Hey everyone how you doing? Hope all is going well in Gilbert! Heard it's been hotter than ever, that's a bummer! It's been pretty good here in Pampa, not gonna lie! It was pretty cold for a couple days so that was really surprising! This was a really good week here serving the Lord!
On Monday, we went finding for a little bit because that is a goal that Elder Knapp and I came up with. We found a guy cooking in his front yard and his name is Darren. I don’t have a picture of him, but Darren is a straight up thug. He has a gold chain, a gold grill and tattoo sleeves. He's also has dreads and shorts that sag to his knees. He is awesome and he invited us back to talk to him more about God. We went back on Tuesday and had a sweet lesson with him about the Restoration. One of his friends, Yoland, was there and he was listening as we taught Darren. They both had a lot of questions that were deep, great questions and we helped them answer them and it was great! We have another lesson with them tonight so you'll here more about what happens with that next week!
We met with Oli and his family on Tuesday and we watched the Restoration with them as a recap lesson. Oli was actually watching intently with his family! I don't know if I mentioned this before but he said that as soon as his kids go to church for a certain period of time, we can baptize them! So we are so glad to see that his heart is softening! At the end of the lesson, we asked Oli if he would say the prayer and he did! It was the first time that he has prayed in years! And it was a great prayer! It's amazing to see the spirit change him each time we come over and teach their kids! We committed him and Ruby to read and pray every night together, as well as their kids. Additionally we committed them to come to Stake Conference on Sunday (but they didn't come:/). We're going to continue to push them toward coming to church, because that's what they need the most!
We met a guy Tuesday night and his name is Terrance. This guy is hilarious! He lives by himself and he's a drunk, even though he says he's not - he is. He loves everything about God and loves what we as young men do, which is teaching others about Jesus Christ. We didn't have a lot of time to talk to him but we spoke with him about baptism and the importance of it. He said that he wanted us to come back, so we came back the next day and taught him the Restoration. I recited to him Joseph Smith's First vision and he sat there for a solid minute and a half just starring at me as I held a picture of Joseph Smith. Prior to that we explained to him what the Spirit is and we invited him to look for the feeling and promptings of it as we spoke. So after a little while of him starring at me he said, "Man, I feel that.” I knew that he felt that because I felt the Spirit manifesting the truth of it to me as well. He got kinda of excited and he was like, "Woah, man how did you do that to me. I want to feel that again!" We explained that it wasn't us but it was the Spirit telling him that our message is true. He said that he wants to feel that more so we invited him to be baptized and he said yes. We set a baptism date with him for September 19th. So we'll help him prepare for that! We taught him the Word of Wisdom as well and that's going to be a big obstacle for him. He said that he could cut back on the drinking and we committed him to that. He consumes about 140 fl oz of beer a day, which is a ton. However we got him to cut that in half. We're going to continue to do daily visits with him and follow up with his commitments – I’ll keep ya posted.
This weekend was Stake Conference and it was incredible! We got to drive to Amarillo for that and it was so mush fun! There were such incredible speakers there and President and Sister Heap were also there! The spirit was so strong and I'm extremely glad that I got to experience that in my first transfer in the field. This was the last week of the transfer so that means that we're getting transfer calls. Elder Knapp was worried that he would get transferred half way through my training, but I was pretty sure that he was staying here. I had the phone and was driving with a different elder (Elder Slater – an awesome guy!) when I got the call from Elder Backus, one of the AP's. He said that Elder Knapp and I would stay in Pampa together and I was so relieved! What we did though was as we got to the apartment to meet up with Elder Knapp and Elder Wilkins, (Elder Slater's companion) is that I told him that I'm getting transferred! Elder Knapp was freaking out, but then Elder Slater and I started laughing a ton so that gave it away haha. It was so much fun!
So Elder Darby is one of the Zone Leaders (ZL) in the Panhandle Zone and this was his last transfer in the field. He is such an awesome missionary and I've learned so much from him that I know will benefit me as a missionary! We took some pictures and it was great to be able to spend time with him! He called us Sunday night and did some freestyling rap for Elder Knapp and I, it was great! This was such an awesome week serving the Lord and I couldn't ask for anything more!
This week I have been able to recognize the spirit so much more as we teach people about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Back home, I was focused on other things that didn't let me recognize the hand of the Lord in me life. Ever since I came out here, I've so opened up to change and I've let the spirit work on me a lot and it has blessed me abundantly. I already feel myself changing into the person that the Lord wants me to be. I have a firm testimony that when we let the spirit into our lives, it will change us, and others around us for the better. We will be able to feel His love for us more often and more easily. I would like to challenge you all to try to recognize the hand of the Lord in your life and see how He blesses you everyday. Try to count all the blessings that He has given you every day and I promise you that you will be able to identify those good things in you life as a gift from Him. I love you all!!
PS- I hope Highland kicks some Mesa/Gilbert trash! Zane you better knock some kids over in football for me! Love you fam!