Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Pearland Texas, Week 104: September 12, 2016 - September 18, 2016

Just one more Post on Monday, Sept.26th
 Elder Deans will be home the 27th      

September 19, 2016

Don't have much time to write today. I will get another chance next week as well. But, things are going quite swell. We had a good week being able to have 10 total investigator lessons which was very exciting because that's more than usual. We got to have members out teaching with us a lot this week. We had like 3 or 4 occasions that members were out and willing to spend a couple hours teaching with us. That's always the best. But I will send a great email next week and put more details into it.

Austin's kids made it to their friend's baptism! It was a neat day. The kids now are seriously thinking about their own baptism! It's pretty awesome. We're gonna just straight up invite them to be baptized in a couple days. We also got to teach a mini Restoration lesson to everyone at the baptism while peeps were changing after baptism. There were even some non member people that were friends of those there who got to hear it.

I'm excited to see ya'll very soon!! It's gonna be so amazing to just see everyone and give ya'll a hug. I haven't cried in a while, so maybe this reuniting will be the trick to get some tears out of me that have been trying for a while, haha. 
Love you tons!
Elder Deans

Pearland Texas, Week 103: September 6, 2016 - September 11, 2016

September 12, 2016

We had a very interesting week this week. It was good! It was just kind of a tough weekend because a lot of our effort was to get our investigators and also less actives to church this week and no one made it to church unfortunately. We have to reschedule our baptismal dates now. Buts its all good. We did our part and everyone has their own agency so that's just part of the work.

We were able to test our "faith over fear" by talking to  lots of people as we went out and tried tracting. We had some time in the afternoon that we set aside for tracting and we both just had faith if we follow the Spirit and we say what we need to then people will be interested and we will be able to get a lesson or return appointment. We ended up getting tons of contacts of people that said we can come back!! It was awesome. We just had fun out there meeting so many people and being real and sharing our testimony. Tonight were gonna go back and see a couple of the people that we met through tracting. We'll see how it goes.

Austin's kids are going to be at their friends baptism this weekend. We also were able to have a good lesson with Sis. Moser. We taught her the Doctrine of Christ, being: Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Holy Ghost and Enduring to the End. The lesson went really well and we invited her to come back to church. She really thought about it and wants to come, she just said its hard because her teenage daughters don't ever wanna go. So were gonna try to help her see that its important for her to come even by herself if she can. We're also going to do service for her tomorrow which will be fun.

We also had a way neat experience as we went to go visit a lady named Sis Hyde that Ive talked to a few times. She's a less active sister that likes when we come by. So, we went to her place and right as we are about to knock on the door she opens up! haha We were all surprised. But, the best part is that she told us that things have been really hard for her lately. Her family isn't too well and some are in bad health. We had a lesson and read in the Book of Mormon about Faith in Christ and did what we could to relate things to her. She ended up telling us that she totally thought our visit was inspired because she was needing to hear what we shared with her. Its always humbling for me to hear when people say they are very grateful for us in showing up and needing to hear what we share. Its one of those unique mission joys because we truly are on the Lords errand. I definitely know that missionary or not the Lord puts us in places we need to be when we aim to do what is right.

Love ya!

Elder Deans


hmmm, someone has a Utah Blanket just like me!  #utahfans

A gift from a inactive sister after her trip

Pearland Texas, Week 102: August 29, 2016 - September 5, 2016

September 6, 2016

So we had another fantastic week this week! We were able to see Hope accept baptism! She is going for the 24th of this month. Not quite sure if she'll get there because she didn't make it to church. Buuuuttt, on the bright side, we got her a Children's Book of Mormon because she doesn't read too well and she is way into reading that along side with the actual Book of Mormon. We had a cool lesson with her this week where we just showed her how she could use both of those to understand the story and teachings. We also had a member with us that is gonna take her under her wing and the member is totally stoked to invite her to things and keep in touch with her. Gotta love when you get members and investigators fellow-shipping. So I think she will be baptized, it just might take a little bit of time.

We also had a super cool experience yesterday as we were able to meet with Austin and her kids. We had dinner and a FHE. Austin, being the wonderful convert she is, did a sweet job on putting together a FHE. We played this crazy game which is super funny. Its called Speak Out. You should look it up, But we made the game all repentance and baptism themed and then after that we had a way good lesson for the kids on repentance and baptism and Austin and us taught the kids. I was way proud of Austin because she was teaching the kids how the LDS church and the catholic church do repentance and baptism differently. The kids will probably be baptized in the near future because they also have friends in the ward, one of which is having a baptism next week. So its cool how God has lined everything up so that they had this good lesson and then they will be there for the baptism so i think they will want to do that for themselves after.

Jennifer is doing pretty good! We had a solid lesson with her teaching the plan of salvation and we had a member with us this time. He was able to share his testimony of the creation and the atonement and they loved it. I felt that my companion and I did a good job at following the Spirit and being personal with her in teaching the lesson. I shared how these things have made a huge difference in my life and they help me to have God on my mind more. She is still planning on baptism since we reminded her in the lesson and that was a big relief to hear. She was totally planing on coming to church and then last minute wasn't able to make it. She had a friend staying at her place and the friend wasn't feeling good enough for church so she didn't want her to be alone. I think she will be there next week for sure though. Its awesome to see how she truly wants to. .

Oh, also today, I was totally reminded of something you told me a long time ago over email about how on your mission sometimes people will just bash/argue to waste our time and try to disrupt stuff. We had a run in with that today while we were at the store of all places!! But, I totally did what you said and it got to the point where I told the guy "look, I dont think we will ever come to an agreement. We also need to get some shopping done" After I said that and then it all faded out and we just kept shopping on. I hope it was also a good teaching moment for my companion to learn how to respond to people like that. It seemed like it was.

Love you tons,

Elder Deans

Someone dropped the "f" bomb, so we picked it up so no one would get hurt!

We were very careful with this 'cause we didn't want the "f" bomb to drop again!

You too can play the game "Speak Out"

Pearland Texs, Week 101: August 22, 2016 - August 28, 2016

August 29, 2016

We had a tremendous week this week!! We were a lot more non member and investigator focused. Like with my last companion, we worked hard but I think we got to the point where we didn't have much faith in getting investigators. Now the Lord is blessing us because my new comp and I have that faith needed for investigators.

We were seriously blessed this week. We just see the Lords hand in all the work and how people are ready to hear from us and commit to invitations we give them. We now have a baptismal date for a lady named Jennifer!! She was a referral that we got from a missionary who was going home and he talked to Jennifer and her husband in the airport. They were interested and he said other missionaries would come by and talk to them. So we did! We had a super good first lesson with her and her husband Michael. We taught the Restoration and they were awesome because they both just simply understood why we needed prophets and why we needed priesthood on the earth. I was honestly nervous when we started teaching because things were going too well and I didn't know what was gonna go wrong or what not, haha. But, then I felt the Spirit kick in more and it helped me to just not worry about it and teach from my heart and teach in a way they needed to hear things. So, Michael didn't quite accept baptism, but he said he definitely wants us to come back and they said they would study the Book of Mormon and pray about it all this week and we plan to go see them again this Saturda, hopefully for another sweet lesson. My comp and I were sooooo stoked walking out of their house. We both just got in the car and were like "holy moly!" and then we said a prayer of just straight gratitude for all the good that had just happened.

When you talked about the harder we work the luckier we get I was reminded of something I heard a missionary say once. He said "God is my luck and my coincidences." So what you said is true! We get both lucky with things that just happen and we have God that blesses us with things like missionary work and spiritual things.

Other highlights came from meeting with an investigator we have named Hope. We've been talking to her for a while, but she's now starting to be more solid and ready to act. We were teaching her a lesson and then it got all off topic and we were a little bit frustrated. But then, all of a sudden, one of her best friends came to her house and she started talking to us and telling us that she was super religious. She's a strong Christian lady and she was really impressed with us and what we do. We got to talk a lot about how the gospel just helps us to progress in life. We ended up giving her friend a pamphlet and she was interested. We later realized that was probably the reason why Hope got off topic, to stall so that we could meet her friend. She didn't try to do that, the friend came by surprise, but God worked it all out. That was cool. Hope will be coming to church soon and were seeing her this evening.

We even had a cool miracle that came from tracting!! We don't normally do that, but we just figured we had some extra time and we really wanted to find more people to teach. So walking back to our car we tracted a few houses. We got to one and a kid about our age answered. He told us to come back another time. Later we went over and we had a Restoration lesson with him!! He let us in and everything. He wasn't way interested but he said that he would read and pray about the Book of Mormon and that we could come back in a few weeks when he's not so busy with school. So that was just a cool blessing for me to see that sometimes tracting really can lead to some awesome missionary moments.

So as far as Anne and the Moser family, Anne hasn't been to church yet. We're seeing her this week again. She's been reading though which is great. The Mosers do have kids. I've never talked to them, but I've seen them hanging out at the house. The wife is pretty solid on the Church and Book of Mormon. She just doesn't come to church. We actually visit the her quite a bit and try to share scriptures with her and be in the Book of Mormon with her. We were able to see Sis. Moser this week but we just talked to her on the porch for a second and next time we will be able to teach her.

Love you tons,
Elder Deans

New companion, Elder Holyoak

Elder Holyoak and Elder Deans, hmmm, questionable...

Pearland Texas, Week 100: August 15, 2016 - August 21, 2016

August 22, 2016

This week was awesome. It truly was. It was super fun to get a new companion! I felt the Spirit confirm to me that we would have a good time and work hard together right as I met him, it was pretty sweet. Felt good. But my new companion is Elder Holyoak. He's been out for 6 months and I'd never talked to him. He's from Moab, Utah, born and raised. He's 22. He's a way cool kid! But we have just had a great time together. He's just a really genuine and fun guy. We work way well together as far as planning and teaching. Its been nice. We still have our car, yes. Thankfully too because its been hecka rainy lately. But we hopped on the bikes Saturday and were blessed to stay dry. Except the sweat which dripped everywhere of course.

One of our biggest highlights this week was that we were able to see Anne again. We finally got to see her after like a month or so of no lessons!! We even had a member out teaching with us and just decided to stop by one evening and she was surprised to see us but excited and happy to let us all in. We ended up having a super good lesson on the Book of Mormon. Apparently she's been hesitant to read the Book of Mormon because she didn't quite get why its important to read it and what its about. So we focused on those things and she now truly does have a desire to study the Book of Mormon. She told us she'd be coming to church soon too so were hoping and hoping. It felt so good to have a lesson and see her turn the wheels in progression like that. Its been some time since last time we had that which was with Austin so it was just relieving and motivating.

Another huge highlight was that we felt prompted to go see a less active sister that I had talked to a couple times before. We were wondering if it actually was going to be worth it because we had a small window of time in between appointments and we had a lot to bike to get there. We decided we needed to go and just biked as fast as possible. We get there and all of sudden her husband answers the door. It was exciting though because he's also less active and I had tried to meet him tons of times and had no luck so I was stoked to meet him! He let us right in and was glad to see us. We got to know him some and then through inspired questions and just being guided he ended up sharing with us some reason why he hasn't been to church and also some concerns he's had with the church. He struggled having a testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith as a prophet and so we just told him that he needed to keep trying. To simply just commit to searching the scriptures and praying specifically about Joseph Smith being a prophet. We told him that God would answer his concerns but that he wouldn't recognize or get an answer until he tried his best to figure things out on his own. He comitted to spend more time in the Book of Mormon and to pray about it. He works out of town a lot so it'll be hard getting him back to church and seeing him often. But, we are going to do what we can and see that family more often now. They're the Mosers.

We were able to give two blessings yesterday. One came up out of the blue. Someone from elders quorum asked if we could help him in a blessing to his wife right as church ended. The other one was for a single sister, he son wanted a blessing for this school year. It was funny because the grandma of the kid was the one who got in touch to tell us about it and I actually knew her from the Shadow Creek ward! The gma is an active member in that ward. so it was cool to see her again and then the blessing went really well. I was the one who got to be voice and give the blessing for the little dude. He's like 8 yrs old. I also got to give a talk in church yesterday. It was the longest talk I've ever given! I was nervous because they asked me to speak for 15 mins and I had never spoken that long so i wasn't sure if I could do it but I ended up speaking the whole time allotted. I talked about how to maintain a testimony. People seemed to take things from my talk and enjoy it, so I'm happy. So things are just awesme. I feel like a new missionary honestly. Just really focused on the work and loving my companion and the people we see.

Love you,

Elder Deans

BBQing with Elder Haslauer


Last day with Elder Haslauer



Monday, September 5, 2016

Pearland Texas, Week 99: August 8, 2016 - August 14, 2016

August 15, 2016

So the biggest news is that I am safe as far as transfers. I will officially end the mission in the Pearland Ward. Big relief. But, its kind of wonky that my companion is getting transferred. My new comp and I have been just having a blast, so its a great way to end on a solid note! I'm excited to be able to have a new companion for my last little stretch and just hope I can get him acquainted with everything nicely.

We had a sweet sweet week this week though. I was quite proud of how things turned out. Probably the best week we have had in a long time. We didn't teach as many lessons as we did last week but it was more of a quality over quantity type effort. And, it doesn't even matter how many lessons we teach because I was super focused on just finding new people so we COULD teach. The Lord blessed us. We are now officially teaching Austin's kids!! We got to see them twice this week. They had us over for dinner one night and we talked about the Book of Mormon and shared a cool video on it. The second time we saw them some member's home.They actually invited them over for an after church dinner!! it was tight! The members invited her first and then us after and its amazing because our ward is taking them in sooo well. They are being the best at befriending and involving Austin. We taught the family and Austin's family about the Atonement of Christ and it was a pretty powerful lesson! The kids and Austin were paying way close attention and the kids totally understood. We also asked the other member family good questions and they had great responses that helped teach.

We also had a way cool experience as we went to go see a less active family and we saw someone mowing the lawn. So we waved to him and he came over and talked to us on the driveway. Turns out the less actives did not live there and the dude we talked to was named Steve. We proceeded to ask if he was religious at all and he told us about growing up baptist. We then taught him the highlights of the Restoration right there and then and he thought that was pretty nifty and said we can come back to share more with him this week!! It was awesome.

That is so cool to hear that you guys got to talk to Sis Hanzon!! Its always weird for me when the two worlds collide, but its exciting at the same time. Bet that was a neat visit. The weather has been cooling down actually!!! The storms roll in and drop humidity and temp a ton. I am super stoked for all the good plans we have when I get home.I try not to get trunky ;) I only think about it during morning workouts and when I shower. Beside that, the work is occupying the mind which is nice because thats not the case for all old missionaries.

Love you tons,
Elder Deans


Pearland Texas, Week 98: August 1, 2016 - August 7, 2016

August 8, 2016

We had a sweet week!! We just had a fun time throughout and we were able to see tons of people we planned to see. We also hit our highest record of lessons in a week this week again, 27 lessons. One day we had 7 lessons which was our daily highest record. We also had a highlight of being blessed with a mini missionary to join us from Thursday to yesterday. The whole stake did a mini mission experience this week and it was with the youth from 14-18. Our missionary was 15 years old. His name was Michael Barnes. He was a really good kid. He was way down to teach alongside with us and he asked lots of questions to learn about things, and he just had a jolly time with us. We talked a lot about Batman because he's a comic and game fan, so we totally related. He bore powerful testimony in multiple lessons that we had and it actually touched one of our members so much that she bore her testimony in church and talked about our visit and how he made her day. We also got a lot better at street contacting this week. We were able to talk to everyone that we saw outside. It didn't lead to any investigators unfortunately, but the people were quite nice and it lead to a couple referrals as well. So at least theres something.

Our stake president met with our zone leaders this week and totally complimented our companionship because we're in his ward. He told the ZLs that he loved how we followed up with him in person after we invited him to share his testimony of the Restoration with a non member and also to share the Plan of Salvation as a home teaching message. He was able to share the message with his home teaching family and he's going to share testimony with people at work. He was just impressed that we remembered and stopped by on Saturday and helped him to keep working on it.

So Austin and the kids are doing awesome. They came to church all together again this week. She has a 8 yr old boy named Isaac and a 10 yr old girl named Taris. Blackie for some darn reason wasn't able to make it to church this week. We weren't able to see him for a lesson either. The lady with the tomales wasn't too interested so we tried her daughter one time and found out that she doesn't actually live there, just visits so we referred her as well to the other missionaries. So Wilber has moved out, he went back to Houston because life was more settled. But Ann still lives there and said we can come back in a couple weeks, so we will definitely do that and hope and pray it works out a little better this go around and we'll be able to see her often. Dinner appointments are filling up for the month. We've been able to have some super good lessons after we eat with the members. They're about to find us some investigators. .


Love you tons,



Elder Haslauer, Michael Barnes (mm) and Janz

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Pearland Texas, Week 97: July 25, 2016 - July 31, 2016

August 1, 2016

We had a decent week this week. It was slower in the investigator and total lessons taught sense but there were still some really good things that came about. One of the biggest highlights was that Austin and the kids were back in church yesterday. The kiddos said they had an even better time this week. They'll make great Mormons soon ;)  Our ward mission leader also invited us and Austin's family over for a dinner and family home evening last night. It was super awesome. Austin got to know the Hugos more and vice versa then after that we had a pioneer themed lesson  and activity. The kids had to pull a bunch of stuff in a toy cart and eventually had to pull Bro Hugo because he told them how some dads when crossing plains got sick and had to ride haha. Then they read pioneer stories and learned how to use a washboard. It was way fun! Austin and the kids loved it. Its amazing when the ward takes charge of helping people that we work with. 

We had a decent week this week. It was slower in the investigator and total lessons taught sense, but there were still some really good things that came about. One of the biggest highlights was that Austin and the kids were back in church yesterday. The kiddos said they had an even better time this week. They'll make great Mormons soon ;)  Our ward mission leader also invited us and Austin's family over for a dinner 

Another highlight was that this week we were able to get more service than we ever have as a companionship. We got to help an activefamily move this week. There was so much stuff that they split it into two days of moving and we were there both of those. It was a good chance to bond with the guys in our ward. Another service we had was helping a single sister in the ward who just needed help painting her ceiling, moving a washer and dryer and moving things into an attic. 

We saw Blackie on saturday but for some reason wasnt able to make it to church this week. Im glad you were amused at his excuse a few weeks ago. I knew youd get a kick out of that. Hopefully thats not his excuse again as we ask him what happened yesterday. District leading things went really well this week too. I was able to have one of the Spanish Elders come to my area. We worked on not being stressed and just enjoying everything as it comes. I'd say we had success on that!! We were able to work hard but just be happy the whole time and see the good. 

But,I am doing pretty good!! We were able to work very hard every hour throughout the day. Thats one thing im proud of my companion for. Not all my companions have matched me in work ethic, but Elder Haslauer likes to go out and rock it with me, its fun!

Love you tons,
Elder Deans

Pearland Texas, Week 96 07/18/2016 - July 24, 2016

July 25,2016

We had another awesome week!! We had a less active brother named Blackie in church this week!! And he's not black, but hispanic actually, haha. We've been teaching him for quite a while. He's told us multiple times that this was the week he was going to come to church and then things would happen. Last week, his excuse was that he forgot which day it was, haha. That was one of the best "church missing excuses" I've ever heard. But, it was cool because he came and I got to sit by him at church and we had a great time. Also, Austin is back in town and she was in church this week. The best part was that this time she brought her kiddos. They came to church and talked to us for the first time!! That was a huge deal because we had never talked to them. They always were somewhere else. We even got invited over for a dinner with Austin's family. That was the big chance that we had to get to know the kids and help them have a better idea of the church and missionaries. Thankfully the Lord helped us and we had a blast over there. Her daughter at one point said "We should have the missionaries come to dinner more often" That felt nice to hear. They're cute kids. They seemed to like church for the first time as well.

We had a really good day on Friday. I was with one of my zone leaders in my area on exchange and we were able to find some new potential peeps to teach. It was funny because we just said a prayer in the car, before getting out, that we would be able to talk to everyone to find new investigators. We get out and talk about how sometimes it can be tough to talk to literally everyone and sometimes its nerve racking. Then all of a sudden a lady in her car, at the complex we were at, stops and rolls down her window and happily waved her finger for us to come over. We go over and she asked if we were from the Church of Christ. I told her were from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or the Mormon Church. She seemed okay with that and then asked if we believed that Christ had already come to earth and was among us somewhere. We were like "ummm no, thats yet to come. We would know if he was here" I guess she had heard that from some weird church and was curious. Well,we ended up teaching her the the Plan of Salvation since she talked about her husband passing away and then after that she told us to go talk to her sister who lived in that complex because she lives in Alvin. We knocked on her sister's door and lo and behold, she was the same kind of friendly and talkative as her sister and let us in She actually fed us tomales while we talked about how religion played a role in her life. She told us we could come back. Her daughter felt bad that she didnt join in on the conversation and said we could come back and that she would like to talk to us next time too. So that was a super cool hour because we had two lessons back to back and they were so "finding based!!"  ...pumped us up!

I also got to go on exchange with the Spanish Elders in my district this week. It was a good experience that I wasn't expecting because, apparently, an exchange was much needed. They are having serious trouble being happy together and getting along. We talked about it quite a bit and gave him a few "to do's" each day. Tried my best to explain that thats normal, but we need to do all we can to get rid of it because that doesn't just work itself out. He felt a lot better about it afterward and even on the phone last night with him. He said there's been some progress, so that was great to hear. Overall it was a good week and looking back it felt like we did a ton. There's a lot going on. Got to help a member move this week as well, but glad that we were able to just work and work.

Love you,

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Pearland Texas , Week 95: jULY 11, 2016 - July 17, 2016

July 18, 2016

We had a super good week this week,as far as the work and the highlights within... This week was cool because the Flythe family came to church again for the second time in a row!! They haven't been in church since Easter and even then that was just a one time thing in a long while. They are older and their kids are grown up and married. I sat by them both times now in sacrament meeting. Our next goal is to help them stay for all three hours.

We went back to see Anne and Wilber, but they were having a rough day, so we just said a prayer for them and then they had to go. They live together and thats how we found Wilber. Our next appointment is tomorrow with them and hopefully this time we can follow up on our first lesson and be able to read the Book of Mormon with them.

We had a cool experience this week as we had a dinner appointment with a part member family. We have been over many times to eat with them and they both come to church almost every week. But we realized that we have never invited the non member husband to be baptized. We decided to teach the Restoration and invite him to be baptized during it. The lesson went solid and then I invited him to be baptized while we talked about priesthood being restored. He was like " no i dont want to be baptized, I dont do religion, I just believe in many Gods" He was raised Hindu and also studied other christian churches. So even though he wasn't ready to accept baptism I just felt good that we made sure we gave him that chance to learn and to know he should be baptized. My companion was actually on exchanges and I was with the new elder in the district and my companion was stoked when I told him I invited him to be baptized. It was a big deal just making the invite itself.

We also had a way neat experience of being able to go to an old folks home and give a sister a blessing. She was about to have a breathing test and she had a high white blood cell count and an ulcer.  I got to give the blessing and it was powerful to be able to say whatever the Lord needed her to hear. Right after, as we were leaving, a gentlemen in a wheel chair in the hall stopped us and asked if we could put him in his bed. We said yes and wheeled him over and then struggled for about 5 minutes trying to find the right way to lift this dude. Eventually got it and we scooted him in position he wanted and he was very thankful And again, we just felt amazing to be helping out so much in that rehabilitation center.

We also had a chance to participate in two baby blessings yesterday. Both our ward mission leader and a recent convert in the ward asked us to join their circles for the blessing. That was pretty cool!

Love you tons,
Elder Janz

Janz with his b-day guitar strap

B-day guitar pick punch
Guitar w/new strap

Pearland Texas, Week 94: July 4, 2016 - July 10, 2016

July 11, 2016

We had a really good week this week!! Lots of things that made the week memorable and accomplishing! Thanks for the birthday wishes!! Thank you sooo soooo much for the videos!! They were bomb, i loved them! You guys are champs. I had to fight back tears of missing everyone plus just being so excited to see everyone. That was amazing how everybody was able to pitch in. Thanks for letting them know about it and setting  it up. That was hilarious honestly. I am totally saving that and keeping them forever on a flash drive! It'll be the perfect pick me up when days are tough. So for my birthday this week we didn't quite have any birthday celebration for me. I tried keeping it on the down low. The district heard about it and they sang for me after our district meeting, which was fun. I did a little jig as they sang haha. Then we went and had a good lunch at a fried chicken place.

But this week we were able to get two new investigators!! Their names are Ann and Wilber and its the lady that we originally helped jump her car. We got in the door and we were super intimidated because she had tooonnsss of catholic decorations in her apartment. She had like a 5 foot rosary on the wall! And there were more crosses on tables and on the walls than I have ever seen. So we were a little sketched that she was just catholic and wouldn't handle the invitation to be baptized well and understand the things we were saying. Buutttt, on the bright side, she ended up accepting baptism in the end and we had a really good lesson with her. I think we channeled our fear into powerful teaching and cranked up our faith and the Lord was able to provide and we got way excited. So we're gonna go back tomorrow and see how the prayers and study went for them.

We also had a huge miracle and saw the Flythe family come back to church. They had been taught, even before I was in this area, and the whole time I've been here and this Sunday, they finally made it to church!! It was way exciting to see them walk in the doors that morning. It seriously was like watching a baptism amount of joy for them. Love those guys so much. We're really close to them.

But we taught lots of lessons that day and had some sweet experiences. We had a member feed us dinner and it was cool because usually they do a food pick up and we go eat elsewhere, but we were blessed this time. We were able to go in and have dinner with them and bond and then teach. Things are going incredibly well. I am stoked for this transfer. Thanks for all you guys do. You make me feel like a rockstar.

Love you,

Pearland Texas, Week 93: June 27, 2016 - July 3, 2016

July 4, 2016

So the big news on transfers!! I will be staying in the area and my companion will be as well, no changes. I am pretty excited about that. I totally thought I was gonna get the boot.  Most of our district will stay the same. Only two people are leaving. Were also about to get a brand new missionary too so I plan to do exchanges with them soon.

We had a slower week this week. It was kind of tough. We weren't able to teach any investigators. But, on the bright side, we were able to get a few potential investigators and one came from a lady that needed help. Her car died and we jumped her car and we were talking about what we do as missionaries as we were doing this and she was interested and told us to come back and share a message with her sometime. So, that was cool to see that if we have an attitude of finding, we will be able to find new investigators because the Lord blesses us.

We were able to see lots of less actives and active members this week though. We had a cool experience being inspired to go see a less active family that I had never met before. It was going to be our last house before we went in for the night and we just tried them and they ended up letting us in. We had a great time getting to know them, they're the Staner family. We taught about baptism because the little daughter was getting close to baptism age. We also got to visit some new members that moved in recently to welcome them and get to know them. They were glad we came by.

We also just texted Austin because she's out of town with her family and we wanted to see how that was all going. She said everything is great! They had one busted tire on the drive but beside that things have been fun. She'll be back the end of this month.

Tonight should be pretty fun too. We're going to a ward 4th of July BBQ!! There's going to be food, games and fireworks! Itll be fun to bond with members and also tell them that were staying in the ward.. I might even die in this area, we'll see. The ward is treating us well. We've had lots of dinners lately.

So i am planning on keeping my bike. I saw one of my old companions pack his up at the mission office and send it home so I definitely want to do that because I currently have no bike and this one here will be it. I still remember the address home, yep!! Thats because I've sent a few letters to ya'll on the mish.

Love you,

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Pearland Texas, Week 92: June 20,2016 - June 26, 2016

June 27, 2016

The week was extraordinary!! One of the best on the mission actually. Austin's baptism went very well. Tons of ward members were there and everyone fellow shipped her well. Austin even bore her testimony at the baptism too. Elder Haslauer was the one who performed the baptism. I got to give her the Holy Ghost yesterday at church. That worked out nice that way. It was Elder Haslauers first baptism in mission and first time ever baptizing someone. We were sooo stoked on Sunday. We sat by her in church and we all were just giddy. After the confirmation, we sat down and I asked her "that wasn't too bad huh?" because she thought priesthood blessings were kinda funky. But she was awesome and just whispered "thank you" super sincerely. I loved it. The Lord truly allows us to feel joy as we live the gospel and we get these amazing relationships with people in the gospel as well.

Another reason this week was bomb was, because I had been quite stressed and feeling blue until the baptism and then I realized that things aren't really about me. Even if we feel crappy, as we focus on others and what we can help them with, our problems seem to fade. I noticed that again before church as I was doing sacrament preparation. So thats one thing i'm trying to improve upon.

This morning was another cool highlight. We got to go biking with lots of other missionaries and President Hall. Everyone came down to a local high school and met up and we did a 14 mile ride together. Its pretty funny because now I can say that I have seen my mission president in skin tight clothing haha. He had a biking bib kit and his way nice bike.

Love you,

Austin's Baptism

Pearland Texas, Week 91: June 13, 2016 - June 19, 2016

June 20, 2016

We had a solid week this week!! I loved our highlights that we had this time. One that I forgot to mention last week was that Brandon from Shadow Creek was married yesterday!! His wife is a non member so they did the marriage at the ward building  by the bishop. It was so awesome to see him again. His life is just becoming ultimately better and he's so much happier and more confident. There is definitely power in choosing the right and letting a relationship with God be our constant priority. He's also about to have his new baby in October. His wife is now looking into the church and coming on Sundays and hearing some lessons. Its amazing what can happen when you light one gospel spark in Houston and see what else it can light. Hear stories all the time about the radiance of converts and how others cling to it.

Austin is doing really good!  We had a little speed bump this week which scared me silly for like 20 minutes. So, she had called us one day and wanted to ask us about stake conference and one of the talks she had heard there. She felt offended and belittled by Elder Fosters talk at the end of Sunday. He was sharing how he is in the committee of restoration of blessings when people leave the church and come back. He, in essence,  taught that choosing to leave the church will lead to your life crumbling and that he will be the one in 20 years to be able to reestablish the membership again. She felt like he taught it in a fear seeking way. She also had concerns for her children and said she would not want her children to come to church if that was the type of warning  they would hear. She was pretty flustered but a lot of it comes from her having an ex boyfriend who left the church and they're still friends and I think she just saw that first hand so its a touchy situation. We just explained to her that Elder Foster would never purposefully implement fear through a talk. He still is a servant of the Lord, even if he's not perfect and that everyone in life has a different degree of living the gospel and a lot of times that changes how we respond to teachings like that.We ended up showing her that wasn't typical and that she wouldnt see much of that and she eventually felt better and was able to come to terms. She was fine the next day. We checked up on her to see and she was A okay and even gave her Presidents phone number which he recommended we do if she has big questions again. On a better note we just put together her baptismal program this weekend! She even had some hymns that she picked out "Joseph Smiths First Prayer" and "Be Still My Soul". We were impressed. She'll make it this Saturday and we'll have a jolly time!! Ward is all set to help out and attend as well.

 We got  new investigator this week too! Her name is Sarah and we taught her the Plan of Salvation as a first lesson even though it is number 2 normally because I felt prompted after hearing about how she had got slowly distanced more and more from God after her Gparents had passed away. I realized that knowledge of families being together forever in the Lords kingdom and helping her understand how God sees her as his daughter would be most important. Turns out it went great! she loved the lesson and we will be back soon.

I had some way cool district leader experiences this week too. So I heard that one of my zone leaders would be joining our district meeting in advance. Then a day before the meeting, President Hall shoots me a text "Hey where is your district meeting this week?" I was like, ohhh man. Then it got even better once I got there and setting up. Turns out that the zone leaders were on exchange with the APs that day, so in my meeting I had literally all leadership above me seeing how I do things. I didn't worry too much. Slight nervousness, but went away quickly. The best part is that I got compliments from all of them. They all sincerely enjoyed the meeting and the way I put things together and taught everybody. Made me feel pretty bomb.

I also got to go on exchange with an elder that I had never even spoken to until a couple weeks ago. He's now in the district and he came to my area for the day. We had an awesome time and we got to play street b ball with some kids our age and school them together! That was so cliche mormon missionary, but we had a good time and the dudes will have a better idea of the church and elders now, even though they didn't accept to hear us share a message after. We were able to go way out to the boonies again this week too! We had two appointments set up and they went pretty dang well. I've learned the more specific we plan things in life and ask the Lord, the more specific he will bless us and amplify the experience. Things are quite fun and exciting lately.

Thats sweet that Cleveland was able to get the big W. Lebron didn't really need it much but the team itself will be a boost and help them out. Most peeps in my mission cheer for everyone. Lots of kids still hold on to their favorite schools, NFL, NBA teams and what not. But, the longer they're out, the more Houston pride and the teams get cooler and cooler. Thats how i've been too.

Summer has definitely made its mark in both our homes right now it seems. We have been getting roasted lately. I swear, one day we were biking, I almost got pruny from the sweat that never seemed to dry out. My garments were dunzo haha\. Had to change when I got home because i would've felt bad for my bed to take those while sleeping. But we we're good about sunscreen this week. I got burned one day and just learned I can't even go out unless I spray up because it doesn't take long at all to get red.

Love you tons,                                                                                                                                             Janz

Brandon's Wedding

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Pearland Texas, Week 90: June 6, 2016 - June 12, 2016

June 13, 2016

We had a super week this week!! I loved it. Austin passed her baptismal interview, Elder Foster had a great visit with us, Austin came to stake conference and we taught lots of people. So I'll start with Austin. Her baptismal interview was way exciting. She went in and just aced it, she was way prepared. The best part is that she came out so happy and she was just fired up. Made me get happy and we all just wanted to do the baptism right there and then But it'll come, only 12 days away! She also came to the Saturday evening session of stake conference as well as Sunday session. What a champ huh? It was was fun to sit with her and show her off to everybody there haha. We even introduced her to President Hall and vthey had a good chat.

Now for Elder Foster stuff: So we got to meet him on Thursday. We had our mission conference then, and there were tons of great teachings. Elder Foster taught us more about how to work with our members to have them missionary minded. He later taught about how, despite the 100 billion galaxies in the universe, and were just little people on earth, God still knows us by name and wants to talk to us. It was pretty sweet. Also taught about how we need to have challenges and trials in life in order to grow and progress. I loved that because I feel more hope. I know that through Christs grace I can become strong from it.

 I also got to go on exchanges with a new missionary this week. He's in my district and he came to my area for exchange. We had such a fun time. He's a lot like my friends back at home. We haven't seen the Flores family yet. Sister Garza is out of town right now but we'll get the friend soon. We taught her husband this week and kept him company so he wouldnt be lonely. We havent quite made it to the boonies yet. We got a little bit out there yesterday but not as far as we did the last time. I hope we can soon, we called some people that live out there and they said they would be fine with us stopping by so we will this week.

This week was definitely more dry. We were roasting in the heat. It was way hot all week and sunny until yesterday when it rained off and on.  Yeah transfers are coming in about 2 weeks. I think I will be leaving as well. Ill get my last area. But i can also seeing myself stay because President just told me hes super impressed with me and he said he gave me the biggest district in the mission because he trusts my leadership. so i can see me staying since thats all going good.

Love you tons,
Elder Deans

Pearland Texas, Week 89: May 30, 2016 - June 5, 2016

June 6, 2016

The weather has been nasty. Nothing can stay dry, its like constant mud and water. But this week looked to be a lot more clear and even more hot. So ill take that. Im sick of the gray and rain. ive heard about that drought as well. actually just recently. seems to be quite the extremes here. Thats pretty nuts its already in the 90s back at home. wow... im excited to see what 90 feels like dry. ive heard sometimes your eyes can turn into raisins from some elders that went back to Utah, eyes are wigged out by the humid to dry. We haven't had any flood service yet, but the Southern part of the mission is finally worse than the Northern, so we might get involved because we're closer to it. Rivers are overflowing in multiple places. Pearland has been draining great, yeah they keep their reputation. I have actually never heard if the name of Pearland comes from the fact that they grow pears here. My comp and I were talking about it and we havent seen a single pear tree, so we are not sure if it was just something in the past or if they're just been creative and what not.

So we had a great week this week!! We got the miles back on the car so we didn't quite bike like Iron Men again. A couple days ago we actually went to a part of the ward that we have never been. Its like 25 miles south of our apartment, way out in the boonies and farmland. It was so fun!! I always get like a relief or big sigh type feeling driving out on tiny roads with creeks and just trees for miles. We also had some tribal african music in the car that we put on to enhance the adventure mood. We decided we need to go back down there this week because there are many families that havent had any contact with members or missionaries for long time.

 Austin is doing solid! we only have one more lesson with her and she will be set for her interview! We taught all the commandments this week as one lesson. Usually elders break it up into two or three but we are limited with her schedule so it was interesting just having the bulldozer doctrine approach. But we planned carefully and she took it really well.  Her brain thinks like that anyways, all logical and needing fact after fact.

We got to see the Flores family twice this week. We had another dinner with them on Sunday as well as Tuesday. The lesson went really well on Tuesday as we taught about the importance of applying the scriptures to ourselves and pondering on the teachings even after reading. Sis Garza didn't make it to church this week due to work. She said she would've come if not. We think having more friends for her to hang on instead of just us would probably work better. We're just trying to figure out who.

We had a pretty cool experience one afternoon. We had tried quite a few houses and no luck. Last time, we decided to go to the other side of the area and try someone who seemed like they were home, but just didn't come to the door. This time finally someones answers and it wasn't the member we were looking for. He said he had moved and he's been there for 2 years. We were like "ohh okay, well whats your name!?" His name was Mark. We just told him what we do and he was super open all of a sudden and said, "I could use a message of Christ or something inspirational." So i shared a speedy Restoration lesson with him and really focused on the fact that God appeared to Joseph Smith and told him the answers to the questions he had so much confusion about. Mark thought that was sweet and he accepted to read the rest of the pamphlet and that we could come back. So, that gave me hope. Thats a new potential somebody to teach. This week should be pretty cool. We're having Elder Foster come to the mission on Thursday. He's a 70 and he's teaching the whole mission and also doing a special leadership training afterward. I always like these meetings a lot. So, I'm gonna go into it with the idea that I'll have lots of takeaways.

Love you,
Elder Deans

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Pearland Texas, Week 88: May 23, 2016 - May 30, 2016

May 31, 2016

We got hit with many much rain this week. There was one point when we got stuck at a dinner appointment and the rain came down way hard,filling up the streets and just massive downpour. But, we only had the bikes because we were trying to budget car miles and the family couldn't give us a ride. So we biked home with all our water proof on and ready to go. We were almost home when we went through one trailer park and the water was literally up to my mid calf and we had no other way around. So the bikes became paddle boats and we trudged through some way deep water haha. it was pretty fun!!

We had a great work week this week!!! Austin came back to church for the first time in 5 weeks! So glad she made it. She also asked if she could get baptized a week earlier than planned!!! She had a work trip come up and she doesn't want to have to wait until after, so wants to be baptized before!! Its super awesome! Now the new date is for June 25. She's doing so well. She had like an hour long conversation with our ward mission leader about how her family isn't very supportive of her conversion and how she's going to get baptized and then break it to them after, haha, silly head.

But we were also able to teach more lessons than we have in a long time this week as well. Saw people we usually don't. And one cool biking update is that I now have a new record of miles biked in one day. Yesterday we biked 43 miles total!!!  It was insane. We also had a day of 36 miles too haha. Legs are just as heavy as tree trunks afterward. We had Brother Flores in church yesterday as well, yeah! He's also having us over for dinner tonight as well. I hope he can become an every Sunday guy now. He's way close. Sis Garza wasn't there for some reason. But we were bums and never went over last week to congratulate her more and to support. But we plan to see them today and we hope our visits really motivate them to come. Its all about getting the Spirit there and having it work on them and tell them what's up. So far its worked well on her, just need to get her husband too.

This ward is missionary minded and willing to work with it a lot though. They are great about having weekly correlation meetings with us and finding ways to help. I really hope we can get some new people this week. Like multiple. We are way low on investigators, just Austin and Dan and Sonya who we're seeing this evening. Pray that we can have an attitude of finding and that we will have courage to talk to everyone. I'm gonna do all that I can. Needs more peeps

Teaching Gospel Principles class was way cool. I've decided I just love teaching small groups haha. I don't get nervous at all anymore. I look forward to discussions or personal stories that crack people up.  We talked about Eternal Familes for the lesson and at one part focused on how to have healthy relationships within the family. I brought up how you once told me you and Dad rarely rarely fight. There's times when it seems like a fight but you'd say " OH we dont fight, we just argue sometimes" and they got a kick out of that.

My companion and I are doing good. Yeah we're having fun together. And today the other elders we do p-day with won't be around, so its just gonna be us two. We're gonna play some pool at the apartment and then go play ball, It'll be cool for us.

Love you tons,
Elder Deans

Crawfish Tie
Crawfish Boil

Crawfish Finger Puppets
These are sticker to the most famous gas station in Texas
Gnarly Watch Tan

NEWS!!! The church came out last week and said missionaries can wear sun/work straw hats while proselyting!  So we went for it and got walmart hats haha

Pearland Texas, Week 87: May 16, 2016 - May 22, 2016

May 23, 2016

I was praying the other night and I realized that I had been out 20 months!! I thought it was only 18 for some weird reason. But time just goes and goes. Transfer Update: I will be staying in Pearland this transfer!! I'll have the same companion, so we weren't affected by transfers. I'm happy about it. Its kinda funny because our ward mission leader asked me at church if i could teach the gospel principles class next week and  I was like "uhhh... yeah" because my companion kept telling me i would be leaving. So now I know that our ward mission leader was inspired and knew I'd still be here to teach. And I can rub it in my comps face, haha.

We had a bomb week as far as the work goes!! Austin accepted a baptismal date this week. She wants to be baptized on  July 2nd. We had our first lesson in her house this week, in the past its been out at restaurants. She'll be in church next week I believe. Her sisters are still in Lousiana and they'll stay there. We also had Sis. Garza and Bro. Flores, two different less active peeps, come to church this week for the first time in a long while because the lessons went so well with them this week.  Made me so happy! I joked with Sis. Garza that now that she came I needed to take a selfie with her because I know she hates them and she was like "NO elder" haha, pretty funny.

The crawfish boil was super intense this weekend. So it takes forever to cook those stinkers right? So while cooking, which is outside, a giant storm rolled in and there was lightning and wind and rain. We just kept cooking and then decided to eat and hang out inside even though it might stink up the church. We go in the church and dish up and then the lights lost power. Thankfully we had a quarter of the gym with lights on which lit up the place slightly. But it was yummy. Lots of good times with the members. Felt glad to be a part of the ward.

Love you,                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Elder Deans

Pearland Texas, Week 86: May 9, 2016 - May 15, 2016

May 16, 2016

We had a pretty good week this week!!  We've really put a stress on finding new investigators and every day we had a good finding ttitude in street contacting as well. We've also been making plans with members to share the gospel with their friends. This week, we taught the most less active and recent convert lessons we ever have before as a companionship.

Had a huge highlight from Austin this morning.  We were a little discouraged because she has been in Louisiana for the past 4 weekends. She goes every weekend, or just about, to help her sisters who live there. Her dad doesn't take good care of them,  so she just got legal custody. Buuuttt,  she texted us and felt bad about being gone so often and then proceeded to tell us that she is ready to figure out what 'needs to be done to move forward' and what timeline she has because she just got over her concerns she said! So hopefully we have a date for baptism by the end of the week. We're also having a crawfish boil this weekend and almost everyone we teach will be invited. She should go and show us all how to be cajun.

We also had a cool experience doing street contacting and found a lady named Ashton that is pretty interested. I met her because we were walking down a sidewalk in a nice suburban neighborhood and we see a lady on the other side come out and grab something from the car. So we crossed the street to eventually walk across her place and she walked back inside or at least couldn't see her anymore. So we come to the house and looked over and she actually was just having a smoke on her porch. So I said the first thing that came to mind which was " do you know anyone around here who is going through a hard time or would want to hear a message about Christ?" And its funny because she heard it all weird and told us "oh i don't have any time right now, we're about to go" I just repeated my first question and she got it. She said she just moved in and didn't know anyone. Then we started to focus on her and asked if she was religious. She ended up asking us, before we gave anything, if she could have a pamphlet! Love those moments, actually happens quite a bit for some reason, haha. Guess we got some readers here. So the update with Troy kind of stinks. He actually moved. We had no idea, had to hear it from his neighbors. He's now in Sugar Land.

 Transfers will be next week and by this time i'll know my whereabouts. we will see. Very likely I'm bouncing again but it'd be wack if I did because i've never done a one and out. those are tough. We had a way cool zone conference this week on really owning our calling as a disciple and making sure every invite we extend is focused on the Savior and people know it comes from him. All we do is just echo his counsel. It felt good to try to get more into the lessons and commitments this week and make sure i wasn't just going through the motions. The Spirit does come a lot stronger if you know you are sent by God to help these people. Youve been set apart, you will have the words given to you to speak if you center everything on Christ. One less active family really felt it and was willing to come to church.

Love ya tons,
Elder Deans

Pearland Texas, Week 85: May 2, 2016 - May 8, 2016

May 9, 2016

 This week was good for us. I'll share some of the highlights from the work. So we actually have a new baptismal date!! Its for an investigator named Troy. We met him a while ago but finally got to have a solid lesson with him and he accepted to be baptized on June 4th. Hes hardly ever home because he works on the oil rigs out in the bay but were going to ask him more about his schedule and find time to meet with him every week.

Also got to have another good lesson with Austin. Answered some questions about the Book of Mormon and Bible and Joseph Smith. Thats her big hold up right now. She's having trouble knowing if Joseph Smith really was a prophet and if God spoke to him. So we plan to watch some videos of Joseph Smith. She's just gotta be as humble as possible and the Spirit will teach her and she can get her answer. She will be coming to church this upcoming weekend.

We had some great progress with less actives as well. We were able to see a less active recent convert family that we have been trying to teach for multiple weeks. Their name is the Zsigrays. We saw the husband washing his car outside and knew this would be a golden opportunity to actually catch them home and have a lesson. Had a cool lesson on the Gospel of Christ. They know they gotta come back to church they've just been busy. We also saw a single older lady this week with a kid in college from our ward and she came back to church yesterday for the first time in at least a month! So that was awesome. So those are the great things we have seen lately. We are excited. We've been going out to work with lots of energy because we know there are good things to come.

Love ya,                                                                                                                                                                                                              Elder Deans