Friday, February 19, 2016

Feb 17 - 17 months!

Wow, so I finished up 17 months here on the 17th of February, what a coincidence! The time is absolutely flying, I can’t believe how fast this last month has gone. I feel like I just got here to Churubusco but I have been here for 6 weeks already! The weeks are just flying by too!!

So yesterday the stress all was over because we had the zone conference! It was a huge success; I feel like the Spirit was really there to bless us. All of the people who spoke had the spirit very strong and gave exactly the messages that the missionaries in our zone were needing. President talked a lot about how obedience is the first law of everything. The Sister Training Leaders of the mission gave a cool training about how to get along better with our companions and why it is so important that we always look for a way to get along. Then Elder Penrod and I focused on how to have better studies. We talked about how the Lord gives us three hours every morning to prepare us for the work that He has called us to do, and how the focus of our studies should not be on us, but should be on the people that we are teaching because for two years they are our priority. In preparing it and applying it I have learned so much and changed the way that I personally study as well, but it is helping us so much in the lessons that we teach! Elder Penrod and I are learning so much every morning that we use that day as we teach these people and that is the vision that we have for the zone as well.
We had a good week with our investigators as well!! The Olivares Puebla family came to church this week and also put a date to be baptized! One super successful thing that we have been doing since the conference that we had with Elder Peiper is that we are having the investigators put their own baptismal dates, because then it is a goal that they really want to get, and it has been so successful to just explain to them why it so important and let them set their own goal with God, because it’s between Him and them, not us. So we were super excited about that!

We also found a new part member family the family Morales, they are awesome! They all know so much about the gospel because it is a huge part of their home life, but for some reason they haven’t gone to church in two years...So we will have to find out why exactly and help them to overcome it. But, Azul, one of the daughters never got baptized, and when we got there she was just super excited and asked her sister if this means that she can finally get baptized because she’s been waiting for a long time!

Another family that we found was Tamara and Ruby. They are such a cool story because we asked the Pedraza (other investigators) family if they knew anyone who lived close by who could benefit from hearing a message about God and they told us, you NEED to go visit Tamara, she will never accept you because she wants nothing to do with God or religion, but she needs it. So, we went and knocked on her door and well we found out that just that day she was praying that God would help her, she didn’t even know if he existed but she wanted help, and then we knocked on the door. They are progressing SO fast! They told us the 2nd time that we went back that they had already received a testimony from God that the Book of Mormon was true, and when we invited them to go to church, they were about ready to cancel a trip that they had planned because they wanted to go so bad, but we told them not to worry about it and that we have church every week, so it was all good! But, they are an incredible family, and we are so excited to be working with them! The Lord is blessing us so much, there is just nothing else I could ask Him for, I am so grateful to be a missionary, and to have been blessed to be here in this area right now, I just want to keep looking for ways to do His will here.
Last but not least, we had an awesome Valentine’s day haha our Valentines were Alexa, Zoe, and Alison Olivares. We made them little cards with chocolate, and they brought us they big chocolate hearts. I love their family so much, I find myself praying for them multiple times throughout the day because I just want what’s best for them.

Love you all!
Elder Stout

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