March 17, 2014
Dear Family & Friends,
Dear Family & Friends,
This past week has been mind blowing. Either I am just noticing it more, or the Lord is utilizing Elder Sharp and I much more. I could talk about alot of experiences but I will pick two.
The first was last Thursday. Elder Sharp and I were heading out to go tract and we saw a man carrying stuff from the side of the road in front of an apartment complex to a nearby parking lot. I biked over to talk to him, and asked him if he wanted help moving. He emphatically affirmed that he did! It turns out that Arnold had been kicked out of his apartment. His belongings had been moved out front where by Texas law anyone can come up and take stuff. He had been frantically trying to move his possessions to one place so that they were secure and the whole time people had been driving up and asking if they could take this or buy that all while he was trying to protect his belongings. So he was very glad to have us help him. After we were finished we talked, said a prayer, and he related the story of the good samaritan to us - how we helped when others just passed by. His friend then showed up with his truck and we loaded everything. He would take it all to another apartment in a part of the city down south. We gave him our number and told him how he could get in contact with the missionaries down where he was moving. Elder Sharp and I did not get to speak with as many people that day, but we did do something much more meaningful.
Two days before that on Tuesday, Elder Sharp and I were tracting. We had just passed by an old man and his very young grandson. After speaking with them (and he declined by the way), he called out as we walked away something about having his own church, then the child then yelled at us something about how we were going to Hell. Elder Sharp and I did not quite catch it because the boy was so young. We kept walking, turned the corner and then were approached by a teenage girl. She looked to be Brandon's age. She said she wanted to talk about Mormons, why we were Mormons and what we believed. We sat down in front of her house and started to answer her questions. She had talked with missionaries before; she even had a Book of Mormon. She told us that at her school (a private school) they were having a unit on world religions. She said her teacher had taught that Mormons were not Christians and that Mormons were going to Hell. Yes, kids in Texas are taught that in certain schools. She had many questions and we had a great discussion with her, teaching portions of the Restoration and God's Plan of Salvation. Because she was so open minded, Elder Sharp and I could testify of these things, bear our own personal testimonies, and really have the Spirit of God present while we talked. I don't know for sure, but I got the feeling that by the end of our conversation she was reconsidering some of what her teacher taught her. We invited her to read the Book of Mormon, pray to God and ask if what we taught was true. I love extending that invitation.
I think of you, Brandon, as I think of this experience, but really this applies to everyone. Truth and Falsehood. There are many people who will tell us many things. We must not exclude or dismiss anything we hear or are taught, yet we must doubt and test, prove and question everything; Everything. This especially applies to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Don't just take Mom's, Dad's, and my word for it that this is the Church of Jesus Christ restored in these days, in its complete form, nothing missing. You must find out for yourself, nothing less will suffice, nothing less will suffice when that mission approaches, nothing less will suffice when the days get hard. Find out for yourself. Take God's word for it.
Elder Sharp and I are meeting with Courtney and Justin later today, wish us luck!
There is one thing I would like in my birthday package: with the heat of summer coming on the water from the tap starts to come out warm and tasting like algae. Yeuch! I was wondering if you could send me some raspberry herbal tea. With it, I will make iced herbal tea and have a delicious drink for after long bike rides and hours in the sun. (Graham's birthday is at the end of this month and I asked if there was anything in particular that he would like me to include in his birthday package.)
I love y'all <-- hahaha! I love you all!