Oh my goodness, I'm so excited that it is Monday because I get to email you and hear how you are doing! I'm officially done with the first week of my second transfer and that is HUGE for me! I'm getting into the swing of things more each week, and each week I find more and more miracles. One miracle that I've seen is we've been able to talk to a lot more people thanks to Pokemon.
Most of y'all are probably very aware of Pokemon-GO, but allow me to explain it to those of you who are not in an area where everyone has an iPhone. It's pretty much a new app for smart phones that takes your location, translates it into Google Maps, and then you go try to catch Pokemon in the real outside world. Because of it, we get a lot of people outside despite the scorching Arizona heat, which in missionary terms means more people to talk to! We met one guy who accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon because of it.
I remember Dad once told me that he had a companion that always sang the Beatles or something whenever a specific happening occurred. I've discovered my own little thing that I do too. It's called Sister Sprouse says, "What's this?" and I pipe in singing from the Nightmare Before Christmas. The reason I bring this up is because Sister Sprouse turned that into a really motivational thought. She said, "What if our investigators got as excited about the Book of Mormon as Jack did about Christmastown?" And really, that's exactly how excited they should be! Plus one and then some! I'm trying to figure out how we can convey that to people, but it does give me extra motivation to get out there and show people just how wonderful the gospel of Jesus Christ is.
Other fun happenings of this week: Sister Gasu is now companions with Sister Patrick, and I like Sister Patrick a lot. Also, Zone Sports. We got a few new Elders in our Zone, including a brand new, fresh off the plane Elder. Zone sports is 100% the fastest way to get to know just how weird everyone is. We played Frasketball (it's pretty much ultimate Frisbee with a football on a basketball court) last Saturday, and I need to give a special shout out to my Pops for always playing catch with me, because now I can catch the football in Frasketball!
But besides all that fun stuff, this week has been awesome because we have been so busy! Heavenly Father is blessing us because we have lots of new people who want to hear about this message that we bring, and I'm really excited! We had a lot of lessons this week. We've been continuing to teach Tracy and her granddaughters. Last week when we were there, we were just talking and Tracy suddenly asks "Do you know why there are so many religions?" This is exciting because that is one of the big questions we want to answer! I looked at her with a huge smile on my face and just nodded, and Sister Sprouse and I were able to finish teaching about the Restoration. Tracy makes me happy because she'll give us a statement of what she believes, and then she'll look to us and say, "Is that right? Is that what you believe? Correct me if I'm wrong." I think it's so awesome that even if she doesn't consciously recognize what she's getting at when she says that, she knows that there is something undeniably priceless about what we bring. She then went on and started right in on the Plan of Salvation. The Spirit really works on people and I love seeing her heart softening.
During my training this week, we were watching a scene from the District. I noticed that the Elders in that segment were trying really hard to beat around the bush to try to not sound offensive, and their lack of boldness is exactly what opened the door for the person they were teaching to find offense. I learned that if you are loving about what you say, people are much less likely to be offended, which is interesting because the world insists otherwise. Sister Sprouse and I went back to teach Jorgen, and we decided that we had to be bold with him. He hasn't been reading the Book of Mormon, and as long as he is not doing that, our meetings are simply to appease his curiosity, which is not what we are sent here to do. We are here to invite others to come unto Christ. As we decided to leave our fear behind, the Spirit that was there was so strong that you could feel it. I'm not sure whether Jorgen will admit it to himself or not, but the Spirit was there testifying to him that there was more to our message than just casual learning about "these Mormons". We invited him again to read the Book of Mormon, and I pray that he will let the Spirit teach him of it's truthfulness.
Our new investigator is a man named David that we found tracting. He was really fun to talk to because he asked questions and was open to actually hearing us answer. He has been looking for a church to go to around here, but hadn't quite found their niche yet. We taught him about the Restoration, and he accepted a Book of Mormon. We set up a return appointment, and asked him to start reading the Book of Mormon and assured him that he did not need to read the entire thing before we came--just get started. He then told us that he will have read the entire book by the time we come back, and when we asked him if he would pray to know that it is true, he responded that he would like it was the most obvious thing in the world! I'm so excited because his heart is open, and because of that, he will be able to feel the Holy Ghost testifying that it is true.
I love seeing those moments when Sister Sprouse and I really go full out so that we can be effective missionaries. Sometimes we get scared, but it's like one of the Assistants to the President said at a New Missionary Meeting this week, "God has more faith in you than you do in yourself". I know that isn't only true of missionaries. It's so cool because even when we have hard times, God knows that we can do it. Someone in sacrament meeting said, "Christ retained His scars because pain in this life does not mean that God does not love you." It's true, we are here to be tested and if we read the Book of Mormon and rely on our Father in Heaven, He is going to help us because He knows what we are capable of when we go to Him.
I love you!!
Desert Ridge Zone
I got bored while Sister Sprouse had to use the bathroom . . . so I built a barricade.
These crazy people I live with catch scorpions and tape them to index cards to mail home