July 10, 2017


Second Area - Monmouth, OR


Elder Elias

Week 44

The Fourth of July was pretty crazy over here in Independence! It started off with a combined 1st and 3rd Ward breakfast/flag-raising ceremony pretty early in the morning. It was a neat experience, and a member in 3rd Ward, Brother Christensen, is currently in the US Army, and spoke to the two wards about the flag, and its significance to him as a member of the church, as an American, and as a soldier. The things he spoke of were very inspiring to me, and helped me to understand how great full I am to live in the United States, where we have the freedom to worship Heavenly Father how we choose. Following that, we went to the Main Street that connects both Monmouth and Independence, where the parade was. There were a lot of different - floats? Cars? However I need to describe them - and it was neat to see how so many people from the community (and even lots of people from outside the community) came to celebrate the fourth! After taking over 60 videos, spanning the entire parade, we walked around the various booths set up in the main park area of Monmouth, trying to talk with people as we walked. We talked with one gentleman who told us he has met a whole bunch of different missionaries, and seemed pretty surprised when we both weren't from Utah! 😂 After that, we passed by a couple referrals we'd received that week in town, then headed to dinner, before going inside at 6:00 for safety reasons. We weekly planned after that, and oddly enough, didn't really get woken up by fireworks going off...

Wednesday we stayed here in Independence for the majority of the day, biking around and visiting more of the less actives in the area, which holy cow, there's a lot of them! It was decently hot, and we got pretty sweaty in our nice white shirts. :) That night we visited West Salem, and had a lesson with Zulema on her porch about the Family: A Proclamation to the World, and the roles mothers and fathers have in the family to help and support each other. She was super grateful we visited, and told us she wants her husband to change for the better, and said she's going to have to show him by example. She committed to come to church this Sunday, so we're super excited for her!

Thursday we visited Dallas to find some of the referrals we had over there. It was a pretty interesting day, to say the least. Two different people (both not Hispanic) in two different houses where supposedly Hispanic people lived were pretty ticked off at us when we opened the door. Both encounters lasted about a minute or less, and at the end of both we just died laughing, since what they'd said didn't actually make sense. The first woman we talked to was super grouchy, and we could tell she didn't want to talk to us, but we tried anyway. :D she ended up asking if we were Jehovah Witnesses, and I said "no, we're actually from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!" She responded with "oh, so you're the same." I was maybe to forceful when I told her no, we're not! She didn't really care enough to keep talking after that, and told us we were trespassing...even though it was obvious we weren't. :)

Friday we had a really good district meeting where we talked a lot about how to find new investigators, since that seems an area we need to work on district wide. We spent all of the afternoon in West Salem looking for less actives we've never met... and a lot of them we still don't know! ;) not a lot of people were home, it seemed. We did find our teenage less-active named Miguel home, so that was nice. He's getting ordained a teacher in a couple weeks, and he's super excited. We committed him to read from his quad in Doctrine and Covenants, three or four chapters he had written down on a piece of paper. It was good to see him after such a long time of not being able to! We spent the evening in Independence after dinner talking with another less-active member named Audelia Vasquez. She's married to a nonmember named Rick (he was in the Air Force!!), and they have four kids: three boys and a girl. They're 50ish and super sweet. We had a very cool talk with them about family history work, and how our genealogy is so important to us as members of the church. We shared 2 Nephi 29:11-13 and linked it back to family history, and why the Book of Mormon is so important, and how it's literally a genealogy record! The Spirit was definitely there!

Saturday was a repeat of Friday—West Salem day 2. It was kinda the same results, too. We didn't find many people home, and had trouble talking to many people that day. We had a miracle with Zulema, actually. She was the last person we visited before dinner, and I was feeling a little disappointed with the outward success—well, the lack of it—that we had seen that day. We knocked on her door, and no one answered. We knocked a second time, and nothing. Finally, on the third knock, she opened the door! Just as soon as we were about to turn away to leave, she opened it. We talked with her about how she was doing, and invited her again to come to church the next day. She accepted, and we gave her the address and start time, and agreed on a time we would all meet to drive over to the church (in separate cars 😊).

Sunday morning Zulema called us to explain extenuating circumstances made it impossible for her to come to church that day, so we were more than a little disappointed, but we're working with her, and excited to keep helping her draw closer to Christ. Church was awesome, like usual! There's a family (well, lots actually ;)) with small kids, and they were sitting right behind us, and the little two year old girl would peek around the pew every couple minutes in a really drawn out peekaboo game. It was super fun to play with kids at church, is what I'm getting at. ;)

Its been a great week over all. We've had some disappointment with not contacting as many people as we'd like to, but that's alright. The Lord strengthens us especially when he sends us to the neighborhoods where no one is home or willing to listen to our message, because thats when we grow the most as His children.

I love you all! Have a great amazing week!!


Elder Kehl


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