Date

August 10, 2015

Area

Pampa Texas (South)

Companion

Elder Knapp

My 1st time with a cigarette!

Alright everyone this was a super eventful week! So much happened and there were so many miracles that took place! It's amazing to see the remarkable hand of the Lord in my life!

So on Tuesday it was my first companion exchange! I got to go up to Borger Texas with one of our Zone leaders Elder Johnson. He is an awesome missionary, he's been out for almost a year and he's speaking Spanish! Spanish would be so nice in Pampa because it's 80% Hispanic and Elder Knapp and I are both English haha. So in Borger, Elder Johnson was stoked to be my first exchange companion, we did what any classical missionary would do: we went knocking! Elder Knapp and I haven't done a lot of knocking because we already have a large teaching pool and if there's no one to teach we go see less actives and try to respark their interest in the church. I haven't had a lot of experience with knockin so it was really fun to go through that! I got cussed out, doors slammed in my face and a guy almost sict his dog on us. Elder Johnson and I Just laughed it was so funny! We didn't get down at all and we were able to visit a couple of people that were inactive. We met Lori, who is actually an investigator. We taught her about the Restoration and she loved it! This lady, like all the weird people in Texas, has 22 snakes, 5 dogs, 2 turtles, an endangered bird, and a prairie dog! She is awesome though and she was raised catholic and she said that she doesn't like or agree with that church and she wants something else in her life! We were so stoked to hear that and when we left, Elder Johnson told me that was the first time that she had been taught by the missionaries. It was super cool to see the spirit work on her and I'm excited to hear about what happens with her!

Wednesday we got to meet with Christy. She has had a lot of problems with accepting that there is only one true church and with the word of wisdom. We had a throw down lesson with her that night and told her that this is what she needed to do to quit. She's been earnestly trying to quit for the last couple years and we showed her a stop smoking in seven days packet that was made up by the church. We were taught in Zone conference that we needed to be bold with our investigators so that we can help them change. I felt a prompting that I need to be More Bold with her. So I acted on that prompting and asked her, "Christy, Can we have all of you cigarettes?" She kind of chuckled and we said to her that the only way that you're going to be able to stop is if you commit right now. She said that she wouldn't give us all of her cigarettes, but then I said, "How about one?" and she said ok, and then she gave me one! And then she turned to Elder Knapp and gave him one! It was amazing! And I'll admit that was my first time touching a cigarette ha-ha. It was amazing to see how much her faith is growing in Christ. We stopped by the next day and she had a smirk on her face. We asked her what was up and she held up a gallon-sized bag. In that bag she was holding, there were 15 lighters, an ashtray, a small container of cigarette bud that she would use to make her own homemade cigarettes, and the last pack of cigarettes that she owned. She wanted us to dispose of it and we were more than willing to! She said that we're making a huge impact on her life and she hasn't done anything like this before. We promised her that the Lord is going to bless her in her desire to quit smoking and making herself clean! We're so excited for her!

Thursday was bike day and it so happened to be the hottest day of the week. Go figure ha-ha. We went and helped Sister Garcia on her farm again and she said that she need a bunch of old palettes chopped up and burned. I was more than willing to handle a power saw and start chopping and slicing away. It felt like I was on a campout as I poured gasoline on the wood and burned it. It was so hot outside it was ridiculous. After that we had to bike to the church to make some copies and on the way, my left crank of my bike popped off! It was completely gone! Brother Jennings came over with a ratchet set and helped fix it. A little while later we were biking in a neighborhood and it came off again! We were stranded! I was trying my best to screw it back on with my fingers but it wasn't working. Then, a man pulled up in his truck and asked us if we needed help. I said yes and he had a ratchet set for us! It was such a tender mercy from the lord and I feel blessed and grateful to finally be able to recognize that in my life.

I know that the Lord provides for his missionaries and I don't believe in coincidences. That man was sent by the Lord to help us so that His work can keep on rolling. I have such a strong testimony that the Lord is always looking out for us. He knows us and he knows what each and every one of us is going through. It's through his gospel and love that each us can receive ultimate happiness! I love you all and I hope the best for you! Peace out!

Elder Bollwinkel




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