What a terrific week, it was! Elder Black and I were blessed with much success in our area. We didn't teach as many lessons to members as we had hoped, we had 3 scheduled appointments with members fall through. But, we did teach 3 new investigators! :D
The mission's standard for each area is to find 3 new investigators, bring 2 investigators to church, and have 2 on date, every week. We call it 3, 2, 2 for short. It is the standard, or expectation, for each area in the mission. Elder Black and I have been striving to hit the mission standard these past few weeks, and because we've allowed God to be our guide, we are getting there!
Last Monday, we had a mission-wide finding fest. The goal was for the entire mission to find 200 new investigators in 3 hours (from 6p.m. to 9p.m.). We have around 119 companionships in the mission, so if each companionship found 2, we would find well over 200 new investigators.
I was soooo pumped! I could not wait to blow this puny goal out of the water! We talked to about 33-35ish people that night - it was crazy. We met a lot of weird-o's, like you always do, but we also met Maria. And her mother, who is also named Maria :). We were walking in a ghetto apartment complex, looking for people to talk to, when we spotted 'The Maria's' taking groceries out of their car. We stopped them and offered our help, but they denied. So we instead offered the gospel and they accepted it! It was wonderful!
They had just returned from the cemetery, mourning the loss of their brother/son. Four years ago, he had passed away from drinking too much alcohol. We told them about the Plan of Salvation briefly, and how it is outlined in the Book of Mormon. They accepted it with open arms and promised to read it!
I felt prompted to tie what we had taught back to the Restoration, because we had not mentioned that yet. We told her about how Jesus Christ's church was in its purest form when he was on the earth, but that it fell after His death and resurrection. There were centuries of darkness, called apostasy, and light did not enter the earth until 1820, when God called another prophet to bring back Christ's church. The Book of Mormon is evidence of this Restoration. Therein the fulness of the gospel is found.
By simply referring to the unique message which we bear, which is the Restoration, it helps others understand the significance of the things we claim. That through another prophet, God has revealed once again the Plan of Salvation, the authority to perform saving ordinances has been brought back to the earth, and we are the only church with the full truth of the gospel.
We said a prayer with 'The Maria's,' and left to find more lost sheep. The next day during District meetings, President announced how many new we had found that night. The Washing DC South mission found...
227 new investigators!!! :D Hooplah! When we announced it in front of the zone, everyone went berserk. It was sweet!
On Wednesday, we were facing rejection all day. It wasn't your classic, 'oh, no thank you, I'm not interested,' type of rejection. It was the kind of rejection you would 't want your worst enemy to go through, type of rejection. Man, it was rough! Haha. We were pretty discouraged at the end of our night, but we kept talking to everyone, anyway. It was about 8:40, and we were walking back to our car, when we talk to a man on the street. His name is Kamara - he seemed really interested! He accepted what we had to say about the Book of Mormon, and he said we could teach him more. He told us he had been praying for a church to join last Sunday, and that God had lead him to us for a reason. It was so cool!
We taught him again on Friday at the McDonald's across the street. He told us he is from Sierra Leone, and he has family back there who is suffering greatly from the Ebola virus. He came to America 14 years ago, with the hope of finding a better life. He didn't find it. He had a car and a job, but he lost both of those things. He was living in his own place, but now he rents from his Aunt a tiny space of her apartment. He was really down in the dumps. He started to believe God hated him, and he tried to commit suicide 3 times. He was unsuccessful. He is still recovering, a few years later. He has a job at a laundromat, but it's barely keeping him in his feet.
When we taught him the Restoration, you could see a light in his eyes, it was so cool! We invited him to be baptized on Oct. 25th, and he accepted!! Whoop! :) He came to the Adult Session of Stake Conference, and he loved it! He committed to going to church 'every Sunday in this building until the end of my life!'
Unfortunately, he didn't show up the next day for church. :P but he had a really, really good reason for it!! His brother in law, who lives in Franconia, was really sick and he had to go take care of him for the day. He apologized to us later vehemently for missing church. He will be there next Sunday... Or else!!!
I got a call last night from some Sister in the Potomac mid-singles Ward, telling me one of the investigators I taught with Elder Grow almost a year ago, wants me to baptize him! How cool is that?! I'm super excited for it! :)
There were a lot of other wonderful miracles, but those were just a few of the major ones this week.
Love you all!
This week was so great! Elder Black and I went forth with faith, in
the hopes of finding someone lost souls to teach. We found 2 new
Our big push this transfer for our area is to improve member relations
tenfold. To do that, we're teaching them the members the discussions.
Preach my Gospel promises that if missionaries are "Strengthening
their (members of the church) understanding of the doctrine of Christ
(it) will do more to increase their trust in you (the missionary) and
to build their excitement to do missionary work than ANYTHING else you
We thought that was pretty profound. :)
So on Monday, during dinner with a member family, we asked if we could
come back to teach them the Restoration.
They said, "why don't you teach us right now?"
So we did!
Elder Black told them, after they had asked what we wanted to do for a
living, that he wants to be a mechanical engineer, and it's because he
had always played with Legos growing up. The Sister got excited and
recruited him to help build her son's destroyed Lego StarWars X-Wing
fighter right before teaching. So I talked with the parents while my
companion sat on the floor building a spaceship, trying to yank a
piece integral to its structure from the mouth of a drooling 1
Trust officially increased!
The lesson went really well, though, because they texted us the day
afterwards and said they invited one of their non-member friends (a
whole family of 5!) to their home for dinner and a discussion next
Monday! It was so tremendous to hear that, I nearly jumped and shouted
for joy!... Wait, I did do that. In the middle of District Meeting. :)
Too bad they live in the other Elder's area, though. We won't be
teaching them, but we're enthusiastic that they will at least be
Later that same night, we parked our car and set out to do some
tracting. Members pulled up in their Ford Taurus and just handed us 2
referrals. Freebies! We walked up to the door of the first one and we
saw a guy in the window yell something vulgar and wave us off with a
beer in his hand. The second, we haven't been able the find because
the address is all messed up.
Later in the week, Elder Black and I went to a place we had
prayerfully selected to do some finding. We did intentional tracting,
which is when we knock on a door we feel prompted to. We also talked
to everyone we saw on the street. Not many people we talked to on the
streets were interested, but we did have a cool experience with our
intentional tracting method.
Elder Black saw a house with lights on and said we should try it out.
I was a bit skeptical, but I obediently followed his example. An old
Ethiopian man answered and let us right in! All we did was tell him we
were Mormon! It was super cool.
We started teaching the Restoration, but only got as far as prophets,
because Elder Black had an appointment with the Chiropractor in 15
mins. He was receptive, and showed curiosity by asking us why we do
what we do, what we teach, etc.
I've learned a lot about (and I know I saw this a lot), how to
recognize and follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. My companion
is a wonderful example of that! We will be 10-15 minutes early to a
dinner appointment, and we'll just walk around their neighborhood,
talking to everyone we can. We'll follow the thoughts in our minds and
our hearts, and we'll see miracles crop up left and right.
5 Therefore, verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this
people; speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you
shall not be confounded before men;
6 For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment,
what ye shall say.
We had another miracle on Friday night. We went to visit a potential
investigator in this dumpy, somewhat creepy part of Alexandria. We
knocked on his door but nobody answered. I was about to turn around
and head back to the car, but Elder Black felt like we should knock on
his neighbor's door. A young man from India answered, and basically
told us to shoo, as politely as he knew how. While we were speaking, a
door behind us opened and out popped a potential 'new friend!' (AKA
new investigator). I let Elder Black handle the polite Indian, while I
started to speak with the dude behind us.
He didn't speak very much English, he is from Guatemala, but he did
accept a copy of the Book of Mormon! We said a prayer with him and
invited him to be baptized, and he said we could come back anothe time
to teach him more! How neat is that?!
We had a really rewarding week, filled with lots of miracles. Thank
you for all of your prayers!
Transfers this week, and my new companion is Elder Black! He has been
in he mission for 10 months, and is from Spanish Fork, Utah! He just
came here from the Reston ward, which was my first area. We're having
a great time talking about the people and the experiences we've had
there. It's refreshing to find out about how much the ward has changed
in a year.
Elder Black is a stellar missionary! We are so stoked to start off
this transfer with a bang! I haven't felt such exuberant, elevated
levels of excitement to pound doors and baptize nations in a while.
It's a good feeling :). I have the "greenie fire" back!! Thank you so
much for all of your prayers in my behalf.
During one of our many meetings, President Riggs encouraged us to
focus on having ideal study sessions. He gave us lots of suggestions
on how we can do that: we can do push-ups to stay awake, stand up and
read, eat oatmeal before studies to get some complex carbohydrates in
our system, etc. I struggle with staying awake for the entire hour
some days, I just get so darned tired! It's frustrating when that
happens. So I tried applying some of these steps, and it worked! I
haven't even gotten droopy-eyed once since Transfers!
One thing that really helps me during studies is having a study
journal. I'm a visual person, and it helps me see my train of thought.
I write down inspiration I get so I can lay claim on this promised
blessing from Elder Richard G. Scott: “Knowledge carefully recorded is
knowledge available in time of need. Spiritually sensitive information
should be kept in a sacred place that communicates to the Lord how you
treasure it. This practice enhances the likelihood of your receiving
I love that! And I've seen it work for me. When I'm out preaching,
sometimes phrases from scripture, or the scripture reference itself
will pop into my mind; it will almost always be from something I had
studied that same morning. When I teach about that principle, I
usually learn something new. That's another fulfillment of one of
God's promises! D&C 50:24-25 ensures us, that when we receive light,
and continue in God's word, we will receive further light.
I've found solace, peace, and solutions from my study of the doctrine
of Christ. I vow never to take scripture study lightly ever again!
There's so much "spiritual meat" in the scriptures, it's almost
impossible to absorb it all at once! I could easily spend and hour
scanning the words of just 2-3 verses in the scriptures.
"Behold, great and marvelous are the works of the Lord. How
unsearchable are the depths of the mysteries of him; and it is
impossible that man should find out all his ways. And no man knoweth
of his ways save it be revealed unto him; wherefore, brethren, despise
not the revelations of God."
I have received so much revelation this week concerning the work in
this area already. I cannot wait to act on the answers God has given
me! There are so many exciting things in store for us here, I can just
On Sunday, we asked our District leader and his companion if they
would blitz our area with us (a blitz is when one companionship works
with a different companionship in the same area for 1 hour). They
happily agreed, thank goodness! We hadn't found any new investigators
yet. I split with Elder Black to go with our DL's companion, and we
set off into the wild, blue yonder. We talked to everyone we could see
(12 people), and knocked on 6 or 7 doors. No real luck, but it felt so
awesome to talk to everyone in sight! Being bold and opening my mouth
has been something I've chiseled at for a long, long time and I'm
finally sinking into a consistent rhythm.
We knocked on a door and talked to a really old lady at her doorstep.
Like, reeeeaaally old! She couldn't hear us very well, and I was
afraid she was going to fall over when she stepped onto her porch with
us. We yell-taught the Restoration, and she accepted a copy of the
Book of Mormon! She said she likes learning about different religions,
but that she doesn't want us to come back. Which is okay, because I
don't think she would've remembered us if we did :P. She was a really
sweet lady, though!
Most everyone else wasn't too keen on what we had to share, but that's
okay! Because the elect are out there, and we're gonna keep digging
until we find them!
The rest of our week was full of running errands, attending meetings,
coordinating with the ward mission, and planning for Zone Training
this Tuesday. I can't wait to tell you all about the amazing miracles
we're going to get this next week!!
Thank you again for all of your thoughts and prayers for me. They
really truly to lift me up!
Love you all!
Sent from my iPad
This week was pretty good! We continued to have success teaching
online. I found a guy who lives in India that plays for their national
soccer team, so that was pretty cool! He is interested in learning
more about the Book of Mormon. Right now we're working on finding
people to teach who live in our area. It can be a little tough.
There's so much to learn about teaching online, it's crazy!
We trained some other Elders on how to use Facebook, and they were
pretty excited. They didn't get as much success right off the bat as
we did, but they're determined to explore the many different avenues
you can take to proselyted online.
My companion had to go to the doctors a couple of times, so that took
a chunk out of our week. He's doing fine, though. He's probably
getting transferred this Thursday - we haven't gotten the call yet,
but he's pretty confident he's leaving. He's been telling all the
members for the past 3 days that he's leaving, haha! He's pretty
anxious to get out of here.
We had a lot of dinners this week! One family fed us corn with
mayonnaise, Parmesan, hot sauce, and fresh squeezed limes. Yum! It was
actually pretty good! But I'll only eat it once. :p
Anyway, I don't remember much of what happened, but it was a pretty
good week! Thanks for the support! Love you!
Sent from my iPad