Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Looking Up

Little better week than before. We're starting to finally see more success! It's awesome. Well, except riding into the wind. Our area is 5 miles wide and riding from our apartment anywhere means riding into the wind on busy streets. Lancaster springs are fun. And then the wind seems to stop right as we head home! I didn't think it'd be such a problem. I'm glad I bought such a skinny bike though.

We didn't have dinner on Monday this week, but then a part-member family called us up to have us over all of a sudden and it was really good food. We thought the husband, who's not a member, wasn't all that interested, but then after we left he told his wife he'd been reading the book of mormon! Exciting!

We also started being able to actually find people to teach! A guy even came up to us and asked us where our church was at. He'd talked to some missionaries before and said that what they told him gave him "shivers, but good ones." I guess that works. He was also in jail for like 20 years, but hey. The Atonement is real.

Testimonies grow on the mission. It's cool that way. I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but I'm able to say, and mean it with every fiber of my being, that I know that my Redeemer lives and loves me. I guess that's the effect of trials, huh? I hope that I'll find lots of people to share my testimony with this week.

Thanks for your prayers!
Elder Adams

Doors on Earth and Windows in Heaven

Wow the mission is hard sometimes.

We're both done being sick is great, but it's been a long week otherwise. Appointments fell through, it rained, we had to move people, had zone conference, all kinds of stuff. So we only had so much time to proselyte. But that time didn't exactly go great either. Knocking on door after door, no one wanted to talk to us. It was discouraging.

I've learned a lot though. Time and time again I was totally miserable and something would happen, I'd receive some revelation or someone would say something or I'd realize something and everything would start to get better again for a while. I have a new understanding of the "angels" mentioned that would bear us up. It can be ordinary people sometimes, compassionate, inspired leaders and friends.

If God is even mindful of sparrows, of course He is mindful of us. Trials come, but we are promised that we will never have to endure anything that we cannot handle, and nothing that is beyond what is ABSOLUTELY necessary for us to grow and progress. It will all be for our good. I have abiding faith in that.

I could look at the past week and say that it's been terrible or something like that. But I've learned so much that I'd be discrediting the week God gave me. It was a good week because I'm coming out of it better than I went in. And I'm grateful for that, and for the mountains God gives me to climb. I look forward to another week of challenges, and hopefully I'll have good news for you about someone besides myself! That's way more important anyway.

Well, I guess I do have one nice story. We were walking in a pretty ghetto area of our ward and I looked across the street at a house. It was pretty nice actually, and had a bright red door with no awful security gate or anything. I figured that since it was so nice in that area, surely it must just be people who wouldn't want to listen and would be rude to us, like any other house like it that we'd knocked on. I was determined to pass on by, but the Spirit reminded me of a commitment that I'd made earlier in the week, and decided to knock. While the man who opened the door wasn't interested at the time, he was very polite and I think that if there was a seed planted, it will grow. He told us he didn't go out much or get out to church because he'd been on a couple combat tours in Afghanistan and had bad PTSD. We left him with a card and I told him about the wonderful, positive messages that Mormon.org has. I hope he'll check it out.

Oh! And another one! No one had signed up to feed us last night, so we'd resigned ourselves to eating at home, which is alright, when suddenly a less-active lady with a nonmember husband called us up to invite us other for pozole! We were really grateful. She said she'd seen that we didn't have dinner on facebook (thanks to our RS president!) and called us. We didn't get a chance to teach too much and the husband wasn't super interested (the all-star game was on) but I think we'll be back over there and be able to show him it's a good thing to be interested in, haha.

Anyway, when doors close on Earth, sometimes slammed in our face, sometimes when we try to testify and it doesn't get through, and sometimes when they don't even open, the windows of heaven sneak open a little more to let blessings through.

Be strong and of a good courage!
Elder Adams

Generic Weekly Email

I'd love to say this was a stunning week different than all the past weeks but really it's been pretty ordinary. Elder Webb was sick with what I had, so it's been real similar to past weeks of mine.

The members in Sierra ward are cool. They're on board with doing what they can and love to feed us, so I can't complain. We've gotten some good chances to do service as well. We actually broke an ax this week! I was chopping some stumps up and Elder Markwalter took the ax and when he swung it broke right below the head! Good thing it was on the downswing and didn't hit anyone.

I also got the best blessing this week. God is mindful of us and wants to talk to us, sometimes we just need to ask and to listen. God loves us! And He loves you.

Thanks for being awesome everyone. Say hi to someone new this week!
Elder Adams

Saturday, February 11, 2017


So I've been sick. Super sick this week. We had two exchanges too, so not a lot has happened. I get feeling a little better and say "oh I can ride a bike now" and then get way more sick. Gah. It's frustrating being the sick companion instead of having a sick companion. It started as a sore throat, then a cold, then nausea, and now a sinus infection. I am not yet as Job though, and have no need to be.

I learned a lot though, and we still have a lot of good stuff planned. We had two exchanges this week, one with our zone leaders and one with our district leaders. We got to meet some cool people for them, but not for us. But we got to meet a part member family in Quartz Hill that wasn't on their list! I was too focused on where I was going and Elder Rojo saw the mom and stopped me. I'm glad he was paying attention- we got to teach the family a message about Christ and I got to give out the bible I didn't know why I was carrying around! I learned to slow down and pay more attention. Apparently I move too swiftly sometimes.

A lesson did get taught to our one investigator by Elder Webb and Elder Markwalter. His name is Charlie and he hasn't been progressing too well. Yet. A lot of the members were telling us to drop him and I was starting to agree, but Elder Webb's optimism and a healthy dose of discernment from outside our companionship helped us to know that we really just needed to go back to basics with him. Better yet, a big focus of our zone training meeting was helping investigators to pray! Hopefully things will start to pick up this week because of what we've learned.

We did a lot of service this week! I mean, looking back, that probably didn't help my being sick at all, but hey: wearing out my life in the service of God, right? It was cool. I'm glad to be able to help out members, especially when they really need it because they're old or have had surgery and stuff like that.

I'm not sure what cool spiritual experience to share this week, so I'll just say this: I love the Book of Mormon. It's cool as heck and brings you closer to God. If you read it with your family it'll bring you closer to your family! If you have problems it'll help you find comfort and solutions to your problems. And even if it has it's sad parts, it points to the ultimate happy ending: eternal life with our loving Heavenly Father.

Elder Adams

Sierra Ward

Hello all!

Little bit of a slow week, getting rolling in a new area with a new companion and all that. We weren't able to teach a whole lot, but we did have a couple of good opportunities to meet people in the ward!

There's this awesome recent convert named Terry. He came to us while I was in Sierra ward that week when I was in a trio and asked whatever happened to his recent convert lessons? He'd been baptized more than a year ago and they just kinda... didn't happen. So we told the new elders and they got started on it and now we get to finish! Terry is such a go-getter, it's awesome. He even got to talk about missionary work this sunday! We got to teach Gospel Principles again, which I enjoyed. It takes me back to teaching gospel doctrine at college, haha.

So we had a huge change this week! There was a worldwide missionary broadcast and they changed the schedule a bunch! Companion study and stuff like 12-week training are supposed to go in the day at some point instead of at the beginning all the time, and planning is in the morning now. I'm glad, it feels more valuable. We can also go to bed at 9:30 if we want (thank goodness bikes make me so tired.) We also keep track of less numbers now- just people baptized, baptismal dates, investigators at church, and new investigators. I'm glad, I feel like it'll really help us focus on what's important.

Our district leader counseled us to go visit all the auxiliary and priesthood leaders in the ward to meet them and see if they had anything for us to do. We met some, but we hadn't gotten to actually sit down and talk with the Slaytons (the high priests' group leader and young women's president.) Brother Slayton did ask us if we had a dinner on Sunday, but we did. Then dinner canceled so we got to eat with them! Apparently the Spirit can make people forget things like feeding the missionaries if we need to go somewhere else, haha. I thought everyone was going to tell us the same people to see, but we haven't been told the same person twice! I'm glad we can do something to help out the ward.

I really love this work. Being out here, on the frontlines against the adversary. It's made me care a lot more about people and helped me realize what's important in life. This is the Lord's work, and He could do it Himself, but He works with us and lets us do it and make mistakes sometimes so that we can learn and become more like Him. It's so wonderful.

Thanks for being great!
Elder Adams