Well, that went fast. Again. IT'S ALMOST CHRISTMAS!!
Burleson is awesome! It is the best area that I have been in! The members are responsive, the bishop is on board, the people are friendly and even the less-actives love us. I am so excited to be here. I also love Elder Newey. He is so great! We are so like minded it is amazing. We love basically the same things and we are going to become best friends.
Elder Newey makes videos. Really cool videos. He has a YouTube channel. Just type in Matt Newey into the search bar and you will find it; it should be the first one. It's logo is an MN. He wants to be a videographer and he will be a good one. I am excited! He has gotten me thinking about making some cool fire videos or something. We get along so well it's awesome! He is from Centerville so we will be able to see each other after the mission and we will probably go boarding/skiing together a bunch.
Yesterday we had dinner with a family named the Thiebaud (pronounced "teebow') family. They have 12 children! Both mom and the oldest daughter were pregnant at the same time. It was really cool to be in their home last night. We clicked with them. More so Elder Newey than me because they are all into making "movies" and so is Elder Newey. They all seem to play instruments. Everything from the piano, the guitar, drums, ukulele, violin. It's awesome! And after talking with me one of the sons is looking into a sax. Hopefully he actually gets it so I can play. It's been a long time since I have played the sax. I am probably really bad now haha.
We have one main investigator right now, his name is victor. Victor is prepared. He reads the Book of Mormon everyday and has gotten to 2 Nephi 12! It is just a matter of time before he makes that covenant with God. He comes to church and has his questions answered by the Book of Mormon.
Our ward mission leader, Brother Colby, is really awesome! Like, unbelievably awesome! He will do anything for us and takes care of our needs. I mean, he bought us a gym membership to the gym right across the street! He spent the first two days with us orienting us with the area and the zone which is really necessary. For several reasons. One, we whitewashed so we don't know hardly anything about the area. Two, in TX, there aren't mountains to help you know which way is which. And third, in Burleson there is no grid system. In fact, there aren't even main roads that run north-south or east-west. They are all skewed and on diagonals. It is northeast and southwest type deals. It can be rather confusing haha. But that is what happens when you don't plan in advance! It's a fun town. :)
Brother Andrews is our Assistant ward mission leader. He is also fantastic Thursday we had an exchange with us and on the way to pick us up he talked to his neighbor. His neighbor asked him what he was doing and he explained that he was going to teach people with us. His neighbor inquired further and asked for a copy of the Book of Mormon. Brother Andrews gave one to him then said that he would bring us over to each him in 15 minutes. We taught Steve and it was great! He is a tried man but he is also looking to improve his relationship with God.
We literally just had someone knock on our door to say merry Christmas. (this is like the 3rd or 4th time this has happened.) He said that he just got a copy of the Book of Mormon and he considers himself a student of all religions. So we taught him a lesson right just barely like not even 5 minutes ago. In Burleson, TX, we don't knock on peoples doors, they knock on ours!
We also have been purging our apartment. Missionaries leave a lot of junk that shouldn't be there. They also don't realize that you can ask management to fix things that are broken in your apartment... *mind blown!
We have also had some unusually cold wether. Not just unusual because it was cold, but it was really cold. Although it is funny, we had people asking us if church was canceled because of the wether... *face-palm. We don't cancel church when it eats below freezing people! It isn't that big of a deal, just leave your faucets dripping, wear a coat, gloves and a hat and you'll be fine. Lol.
We got a call from the assistants on Friday letting us know that in addition to being the zone leaders, we are also the district leaders for our district because there is not another companionship of elders in it. This will be a blast!
We have developed a vision for the culture that we want to instill in the zone. Exact obedience, love of and like God, diligent and prayerful planning, finding, studying and teaching. We are going to set the example by striving for the standards of excellence and actually following through on our plans. We are striving for 20 lessons a week, baptismal dates and for creating a relationship of trust between the missionaries and the members.
Since you might not read all of my email, I will let you know of a talk that I love. "You Matter to Him" by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf in the October 2011 General Conference is awesome! The link is at the bottom of the email.
Elder Newey and I have been pondering and counseling about the reasons why we as members of the church are commanded to share the gospel. We started by asking this quesiton:
Why are we here on this earth? What is the purpose for this life? You might answer that question with these scriptures,
2 Nephi 2:25 - Adam fell that men might be and men are that they might have joy. So we are to have joy in this life.Alma 34:32 - This life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold this life is the day for men to perform their labors. And we read on that we need to repent and prepare for that day.
From these two scriptures, and many other like them, we know that the purpose of this life is to become like our Father in Heaven. We gain eternal life by coming to know "the only true God and Jesus Christ whom [he] has sent." (John 17:3) Repentance brings joy and happiness because the commandments of God bring us complete and lasting joy. repentance is merely changing our perspective and bringing our will inline with God's and using the Atonement to do so. All of this is to accomplish God's purpose which is to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." (Moses 1:39)
So what does that have anything to do with sharing the gospel?Well, we as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Christ's church on the earth, the one with his correct doctrine, with his priesthood, with his servants guiding it. I guess it would be fair to say that we need to share the gospel so that others might reap the rewards of following God. We need o share the gospel so that others may be sealed with their loved ones for time and all eternity and inherit all that the father has. none of these things can come to us without the blessings of the restored priesthood.
D&C 38:41 "And let your preaching be the warning voice, every man to his neighbor, in mildness and in meekness."
But how do we do that? How do we share the gospel in mildness and meekness?
"When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." The answer are these three things that can be adapted to any one persons circumstance.
1. Live the gospel. People aren't so much interested in the doctrines as much as they are in the results. 2. Talk to people. Just have conversations. Our religion is such that if we just talk with people and not be afraid of talking about our religion, our beliefs will come up. There is something that the church does or believes that relates to any topic your could possibly talk about. 3. Invite. No one is ever going to do anything unless they are invited to with few exceptions. Once we have extended the invitation, the ball is in their court. It is completely up to them to accept or reject. We succeed when we invite. That simple!
It was a lot and it was long but it's kinda what has been on my mind today... Always remember, you matter to Him!
Keep the Faith and Hurrah for Israel!
Love, your missionary son and brother, Elder Jefferies https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/10/you-matter-to-him?lang=eng" target="_blank">https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/10/you-matter-to-him?lang=eng