Everything's kinduva a blur now. I'm not really keeping track of the
days - how long I've been out, how long I have left, etc. I'm content
enjoying the experiences I'm having here.
Every Monday night, we visit Sis. Booth. She lives in a mental health
care institution because she suffers from Schizophrenia and some other
disorders. She's a super sweet lady, and we love visiting with her.
She really needs it - she's sick of being locked up in there! She was
baptized when she was 19 when she lived in Manassas. She's been a
member for 7 years now. She's pretty sane for someone who's in a
We visited her last Monday and had planned to teach the Restoration.
That kinda happened. We asked one of the facilitators if they could
unlock an office for us to chat, away from everyone else. To be
honest, Elder Johnson and I are a little skiddish entering the
fluorescent-lit hallways of the mental hospital. The walls, ceilings
and tile floors are all one terrifyingly normal eggshell white.
Patients shuffle past us muttering nonsense every time we go, and
there's usually a distant shout or two. We have a security escort to
and from Sis. Booth's room. Nothing's really going to happen to us, I
know we'll be fine in there, but still... Kinda creepy.
As soon as we start to visit with our friend, we see an African
American man standing outside the doorway (it's required to keep the
door open), waving at us madly. His name is Frank. He asks to join our
conversation, and Sis. Booth allows it.
Frank is funnier than that one Youtube video of the news reporter
smashing a large tub grapes with her feet, who falls over face first
and groans like an angry baboon for a solid 3 minutes. Funnier than
that. Frank will tell you exactly what is on his mind whenever there's
a silent second for him to interject. Usually what is on his mind
isn't 'PG.' I'll keep those moments to myself, for the sake of public
We tried to teach the Restoration, but whenever we'd try to ask an
inspired question, Frank would whisper, 'I used to think Abraham
Lincoln was, you know... Jesus Christ,' and, 'Do you guys know of any
good caves around here?' When he would speak, he'd lean toward us in
his chair, eyes wide open. It was hilarious!
Throughout the week, we struggled meeting with investigators in our
area. They've either moved away, disappeared, or they're on 'spiritual
vacation.' But that's alright, we know God will not keep his elect
children who are ready to hear the gospel from us if we are ready to
receive them. Because of that, we're doing all we can to prepare
ourselves to tell them what they need to hear by obedience.
Strangely enough, our earnest prayers to find new people, teach and
baptized were answered in another form: online proselyting. In 1 1/2
hours, we found 5 new investigators, and taught 4 member present
lessons! Elder Johnson and I were so busy talking with people, we had
to rope in members of the church from Utah, Virginia and Wyoming to
help us teach. It was so awesome!! I could totally see us teaching at
least 40 member present lessons a week.
I posted a picture on 4 different 'I love Jesus Christ,' groups I had
joined, and I got like 250 likes, comments, and 15 or so shares. And
counting!! With all those people, we just started to message them,
asking if they wanted to learn about Jesus Christ. We usually get a
1/3 success rate.
One of our investigators, Pynshi, lives in Nepal and really wants to
learn more about the church. She was stoked to tell us when she
ordered a copy of the Book of Mormon online!
We're teaching people from all over the world: the Philippines, India,
Africa, and Europe. It's so crazy! This is the future of missionary
work. Eventually, we'll be calling missions in Nepal, Bangladesh,
Dhaka, and Liberia, telling they have someone who's received all the
lessons, has a baptismal date, and just needs to find a font and a
Because of our online efforts, The Lord is rewarding us with success
in our own proselyting area. We've set up 8 appointments this week - 3
with investigators, 1 lesson is with a member family who's invited
their neighbors to hear the discussions, and there's a part member
family who's son (30s) wants to get baptized.
Miracles are cropping up left and right, and I'm confident it's
because of your prayers, and our preparation. The Lord is Hastening
His work, and He will labor alongside the diligent and faithful.
(Jacob 5 is a killer missionary chapter! Please read it!)
I love you all! Thank you so much for all of your prayers on my behalf
- I really do feel lifted up because of that.
Sent from my iPad
This week was packed... I'm sorry I didn't send a mass Email like I
normally do, we've been really busy. Last Monday we washed our car. We
waxed, vacuumed and shampooed the carpets, cleaned the tires, and
much, much more. That took up most of our day. Then we went to Costco
with some members for dinner and shopping.
We didn't have much teaching going on this week, unfortunately. We
actually were teaching a really promising family last week, but the
other Elders in our ward accidentally nabbed them from us. Which was a
little upsetting, but at least they're getting baptized on Set. 6th!
We mostly visited less actives this week. A family (Ortiz family)
who's preparing to enter the temple came to church! They were a part
member family, but the wife was baptized in Centreville 1st ward last
August. They had fallen into inactivity for quite some time, and we
just barely started teaching them the new member lessons. It's going
well, they love learning more about the church, and they're
re-committing themselves to coming to church to prepare themselves to
enter the temple.
We had 3 exchanges this week. Bleh! I don't really like exchanges. But
these ones weren't too bad. The first was with Elder Raban, which was
awesome! The dream-team was back together! (Elder Raban is my
trainer). It was a night full of reunions, because Elder Raban had
served in Annandale right after he left Reston (Annandale is his
favorite area), and one of his old companions he had served with in
Annandale came on exchanges with us that night. It basically turned
into a night of Elder Raban and Bro. Dehaan visiting all of their old
friends. It was a good time, though!
That exchange actually went on for 48 hours instead of 24, because
Elder Johnson and Elder Scholes (Elder Raban's current companion) had
to work on something in the office. While I was with Elder Raban the
second day, we went to serve in Fairfax instead of Annandale. We had
dinner with some sweet members over there, gave a blessing to one of
the Fairfax Sister missionaries, and taught one of their
That entire day, Elder Raban wasn't feeling very well. He almost
wanted to cancel everything they had for that evening, but he stuck it
out instead. That night and into the next day he just got worse and
worse. I'm not sure now, but I think he still might be sick, so keep
him in your prayers! The poor fella might've contracted Ebola . ;)
After that exchange, Elder Rugg and I went on another exchange! We had
a good time. We talked to everyone we saw, got a lot of "no, I'm not
interested"'s, and taught the Ortiz family.
Elder Johnson and I finally reunited in joy in and splendor and spent
the remainder of our week visiting less actives, and talking to
everyone. We've been so busy lately, we have had a hard time feeling
like we're really focusing on making our area the exemplar of the
zone. We're supposed to achieve the mission standard, which is 3 new
investigators, 2 at church, and 2 investigators with a baptismal date,
every week, but we're not that close. Neither are any of the other
areas in our zone close to hitting that standard. It's a little
discouraging, but I know that we can achieve it - heck, I know that we
can exceed it!! God will provide a way for us to accomplish the
mission standard, I know it! I know what it will take, and I'm willing
to "come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of
his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him,
and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in
fasting and praying, and endure to the end." Omni 1:26
Coming unto Christ and becoming a consecrated missionary means putting
all of my fears, disobedience and pride on the altar of sacrifice.
It's a complete submission to God's will, and it is the greatest love
I could ever show Him.
That's what I must be, a consecrated missionary! That includes opening
my mouth to literally EVERYONE I see, and declaring the gospel to
them. I invite you all to unbind your tongues, as did the Prophet of
the Restoration, to invite and spread the gospel word to everyone. The
Lord has given us many tools to do this, and He will cast out all of
your fear with charity for your brothers and sisters (Moroni 8:16).
I love this work - I love the exhilarating feeling I get when I talk
to someone I don't know on the street about that means so much to me.
I know that feeling is God sealing the promises He's made to me if I
open my mouth to teach.
Oh! Another cool thing that happened this last week... I finally
caught the vision of online proselyting! It's been about 11 months,
maybe more, since we've been teaching online, and I haven't seen the
fruits of it until now.
Paul Johnson, a missionary who was once serving in the Arizona, Tempe
mission, recently returned home to Arlington, VA. On his mission, he
truly understood Facebook proselyting. He was teaching a lot of
people! Our mission President wanted him to give us training on how he
did it. He taught an Elder one-on-one how he proselyted online, and
that Elder trained Elder Johnson and I.
I'm teaching two people from India, a pastor in Ethiopia, a woman from
Guatemala (I think), and someone from Nepal. Crazy! It happened so
The work is Hastening, and I'm lucky to have a front row seat. Join
the work before you get left in the dust!