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