Tuesday, August 26, 2014

College has just begun in B-Town

Well Hello There Everyone :)

So basically I have been spoiled with great weather my whole mission... until this week. It has been so hot and humid I am melting into a puddle everyday! I feel like we are on a survivor show every time we go out. It has made this week one of the longer ones on my mission, but I still very much enjoyed it :)
So you know how missionaries generally have one of those great missionary stories they like to tell everyone? Ya, well Elder Coles and I just got ours this week :)

There is an old lady named Donna Michael (in her 80's) who we have been teaching for the past few weeks and we have taught her about 5 times now. She is definitely a hoosier and she loves to tell us the same stories about her atheist neighbors every time we come over. Well she was committed to a baptismal date by the third lesson and she had some concerns and was pretty defensive on the fourth lesson so we thought we might have to drop her. So we decided to go over a week later to see what our verdict would have to come to.
When we got there she answered the door and we said "Hi Donna! How are you doing today?" and she said "This isn't Donna, this is her twin sister..." She then proceeded to tell us that she was watching Donna's house with her husband while Donna was in Kentucky with her girlfriends. We were so shocked that this innocent old lady would pull such a ridiculous move that we just decided to mess with her and go with it. I said "Well I didn't introduce myself, I'm Elder Young. What is your name?" and she said "Donna.... I, uhh, I mean Donnetta." Then Elder Coles said "Donnetta, have you talked to missionaries before?" and we continued to ask her if we could sit down with her and share a 5 minute message with her... she accepted :) We asked her how she came in contact with the missionaries and she told us that she was gardening in her yard (she pointed to Donna's yard) and continued to tell us the same story that she told us when we first ran into her. We asked her why she was gardening in Donna's yard and she paused for a second then said she help's Donna out a lot. When we talked about the Book of Mormon we asked if she had heard of it and she said "Oh yes, I read from it everyday!" and we asked her how far she had read and she said about halfway. Then Elder Coles asked "So what book are you in then?" and she said "oh.... like in psalms." So at the end of the lesson we asked her if we could come back and teach her more and she said that would be fine. Then I asked her "Donnetta, where is your husband at? Would he be interested in learning about the gospel?" and she said "oh yes, he probably would, but he is so busy. He works at the CVS up the road." She said his name was Claude, and we told her that we would stop by after the lesson and say hi to him. Then we said a prayer and were on our way.

Pretty good right? :)

Other than that we are just trying to get the area moving farther forward and find more people to teach. Well I love you guys and thank each of you for your love and support. If you guys would please pray for Gabriel Saleh, Lynne, and Chance that would be much appreciated. They are investigating and they just need to find their testimonies.
Elder Young

 The first picture is of my companion Elder Coles (far right) and our two campus missionary buddies.
The second picture is of a sick building on IU campus. It is the coolest building ever!
The third picture is of the "main entrance" to the campus (the campus is huge).

also here are three more pictures.
 the first is of me holding a pancake that Elder Coles and Elder Palmer made me.... it is suppose to be a "Y" but it failed.
The second is us just being goofy :)
The Third one is of me asleep in the car.... apparently I fall asleep in the car all the time (I do, they aren't lying) so they thought they would get a picture of it :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Week 4 in Bloomington!

Hey all you wonderful people!

Update from B-Town:
This week we have been continuing to find new people. The work here requires much dilligence, obedience, and faith. The area we are in is known for the high level of diversity in religions and a extremely large population of agnostics and atheists. Because it is a huge college town, it is uber liberal and about half of our area is university staff or students. So all in all we have some fun times tracting and street contacting :)

Yesterday, while Elder Coles and I were tracting we ran into a lovely guy who highlights some of the other wonderful people we run into in this area. When he opened the door we introduced ourselves and shook his hand. When I asked what his name was he hesitated then told a his name was Bob... we both could tell he was lying. We asked if he had talked to any Mormon missionaries before and he said "Ya. I actually think you guys are pretty crazy." and as he began to close the door Elder Coles scored some brownie points by saying "Hey Bob, is that your real name?" and he said yes just as he slammed the door... :) It made my day! 

Our recent convert, Clive Fisher, is doing great. We had our first new member discussion at the Grant's house and you can really tell that he has received the Holy Ghost. He was definitely speaking with "the tongue of angels." He has such a electric testimony, it is exciting and strengthening to hear. We watched the restoration video with him and he teared up. We gave him the video and he was very excited.

I hope you all are doing good and staying true to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We need Christ's Atonement in our lives at all times and in all things and in all places. I hope each of you find joy in following Him, if not then learn more about Him. You will find as you learn more of Him and try to be like him, your life becomes more enriched.

Love you all! Thanks for your love and support.
Elder Young

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Greetings from B-Town!

Hey Guys!

This is going to have to be a shorter weekly letter this week, we don't have as much time to email as we did in Plymouth.

Good things are happening here in Bloomington University ward! We have been finding new people to teach in response from our finding fast. We have been very blessed from the Lord and I am so grateful for his mercy and love he shows me. I know God lives and that He loves us all. He sent His son to earth so that we could have second chances. 

I love you all and hope you all have a splendid week!
Elder Young

Monday, August 4, 2014

First Week B-Town!

Hello Everyone!
Transfers have come and gone and I am now a district leaders' companion in the IU university ward in Bloomington Indiana. We are walking distance from IU which is a ridiculously large. My companion is Elder Coles from Salt Lake City, Utah. He is the district leader over the university ward and the campus missionaries. From what President hinted at pretty bluntly and what some zone leaders have told me is that this transfer is training for me to take his spot next transfer. So we will see what happens there! It is so weird going from senior comp to junior comp, it is like taking a vacation. I feel like I am being trained again, it is so great!

So I just have to say the contrast from Plymouth (my previous area which is clear up north in the boonies) to Bloomington (at the southern end of the state and is a big college town) is huge. I feel completely out of my element here. Everything has flip flopped and it took me a few days to adjust to. Here are some differences.

In Plymouth, almost all people have an interest in religion or at least believe in a higher power, in Bloomington most people we have talked to are either Atheist or Agnostic and more people than I would like don't believe in God and don't care to know there is a higher power.

In Plymouth, most people are lower class and don't have a higher education, in Bloomington almost everyone has a degree or several and thinks that their opinion is truth and there are some sketchy opinions down here...

In Plymouth, the elders and sisters are all pretty far geographically from each other and are all generally hard workers, and In Bloomington we are all like 3 miles apart and the elders and sisters flirt with each other and they deal with lots of lazy and disobedient missionaries down here (by the way, President Cleveland fixed that this transfer with the disobedient missionaries so that is for the most part taken care of).

In Plymouth, there is so small of a population that it is mostly white Hoosiers and they were for the most part all Christians, In Bloomington it is very diverse with all different kinds of ethnicity, religions, and races (including tons of Chinese, Jews, and Muslims).

In Plymouth, the missionaries get pretty out of shape because we all drive everywhere and don't play sports at all (no single adult activities, no sports groups that meet, our branch didn't even have a basketball hoop), in Bloomington not only do we go to the gym every morning to work out but we also have different sporting events every night of the week besides Sunday... I am definitely getting into shape down here :)

In Plymouth, our branch was tiny with lots of older families and old people and the ward missionary work was moving faster than I have ever seen, and in Bloominton we have a huge ward with tons of young families and our bishopric got called 5 weeks ago and when the bishop was called he said if he had to choose to go back to Vietnam or be a bishop he would choose Vietnam.

Haha... get the difference? :) I sure love it though, and I am definitely not bashing on Bloomington. The ward is great here and things are already looking up in our area. We were able to teach 18 lessons in 3 days so things are definitely moving forward and we are striving to do our best. I am going to love it here and am excited to see the Lord work miracles in this great town of Bloomington.
Quote of the week:
Our Ward Mission Leader is super funny, he is in school and has several younger kids. At dinner his little girl Anna (who is about 4) only wanted the dark croutons and not the light ones and when she started to fuss a little bit about it Brother Crocker (our ward mission leader) said " Quit being a racist and eat the white ones!"

Hope you all are doing good, I sure love all of you and want to thank you for all you do.
Elder Young