Monday, June 23, 2014

Elder Poteki and I had a good week this week.  We were able to go on two exchanges, one on Tuesday and one on Saturday.  Tuesday was awesome as I was able to work with Elder Galvez.  He is from Peru, comes from a family of 5 just like us and is a good spirited missionary.  We were able to teach Bro. Duncon, I am not sure if I have told y'all about him.  He is an older man with a narly beard.  He showers every once and a while and has a good heart.  He is married to a great member of the church.  He has been through a lot of hard times like seeing his daughter die by getting hit by a car.  His struggle is believing that God exists, and if God does exist then he couldn't be a loving God and so he won't pray.  Elder Galvez and I started out the lesson by opening to Alma 32.  We got through two verses and Bro. Duncon started going into all of his problems. We went through a long discussion on how we can come to know that God does exist and that he is a loving Heavenly Father.  At the end Elder Galvez bore a powerful testimony and it stunned Bro. Duncon.  We closed with a prayer and left.  When we went back on Friday he had read 14 chapters out of the Book of Mormon.  He was diligently searching.  Something was sparked in him.  I know that if he continues down this path that he will be healed of his problems.  
  Jamie and Andy came to church this Sunday!  They are awesome.  They are going through an extremely hard time.  As they didn't receive their food stamps for the month due to technical difficulties.  Jamie and Andy have been hardly eating so that they can keep their children fed.  God continues to take care of them though and we know that as they continue to be diligent in their scripture studies and obeying God's commandments, that they will be taken care of.  They continue to press on though and it is amazing to see them exercise their faith and see miracles happen in their life.
  On Saturday we had an amazing miracle.  We were able to go on exchanges with the Assistants and I had the opportunity to work with Elder Hooker for the day.  There was a part of the day in which we had planned to knock some doors.  As we were preparing to find a road to knock on the GPS, we decided to say a prayer.  After the Prayer we found this road out in the middle of no where and decided to go to that one.  As we were driving there we weren't even sure if there were going to be any homes on that road.  We got there and it looked like Vidor with homes spread out and country looking.  We got out of the car and began to knock.  We saw a man outside behind a fence reading something.  We went up and began to talk to him from outside the fence.  We invited him to listen to our message and he said no thank you and then pointed at the house right next to his and said that they were Mormons and they would love to talk to us.  We accepted the invitation to go over and figure out if they were truly Mormon.  As we were walking up we saw a man in his office with a puzzled look on his face.  We knocked on the door and waited a few minutes and a man came and answered the door he immediately invited us in.  We walked in and there was another man sitting down at a table.  On the table were a bunch of plans for building plants.  We asked the man that invited us in if he was an architect and he said that he was.  He then told us that he was a member and his name was Bro. Stewart and that he was working on a project with one of his old friends who he has worked with for a long time named Mike.  We sat down and were able to start talking to Mike about religion.  As we were talking Sis. Stewart came in and offered us some cup cakes as she had seen us walk in.  We gratefully accepted, she then offered us a water so we got up and went outside the room with her.  She proceeded to tell us that Bro. Stewart is the Stake Patriarch and how he was a bishop twice and a stake president.  She told us about Mike and how they have never had the missionaries share the lessons with him.  After we talked for a few minutes we went back in the room and answered a few of Mike's questions and Bro. Stewart invited us to come back for dinner and Mike to have a discussion with his family.  We will be having dinner with them tonight and we have planned out a powerful lesson.  So, I will tell y'all how it goes next week.  
  That was an awesome experience to have God guide us like that.  It was no coincidence that we just happened to run across the Stake Patriarch's home while his long time friend who hadn't received the gospel was there.  
  One last thing.  While we were at church we were sitting down with Jamie and Andy and someone came up and tapped my shoulder and told me that one of our investigators was here.  I promptly got up and went to see who it was.  I didn't recognize the lady at first.  I went up and began to talk to her and found out that she is one of our investigators mother.  We had talked to her once and hadn't even sat down for a formal lesson.  She just showed up to church.  After church she called us and asked if she could set up an appointment for us to teach her the lessons.  It was literally every missionaries dream come true.  She is going out of town though for the next two weeks so we will not be able to see her until she gets back.  Her name is Mary.
  I love the Gospel and I love this church that has been restored for our benefit.  I love our Father in Heaven with all my heart.  I love y'all and hope y'all have a spirit filled week!
Elder Willden

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