Sunday, January 19, 2014

Elder Bednar is Awesome!

January 13, 2014

Standing next to a giant mobile BBQ
How is everyone doing?!? It’s been another week! Man, its flying by.  I've already been in New Braunfels for 6 weeks! No way I've been gone for 3 months already, There's just NO way!  I just left home, I swear!

My companion and I have had really, really busy weeks for the last three weeks or so.  Unfortunately, it has inhibited the work a bit.  We've had tons of meetings and stuff we've had to attend, so we haven't had as great of numbers or as much time to visit our families and investigators.  Nevertheless, this week was still FANTASTIC.  I'll tell ya all about it!

On Tuesday, we did a service project for a young dad in our ward.  This guy is awesome, absolutely awesome.  He's so missionary oriented and helps us ALL the time, so when he asked us to help him fix up and clean his house, we were all over it - more than happy to help!  His wife was out of town, so we helped clean things up as a surprise for her.  We spent from about 10-1 cleaning out the house and fixing things and taking out trash and vacuuming and organizing and stuff.  It was great.  He is a super funny and cool guy.  We were blasting LDS music and cleaning the house – lots of fun.  We had it looking great afterwards too, so it was really cool.  He took us out to Logan's Roadhouse afterwards, and we all pigged out.  It was so cool.

Thursday was transfer meeting.  Luckily, my companion and I get another transfer together - neither of us are being transferred.  This is good, because we're killing it in our area.  The OTHER elder wright, though, got transferred.  So, on Thursday, we spent all day moving his stuff and getting our new roommate, Elder Gray.

Elder Gray is very softspoken, and my first impression of him was he was going to be nerdy.  I’ve gotta stop judging people right away; I was totally wrong...well he is softspoken, but man this kid is so sarcastic and hilarious.  He makes me laugh so hard every day.  And, on top of that, he's super chill, and even more talented!  He's like a professional cello player.  Even though he doesn't have a cello with him, he can pick up ANY of our ukes and play any song you ask him to - by ear.  Just give him like two minutes to figure it out, and he'll play you the whole song.  It's insane. He's so good, so talented.  He makes us all look like a joke – the kid is awesome.

So here's the coolest part of the whole week.  Friday, we had the most amazing {AMAZING} opportunity to meet with Elder David A. Bednar.  IT. Was. Awesome. The entire mission drove in to see him, and it was the single greatest thing that I’ve ever been a part of in my entire life!

First, I’d like to tell you all how worried I was about seeing Bednar in person.  He has a pretty big reputation for being very serious and like...rebuking people.  I've heard where Bednar was speaking, and how he would rebuke the ENTIRE congregation for not being reverent enough, or from standing in the middle of the hymn, or something like that.  Plus, he told the entire CHURCH in the last general conference to repent.  So, I'm over here freaking out.  I planned my outfit a week in advance so I look as professional as I possibly can be!  Not looking flashy and not wearing flashy shoes or ties or belts or doing my hair too flashy or anything.  I looked straight up like a businessman!  We got there an hour and a half early, so we could sit in the very front, and we got great seats.

AND, let me tell you...Elder David. A. Bednar is COMPLETELY DIFFERENT than what the world thinks he is!  He is HILARIOUS. So funny. He made us laugh the entire time.  And, he's a freaking genius!  He's so smart, and by far the greatest orator I've heard in my life.  He didn't even give us a talk; he got up there and just started asking us questions and had us ask him questions and it was so awesome.  He was demonstrating the perfect {PERFECT} way to ask by faith and act by faith and teach, which is what he was teaching us about.  It wasn’t' even a talk,; it was a conversation.  And, he's just so funny and nice and loving. It was awesome.  

His wife spoke as well, and she was just fantastic. It's crazy to see just how REAL the apostles really are. They seem so serious, but man, he's just a normal guy. He told us some very personal experiences and stories about their grandchildren.  When sister Bednar was talking she started crying.  He got up, stood next to her, put his arm around her, and told her she could do it - and she finished.  It was incredible.  The way he talked was so relaxed; he was talking like any normal guy.  Man, it was such a great experience.  I wish you guys could've seen him. The spirit was so strong,  AHHH.

So quick funny story: On Sunday, there was a youth baptism.  Elder Wright and I were asked to fill the font after church.  About 30 minutes after we started the water, we notice it was barely filling – the drain must not be working!  So I took off my socks and shoes and rolled up my sleeves and pants and got in there.  The water was about to my knees.  I tried to fix the drain, but it was broken.  We got tons of paper towels and plastic bags and stuffed them in there and fixed it.  The whole time, the members (i didn't know this at the time) were watching through the little doors.  I got out all wet and went back into the room where the baptism would be held and put my stuff back on.  All the members were patting me on the back and telling me thanks for doing it haha. Member trust, killed it! 

Last night, we had some pretty sweet experiences, as well.  This Sunday we had like 5 or 6 less active members AT CHURCH, and 3 investigators! How awesome is that?  And they all loved it!  It was great.

We also stopped by to talk to “E,” whom I had met in my first week here.  As we were walking to his apartment, we noticed three hispanics talking in Spanish, as we walked by their apartments.  Little did they know we can understand Spanish.  They were talking about the "mormons" as we were walking by.  So, after we were done chatting with “E”, we grabbed some pamphlets out of the car, a Book of Mormon, and went back to talk to those people.  It was getting late at this point (like 8:50), so we expected it to be real short.  We end up meeting 3 adults that were super super nice! The man had tons and tons of questions for us.  The woman had a lot to say too.  So I answered the man’s questions, while Elder Wright answered the other women’s questions.  The man was very interested  He had all these questions and said he had been searching for the truth for a long time.  I gave him a Book of Mormon and answered all the questions I felt appropriate to answer.  I tried to incorporate what I learned from Bednar about us having our investigators learn for THEMSELVES.  I felt prompted to give him 2 Nephi chapter 31 because he kept asking me about what we are supposed to do here on earth.   So, I gave him the doctrine of Christ!  It was interesting because the pamphlet elder wright ended up giving to him, totally by random, was the gospel of Christ.  How awesome is that? He said he was super interested and would read it.  Then he told us that “E”, the guy we were talking to earlier, was his SON, and he thanked us profusely for being so nice to him!!  We knew something was different about “E.”   His dad explained that “E” is slightly autistic.  It was just a really cool experience.  The dad kept telling me to come over any time we wanted.  He committed to reading the chapter I gave him and said he'd have lots of questions for me the next time we stopped by. IT was great!

The whole time elder wright was talking to the woman….. And, it turns out, this lady was a LESS ACTIVE MEMBER of the church for like decades!   They had a super spiritual and heartfelt conversation.  She had grandchildren who are on missions right now, and she straight up told us she wanted the grandchild that lived with her to be baptized.  Elder wright is very confident we can baptize the grandchild and get her back to church, And, I feel really good about “E” and his dad.   We got like 3 lessons cranked out in 30 minutes.  It was incredible!  Experiences like that make me SO glad that I’m out here on a mission!

Last little tidbit - the “R” family.   We recently asked them if their son would be interested in being baptized, and he told us he wanted to be baptized and take the lessons.  So, I think we're going to be baptizing him next Saturday. sweet!  Then, “H” will be just a couple weeks after that! woohoo!

I hope everything is going well!

I love you all and hope you have a great week!

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