Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Month of May!

After our Mother's Day phone call, I searched around the apartment and around the car for my camera. I found it in the car. So, I have it now. I took a bunch of pictures, including one of my "pants burning".

Speaking of pants-burning, one of my former companions got transferred...I was super sad to hear that. He's going to miss the burning. He saw my shirt burning at my year mark, so it kinda adds to the reason why I wanted him to come. "But behold, [he is] gone, and my sorrows cannot bring [his] return." (Mormon 6:20)

So, before our Mother's Day phone call, we went to our branch president's home for dinner. His mother came to dinner with us, and we were able to have a member-present lesson on mothers for Mother's Day. It was really cool.

Our mission president is super cool. I talked with him about how I could improve in missionary work, and I talked with him about how I could open my mouth better when street contacting, because I've always struggled with that. It was cool. Our mission president's wife asked every missionary she interviewed to share about repentance. I shared something that I have been studying more on about a certain aspect of repentance because I gave a talk on that aspect, which is: storms. I talked about the storms in the Book of Mormon, and she told me to look up something in the Doctrine and Covenants Institute Student Manual . So I'm gonna do that. Super excited to do so.

I've been rereading the Old Testament, studying it more fully with the new set of scriptures you guys sent me for Easter. Right now I am in the Book of Judges. It's a good book so far.

Now for the pictures!  My parents wish I would send them more frequently!

Our last district meeting in my old area. Afterwards, we played basketball. Ties against no-ties.

A ward member and me in my last area...

...and her "demon dog", Sophie!

Saying "goodbye" to a family in my last area.

The storm shelter near our current living quarters....It pitch black in there.

I burned a pair of pants. It is a missionary "tradition" to burn some pants when you reach your eighteen month mark.
Our church's pews.
This is in Tahlequah. The movie, "Where the Red Fern Grows" was filmed here. The actor who portrayed the main character is LDS. I went here for exchanges. It was super cool, and spiritual. We taught a teenage girl about the Restoration.

We had "Braums" at the church while waiting for a ride to our next appointment.

Our weekly planning meetings have been highly effective. My companion and I have set some really good goals that we are both striving to keep.

We played Red Light, Green Light with some children in the area and connected it with covenant making and keeping. Spiritual and fun!

We also found an less active member who wants to come back. He wants to feed us dinner. It was awesome.

We went to an 7-hour long duration of meetings for stake conference. Instead of being a long day, it was absolutely cool. We met a Seventy who knew a lot about the scriptures. Enough said.

Our area is amazing. We got transfer calls toward the end of the month and I did not get transferred, but my companion did. I got one of his trainers for my new companion. I am super excited I'm staying in this area. The members are the best people you can ever meet.. They're true, they're hard-working, and some of them have to travel 50 miles to get to church. One member sees more people than we do throughout the week. Our mission leader always comes to church despite health problems. Our branch president is willing to feed us whenever we don't have a dinner as long as we give him a half-day's notice. The first counselor takes us out every Tuesday. Our area is full of the most faithful members I have seen. Whenever I see how far each of them are from the church, I marvel at how they can do it. I would be content if I stayed here the rest of my mission. Probably not going to happen, but it could.

We said "goodbye" to everyone for my "transferring" companion, which wasn't too hard. We already saw 95% of the people that he wanted to say goodbye to before Thursday, so it's super easy.

Here are a few scriptures I shared with my companion who transferred:
1 Corinthians 16:22-24, 2 Corinthians 13:14, and 3 John 14. The last one is my favorite.

On transfer day, I helped other missionaries clean a ward house while we were waiting for the next group to get here. We finished around noon. After transfers, we were able to have dinner over at the president's house the first evening my new companion was here, so he could meet his family. We then got a call from the second counselor in the branch presidency, asking as to speak in sacrament meeting. We prepared our talks, had a few solid lessons on Friday and Saturday, then spoke on Sunday. It went well. Afterwards, we had a wonderful time at the linger-longer eating Mexican food. A ton of people gave us food to take home. We had two cartons of eggs, enchiladas, and one and a half bag of tortilla chips back at the cabin. It was a lot.

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