Monday, August 25, 2014

All I have to say is wow Luke!  Keep it up!  He looks like a pro out there.  And, Kolton you are really tall.  haha.  This week was a great week!  We had an awesome miracle and it was amazing to be able to meet Elder Cook and shake his hand.  As of right now though we still don't have any information on Andy.  We will find out this week though that is for sure.  Andy had a slip back though last week.  He started going back to his old ways a little bit.  Nothing extremely bad, but just not doing the basic things he should and it was obvious.  We invited his home teacher who Andy really looks up to, to come over and have a lesson with us on thursday night.  We weren't sure what we needed to go over to help him so we just dived into it.  As we were sitting having small talk just before the lesson, we received a prompting to go over Captain Moroni.  We then opened up to Alma 46 and read the whole chapter which is on the Title Of Liberty.  It was a great lesson as we were able to relate it to them and how we need to always stand next to our standards and never lower them.  After the lesson Elder Poteki and I had to leave, but the home teacher stayed and talked to them for a while.  It had a huge affect on Andy.  When we saw Andy that following Saturday he had turned a whole 180.  It was a testimony to me that God will use his children on earth to minister and to help others change for the better.  
  When we were with Elder Cook this Saturday he talked about 4 things that we need to have.  Love our companion, Love the people, Love the Mission President, and Love the Lord.  It was very powerful and helped me understand a little more on why Charity is the most important Christlike attribute.  He also talked about Preach My Gospel and how heavily involved he was in bringing it forth.  He told us that one of his responsibilities, along with others, was to make sure that Chapter 3 had every single teaching that has ever been taught.  He talked about the importance of Preach My Gospel and how it was brought forth through inspiration.  After he had finished talking to us he left us with an Apostalic blessing.  He blessed us that as we serve our mission it will not only bless our investigators, but our family and all of those that we will come in contact with in the future, He said, "Everyone that we Love".  Then, he blessed us that we would be able to overcome our own spiritual and physical struggles, feelings of incapability and etc...  He also told us of a story when he was called into President Hinckley's office to be called as an Apostle.  He told us that as President Hinckley extended the call he felt that he was incapable of fulfilling this call.  He said that President Hinckley assured him that he was.  He also told us that he later found out that all of the apostles when they were called had these feelings.  I know that he was an apostle of the Lord and the spirit was strong as I was able to just shake his hand and look into his pure eyes just for a brief moment.
  Alright now for the miracle.  On monday last week we received a text from the church headquarters referring us to go and see a man named Ken Jones.  On Tuesday Elder Poteki was on exchanges with another Elder As I was with that Elder's companion.  We went by to try this Ken Jones.  As we knocked on the door he answered and said, "I have been waiting for you, one moment."  He put away his dogs and invited us in.  He told us that his Kung Fu Master is a Mormon and that he will be coming down to move in with him on September 6th.  He explained that this friend had invited him to listen to our message and to find out if it was true.  He had already done some research and we answered questions for most of the lesson we invited him to be baptized and he said that he would once his friend comes down so that he can baptize him.  We went back the next day and he had already read to Jacob in the Book of Mormon and we briefly went over the Restoration and why Priesthood Authority is important as he had already read all of the information on that.  It was the craziest thing ever!  He has asked us for a quad so he can read Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price.  The Lord is preparing people I can tell y'all that.  Thank you for the prayers as I have felt that y'all's prayers provided this miracle.
  Overall all is well here in Summerwood!  Elder Poteki is getting ready to go home as he will be leaving next week.  I am not sure when or where his homecoming will be, but I will let y'all know so that y'all can go if you want to.  I love the spirit and the converting power it has.  And, I love serving the Lord.  I have benefited so much from my mission so far and I still have more to learn and I will always be eternally grateful for this opportunity to serve a mission.  I love y'all sooooo much and hope y'all have a great week!
Elder Willden

Monday, August 18, 2014

Luke picked the best number there is in football!  If you get any pictures of Kolton and Luke playing please send them so I can see the little rats on the field.  Tell Tanner its messed up that he didn't email me the entire time on his mission.  I am just kidding.. tell him I said hi though.  And thank you for sending the packages for Elder Poteki they will be much appreciated.  Elder Poteki and I had a good week.  We are struggling a little bit though seeing that we only taught 5 lessons.  We have knocked many a doors though and will continue to until we find some new people to teach. 
 We had a meeting this week called Zone Conference that President Drake puts on.  We were combined with the Kingwood Zone, and it was a 7 hour meeting.  We played the Game Jeopardy with Preach My Gospel references which was really fun, we also talked about the Mormon Glow and how we need to have that with us at all times to draw people to the gospel.  President Drake talked about 3 words that he wants our mission to apply to all the aspects of our missionary work. They are Empathize, Visualize, and Edify.  It was a really good meeting.  
As y'all know Quentin L. Cook will be coming to our mission this week on Saturday!  I am super stoked!  I am so excited to meet an apostle of the Lord.  I will let y'all know how it all goes.  
  We were able to teach Brother Duncon again this week.  It was an awesome lesson.  We finally were able to get down to the deep concerns and hopefully we will begin to make some good progress with him.  He is loving the Book of Mormon, he also understands what he reads because we are able to have discussions about the stories in it at the start of each lesson.  
We should be finding out all the details with Andy today.  President Drake called the Church Headquarters and they told him that the letter is in President Monson's office at the moment so hopefully we can find out soon.  
  Now I have a funny story.  On Saturday Elder Poteki and I were asked to give a talk in sacrament meeting because someone bailed out last minute, then I was also asked to give the lesson in Priesthood on Raising Children in Righteousness(kind of a weird topic for a missionary to teach right?)...  Saturday night I had to stay up until 12:00 preparing everything I needed and Elder Poteki was already in bed.  When I finished I forgot to bring our phone in the bedroom with me.  This is bad because our phone is our alarm.  We woke up at 10:00am.  We had missed all of sacrament.  I was super frustrated at myself, but everything was okay.  We went and talked it out with the 2nd Counselor in our ward and I apologized for my rookie mistake.  I was still able to give my lesson in Priesthood though.
  Elder Poteki and I continue to work hard and have fun!  I know that next week will be better!  I love y'all and hope y'all have a good week!
Elder Willden

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Elder Poteki and I had a good week this week as we were able to go to MLC and to have Zone Meeting on Friday.  This Zone Meeting we decided to focus on the missionaries.  We made it all about them.  We had each missionary go up and share why they came out, why they are still out, and what they want to accomplish on their mission.  We also asked a random funny question for each missionary at the start.  It was great!  It was like a big testimony meeting.  We weren't able to teach Jeremy yet again this past week so we are going to stop by their house sometime this week and see whats up.  We were able to teach Brother Duncon and it was awesome!  We were able to figure out that he is just mad at God and that is why he won't pray.  He is reading the Book of Mormon a lot though.  He is half way through Alma.  He plans on reading Doctrine and Covenants as well as the Pearl of Great Price.  We taught him about Joseph Smith and the experiences he went through.  It was an awesome lesson!  We talked about all of the trials Joseph Smith faced and how he continued to remain faithful to what he knew was true.  And then we read in D&C 121 with Joseph Smiths prayer of despair and need in the Jail and the answer to his prayer.  The spirit was most definitely there.  We will continue to work with him and he will pray eventually I know he will.  
  I am pretty sure I have written about Martha.  Martha is doing great right now!  We are planning on inviting them to a baptismal date this week.  They are doing good at the moment.  Martha had to go to the hospital this past week, she had a very small stroke, but she is doing okay now. 
  Jamie and Andy weren't able to come to church this sunday because Andy has a toothache and they were almost out of gas with two really bad tires.  Please pray for them as they are struggling at the moment.  We haven't heard anything from Salt Lake yet on Andy's baptism so I will let y'all know once we got some info.  
  Love y'all and hope y'all have a good week!
Elder Willden

Monday, August 4, 2014

Elder Poteki and I had a great week this week.  We had a mini missionary with us for almost the whole week, we got him on Tuesday night and his mom picked him up on Sunday morning.  His name was Jon Lee.  When we first got him he was super timid, shy, and kind of awkward.  By the time he left, he was going up and talking to people and starting conversations.  He also bore his testimony in sacrament.  It was awesome to see the big affect the Lord can have on us as we serve him.  
  At the end of the month this month we were running pretty low on miles, therefore on Wednesday we had to do a walking day because we didn't have a third bike for Jon Lee.  We walked and walked and walked.  During the day we had to take a break because we thought Jon Lee was going to die on us.  As we were out walking Elder Poteki and I had to take turns carrying his backpack.  I sweat so much that my shirt was almost completely drenched!  haha.  But, it turned out to be a great day as we were able to teach Jamie and Andy, and also we were able to go teach a lady named Martha who was a referral from a member in Vidor.  It was an awesome lesson too, the spirit was really strong.  
  This week we were not able to go see Jeremy as he had to go to a few family events, but we will hopefully be seeing him this week.  On Friday we had to drive up to the mission office to turn in the form to attempt to approve Andy for baptism, and to fix a spoke on a missionaries bike.  The form has been faxed to church headquarters so hopefully it doesn't take too long.  But, we were out driving a lot on Friday to say the least, y'all are going to have to call me Master Driver when I get home! haha.  Elder Poteki and I have been doing a lot of finding lately and we are going to find some more people that are prepared to receive God's message, it may take a while, but we will find them.  
  As we were in the car today driving over to the library we were talking about how our church just makes sense.  You take all the information the Restoration, the Plan of Salvation, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Establishment of Christ's church compared to the Establishment of the Church Today and it just makes sense.  As we were talking I thought of people that fall away from the church and was pondering on why that would happen and then my mind caught hold upon the word Remember.  The reason why people fall away from the church is because they forget or degrade the answers and influence they have received from God.  I thought back to all these experiences I have had on a mission....  The spirit filling rooms as we speak of Joseph Smith....  The light in people's eyes as they understand God's Plan for them....  The moments while studying they scriptures and tears are falling down.  There have been numberless experiences that have happened to me just in the past year and a half and many more to come.  I know that everyone has these experiences and that as we hold these experiences close to us that Satan will never be able to overtake us.  I love this wonderful message that we share and all the the happiness and peace that come with it.  I love y'all and hope y'all have a great week!
Elder Willden

And Happy Birthday Mom I love you!