Hello Family!! There is so much to talk about and yet I can't think of what to say!
This week went by super fast, again! It seems like things are speeding up instead of slowing down. I DON'T LIKE IT! I don't feel like I'm doing as much good as I can or that I'm anywhere close to the missionary I want to be. But I'm working on it! We found 8 new potential investigators this week! We tracted for easily 2 hours every day this week. It gets old after a little while so you have to come up with things to help you keep up good spirits. Something that I love to do is come up with a random word that you have to use in your conversation at the door. For example, if your word is "dandilion" you would have to say something like, "I love that there isn't a single dandilion in Arizona!" or something weird like that. You get some interesting words you have to use! But of course we keep it appropriate and spiritual still. I also learned from a less-active member that if you just stand at the door and say something like "Hello, we are missionaries for our church. Are you religious?" That doesn't work. But when you are like, "Hey! I'm Elder Harris. What's your name?" And go into it with enthusiasm and confidence then more people are willing to listen to what you have to say!
Gavin: I BENCHED 185 THIS WEEK!!!! Remember how in my last area I told you that I was going to out lift you? I don't know if I have or not but I remember you telling me that that was your max at that time. Well I hit 185 and am getting stronger every day! You won't be able to beat me up when I get home cause I will still be bigger than you. Yes, that is a challenge. ;)
At dinner on Wednesday, we talked about the Temple. Brother and Sister Zufelt work at the Mesa Temple Friday and Saturday. I learned a lot from talking with them.
1) When we go through the Temple for others, we do NOT renew our Temple convenants as well. We only make them for the other people.
2) Our new names will allow us to use our Seer Stones in the next life.
3) The Catholic church every 25 years breaks down a wall and they all step through it to the other side. It represents the veil like we have in our Temple. However, they don't know what the meaning is behind it. They only do it cause it's tradition.
I also read a talk earlier today by Marion D. Hanks. It is talking about prayer! He says this, "Twice in recent years accounts have appeared in news papers of communities suffering from insufficient water supplies and pressure, who have undertaken costly studies and planned extensive improvements only to discover by chance that the main valve of the water system in the towns was only partially open. They had been surviving on a thin steam and weak force when they could at any time enjoyed vastly enhanced power simply by turning on a valve. Prayer is like that." How often do we go through our days without praying and bring that "living water" into our lives. Those days, we are only surviving with minimal influence from the Spirit, when all it takes to access it more is "open the valve" and get on our knees!
We tracted into this guy. His name is Bernie. He invited us in as soon as he opened up his door! We walked in and I saw a few bulldog statues around. So I mentioned them and he said, "Oh, you haven't seen anything yet." He then proceeded to give us a tour of his house. I tried counting all of the statues and pictures and figurines but got lost at 135 ish. There were easily over 300 of these things all around his house! Anyways, we sat down and got talking. It turns out that Bernie is an Engineer and is atheist. He had a lot of really tough questions that we answered pretty well. Then he directed them at Elder Alder. His last question was "You know that telling someone that a boy saw God and Christ and that he translated gold plates with two stones is pretty hard to believe. So why should I believe it?" Elder Alder replied, "I know it's hard to believe. But I know that it is true and it has brought me joy in this life and I know that I will be happy in the next life cause I know I will live with my God forever." and that was that. No more questions or debates. Bernie changed the subject pretty quickly and started talking about how he writes music. His newest song is called, "You Burned Out the Toaster in the Kitchen of My Heart". We left before he had a chance to show us it. But We will be going back with a member and maybe he will play it for us then! I definitely run into some strange people out here.
We received 9 referrals this week! That is more than we have received all of our previous weeks combined! That could explain why we have 8 new pretty solid potentials too. :p But it was great because all of them came from a less-active member who is starting to come back to church. He has a hard time coming because he has no feeling in his feet so he can't walk very well and he has a bladder problem so when he has to go then he can't hold it in and it just comes out. But he has come the past 2 weeks and wants to keep coming back! I am super excited to see him making his way back into the fold. The ward is supporting him a lot too. People are fellowshipping him and acknowledging him more than ever!
We did 6 hours of service this last Saturday. We helped one guy move out of his home. He had a LOT of stuff but only him and us 4 missionaries were there to help out. I guess everyone else forgot! After we finished there, we went over to a less-active member’s home and helped them build part of their brick wall. Well first we got there and there were 3 pallets of these blocks that needed to be moved to the back. So we moved all 3 of them in under an hour. We counted and decided that they were about 30 lbs each. That means there was (4x7x8=224x30=6720) 6720 lbs of blocks that we moved! That is about 3.5 TONS of brick moved. It was a lot of work. But that is why I can now bench 185. ;) I also dug a trench that was 3 feet deep and 8 feet long and 2 feet wide for a drainage pipe that they were putting in. It was very satisfying to see all the work that we accomplished that day!
Well things are getting a little better with Elder Alder. We are both trying to do better at listening and admitting when we're wrong, (I have a really hard time with this as you all know...). But we are working on it and things are getting better! I don't know what is going to happen with transfers this upcoming week. OH by the way, transfer calls are this Sunday so that means that I won't be emailing till Tuesday. I just thought I'd give you a heads up on that!
I had a feeling that Brother Whitehead would be in the Stake Presidency. He is very loved by everyone and a great example to me! I don't know if I know the other 2 guys though, do I? I guess I'll find out in 15.5 months!
I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!! Thank you for the emails and for your prayers. I love you :)
~Elder Kyle Harris