Kentucky, Louisville Mission

Monday, June 30, 2014

Week 13 "The Worth of Souls is great in the sight of God."

Hey Everybody!
This week has been another great week.  It was honestly a pretty normal week, every day was just like it always is haha, missions are kinda weird, it's like your not really alive its almost like a dream!  Everything is so tiring but time goes by so fast!  So we have been trying to meet with Yvette more but she got a job at a restaurant called the Logan here in Shelbyville.  So she's been a little harder to get a hold of but we still have pretty regular contact with her and we set an appointment with her for Tuesday so hopefully we'll get to teach her then.  So I haven't really been talking about Gisifredo very much because we kinda lost contact with him and we couldn't ever get a hold of him.  So we were thinking that we would have to drop him and move on but we tried his door one day and he answered and was super happy to see us and let us in and funny story, a few weeks ago when we were leaving the clinic here in Shelbyville we actually saw Gisi walking in!  We talked for a little and didn't think anything of it but later when we were talking to him again he said he had some surgery and he wasn't able to work SO he didn't have any money to buy beer which seems kinda like a weird thing to consider a blessing but we were actually able to teach him and he was able to understand so much more and we taught him about prayer and we've probably taught him how to pray a half a dozen times and every time he would pray he would say the Lord's prayer and we never could get him to pray but this week when he hadn't been drinking he said a prayer and it was perfect!  And we talked to him more about the word of wisdom and he was SO happy after and we committed him to be baptized on the 26th of July and he said he would try.  You have to be sober for 3 weeks in a row also so if we can get him to do that we will be able to baptize him but he just kept telling us how happy he was and how excited he was and it made everything so worth it....  Being here and working so hard it was so satisfying and rewarding to be able to help someone and make them feel happier.  Its so weird to think that I could come to love this random humble quiet man from Mexico who has literally nothing but I can almost understand how much God must love him and love all of us.  Before my mission if I met this man he would just seem like nothing to me, nothing special about him but now he just has so much worth to me!  It makes total  sense that "THE WORTH OF SOULS IS GREAT IN THE SIGHT OF GOD."
So where Gisifredo lives is a little apartment complex and that's pretty much where most of the latino people live in Shelbyville so we were down there trying to contact people and all the sudden we see Gisifredo's little dog, Whiskey!  he was just running around outside exploring and we just laughed and looked for Gisi but we didn't see him so we whistled for Whiskey and he came running to us because he remembered us and we went and knocked on Gisifredo's door and he answered and he didn't even know that Whiskey was gone so we just stood there and talked to him and he seemed like busy and stressed out and he just didn't have time to talk, he kept saying that over and over again, "No tango mucho tiempo ahora!" and I was about to say something and he said okay come in so we walked in and sat at the table in his little apartment and we talked and he told us about his daughters in Mexico and how they kept asking him for money and how he sends the majority of his check to them every week but that he barely had enough money to eat and he kept telling us that we couldn't understand and we couldn't do much but tell him that Christ knew exactly how he felt and that he could be blessed and strengthened through prayer and through being obedient to Gods commandments and afterword he told us he felt a lot better but I can tell that the adversary is definitely working harder on him now that he has been drinking less.  We left and told  him we would come back again in the next couple of days and as we were walking out I felt so worried and helpless and I didn't want to leave and I just thought how hard parenthood must be because you just want to make all their choices for them because you know that's whats best for them but they can't or don't see that and you can't do anything for them but try and help them and support them.  I really hope we can keep helping Gisi and that we do everything we can to help him!  Momma, I got that big package thank yo so much! I loved both those talks! I don't have a lot of time but I'll write back soon, thank you for everything I love you, tell everybody hi!

Love you guys all so much!
Para siempre Dios este con vos!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Week 12-"You are infinitely more precious to God than a Tree!"

Hey everybody! So this is the last week of the transfer and the past 6 weeks have flown by!  It's weird to think I've been here just as long as I was in Mexico!  So we are getting a new mission president!  His name is President Brough and i think he is from Southern Utah and I've heard he's a cool guy!  So we contacted a lady named Yvette and she is really cool! We first contacted her and we were just having a conversation in Spanish and all the sudden she started speaking English too which was weird.  We later found out that she was born in Mexico but she has lived in the states since she was 3 so she is actually more comfortable speaking English but all her family only speaks Spanish haha. When we contacted her we set up an appointment with her and she seemed really promising and we went over to her house and she wasn't there.  We were disappointed but not super surprised and we thought we would try again later.  We came back later and she wasn't there but her mom was there and she said we could try again later.  So we came back a third time and she was finally there! She lives in an apartment with her boyfriend and their son Brandon who is 2 and is like the cutest chubbiest little Hispanic kid in the world! haha and she also lives with her mom.  So we shared a brief message with them about the Book of Mormon and asked if we could come back and talk with them more and they agreed so we came back the next night and had a lesson with them and we shared the first lesson which is the restoration, all about Joseph Smith and prophets and the Book of Mormon and they were actually agreeing with us that a lot of churches just kinda make up what's good for them and they thought it would make sense that we would need authority from God.  I was kinda a Spanglish lesson haha with a little Spanish and a little English.
But after the lesson Gime, the boyfriend, just randomly asked where do we go after we die?  and where is everybody that's dead now?  and we told them that we told them that we could teach them all about the next time and they were excited so hopefully we'll be able to teach them all about the Plan of Salvation.
ALSO, we went on an exchange with the zone leaders last week who don't speak Spanish so I was left here in Shelbyville with one of the zone leaders who knew ZERO Spanish haha so it was an interesting day.  We got a referral for a lady and we went and saw her and she said she had a Book of Mormon already and she let us comeback tomorrow to have a lesson with her so I was super excited but still nervous.  So we went back and she let us in and like 30 seconds after we walked in 2 more Hispanic people walked in kinda slowly and stood behind us and i was like huh this is weird but whatever maybe they just wanna hear what's going on so I was the only Spanish speaking Elder and they only spoke Spanish so I stumbled through the first lesson and it was not very good!  My Spanish was struggling but I feel like they understood me just fine and they knew what I was saying and I recited the First Vision and told them about Joseph Smith and then all the sudden the lady, Mira asked me where it says in the Bible, and I was like umm it doesn't and then all the sudden all three of them started reading versus in the Bible to me about only through Christ can we be saved and all this stuff and I was like yeah I know that's not what I'm saying and it was really frustrating
and hard because I thought they weren't getting it because they couldn't understand my Spanish but as the lesson went on I realized they were really really Pentecostal haha and they had no interest in what I was saying they were just trying to prove me wrong and it was super frustrating! and the whole time they were talking super fast and saying a lot of stuff and I was trying to answer all their questions and teach them and the whole time my Zone leader Elder Rasmussen was whispering in my ear, "he what's going on? what are they saying? fill me in! haha it was super annoying and really hard experience!  So I just had to tell them the only thing they could do to know if what I was saying was true was to read the Book of Mormon and pray and ask God if it was true so I said that and then we left!  I don't know if they will but I hope they do.  It was hard to try and teach someone who doesn't want to listen but just wants to argue, and even harder to do it in Spanish!  But it was a good experience I guess I learned a lot from it and mostly the importance of "finding those who will receive you" like it says in preach my gospel!
Wednesday night we were going to meet an old investigator at the park to play some soccer but he never showed up so we were walking back to the car and we threw the ball in the trunk and shut it and walked over to the door of the car and Elder Viduare was like do you have the keys and I was like no haha so we locked the keys in the trunk and we called a bunch of people and the spare was in the mission office in Louisville so we called our Bishop and he said he had AAA so if he was there they would come down and open it for free but the AAA guy couldn't open it because the car was so new and didn't have manual locks they were all electronic so our Bishop ended up driving us to Louisville and we didn't get hom until Midnight which is 3 hours past missionary curfew haha.
 love you guys hope you have a great week!

Para siempre Dioseste con Vos!
Elder Follett

 pictures....this is a mail box in the middle of no where, we see driving to and from church!
 the Kentucky Sky!
 So I got this fortune the day after I got mom's letter!  
"You are infinitely more precious to God than a Tree!"

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Week 11 "He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."

Hey everybody!
This week has been so great! so the reason I'm sending you this email on Wednesday and not Monday is because we had a Zone Temple Trip and so we had to move p day back two days!  So, sorry about that haha. I was going to tell you guys last week but I forgot!  So alot has happened but first, it was Father's day on Sunday!! So happy late Father's Day Old Man!  Sacrament meeting was a lot different on Sunday when you aren't with your dad!  It really made me think a lot about everything I've learned from you and I am so grateful for you example in my life.  You are the biggest hero and I have never met anyone who is so selfless, you are always looking for ways to serve others and that has always stuck with me.  Some of the best memories I have with my Dad are waking up early many Saturday mornings and heading over to a storage unit and helping people move and that's something that I will always remember that my Dad was always trying to help others.  I really would be lucky to be half the man that my Dad is.  Your example is something that has helped me so much already in my mission.  My whole life I wanted to be like my dad and serve a mission and now whenever things get tough I think about that and all stories you told me and I think if I ever want to have sons I hope that I can be as good of an example as my dad was to me.  Love you Dad!

I got all my poison ivy stuff figured out! but unfortunately it got worse before it got better haha! But I'm finally starting to recover!  I went to the urgent care clinic here in Shelbyville and the doc gave me a prescription for some sort of steroid and I have a couple days left to take it but its started to go away!  So most of it has started to scab up and slowly start to heal.  But I was kinda being a baby about it haha!  I was not a very happy camper!

It was really irritating and it was driving me nuts and I was kinda annoyed with my whole situation and on Saturday we spent a lot of the day trying to contact people, and when we contact here in the GKLM we like to do something called the prayer approach, which usually would go something like, hi we're representatives of Jesus Christ and we are in the area sharing a message about him and we are wondering if we could share a prayer with you?  And it usually goes pretty well because most people here love Jesus and they won't say no to a prayer very often so its a great way to get to talk to them!  And if they say yes we'll usually ask if they have anything specific they need that we could include in the prayer and they'll usually just give a random Sunday school answer like oh my family or work or whatever but for some reason Saturday when I was really annoyed by my poison ivy we were finding a lot more people to talk to and almost every single person we contacted told us that they just lost a loved one or their son just had a lung transplant or their mother just died or their grandpa just had a stroke, like literally everyone we talked to said that we could pray for that and i slowly started to realize that maybe I'm not in that much pain and maybe God wants me to have a better attitude and forget myself and help others and that's what I did!  Oddly enough as soon as I did that, my poison ivy started to get better! I think a lot of the times we don't really realize how good we have it, and we can only see what is hard but if we just take a step back and try to look at things from someone else's point of view or even from how God see's things we would think that we are very fortunate.  A scripture that I love that I think really illustrates this point is Proverbs 3:5-6, 5 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

The longer I'm here on my mission the more and more I start to think that maybe this experience is for myself. Not that I'm doing everything I want or just focusing on myself but I'm really starting to understand what Christ meant when he said, "He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it."  I love you guys all so much and can't wait to hear from you again!
Para Siempre Dios este con vos!
Love Elder Follett

Monday, June 9, 2014

Week 10-"For ye Receive No Witness Until After the Trial of Your Faith"

Whats up! How has everyone been?  It's been a pretty good week over all!  This is me in that rain storm, rain going sideways!  A lot has happened and I don't even know where to start!  We've really tried to put forth a lot more effort this week with contacting people and we decided to just contact everyone that we see rather than just Hispanic people and it has helped a little bit.  We talk to a lot of people and I've started to notice a couple trends haha. First, is that Baptist people are not very polite haha almost every time if we talk to them we'll say like "hi how are you today?"  and they'll respond "I'm Southern Baptist so you fellas can have a nice day" haha I think they like tell them not to talk to us or something because that like always happens to us.  We actually knocked on a lady's door and we asked if we could share a prayer and began to fold my arms and I noticed that this lady was holding her hands out haha so we all held hands in a circle and said a prayer on her porch and that probably won't be the last time I have a Baptist prayer with someone!
This is the phone book of Shelbyville, it is really small!  There are pretty much two neighborhoods in our area where most of the Hispanics are so we spend a lot of time there looking for people to talk to and Sunday night we were down there talking to people and what not and we saw a Hispanic looking family and so we went over to talk to them and I said, "Como esta?" to the guy and he looks at me and says "Good how are you?" all rude like haha. So that was a fun conversation!  Also I still don't have a bike but I think it might be actually be cheaper for you guys to send me my bike from home.  Apparently you can just go to a bike shop and they will do it for like 80 bucks I think.  So I don't know if that's something we want to do or not but I just thought I'd ask.  So last week we went to this old weird antique shop thing and I say this hat and I had to buy it for Grandpa cause it has a saying that he wrote me in his last letter haha, I'll send you a picture though, I'm gunna try and send it to him today.

So I've been thinking a lot lately about my mission delay and how even though it was the hardest thing I've had to do in my life that it actually has helped me so much.  Its weird to think but I'm actually really greateful for it.  As a missionary you kinda get judged a lot and people say some pretty rude stuff to you or about you and its kinda hard for me but having the experience of kinda already going through that at home it hasn't really effected me as much as it would of and I think the Lord knew that and allowed me to kinda go through that trial to better prepare me for my mission.  I also really have been blessed to understand people and the struggles that they have and how the Atonement can help them.

So Gisifredo has been pretty difficult this week.  We haven't seen him a lot and every time we do he is very drunk and it's been kinda hard for us.  We are kinda trying to find a balance between saying we can't teach him right now he's too drunk it won't do any good and still teaching him and hoping it does some good or that he remembers some small part of it.  We also tracted into a guy named Geraldo and we had a first lesson with him last Monday night and it went really well.  He is from Mexico City and is really eager to learn more.  I told him I lived in Mexico for 6 weeks and he asked us about the temple there and said he lived like 10 minutes from it so he lived really close to the CCM!  We have another lesson with him tonight so I hope he is still eager and ready to learn more!  I don't know if you remember the less active family that we live by that we visit a lot but we went over there and knocked on the door and the only one who was home was the oldest son Roberto and we talked to him and he let us come in and have a lesson with him which was really surprising so we went in and talked to him for a while and he told us he was having some problems in his life right now and that what we told him actually really helped him and that was really cool to see and be a part of.

I got Lily's letter on Saturday and it made me really happy haha! but is also made me miss her a lot!  Tell her I love her and she'll get another letter soon!  Oh and also I got some sort of poison ivy or something like that all over my body and it hurts really bad!  We were doing yard work for a member and I think I got it there but it's different than poison ivy its like just little dots but it itches like poison ivy!  Have a good week!

Para Siempre Dios este con vos!
Elder Follett

Monday, June 2, 2014

Week 9-"And Planted the Seed, and it Swelleth and Sprouteth, and Beginneth to Grow"

What's up fam! How is everything! my week was pretty normal! Not a lot happened!  I think it feels like it went by a lost faster because it was only 6 days instead of7, but last week we were going back to our apartment after we emailed and we checked the mail box and there was a big package for me and two letters from Emma and Lily!  I was so happy! My companion is getting a little jealous  because I keep getting stuff from you guys!  Did Lily get her birthday letter yet?  It was probably really late because they sent it back to me because it was too heavy so I had to put another stamp on it!  I sent one to Emma to! and I finally go my shorts! haha I was so happy to get those thank you so much mamma!   and thanks for all my bedding and stuff earlier I never said thanks!  So how is everything?  Is Everyone really excited for school to be out?  I;m having a little fomo not being with you guys for summer haha but I'm having a blast here in Shelbyville haha we've kinda figured out there isn't a lot of Latinos in our area, the other day we contacted this guy by a super Mercado  named Mario and he was nice and everything and knew about the Book of Mormon and remembered who Nephi was so that was cool but he said he lived in Virginia and he was just here for the week and then about an hour later we were tracting and we knocked on a door and guess who it was Mario! He was really funny about it though he was like wow I just can't hide from you guys can I....haha.
So most of the Hispanics live in the Hermanas part of town, which is kinda frustrating and there has been missionaries in Shelbyville for a really long time since like the 70's I think and its not a big town so everybody knows us and has talked to missionaries before so its hard to find new people who are actually interested but we keep trying! I really liked Dad's advice about planting and harvesting and even though it's frustrating sometimes I'm still really happy to be here and working and trying to talk to as many people as I can! My Spanish is still slowly improving haha...I understand most everything but I have a really hard time talking haha. My accent is terrible but I think the more I speak the better it will get so I'll keep practicing!  How's Ashley and Jake's house coming along haha is their water still muddy?  Tell Jack to email me every once in a while, I miss you guys a lot and love you ton!
We haven't had much contact with Isabelle but Gisfredo is slowly improving.  Its kinda hard because the only time we can teach him is at night after work and he usually has something to drink before we can get over there so a lot of times he doesn't remember the things we taught him but he is still progressing slowly like he said he feels the spirit when we talk to him because he is very very open and excepting. Like anything we say to him he immediately acknowledges and agrees with us so that's a real blessing for him. We do kinda have to teach him a lot about Maria, he has a hard time understanding what her role is and that she is  just the physical mother of Jesus and that we don't need to worship her or anything but he is still slowly improving.  We have to move his baptismal date though because he hasn't been to church yet but I still have hope for him!
I think you'll be glad to hear but I'm not aloud to drive since I'm new haha so you don't have to worry about that!  I have started reading Joshua and I love it! I'm trying to read it in English and Spanish. The ward members are really nice but because the Shelbyville ward building is closed and we have to drive like 40 minutes to church there hasn't been as many coming lately! 

Para Siempre Dios Este con vos!
Love Elder Follett