Kentucky, Louisville Mission

Monday, February 29, 2016

Week 100

Hey people! this week was crazy, we've been busier than a one legged man in a butt-kicking contest! 

So first off, the 2 sister missionaries that took over my last area in Louisville are now no longer in that area haha we don't know exactly what happened but all we know is that since President Brough had no other option he assigned me to cover my old area as well as the new one so we now officially have the largest area in the mission haha so it’s been really fun and I’ve loved being able to still work in Louisville with a lot of the people that i have been teaching for the past year but it is a lot to cover and its pretty stressful so I’m ready for some sisters to come back now so hopefully President finds someone quick! 

Other than that this week has been pretty normal! Felipe is doing really well, a lot of stuff has happened that’s made it hard for us to meet with him as much as we'd like to and Sunday morning rolls around and we call him to make sure he's still coming to church and he doesn't answer, so we drive to his house and knock on his door and still nothing! so we head over to the church a little disappointed and just assume he's not going to make it. We were sitting there a few minutes before the meeting started when all the sudden we hear a whisper "Hermanos" haha and we looked up and there was Felipe! we don't know how or why or when but he came to church by himself which was great. He is very close to his baptism, we just have to pray for the Mexican miracle (marriage before the baptism) and all will go smoothly! 

I got asked to do a special Musical number at a baptism this Saturday and didn't think much of it, i was nervous and felt inadequate for the job but those feelings have become pretty normal as a missionary so i just did it and it went okay and like i said, i dint think much of it. Well later i received an email from a man I've grown to respect a lot the past few weeks, He said " What you need to know what that yesterday was a tough day for me. At the time the baptism was going on, my son and daughter-in-law were getting married in the Louisville temple, and I could not be there and neither could Jen. We did this out of respect for their wishes and the fact that her parents could not be there because they are not members, so they did not feel right with us being there.
It was not an easy moment for me personally. My heart was tender because I wanted to be with my son and daughter in law. (For the record I LOVE he and JT, they are amazing and I am SSSOOOO glad they got married in the  temple! I am proud of them, it was just tough as a dad not to be able to be there.) Some things that are very RIGHT are very DIFFICULT. This was one of those times.
The other dent in the universe I felt yesterday came from Elder Follett. He had no idea (I am sure) of what was on my mind when he pulled out his guitar and sang "I Need Thee Every Hour", but trust me, it hit home.
Maybe it was that I grew up on a farm listening to country ballads with just a guitar, but it was what I personally needed. It touched me. It was one of those things that  took me "home" when I really needed that. It was the Savior's way of sending me comfort. Of all the places you could have been yesterday, I am glad you were where you were."

I was very grateful to have been able to help in a very obscure way that i would have never known something so small could have made so much of a difference. I was grateful that he shared that with me and made me feel like all of us succeed in ways that we will never know about, i would have never known that i made a difference if he hadn't of emailed me that but i was grateful he did and reminded that success is very hard to measure sometimes. 

Love you guys, hope you have a great week! 

¡Para siempre Dios esté con vos! 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Week 99

Whats up people! this week went by pretty quick! 

We have been super busy and we are seeing some great success. One exciting thing that's going on is that Felipe and his family came to church yesterday! so we have a few small hurdles to clear with him but he should be baptized in March which will be great. But they are going really good and progressing well. 

We had a lesson with a recent convert named Manuel who is from Mexico and we taught him the restoration, and I usually like to make the comparison of The great Apostasy to having all the police in the world suddenly gone, so I asked Manuel what would happen if there was no police in the world, and he quickly replied that there would be less corruption hahaha not the answer I was looking for but definitely very appropriate coming from someone from Mexico haha

Later I had another pretty funny experience, I was on an exchange in nearby New Albany Indiana and we were biking down a fairly busy road just minding our own business when all the sudden from behind me I hear a car honking excessively and people yelling  so I whip my head around to see what’s up and to my surprise see a small car full of rather large unpleasant young woman shouting and yelling not nice things at myself and my companion but my face was like surprise and happy that someone was honking at us (I just assumed it was members happy to see the missionaries) but my face immediately changed to shock and slight disgust when I saw a small car with several large and unpleasant young woman haha and they also thought my reaction was pretty funny. but it reminded me a lot of how Nephi puts it "they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers" haha 

We also started volunteering in a local Community Kitchen which has been pretty fun, we get to meet a lot of very interesting people haha so it’s been a good time. 

Things are going pretty good here, hope everything is going good back home! Love you guys, have a great week!

¡Para siempre Dios esté con vos! 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Week 98

Hey sorry to send this mid week but I tried sending it on Monday but apparently there was a technical problem worldwide with the myldsmail service so they told us to resend our emails home!

Hey people! this week was a week haha we had some really interesting things happen!

I really don't know where to begin haha it was a really good week in some aspects but also a really bad one in others haha we had a few good lessons with some people who decided to stop investigating which has cleared up some time for us to find new investigators and it’s been going pretty good. 

One of the more disappointing dropped investigators was Danielle, she told us she couldn't continue learning about the church because her husband disapproved, I wasn't devastated because I know she will be baptized eventually when she realizes that the church has what she wants but it was a little sad that she is putting off receiving the blessings she could receive. 

Another pretty crazy thing happened this week, we have been teaching a part member family and have a baptismal date with a guy named Felipe, we have seen him a few times this week but he is going through some hard times health wise, he thinks he had a stroke and the doctors can’t figure out why or what it is and hes been suffering physically lately. So we were at his house in the middle of a lesson with him and since my companion doesn't speak Spanish it was just me and him one on one in this lesson and he kept getting a phone call and ignoring it and eventually he said , "hey this is from Mexico, I need to answer it" and he found out that his youngest brother had just barely choked and died, and he was absolutely devastated, and he was crying and super upset and their i was left alone to try and comfort a sick man grieving the very recent death of his youngest brother. (i later found out that he had 46 brothers and sisters in total but that's not super uncommon in Hispanic culture) but the words of president Eyring definitely came to mind,
"All of us must speak and act in the name of God in moments when our unaided judgment will not be enough without inspiration. Those moments can come upon us when there is not time to make preparation."
Like President Eyring says in that same talk (Personal Prayer and the Priesthood) i was very
grateful that for months i had followed a pattern of prayer that allowed me to know what to say. All i could tell him was that his brother was with God and that he would return to see again. I also opened the Book of Mormon and read with him in Alma 40:12. I tried my best to follow the spirit with him and do what i could but i was grateful that even though i was alone in the fact that i was the only one to respond in his shock, i wasn't alone because I knew that the spirit would guide me to know what to say. 

I love you guys, hope you have a great week! 

¡Para siempre Dios esté con vos! 

 "Hoosiers are less tolerable than Kentuckians"

Monday, February 8, 2016

Week 97


This week was very, very different haha it’s not so different actually but it kinda was! 

Tuesday we went and met up with our new companions and got everything squared away and headed over to Indiana! its great here, Clarksville is a little city smushed in between two other cities, New Albany and Jeffersonville (or Jeff as everyone calls it here). The City knew it would run out of space eventually so they invested in like retail shopping centers so basically the city of Clarksville is a huge shopping center haha we live like the other side of a mall parking lot. We also live next to the 2nd biggest Bass Pro shop in the states (or so they say haha) but it really is huge. 

So they way they split it up, we cover the city of Clarksville for the English work which would be a good sized little bike area, but because I cover Spanish for several counties we get a car.

 Our first day on Tuesday pretty much the first thing we did was go visit a former Investigator named Danielle, she is awesome! She was introduced to the church by her neighbors about three years ago who have since moved, but she is so open to learn! She is very devote Christian and she is very active in another church, which is our only hurdle, but she told us that she can feel the spirit more when she reads the Book of Mormon than when she reads the bible haha so after walking away from that lesson my eyes were 4 feet wide and i asked him if English people were always like that haha and right after i said that we talked to a lady on the street who told us to get the heck out of there haha so i came by to earth after that. 

We also had a funny experience talking with people on the street, My new companion has a very different style of missionary work than me and a few times he told me that i should take it easy or go a little different approach haha but I walk up to this lady in her car and said "hey we share a message about how Christ put his church on the earth, then it was lost, than he put it back on the earth through a prophet, can we share this message with you?" and I could see my companion like role his eyes like Uhhh this Spanish missionary doesn’t know what he's doing haha but then the lady just said "yeah, i think i can do that." haha it was so funny because i sounded like a complete crazy person and she was open to it haha

But things are going really great here, the ward is absolutely amazing, we've been fed everyday and the members are really excited to do missionary work which is great. 

Also flash back to my first transfer in the mission, this picture is of me and 2 sister missionaries who both went to AF, the one on the right was in my woodshop class junior year and now she is in my ward here and just had a baby haha crazy! she like moved back and married a member here and now she’s in my ward haha nuts! 
Anyway love you guys a lot, hope you have a great week!

¡Para siempre Dios esté con vos! 

Elder Birky went home!

Louisville Street Art

Me and Elder Hamilton

Monday, February 1, 2016

Week 96 Cruzendo El Rio

Whats up people! its been a very great week here in Louisville and a lot of things are about to change! 

So Saturday we received a call from President Brough telling me that even though i only have one transfer left he felt inspired to transfer me! sadly my companion Elder Clawson will also be transferred and we will be replaced by 2 Sister missionaries (Hermanas). BUT thats not all haha im not going to far, as the subject of the email says i'm just going to be crossing the river! I am being transferred to Clarksville Indiana! There hasnt been missionaries in that area for the last 2 months so me and my new companion will be re-opening the area. Its literally like right next to my area right now, it is also still in my district so i will continue to serve as the New Albany District Leader. And i am truely blessed! i have been going to southern Indiana on exchanges for about 9 months now and i have grown to love it, i always said it was my area that i never got to serve in but now i get to serve there haha it will be a little different from what my mission has been so far, not only am i changing states but i am also going to have an english companion, (an english missionary who doesnt speak spanish) so i will be teaching both english and spanish speaking people for the first time! im gunna have to pull out my english preach my gospel and dust it off haha but i am very excited and feel very blessed. 

This week we had a very good week, i actually spent a few days of exchanges is southern Indiana and had a great time. We also started teaching a Family from the Dominican Republic and set a baptismal date with a man named Jhonatton (yes his name is spelled like that haha) but they are a great family and we are sad to have to stop teaching them. We also set a baptismal date with a man named Hermes from Cuba so the sisters are gunna have it pretty easy when they get here haha.

Anyway thats pretty much everything, I've learned alot here in Louisville and im excited to see what Indiana has to teach me and am looking forward to my last transfer! Love you guys, hope you have a great week!

¡Para siempre Dios esté con vos!

Southern Indiana

Packing to leave, I found the pair of pants I wore on the plane ride to the MTC  Haha Alot of changes in 2 years!

Bishop Wilkerson of the Louisville 4th ward