Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Kent--June 15, 2015

Dear family,

This week was incredible. We had a potential investigator come to church with us. We also got back in contact with the “H” family and we have a lesson set up for Wednesday night after scouts! What a miracle. The potential investigator that came to church is named “S B”. When we met her, she had no idea that Mormons were Christian. We opened up the Book of Mormon and taught her right there in the parking lot of the apartment complex. I shared my testimony that the Book of Mormon can help anyone get closer to God, and help them through the difficulties of life. She told us she needs that because she feels empty inside and she feels lonely. A lot of her friends aren't Christian, and she wants more friends that believe in God. This happened last week. I went back on Thursday night with a ward missionary named brother “L” on splits, and we taught a lesson on the Book of Mormon. We only had 15 minutes, but the spirit was strong. We committed her to read a few chapters of the Book of Mormon, read the restoration pamphlet, and come to church. And she did! I was able to sit up front with her while Elder Holden sat with Brother “S” in the back. The topic in Sacrament meeting was on eternal families. The speakers briefly addressed the importance of family history and temple work. Sister “B” asked if she could participate in family history work. I said, "Of course!" She was really excited about that. She also committed to come for the full three hours next week! Wow. 

I know that the Lord is preparing people. We also received a member referral from Sister “P”. Their names are “S” and “M”. They have four kids, and they just live around the corner from the “P”'s. It was interesting how they met. The two youngest kids, who are five and seven, ran inside Sister “P”'s house. She had no idea who they were, so she said, "Let’s go meet your parents." They brought her to their home, and Sister Pyle initiated a great conversation with “M”. She told us what a spiritual powerhouse she is. She learned that “M” was preparing to be a pastor in her church and she had several incredibly spiritual experiences over the course of her life. Sister “P” said she was blown away and thought, "Where did you come from you amazing woman?" Sister “P” asked if she would like some literature on our church. She said yes. So she gave a copy of the Book of Mormon, Our Search for Happiness by M. Russell Ballard, a book about angels, and a copy of Meet the Mormons. The next morning, while we were working out in her gym, she walked over and saw “S” getting the kids ready to go to school. She asked if she could get his address so the missionaries could stop by and he said yes! Sister “P” told us she will set an appointment where we could meet and she's inviting us and them over for dinner next week. 

The work moves forward. And members are such an integral part of helping to find and teach investigators. Even in Sister “B”' case, when we were the ones to find her. Members still have the responsibility to friendship them. I have a testimony that God is placing certain people in our path so that we have an opportunity to administer to their needs. Sister “P” said, "There are no such things as coincidences, only God-instances." We each have a responsibility to care for the people in our lives. I'm so glad to be a part of this great work. There is nothing more joyful and spiritual than helping others come closer to Christ.

That is super cool that “M” was able to give a talk in sacrament meeting. I hope that one day she'll be able to get baptized. And keep having the missionaries over for dinner! I love hearing what's going on in your lives. Aaron, the ordeal sounded like fun. I hope you didn't get too wet! It's weird but it hasn't rained here for a few weeks. I'm pretty sure that's considered "drought" status in western Washington! There are a couple of places here and there that are in the rain shadow of the Cascade mountain range and it doesn't rain as often as in the coastal areas.

Could you send sour patch watermelons, pretzel M&M's, Hershey's bars, Milky ways, and Snicker's? I would also like a gift card for Wendy's. That's everything. Thanks for being so awesome!  


Elder Herbert

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Kent--June 8, 2015

Dear family,

I'm glad that my experiences are helping others. This is a really trying time in my mission. Sometimes I wish that the ward members would do more and investigators would progress, but at least I'm doing the best I can. I know that success as a missionary is determined by how committed you are to find, teach, and baptize people. The “H” family is sadly not returning any of our calls. I think we might have offended them. They are no longer meeting with us. It's disappointing, but sometimes, you just need to move on to more prepared people. So currently we have no progressing investigators, but we found a couple of potential investigators this week. My street contacting is getting a lot better. (For those of you who don't know, street contacting is when you go up to random people on the street and talk about the gospel and invite them to meet with missionaries). In Preach My Gospel, it says we need to talk with everyone to find people to teach. Elder Hamula, of the Seventy, said that contacting earnestly and prayerfully everywhere you go is the price you pay to be trusted with the kind of people who will be baptized. And it might not even be the people you talk to on the street. God could reward your faith by sending a member referral. 

This week, I'm going to focus on teaching and testifying about the importance of baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. I know that it's super important because of the experience I shared with you last week. I want others to have the same blessings. If we receive and remain worthy of this gift, it can guide, protect, and comfort us. I'm going to study scriptures about conversion and being "born again." The Savior said in John 3, verse 3 that unless we are born again, we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. Later, in verse 5, He clarifies that to be born again we must be born of water and of the spirit. That is the ONLY way we can receive a change of heart. I'm going to share scriptures with people about baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Sometimes as missionaries, we are tempted to water things down and tell people about how "nice" our church is. That's not what this is about. This is about salvation. The sooner you understand it, the better you'll be able to help others understand it as well. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only church with Christ at the head. It is His church and we must be baptized into His church to receive salvation.

Have you ever heard of the new church website, It's a new site that the church is using to update the old It's pretty cool. We have been introducing it to members as a way for them to share the gospel. It has 12 beliefs of the Mormon Church and short videos, with questions and answers at the bottom of the page. You should check it out and share it on Facebook! Anyways, I hope everything is going well. I'm glad that you are preparing for the vacation to Maryland. That sounds exciting! I hope you have a great time while you're there. 


Elder Herbert

Monday, June 1, 2015

Kent--June 1, 2015

Dearest family,I love you so much. I want to tell you that things are going well. The work is slowing down a bit, but we hope to be able to pick it back up. It's frustrating when (I'm not joking), about 1 out of 4 people we meet on the street are Indian and don't speak any English. It can be discouraging at times, but I'm learning to put away my frustrations. This was especially true for the "H" family this week. On Saturday I was elated. I read the following text from Sister "H": "I'm reading and teaching my mother [from the Book of Mormon]. Also she will probably join me at church Sunday with a friend also. :) mom is so interested in this happy to share with her." The next day I got this text: "Brother "H" can't get the day off [work]. We will make it [to church] next weekend. I was heartbroken. I kept thinking "why? Why is God making this so difficult?" As I sat in sacrament meeting, the words of my patriarchal blessing came crystal clear in my mind: "The Lord will bestow upon you the gift of patience." I pulled it out of my scriptures and read the rest of the paragraph. It talked about how I will be patient as I exercise faith in the Lord. It tells me I will be patient and longsuffering in times of difficulty and challenge and I will overcome them and come out victorious. I was filled with gratitude for the prompting I received. Later, as a sister in the ward spoke in sacrament meeting, she related the following words from the Savior in John 14, verses 26 & 27: "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." I realized that the Holy Ghost had brought the words of my patriarchal blessing to my remembrance. The reason he did that was to give me comfort. He really is the Comforter. I learned many things from this experience. I learned that God helps us to find hope in the heartache. I learned that the Holy Ghost brings the words of the Savior to our remembrance. It was affirmed to me that without the Gift of the Holy Ghost, we would not have his companionship. I was reminded of how blessed we are to have this precious gift. Now, I will act more fervently and diligently so that others can have this priceless gift as well. The Holy Ghost can guide us, protect us, and lead us safely home to our Father in Heaven.

In answer to your questions,

Jessica: The weather has been hot and sunny this whole week until today. It started raining and it's cloudy. It is a much needed break from the sweltering heat. I didn't think it could get hot in Washington, but it does. It really is cool to see all the different cultures, but it makes me feel foreign. I wish I could speak Arabic, Punjabi, and Spanish. Those are the most common languages spoken here besides English.

Mom: I did receive my ukulele. And when we do community service, we usually have set days and times, but sometimes we set it up ourselves. I'm so glad to hear you are listening to the Book of Mormon on audio. That is what we encourage a lot of our investigators to do. It really does help!

Dad: My new companion, Elder Holden is great. We get along pretty well. We usually talk about how we can help our investigators. Elder Holden likes Marvel comics. We usually talk about stressful situations that occur and make light of the situation to relieve stress.

I love you all very much and can't wait to hear back from you. I'll be sharing more experiences later.


Elder Herbert