Monday, December 1, 2014

Here is the last two weeks of emails from Elder Willden:

Elder Hunter and I had a good week!  We had Thanksgiving over at our ward mission leader's home the Roberts.  It was a good home cooked meal with lots of people.  Elder Hunter and I had a good time!  Holidays are weird on the mission though, so of course it was a little weird not being around y'all.  
On Monday night we saw Korina and she told us that she had received an answer from God that she needs to stay here in Cleveland and not go back to Oklahoma.  When her family came down for Thanksgiving her mom told her that she didn't have a choice and that she will be going back to Oklahoma.  So, she won't be getting baptized this month, but she comes back in January, so hopefully she will get baptized then.  
We have been working with Jamie a lot this week.  She has a lot of struggles, but she is doing well.  Right now we are working on getting her a solid testimony of the Book of Mormon.  
  We had to do a lot of finding this week, because the people we were teaching have either dropped us or we dropped them because they weren't ready yet.  We contacted a lot of people and did a lot of tracting and other activities to find people to teach.  Needless to say Elder Hunter and I are very exhausted, but somehow we just keep going. 
 On Friday we had District Meeting and I had a plan on what it needed to be throughout the week and on Friday morning as I was praying the Lord inspired me to change what I had planned.  All that he placed in my head was LOVE.  And, two hours before district meeting I researched everything I could about love and put together a lesson.  It was awesome.  For part of the meeting we read 1 Corinthians 13 and there were some amazing comments afterwards.  We all learned a lot and came away uplifted and inspired.  
  Overall, we had a fantastic week and Elder Hunter and I are doing great!  Love y'all and hope all is going well back at home!
Elder Willden

We were out tracting and there just so happened to be a huge Longhorn and he was right next to the fence so we went up and petted him.  He really liked Elder Hunter, but I am not sure he liked me very much.  He tried to wack me with his horns!  haha.

Elder Danielson and Elder Willden

Elder Galvez and Elder Willden

This week was a unique one and I will tell y'all why!  We received a text from the Media Referrals, someone was on and wanted a bible.  We called the number and he said that he would come up to our church to get it.  We set up an appointment on Sunday at 3 o'clock to give it to him.  We met up and we started talking and we taught him and a couple of his buddies a little bit.  While we were coming to a close they invited us to come to their church at 7 o'clock that night and told us that we would be able to preach.  We accepted the invitation.  We then called our ward mission leader and invited him to come with us.  We headed over to their church at 6:30.  We got there around 6:50 and it was a wear house and we noticed that it was a Pentecostal church :).  We entered in and there were only black people!  We were literally the only white people in the entire building.  As we entered in many people greeted us and thanked us for coming.  We were able to spend a few minutes speaking with the Pastor.  He was a good guy.  Then, they started the meeting.  The Pastor got up and he used the phrases Praise God, Hallelujah and Thank You Jesus like we use the words and, um, and like.  I heard those phrases so much they are officially ingrained into my head!  And they would just be yelling into the microphone while they were preaching! haha.  After a good 10-20 minutes of the Pastor Preaching he then had a bunch of kids come up and sing different songs and they had music blasting so loud you couldn't hear yourself think!  While they were singing there were people on the side speaking in tongues and acting all crazy, there was a little boy probably around 7 or 8 and he was way into it!  He clapped his hands so dramatically and just loved it!  He made me laugh a little bit.  Afterwards the Pastor asked me to come up and Preach.  It got extremely quite while I spoke, I talked about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how it happened.  And, related it to them and how they can rely on the savior to heal them and to help them return to God.  And testified of the truthfulness of it.  The spirit was so strong, then they had a guy from their congregation Preach.  Then, the Pastor looked at Elder Hunter and said there is something special about him and he said that it is because he is serving the Lord and then the Pastor asked him to come up and Preach and he bore his testimony and then the Pastor had our Ward Mission Leader preach at the end.  And he talked about how there is truth in every church, and then told them about how he joined our church and how much it has blessed his life.  It was overall a crazy night!  It was quite the experience.  I realized that this was a direct result of the apostasy.  They know some truth, but there are little things the devil throws in to mess them up and throw them off the path.  I can't wait to tell yall more about what happened that night.  Guess yall will just have to find out January 7th.  After the meeting we were talking in the car and we felt like we did a lot of good.  Because now those people have questions about our beliefs, and hopefully they will act on that and research it.  
  We are having lots of success with Korina.  We received a text from her this week telling us how happy she is and how much she loves church.  She is keeping all of her commitments and will get baptized on December the 20th if she doesn't go out of town.  Jamie came to church this week!  She is planning on getting baptized December the 20th as well.  She is really progressing as she is keeping all of her commitments as well.  
  This Saturday our ward had a talent show and Elder Hunter and I were part of it.  Elder Hunter has just memorized the Joseph Smith Story so I gave the background and setting and he recited it for our talent.  It was really good.  Elder Hunter is a great missionary, he is progressing so quickly.  He is an awesome companion and we are just loving doing the work.  This week the man over the Missionary Department of the Church came to our mission.  His name is Brother Hemmingway.  He came on Thursday and all the leaders of the mission gathered together and were taught by him.  He taught us how to set goals and make plans.  He also taught us how to teach the Restoration in 10 minutes!  It was awesome!  He was a very intelligent man and knew almost everything there is to know about missionary work.  He pretty much came in and has refocused our mission on Planning.  I never really understood exactly how to do it, but when he explained it now I have no questions.  It also creates a focus on the people instead of our Key Indicators.  
  I love y'all and hope y'all have a fantastic week!
Elder Willden

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