Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Maple Valley--December 28, 2015

Dear family,

I love you all so much! This week was incredible. I learned so much about myself and missionary work. There's a big lesson I learned about being diligent when your circumstances are tough.

On Saturday, I went on exchanges. While I was there, I asked their ward mission leader if I could test my blood sugar on his glucometer. He brought it to us, and I checked my blood sugar. The meter read 594!! I called the mission nurse and she told me to check into the ER right away. I was there from 8 pm to midnight on Saturday night. I was so tired. They performed all sorts of blood tests and stuck me with an IV. The fluids helped flush the glucose out of my blood. After that my blood sugar was 117. I was diagnosed with diabetes. On Sunday, I got a glucometer, some test strips, and lancets. I also was prescribed Metformin. Today, I went to the doctor and he prescribed a higher dose of Metformin and insulin. Elder Noh and I, however, did not give up on missionary work. We read our scriptures, made plans for the next day, and even gave the nurse a restoration pamphlet with our phone number on the back. She happened to be named Jessica ;) Because of this experience, I learned that you can do the Lord's work wherever you find yourself. There is a really cool example of that in the Book of Acts, chapter 16.

19 ¶And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers,

 20 And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,

 21 And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.

 22 And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.

 23 And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:

 24 Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

 25 ¶And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

 26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.

 27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.

 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.

 29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,

 30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

 31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

 32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

 33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

Paul and Silas, as missionary companions, were put in prison. And they converted the jailor!! I know that we can do more as disciples of Jesus Christ. When things get hard, we cannot give up. Paul and Silas easily could have given up hope. But they trusted in God. It can be difficult when it is the holidays, and people are a little less likely to let you in, but you keep tracting anyways, and God will shower blessings on you. I learned to fear God more than man. That way, you always feel of God's approval. Those who seek for God's approval over the praise of the world, are more blessed.

We taught Sister "W" the Word of Wisdom, and she committed to live it! She is very prepared. We set up a time to go to the discovery center in Bellevue, which is right behind the temple. Afterwards, we are going to show her around the temple grounds! I'm really excited for that. In addition, we are taking our mission's annual temple trip at the end of January. Could you find a family name for me to take to do an endowment? Last year it didn't get here in time. 

In answer to questions: Elder Noh and I are the only Elders that work in the office. We thankfully spend more time proselyting and spend as little time as possible in the office. President has two Elders that are assigned as Assistants. The best way to avoid temptation is to spend as much time as possible praying in your head, and ponder the scriptures. My favorite part of church is the sacrament. I love taking that time to reflect. 

I hope you all have a fun and safe trip to St. George. It sounds like it will be fun. It will probably be the same temperature as it is here! Maybe a little warmer.

I will love you forever and always,

Elder Herbert

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Maple Valley--December 21, 2015

Dear family,
This week was a very eventful week. Because it was the first week after transfers, and I am serving as an office elder, we moved a bit of furniture from place to place throughout the mission. It's cool because we drive a Chevy Silverado truck. We picked up some bed frames, box springs, and mattresses from the storage unit and drove them to Enumclaw, which is a teeny-tiny little town directly south of Maple Valley. It's still in the Maple Valley stake. It's country out there. Lots of pastures and farms. We took the remaining ones to some sisters in Puyallup because they are now in a trio companionship and they needed an extra bed. Then we took a mattress to my old companion Elder Samuels. He is serving in the Benson Hill ward in Renton. We went to go pick up a pair of bed frames from some members in Federal Way. It was beautiful. They live next to the Puget Sound. It was breathtaking. When you get to the ocean, it feels so open and calm. I hope I get to serve in Federal Way someday.

This week, a member that is returning to activity introduced her friend to us. She is a friend from work. The member's name is Sister “V”. Sister “V” just asked her friend, “S W”, if she wanted to take missionary lessons, and she said yes! She lives in Renton, but we'll still teach her because her friend lives in our ward. We taught her twice already. We had the first lesson in a member's home (The “W”s), and the other at the stake center. The whole ”W” family and Sister “V” were there for the second lesson. We softly committed her for baptism on January 16th, but she wants to study more before she commits to a solid date. The adversary is working hard on her. Before we had our second lesson, her car got stuck in a ditch, so we had to go to the place she got stuck and push her car out. Thankfully we were able to do so successfully. Take that Satan. She came to a baptismal service on Saturday but she couldn't come to church because her roommate's car was parked behind her's and they couldn't find the keys! Satan strikes again. Thankfully, we have a lesson set up with her for Tuesday at 8 at the “W”s home.
We tracted into a lady, where we taught a brief restoration lesson on her doorstep. Her name is “S E”. She opened up to us, which she said was surprising because she normally has social anxiety. She ended up telling her whole life story! She's from Tennessee. When she was younger, she was told she couldn't have any children, and it broke her heart. She eventually ended up accepting the fact that she wouldn't have any kids. She and her husband lived the good life for quite a while, until they found out she was pregnant. Unfortunately, her baby miscarried and she stopped believing in God. After several experiences however, she regained her faith in God. Then she had two more kids after that. Two little girls. It was actually one of her daughters that opened the door. She told us that if it wasn't for that, she probably would have not answered the door. We prayed with her and then set a return appointment for Saturday. I guess we'll see how it goes. God works in so many mysterious ways!

There are a lot of people that get dissuaded from meeting with us, because there is a lot of opposition. Family, friends, co-workers, anti-literature, etc. What should we do to prepare potential and current investigators for opposition? That is one obstacle that we are trying to overcome.
The members here are rockstars at sharing the gospel! We are preparing quite a few families to invite their friends to meet with us. Some are neighbors, so it will be in our ward. We met with a member family, the “P”s and talked about a neighbor. His name is “J W”. Sister “P” told us that he'd hit rock bottom after trying to end his life. He was life-flighted to the hospital. They started talking and he feels like something is missing in his life. He is looking for a church. She said that he would be the last person they'd invite to meet us because before his suicide attempt, he was a mean, gruff guy. He even yelled at neighbors for driving on his curb. But now, he's really soft spoken. She told him that we believe in living prophets that guide us, and in a plan of salvation. She bore her testimony that we came from heaven. He was fascinated by that. He said, "Really? I always believed that we came from heaven. And I always wondered about why God has prophets in the Bible and they aren't here anymore."

I'm really excited to work in this ward. I love you all and I can't wait to talk on Christmas!

Elder Herbert

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Auburn--December 15, 2015

Dear Family,
I'm so excited for this upcoming transfer. I will be serving in the Elk Run ward in the Maple Valley stake. My new companion is Korean American. His name is Elder Noh. It's funny because I will be in the same building. Elder Samuels is going to the Benson Hill ward in the Renton stake and Lake Holm is getting replaced with sister missionaries!!!!! I'm so excited. We even got a new investigator named “N” committed for baptism on February 6th. She's African American. We found out that her oldest son, who is 15 now, got baptized a member in Bellevue a couple years ago. We were meant to come in contact with her. I also think that the Lord knows she'll progress faster with sister missionaries.

I wrote down all of the names, addresses, and phone numbers of the families I love so we can stay in contact when I'm off my mission. Hopefully Brother “W” will be baptized by the time I come back. The sisters will absolutely love their family. I already know one of the sisters that will be serving in Lake Holm. Her name is Sister Frischneckt. She was in my district when I served in Kent. The other sister's name is Sister Gaza. Sorry I opened my presents already, but I don't mind opening them early. I'll get to skype you on Christmas, and I get to enjoy the company of members and their festivities. In fact, we need to set a time to skype. I don't know who we'll be having dinner with, but let's plan on skyping at 6. It will be 7 in Utah so plan to get on skype at 7! I'm really excited to talk to you face to face! Just like Moses talked with God face to face.

I love you all and hope that you have a good week!


Elder Herbert

Monday, December 7, 2015

Auburn--December 7, 2015

Dear family,

I love you all so much. I know that even though I am going through many struggles, the Lord is blessing me with strength and good courage. In fact, today I read Joshua 1:9 to a little boy that was at the Doctor getting his shots. It was really funny because he gave me his e-mail address so I can write to him on Mondays. He was really outgoing. His name is “L”. Elder Samuels was there getting a check-up. I did get your package. Unfortunately, I opened it before I could read this week's e-mail. Sorry! Today I'm going to buy some new shoes with the money that I have remaining on my card. Thank you so much for the sweater, the gift cards, and the sketchbook with sharpies. I also love seeing your smiling faces. Ha-ha. Elder Samuels asks Jessica: in the pictures, where is your other eye? XD Thanks for sending your patriarchal blessing. It is so you! I loved reading it. Your Heavenly Father knows you so well.

This week might be the last week I'm in the Lake Holm ward. Transfers are next Tuesday. If I do get transferred, I hope that my new ward is cool. I love serving in this ward and I don't want to leave it. Things are starting to pick up as we just got a new ward mission leader and two assistants. Bishop keeps apologizing that the ward hasn't been as focused on missionary work and he wants to pick it back up. That's why he changed the mission leadership. Elder Samuels and I got to stand in the circle as Bishop set them apart. It was a neat experience.

Elder Herbert