Monday, October 24, 2016

Patty in a picke

Sometimes, even when you feel like it's the Lord's timing, the things you want don't happen. Patty was stressed about baptism and her birthday and other stuff, so her body released too much of her blood thinner medication at once, making her blood way too thin, so she's been really busy with doctor's appointments and has spooky blood eyes and is bruising easily and bleeding randomly and has lots of kidney pain. So, needless to say, no baptism this past week. It's kinda hard, Elder Egburs and I gave her a blessing and honestly I've never felt so prepared to perform a miracle. I'm used to feeling like blessings will maybe help a little bit, but this time I really felt like it would fix this. But it didn't. Which is rough.

Anyway, otherwise the week was good. It was primary program Sunday, which is always cute. We found and taught a decent amount this week, but we've really been focusing on helping the investigators we have to progress and get more meetings set up. I'm not sure what we've been doing that's working, but God seems to be blessing us for it. Things are going okay here.

A cool experience from this last week: We were out walking because we had an appointment fall through. Elder Egburs had just gone to the bathroom right before we left the apartment, but needed to go again, so we stopped at McDonald's. Then we took a different way home and saw a girl on the phone. I don't normally bug people on the phone, but Elder Egburs went for it, as he does. It turns out that she was walking home from work, but had run into a few friends and a girl who was just wandering around crying because her dad died. The girl we talked to was named Audrey, and she's awesome! We met with her again a few days later, and her 17-year old sister had borrowed her book of mormon to read too, which means she might also be interested! Finding miracles happen, at least.

There's an investigator here who has been taught since 2013, and just doesn't seem willing to progress, but we've been starting slow and from the bottom, and she's doing good. She's reading the Book of Mormon with her daughters, and even if they can't understand it, it's starting to help them get along better. I'm so glad my own experience is helping my investigators.

I really know that I'm here in this mission for a reason now. I keep meeting people who I connect with. It's so good to be able to tell people that I had the same concerns and how I was able to reconcile them. So many people here just have a hard time with religion because there's so much bad in the world, so I'm glad we get to be here as lights that cannot be hid.

Also, it rained for like two minutes last night. Lit.

You're all the best!
Elder Adams

Monday, October 17, 2016


Heck yeah Patty is getting baptized! It's been stressful and tough to get her there, things keep going wrong, but she recognized on Sunday "dang, someone really doesn't want me to get baptized." Like yep that's the devil doing that. But it's happening on Saturday! Aaaaaah, it's so exciting. She was telling us how much we changed her life and I was so surprised because I feel like meeting her changed mine tons too. Not to say I had no hope for my mission before, but I'm a lot more confident that miracles happen all the time and we really can find people who are prepared.

It's been a busy week here! On Thursday we had zone conference with Elder Cook of the seventy. He was super cool and I learned so much about how to plan and teach. I especially liked a venn diagram he made of what people "Know", "Feel", and "Do". The people we are supposed to baptize are the ones who fall in the center of all three, who know the doctrine, feel that it's true, and act on that. I'm trying to make sure I'm in that category too, haha. We also learned that if we want to teach progressing investigators, we should be progressing missionaries. I think that'll probably be my mantra for the whole rest of the mission.

On Friday Elder Egburs had a meeting in Bakersfield with all the other leaders, so I spent the day with Elder Bankhead! He came out with me and is a great guy. We didn't find anyone besides a lady for the spanish elders, but we taught a couple lessons! Although the one in my area just consisted of the member talking the whole time and the investigator telling us he didn't want to get baptized into a church, just baptized. Also that God can't influence people inside of buildings. Okay then.

We found a ton of people this week! Talking to everyone is hard sometimes, but it's working really well! We keep being late to things because we're teaching the Restoration to people on the street. It's cool sometimes. This one lady we taught who seemed super solid called us up and canceled her next appointment with us because she met with the JWs and apparently they filled her head with nonsense about us?? Oh well. "Please be respectful and don't knock on my door anymore." Yeah okay ma'am. We won't.

Anyway, we really do talk to a lot of cool people. It's hard to find really solid investigators who will keep commitments, but it's so satisfying when they do and we get to see the changes they make in their lives. Missionary work is so great.

Thank you for your support everyone!
Elder Adams

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Miracle Weekend

Hey everybody!

This week was kinda interesting. We had exchanges both with the elders in our district and the zone leaders. It was really busy and planning was hard and we spent a lot of time cleaning and sorting things out, so we got almost nothing done. We found a new investigator on Monday, but every time we went by to see him again, he wasn't there. It was stressful to have our schedule so messed up and to not have much in the way of numbers.

On Thursday, we had an appointment fall through when we had a member with us. Elder Egburs was like "let's go visit Mike." Mike isn't living at his home for right now because he's taking care of his mom, but he's there at around 3 every day to take care of the house. We stopped by at 7 and he was there! We talked to him and read from the Book of Mormon, and he was all "normally I'm pretty drunk at this time of night, but I didn't feel like drinking today." So that's why we had to stop by. Seriously, so satisfying to follow the Spirit.

On Saturday I had a rough morning. I was stressed and felt sick and didn't want to work, but we went out and it was like everyone we talked to wanted to hear our message. We had an incredible morning. Then there was an Elders Quorum Pool Party, which we went to eat tacos at, but there were actually a lot of less-active members there AND some former investigators! We also went by a former investigator to say hey, but we only ended up talking to his wife and granddaughter. We were just going to share a short message, but she invited us in to tell her about our church and loved it. The poor lady had awful valley fever that destroyed her lungs and spine, but she's survived much longer and at a higher standard of living than any of her doctors expected. She also showed us her giant masonic bible. That was fun. She has 7 kids and 15 grandkids, and wants to see if they'll listen to us too! What a cool old lady.

Then on Sunday Patty called us to set up an appointment because she had some friends she wanted to invite to talk to us! So we answered some of her questions about 2 Nephi and the history of the church, and taught the restoration to a couple of awesome young people who are coming to church with her and us next week! One of them was looking for a church that was firm on its beliefs, but not preaching fire and brimstone all the time, and well- that's us!

I just finished up 3 Nephi this morning. I love the Book of Mormon, but the books after this are just so hard to read, because the people descend into wickedness. It's hard, but it's also rewarding to think of the joy that Mormon, Moroni, the brother of Jared, and Ether must have over all the people who enjoy their writings and have been converted because they followed the Lord's counsel in what to write. Mormon was an incredible historian and writer, and he was given those talents to help build God's kingdom. We're all given talents like that, that we can use to help serve others. Even Elder Egburs's motivational raps, haha.

I hope you all have a good week!
Elder Adams

The Field Is White

Such a great week.

Okay, so our awesome investigator who is progressing super great, Patty? We got her a larger print Book of Mormon (but a fancy special edition one with paintings from some members, not the normal one), and she's loving it. We mean to read the Book of Mormon with her, but ended up teaching the restoration to her two more times because she keeps inviting her co-workers and friends along! What a cool lady. She and a girl who works for her both watched all of conference on Saturday with us!

We are also teaching a guy who lives outside our stake... but everyone we've talked to has basically told us "screw the rules, his salvation matters and he has fellowship in your ward," so that's a thing. He watched some conference with us too, but had to leave because his neck was hurting. He had a tumor that got so bad it cracked some of his vertebrae. Ouch.

Still haven't met some of the other investigators, but have picked up so many new ones that it doesn't seem to matter. Most of them were total surprises to us! We're trying our best and we're experiencing some success for it! How blessed we are for the chance to serve God.

Conference was awesome. I really liked the Presidents Eyering and Uchtdorf's talks during priesthood session, but Elder Oaks's talk on missionary work was cool. Conference is different when you're a missionary, I've never been left wanting more of the Word of God so much. I'm like "six months away for another one??"

We talked to a lot of less-active members this week. Most of them have been really awesome! But one was not a productive person to talk to. We finally figured out why he wasn't coming: he's all "the church has changed." I asked for an example and he told me that when he was a kid, they had to pick up the toys in nursery, unlike in President Eyering's talk, where he mentioned offhand that he picked them up. Like dude, that's not even church policy changing, that's just you finding reasons to complain. But whatever. Thank goodness times change some- back in the days of Sinai, he would be stoned for not keeping the sabbath day holy.

I've been thinking about what "A remission of sins" means. Because remission is used in a medical way to describe when a disease is getting better and not spreading, I think it's an applicable way to think of how we can apply the atonement. As we repent of bigger stuff, we can focus on smaller stuff, just like how when you get rid of a big tumor you can focus on getting rid of the smaller spots so that they don't get really bad later. It's helpful to know how we can keep our sin in remission too, by reading what the scriptures say, like King Benjamin's address.

The mission is awesome! I love being out here, even when people are mean to us. Christ truly does help us turn the other cheek.

Elder Adams

Hello Lancaster!

Hey all!

Guess what! I'm still in Antelope Valley. But that's cool! I could spend my whole mission here and that'd be alright. I like AV. I have a new companion! His name is Elder Egburs, and he's great. He works hard and has limitless energy. He's also the district leader. This district is so cool! I went from a tiny 3 companionship one to one with five! And it's a great area.

Elder Egburs has been here before, and he's had a good time. But the area just got split, so we don't have that many unknocked doors. We're trying to get creative, like by inviting the primary kids to invite their friends to the primary program. I think it'll be really good.

We have a couple of cool investigators! Patty is an awesome old lady who has like 40 horses and tons of other animals. She's cool. We read Alma 32 with her and she's all "OH" and understood how to read the Book of Mormon with faith. We're still working on getting her a big one, haha.

The other investigator I've met is James. He has a broken neck, but is super cool and gets what we teach for the most part. He's very mainstream Christian and it's kinda interesting. We taught him a couple times during the week. We'd love to baptize him buuuuuut... he lives in a different stake. He was a friend of some members, and that's why he's around here.

We have like 5 other investigators, but I haven't met them yet.

I really like this valley. It's peaceful enough, and not as smoggy and hot as Bakersfield. There are lots and lots of different Christian churches, and I'm confident that the work will pick up and the wards and stakes will grow immensely.

Part of the struggle I see here is that people don't seem to realize that it's not just a church you go to, ours is a religion you live. And it'll change lives! But people seem to just think it's a different church to go to on Sunday. It's so much more than that. Living the Gospel of Christ in every aspect of your life, at all times, is what is intended. Not attending church occasionally. I love to see the difference it makes in the lives of new members who really strive to live the Gospel. There's a family that fed us the other day, and they were just baptized in the last year. They are so excited about the Gospel and about how it applies to everything, even movies. It was neat to see.

Thank you for your letters!

Elder Adams

Goodbye Palmdale

Hey everyone!

Transfers are Wednesday this time! And Elder Harden and I are both getting transferred! And neither of us know where or even if we're together still. So yes, it's a bad idea to send me any packages right now ;P Anyway, I wish I could have stayed here for a little longer so I could see Frankie's baptism and try to teach a couple more people that we've met. But it's alright. I like Palmdale, but God knows where we need to go, and who needs to be here. I guess we've done what we were entrusted with this area for.

Anyway, this week was real slow. We had more car trouble, and got our battery replaced on Tuesday, so that took a lot of time. The next days was cleaning inspections, and Elder Harden threw out his back making his bed, so we spent lots of time at the doctor's, too. They told him to rest for a few days and not do too much, so I've been stuck resting for a few days and not doing too much. I've actually read tons and tons of scriptures and Ensigns. So I was trying to be productive. To break the monotony and cover appointments, we went on exchanges with the other elders a couple times. I was running around with Elder Gold most of the time. We have... disagreements. But it's alright! We've worked it out some and I learned a lot about working with people who are hard to work with.

A couple cool things did happen to us! The other elders had a baptism and it was a neat experience! We taught the restoration while the baptismee was getting dressed, and there was this non-member on the first row who looked so astonished. I'm pretty sure the Spirit was speaking to her heart! And then this single guy in the ward came up and chastised us for a bunch of stuff after we were done with the baptism. He was trying to be "helpful" but he was just kinda rude. He got on our case that evening too, at the Spanish-English multicultural thing. We were sitting at a table with pamphlets and stuff while the other elders were out talking, and he came over and got on our case about being antisocial. We sure showed him, we placed like four copies of the Book of Mormon with nonmembers and taught a couple people the restoration with the help of the Spanish elders and members.

The multicultural event was so cool. The Spanish branch has such diverse origins and they had all this food and stuff from their countries. It was so cool. There was also music and dancing! Not that we danced. We don't dance or something like that ;P

I read lots of scriptures, and pondered a lot, and I feel like I've really learned a lot! This week I was really impressed by the faith of Amulek and Alma's kindness to him. When Amulek received Alma and Alma blessed his house, I'd always just thought that was because he was the prophet, but I've realized that really it's because he was a missionary, and that's our privilege and duty too. Alma also took in Amulek and comforted him after the saints in Ammonihah were martyred. It's implied that Amulek's family were among them, and his faith in holding fast to his beliefs during and after the tragedy is truly incredible. Alma took him into his own house afterwards, and "administered unto him in his tribulation, and strengthened him in the Lord." He set a really good example of mourning and comforting, even without the details. I hope I too can develop that much charity.

Thank you all for your support! Wherever I go, I'll always be thankful for your prayers and kind words.
Elder Adams

The Devil rides upon the asphalt

Hey all!

I know that's an imposing title for this weekly email, but it's actually been the best week so far. It just started off kinda rough. On Monday I went and bought a bike! I don't think there are actually any bike areas left here, but we burn through miles like crazy, so I figured that I might as well get one to help out. And get more fit. And the bike was really cool and I love it. Anyway, it was useful because the day before, our car broke down. We thought it might be a battery problem, but weren't totally sure. Someone came and jumped it, and it started, but it had been having other electrical problems before. We took it to the Chevy dealer on Tuesday (It's a cruze), and it took them seven hours to fix a faulty negative battery cable. And then it did the same thing again last night. But we'll give the car another chance for now.

The next morning we went for a bike ride up a huge hill with the other elders from P4. Up the hill was hard, but down was fun until Elder Gold hydroplaned and flew onto the sidewalk. He was pretty banged up, but didn't actually end up breaking anything. He just shoved his humerus further into the socket, but they spent that whole day and the next one at the doctor's. First because of trying to find out what was with his arm, then because he might have had a concussion. So things were very quiet for west Palmdale on Tuesday.

Basically I think roads must be cursed for us. But we still need to drive on them.'

Anyway, the rest of the week was great! We met lots of new investigators, some cool less active people, and some people the sisters were teaching but we'd lost track of! Our goals for the coming week are basically teaching the restoration a million times, getting people to read the Book of Mormon, and put a ring on it. Yeesh. Some of these people and their avoiding marriage.

ooh! One of our new investigators didn't even open the door at first, he just yelled and asked who we were. Missionaries! But he didn't want to hear it at first. So we started walking away, but then he was like "hey!" and asked us if we were Lancaster Baptist. They're everywhere here, and put cards on everyone's doors and have buses to take people to church. It's wild. But we told him no, and he had no idea our church existed! So we told him some and gave him a pamphlet and a return appointment. I don't know why he came outside, but I'm thanking the Spirit for it.

We're doing a 65-day Book of Mormon challenge out here, and it's super great. I'm actually way ahead, but I'm actually learning a lot. One of my favorites is some details about when Nephi broke his bow. After he did, everyone started murmuring, and Nephi chastised his brothers for it. It didn't even say what he said because he does it so dang much. They were "humbled", so he went and made a new bow and asked his dad what to do. He knew it wasn't his place to chastise his dad, so he invited Lehi to let the Lord do it. And oh boy did He. So much so that Lehi was "exceedingly sorrowful" and never murmured again. I think it's a valuable lesson about how to correct people and call them to repentance- it's not always our duty. Sometimes we just need to let God do it. Also, true repentance comes from knowing you've disappointed God, not your brother.

Thanks for all your support everyone! I love hearing from all of you!
God be with you,
Elder Adams


Hey all,

It's been another long week. Days of all 0s on key indicators are getting kinda old. I get that people are busy, but keeping appointments is the polite thing, y'know? Ah well. It can't be helped. At least we're talking to a lot of people and hopefully being a good influence. We met a guy this week who wasn't ready just yet, he says he's too angry at God right now, but he'll listen someday. He swore a lot, but he'll be really prepared when he talks to missionaries again, I'm confident. We gave him a pamphlet with our number on it, so maybe he'll get a hold of the missionaries in the future.

We also got a referral for a guy with a lot of members in his family. He finally decided to take the discussions and read the Book of Mormon, but he just had back surgery, so this week really didn't work for him. I think he'll be a good guy to teach.

Our one investigator with a baptismal date came to church! He's the one with autism, so it's hard for him to come unless his mom comes too. She's normally really sick, but was able to come this week! I think they had a great time and will work hard to come again. Both of them have some walking troubles, so I'm glad we were able to find a wheelchair.

Right! I forgot about the wheelchair! Last week we were out tracting and there was a yard sale going on that we stopped at for a minute. They had a wheelchair, and we'd been looking for some for the church. It was in good condition, so we asked how much it was, and the guy told us 20$! We were blown away! He asked us what we wanted it for, and we told him it was for our church, and he was all "Take it then! It's free!" It was so cool. There are a lot of good people here who are living the truth that they have, but just don't quite see that we can give them more. It's disappointing sometimes, but I'm glad to see everyone isn't miserable and mean.

Last night our car wouldn't start. We were just about to head home, too. We eventually got a member to come jump it for us, but it took a while and was kinda boring. It was a little chilly too, so we were sitting in the car listening to Teewee tell us every couple minutes that our battery might be low. Thanks Teewee. Teewee is what they use to make sure we're driving safely. It yells at us if we go too fast, or accelerate, turn, or brake too quickly. It makes sense, but sometimes it's just like "Teewee we're trying our best why do you yell."

Fasting yesterday was cool. We didn't have any incredible miracles besides our investigator coming to church, but I feel better. This week will go better.

God be with you!
Elder Adams