Monday, February 23, 2015

What a Spirit filled week!

Querido Pueblo,
What a Spirit-filled week. This has definitely been we week of precious lessons learned and heat warming experiences. We had the baptisms of Eugene Songor, Kiara Ray, and Kaylanna Ray last Saturday (This makes 11 baptisms in the Crossroads ward this transfer! Unprecedented!). The program was wonderful and everything went smoothly (thank goodness!). It was so great to see how bright and joyful Eugene's countenance was at the baptism. Cool thing about Eugene we didn't know until yesterday is that he has a wife and four kids! They are all back in Africa and he is trying to earn money to bring them over here. He is such a great individual and we have loved teaching him.

These past two weeks with all the baptisms has been interesting. We have surely felt the Lord directing us at all times but at the same time we have felt great opposition from the adversary. The interesting thing about satan is he knows our weaknesses and he will dig into those and try to slow us down and discourage us. He knew that he couldn't tear me down with external forces, so he tried to bring me down with internal forces... I will be honest, out of my whole mission these past two weeks have been the hardest to stay motivated to keep moving forward. It was enlightening though to recognize where those feelings were coming from and to then try and cultivate that weakness into a strength through Christ. Now that the baptisms are over I feel great! It was a cool spiritual experience.

I want to share my testimony to you about how important it is that we minister (not administer) to everyone, not just nonmembers. There is a family who lost their teenage son about 6 months ago due to muscular dystrophy and they are such a great family but haven't had missionaries over for quite a long time. Well by some miracle they signed up to feed us and it was so cool to see that as we went in there and just became part of the family they opened up to us about their loss and who they were. They invited us back for dinner later that week (Last night) and we were able to help them prepare dinner, play a really fun game with them, and then share a message about family history with them. After we had played that game and had many laughs. It was remarkable to see the willingness they all had to try something new. They hadn't really done any family history before so they weren't too sure how to start so they are going to be having us come back in about a week to help them get started and catch the wave. 

This same thing has happened to another member family we are working with and it is such a blessing. I know that one of the most important things we can do on our lives is minister to others. Just take time each and every day to minister to someone, love them and connect with them on a deeper level that we do with everyone we deal with everyday. That is what Christ did 24-7. We felt the hearts of these two families change as we just loved and connected with them. This is why I love missionary work!
I love you all so much, thank you for all the love and support you give to me, you all have impacted me.
Elder Young

P.S.- Picture time!
1.The big baptism with the crew! I love these people so much!

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2.Our boy from Liberia Africa, Eugene!

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Zone Conference pics

This was at our zone conference, President "Coach" Cleveland gave us a basketball workshop. I made a half court shot in the half court competition! What up!

Still rollin' with the gangsta's

Hey Guys!

Well I got to say, this has definitely been the most insane week of my mission... 7 beautiful souls were baptized into the Crossroads ward this last Saturday and 4 more amazing individuals will be baptized this Saturday into the Crossroads ward. The Lord is moving at an exponential rate. It was such an amazing experience to see all those people get baptized last Saturday. In the evening baptism, we had to use Skype in the chapel so everyone could see the baptism! You can tell this strengthened the ward and hopefully they can receive and retain all their new converts. Our focus for the rest of this transfer and next transfer is to get all our converts taking names to the temple and get their patriarchal blessings. We feel that this will help secure these new converts' testimonies. I feel so humbled and privileged to be able to take part in such an awesome miracle.

These are the people who were baptized last Saturday (*investigators we taught):
Freddie Aldana Jr. (Cutest Hispanic down syndrome guy ever! He has a heart of gold.)
SyRaine Crawford(Sounds like "Sir-ryan")
Annalise Ireland (Brightest young girl, she waited to get baptized until her dad returned to activity so he could baptize her.)
*Lacoyla Wood (Spunky Black lady with an attitude haha :)
*Demetri Gaskin (Coolest 11 year old, he is definitely going on a mission when he gets older)
Robert Miller (Wife is a member, has been investigating for years. Cool guy!)
Tonya Snapp (Been investigating for about 8 to 9 months, awesome.)

Please pray for all of them, become a new member is often very difficult so they need all the spiritual power they can get!

These are the four people getting baptized this Saturday:
*Eugene Songor (From Liberia, Africa. One of the coolest/kindest individuals I have ever met. He has so much Christlike love it is ridiculous! His mom is a recent convert and he moved over to the states to get money to help with a deprived childrens program over in Africa. His mom started the program)
Tim Hicks (A miracle story with him. His parents came over from China and went to IU for school then just decided to stay. He has such a strong desire to follow God and change his life around. He is a prime example of how humble we should all be. I got the privilege of being one of the missionaries to teach him the first lesson. So COOL!)
Kiara Ray (Daughter of a part member family, very solid.)
Kaylanna Ray (Sister of Kiara)

It has been so wonderful getting to focus on all of these people and getting to take part in so many of their conversions.

Other than that, Elder Garrett and I have been so busy we come home every night and pass out. We seriously have never been this busy before in our lives... We are doing good though :)

I just want to leave my testimony to all of you:

God Lives. The message that the missionaries share with everyone is true. I have experienced what this message can do for myself and I know deep down inside me that this is the truth. Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. Joseph Smith is His prophet in these last days. The Book of Mormon is true. It changes lives, it has changed mine and continues to change me everyday. I have seen the power of the Book of Mormon lift people out of the dreariest of circumstances as they read from it's pages with a prayerful and humble heart. It gives us the answers to questions we have all yearned for at one point in our life or another. We are God's children and He loves us. He wants the best for us and if we follow His commandments we will be blessed. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the Lord's true church once again established on the earth today and it changes bad men to good men, and good men to better men.

I love you all so much! Thank you for all that you do for me. Your love and support keeps me going.
Elder Young

It's a short one this time...

Hello Everyone!

Holy Chuánwěi! We have been riding the crazy train this week! SO BUSY! We have been so busy that we I don't even have free time to my self, even on Preparation day! We are preparing our investigators for a huge 8 person baptism coming up this Saturday. Lacoyla, Demitri, and Eugene will be baptized on that day and we are so excited for them! They are all so solid and will be great members. We have three other people (Wanda Wright, Lisa Johnson, and Raychel Townsend) on a baptismal date for March 14 and they are awesome. We are excited to see all these people come out of the wood works and make the sacred covenant of baptism.
We had stake conference this past week and the theme was on "Ministering to others" and there was a lot of cool insights share with that theme.

Thank you so much for all your love and support! 
Elder Young

Friday, February 6, 2015


So... here's the niece Bethany Rhodes Hales, her husband Brent and their adorable daughter, Mary, live in Indianapolis. Jake knew they were somewhere around his mission but not specifically where. Bethany found out that Jake had been transferred closer to her and so she asked the Elder's in her ward if they knew Elder Young and they said, "yeah, he's our Zone Leader" to which she replied, "he's my cousin!" They told Bethany that Elder Young was coming for splits on the 4th and so they all planned to surprise him with lunch at Bethany's house.

It worked out that Jared Rhodes (Bethany's younger brother and Jake's older cousin) was coming to help Bethany out because she is on bed-rest (although, bless her heart, you wouldn't know it from her warm reception in the video) so Jared got to be there too, to surprise Jake. Jared is the one filming in the video.

So the Elder's showed up to "a members" house for lunch and Mary, whom Jake has never seen, opened the door and the Elder's said, "Hi"to Mary and then Bethany poked her head around the door and Jake, not expecting anything, looked to the other Elder to make introductions but the Elder didn't say anything so Jake looked back at Bethany and then it hit him! It shocked him so much he ran back down the stairs (we'll have to wait for Jake's email Monday to explain what he was really thinking and why he bolted for a second) but the video starts with him coming back up the stairs.
It's safe to say he was very surprised and shocked and super happy to see them and it was all legit because they are in his Zone. :)

Bethany had asked me what his favorite food was and I said, "homemade mac-n-cheese" and sent her our favorite recipe so Jared made it for them for lunch! Bethany said that they told her that earlier while they were tracting the Elder asked Jake what his favorite food was and Jake said, "homemade mac-n-cheese" and so WE NAILED IT! :)

He was able to stay and visit for a little bit and bore his testimony to them and Bethany said that Jake is really grown up and has become quite the spiritual missionary. We are so grateful that all of this worked out and that it was able to stay a surprise! Thanks Bethany and Jared and Mary (especially Mary for being so welcoming with sharing her cup of tea!). We can't wait to hear Jake's side of the story! :)

Elder Young's surprise visit to the Hale's

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Here are some pictures!
1. This was taken today! This is where we email. Legit, right? :)
2-3. Ok so this was taken at the Lanes house (recent converts of about 3 years). They are the COOLEST people ever. Brother Lane is a really good cook and for all the elders he cooks us up an "elder plate" which you see right in the picture... its huge. then after he fed us the "elder desert".... I almost threw up. It was so good though! And I almost ate the whole elders plate! He said I technically did cause he put more food on Elder Garretts and mine than normal. and then when I got to the desert I couldn't even eat 1/2 of it. haha Elder Garrett ate everything... he is a big boy :)

Whud up.

Whud up. (Gangster greeting)

Week three in the Roads was power-packed! We have been able to see some amazing, fast-paced miracles this week. This has been one of the busiest weeks of my mission and I am loving it! Every night when Elder Garrett and I come in we are exhausted almost to the point of just dropping to the floor and falling asleep right there :) Elder Garrett is an outstanding companion by the way. I have loved serving with him; I definitely know that the Lord put us together solely for the purpose of getting lots of work done here in Crossroads.
Right now we are getting three people ready for their baptism on the 14th of February: Lacoyla Wood, Demitri Gaskin, and Eugene Songor. They are all such wonderful individuals with a bright light that shines within each of them. Lacoyla loves to dive deep in the scriptures and get down to the gospel buisness. Demitri is just a straight up stud. He is 11 years old and wants to do good and follow Christ. Eugene is from Africa and is actually the son of a recent convert in our ward! He was taught by missionaries in Africa and I guess he just never got baptized there cause he is getting baptized here! He has such a kind and gentle personality and loves the truth. All three of them will be baptized on the same day with about 6 to 7 other people! Crossroads ward is about to get 10 new members in 2 weeks... crazy right? :) 

We also have three individuals who are also working towards baptism on the 14th of March: Wanda Wright, Lisa Johnson, and Raychel Townsend. Wanda is an absolute gem. We have taught her twice and she has some of the most rock-solid faith I have ever seen. She loves the message of the Restoration and the only concern she had about being baptized on the 14th of March was that she might now be able to go under the water very well because she lost her leg from diabetes and is a bigger lady. We told her that was a minor detail we will figure out when the time comes... she agreed :) 

Lisa is also a wonderful lady who has such a strong desire to change her life. She is older and has some word of wisdom problems that she wants to quit. She is receptive to the Spirit and that is keeping her motivated and wanting to progress. Raychel is just awesome. The missionaries have been meeting with her for a few months now and she would have been baptized already if it wasn't for her job at Sam's Club. They won't let her take Sundays off and she has worked there 15 years. So she has been praying and looking for another job and she finally got an interview with Costco! They have expressed high interest in hiring her, so we are all really excited about that.

The Crossroads ward is probably the most unique and crazy ward I have ever seen. There is so much diversity there and a sweet ghetto aura to it, we never have a dull moment! Yesterday in fast and testimony meeting, Elder Garrett and I felt like we were in a baptist church! hahaha when the members were getting up and bearing their testimonies, there was a bunch of people in the congregation who were shoutin "Amen!" and some of those testimonies were so passionate that I felt like I was being preached to! :) But the Spirit was definitely there, 

I sure love these people. There isn't anywhere I would rather be. The members here are so valiant in sharing the gospel, they aren't scared to talk to ANYONE. It shows too! On the 14th of February, we are going to be holding a 10 PERSON BAPTISM in our ward...! We are pretty sure that this is going to make mission history. President Cleveland is sending one of the area authorities to the baptism to "show off the mission" haha, silly President :)

Well I love you all! Thank you for all your love and friendship.

Elder Young