Monday, October 31, 2016

Paint Louis

Hey team,
Happy Halloween to everyone that is cool enough to actually read any of this. hahaha holidays are different here and I was devastated when I learned I couldn't go trick or treating. It's whatevs though. hahaha

This past week has been wild. We get asked by a less active and a recent convert to come over all the time and help them with things and this past week we sorta went the extra mile. I am getting pretty good at home repairs. i have now taken carpet out along with stairs and a dishwasher. Re-layed a floor in a home. Stripped paint off of walls and door frames, and sanded and primed. I'm sure that I'm gonna be able to get a job at Home Depot now.

Other then being a work crew, haha, the mission effort has been going wonderful. Its odd how much more confident I am with talking with people now. My companion is just about to leave me so we are trying to see all the people he wants to see before we go. We had the chance to talk to some members, the Nings, who are like Japanese/Chinese/Korean and now they are living here and learning English. It was an emotional lesson for my companion but I had the chance to bear a very simplified version of my testimony of prayer. It was amazing to watch the spirit flood the room and bear witness of truth to even those who may not understand my words. 

I got to go to Paint Louis and it was sweet. It is huge wall that is covered in graffiti and they have competitions each year to see who is the best.  Here are some pics. Pretty much WAY cool. hahaha 

Keep on keepin' on,
Love, Elder Brian

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

My parents stood on my doorstep

Momma! Send me that picture right this minute hahahahahahah you guys! haha
My parents were on a trip in the midwest and spent their last night in St. Louis. They dropped off a package for me while I was at church. Sneaky sneaky.

Hey, everyone... its been awhile. hahaha

These past two weeks have been a bit of a roller coaster. Don't worry, I wont make this a whole novel, but there have been so many things going on I probably could. I'll just paraphrase.
Starting last last Monday, Holy cow it was a rough week. At times I sorta felt likeI  was just being pounded. hahaha There was a solid three days where every single door we knocked on, resulted in someone yelling at us or a dog trying to eat us or something else crazy. It was insane to say the least. After a good whooping from some guy with a lazy eye that told us to get off his property and never come back we walked about half way down the block and i started laughing super hard. My companion was a little bit shaken because the man was mostly mad at him for ringing the door bell, but when i started laughing my companion was like what the heck man we just got cussed out and you are laughing? I told him that i was laughing because i felt so blessed to be able to feel a little tiny piece of how the sons of Mosiah felt, or how Alma the younger felt, and it was awesome. The rest of the day we walked around getting yelled at and told to leave town and all sorts of fun stuff. haha and I always smiled as we walked away. 

Luckily, the Lord tells us that blessings come after the trail of our faith. This past week on Monday, I got to go on an exchange with another missionary that came out in the same group as me, Elder Havili. We relied on the Lord for so much because that's all we knew how to do. It paid off. In one day we picked up more investigators and taught more lessons than i had in the past 2 weeks combined.
About an hour before we were going to have dinner, we had just not quite reached the goal we wanted. We had already had a successful day but both of us felt like there was something more we needed to do. We pulled into this neighborhood and the first door we knocked on let us in. We talked to this lady and her husband about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. They followed the lesson perfectly and asked wonderful questions, but at the end when we invited them to take a copy of the Book of Mormon, they refused and told us that they had both studied religion in college and felt like there was nothing more out there for them. Elder Havili and i both knew that these were the people that the Lord wanted us to see and to teach, and we were pretty determined to pick them up as investigators. Something happened and i was speaking without knowing really what i was saying, and i told her that if she read one page and prayed about it that the Holy Ghost will testify of its truthfulness to her and her husband. It went quiet and she said, "One page?"  As the words came out i couldn't believe what i was saying but I just said, "One page." We have an appointment with her later this week to see if she actually did it but the spirit was so strong and it was an amazing experience. I know that they will feel of the spirit if they read and pray, and now I'm just hoping they are willing to act on that feeling.

On a secular note, I get wrecked at ping pong//sting pong, and I now have welts all over me. hahaha I am loving the cooler weather and the fact that I am not sweating to death all the time now. 
Things are good here. no complaints. hahaha 

Love, elder Brian

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The One In White...

So for this weeks email, because its only been a few days because my mission president is changing everything that we are used to, I'm just gonna make it short and tell a good ole funny story.

On Tuesday of this week we decided that we would have all the missionary's in our District (the little group thingy of missionaries that live close to us) come and 'Blitz' our area. This just means we have 5 sets of missionaries in our area at one time. I was put with one of the Zone leaders who is in our area named Elder Ward. He is a super stud, from Idaho. He and I quoted Brian Reagan the whole day and had a blast working together. 
This Elder knew what he was doing. There wasn't a person we saw that we weren't talking to. It was so cool to see him interact with all the people. 
Anyway, we had just picked up a few people to go see in the coming week and we were on our way to see if we could talk to some people that had let missionaries in before. As we are pulling out onto the main road, we saw the most beautiful thing ever. I couldn't tell for sure, but it was like Gandalf the White had gotten lost and was on the streets of St. Louis. I almost peeled out, and drove straight to the nearest parking lot and jumped out of the car. Ward was right on my tail and we ran a good block to catch this mystical man. 
Well, we are behind him - and all the cars are honking and he is giving everyone the peace sign and I was almost in tears. We said "HEY Sir" and this old man turned around and gave us the biggest grin. (at this point in time I was praying he'd say something like, "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!" but it didn't happen...)
Let me describe him before I attach the picture at the bottom. An older man dressed to the best. Wearing a white hat, white gloves, white robe, white shirt, white pants, white socks, and white shoes. He welded a staff of the finest wood. And in his eyes was a little bit of crazy.
We talked to him and he gave us some very important news. He said that all the Mormons in the whole world need to move to Missouri and take over the state, and kick out any non believers in Jesus. Then God will rule here and there will be one good place on the earth. He said that he had been preaching the good word for (buckle up this is gonna knock your socks off) 28 YEARS. He didn't proclaim himself to be Jesus, or God, or Moses, but he said if he dressed the part maybe he could become like them. 
He was amazing. That is commitment. He said he's only got beaten up once and that was this year... but then he said that he forgave them and it was all a misunderstanding. hahaha 

So things are still going great. We got a few new investigators this week due to the Blitz so we are keeping busy. I love the Lord and his work. 

Love, Elder Brian

Monday, October 10, 2016

True MVP"S

For anyone that actually reads these and is not my Mom and Dad, i am currently clapping for you. You are true MVP's. hehe

This week was fantastic. Let me just tell you that i am getting really good at knocking on doors. I have plenty of chances to figure out my signature knock and i think I've decided on the band aid commercial song. Still developing but i feel good about this one. 
We got to teach two lessons this week with our investigators. Jennifer (one of those investigators) read from the beginning of the Book of Mormon to the middle of Mosiah between our first and second visit. When she said that I'm pretty sure that my mouth dropped like it does in the cartoons and stuff. I just kept saying, "That is Awesome!" over and over and i probably looked crazy because i just couldn't believe what was happening. We had a wonderful lesson about the Plan of Salvation. My mouth opened even wider when she said she had always felt like the idea of only Heaven and Hell. She agreed mostly with everything we said. I was flabbergasted. At the end I asked if she would give the closing prayer and she DID. I felt the spirit so strong as she prayed and i am so happy to see that joy of God's plan really play an effect on someone who had never heard it before. 
Our other investigator went wonderful as well. Just until the end when he handed us an Anti-Mormon book that he told us he had been reading and he wanted to know if any of the stuff in there was right. We kinda stole the book so he wouldn't read it, and now we are using it to set up another date with him. hehe (sneaky elders).

Let me tell ya. I gave another blessing to the crazy guy that told me he wanted to kill me. It was a good one. At the end he stood up and looked at me in the eyes and gave me the most loving hand shake he could muster. (He's a manly man, and will never ever hug me. So the hand shake meant a lot.) He stood up and just said, "Perfect, just like He always is." 

I smile a lot. I laugh probably too much. I love where i am, and i know the Lord loves me. Life is good. I wish everyone could just realize the joy the comes through Him. 

Love y'all and thanks for reading this thingy
Elder Brian

Monday, October 3, 2016

Hello. It's me.

Its me. 
I was wondering if after all this week you'd like to read. Or go over everything. 
They say that Satan tries to get ya, but i'm just out here smiling. 

^ that was pretty good  hehehe

Holy cow. what a time to be alive, am I right? This past week i saw yet another miracle or two. AND then we had General Conference and I was spiritually pumped to the MAX.

At the beginning of the week, we got to meet with the referral we got from the people and she was so cool. This girl said that her father was a professor at a local university and he had had one of his students give him a Book of Mormon  awhile back. The book had sat at their home for a long time and she had taken a religion class and came home and saw it. She decided that she wanted to learn more about what the "Mormons' believed so she called and said she wanted a tour of our meeting house. We had some sisters from the relief society there and we walked around and got to teach the Restoration. Jennifer, the investigator, mostly agreed with all the things we were saying. We kinda slid in that there are multiple discussions that we have with people to fully inform them the basics of our beliefs. She agreed to meet to have all the discussions! I was so happy. I know that as we share the truths of the Gospel with her she will see them as they are. Undeniable honest truth. Ill keep everyone posted on how shes doing.
The next day we decided to go find some people that had already had contact with missionary's before. We came to this guys door and he answered and stepped out of his house to talk with us. He was very into politics and we asked if he knew much about Mormons and he said, "Well sure, i voted for Romney!" So we knew he knew nothing about Mormons. hehe We talked for a while and shared with him a book of Mormon and then all of a sudden we were like yeah could we tell you about it and where it came from. Next thing i knew we were in his living room teaching the Restoration. He only believes in the bible... for now, but he has great faith in Christ. I think he liked hearing what we had to say. It was cool because we made sure everything made since and it sorta felt like he was realizing that all of the stuff we were saying didn't seem wrong at all. We set an appointment to come back, and he said that if he felt like what we were saying was true by the power of God he would be baptized. CRAZY. hehehe it was amazing and i know that the spirit was guiding us in our search to find those seeking the gospel.

We also had a chance to go to the Hospital again to give yet another blessing. We were at the icu and a family came up and talked to us. They were very scary looking but had the cutest little girl and boy. As we got to know them they were actually less active members and the lady we were called to give a blessing to was this sweet sisters mother. We talked and the the man told us that he had been part of a gang and that he hopes to be in the military one day, but even with all of this he was the one that called us. He said, "I knew that you boys would be able to do so much more then i could." It was amazing.

Things are good, and then Conference happened and my mood went through the roof. I'll make this short and sweet. FOLLOW the word of the leaders of this church. They know what they are saying. The Lords words were just handed to us and now its our job to act and to receive true JOY! I promise that by living by the words of the Book of Mormon and the Prophets we will never be lead astray. NEVER.

My companion loves to talk in his sleep and i laughed all night last night because he sat straight up and mumbled something then i woke him up and he had no idea what was happening  or where he was. hahaha i laughed for probably an hour. hehe

GUYS, this Gospel is good,
LOVE Elder Brian
We watched General Conference at the church
Leaves are starting to change!
Filling up our packs for the day.
Ping pong table at the office elders apartment - Good times!

Gotta love

Alright to be frank, this week has been really cool. No super amazing out of this world experiences, but I've come to realize God hears our prayers.

So here in Frontenac, we are blessed with only talking to very wealthy white folks, who are very comfortable where they are. It has been a real challenge to have any investigators because no one knows that they want to hear the good news of the Gospel. I've been praying hard to receive some help from above. 

We had Cage, but he's been hiding from us ever since we told him he was gonna get baptized and I think he got a little frightened. no worries tho, we will pick him back up again in the coming future. haha and then we have this man named Bill. I dont think his real name is Bill, but that is what he told us. haha We got to teach Bill this week and it was my first experience with this type of investigator. He is an older gentleman who is very Hindu. I thought that was pretty cool but I could tell my companion was not too thrilled. Something I learned is that his religion lets him believe in all religions. He believes in ALL the beliefs of God. hehe no matter what we said he said, ah that is nice.*(Indian Accent)*  I had no idea what to say. We left him with a copy of the Book of Mormon, and asked if we could return later in the week and he told us it wasn't necessary. hahah So i was a little down with how things were going. We lost our investigators and we were back to tracting a TON. haha but we kept praying and hoping and loving the people. Heavenly Father loves that diligence. 

We got a 2 calls within an hour. Both from people who rarely ever call missionaries. They called and first told us about this lady named Jennifer who is looking for some missionaries to tell her more about the Church. Pretty much GOLD as a missionary. We meet with her on Wednesday. We were just calming down when we got another call and they asked us if we could go teach in a Catholic school about what Mormons believe. Which never ever happens. THEN on Sunday this less active man who could be a  Seventy if he just went to church came to church and sat in the back during sacrament. The man has not been to church in 6 months. Blessings were raining down. 

Looking back it is such an answer to my prayers. He was listening and is always listening and we just have to listen and watch for the answers. I Love being here. I love the people, I love them even though they arn't very nice to me sometimes. haha I can feel the love of the Lord. I hope  you can as well. 

Love Elder Brian