Monday, August 29, 2016

AC is a blessing

Hey all!

It's been a hot week here in Palmdale, but that's alright. I'm getting used to it. ( his air conditioning was out for 2 days) I think I lost my sunglasses though. It gets really cool in the evenings, mostly because it is so windy. Despite the wind, I haven't had to deal with any dust storms or anything yet.

There have been some fires around here too, but they've been a little ways away and out of my area. Not that my area is very large. It's basically all populated, but has no parks or anything, so it's kinda hard to find things to do once the sun goes down, since we're not supposed be knocking doors at all after the sun sets, unless we have an appointment set up.

So about the 92-year old woman I was teaching. She's great, but her family stopped by and told her to not meet with us anymore since they want her to stay in the church she's been in her whole life. We're stepping back for the moment, but we're not giving up yet. We'd have pushed more then, but there's so little chance when she's so old for her family to forgive her. She'll be able to accept the Gospel after this life though, even if we cannot get the fullness of it to her yet.

We're also teaching an autistic young man who is super great. He gets what we teach for the most part, but his responses don't always show it. He wants to get baptized, and would be ready if we could get him to come to church, but his mom is really sick and has a hard time coming. They're a great family, and we're working hard to get him out.

There's a less-active, part member family we've tried to visit a lot, but haven't gotten to teach a lesson to yet. One young man in particular is almost ready to be baptized, but his dad wants to do it and won't come to church. The mom really wants to get sealed too, so I hope that his heart will be softened. I felt inspired to ask them to read the Book of Mormon as a family, but we haven't had the chance to invite them yet.

We also met a super cool Latino guy with a couple of older kids who invited us in and listened to us. He'd been helped out by missionaries before, but hadn't had the lessons, so we taught him the restoration. He was so excited that hisquestions got answered, about things like why there were so many Christian churches and why God only called prophets in Israel in the Bible. He told us he knew he needed to get back on the right path, and that it was our job to get him there, but we had to tell him we're just there to teach and invite, he has to work hard too.

I love these people, even though I just met them. Missionary work is cool that way. I'm constantly blessed with courage I haven't had before, and words I've never thought of. God qualifies those He calls when they work hard, and although my work isn't perfect, we've still been blessed.

I started collecting bottlecaps and writing a number on the back. I'm trying to get one every day, but I got a little ahead of myself trying to catch up for the days I was at the MTC, so the next one I need to get will be number 37 on Thursday. So many bottlecaps is going to be heavy by the end of my mission, haha.

I hope everyone at home is doing well. God be with you until we meet again!

Elder Adams

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The MTC lied. (he's kidding)

Anyway, this isn't actually an iPad mission. It was a bit of a shock, and it's hard suddenly not having the resources that were available before. Instead we have lots and lots of cars. It seems like nearly everyone has a car. I guess it's probably a gain weight mission.

We're in Palmdale, in the very south of the mission, in the best ward ever. It seriously is a good ward with good people. Palmdale is a really interesting town because it was planned very specifically and is very new. The roads are named really well as long as you're on the main ones, but turn into nonsense once you actually go off of them intowhere the houses are. There are so many little roads named all kinds of things like Cantlewood or Jupiter or Vittorio. But they don't follow any naming scheme! It'd be so hard to get around without a GPS, so I'm glad we have one.

We haven't had a whole lot of success, but that's okay. It's just the first week. We've transferred into an area where there were sisters before, so we spent some time cleaning and have been meeting people and trying to sort out the sisters' plans that they left behind. We did meet a super cool old lady from a referral though! She's in her 90s and has tons of medical stuff going on, but she loves the pamphlets and wants to get baptized! She would have come to church on Sunday, but her doctor said to wait. I know that she's still around so she can receive the Gospel.

It is really hot here. It's not worth it to walk around during the day or anything so we just drive around to houses where potential investigators and part member families are. Most of the good work we'll do is going to be in the evening, once it's cooler and people are home.

God be with you!
Elder Adams

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Lead Kindly Light

Hey all. It's been a long week.

So Elder J, my companion, is a tall guy. And he got tall really
fast. But that causes some problems, y'know? He had some inexplicable
shoulder pain that was hard to deal with but not very severe, at least
until now. It started getting worse on Monday, so our zone leader took
him to the doctor on Tuesday. They decided it was a pinched nerve, but
that to do all the tests for it and maybe surgery, they wanted him to
head home for a while. He left that night, and now I'm in a trio with
Elder Coburn and Elder Taylor.

I get a little bit of how my mom felt now. I just have to be like
"it's not like he's dead or anything." But it's just hard. I've never
felt so much... Grief. The others were angry or sad, but I couldn't
think of any other word. It took a lot of getting emotions out and
praying and reading scriptures to be alright. But I feel peace about
it now. Right after he left I was sitting in the hall with the zone
leaders, who are also in our district. It had been a long day for them
too, so we were all kinda a mess. I was humming "Lead Kindly Light",
and then someone down the hall started playing it on a violin in a
classroom! Not only that, but that's what the choir sang at the
devotional that night. They announced it and I was like "okay okay! I
get it! I'm alright!"

Also when we where sitting around, there was an elderly elder playing
the piano in a nearby classroom. He was playing mostly church music,
but some other stuff, and it was all very very jazzy, so it felt like
being in a fancy lounge. He was playing for his wife, but I had to go
tell him thanks for playing, it soothed our souls. It made me really
want to play the piano a lot. We also had roast beef and mashed
potatoes for dinner, and all these little nice things added up to
generally being okay by the end of the day. Now when anything good
happens at all: "God is good."

It's been busy but typical otherwise. Lots of learning, lots of
teaching, lots of volleyball. I'm really sad I don't get to keep
teaching one of the investigators we were assigned this week, because
she was awesome. I dunno if she was a member, but the Spirit was like
"she needs to be in the church right now immediately" because she was
just so good. I'll try to stop by the TRC room she was at so I can at
least leave her with anothertestimony or something.

So you know those stories where missionaries go knock one more door or
talk to just one more person at he end of the day and are blessed for
it? It feels like that is every day here. I always learn the most in
the last two hours of the day. And here at the end of my stay. I feel
pretty confident now, not that I'll convert and baptize everyone ever,
but that as long as I keep working, my deficiencies won't matter as
much and my talents will be magnified.

iPads are seriously inspired of the Lord here. Like seriously, I'm the
worst at scripture references, but if I can just remember a few words
(or have them brought to my remembrance,) I can search them in Gospel
Library. It's incredible, and has been super helpful for finding
specific scriptures and stories, especially in the New Testament. It's
easier to focus on using technology well when you're guided by the
Spirit, too.

Almost there. You might all get another email from me super soon on
Monday, or not until the next one, since we leave here at 3:30 am on
Monday. We fly to Phoenix first, then into Bakersfield. I'm excited to
get out there, but also nervous, since it'll be way harder than this.

"Keep thou my feet, I do not ask to The distant scene- one step enough for me."

Thanks everyone,
Elder Adams

Monday, August 1, 2016

"Volleyball for days"

explanations of Hayden's acronyms and other things

hey all! Just a note from Hayden's mom, in case you aren't familiar with some of the acronyms or phrases he uses.

The MTC is the missionary training center in Provo, Utah. That's where they spend 3-6 weeks learning how to be an effective missionary and learning the language, if necessary.

The TRC is the teaching resource center.  They provide members who will act as people who want to learn about the church for the missionaries to practice teaching and sometimes they have people who really are learning about the church.

An investigator is someone they are teaching the gospel to.

All missionaries go in pairs, called companionships.  Hayden and his companion are to stay together 24/7 .  A district is a group of several companionships. This provides a chain of leadership that makes sure all missionaries have help and guidance as they need it and makes it easier for the couple (mission president and his wife) responsible for the approximately 200 missionaries in his mission to keep track of them.

The males missionaries are referred to as Elder_____ (insert last name) and the females as Sister________ (insert last name).

FHE is family home evening.  At BYU the students are divided into many, many congregations of 150-300 students.  Usually at least one apartment of boys and one apartment of girls are assigned to a family home evening group.  They meet once a week as a "family" for a lesson and fun activities.  Honestly, I loved my FHE "brothers" and they became like real brothers to me.

When Hayden's three weeks are up, he will fly to Bakersfield to begin his real work, teaching people about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Every 6ish weeks they have transfers, where the missionaries may or may not be moved to other cities and/or receive a different companion.

A zone is a group of districts. They meet together for training and inspirational messages from time to time.

I know I've forgotten a few things.  If you have questions, ask me and I will explain!