Monday, February 4, 2013

Joshua's email - 2/4

Hello everyone! This week has been full of all kinds of crazy experiences!

Elder J and I recently received a text message from one of the senior missionaries in the mission office, Elder Shumway, that said something along the lines of, "Elders, your right tail light is out and you need to replace it!  Go to an auto parts store, buy a new bulb, and change it out! I've seen sisters do it, so get it done!"  Elder S is HILARIOUS.  We felt like we should probably do that, so we worked on that and then cleaned the apartment for the day.  After dinner, we were walking down our street to visit V.  We knocked, and he wasn't there, so we decided to go to the other side of the block to visit a potential investigator, T.  We decided it would be better to cut through the warm apartments (since it has been FREEZING COLD lately) to get to the other side.  We opened the door and took the first couple steps to get through the apartment until a bald man in his 50s said, "Stop! I need to talk to you guys!"  We stopped and talked to him for 20 minutes about the gospel and about some of the trials he's having in his life.  He began crying and we asked if we could pray for him.  We prayed for him to have strength and comfort, and he just kept weeping.  After, he told us he had seen us in the street once before, but couldn't muster up the courage to stop us.  He's having a really difficult time in his life and he says he knows he needs the gospel to help change that.  He gave us his number and told us to call him in a couple days.

Tuesday, Elder J had his first District Meeting and he TORE IT UP!  We talked about the role of the Book of Mormon in conversion, and how the Book of Mormon, along with the Holy Ghost, are our two most powerful tools as missionaries.  Later that night, we had dinner at a member family's home.  They have seven kids.  I think I wrote about them before, but I'll re-cap a little bit.  The mom, Sister S., went on her mission to Guatemala, and at one point during her mission, she had a really interesting experience.  She told us a story about how the General Authorities all visited a particular body of water and unanimously agreed that it was the Waters of Mormon.  Sister S. showed us a book that was written all about the Waters of Mormon and it had lots of pictures.  They also had a replica set of the weights that are talked about in Alma. That was pretty crazy!

Wednesday night, we exchanged with the Zone Leaders.  Elder J went with Elder H in Madison, and I stayed in Sun Prairie with Elder L.  Elder L. is a beast!  I actually met him the first day in the field, so I knew of him, but didn't know a whole lot other than who he was.  He's a way focused, energetic kid from Utah who has a lot of the same interests as me.  We talked a lot about weightlifting, sports, and music.

The next day, we were completely out of miles for the month (we had to make an unexpected visit to Beaver Dam for a baptismal interview), so Elder L and I had to walk to all of our appointments and potentials.  We were outside in the single-digit temperatures the entire day, so that was really tough, but we made it work.  We got a TON of work done, and set up lots of solid return appointments.  We also visited T, who has kind of been on our backburner for a while, and had a really good lesson with her.  We FINALLY figured out what we need to do to help her progress! So that was an insane experience too. She's been taught almost all the lessons, but there's been one thing holding her back, and we finally know how to handle that.  Later, as we were visiting potentials, we found a FAMILY to teach!  As we were leaving the apartment complex, we found a short girl in her 20s who was walking into one of the apartments.  We stopped her and asked if we could talk to her, and she accepted.  I shared some of our message with her, and Elder L. bore testimony powerfully afterwards.  The Spirit was crazy strong!  We told her we would like to come and teach her more, and she accepted.  We asked if we could have a prayer with her, and she asked us to pray for her aunt with breast cancer. I prayed for her, and after the prayer, we looked at her and she had tears streaming down her face.  She said thank you, and told us she was looking forward to seeing us again.  Awesome!  After we left, Elder L. said, "Dang!! We should've set a baptismal date!" and we both laughed.  I think we'll be able to set that when we see her on Wednesday for sure!

Friday morning, we went with Elder S to haul furniture to and set up the new missionary apartment in Richland Center.  The sisters from Prairie Du Chien were there, Sister B and Sister R.  Sister R is from Great Falls, MT!!!! She went to Missoula and she said she knows M H.  We talked for a while, and she's way cool!  She's a convert and was baptized about 5 years ago by one of her friends.  Now she's about 3 weeks into her mission, and that's way cool too.  It's crazy to think that even though she came out 3.5 months after me, she'll be home before me! Haha!

We had a lesson with J on Saturday, and we invited him to be baptized.  He said he would, and he now has a date for March 9.  That was pretty cool!  Sunday was going to be really good because we were expecting T, K, T, and J at church.  T and K weren't able to make it, but J, T, D, D (her two kids), and one of T's son's friends, D came.  It was crazy!  We met D when we visited with T on exchanges, and we're hoping to be able to start teaching him soon.

Anyway, that's pretty much all that happened this week.  We've been pretty busy, and we've expanded our teaching pool quite a bit over the last few weeks.  We're excited to teach M, J, R's family, and hopefully get T and her kids solid too!  T's 11-year old son, D is still reading the Book of Mormon, so that's SWEET!

Anyway, sorry my letters are always so long. :p  I'll talk to you guys next week! Love you!

Elder Whicker

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