Date

June 11, 2018

Area

Powell Valley Virginia

Companion

Elder Jameson Bingham

Re: Good success! And then some setbacks.

Alright the bulk of my weekly is going to be in video form today but I thought I would give a brief overview over email. It was a good week. We had zone conference down in Asheville, which was a very long drive, zone conference was inspiring as ever. I have hit the weird point where there are quite a few people in the mission who are younger than me, time is flying. At any rate, besides the few hour drive, super spiritual fire.
This week I hit a wall with tracting. We usually knock a lot of doors in an effort to constantly find new people. About Wednesday I realized we were forgoing seeing people that could really use a visit in order to try and find more people. So this week we focused on just helping those we have already  met. We had some awesome lessons.I believe I mentioned Felicia, the mother who lives down he street  from us whose door I was prompted to knock on like 20 times, who questions the meaing behind everything (golden!) We also met with the Sturgills and Ryan Mullins and his family. Both of which were essentially the same story. Awesome men who could contribute so much to the ward if they would just start taking action. Plus their wives and families are ready to follow once they take the lead.
We were also super blessed out of the blue to have a less active invite us over to his home to teach his girlfriend and have dinner. His name is Bro Indseth, He just moved to Pound (one of the northern cities in our area) and is super missionary minded. We had an awesome meal appointment with them, Bro Indseth is a lot of fun, he is an EMT/firefighter (shout out to Tanner). He is just getting back into church but he tells us he is planning on having more people over to his house in the future that we can teach.
We also met with a guy who lives just a few doors down named Mitch. He loves having us visit, sometimes he gets on tangents though haha.
It's been a good week. I've also ate too much, lol.Love yall

On Mon, May 28, 2018, 12:14 PM Austin Lee Harris <aharris@myldsmail.net> wrote:
What a week. So transfers happened. It feels like the two days from this week with Elder Wilson were forever ago. Tuesday was our last full day together. We surprisingly had two meal appointments that day (I way over ate). One was with Israel Brickey who we tracted into just a week or two ago now. We had a great talk with him, got to know him better, and he fed us pork and corn bread and salad (pretty much a large dinner) for lunch. He is an awesome guy and very sensitive to the spirit. You will probably hear more about him in the future.
Transfers was weird. I am not sure where the last transfer went. It was forever long but it also just started yesterday. Elder Bingham is awesome though. He is from Hurricane Utah. He is 18 months into the mission. He is fun to serve around though a little quiet. Im not sure if the Lord is trying to get me to be more talkative as a missionary or something but it definitely feels like I have been paired up with a lot of quiet missionaries. We have fun though, also something random about him is that he is a diesel mechanic.Another interesting thing about transfers is that my district leader is Elder Donahoo, my first trainer.... Man. Transfer #1 feels like an eternity ago. At any rate its cool to serve around him again and see the differences in me and him. I appreciate him a lot more now that I am not shell shocked with new missionary confusion. This district should be a good one, a cool thing that we are doing this transfer is working on being unified as a district and lifting where we stand and having success together.
As far as peoples progress this week has been a good one. We got the chance to visit Eric and Phyllis this week on a team up with Brother Zaebst.  We talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ with Eric and he brought baptism up himself. It was something he had thought about before. He wants to feel more ready for it, so we talked about the ways that he can come to feel more ready. He put himself on date for baptism in October! Hopefully we can get his whole family (which is half of the street he lives on) interested as well :)
Another really cool visit this week was with Leanne, Scott, and JoJo. We read the Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith Pamphlet with them and really got into it. The spirit was very present, the visit took like 2 hours but it held their attention the whole time. JoJo got excited about the angels mentioned in it and even caught on to the fact that the angel Moroni progressed from mortality to being glorified, we consequently got to briefly discuss our divine potential. Leanne picked out the message that anyone can ask of God to find wisdom, it shouldnt be up to somebody else to find the truth out for us. Scott loved it and shared how he believed that the BoM was true from the time that we first met and he felt the spirit of our visit. We invited them to be baptised by Priesthood authority and JoJo and Scott accepted! We left on cloud 9, these guys are awesome. 
And then the challenges enter the picture. The next day we went all over the place in Norton, Coeburn, almost to Nora, and Wise. (some of the cities we cover) we had a lot of success getting into contact with people and had some really promising lessons. Well the day ended on an unhappy note because (of all things) the street we chose to tract ended up causing grief. It turns out we tracted the street that a family member of the johnsons lives on. This may have meant nothing had it not been for the fact that another family member in another city (which we do not cover, though we initially were worried since it is also about 30 minutes away) had had their door knocked on as well. We had eaten with these family members at the BBQ we were invited to last week and so they felt that we were trying to track them down. It was one of the hardest things yet in the mission to recieve a phone call and be told by Leanne that she believed in the message that we were sharing but that she couldnt talk to us anymore because of the trust which we had shattered by pushing things too hard and tracking down her family. She hung up after the first phone call and I simply sat in stunned silence for 2 minutes. Knowing not what to do, and feeling very unqualified to do anything I said a prayer and felt inspired to call back. 
Things are currently and hopefully on the mend. It has been a great time to turn to the Lord as I have felt utterly helpless in how to address the sitaution. It seems that they trust that we really did not track them down because of the fact that we dont leave Wise county in our proselyting. They also believe the truthfulness of the message that we have been sharing. That being said the family still feels that their privacy has been breached. I suppose the Lord allows us all to go through trials of our faith.
The week ended in a lot of prayer. I suppose we've done all that we can and it is now up to them to seek counsel with the Lord and determine how greatly they believe in the things we share.
Love y'all!
-Elder Harris 




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