Monday, May 5, 2014

I am now in Summerwood!  My companion is Elder Hoyt.  He came out with Elder Davis and will also be going home this transfer.  The zone we are over covers Fall Creek, so I will be able to go work there for a day sometime soon on exchanges.  We also cover two areas.  The first one is Channel View for a ward called Pine Trails.  Then, we also cover the YSA branch which covers 3 stakes!  Just to give y'all a feel for it, we cover Baytown, Pasadena, Kingwood, and etc...  We also attend both the ward and the branch for church, so we are in church from 9-12 then we head strait to the Summerwood building and go from 1-4.  Elder Hoyt has been a zone leader for 1 transfer so far, so I have had the chance to lead a little bit.  It is a really good experience for me.  A little background on Elder Hoyt: he is from  Kamas, Utah.  He had cancer when he was a kid, but he pulled through!  He is quiet most of the time, but he has a good heart.
  This area is a really good area.  We teach a lot.  We were able to teach a guy named Fransisco.  Francisco is very opinionated and is very strong in his beliefs.  We taught him three times last week and the last one we had was on Saturday.  In the previous lesson we invited him to read 2 Nephi 33 and pray about it.  When we went back, he hadn't kept the assignment we had left.  Instead he researched scriptures to prove us wrong and history on Joseph Smith.  At the beginning of our lesson we read 2 Nephi 33 with him because he hadn't read and then afterward he asked if he could share with us what he wanted to share.  We allowed him to do so and he started going off, and I began bashing with him (even though I shouldn't have).  I was just really frustrated that he spent the entire time we were gone researching stuff to prove us wrong instead of  actually reading what we left and trying to find out if it was true.  My poor companion just sat there while we bashed back and forth for 30 min.  After that we invited him to read Mosiah 3 and he wanted us to come back.  But, next time if he comes with more stuff to bash with, we will have to stop going there.  
  Now for the spiritual stories :).  On Wednesday we decided we should go try this referral we had received.  We went and knocked on the door and a younger guy answered the door, we asked if the lady, which was our referral, was there and he told us that she wasn't.  We then asked him if he would be willing to listen to our message and he was.  His name is Dante and we were able to teach him right on his front porch.  It was a very spiritual lesson and we invited him to be baptized and he accepted.  We were able to teach him one other time last week and we set a date for the 25th of May.  We are excited for him, and excited to see the changes that will happen in his life.  
  Last night we went and taught a man who was excommunicated his name is George.  It was a good lesson.  He still believes everything we do; he has just made some decisions in his life that weren't right.  At the end of the lesson Elder Hoyt invited him to say the closing prayer.  He said that he didn't want to, and Elder Hoyt and I just remained quiet.  He then repeated that he didn't want to, so I said, "If I say the prayer this time will you say it next time".  Then the spirit hit me and said, "no".  I then said, "You know George we have been called as messengers of Jesus Christ and we know that it is not us asking you to pray, it is Jesus Christ asking you.  I don't want to take this opportunity from you, so will you say the prayer?"  Afterward the spirit was very strong in the room.  George began to cry, and said, "I am not ready yet".  We again were silent.  A minute later he looked up at us, with tears in his eyes and said, "I forgot how".  I then reached out and touched his shoulder and told him that we would teach him.  We taught him how to pray and invited him to pray, and he said, "Would you say it this time and I will say it next time?".  Being filled with the spirit I responded saying that Heavenly Father has waited a long time to hear from him and that I would not take that away from him.  Afterwards he accepted to pray and said a wonderful prayer.  After the prayer our eyes were wet and the spirit was very strong.  It was a testimony that God wants to hear from all of his children and loves each and everyone dearly.
  I love this work!  It truly is the work of salvation.  I love y'all and pray for y'all nightly.  Have a wonderful week!
Elder Willden

Since we have church all day until 4.  I will call home around 6 our time.  5 your time.  Love you!  And Happy Mothers Day!

By the way something I forgot to mention in my last email is that we live in a member's home!  I have pictures, but because I forgot the cord to hook up to the computer, I will have to send them next week.  Love you!

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