Well I think this time I am going to give a short run-down of some of our investigators, as I have done in the past:
Kevin and Alisha: Have been being taught for over a year now, and are planning on getting married on April 29th and being baptized shortly thereafter! They have strong testimonies of the Gospel, and are practically already members and have been that way for a while. They’re super awesome and they will be a great addition to the ward.
James and Teresa: They are a little bit slower when it comes to speech and expressing themselves, but they very well grasp the concepts of the Gospel, and continually act upon those principles. They came to church yesterday and loved it and strongly desire to be baptized by the end of February. By a miracle, they very well could make it, but need help through prayer to be able to continue coming to church!
Hilton: Older man, and he’s been taught by missionaries before, years ago. He came to church 2 Sundays ago and enjoyed it. We have him on date for Baptism March 4th, and he continues to keep commitments and read in the Book of Mormon. As he does so, you can tell his faith grows and he learns more about God’s plan and purposes. It doesn’t work when we try to force it into people, only when they choose to act for themselves.
These are just a few of the awesome people we are teaching right now but I would ask those who read this email to pray on their behalf! I would ask you to pray that they will be guided by the Spirit, and protected physically and Spiritually so they can continue to grow.
We had some great miracles this week including an instance that occurred after I ran out of money: We knocked into a lady who actually ended up inviting us for dinner, and that was the ONLY door we knocked that day! Crazy. Other small miracles have happened that have provided for me throughout the end of this month. I’m very grateful 🙂
Miracles have not ceased!
I love you all I hope you have a wonderful week! Stay awesome and Stay safe!
I didn’t know what I should call this weekly letter. You can probably tell.
This was a great week for our district! Lots of progress!
Elder Strauss and I have been working hard in being obedient and of course, being as diligent as possible, and our area saw one of the greatest weeks it has in a long time. We had 14 great lessons with people and had the opportunity to do more service for awesome refugees. I can say one thing, that although it is all hard and tiring, I am happy. I’m truly happy! If you want to be happy, lose your life in the service of others, even if it’s in little things! 🙂 Look back gratefully at what’s been given you, because it is much!
I actually ran out of money for the first time today. Haha. For some reason the dinner calendar has been quite sparse, but that’s okay!
We had the wonderful opportunity to have 3 investigators at church on Sunday! Plus it was Ward Conference so there were some great talks by our leaders.
Anyway gotta go, I love you all! Stay strong and firm on the foundation of the Gospel. Faith, Repentance, Baptism, and the Gift of the Holy Ghost are the way to fully exploit the blessings God has in store for you, and they can be maintained through your endurance to the end of your life in living those principle and ordinances.
(Please don’t be too upset, I left my camera in the car so no pictures.)
Elder Strauss and I have been working our butts off and keeping really busy. It’s fun! But it’s also exhausting. The Key indicators are looking good but actual people are making progress toward Christ, which is what those indicators supposed to be about.
One really fun experience this week was teaching 3 college kids. Two of them are from Calvin College and one is from Kuyper. FYI, Calvin College is where the majority of Anti-Mormon literature worldwide is printed. These students are legitimately interested in learning about the Mormons and one of them is now writing their term paper on Mormonism. x) Pretty awesome.
On Saturday Elder Strauss and his last companion, Elder Thompson, went to the Detroit temple with a bunch of members from their last ward (up in Midland). Meanwhile, I worked in Holt with Elder Thompson’s companion, Elder Reynolds. We had a lot of fun and we helped a member family clear a bunch of stuff out of their house, which recently burned down. Luckily none of them were harmed and things are working out for them in finding a new home, but it was all we could do to help them move the things they were able to salvage.
I love you all and I testify of the reality of our Savior Jesus Christ. The Bible was given as a witness of his existence and his perfect example and ministry in Judea. The Book of Mormon testifies of His divinity as the Son of God, and of his love for everyone in the world. I’m so grateful for these two witnesses which have helped me to not only learn more about Christ, but apply those things into my life, one by one, which is what has brought me to be the person I am today. I am happy. 🙂 I can truly say that I feel happy, and I did not always feel that way. We talk to and teach many people right now who do not feel that way either. The Gospel is the greatest way I know to find it. It’s really the only way I know, that brings true and lasting joy. So plant your feet on the Rock! Serve your fellow brothers and sisters! Do what Jesus would do!
Have a wonderful week and enjoy this picture of me feeding a rabbit cilantro. It reminds me a lot of a rabbit I once had named Oreo. Oreo ran away.
It’s been a cold we here in Grand Rapids. Bitterly Cold. And the Sister Training Leaders took our car on Wednesday (as per the usual rotation) so Elder Strauss and I have been on foot. Haha, welcome to Grand Rapids Elder Strauss! Now walk back and forth for miles through the freezing cold are fluttered with snow, with the wind constantly blowing at your face no matter which direction you’re going. 🙂
Not trying to complain! It’s been fun and exciting, but Elder Strauss and I are both pretty sick today as a result of it all. But we found 13 awesome people last week! Some of which we have already taught and they want to learn more 🙂
Sarafina came to church with us on Sunday! She loved it, especially the familiarity everyone had toward each other. It really is one big family, joining many different people and personalities together in one purpose.
Sorry No pictures this week!…. Forgot the cable for my camera back at the apartment.
It’s a little bit late but Happy New Year everyone!
Elder Laaksonen and I had such a marvelous Holiday Season, and I’m so grateful for everything Heavenly Father provided for us through members, investigators, and our families. What a beautiful way to end 2016. We spent New year’s eve with our investigators, Kevin and Alisha, and the Banners who help us with EVERYTHING, and the Bodens, who also had the Gleasons over from church. Many games were played. And Elder Breinholt loves games. >:)
Last week we were pondering and praying one night about where we should go to search for Someone who specifically needs this Gospel, and we were shown to a certain street on the map, so we went the next day. We had knocked almost the whole street and no one had been the least bit interested. There was a man out playing with his kids with their new Christmas go karts and things (seeing as this was the 26th). I felt the Spirit when I looked at him, and we went and talked with him. Immediately he invited us in to share our message, and laid out the problems he’s facing in life right now. He is a man of much faith in God, but has been very depressed due to problems in his marriage and family which I won’t disclose at this time. We gave him a Book of Mormon and invited him to get back to reading in the scriptures, both the Bible and the Book of Mormon together, to help him through this. We’ll be meeting with him later today so I’ll tell you how it goes!
I’m very blessed to be serving here in Grand Rapids, and I will be for another 6 weeks! However, Elder Laaksonen is headed to Caro, Michigan, and I’ll be receiving Elder Strauss! I hear he’s awesome so I have no worries.
Have a wonderful week everyone and once again! Happy New Year!