Monday, July 31, 2017

Baptisms went great!

The week here was good. The baptisms went great! Jeff and Audrey were both extremely excited to be able to take that step and be baptized. I was blessed to have the opportunity to baptize Audrey, and confirm Jeff on Sunday. It is amazing to think of how far they came in just a couple of short months. Their example is a great one to me of how the Lord is preparing people to hear the Gospel and how He will guide them to the truth. For Jeff, it all started with a simple prayer and it led to him and his wife both being baptized. The Baptismal service was great! President and Sister Tateoka were both there and our Ward Mission Leader asked  

President if he would like to bear his testimony at the conclusion of the service. That was really cool. It was a really powerful testimony. The Spirit definitely testified to me, as I know it did to everyone in that room, that this is Christ's restored church once again on the earth.

After the baptism on Sunday, we took some pictures with Jeff. He has had this idea in his mind of taking these pictures next to his motorcycle with us in cowboy hats. It was pretty funny! But they turned out awesome. So that was fun! The confirmations on Sunday were very cool as well. Both Jeff and Audrey were feeling the Spirit a ton. They were extremely happy and at total peace with everything, which was really cool to see. 

The rest of the week was good. We met up with a girl named Chantelle that we originally met a couple of weeks ago. It was cool because the Lord's hand was really in the opportunity that we had to talk to her. We originally planned to go over about 3 oclock, but because of some things that happened throughout the day, we decided to go over around 2. It was a blessing because when we got there she told us that she had somewhere to be around 3, so we were able to talk with her for a little bit. She invited us to come back the next couple of days as well, so that was awesome! Overall, it was a good week. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Roller Coaster Week

The week here was another roller coaster. We had some really good moments and some challenging ones as well. We talked to some really hard-hearted people this week, which was a bummer. On Wednesday, we had Zone Conference. That was good, as usual. I really felt renewed by the Spirit there. The biggest takeaway that came to me through the Spirit was that we need to have patience through our afflictions. We talked a lot about finding and about developing the faith to find, so it was good. I think that a lot of missionaries are going to begin to find more people because of the theme of the conference!

Jeff and Audrey are getting closer to their baptism, so we are really excited about that! It was Jeff's birthday on Saturday, so we were able to go over and talk with them. A couple in our ward who was baptized just over a year ago, and who have been great fellowshippers for Jeff and Audrey, got sealed in the temple that day! It has been cool to see them and how far they have progressed in the gospel and it gives us a look at what Jeff and Audrey will be going through in a year! 

We also talked to a man who we met last week. When we talked to him last week he didn't necessarily seem too interested, but when we dropped by his home this week he let us in and we talked for a bit. We are hoping that he will act on the invitation that we left him with so that he can begin to gain a testimony for himself! 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Witnessing the Spirit Working

The week here was good. It went by really quickly. I honestly can't remember a lot that happened! We went on exchanges with the Spanish Elders in Woodburn, so I was up there for the day. That was fun. Jeff and Audrey are doing great and are all set for their baptism on the 29th! We are really excited for that. Just like Nicole in Stayton, they have been being prepared for a while by Heavenly Father. We were just blessed to be able to be the ones that could help them find the Gospel. The day that we met Jeff, my first day in the area about 2 months ago, he was outside working on his motorcycle. He told us this week of the experience that he had in buying the motorcycle. Basically the previous owner had recently passed. Jeff didn't plan on buying another bike, but as he was on the phone with the representative, he had the overwhelming thought and feeling that the previous owner wanted him to have the bike. So he bought it. Three days later he was outside working on it when we met him! We have no doubt that it was the Spirit impressing on his mind to buy the motorcycle so that he would have that opportunity to meet us! That was really cool to hear! 

We talked to a lot people this week. We are working on trying to contact 10 additional people outside of the plans we make each day. It is helping us a lot. We had a cool experience with a man named Doug. He lives in a van on the property of a friend. We knocked on the van and thought we heard something, but nothing happened. Then we knocked again. It didn't look too promising so we started walking to the gate, but the Spirit gave me the thought to look on the other side. It was a little weird, but decided to do it and we were able to find him. Just another small thing, but definitely another witness of the Spirit working! 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Miracles and Tender Mercies

The week here was pretty good. Overall I think a lot of progression was made. Fourth of July was good. We had a ward breakfast combined with the other ward that meets in the building, so that was fun. We had to be in by 6 that night so we didn't see too many fireworks. We saw some outside of our window that some people near our complex were lighting off so that was fun. Wednesday was really good. We had MLC up in Newberg and that went really well. We talked about a lot of different things that we want to implement as a mission. President and Sister Tateoka have been out for just over a year and it is awesome to see how much the mission has changed since their arrival. And how much it continues to change. There is a really clear focus and purpose and everything they do continues to build on itself. The mission as a whole is definitely being set up to see a lot of miracles. 

One of the things that President is encouraging us to do is to make contact with 10 extra people who are not on our plans each day. Making real contact and talking about the gospel with them. It was cool because right after MLC we exchanged with the Silverton elders and Elder Hunziker came to be with me in our ward. One of the things that we focused on that next day was trying to make these 10 additional contacts. It was really cool to see all of the miracles that happened as we went out of our way to try and make that happen. We found a few people that we are going to return and see. And the day was full of a lot more energy too, which was cool. 

We were able to have interviews with President Saturday, which was awesome. He shared a scripture with me and it was really good. It really set the tone for the rest of my day and my weekend. I think the advice he gave me will really help moving forward. We saw a lot of cool tender mercies today as well. We had an awesome lesson with Jeff and Audrey. They are doing so well! They are totally in line to be baptized at the end of the month, which we are extremely excited about. They are going to be a huge addition to the ward. A year from now when they are going through the temple will be so cool. After our lesson with them, we had someone in the area that we wanted to go contact. We felt prompted to walk instead of drive. On our way to their house, we saw a lady behind her trash can watering some flowers. We went up and started talking to her. She wasn't interested at all at first. Her husband peeked his head around the corner and then came up to talk to us. He was much more willing to talk. We had a great conversation with him. Eventually she came back out and was much more willing to listen. They are both part of a very unique religion, so their beliefs weren't totally in line with ours. But it was cool because the Spirit led the conversation to talk about the after-life. Elder Patterson felt prompted to share a scripture in Alma 40:11-12 about what happens after this life. As she read it, she started to cry! It was really cool to see the Spirit testify to her in the moment! That was an awesome experience and it really shows the Hand of the Lord in the work. He prompted us to walk. We were able to see her at the perfect time as she was outside. The husband came out at the perfect time when the wife was sort of done in the first place. The Spirit prompted Elder Patterson to share that scripture. It is just so cool to see all of the intricacies that the Lord helps to direct in His work. 

Monday, July 3, 2017

Another Great Trip to the Temple

Things here this week were good! The week was kind of a blur though. I don't really know where it went. We had a few cool experiences this week. On Friday, we were able to go up to the Visitor's Center at the temple again. This time it was with Kyle and Aerial. We have been teaching them and they are doing good. They really enjoyed the temple trip and felt the Spirit there. The temple is an awesome place to be able to put life into perspective and help us regain an idea of what really matters most. It helped me a lot on Friday for sure! One of the coolest takeaways that I had from that trip though was the Christlike service of Brother Garrett, who drove us. He is great. He took the time to go out of his way to drive us the 45 minutes up there, spend and hour there and then drive us back. We hit a ton of traffic on the way back and it took about an hour and a half, but he never complained or murmured. It is cool to see people who are dedicated to the gospel and are willing to help others receive the gospel into their lives.

There is a Christus statue at the Portland Visitors Center and one of my favorite parts is when He says, "Walk in the meekness of my Spirit." When we do that, we allow His peace to enter our lives. His power comes as we are obedient and acknowledging it. It is definitely always important to do your best to act like Him and try and follow in His ways. One way is by being joyful. Sometimes I get so caught up in myself that I forget to just take a moment to pause and think about how we are here to have joy and if we are doing our best then that is all that matters. It is really amazing to me to see the different challenges that you face in different areas. Some are with missionary stuff, some are with ward stuff, and some are just within yourself. The adversary really will try and attack us in whatever way he can to try and get us down, so we need to remember to be happy and choose Christ. I came across a cool scripture this week about that. It is in Doctrine and Covenants 93:37 and is very simple. It says, "Light and truth forsake that evil one." I really like that! Christ is the light of the world, He is truth. When we are down, we need to look to Him and remember to put light into our lives because it will forsake that evil one. 
We also had a cool experience this week with Jeff and Audrey. Their family was in town, so we dropped by to meet them and talk with them, so that was fun. As we were heading out, Jeff basically started bearing his testimony to his son about everything that he has felt since he started looking into the gospel. It was really powerful and an awesome thing to see! Oh,  and Audrey made us Jalapeno jam. It isn't hot, just sweet, but definitely has the jalapeno flavor. It's good!