Monday, February 23, 2015

Puyallup--February 23, 2015

Dear family,

I am so grateful for all you do. I am finishing up the last week of this transfer. Elder Brown is going home to Arizona next Monday. We've had a really fun but challenging time together. Everyday we've been exhausted. We have both been struggling to talk with everyone. It's really hard because the people here are more well to do than the people in my last area. They are more set in their ways and they aren't looking to change. However, there are a few people here and there that will allow us to come back. We need to mostly find people to teach through the members. 

We had a lesson with the "J"'s yesterday. They are having a hard time making scripture study and prayer a priority because their lives are super busy. They have a six year old boy and a four year old boy and a baby that'll be here within the week. They know they need to get baptized, but they are afraid to make the commitment, because they see the gospel as a list of more things to accomplish. They know that our church is a big commitment. They said it's like a relationship!

I'm so grateful for the opportunity to serve the Lord. It is hard, but it is worth it. I love seeing people make changes in their lives and come closer to Christ! It's a struggle to get the work moving, and I'm afraid that I'll be taking over this area when Elder Brown leaves, but I'm learning to rely wholly upon the Lord. I know we can cast our doubts and fears on the Lord and He can help us move forward. 

One thing that helps is committing scriptures to memory. I have been attempting to memorize at least one scripture a day. This is one of my favorites, which I memorized last week: "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." (1 Peter 2:9)

I love you all.

Talk to you soon,

Elder Herbert

Puyallup--February 17, 2015

Dear family,

I am glad to hear how you are all doing so well. Dad, I'm glad you started your new job recently. Jessica, how exciting! I'm glad that you have a calling in the ward. I hope you do well in it. I'm doing pretty good. Mom, the Doctor called to tell me that our insurance doesn't cover primary physician care outside of Utah, so I don't know what to do in order to get my medication. The fee for a visit every time is $85. I'm going to call the mission president's wife and get it straightened out for this time. I also ended up spending more than I had getting my bike and its supplies. I apologize but I needed things like gloves, fenders, bike seat, bolts, and a kickstand. Brother Newbold ended up paying for me and now I need a way to pay him back. I am planning on taking all the money I had on my card and giving it to him and somehow getting the extra money to him later. I got my tax return in the mail from C-3. Could you send me instructions on how to complete it? Thanks a bunch. I hope this isn't too stressful. Hopefully the ward could help out if we need it. 

On the missionary side of things, the work is going well. We had two investigators, "I" and "R", come to church on Sunday. Elder Brown and I ended up teaching the Gospel Principles lesson and it was on baptism. We had a lot of converts in the class testify of how baptism gave them a remission of sins. It was great! "R" has been reading in the Book of Mormon, but "I" hasn't. "E" and "A" didn't make it this Sunday because "E" had to go to work and "A" doesn't like to go without him.  We have a lesson set up with them for later this week. "A"'s mother came from Ukraine. She doesn't speak a lick of English. 

Thanks for sending the letter, but all mail is to go through the mission office. I just wanted to send you my apartment address so you could look it up on Google maps. Just remember to always send it through the mission office and they will get it to me in time. Those are the rules. I looked up the reference 2 Chronicles 5:13 and it wasn't even remotely close to what was on the card! It was really strange. I wondered if they got the reference right or if the translation of the Bible they used was way out of wack. Anyways, I'm so glad to have received the card. I am reminded always of your love. I hope that you all do well this week.  


Elder Herbert

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Puyallup--February 9, 2015

Dear family,

I am so grateful for your willingness to share the gospel! Elder Brown and I read the chapter called "Flooding the Earth with the Book of Mormon" in the Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson for companion study this morning. It has amazing stories of members sharing the Book of Mormon with others. That's really cool that Elder Burt is from Garrison Creek! Did you tell him that I'm serving in his mission? Today I was challenged by my district leader to talk to as many people in each store, library, etc that I can today. I decided that I will share with others the Book of Mormon. So as I start conversations in Wal-mart or wherever, I'll introduce them to the Book of Mormon and hand them a Book of Mormon pass-along card. It's good to hear that Brother "D" has been taking his girls to church! That's incredible. Keep on sharing your testimonies. We had a member lesson last night at the "S"'s home and we invited them to think of someone they could share the gospel with. Sister "S" asked us how to answer people's questions about difficult topics like free agency. She had a friend that thought since God knows everything we are going to do, then it really isn't our choice to make. I told her that we don't know exactly how everything works, so we just have to go on faith. 

Feel better soon! We have discovered the enormity of the plague here in Washington! Everyone is getting sick. I just got sick with the flu about a month ago. I was only out for a couple of days though. Our investigators got sick yesterday and couldn't make it to church. We just met them last week. They live in our apartment complex. The manager told us to stop proselyting but we are doing it anyway. President Eaton said it was fine as long as we just stay away from the manager. I would rather put my trust in God than in man. It reminded me of a scripture I read in Acts chapter 2 when the pharisees commanded that the apostles stop preaching in the name of Jesus, but they said we would rather listen to God than man. These investigators we found are a teenage mother and her uncle. Her name is "I" and her uncle's name is "R". "I"'s son is "J". He is seven months old. "R" is a Catholic man from Colombia. He said that he wants to give his family a choice as to which church they want to be apart of. He is concerned about his niece and great nephew having a church to give them direction in life. So he and his children have been to quite a few other churches besides the Catholic church. They have both been to the Mormon church a few times before but have never taken the missionary discussions. So we just started to teach them.

I'm going to send the temple name back so you can perform the endowment. It's a bummer that it got here too late. I'm buying a bicycle today so I don't expect there to be much left on my debit card afterwards. I am also purchasing rain paints and boots. For the past couple of days my clothes got soaked! I had to throw my pants and socks in the dryer multiple times each day. 

Could you send me the soundtrack to Prince of Egypt? I would really enjoy that. It is also ok for me to listen to Christian artists like Britt Nicole. Could you send me a CD of hers as well? As long as the beat is not too intense. Our mission president approves of this type of music. 

Love you so much,

Elder Herbert

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Puyallup--February 3, 2015

Dear family,

Over here the Superbowl is a huge national holiday. This season, everyone has been going bonkers for the Seahawks. You can't go anywhere here without seeing someone sporting a Seahawk's jersey! It's interesting. Everyone is bummed that they lost though. It has been wonderful getting here and experiencing this ward. Manorwood is such a great area. Everyone here is so nice, even if they don't want to talk to us.  

Today we went to the temple, and we had Brother "D" give us 11 names for the elders and 1 name for a sister to take and go through the endowment session for. It was such a spiritual experience, and I am filled with so much love and joy. Nothing in this world matters more than the ordinances and covenants that we make with Heavenly Father. I'm so glad to hear that you are all doing so well. Elder Brown goes home in a few weeks back to Arizona. He and I get along really well and I'll miss him. We have had wonderful experiences in this ward. 

I met one family that is currently investigating in our ward, the "J"s. We couldn't meet the first week because Sister "J" is preparing to have her mother come over from Ukraine, and she is expecting a baby! The whole week has been busy for them, preparing for the two new arrivals! They both know the Book of Mormon is the word of God, but they have difficulty committing to anything. One aspect that is hard for them is the Word of Wisdom. They don't understand what it means by "hot drinks." They also haven't been able to study the Book of Mormon and pray daily. I testified that as long as they did that, their concerns about the Word of Wisdom will be resolved.

We have two potential investigators as well. We met "I" and her uncle contacting in our apartment complex's parking lot. She is a teen mom living in her uncle's apartment. She said that in foster care, she attended many different churches. Her uncle told us he's been to a Mormon church once and he really liked it. We gave them a restoration pamphlet to read and pray about in preparation for our meeting on Saturday. We'll have a lesson with them Saturday morning and remind them about church on Sunday.

We have also been working really closely with the members. If you have the elders over for dinner, what they SHOULD do is ask you for referrals (friends that you could invite to meet with them). If they don't, make sure you tell them that their primary goal for member visits should be to strengthen your desire to share the gospel. If they don't, they're not fulfilling their responsibilities. I suggest that before you meet with the elders, everyone in the family (Grandpa, Grandma, Dad, Mom, Jessica, Aaron, and Sarah) should have already invited a nonmember friend to meet with the missionaries. It doesn't have to be in the ward boundaries. It could even be over facebook or e-mail.

I don't have a bike yet, but I've been borrowing one from Brother "J". I need to buy one soon. I also need a waterproof coat and boots. I recently bought waterproof gloves and a balaclava from the sport store. I'm excited to hear from you all and I can't wait to share my experiences with you from serving in the Manorwood ward. 


Elder Herbert