Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Nov. 24, 2014 in Huntersville, NC

So we got transfer calls on Saturday, and 3 out of the 4 of us will be leaving! But guess who's staying? I am! I'm going to miss these guys but I will get a new companion who will also be the district leader for Huntersville Elders, Lake Norman Elders and Sisters, and Mountain Island Elders and Sisters. There will only be one companionship in Huntersville now.

Probably one of the greatest miracle contacts on my mission so far was this last Saturday. Elder S and I were riding through a neighborhood and we saw a dad and his 9 year old daughter out bagging leaves. Elder S called out and asked if we could help and the man just looked up at us and then looked back down. This is a common rejection we get so we were about to ride off, but I had ridden past our turn over by them and so I called again to ask if we could help them. This time he looked up and said, "Sure, if you aren't worried about your clothes." I told him we were dressed casually today, we didn't even have suits on! We believe he just hadn't heard Elder S before. Anyways, we hopped off our bikes and started helping them bag the leaves. As we worked, the man told us his name was T and his daughter was H. He asked us about our missions and he seemed to know a bit about the church, but not tons. We talked with him all about missionary service and then he started "quizzing" his daughter on us in a kind of educational way. He asked her "H, do you know what is different about their beliefs and ours?" She didn't know so he asked us to tell them about the Book of Mormon. Then he asked how they could get a copy of one!! T told us he and H read lots of books together and that they would like to read it and see what it's like. We were able to give them a Book of Mormon and a Restoration pamphlet and we will be visiting them to follow up and teach them more about the Restoration. 

We are super excited to teach them and we are praying that they will be open and accepting. Miracles do come as we get out and do our best to love and serve people. As 1 Corinthians 13:13 says: "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity." Or, in other words, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care"

G hasn't come to church yet so we will keep working with him. He did give us a super nice calendar made of pictures from the horse rescue though! We did some service for him at the rescue.

A good General Conference talk I studied this week is "Which Way do You Face?" By Lynn G Robbins. He says:
"When people try to save face with men, they can unwittingly lose face with God. Thinking one can please God and at the same time condone the disobedience of men isn’t neutrality but duplicity, or being two-faced or trying to “serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24; 3 Nephi 13:24).
While it certainly takes courage to face perils, the true badge of courage is overcoming the fear of men."
He also shares 4th Nephi 1:27. The world today tries to change Gods standards but his standards never change. So yeah, it's just a fantastic talk, so take a look!   ;)

Hanks for all yuns do! (yuns is like yall I found out. There is also yins, younguns, Dear, honey, baby, and "Normans"  haha, all good nicknames) :)

Elder Branch

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Nov. 17, 2014 in Huntersville, NC

It's super rainy!!! NC rain is like the greatest thing ever, because it's just dark and misty and super beautiful. We were planning a district activity today around 2 to play soccer, but we are gonna have to do it inside instead. Which means chair soccer!!!! Aw yeah! :D

So our ward mission leader, Brother K, gave us a unique finding challenge. We live right behind a mall called B that hasn't allowed us to proselyte in the past. He told us to make signs that said "ask me any question and I will provide you an answer" and walk around there about 3 times a week. Here is a picture of the results :)

We made these super snazzy looking ones out of whiteboard and para-cord! It was a fun project and when we went out, people smiled at us and we got a couple questions :) So yeah, we will be trying it out a couple other times throughout this week and we will see where it goes :)

We managed to talk to 42 people this week and next week were aiming for 60 :) Were gonna make Elder S's last week a "good one, coach!!"       :)

One of the things I really enjoyed this week was the power of the Spirit and of prayer. I studied Jorg Klebingats talk from conference and I love the ending! It says:

"Acknowledge and face your weaknesses, but don’t be immobilized by them, because some of them will be your companions until you depart this earth life. No matter what your current status, the very moment you voluntarily choose honest, joyful, daily repentance by striving to simply do and be your very best, the Savior’s Atonement envelops and follows you, as it were, wherever you go. Living in this manner, you can truly “always retain a remission of your sins” (Mosiah 4:12) every hour of every day, every second of every minute, and thus be fully clean and acceptable before God all the time.

Yours is the privilege, if you want it, to come to know for yourself, today or soon, that you are pleasing God in spite of your shortcomings."

I've felt insecure with myself in the past because I notice only little improvements in my week to week performance as a missionary in this area. When I read this, I realized that as I do my very best, even when I'm not perfect, I can still receive my promised blessings. It really comforted me and gave me confidence for the coming week. Were working hard this week and we're going to make Elder S's last week a great one! Thanks for all you do!

Love, Elder Branch

Ps.  Springs letter was just the greatest :) It really made me happy and gave me strength :) I'm so grateful for everyone's support back home! Sorry I couldn't write to all of ya, the district activity was super intense and lasted a long time! (We had to shop today in less than 20 minutes!) But all is well :) I love YOU most!!!!!! Haha :) the church is true!