Tuesday, September 22, 2015

This is all he wrote...

Dear Mommy :) I will see you in less than 72 hours. Sincerely, Elder Young...

This came a little later. Titled: "Comin' home"

The last group email from his mission. Wow.

Hello Everyone!

This is my last mission email. I will be heading home on Wednesday! feel free to email me at jakeyoung94@hotmail.com

We had 4 investigators come to church on Sunday! It was a good way to end the mission :) Love you all, thank you for the love and support!

See you all on Facebook.

From the week of Sept. 14th - we are getting closer to Operation Squeeze Jake!

Hello Fellow Citizens,

Our faith and patience has been tested this week. With Elder Porter spraining his ankle last Monday, we have been stuck inside the majority of the week; being allowed to teach a couple of lessons here and there. We had been feeling that there were going to be big things happening at the end of this transfer for several weeks now and then all of the sudden we were completely halted in moving the work forward. Elder Porter and I prayed much concerning the matter and the message received from God on all accounts of prayer have been to quite literally "Be still, and know that I am God"-Psalms 46:10. So we wait :)

Maurice and Racine have been plateauing the past week. Maurice still reads daily, praying for the answer he is looking for. Racine smokes one cigarette in the morning and only reads when Maurice reads to her. They failed to come to church again on the account of trying to rid their home of a mouse all Saturday night. They are scheduled to be baptized on October 25th and will make it. Racine already knows it is true and I personally think Maurice does too, he just isn't satisfied with his answer yet.

Maria has once again decided to remain a Catholic regardless of her witness of the truthfulness of all we have shared. She just doesn't want change in her life. Her daughter Vikki is planning on being baptized but is moving very slowly in her investigation.

Sadly, our friend Terrance, dropped us and so did James. They both had tremendous spiritual experiences on their first lessons with us and seemed so prepared but when the adversary stepped in "their hearts failed them." I have hope that they will accept the message in the future though.

We are excited for this last week of the transfer. Now that Elder Porter's foot has healed sufficiently to walk on it, we will be going as hard as we can to prune the South Bend vineyard :)

Thank you for all your love and support. If you could add those we are teaching into your prayers, that would be much appreciated!
Elder Young

Letter from Sept 8th - He got his plane ticket to Hawaii for his birthday

Dear Friends,
Considering it to be the week of my birthday last week, it was a very eventful past seven days. Elder Porter and I have seen many miracles, setbacks, good times, bad times, and just plain craziness. We currently have five people on a baptismal date, none of them prepared to be baptized before I leave. Elder Porter has possibly broken his ankle as of yesterday playing volleyball. To finish it off, we have been praying for our goal of baptizing three people before I leave for the past three months... We are have been praying for clarity and confirmation about our goal and have been comforted multiple times concerning the goal. I have definitely felt and seen over the past several months the Lord show me that he doesn't work by statistics or formulas, but by miracles. That being said, I have been learning that He wants me to trust in Him regardless of how dire the circumstances may seem.

This week we had 5 people who were planning on coming to church and none of them showed up... which was a bummer but also might have been a blessing because the fire alarm went off twice during church on Sunday. No one knows the cause of the alarm going off but it went off once during sacrament as I was bearing my testimony over the pulpit, and then again during the third hour.

Maurice and Racine are still doing good, but in our last lesson Racine randomly announced that she wanted to get baptized on October 25thinstead of September 19th. She said that October 25th is her twins' birthday and wants to be baptized on that date. Maurice is still waiting for his answer to come and reads and prays daily. Racine got a job that requires her to work Sundays so that leaves Maurice without a car to get to church and he refuses to get rides... So we are working on that.

Maria and Vikki finally came on a church tour this week and they both loved it! Vikki is still excited to be baptized, but Maria now has decided that she is going to stay Catholic. She believes the church is true but feels more comfortable just staying where she is at... Stubborn Italians!

Some great miracles happened this week while finding though!
One day we were headed to a lesson in an apartment complex called "Irish Hills." The lesson ended up falling through, so we went around and contacted several potentials we had, but no one answered. So we decided to just start knocking. By this point we were really far into the complex and the fourth door we knocked, a man named Terrance answered the door. He invited us in and as we taught him the Restoration he expressed to us much of his religious views and they all lined up perfectly with the Restoration! He is about 50 years old. Used to have a really rough life living in the ghetto, but had since found a better way and had dedicated himself to God. He prays all the time and lives by faith. We had an amazing time discussing the gospel with him. 

As we recited the first vision to him, he said multiple times "That's what's up!" We committed him to baptism and even though he already belonged to a church he said "of coarse I will!" Then we taught him the Book of Mormon and he expressed that he always felt that Christ had visited other people around the world and would often get in arguments with other religious people over the matter. We committed him to read from the Book of Mormon and when I asked to read him a verse he took the book and said "I have a better idea, how about I open up to a random verse and see what it tells me." In a matter of a second, he opened the book up to 3 Nephi 11:25 which reads:
"Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."

... We all looked at each other and were in shock. He was elated by that point and was claiming that it was true. We committed him to be baptized on September 19th and he accepted. He then proceeded to tell us that he had been having some bad experiences at his church recently and felt that we were led to him. God is preparing people everyday to receive the gospel. We must be willing to always look for them, even when we don't feel like it.

Thank you for all your love and support!
Elder Young

Email the week of August 31st


Miracle week! I am in awe of the power of God. Through faith and diligence, He truly can answer our prayers. It has been an honor to see the Lord change this area in the coarse of two months. We are teaching over ten people and several of them are families! Elder Porter and I measure our success each day not by the number of lessons we teach or the number of new investigators, but by feeling the Spirit guiding us throughout the day and whether or not we felt we did the Lord's will that day. We realized that the Lord has us here to teach and baptize but also to comfort, inspire, and uplift others and sometimes that means spending some time helping a less active or something of that nature. It has been so cool to see the tender miracles that happen each day as we go out and work.

Maurice and Racine Conley are doing AWESOME! They are definitely going to be baptized on September 19th. They have so many member friends already it is ridiculous. Turns out that Maurice is a professional gamer and he made about 52,000 dollars last year in tournaments. The best part is is there are like 3 young couples in the ward who are hardcore games as well and so they totally hit it off and one of the couples already follows him on a gaming website! Small world.. They came to the stake fair we had on Saturday at the church and loved it! Then on Sunday, Racine and the two little ones came to all 3 hours of church (Maurice had to stay at home with their autistic boy who through a huge rage fit because he didn't want to wash off his spiderman face paint from the fair the night before and refused to go to church... :)!

Maria and Vikki are on the upward slope! Early last week Maria was still stuck on the opinion that Catholicism and Mormonism are the same thing so we were trying to decide what to teach her and I got the impression to show her a clip from the talk "Why 1820" by Hyrum Smith (this talk gives a very in depth timeline from Christ's ministry to Joseph Smith, it pretty much shows how corrupt religion had become after the Apostles died.). Well weren't sure if she would take it well so we went to the lesson and felt we needed to share it with her and so we did and she loved it! Turns out she has been a Catholic for 70 years and didn't even know what the Nicene creeds were... neither did her daughter... That is what their church is founded off of! haha so we taught them about the Great Apostasy and they totally want to study the Book of Mormon now and find out the truth for themselves. It was a great lesson.

One great opportunity Elder Porter and I have had this week is to give blessing's of healing. I am a witness that the Priesthood power works. Healing's still happen today. I have been able so see it happen many times on my mission and it is always a sacred experience when we get to participate in one.

Thank you for your love and support!
Elder Young

Monday, August 24, 2015

Ward Newsletter excerpt

This week I was asked to do a write up about Jake. It was emotional for me to write. Jake got flack from his MTC buddies that he didn't love his mother because he wasn't homesick. Well, I never cried or was homesick for Jake either but now that he has finished what he was sent to do and he's done a phenomenal job of learning, teaching, and growing, I am more than ready for him to come home! I wonder if that's how Heavenly Father feels. :)

Ward Newsletter:

We can’t believe it’s time to write about the wrapping up of Jake’s service in the mission field. We have been overly compensated by Heavenly Father for Jake’s service. We will miss missionary letters, stories, and the Hoosier friends we have made through Jake. He has had a glorious mission and we are so grateful for his example and sacrifice. He is finishing his mission in South Bend, Indiana. His area stops right at the campus of Notre’ Dame. He is training a ballroom dancing elder from Preston, Idaho. They have had a great time serving together. We are excited to see and squeeze him!

If Jake had a reoccurring theme for his mission it very well may this: "And it came to pass that after I had prayed and labored with all diligence, the Lord said unto me: I will grant unto thee according to thy desires, because of thy faith." Enos 1:12

A few excerpts from Jake’s letters that have brought a smile to our faces:
Our gospel principles class has been temporarily cancelled due to a large attendance of recent converts and returning less actives in the temple prep class. It is a joy to sit in there with them and make comments about the greatness of the temple.
The temple open house has been a great experience for everyone. We have been able to go down three times so far and take 5 nonmembers with us. It is a little frustrating dealing with all the anti-mormon stuff that is going on at the temple, but the work moves on! Apparently the anti-mormon crusade has been pretty heavy at this temple open house. 

There is an ex-bishop who is leading the campaign and has hired several people to dress up as parking ushers and hand out anti-mormon literature disguised as church information. Some people have also come through the tour and when they went through the celestial room, they emptied pockets full of dirt on the white carpets. Someone else also brought in animal poop and put in in the celestial room as well. I quickly realized why they didn't have any elders help out at the open house, because if they did then there would be one too many brawls happening with anti's :)
Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, live. They are performing a great work here on earth. They are training their children to live the eternal life that is prepared for us. Opposition may ensue, but the war has already been won between good and evil. It is a honor to serve in the Lord's army.
…When we met with her on Sunday morning HER FRIEND WAS THERE! Her friend read the Plan of Salvation and loved it. She wanted to learn more and so we taught them both how to recognize the Spirit using the scriptures and they both felt the Spirit. Kadesha said she felt a light feeling like she was on a plane that was descending. We committed them both to baptism and in the closing prayer her friend, Autumn, told Heavenly Father that this was the best day she has had in a long time.
Last Saturday we had the privilege of going to the temple in Louisville, Kentucky with Crystal. It was her first time there and she had some of her own family names to do baptisms and confirmations for. I will never forget what took place as she walked into the temple for the first time. She stepped in and saw all the people dressed in white and the beauty of the front foyer and took a step back in emotion. She stood there and with excitement said "I feel like I am in heaven." The Spirit was so strong that day in the temple and I had the opportunity to baptize her for her deceased ancestors and also to baptize Elder Dodd for her male ancestors. I was able to look at Crystal as they were confirming her father who was deceased. She just smiled and cried :) There is nothing like going to the temple with those you have seen join the church and be there with them for their first time. It was a truly remarkable experience.


South Bend update

Good Day Everyone!

The last 7 days have been full of wonderful miracles. Besides the cultural celebration and the temple dedication this last weekend, we have seen so many wonderful individuals take steps closer to their Savior. 

Elder Porter had the opportunity to invite three people to be baptized this week and they all said yes! It was such a spiritual thrill to see them light up and get serious as we shared the message of the Restoration and then to see the eagerness in their countenance to read the Book of Mormon and find out the truth for themselves. 

One of the new people we taught is from Jamaica. She is here working as a nurse and has an unshakable faith in Christ. We rejoiced in her experiences she had with God in recent years and then we taught her the Restoration. She enjoyed it thoroughly and said she felt peace in her bosom as she learned about the Book of Mormon. She is happy to have us come back and her son is going to start investigating with her as well! These seems to be a plethora of new people the Lord has prepared to hear the gospel and Elder Porter and I are humbled that He has allowed us to take part in this spiritual harvest.

Maurice and Racine Conley are doing wonderful! They told us they want to set up a schedule to meet more often and more consistent so they can learn more and schedule easier. We brought over Britt Williams (a stellar recent convert who is married to a recently returned inactive) and they hit it off! They were instant friends and when Chris (Britt's husband who is an introvert) came to pick us up, he came up to the door (which he never does) and came in and hit it off with Maurice (which doesn't rarely ever happen!). They exchanged numbers and the Conley's said they wanted them to come over to all their lessons :) They are still on schedule to be baptized on September 19 and Racine is working on the Word of Wisdom; Maurice is pretty much living it already, he just drinks a cup of coffee ever once in a blue moon. We are so excited to see them progress.

Maria is doing ok. She has received some opposition and so she is back to the opinion that both the Catholic and the Mormon church are true... So we have some more work to do with her :) On the bright side, her daughter Vikki is now investigating, so hopefully they can help each other overcome their roadblocks.

This coming Saturday we will be going to the newly opened Indianapolis Indiana Temple! We have two recent converts we have been helping do family history with for some time who are going to be going to do baptisms for the dead for the first time. We are all super excited to go and we will send you some pictures next week of the trip.

Well I love you all and thank you for your love and support.
Elder Young