Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Alvin Texas, Week 34: May 11, 2015 - May 17, 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015

This week was a blast! The zone leader things are going really well. I’m figuring it out and loving it. It’s fun to be able to get to know and offer so much help to the fellow missionaries in the zone each night. I now know what’s going on, got my head on straight. Don’t worry about me and the challenges. I’ve been humbling myself, asking for more help and praying a lot harder. I know I can do all that I need to for my area and for the zone. 

Had a good week! It was good to be able to have things back to normal and to dig my heels in. And, things are heating up as far as the work goes. Companion and I are doing awesome! I love him. We can be so goofy together. I’m also teaching him English and he’s learning a ton. He is already conversational and has good English, we’re just working on pronunciation and vocab

One miracle we saw this week was that we met with Charles, an investigator who’s only a couple years older than me. We taught him about repentance and baptism. He was supposed to be baptized this week, but due to not coming to church last week, he wasn’t able to make it. But, we had a super lesson and extended a new date and he was willing to give more effort to come closer to Christ. He  accepted a baptismal date for May 30th. He also committed to come to church. It was way funny how that worked out. We told him he would have a ride and we would be there Sunday morning. We show up and he is asleep, so we had to wake him up and wait for him to get ready. But, it was sweet because he was still willing to come and we even made it on time. That was the first time that I had gone to an investigators house to help them get to church. It totally works! We gotta do all we can to help them act and it paid off.

We also met some new investigators by talking to everyone on the streets. We also got a really solid referral from the Spanish missionaries. It was to a part member family. We’re meeting with them tonight and they’re excited to have us over since the wife is a member and the husband is not. But, he is ready to learn more. We are also working with another part member family named the Herrings. Same thing, the wife is a member and the husband is not. But he’s been motivated to be baptized because his son was a couple weeks ago.

I haven’t heard anything from Memorial. Hopefully next week since Josh has his baptism next weekend. But things are awesome. Lots of good people out here and my companion is doing good and learning lots of English.

The weather actually hasn’t been that bad. It was supposed to dump this past week. It only really rained hard on Tuesday and we got soaked to point of pruney. It was ridiculous. It looked like it would rain all week, but thankfully never came down. I am definitely laughing and playing guitar more. That was perfect advice. It’s what makes me me and I’m loving life. 

Elder Janz

Saying goodbye to all my favorite people in Memorial City.   Top: Two awesome members   Below:  Josh on the right and his brother Montoi on the left.

                                                  Twin Banditos, ha ha :)

A long day biking in the rain, sopping, sopping wet! Plus, the fantastic Kermit Chia

Alvin Texas, Week 33: May 4, 2015 - May 10, 2015

Monday, May 11, 2015

So this was quite the week. It was so good to be able to leave my last area in good shape. I hope and pray that my training with Elder Christensen will pay off and he can do alright. I got to give two blessing back to back right before I left. That was great! 

My new area is Alvin Texas. It’s close to League City and is a whole lot more country than anything I’ve seen. It’s a way cool change, very quiet here and more rednecks. My new companion is Elder Havea and he is from Tonga. He’s been awesome. We have so much fun together. We have a few investigators. Lots of part member families. We have one baptismal date for June. Hopefully we’ll get some new ones this week. None of the investigators came to church unfortunately. We tried. But, this week will be good since there aren’t so many big events going on, just a zone conference tomorrow. This new area we just strictly bike. It’s a smaller area though, so we have stores and church close. Just not too much in the town. 

The craziest part about transfers was that President called me a little bit before and told me about my new area. He also told me that the Lord has called me to be a zone leader in my new zone. That was wacky. But its been quite fun and I’m pickin it up. Last night, I had to do numbers and I’ll be doing some more later, but its been a good calling. The zone is solid. I like them all. Not really many issues or big problems in companionships and stuff. It was a weird week last week. So much happened. It was nice to just think and then sleep last night. Much needed rest. I’m excited to work all week this week and then report to ya’ll next time.

Elder Janz

Memorial City, Week 32: April 27, 2015 - May 3, 2015

Monday, May 4, 2015

So, here’s the hot poop... I’m gettin the boot. I’ll be transferred on Wednesday. I won’t know where until then. But,I can still assure you that we will talk on Sunday! Its pretty tough knowing I’m off to a new adventure. Elder Christensen is nervous and I have to help him feel confident in taking over the area. He can do it. He’s had the practice and has been learning from my example for a long time. I totally saw this coming though, I could just tell it was my time. But, I’m grateful. It’s always great to be able to see more of the mission and work with another elder. I wont be training again! At least know that much.

Some other cool news, I ate some weird exotic food this week for the first time. We had dinner with a Peruvian family from the ward last night and they told me to try this meat that they had. They asked if I wanted to know what it was before I ate it or after. I told them to tell me after, I had already finished it, ha ha. Turns out, it was kinda gross. It didn’t have much flavor and it was pretty chewy. It was eticocha, cow heart. I don’t think I’d be able to eat it again knowing what it was. But, I’m super happy to see I’ve had something way out there! And that I was able to eat it and neither gag or make me feel sick.

Things with Josh are good and bad. Bad news... he didn’t make it to church. He also can’t make the 16th for baptism. But, on the bright side, we had a cool lesson and taught him about temples and family history this week. President Ashton wants us to teach about it right after they decide to be baptized to help them get excited and also feel responsibility to work and be baptized for their ancestors. It helps them a lot. Josh thought it was amazing and would love to go to the temple with us. He also almost made up for the not showing at church by sending me a text yesterday asking what he should be reading in the Book of Mormon. I reminded him of the chapter we left with him and he read it that night. So that shows he still likes reading. There was just a huge championship fight this weekend on tv. It was like the super bowl out here. Talk of the town. Josh stayed up late doing that and was too tired for church. I tried to plead with him Sunday morning, but he didn’t answer. So, I just had to leave a message.

Saturday night and Sunday were way fun though. We had stake conference. Elder Hallstrom from the Presidency of the Seventy came to visit with another brand new authority named Elder Haney. They were so inspired. Stake Conference is awesome. Things are taught in such a great way. We didn’t ride the bikes quite 18 miles this week, ha ha, no. We rode a lot because it was the end of the month but then we purged on the car when May started. We still work out every day. Yeah I couldn’t go without it. Even in the next area I’ll make sure it happens. We just had a gym here at this place. I hope I get one in the next area. I’ve had plenty to eat. We’re getting fed more and more and also lots of good food at the apartment when we don’t.

Things are pretty good. We saw lots of members and less active members this week. A family that’s recently gone inactive recently and that we've been working with, let us come over on Tuesday. They also had no idea about stake conference, so we gave them the low down and they actually came! It was sweet to be able to see them acting and making commitment for the Lord again. Glad we were part of it.


Elder Janz

Memorial City, Week 31: April 20, 2015 - April 26, 2015

Monday, April 27,2015

Had a sweet week! Miracles were popping up because I think we’ve been working harder than ever before. Plus, we’ve been a lot more obedient and patient with the Lord. Had a good week this week! Josh got to come to a baptism in our ward, someone that the sister missionaries taught. We also know the family way well and the girl who got baptized I even taught a little too.  But Josh liked it. He learned what they’re like and got excited for his in a few weeks. We weren’t able to teach him this week though, so that stunk. But,  I’ve never brought an investigator to a baptism, so i know that’s a big accomplishment.

We also found new investigators this week, 3 to be exact. They’re all kind of neat stories and miracles. So, the first two were found by us talking to some guy on the street a little bit ago. He said we could come by and share more with him. So, we went to meet back up with him and he wasn’t home. Tried again another day and same thing. Then, finally his roommates answered. But, again he’s not home, But this time the spirit told to keep talking to the roommate. We got to know him a little and explained who we are and i asked if we could share our message with him. He let us in and we had a way good lesson. His name is Mike. Turns out,  he’s been looking for a church. He was way curious and eager to learn. And he accepted to be baptized but doesn’t want to set a date yet. Then, as we are leaving, the other roommate who was listening in from another room, said that he would take a Book of Mormon as well. We felt way cool after that. Those miracles are just so fun. We went back a couple days later and Mike wasn’t home, but the guy that wanted a Book of Mormon was and he let us in. He wants to hear the lesson we had with Mike. His name is Larry. We had a great lesson with him too, and he even accepted to be baptized May 30! So, its been nuts with this house and whats turned out from just talking to one guy on the street. It just shows that some people really are waiting to hear from us and ready to move on

We got in touch with Marjorie this week. Weren’t able to teach but we talked for a little bit and  set up to go see her tomorrow. So we will invite her to be baptized in a couple weeks. She is really close. She just keeps losing contact and getting busy. She only needs a few more lessons.

The other new investigator that we found was a neat story too. We actually met him two months ago and again was just an OYM (Open Your Mouth) or quick conversation on the streets. We gave him our card with info and tried meeting with him, but it never worked out and we lost contact. But, he held on to that card and this week he looked at it and called us because he got kicked out of his house. His family is crazy and he’s on the streets for a little while. He wanted to go to church and hear more about our message. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find him a ride. But, we met him last night. I brought him some food and water too. He’s a way cool kid. He’s 29 and his name is Gene. We had a good talk and then taught the first lesson. We actually taught it in front of the local high school on a bench because it was closest and most comfy I suppose. We also saw some less actives come to church again this week. It’s awesome because we keep working with them and they’re getting back into the swing of things.

We biked a lot this week. We biked over 18 miles on Friday. We went into the sisters area during the day. They’re in the ward,  but the other half. We decided to try some less active families over there. The families the sisters haven’t tried. It was fun to see a newer part of Houston. We even biked along a busy highway at one point, haha.

But things are pretty good. Elder Christensen is doing better and better. He’s still a little reserved on teaching powerfully and being able to elaborate and teach more than a small idea. But we talked about it a lot last night and he said he is still nervous and feels weird teaching. So, we needa help him get some social skills we decided. He needs to be less shy and more confident in himself. Plus transfers are coming up next week, so we might get split up. I’ll let you know next time. I actually think I will get transferred, who knows though. 


Elder Pantz 

When I told the restaurant my name was Lehi for my order

Looks like I'm almost home!

Here's the wreckage after rain storms!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Memorial City, Week 30: April 13, 2015 - April 19, 2015

Monday, April 20, 2015

Had a pretty good week this week! Definitely saw the miracles come down. So, the first was that we were able to meet with Tami. It had been just over a month. She’s been so busy and she also got sick somewhere in that gap. We were just about to give her a break because every time we set an appointment she would cancel the day before. Buuuutttt, this week we had an idea to find out what we can do to hold on to her. We just showed up and surprised her on Wednesday. We didn’t call like before, just wanted to come by and hope for the best. It was funny because as we walk in the complex, I was like "man someone is really rocking out!” There was some 80s pop being blasted from around her area. Then we get closer and find out it was her apartment! She had the door open. I went upstairs and poked my head in and said, "excuse me?" over the loud music. She was just cleaning the place like crazy. Then she heard me and was really happy to see us. It was a good reunion. She let us in and we had a solid lesson. This is only the second time we have seen her. So, we just went over and asked what she remembered from the first time and clarified and reminded of the importance of the restoration. But the best part about it was that she remembered the major points we talked about the first time! She remembered exactly what revelation was and why Joseph Smith was so important. She even said she wants to come to church not even being asked. She didn’t make it yesterday, but she will be there next week. And, she accepted to be baptized She just didn’t want to set a date. We'll try again on Wednesday.

Another miracle is that we were able to meet with Josh again and had a great second lesson. It was awesome following up about what he thought about the Book of Mormon and our first visit. He read the Book of Mormon like we asked and he received an answer that it is true, way cool!! By the time we left he accepted to be baptized on May 16th. We addressed his concern of not being ready by telling him he’s already making huge steps and that if he continues to meet with us and comes to church, he'll naturally feel more worthy like he wants to and be ready for baptism. It’s weird teaching him too because he’s my age and we could just be friends and hang out if i wasn’t serving.

Another cool miracle was that we were able to have a first lesson with a dude that lives in our complex and we've known for a while. He’s said he wants us to come over but we've tried and tried for months and have just missed him. We keep seeing him and saying hi and setting something up and repeat. But, we saw him last night and ended up teaching him in a bad rainstorm in the middle of the parking lot in his garage. It was so cool that we finally had a sit down lesson, and quite a unique one as well. But that went really well and he wants to be baptized, just doesn’t want to set a date because he’s always so busy. His name is Dante.

Marjorie was not baptized this week. We haven’t been able to get in contact with her. She does this every once in a while and its lame, but we keep trying and she finally gets in touch. The good part is that she isn’t bugged by our persistence and appreciates our concern. We’ve been talking to the Mayberry’s. They haven’t sent us their address, we’ve tried. I’m just glad they’re doing okay and they’ve got a place. Things are quite nice out here though. Elder Christensen is teaching more. It’s finally not just Elder Deans teaching and a few words from his companion. It’s becoming more equal. 

Man, we have been getting so dang wet on the bikes lately. I went through every shirt and all my pants this week in laundry. Every day the mud gets me. It was ridiculous on Thursday night. We biked home from basketball and it was raining pretty good. We get going and I think man... we’re pretty wet and we’re not even half way. Then a few minutes later, since the streets were so full of water, I got 'tidal waved', as we call it. A car flung all the water gathered around the curb up at me, just like in the movies. I literally screamed right after because it was so much water and it was like the ocean fell on my lap. That’s when I realized, noowwww  I’m wet. Before, that was nothing. So we made it home safe, but everything was absolutely soaked, like swimming. Our scriptures and phone were okay because we kept them in baggies within our carry bags. That was a fun night. It was classic missionary struggle on the bike. But, this week was a good week. We did tons of service.at Goodwill, it’s like Texas DI. We helped some members move and got lunch money from it. Also helped a non-member lady with the sister missionaries reorganize and clean her house after having a 'Night in Paris' party. She was awesome. The sisters are going to start teaching her now because we all had a lesson before we left. 

Love you,
Elder Janz