Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What a week! (another one) :)

Howdy All You Wonderful People!
This past week has been absolutely insane... WE HIT STANDARDS OF EXCELLENCE! That means that the Indianapolis Indiana mission has set a standard to shoot for, and if you reach it it means you are excellent I guess haha :) 

So the standard of excellence is as follows
20 total lessons taught
2 new investigators
1 investigator at church
6 member present lessons
2 lessons in a members home
and this is what we got by the end of the week:
22 total lessons taught
10 new investigators
1 investigator at church
7 member present lessons
2 lessons in a members home
This week has been jam-packed with miracles and we are still in awe by the power Heavenly Father has. We have realized that He and only He is in charge of this work and he can make an area boom or he can make it dead if He wants to. It is up to us to give our all and give it cheerfully and He will take care of the rest. 

I read a scripture today that illustrated that thought, it is in 2 Nephi 20:15 and it says "Shall the ax boast itself against him that hewneth therewith?" saying that it is God who does the work and we can either choose to be His tools and or sit in the shed and "rust" haha :) When we submit ourselves to the Lord and do all we can to do His will, then we can do great things through Him.

I love this work, I know this is the one and only true church. I know my Savior lives and loves each one of us. I know this life is the time to learn to become like our Father.

I love all of you so much and am so grateful for all the support you give to me.
Elder Young

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Wow, what a week!

Hello All You Wonderful People!

We have had a week of hard work and miracles. The Lord is truly hastening His work and wants His children home. 

This is the highlight of our (Elder Van Shaar and myself) week:
Last Saturday we needed to reach our weekly goal of other lessons taught and we had set the goal for four... and we had zero... So we set the goal and overplanned activities where we could reach those goals. We also needed two new investigators so we hoped that two of those other lessons would be new investigators. So as we were going out the first place we stopped was one of our new investigators. His name is Don Parrish and he is an older man who is legally blind and likes to chill outside shirtless (yucky!). He was out cleaning his car but was happy to have us teach him. We talked about the Book of Mormon and gave him his large print Book of Mormon and he was SO EXCITED! He told us he was expecting to feel the spirit as he read and after we read the last paragraph in the introduction the only thing he said was "woah! that's powerful!" So cool! 

After him, we went and worked the small town of Knox for a while and while we were tracting we ran into the kookiest man ever! His name was Paul and when we asked him if we could share our message with him he just shuffled over to the bench like a robot and said "ok, go!"(this man is 60 mind you). So we taught him and committed him to read the Book of Mormon and be baptized. He gladly accepted the Book and told us he would read it. We are set up to teach him this week. 

So the day went on and we had our planned lesson with our progressing investigator Trenzo Williams (he likes it when we call him Brother Williams). We taught him about the importance of daily prayer, study, and service. We then committed him to do all of those things daily. Trenzo used to be an atheist but now he is enthralled in the gospel and loves the Book of Mormon. He wrote down his committments and hung them on the fridge. He had a problem with praying infront of us but when we asked him to pray he said "actually I was just going to ask you guys if I could say it."...! It made us sooo happy and he has been coming to church as well. He is on a date for June 26th

In the evening at about 8:00 pm we still needed one more investigator and one other lesson so we pulled the car over and prayed for inspiration. Elder Van Shaar felt like we needed to continue contacting potentials like we were originally doing but to walk. So we got out of the car and started walking down the street. Not even 20 yards after walking we started talking to a lady on her front porch. We were having a good conversation about random stuff then out of the blue (inspiration) Elder Van Shaar said "so... can we share our message with you now?" and she accepted and we taught her right there! She really wanted to read the Book of Mormon and we gave her a copy.

So many miracles have happened since i have been out here and my conversion has grown more then I thought possible. I love being the Lord's servant and coming out here helping people get on the right path. The more we rely on the Lord and have faith in Him, the more miracles will be performed. I know this gospel is true and Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. Hope you all have a good week and I love you all!

Elder Young

Monday, May 12, 2014

Yo, yo, yo!

Greetings Eternal Beings!

What a joyous week it has been! So many miracles and hard work and heat and investigators progressing and happy experiences! Even though I am already dying from the heat (yes I know, it's pathetic) the Lord is ever mindful of his servants and has poured out blessings upon me and Elder Van Shaar .
One of the great fundamentals we are fine tuning is goal setting and goal accomplishing. We have been doing better with setting effective goals to stretch us and then making effective plans to accomplish those goals. On Saturday we had goals set for 2 other lessons and 2 new investigators. We made plans to contact some potentials and referrals out in Knox and so as we were tracting one of the country roads where a potential lived we ran into Don Parrish. Don we sitting out in his front yard taking a break from yard work. He is an older gentleman who is legally blind. We shook his hand and struck up a conversation with him and when we invited him to hear our message he accepted and said "I am taking a break from yard work so why not!" We were able to have a powerful restoration lesson and during the first vision he said he had goose bumps. He committed to read the Book of Mormon (large print) and come to church. So by then we were thrilled to have taught a lesson already after knocking about 3 doors, but what happened next surprised us even more. 

We knocked one more door with no avail then we crossed the street to a nicer country home. My thought process was along the lines of "they seem pretty rich so there is probably going to be no point in knocking this house.." but I was wrong. We knocked on the door, a middle aged lady came to the door and pointed out my last name (her maiden name was Young) and we talked for a few minutes. When we told her about our message she claimed she believed there were prophets on the earth today and we told her "There is actually a prophet on the earth today and he leads Christ's church!" and she paused for a second then said "sit down." So we got to teach her the restoration too and it was just a wonderful experience!The work is going great up here in Plymouth and we are trying to be more effective in our missionary efforts.

I had a super cool experience this morning that made me want to jump to the moon and back, let me tell you guys about it. I call it "the faith fan story." So it is stinking hot up here and Elder Young needs his fans in his apartment or he dies. Anyways, we had a small fan that was meant to keep the moisture out of the bathroom and i set it on the edge of the bathtub while the shower was going (dumb I know) and while I was shaving the fan fell in the tub.. well it got wet and I turned if off and let it dry but it was broken. The blades barely turned and it was ruined... so we left it in the apartment for about 5 days and this morning I plugged it back in hoping it would be fine but it was still broken... So I began to pray and ask the Lord if He would fix the fan and that if it was His will I would have the faith for it to work. Well I kept praying for about 4 minutes and the fan started moving a little faster and I told him that I had the faith that it would work and I kept praying and it kept moving a little faster. Then in my prayer I asked him to help the fan work at full function and as soon as those words left my lips the fan went full speed ahead and I almost peed myself with joy! Isn't that so cool! I thank Heavenly Father for confirming my faith and strengthening it. (His mother promptly emailed him back about electricity and water. He got an email full!)

Anyways, I love you all and hope you have a great week this week!
Elder Young

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Update and staying put this month.

This week has been a great week for continued learning and growing. We had "the purge" this week with our area and went from 6 investigators to 1 semi-not-really-solid investigator. We just had too many investigators who wouldn't keep commitments and were bailing on appointments. I was really bummed out about that cause even though we have continuously tried to find new people it was like all our progress went out the window... not to mention TWO buttons came off my suit just over the weekend (ugh, 1st world problems are just horrible, aren't they? :) 

Anyways, I was feeling some discouragement and it was great to recognize Heavenly Father reaching out to me through the talks I heard at stake conference (which was awesome by the way), through the scriptures I was reading, and other righteous sources. The lesson I had come to learn was that as long as I am keeping all of the Lord's commandments, always strive to improve, listen to the spirit, and continue to exert my best effort, I was doing all the Lord expected of me and even if my area is "suffering" in my eyes, it might just be where the Lord wants it to be. I loved the quote that President Jones stated at the Sunday session, "Hastening the work takes time." That hit me. I am of the attitude of conquering a task with great speed and effectiveness. I expect instant results. That is not how the Lord works. I am on His time and am commanded to do things His way. So I was able to pull myself out of my selfish slumber and get back to where I am suppose to be. 

Ironically, on Sunday I was still feeling a little bit down (just a tiny bit :) and we had a lesson with our next door neighbor and his mother (Trenda and Dionte) and it turned out to be one of the most powerful, smooth lessons I have experienced on my mission. They are so solid and Elder Van Shaar and myself both feel like they could be the baptisms we are praying for.

Thank you guys for being such a great support to me and being good examples for me to follow.
Elder Young

P.S.-Just to give you a clue to how solid our new investigator Trenda is: When we were doing to Book of Mormon role play with her she asked us if Lehi was from the tribe of Israel. After we told her yes, she continued to blow our mind by asking what tribe he was from. We told her that Lehi was from the tribe of Joseph and she was like "Really! that cool!" SO SOLID!