptized but we don't have a date for him because he has a hard time keeping commitments. He has told the missionaries that he would read The Book of Mormon and attend church but he hasn't been able to keep those because he has trouble reading and getting up early (our church starts at 9). Hopefully we can follow up with him more and get him to keep the commitments he makes. I haven't met our other real investigator yet. Her name is Sabrina and we'll meet with her on Wednesday. Those are our only two real investigators right now but we actually have an appointment with a promising potential investigator today so hopefully that goes well. There is one potential investigator that we have who we are thinking of dropping because we are pretty sure he is a drug dealer...
I am so happy to hear that you are all doing well and enjoying yourselves! I love you all so much and would absolutely love to receive written letters from any of you. ;) Oh, also, could I maybe get a picture of the family or something? I would really like that; besides, I think Elder Vincent thinks I'm making you all up and that I don't actually have 8 siblings. And please tell Grandma happy birthday for me and that I love her very much and that I hope that she has a wonderful day!
Sarah! Oh my goodness!! From the sounds of it that baby is going to pop out of you at any second! How exciting!!! Have you picked a name yet?? I would assume you haven't. Man, this kid is going to be two years old before it even has a name. Good luck this week! Say hi to me new nephew for me. I love you!
Alicia! I heard that you found out what you are having but neither mom or dad would tell me! That's not cool! It's either a boy or a girl, just tell me, please! The suspense is killing me. It's not like it's going to be too much of a surprise. It's either a boy or a girl. There's no other option. I mean, unless you're not even carrying an actual human and there's a hippo in you or something... Just tell me!
Okay, I should go. It takes me so long to write these emails because I get so distracted and I've taken too much time. Everyone, please write me! I love you all so much! Rest assured that I am in good hands and that I am enjoying myself greatly! Seriously, I love what I am doing!! I am so glad to be serving a mission! It is the best thing I could be doing right now and I know I was meant to do this. I know that God loves us and He watches over us. He wants us to be close to Him. One way to do that is through prayer. My testimony of prayer has been strengthened so much since I have arrived here because we constantly pray as companions. I can literally feel my relationship with Heavenly Father growing stronger and closer through prayer. I encourage everyone to pray more often then you do now. Prayer is a gift and we should use it as often as possible. Try praying right before you leave the house every day. Even if you get back and need leave again: Pray again. Pray constantly in your heart for the guidance of the Holy Ghost to be with you and guide you. I promise you will notice a significant difference in your life. And don't forget to thank Heavenly Father for everything through prayer! Study the scriptures diligently and daily and involve prayer in that! These are some good ways to get revelation from God. Who wouldn't want more advise or insight from somebody who knows everything?
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church of Christ. God is our loving father in heaven. Jesus Christ is our savior and redeemer. Thomas S. Monson is truly a prophet of God. Remember who you are and who you can become. Keep God close! I love you!

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