Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Week 61

  Another week has already flown by, and we are approaching General Conference once again.   It felt like 2 months ago that we had the last one.   We were sad to hear the passing of another Apostle with Richard G. Scott.  We as missionaries are so out of the loop that we didn't hear about his passing until 3 days after.  We were at a a dinner about to share a spiritual thought, and she said something about Scott dying. We were really surprised.  But the cool part was I had already pulled a video up to share and it was by Richard G. Scott!

   Well this week really was another really awesome week!  We have met once again some promising people, and we are pumped to go see them this week!  Earlier on in this week we were doing some finding around Tina's house, and we felt that we needed to go down a certain street.  There was a house that we went up to, and we saw them in their front living room.  We heard them talking, and as we knocked they told us to come right in.  They were relieved to find out we were Mormon's, and not from another faith ha ha!  But there names are Reg. y Car..  Reg. was telling us some things that had been happening in her life, and how she has been looking to be nurtured by the word of God. an Elderly lady that lives across the street but is always visiting.  She was hilarious the whole time. She was raving about how great of people we were, and how we were sent to them at that time to help them.  We were able to get to know them y set up a return appointment.  On the return appointment we brought a member with us, Sister B!  The car wasn't there, but Carol was waiting there for us. Re. told her to wait because she didn't want us to miss her while she dropped her baby off.  Then Re. came back y we taught both of them the Restoration.  When we started they asked if we brought the Book of Mormon's as promised, because we were out last time.   It was a good lesson, although everyone was trying to tell their story, but we got through it.  They were super excited to get to read the Book of Mormon and learn more.  Car. the whole time just kept on saying how great we were even though we were the first missionaries she had actually talked with.    We were able to set up a return appointment.  On the day of the return appointment Carol called us all worried how she felt so bad she wasn't going to be a the appointment, because it was her Birthday. She didn't want us to think we were hiding from her, and she said she was reading in the Book of Mormon.  She is so funny, and it's so great!  She wants to come to church this week!  It was a great experience of how the Lord will continually guide us to people who are waiting for us.  

  Another story from the week was with the Ja. y Ni. family.  We were able to see them a couple times this week which was awesome.  We had an appointment with them on Saturday. and that morning we called and got it confirmed.  That night we invited a member to join us.  As the member pulled up to this appointment I looked at the phone trying to pull up this text that had come in a few hours later, but earlier it wouldn't let me open it saying "no information." and it had somehow gotten moved to the bottom of all the texts.   I tried to open it up again as we were in front of their house, and this time it pulled up and it was Ja. who had text a couple hours earlier saying he had to cance,l but he would be at church in the morning.  We were already at the house with the Member so we decided to go anyways.  They were out back doing some things, and we talked for a while y explained the text thing.  They said we could come in anyways.  We had planned to teach the 10 commandments y were really praying to know if we should teach the Word of Wisdom that night. because they still hadn't gone to church.  We were able to teach lesson, and had just an awesome lesson with him. We were going to start teaching the Word of Wisdom, and  he kind of mentioned it himself how he wanted to improve a few things!  It was an amazing experience of how the Lord allowed us to teach him that night, because it was no doubt something he needed.  He said they were coming to church no matter what, even if the house burnt down.  Well long story short he text "on my way" on Sunday morning, and then right after that they  got called to pick up Nikki's kid unexpectedly and weren't able to come.  We saw them that night and Jason was a little sad he couldn't make it, He said I had my tie on an everything ha ha!  He did tell us that on that day he had called some of his LDS friends that he had when he lived in Memphis.  He told them he was getting baptized!! He said they are going to try and make it out to the baptism.   Ja. y Ni.i are both so awesome and we scheduled his baptism for the 11th!  We are just super excited for that, and he has such a strong testimony already.  He has seen many blessing in his life already with listening to the gospel, I just can't wait to see the blessings rain upon them as they are baptized and fully live the gospel.

  Another cool thing that happened that yesterday at church was that Cla. came again as well as Bri. an American friend of theirs y her husband Jai.  We had met them once or twice at Cla., but we never have taught him, because we are always speaking Spanish there.  She told us at church she wanted to start coming every week, so her kid can grow up in it.  After church I asked if they had any other questions, and she turned to her husband and said "can we come back next week".  That was sweet, y I gave them the Restoration pamphlets, and was able to set up an appointment to go to their house for the first time.  That was a tender mercy for sure on Sunday!  

  Really it was just a great week here in Jonesboro! General Conference this week is going to be amazing! Such a strength to our lives to be able to listen the words of living Prophets called of God.  We also have a lot of investigators that are looking forward to watching it.   I'm just loving it here, and the members and people here are all so awesome!  Have another great week, love you tons!

Elder Geddes

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Week 60

  This week was an interesting week, but it ended up being a great week overall!  We are still working with the H. family and were able to see them a few times this week.  They have been so busy with work we haven't been able to set up a solid appointment to teach them a lesson.  They are doing good though and just some things have happened recently that have made their life kind of crazy.  But we are really praying that this week we will get to see them more consistently and help them progress and be able to enjoy of the many blessing included in the gospel.

 One day we were walking down a street and we felt that we should go knock on a certain door after a few people hadn't answered.  A lady answered and asked who we were, and then told us to come right on in.  She had never talked to missionaries before,but she just decided to let us in.  We were able to get to know her, and then just go right into teaching the restoration to her and a relative.  We could tell that they were really interested, and understanding about the apostasy and the proper authority.  They were telling us how they wanted to know the whole truth and not just part of it.  Towards the end of the lesson Lisa even told us that she had been praying for someone to come help her find the truth, because she has kind of gone astray recently. That was an awesome experience, and we were able to set solid baptismal dates with both Lisa y Nicole!  We have an appointment coming up with them this week so that should be great!

 Also we were able to see the family of C. several times this week.  A few of the times he wasn't there so we were able to teach more of the family!  It went really well, and it was nice to focus more on them because sometimes when we teach C. the lesson gets centered all around him. and it is hard to include everyone. We were teaching some of the daughters and B.. told us that her husband wanted to come to church at our church this week!  Her husband is the one who we have probably seen the least amount out of anybody there.  That was an awesome surprise for us!  So on Sunday B.. E., G. y C. all were able to come to church!!  It was super cool to see them come again, and the other two for the first time.  There were some great classes in the church that definitely helped them.  And the members did a great job fellowshipping them, and making them feel welcome.  We are hoping to start teaching more of the family, and we believe through that we will help them all come together in striving towards being an eternal family!  They are awesome, and they are just way nice to us.  Overall great week, and we were able to do plenty of service as always!

Have a wonderful week, and enjoy the amazing fall weather there in Utah!  Love you lots!

Elder Geddes

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Week 59
Arkansas State Flag
 Great week here in Jonesboro Arkansas, the weather has finally started cooling down and it feels amazing!  The Fall weather here is always the best. It's weird to think that one year ago from this week I arrived in Arkansas.  It's awesome to look back at all that has happened in the last year, and think of the many experiences I have had that will be influential on me for the rest of my life.
   This week was a pretty awesome week!  Remember about the family I told you about last week?  Yeah they are doing super awesome.  To start off the week were were able to go teach Jas., Nik. and the babysitter Ali. with a couple from the ward. When we showed up we were able to talk to Jason outside for a little bit.  He told us that he had read all that we had left him (2 chapters y a pamphlet).  And as well he thought it was super awesome that other witnesses were able to see the Book of Mormon.  So with that, on his own he had read all the witnesses at the beginning of the Book of Mormon.  That was so sweet he was able to do that, and he had a lot of great questions.  We taught them the Plan of Salvation and it went super well, the spirit was there in that lesson and learning about the plan of happiness really helped them to understand some things that had happened in their lives.  We were also able to set some Baptismal dates with them for the upcoming month.  It went super well! They were excited about getting prepared, and trying all they could do to get ready.  Later that week we went to teach them with another couple in the ward and we had a pretty deep lesson. Overall it went well.  We were able to help Nikki with some big questions and concern that she had with stuff that had happened earlier in her life.  Us and the couple that were with us were able to share some personal stories and testimonies to help her understand a little better.  They also committed to coming to church that next day.  Long story short, they weren't able to come to church because they called into work last second for some final inspections.  They wanted us to come over that night and visit them.  We were able to talk with Nikki and as we walked up one of the first things she asked us if she could move her baptismal date to later on in the month to a significant date for her.  We told her of course, and she explained to us more why she wanted to do it.  She said she wanted to take everything seriously, and that she didn't want to get baptized unprepared.  She knows it is going to take a lot to get her prepared.  She went on to telling us how some things that we had told her the night before really got her thinking, and she was able to set some great goals with that in mind.   
  When we have taught them we have always kind of taught them outside, but last week was the first time we went inside their house and were able to teach them.  She told us last night that the first time we came inside and taught them that the whole time we were in there she could feel something on her chest.  We told her that was the spirit and she says that she knows that there is no way it could have been anything else.  That is such a big testimony builder to me on the real power of the spirit testifying of our words.  How blessed we are to share the gospel with the spirit as our companion.  Without the spirit the mission work would be impossible.  That was an amazing experience and we are looking forward to continue teaching them, they are such a solid family and I know the light that his gospel will bring them without a doubt.  They are super awesome, and as well we are working with some other great people!  
   That was the highlight from this week!  It's amazing how some days everything can go wrong and then that one little thing will just make it the best day ever.  That happens all the time in the missionary work, heavenly father blesses us with tender mercies todos los dias!  Have a wonderful week, I love you lots!  

Elder Geddes

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Week 58

Teaching Foreign Students English
  Another great week here in Jonesboro Arkansas.   It was pretty much just a normal missionary week also with a ton of service, but we were able to have some really cool experiences as well. 
   On Sunday we were able to see G.y R. (her son) and teach them the restoration. We have seen them several times, and sometimes she just talks a ton so it is hard to get through a whole lesson.  But we focused on getting the entire restoration with the both of them.  Also we have had a goal recently to be more bold y set more baptismal dates to help our investigators progress faster, and to make sure that they know our purpose as missionaries.  With this we asked them to be baptized at the end of the lesson, and they said they would work toward the date with the help of us and God. She also told us she wants us to really teach her husband as well, and get him prepared for baptism with them. That was really cool, and we are going to start doing that and seeing them more often preparing them for their next covenant.  
  As well we had a lesson where we wanted to refocus with Claudio y his family while we were there.  We were really bold, and told him we were there to help him repent unto baptism.  We also talked about the proper authority when baptizing which he has had many questions on before.  This time it really clicked with him, and he felt that it made sense to be baptized by someone who has properly been given the authority. That was a cool moment of the spirit testifying unto him of the truths that we teach.  We are hoping to see him several times this week, and get him progressing more. 
  Also the Hopkins family that I have mentioned before are doing super solid.  We had a great lesson with them y their babysitter with the Elders Quorum President.  It went super well to get his wife y the babysitter updated on what we have talked about.  She us told us that she really wants to do this for her family as well, and has showed a lot more interest in learning.  We are super excited for them, because we know how big of a blessing the gospel will be in their lives.  On the next visit when we talked to the babysitter  she said she had downloaded the Book of Mormon on her phone! They should be coming to church next week for sure.  They would have come this week, but they were in Memphis.  They almost came when they saw my text reminding them. They were so excited about going that they almost forgot they had to be in Memphis that day.  Other than that just a great week overall!!
Thank you for writing me and sorry for the shorter email!  I love you tons, have a great week!

Elder Geddes

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Week 57
Una Meta Lograda...Las Aguas del Bautismo!!

Takiya and Tina's baptism
   Well this week was just an awesome week!!  It always is when preparing souls to enter into the waters of baptism!   There was a lot of miracles in this process of teaching Tina y Takiya!  About 12 days ago we set the baptismal date with them, and it was the first baptismal date they had actually accepted.  It was set only ten days before the baptism was planned to be on.  After setting the date some thoughts came into my mind like "maybe we can just set it back a week when we go back next".  But then I realized I had made it a goal to really work towards this date and prepare them in Faith.  The next visit we went back before I even got the chance to ask Tina said "well you can come by every day next week".  So that is exactly what we did.  Almost every day last week we were able to go over there, and teach them with a member every time.  They had received the majority of the lessons, but a lot of it was review.  We also decided that we needed to bring some Women over from the ward to help us teach.  The time before we were going to do that Tina asked us if any women were going to come over! She was just one step ahead of us.  
Elder Ceron, Tina, Destiny,Takiya and Elder Geddes
  The next day we felt like we needed to bring the Bishop and his Wife over to come teaching with us.  It went super well ,and Tina was able to get some clarification on some answers by talking with Bishop's wife.  Even though it was some of the same questions, there was just that connection there!  And then the coolest part about that lesson was when Tina was telling us how her mom was a member in the Blytheville ward in her later years before she passed away, and how she would always talk about the missionaries.  I remember her mentioning that her mom had talked with missionaries before, but I didn't realize that she was a faithful member!   That was cool and Tina & Takiya had been up there to church a few times as well.  The coolest part of that was Bishop & his wife lived in Blytheville before moving here, and they knew Tina's mom!!!  That was just super awesome, and I know that they were meant to be there at that lesson for sure.  It amazes me how the Lord works through the spirit, and guides certain people to cross path's.  Tina said that she felt a lot better after talking with the Bishop's wife, and it helped her fill in those missing pieces.  She was still a little unsure about he baptism on Saturday, so the next day we went over with another family from the ward and had a great lesson.  Tina promised that she would have an answer for us by the next day (Thursday).  The next day we went back, and she told us she had prayed and she felt that she was ready to be baptized this Saturday.  She had told that to her daughter before we came, and Takiya told her she had been feeling the same thing.  We were super excited, and we were able to go over the details and get the baptism all planned out.  The baptism went super well, and the members said that there were about double the members that are usually there for a baptism.  It helped a lot that we brought a ton of different members over there to teach.  They are such an awesome family, and it was so awesome seeing them enter into the baptism covenant.  Apparently while we were changing after the baptismal ordinance Destiny (Tina's 6 year old daughter) went up in front of everyone and bore her testimony of Jesus Christ in front of everyone. She talked for a couple minutes how happy she was for her Mom and Sister.  Cutest thing ever, wish I could have been in there to see that!  
  The next day Tina y Takiya were confirmed, and they received a way good welcoming into the ward.  Tina even called into her work, and told her that she was going to be late so she would be able to make it to all of the last hour of church.  This week the Youth have a baptismal trip to the Memphis temple, and Takiya might be going with them!  It's so amazing  seeing them progress so fast already.  They have been awesome, and they feel like family here in Jonesboro. The whole experience was a testimony builder to me on the importance of real Faith, and the miracles the Lord will provide as we truly believe that something will happen.  This requires putting in actions of Faith as if you already know that it will happen for sure. In Moroni 7:33 it says it back.   "y Cristo ha dicho si teneis fe en mi, tendreis poder para hacer cualquier cosa que me sea conveniente"  Sorry I only had it memorized in Spanish!   Overall great week here in Jonesboro, Arkansas, and training Elder Ceron has been going really well.  I have enjoyed being his trainer and being able to help him to become a successfully missionary!  He teaches me new things every day as well. We were truly blessed this last week in the preperacion for the baptism.

        Have a great week!
        Love, Elder Geddes