Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Alvin Texas, Week 37: June 1, 2015 - June 7, 2015

Monday, June 8, 2015

What a week! I wish i could just email every day to ya’ll so that i woudln’t forget things and that you could hear everything. But, this week was fun fun. On Tuesday, Elder Havea stayed back in the area and ran things while I went with others to do service in H town. I received the prompting that that was how we needed to do things. There’s a lot to be done,not just in Houston with flood clean up, but that we also need to be staying in our area taking care of the people every day as well. So, we took turns going up and the other stayed. worked out really well actually. This week was the last week that we will be helping up in Houston

Wednesday morning, I had my first MLC! That’s the mission leadership council. Elder Ve'e and I went together. It was funny because even though it was my first time, I could still tell things were not as good as they should be there. President was only able to stay for about 30 minutes then go to Houston and do interviews with the press. Plus they decided to do the meeting last minute. It wasn’t horrible though.

We found some new investigators this week. We got some referrals and talked to lots of people. On Friday, we had our zone meeting. My first being a leader. Elder Ve'e and I put it all together and planned what would happen. I gave a training on the importance of church and the sacrament and prayer. It was crazy too because one of the assistants to the president called me the night before and said he wanted to come down to be in our zone meeting and that he wanted to spend the day there and work the area with me after. So, he was there and he said it was a great meeting! He loved the way we addressed zone goals and concerns. That made me feel good. He said he wants me to lead out setting goals at the next MLC because of what he saw! We had a good day together after the meeting. He taught me more about what I can be doing as a zone leader at lunch. We went out and taught people after that and worked way well together. Felt like I had to be perfect around him, ha ha.

On Saturday we had an awesome opportunity to go have dinner with Bishop. He invited his friend Bill, who is actually one of our investigators, over as well. We had a great lesson and bishop taught him a lot too. It was amazing because we hadn’t been able to see Bill in ages and all of sudden we get this ideal situation to help him come unto Christ. Because of that he also came to church the next day. This week we had 5 investigators at church! We had Bill, Eric and his family, and an investigator that the elders used to teach a while ago show up and show interest again. Her name is Daverine, and we jumped right on that. I introduced myself and got to know her more. We actually spent the whole third hour in church getting to know her and then teaching about the same things I did the training on in zone meeting, Sacrament and prayer. Must be a big deal to the Lord. She wants to be baptized. We’re going to see her more this week and set a date and help her progress.

Met with Charles more as well. We’re going to have him get interviewed this week by one of the mission presidency to see if he is accountable enough to be baptized because he’s got some autism we think and his comprehension and maturity aren’t too high. But we'll see! I’m excited for this week. We should be done with Houston service. and we got baptisms right around the corner. We got Charles, Bill, and Eric. Eric is pretty awesome. He comes to church quite a bit and we can see him consistently. He’s a 40 year old rocker dude. We get along because he loves rock and fishing, so after lessons we talk about all that,  haha. But this week was a blast.

Love you,
Elder Janz

Elder Deans with fellow missionaries who volunteered after the flood

Alvin Texas: Weel 36: May 25, 2015 - May 31, 2015

Monday, June 1, 2015 - Pictures Coming

Twas a weird week... But it was good! We just didn’t get to teach or stay in our area much. We had the mission temple trip on Thursday. We left Wednesday night so we wouldn’t have to leave way early the next morning. We stayed in Floodville (Houston). That place got messed up by the tornado and rain. But the temple was super cool. Did an endowment session and had a long training and discussion with the mission president and temple president right after. We also had a super cool chance to go back to the celestial room even after the training. So we came in the back way and were just wearing our whites. It was a way spiritual day. I learned so much more about the pre earth life and the amount of faith that we had in order to come here and serve. The spirit was strong throughout and it made it easy to learn and be so uplifted.

Then on Friday we got called into Houston to work with the city and clean up all day. We didn’t have much rain in Alvin We worked from 9 to 6. It was a long day but we did everything from bringing out wet furniture and appliances to the curb and cut out carpet and mop. We also got called in again on Saturday and did more cleaning. That day I got to pull out floor tacs and move more things around peoples houses and yards. It looks like a hurricane came through some neighborhoods because of the mountains of trash. President said this is all an answer to our prayers and fasts for mission work, because we’re meeting so many people and some of them want to be taught and others just have lots more respect for the church.

We had no investigators at church yesterday!!! It was sad. We could’ve had more if we were actually in the area and had more time. But we found a miracle investigator. He’s from Utah as well! His name is Brendan and he met the Spanish elders out eating and recognized them as missionaries and talked to them. Then they referred us to him. He’s really friendly, and he gets way into the lessons. He even fed us both times we saw him. We had a great restoration lesson and answered some crazy questions he had. He accepted to be baptized early July! We unfortunately haven’t heard back from the Vera family, pretty sad because they were golden and now who knows. Charles isn’t doing so good. We can meet with him but we doesn’t understand much and we don’t know if he actually wants to be baptized. He’s also autistic so we gotta be careful. President told me to just have him interviewed by his counselors to see if he could even be baptized. Hopefully! I’ll keep faith in him. Josh, i did hear about though, he’s not doing good either. He isn’t in touch and always unavailable to the missionaries.

But things are going swell! My companion is doing great. He is learning so much. His English gets better every week and we get along awesome. We have so many good people that were teaching. We’re also working with a few less actives and recent converts that are doing better. It’s been fun to be a zone leader during all this craziness of the temple and storms up the wazoo. Had to do a lot for my lovely fellow missionaries. Everyone’s okay though. 

Love ya,
Elder Pantz 

Elder Deans in his volunteer Shirt
Aftermath of Flooding

More belongings trashed from flooding

Tree carved into space shuttle!

Elder Deans Feeding a baby kitten

Elder Havea & Elder Deans at the Houston Temple

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Alvin Texas, Week 35: May 18, 2015 - May 25. 2015

Tuesday, May 26, 2015 

Had a splendid week! Sorry I didn’t talk yesterday. We didn’t have the day off since it was a big holiday. There was so much that happened and it wore me out. I actually got to do lots of lawn care service yesterday. I mowed a lawn for the first time yesterday. It was way fun. It was for an older lady in the ward and I got sunburned on my neck,  ha ha. I miss real lawns and grass. Out here grass is crabgrass and weeds and morning glory.

The work is going so well out here. The investigators are doing wonderful. We had tons of investigators at church. . We had 8 investigators in church just from our companionship and the other companionship had two. So, it was fun. Seriously, we actually had 10 between us and the other missionaries  It was awesome because Eric, one investigator has been telling us he will come and come and he wasn’t showing up to church. This week, we didn’t call him before, but invited him a few days ahead and wasn’t sure if he would come. He ended up coming and totally shocked us. He was invited to be baptized a while ago and said he would make that decision when he comes to church. He ended up coming and low and behold he actually talked about baptism! We were in priesthood opening exercises and this other investigator, who is mentally handicapped, got introduced and said he wanted to be baptized on June 28 to everyone. Eric was right by him and said, “that’s my birthday! I should probably get baptized then too!" So bishop just looks at me from the pulpit and laughs and then we knew that Eric was kind of serious. It was amazing. After church we went over to see what he thought of church and talk about baptism and he said he would commit to June 28.

So, now we have 3 baptismal dates. Charles won’t make the 30th. He’s also handicapped, but not severely and isn’t understanding much. So, we have Bill and Mario on June 20th and Eric on the 28th. Bill is doing awesome. He came to church for the first time in a while. He’s a good friend of bishop so we work together to help him and I think he can make his date. Mario is doing good but we went to go see him and his wife yesterday and they weren’t home. They cancelled their appointment. We actually watched the movie Joseph Smith with them and taught about the Book of Mormon last week.

So Josh was supposed to get baptized last week. I didn’t hear anything. I’ll ask Elder Christensen, but who knows. Josh has good missionaries helping him. Here we don’t do a basketball night but we do a volleyball night every Tuesday. We invite less actives, investigators and members and do family history and play lots of volleyball and get dinner. It’s been way fun.

I got to do my first zone leader exchange yesterday. It was awesome. Had a good friend in the Spanish ward come to my area and he’s the District Leader. Stayed up late all night talking. Felt so good to have another bud to relate to. We biked like crazy all week. really didn’t get wet though. Farmer tan is nuts. I’ve even got a collar shirt tan. and a really nice watch tan too, that one is my favorite. I will be at the temple on Thursday so I’ll send lots of pictures next week. We’re going as a mission.

 I have only had to speak once in church. Just in my first area. All the other times I’ve done stuff in church is just bearing testimony in sacrament meeting.  We have had tons of storm warnings, but things are fine out here. But, we have lots of missionaries stuck in Houston due to horrible floods. As we are in the middle of our mission temple sessions, only half of the sisters made it to the temple that were supposed to today. We’re prepared for everything, yes.

This week was really fun. I have had so many good experiences with the companion, gettin along great. Investigators are doing swell. Met some new ones this week too. Passed out a few Books of Mormon. Didn’t get to play the guitar, but maybe tonight. 

Love you!
Elder Pantz