Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It Snowed, then it Didn't

Mom: Ouch! You know you're not supposed to fall off ladders?? It doesn't feel too great. I was painting this week too! Weird, eh? Elder Ehlert and I painted a lady in the ward's shed. It was a medium sized shed but we knocked it out in just 2 hours! It was sweet! So I assume you get the lease signed since you're painting? That's sweet! How's band going for Sam? Is the show this year legit or nah?

Alannah: Hey soul sister...ain't no something something...on the radio..blah blah i don't remember. Haha :) I'm glad work's going great! That's legit you made a goal! We played soccer a couple weeks ago with all the Elders in the Stake when we went down to Gillette for zone conference. I'm pretty bad I found out. :) But it was still fun!
I do have a couple ideas. So in that same chapter in PMG, chp 5. There's a section that says the Book of Mormon answers questions of the soul. You can ask her some of those questions and see which one she wants to know, then testify that you know the answer and the only way you know is because of the Book of Mormon. But it really doesn't matter what you say because if you have the desire to share the gospel, even if you don't know what to say Heavenly Father will help you know exactly what people needs to hear. My Branch President in the MTC told me something that's stuck with me, "when people feel your love for them, you can never be too bold". You're wanting to share the gospel because you know how much it will help them in their life, you love them and want to have the same blessings you have. There's nothing you can say that will offend if you do it with love. I've put that to the test and I know it's true. I'm not really a bold person but this one particular time I was more concerned for these peoples eternal salvation than what they thought of me. The very next day they changed their life and started living the commandments. But remember people have their agency so don't get bummed if they decline. We're successful as we invite people to know, to give them the opportunity to use their agency.

Now with the Book of Mormon referencing Lord, I heard once that if it's meaning Heavenly Father then it's written in all caps "LORD" and Jesus is "Lord". Not positive though. Either way they're both great people to underline! ;) haha

Dad: That's so awesome that Heavenly Father blessed us with this home! It's exactly what we've needed. I'm glad the Relief Society is taking good care of you! Tell them hello for me and thank you for taking care of my family! That's so cool you were able to get the white suit that way! I wish I could get all my clothes that way! So do you help with endowments, initiatory, baptisms, or D: all of the above or E: none of these? That's so cool that you're a Temple worker though! I'm pretty jealous but my patriarchal blessing says I'll be one later in life so I'll get my turn!
This is what's been going on with meeeeee!

The area seems to be taking a turn to focus on more on bringing less-active members back to activity. The great thing about this new wave of excitement is that the members are the most involved they've ever been with helping us with missionary work. We're having a member from every auxiliary coming fairly consistently to our missionary correlation meeting along with our ward missionaries. The Bishop even made it out to the meeting yesterday for one of the first times.

Jacob got back into town last Thursday and he couldn't be doing any better! He's committed himself to finishing the Book of Mormon by October 18th. At the rate he's going though, he should be done by the 6th or sooner. We've committed him to be baptized on October 11th. The last lesson we had with him was about your training you gave us last zone conference about why God requires his ordinances, which led into a very powerful ending about eternal families.

Tori, Jacob's sister hasn't met with us this past week. She loves the lessons but she just doesn't have the desire to change, I believe. We got a couple ideas from the district of how we can help her find her own desire to act on what she's learning that we're going to try out.

We have a new investigator named Susan! We've been doing service for her for quite some time but just recently we were able to get in with her. We taught her the Restoration and left her a commitment to read the introduction, the 3 and 8 witnesses, and Joseph Smith's testimony. We'll be following up with her this week.

Elder Ehlert and I are doing great together. I'm so impressed with how much he knows and how much he can remember! He knows so much about the gospel and how to tailor it into individuals lives which is why he is such a powerful teacher.

In personal study, I've been reading the Book of Mormon a lot more and can see the difference in how effective my days are compared to when I study from something else. I'm still trying to find that perfect balance to study from the Book of Mormon, the Bible, Preach my Gospel, and some talks.
We've been doing a lot more service this week. On Saturday we helped lay sod in a members yard about 7200 sq ft. That was pretty fun! Then we ran over to the food bank and ate some home made camping beans, hot dogs, and hamburgers that Dan made. We helped him unload a truck or donations he got from Wal-Mart. Then we ran over to the church to help a member clean it. We did all that from 9am and got done at 1:30pm. Missionaries are pretty efficient workers! Haha :)
Transfers are coming up on October 11th. I'm thinking I'll probably be leaving this time. Elder Ehlert will be done with his training and if I follow how Elder Richards left then this is the one. I'll get the call that morning though if I am leaving and will drive out that next Monday. So if you don't get an email from me on the 13th then I got transferred!
I love you guys so much! I'm so excited that you got the new house and everything's working out for you!
Let me know of anything else I can do to help!

Elder Autrey :D

Oh and it's not snowing Mom. It just snowed that one Thursday. It's been in the 80's ever since! :D

And a quick reply from nephew TJ when I wished him a happy birthday this week and admitted to him that I snuck a few short stories in to read while on my mission.:
Hi Clover~

Books are pretty dang cool, they're a lot of why I like video games so much.  Like I mean the walking dead game was a really great story, and stories are really where it's at~
But anyway love you Aunt Clover~~!
Elder Witzel

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Days in the Life

 Inline image 1 <--- I don't know how that just worked but there's the weather for this week. Apparently it's going to snow on Wednesd

Here's what I've been up to:

We've had a decline with our investigators the past couple weeks but the work has still been progressing. We decided since we don't have many investigators to teach, that we'll focus on finding and working with less-active members and bringing them back. We saw some great results this week with four new less actives who came to church! We've also been teaching the members (focusing on the youth) the Restoration lesson and then challenging them to teach us the Restoration lesson our next visit. These have been super successful and a great way to teach children how they can gain their own testimony and practice teaching!

We saw one investigator this week. Tori is actually Jacob's sister another one of our investigators. She's sat in a couple lessons we've had with Jacob and started gaining an interest. We taught he the Restoration with one of her friends Lana, who turned out to be a less-active member in our ward who we've been trying to find! I asked her the question, "What would it mean to you if Christ's original church, that he set up, was back here on the Earth again today?" She said the best two words I've ever heard, "It is" then later said "I'm here with you aren't I?". I know the spirit's working with her and some amazing things are about to come forth soon!

Robin is out in Minnesota about to have a part of his Liver removed. We need to call him and check on how he's doing.

Jacob is out of town for work. He hasn't been talking to us much since he's left. He comes home for only 2 weeks at a time and is then out of town again for 5 weeks. There's not much time to see him anymore so we need to be creative to help him bring the spirit into his life consistently.

Elder Ehlert and I are really coming a lot closer now. We're becoming really good friends and laughing and having fun a lot more. The work is definitely improving with us working together and collaborating our ideas.
Elders Ehlert and Autrey
Elders Ehlert & Autrey

A spiritual experience I had this week was during Sacrament meeting. We had 4 less-active members in attendance and I felt the need to get up and bear my testimony. I talked about the Book of Mormon and how it's changed my life and how it can resolve any question we have about the church and even life itself. I've challenged myself to bear my testimony once a day and I've seen a great increase in how much stronger my testimony has grown the past couple weeks.

The Ward Council is doing great! We're now having representatives from most auxiliaries coming out to our missionary correlation meeting. The desires in the ward to help us has been increasing tremendously and has definitely been a blessing for us. We can't do anything or make any progress without the ward's help! Members are essential in missionary work!

One super fun thing we did this week was the mud sludge! My job was to make sure people didn't drown in the mud at my station. No one did! :) Success! Then we were able to run the course. It was a 5K with a ton of obstacles at the rodeo fairgrounds. So we had to climb up hay bails, over barn walls, under fences, under logs, crawl through poop infested horse pins! It was sweet! And we did it all in our slacks and white shirts and ties! (Salvation Army clothes) And all that while covered in mud! It was AWESOME!!! :)

Welp that's all folks! I'll send some pictures here soon.

I love you guys! Keep being awesome and staying strong in your faith!

Elder Autrey

97 Bananas

Have you ever seen 97 bananas before?
Modeling with bananas

We got the bananas from the food bank. They got 4 pallets of them and made us take a box.

The Old Country this huge burger I ate last week! It was SO GOOD!! :)
Elder Ehlert bbqing
Elder Ehlert

Elder Autrey & Elder Johnson

Elder Rasmussen

Elder Johnson