Thursday, March 6, 2014

February 24th & March 3rd, 2014

February 24th, 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICAH!  I forgot to say it last week, so this week it comes first.  I hope it was everything you hoped for and more.  Welcome to the Priesthood!
Elder Pew's Zone
This week we had zone conference, which was basically a review of all the new things we've learned the last few weeks and all the changes there have been in the mission.  They did the math--to be baptizing every week we will need to be finding 20 investigators every week.  That's A LOT, if you were wondering.  So President Wagner talked all day about finding faith to find.  He showed the clip of the "Death Crawl" from Facing the Giants and it really got to me this time.  The football player did more with the eye of FAITH than he could have done with his natural eyes.  He really gave it everything and realized he could do much, much more than what he thought.  That is faith in Jesus Christ.  Doing EVERYTHING we can and not putting limits on ourselves.  We can do much, much more than we think we can if we do it with faith.  It was amazing.  There is always something we can do to give more--to really show the Lord we love Him and His work.  I feel like I still have so much more to improve, I don't know if I'll have time to do it. But I can do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth me.  

We had a decent week--still not seeing the results we want but they'll come as we learn to work a little more diligently.  We did receive more referrals and find more investigators, but we didn't make it anywhere near 20.  We found a new family contacting.  The dad's name is L, his wife is F, and their kids are E (16) and G (10).   We went to visit F and H one day and she came out and told us that they didn't want to listen to us anymore.  They didn't tell us why.
 So we left them with our testimonies and with the invitation to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know that it's true.  Everyone else is still doing well.

I'm sorry this letter is short, I'm about out of time.  I love you all.  I pray for you always and I hope you are all doing well. Dad, thanks for the amazing example you have been to me.  Thanks for working hard to support our family and make sure that we have everything we need.  Thanks for raising us well.  I hope to someday be half the father you are.  Mom, thanks for your great example of love and service.  I really appreciate everything you do, and now that I am on the mission I realize how much that really is.  You are amazing and I am so privileged to be your son.  Timo, keep working hard.  Your letters inspire me.  You've always been an awesome example to me, even though I'm the older brother.  The Lord is pleased with the work you are doing.  Emily, thanks for your friendship and your happy, outgoing personality.  I miss you and can't wait to hang out with you again.  Izak, I love you too.  I wish sometimes that I could be so easy going like you.  I know you've grown a lot in these two years, not just taller but as a person as well, and I hope you keep being faithful to your covenants and your priesthood.  Micah, I cannot believe your 12 now.  I've always had a special bond with you because you chose me to baptize you, and now you have the priesthood also.  Be good, my buddy!  Zane, you always know how to make me laugh.  Every letter is just bursting with your unique personality.  Keep being a pompeeface.  Gwen, I'm afraid your going to be too big also when I see you again, but to me you'll always be the cute little sister who I love so much.  Have a fantastic week everyone!  Hasta ver! Elder Pew

Elder Pew got 100% on a test the Mission President gave them so they took his picture!  Congrats!

March 3rd, 2014

This week's subject line (Yea, and even all they who wrought miracles wrought them by faith) brought to you by Ether 12, which I have been reading a lot lately. 
Well, as always, everything President Wagner teaches is true.  We worked really hard this week, day by day, and at the end of the week added up the numbers and we actually taught more than 40 lessons!  30 to investigators with a member present, 3 others, and 11 to less actives and recent converts.  Raising our expectations made our efforts rise as well.  We still haven't made it to twenty new investigators, but that day is soon coming. 
Tuesday we had zone class, which was basically a review of everything we learned in zone conference, so that was a nice reminder and got us a little more pumped up.  We found new investigators that day!  A recently reactivated member gave us the address of her sister.  We visited her and met her daughter also and they are pretty cool.  The sister's name is N, and her daughter is M.  It's cool to see how I just connect with some people in the mission--like we've been friends for a long time.  I felt that way with them.
We've also started teaching F's mom, X and she's accepted everything pretty well.  The biggest challenge with all these new investigators is getting them to come to church.  O well.  That's how we'll know who will progress and who won't.  L and F didn't go to church this week either for no good reason, so we're going to go one more time and if the don't commit to go this Sunday we'll have to let them go.  Some other missionaries will come along and baptize them later. 
On Friday we were on splits.  I went with Elder G in M and Elder M stayed here with Elder H.  It was a party.  The members who were going to give us lunch instead of giving us food gave us money (a lot!) so, taking advantage of the fact that we were in M and it's a tourist city, we went to Domino's for pizza and went for ice cream at Dairy Queen afterwards.  We also had a sweet lesson that night with a family of four.  The 12 year old daughter and the mom were a little stand offish but the dad understand everything and totally committed to get baptized and go to church on Sunday
Oh, I forgot to mention.  Monday morning our branch president had an accident at work.  He works in a coconut packing company and I guess he got his hand caught in some type of assembly-line band for moving the coconuts.  (Sorry if you don't understand that description, I am without the words to describe it in English).  It almost ripped his arm off and he ended up breaking both bones tearing the muscle in his forearm.  They operated on him that same day in M and he was in the hospital all week, along with his wife.  Saturday morning we went to see him and I have never seen someone who is suffering so much look so happy.  He was lying with his arm in a big cast, elevated above his head. His hand was very swollen and when I shook it I noticed it was also really cold.  But he was smiling and talking to us as if nothing had happened.  His wife on Sunday told a story in her testimony about how earlier in the week the patient in the bed next to him was a young man who was suffering a lot.  Pres. Q told his wife that he wanted to give him a blessing, but she told him not too since he had to stay in bed, hooked up to his IV, with his arm elevated to stop it from swelling.  A little while later, she left for some reason and when she got back she noticed that he had gotten up, gone to other patient, and given him a priesthood blessing while she was gone.  It reminded me of David A. Bednar's talk about the Character of Christ--turning outward when the rest of us would normally turn inward.  Such a great example of a Christlike attitude.  Seeing that made me reflect a lot on the Atonement.  How could it be possible that this man, through all the suffering he was going through, could still be thinking about helping others instead of himself?  Because Christ suffered for him the exact same pains, sicknesses, and agony and that he was going through, and because of his obedience to the commandments, his covenants, and his faith, that Atoning sacrifice was able to console him and help him do what Christ would do.  If I could sum up what I have learned on my mission in one phrase, it would be this:  The Atonement is real.  More proof:  C and M both got up to bear their testimonies yesterday.  It was so amazing.  I was so grateful to be able to see that.  Heavenly Father has been so good to me, and has helped me be an instrument in his hands to bring these precious souls to him.  The promise in Doctrine and Covenants 18 is true:
15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one asoul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the akingdom of my Father, how great will be your bjoy if you should bring many csouls unto me!
This is the true church of Jesus Christ.  These are the last days.  We are the servants of the Lord, called to prepare his vineyard, for the last time, for His Second Coming.
Have a great week everyone!  Have a happy birthday Dad and Izak!  Don't get too old without me!
Elder Pew