Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Sierra, Round 3

I'm staying!
Elder Webb is heading to Palmdale 5th with Elder Taylor, who was my MTC district leader! I'm excited for both of them. I get Elder Watkins!

This week has been so wiiiiild. We went on splits on Tuesday and the member Elder Webb was with really wanted to help us pick up an investigator. He listened to the Spirit and went to visit a recent move in and her friend and her son were willing to listen! We've met with them since. Her life has been crazy, she is from Jamaica and she basically had leprosy when she was pregnant with her son. Then she had a massive heart attack a few years ago while she was working on her phD and has crazy memory loss from it. Her dad was seventh day adventist and her mom was another type of Christian and she went to Catholic school so she went to church EVERY DAY. She's been to lots of churches and feels that the right church would have to come to her. And then we showed up!

So that was cool. We also found another lady by listening to where the Spirit said to tract. I'm really learning to listen to the Spirit better and follow promptings when I'm supposed to- the first time. Success is coming from it!

Not a lot else to say this week. I've been in the same apartment for 7 and a half months and am going at least another six weeks, so this'll be a good time.

Thanks for being supportive!
Elder Adams

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

A Single Soul

Transfers are coming up next week! No idea where I'm going, might stay, might go.

I got to feel a little bit of charity this week. Not for everyone, but for one person, and it made an impact I'll never forget. Three months here so far, all led to one big change in one person who's already a member. But it's put them on the path to repentance, confidence, and a better life. Did it affect our work as missionaries? Yeah, we didn't get to do other stuff because we were busy with this. Somehow it was so much more than worth it. I got to see the value of one single soul, and feel to value it more than my own work and recognition. I get maybe a pat on the back and "good job" here in this life. Not even a number for key indicators. But to be able to rejoice with them in heaven and feel God's love for them was the best thing ever.

We also had a cool experience with following first impressions last night. We hadn't been able to find anyone all week, and it was rough. We were biking home and it was dark, but I decided to take a different route then normal. Then we came to a dirt road. I could have turned but felt like "eh we have time, why not" and rode across it. A little further and we came to an apartment complex, one where a referral was that we hadn't been able to contact. I had the thought "We could visit her! But it's dark already. But who knows, maybe it's the Spirit. And lo and behold it was! We finally met her and picked her up as an investigator! It was so satisfying!

We had stake conference this week, and I got to talk to Elder Ghent of the fifth quorum of the Seventy. It was cool. We were meeting people at the door when a bunch of other missionaries came up to us and asked "is he your investigator?" talking about a guy in the back. Turns out he lives in our ward boundaries and shows up sometimes, and he just comes to church sometimes! He's not really interested in talking to the missionaries though. Oh well. I guess it's good that he comes to church??

Coming up on nine months here... time goes by fast. I value it a lot though. It's good to be here, even if it's really dusty.

Thanks for being cool!
Elder Adams

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


I love conference.

Seriously, I can't believe I ever didn't listen to every single talk. You learn so much, not just from the talks themselves but from the Spirit and from patterns in the talks. Things that stood out to me: multiple people talking about The Living Christ and how we should read it. I might go about memorizing it like a lot of other people. Elder Uchtdorf's talk in the morning session was my favorite, about fear not making us love to be obedient was my favorite. I've noticed that. Willingly being obedient and humbling ourselves to accept and act on correction makes the blessings and joy of repentance and obedience really obvious.

Also! A wonderful thing from the last talk, from Elder Cook, that trials do not mean that have lost favor with God, or that we're having blessings taken from us. They're just the next step in our progression. God needs us to be stronger, so He'll give us a burden to carry or push against, like resistance training in athletics. Eventually we become strong enough not only to carry the burden, but to do other things. We develop spiritual strength and skills that contribute to our eternal perfection. We all make mistakes, and God gives us a way to notice and correct them, and increase our strength. What a blessing!

This week was an interesting week. We had exchanges at the beginning of this week, and I was doing spanish work. Sort of. We talked to a lot of people and most of them weren't actually spanish-speaking. While not a lot of them were interested, we did have a lot of good, friendly conversations with people that hopefully brightened their days some. We even met a guy who used to live right next to where the elder I was with was from! I say this a lot, but it really is a small world.

I was promised that we'd be able to find this week if I changed something small. It was a specific thing, something that had almost nothing to do with why I felt we weren't able to find very well, but like Naaman, I did it (albeit grudgingly) and we met a sweet old lady named Marie who lives right next to the church! It was right between conference sessions. She was raised Christian but hasn't gone to a church for a long time, has nine kids, and has had a couple deaths in her family recently. What a blessing it is to be able to share the gospel with her! We're meeting with her again on Wednesday, I hope it goes well.

For district meeting this week we all shared a section of Preach My Gospel that has made us better missionaries. I was thinking on it, and chose to talk about the "Bear Testimony" section in chapter 11. When I was in the MTC, someone told me that my testimony sounded like I was just stating facts. At the time I didn't get it, and thought I just had to put it in different words. Eight months later I see that I not only had to know the doctrine intellectually, and have a testimony to some extent, but to be as effective as I needed to be I had to start on the path of becoming instead of just knowing. That was talked about in conference too, and it helped me see where I am and where I'm going. The plan of salvation is cool that way.

God answers prayers! I was really hoping and praying that there'd be a talk that somehow was like a magic bullet for my problems. It's silly I know, but it worked! There totally was one! So if you didn't experience something similar, it's alright. Studying the words of the prophets helps us receive revelation and strengthen our testimonies, and can be done at any time of the year! They're inspired men (and the talks by women are inspired too!) and their counsel is for us.

Thanks for supporting your missionaries! make sure to watch the church's Easter video:
"The Prince of Peace: Find Lasting Peace through Jesus Christ."

"Rather than resisting evil, He suffered. Rather than compromise, He suffered. Rather than rejecting any of us—though every possible provocation to do so was laid upon Him—He suffered. He outlasted all these provocations. He conquered the forcefulness of force. He defeated all the pressures that push humanity toward enmity and discord. He absorbed the terrible poison of vengeance into Himself and metabolized it by His love. He broke the grip of death. "

Elder Adams