Date

March 7, 2018

Area

Rockdale, Texas

Companion

Elder Toone

Another transfer

Heyyyo!

We found out today about transfer planning and guess what? I made it another transfer here in Rockdale! I am stoked because I love the people here so much and literally we have been starting to have a lot of success so I am glad we aren't leaving! I also am going to continue being district leader which is exciting to hear because I have loved this past transfer! It is so much fun to help out the District where I can and be able to do exchanges with all the missionaries here! It truly is a great day to be a missionary!

Alright, to start off the week there have been a couple fun little things that have happened here and there! So first off, we have been doing a TON of service here in Rockdale lately! Elder Toone got a ticket and so we have been doing community service instead of having him pay it! It has been fun because we get to know so many different people! They have a group here in Rockdale called, Rockdale Cristian Services! They are the ones who have the food pantry and run the Thrift store in town as well! We volunteered a total of about 9 ours each this past week between the two of those and that doesn't count the hour that we go to the old folks home and play bingo! So we have been volunteering at these places and what is nice about it is that we get in contact with tons of citizens of Rockdale so they get to see our faces and realize that we are missioanries! It helps to find new people sometimes which is why we do it. They will ask who we are and then that opens a whole new door for us to explain and tell them all about the gospel and what we do as missionaries! I cannot tell you all how many times we get asked about our service and I have told people that we actually pay to be here and are here for 2 years! Then we talk about how we never see our families except twice a year over FaceTime and they lose it! It is hilarious, but also it gives them a sense of respect for what we are doing and they tend to be more open about what we have to say!

Second, We have been able to meet with some of the Neighbors of a member in the branch! The member families name is Treuters and the neighbors are Chelsea and Que and their 3 kids! We have been talking with them and trying to warm them up for the past 6 weeks and this past week was perfect! We have gotten Arianna (their 10 year old daughter) to come to church with us about 2 times in the past 3 weeks which has been solid! We have also had a lesson with her when her parents are out of town and she is staying with the Treuters! The mom then talked to sister Treuters and expressed that she is grateful that we have been talking with Arianna and taking her to church! Also, that she thinks the church is exactly what her family needs! How sweet right? Well then on Thursday we were eating with the Treuters and realized that Chelsea and Que were moving Que's mom in across the street, so we offered our help and ended up basically moving his mom into her new apartment for them! It was a great way to earn trust and I honestly love doing service out here on the mission! It is what I think/know Christ would be doing here on the earth if he were here! I mean look at his earthly ministery. That is basically what he did! All those miracles he performed was in the service of those around him and those who needed him! He always taught something to go along with the service, but it is acts of service that really show someone that you care! Something that my dad always says is, "No one cares what you know, unless they know that you care!". I think that is so true because unless we make those we teach know that we care, they just feel like another task that we just checked off the list! Which is totally wrong! I think if I were to put into words the most important thing to me about serving is making sure that those you serve and teach know that you genuinely love them with a christ like love. Wanting them to have the best life possible! So we have been able to really connect with Chelsea and are hopefully getting through to Que! I love it so much because the members are the ones who initiated the work and know we get the chance to just come in and continue to help out! It is a true definition of member missionary work!

Third, we have been working with a less-active man and his wife (who is not a member) and have been having great success the past 2 weeks! They have come to church for the first hour 3 out of the past 4 weeks which is AMAZING!!! We have been going over just to chat and help them with whatever they may need and it has been really nice! We have shared a couple Mormon messages and videos that have really personalized some of the things that we talk about and it seems to really help! They are struggling a lot right now with their kids not being with them and having to do drug rehab. But the wife has expressed that she wants this gospel for her kids! She wants her kids to grow up with a better future in life than she did! She wants them to missionaries some day because she sees us and how happy we look and thats what she wants her kids to be like! So I guess you could say I am a role-model.....haha. But seriously they have really been progressing a lot and it has been a blessing to see how simple acts of kindness like sending an uplifting text or greeting them, telling them how glad they are at church can really touch someone! They are such good people but just didn't have the same chances that I have had and a lot of member of the church have had! So I love being able to show them and tell them that the doors are still open for them and will never close! I think that is what is super important as well, reassuring people that we are always there for them in the hard and good times! Life is not always easy or a fairy tale, but we can make it as close as possible through the gospel and as we continue to help them realize the blessings that will come from following Christ. God has a plan for all of us and if we listen and heed to his plan, he will always support us. That reminds me of a quote I shared with them as they were facing a tough spot. It is a little up front, but that is what people in Texas like. They HATE it when people beat around the bush and I love it! Anyways, the quote is, "When we can feel God's helping hand in our lives, it is because he knows that we stand in need of his help and assitance. But, when we feel like God has abandoned us, that he is not there or just doesn't care, it is these times when God is telling/showing us that he trusts in our ability to overcome the trial at hand." I love this quote because I have felt at times that God is not there for me or that he has forgotten me. But, when I take a step back, I realize that he has been there every step of the way! Sometimes, he just knows that letting us face it with the knowledge we have will benefit us the most. It reminds me of a poem that I would ask you all to read. It is called, "Footprints in the Sand" I will attach it to the bottom! But it I something that I cherish because it talks about times when we don't think he is there. It has a great message and I will let you all read it instead of spoiling it!

Well, that is pretty much it this week! I love you all so much and am so glad that I continue to have this chance to serve my Heavenly Father! The gospel is true! We can be instruments in the hand of God day in and day out if we strive to be intune with the spirit at all times! I hope you all have a great week and I can't wait to hear about all the cool stories happening in your lives! Continue to push along and rely on the Lord! It is truly a great day to be a missionary!


Elder Bretzing




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Texas San Antonio Mission
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