Monday, June 26, 2017

Missionary Monday week forty-three

June 26, 2017

We love to get letters from the boys.  Both are going great.  I am going to go back and post all of their letters and pictures but I'll just start with today's letters now!  It's so interesting to look at these two.  They left one day apart.  They have had transfers at exactly the same time--they have both been in three areas with this last area for the longest.  Both got transferred this last week and both are now the district leader.  Their mission moms look like sisters and there are getting new presidents July 1st.  Weird?!  They are both happy and sweaty.

From Landon:

Happy P Day everyone!

I feel like I have a ton to write because  a lot has changed, so I
will try to include it all but if you have questions feel free to ask.
First of all, Monday night after P Day was over we got a call from the
Zone leaders saying that they had more information about transfers.
They told me that I had been called as a district leader, and then on
Tuesday I found out I was being sent to Sealy TX.

Now, up to this point on my mission I have been serving in areas very
distinctly part of the city.  Actually they have all been right next
to each other so I have really only seen a little part of the mission.
Sealy, Texas, is not part of Houston and it is very different from my
past areas.  In Jersey Village I was on bike and I was concentrated on
a few little parts of the area with big apartment complexes and lots
of houses.  Sealy is definitely in the country and because of that I
am responsible for several small towns and my area is gigantic, but I
also get a truck.  I am in a branch out here that was recently
combined from the English and Spanish branches into a mega branch
which also means I have to do some translating for the people that
don't speak English.  Honestly I love it out here I believe this is
exactly the place where I needed to go.  My companion is Elder Marquez
who is also a native Spanish speaker though he grew up in California
and is also on the last transfer of his mission.

We had kind of big surprise as well with Jersey Village there used to
be two companionships but now there is only one. So Elder Smith who
has driven a car about three times in his mission is now taking over
the entire ward in car which is a ton of work.  I know that he will do
great with it though and he has a great companion as well.

The majority of the  Spanish areas in the mission are closer to the
city which is why Sealy is sometimes referred to as "outer darkness"
by the Spanish missionaries.  The reason is that there isn't as much
Spanish out here and you are far away from most other Spanish
missionaries.  Actually although I am now in an English zone my
district is made up of Spanish missionaries which is pretty nice
though we are the only Elders.  Although "outer darkness" has kind of
a bad connotation it is really pretty awesome out here.  Honestly when
you imagine a mission in Texas this is probably more of what you
imagine, there are a ton of really cool country people here and this
is the first time in the mission I have really gotten a chance to know
some true Texans.  For example: on Thursday we went and visited some
recent converts in English.  They live a bit out of town in a nice
little trailer and their names are Rachel and Bubba.  They are super
cool! They live in this little trailer and gave us food right out of
their garden.  Bubba is kind of hilarious, he had a  beard and was
wearing a cut-off button down shirt and he always speaks with a
country southern accent.  We asked them to share some of their
favorite scriptures with us and Bubba chose Mosiah 26:25 which says:
"25 And it shall come to pass that when the second trump shall sound
then shall they that never knew me come forth and shall stand before
me."  The reason he chose this scripture was because it mentions
Trump, specifically the second Trump which,  according to him, means
that Donald Trump is going to get a second term.  He was of course
joking but it was really funny because the majority of the people I
have served around don't really like our current US President.

This weekend we also had a mini missionary with us most of the time he
went home at night but was with us the rest of the time.  I think he
had a great experience to see how missionary work really works.  Any
one preparing to serve mission should do so by doing missionary work.

Yesterday we had a really great opportunity to go to a Fireside in
Katy which is basically the outskirts of Houston.  The guest speaker
at the Fireside was a man named  Glenn Rawson.  If any of you have
seen the TV series the Joseph Smith Papers he is the Host.  By the way
if you haven't seen it you really should and I believe it is on he
Gospel Library app.  His words were about Joseph Smith the Prophet of
the Restoration, church history and the testimony of these things.  It
was truly inspiring and I truly believe that we should try to be
familiar with our history.  It is rich with miracles and witnesses of
every kind and an honest study with faith in these things will
strengthen your testimony.

I didn't know what to expect out here but I have been happy to find
out that there is a lot of work to do out here and it is a joy to
serve here.

Elder Hatch

From Dallin:

This picture was sent this morning from the bishop and his family that is hiking with Dallin.  

Hey everyone!  Wow this has been a week of serious change for me.
After six months in Lebanon and three months with Elder Macdonald I
have been transferred to Cleveland, Tennessee.  I also have been called
as a District Leader in this District which includes The Athens
missionaries and Dayton missionaries.  It's been a huge adjustment but
I have loved it here so far.

For half of this week I went and said goodbye to some people in the
Branch, although a lot of them were busy so I only so a few people.
It was sad to say goodbye to some of my friends but I know that the
missionaries that will still be there will take good care of them.  We
went to Transfers on Wednesday morning with a  couple members from the
English Ward and also e Sisters.  There I got to see a lot of my old
friends and most importantly meet my new companion!

Elder Fillingim is from Show Low, Arizona.  Which is a very small town
of about 6,000 people near Snowflake Arizona.  Elder Fillingim is
really just an awesome guy and really good companion.  He laid back
but he cares about the work and is ready to work hard and be obedient.
He is a talented Athlete, he set a few different weight lifting
records for his weight back in High School, but he is also very humble
and not prideful at all. Elder Fillingim has been out about a transfer
less than me and was actually trained in Dalton Georgia(the only
actual Spanish Ward in my mission) by Elder Macdonald.  Honestly right
off the bat Elder Fillingim and I became really good friends.  I am
very happy to serve with him and I think we are going to have a lot of
success here in Cleveland.

The Cleveland area is good.  There are a lot of investigators in the
area book that have a ton of potential.  There is also a lot more
Spanish than I had know about before.  One thing that has recently
changed here is that we use to have Sisters but recently they have
were taken out and the missionaries struggled with miles to be able to
visit them all so a lot of good investigators haven't been seen in a
long time.  So we have had to go through that a lot.  On Sunday
afternoon we had a great experience related to that.  We spent a lot
of hours looking through old investigators and trying to contact them
by phone call to set up a time to come by.  Well I found one
investigator that had some good records.  The previous missionaries
had written that she had wanted to be baptized but no one had seen her
in over 100 days.  We decided to go contact her and another woman that
lived near by.  We knocked on the door and she answered!  We explained
to her who we were and that we wanted to begin teaching her again.
She said yes and I asked her if she still wanted to be baptized and
she said yes!  Then we taught her the restoration pamphlet and she
still remembered everything!  The other lady we met next door was also
on the list and she had been reading the Book of Mormon a lot as well.
Little things like this are small miracles to me that make this work
possible.  Knowing that he Lord is on our side.

One amazing that has happened is Alex and Erica.  During my first
transfer on the mission I went on an exchange with Elder Molloy.  We
were both only about four weeks out of the MTC and excited about the
work.  That day we probably knocked on hundreds of doors.  At one
place we went through a whole set of little apartment buildings until
we met Alex.  He opened the door to us and told to give him the
message right there.  So we taught him the Restoration right there.
We then found out he has actually met with missionaries before back in
California.  He told us missionaries could come back and talk to his
girlfriend(who basically an atheist at the time), and if she liked
what we said then he would consider joining the church.  OK so fast
forward 9 months and now I am in the same area and Alex and Erica are
our best Investigators!  Erica had gone through a massive change of
heart and truly believes and wants to be baptized.  The only thing
holding them back is Alex.  They are not yet married and are pretty
much either in or out together.  Alex knows it's true.  He knew the
church was true that first day when I knocked on his door.  The thing
stopping him is fear.  Fear of change.  Fear of Commitment. And Fear
of failure.  I had the opportunity to go teach them last Saturday
night.  It was a good lesson but it's tough to know where it will go.
We committed them to get married and work toward baptism.  They are so
close.  I know it is not a coincidence that I was sent here at this
time.  God is truly in control and I will serve him.

I have a million stories to tell and a thousand things to say about
this new are and change in my life but I do not have time to say
everything.  Being District is certainly a change and an important
responsibility.  I am going to need to turn to the Lord and become
better to be able to do the things that I am meant to do here at this
time.  I know that in the scriptures there is peace and knowledge to
help me.  I love you all!  God bless!

Elder Hatch

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