Hey guys! Another week has come and gone. It is pretty crazy to think that it is August already and half way through the second transfer. Time is moving fast. No surprise, this week has been great! But before I tell you about it I need to rewind, back to last Monday. I forgot to mention zone soccer again! haha! It was pretty great. My highlight was a lefty goal from like thirty feet out. I felt pretty good about myself. Not quite sure how I forgot about that in my letter last week. Oh well..
So Monday night we decided to contact a media referral. Media referrals are referrals from mormon.org where people go online and request a missionary visit or a book of mormon. So this guy requested a missionary visit and we decided to go meet him. Here in Maryland we encounter some crazy pet people, but this guy was really over the top. He lived in this tiny apartment house. As he invited us inside we quickly hit a wall of such penetrating stench as I have never before seen, or in this case, smelled. I was quick to remember to remember the lord's promise in the doctrine and covenants that those who try to poison me shall fail, for I was quite sure the odor was poisonous and I was quickly losing brain cells. As I tried to get my wits about me I began to count cats... one, two, three.... six cats. Then I noticed the dogs... this is a tiny apartment! No ventilation.... not surprisingly this guy ended up being a little crazy. Normally, we love talkative people but this guy really couldn’t seem to get his story straight. It was like talking to a four year old, no offense to the cousins... anyway... so he tells us his initial story and then we leave, promising to return again on Wednesday. Aaron claimed he was interested in the church and wanted to learn more and change his life a bit. He mentioned the word of wisdom and claimed to have no issues with following that commandment. His pet collection has grown considerably and as we left he swore us to secrecy because he isn’t allowed to have that many pets... for good obvious reasons, I might add. As much as I wanted to tell him that the best way to improve his life was to get rid of all of his pets and move to a new house far away, that was not the message I prepared for our return visit. I still wonder if I should have... haha as we thought about where to go with this guy we noticed something odd on the ward records... his name! Now we were a little intrigued. Who could possibly get baptized and not remember? There must be a story behind this one. So Wednesday arrived and although the smell would be nearly impossible to bear, we pressed on in order to get to the bottom of the matter. We wasted no time at all. Within the first few minutes we informed him that he is a member of the church. He looked like a kid caught with his hand in a cookie jar. And we got the real story. Well, we got the general idea. He has been living in such an unhealthy situation for so long I think it has damaged his communication abilities beyond repair. Very long story made short - he thought he was excommunicated for something his dad did. In reality, his dad was offended and left. He was not involved in the situation at all. Fortunately/unfortunately, he is out of town for the next two weeks. We will see what ends up happening with him.
Thursday we had a zone conference. Pretty big deal. Meeting from eight to twelve. Lunch break. Meetings from one to five. Eight hours. It was good though, president and his wife were there and we had some recent converts come and bear their testimonies. It was great. Well, we received some great training about using online videos in the messages we share to help members think about ways they can do missionary work. These online videos are pretty great. They are on the hastening the work section, you guys should check them out. We decided we should probably apply the inspired training and decided to use it in our visit that night. We familiarized ourselves with the website and selected the video we would share. When we got there and started talking we discovered that they had seen all of the videos. Very recently. Like the day before was when they had watched them. So we didn’t show the video. But we still had a great discussion.
Friday we visited another guy. it was recently his birthday and so we brought him a frosty. He proceeded to ask Elder Hansen his usual questions. Elder Hansen was again uncomfortable. But we challenged him to come to church. He told us that he was going to buy a white shirt and a clip on tie before he came this weekend. Clip on tie? Yes, and Elder Hansen has zip ties.. haha He said that he would come but we wouldn’t see him. We assured him that we would if he came over and said hello. So Sunday rolled around and we didn’t see him. We thought that he just didn’t keep the commitment. As we walked to our car we saw a note in the windshield wiper. He was there. And now he thinks he is so cool... ugh…I completely forgot about him trying to avoid us…Mostly because I didn’t take him seriously. But we will get him next time.
Fast Sunday was great this week. During sacrament I found out that I needed to prepare a back up lesson plan for Elders quorum in case the guy who was supposed to teach didn’t show. I did so and so I did not take the opportunity to bear my testimony. I hope some of you guys did. It is a great opportunity to share what we know to be true. Fortunately the guy who was supposed to teach did arrive. He taught a great lesson on fasting related to testimony. We were in elders quorum with a Brother. He is not a member but his wife is. Cool guy. The teacher asked if we would all go around and bear our testimonies. We did so. When it was this Brother's turn he too bore his testimony and in his words "this church is in the correct way" said with some hesitancy. I think that’s a word, hesitancy? Anyway, it was neat and when he finished, an older member of the quorum called him out saying "that was pretty good, when are you getting baptized?" haha I took the opportunity to bear my testimony as well and I would like to share it with you guys as well.
I am here in Frederick, Maryland for a very specific reason. I stand as a witness of Jesus Christ. I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I know that He died for me and paid the price for all of my sins, allowing me to learn and progress. I know that He did this for each and every one of us. He is the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind. Almost two thousand years ago Jesus Christ died on the cross. I can testify that He was resurrected. He lives! I know it.
He established His church on the earth when He was here and after it was rejected and altered by men He has established His church once again. That church is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. I know that the current President of the church, President Thomas S. Monson, is a prophet of God leading and guiding us today under direction of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ lives to lead and guide us that we may grow greater than we currently are. God and Jesus Christ know our divine potential and work tirelessly to help us achieve it. I know that with their help all things are possible.
Some people will question how anyone could ever come to know these things. Only through the Spirit can we know the truth of spiritual things. I can say, without doubt, that I have felt the Holy Ghost impress upon me that these things are true. Personal revelation is real and is available to every one of us. Ask and ye shall receive. Seek and ye shall find. Knock and it shall be opened unto you.
I am a representative of Jesus Christ and I know these things to be true. I say these things in His name, Amen.
I hope you guys are have a great week. I will talk to you guys next week.
I love you guys,