Monday, March 21, 2016

March 21, 2016

Hello everyone! another week has come and gone, and I have survived my first transfer out here in the Lord's vineyard! And I will stay at least another 6 weeks in the south meadows/foothill wards. Elder Day however, got call​ed to be a district leader down in Carson City. My new companion is Elder Corey, and I don't know much about him other than he's super cool and a super awesome missionary and only has 3 transfers left. I'm pretty excited... (:

So anyway, we got a super cool less active hippie dude named Steve to give us a ride to a "why I believe" fireside, which is a fireside where recent converts come and share their testimonies, and believe me, it's super spiritual, some of the experiences these guys had are amazing. There was one guy who accidentally got off on the wrong bus stop and there he met the missionaries, another guy who made a list of different religions and prayed about each one and got a spiritual witness when he got to "mormon." So yeah, I loved it. We also got Anna to come and bring her friend as well! which was SUPER awesome. 

Every day I feel more and more the spirit guiding me and my own testimony of the gospel grows so much! I love being out here on a mission serving the Lord. And I'm also super tired every night!! I love it!!!

One thing I've grown to love while I'm out here is district meetings and zone training's. This last zone training was super awesome, I can't remember off the top of my head what exactly was said, but I do know that it was one of the strongest times I felt the spirit in my entire life. I knew that this work is right. There was no way that I can deny it. It was such a contrast when we went proselyting how many people just wouldn't talk to us, like, it's was super hard to get people to talk to us. It was like God came into the room and said, "I know it's hard, I know people's agency is frustrating, but I'm on your side."

That's it for this week, I hope y'all are staying righteous! (don't be like the Nephites... Spiritual thought! BOOM!)

March 14, 2016

Hello everybody!! It's a new week! First miracle that happened, we went on exchanges Thursday and without Elder Day around I actually was able to talk to everyone on the street about something that then turned into a gospel oriented discussion! So I was pretty happy that I finally got that down. Every week I'm reminded that I probably am in the best area for member meals. You know that when you have pot roast twice and honey glazed ham and cheesy potatoes all in the same week that you're probably spoiled...Guys, I'm actually worried that I might actually perhaps maybe get a little husky... but unfortunately we can't have pets, so it looks like I'll just get fat. To make matters worse, Elder Day flat out refuses to go run with me in the mornings! I never thought that I'd be concerned with the members feeding me so many too dang tasty meals... but hey, I guess that's a good problem to have.

Because of something to do with the mtc, this transfer is an extra week long, so they're next week, not tomorrow. It's weird to think that I've been out a whole transfer already, it feels like just last week I was in the mtc.

A really huge miracle was 5 nonmembers coming to church. Anna brought a friend, one of the priests brought a friend, some other family brought someone, and this one lady we're teaching named Diana came to church (that's the miracle). Diana is this funny old lady who was married to a member for something like 56 years before he died last year. Before he died she wasn't too interested in meeting with the missionaries, but she told elder Day that she wasn't taking his death as well as she had thought. the missionaries have been teaching her for about 7 months and she would always have plans on Sundays that would prevent her from coming to church. So this is the first time that she came to church in all that time!!! (the relief society president says she came to church when her husband died, but she doesn't remember that so I won't count it) Elder Day and I were praying so hard that she would want to come to church because we knew that the only way she would start to progress was if she finally got to church. Then we went to her lesson and she said right after the opening prayer that she wanted to come to church... The church is true guys!

So yeah, you could say it was a pretty good week. ;)

Okay! Spiritual thought time!
The experience with Diana had me thinking about how God answers our prayers. the easy example to give is Joseph Smith, but we aren't always going to receive an answer quite like that every time. I've found that God answers our prayers through other people. The experience with Diana is an example. I know that God is mindful of every little prayer that we say, He want's to bless us and loves us more than any of us could possibly comprehend. I love all of you so much!
Stay faithful Y'all!

March 7 (but didn't send until March 14!)

Sorry for missing last week, I wrote this email but somehow I forgot to send it...

Hello Everyone! How is it in the real world? Things have been just marvelous here in Reno. We just got our first spring rain this week. The mountains block some of the clouds from getting into the valley and it looks awesome, I took a picture, hopefully it turns out. I was blown away by how awesome it looked. I was also almost blown away by the wind, it's super strong here. Well everything else during the week was really awesome! On Thursday Elder Day decided that I should lead the planning session... I didn't really know how to do it. You have to consider who's home at each time, when are the good times to street contact and tract, how many miles we'll use (we have about 28 miles a day in our car) what time and day works best for each person we want to go see blah blah blah... it hurt my brain trying to figure it all out... but I did feel that we should go down to this one area where we had met this super interested lady the other day. it wasn't much, sorta just a "hey, this is a place, let's go there" kinda thought. So on Friday we went according to the plan, talked to a few people we haven't seen in a while. And then eventually we reached the part of the day where we planned to go to that one place, it's called Curti Ranch, when we went there I had a thought that we should go down this one road, it was a "hey there's a road, let's go down there" kinda thought. It turned out to be our investigator Anna's road. we were able to talk to her and her friend, they were there getting ready for prom and for whatever reason her parents weren't there. That was a good thing because her parents were being a little slow to get on board with the whole "their daughter wants to get baptized" thing, so we were able to avoid any akward conversations. But don't worry we kept all the rules. but I think that if we hadn't gone down there and talked with her she probably wouldn't have come to church yesterday! so of course those thoughts I had were impressions from the Spirit! Being a missionary is so awesome!! 

Hey so I noticed that my 3rd expectation wasn't there so here they are again.
1. Always be focused on the work
2. To come home exhausted every night
3. Never let anyone just pass by.
4. Gain a stronger testimony of the Savior and the restoration

Who wouldn't expect this?

5. Learn to Look beyond myself more.

There you go. Now I still want what Y'all are expecting of me pleeeeeaaseee.....

Today I was reading in Alma 32, otherwise known as the Faith chapter. The thought came to me that if faith is like planting and nuturing a seed and it takes a while to be able to eat the fruit of the tree that takes a long time to grow, we need to be patient and diligent to make sure that the tree is as strong and healthy as it can be, and don't let Satan anywhere near it, because he always has an ax on him... just don't let him in...

I love you all!
Elder Stotts with his companion Elder Day