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