Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tracting, chapel tours and time in the temple

Weekly Email
Elder Mountain with Elder Jewkes. They are having a blast together!
This is one of 2 text messages/pics I received this week. Love that smile!!

Glad to hear all of you are doing well! That is so awesome about the L-----'s, man I am so excited about that. They are such good people, they are so ready for the gospel. I know it's easier said than done but you guys got to give them a Book of Mormon. That's how people find out if the message we know to be true, is true for themselves. There is so much power in the Book of Mormon. They are ready, I know it. Great job working with the missionaries so much. That makes me happy, haha. There are certain families in wards that can make it or break it for missionaries, I'm sure you guys are a strength to have for them. This week has been good. We have kept the tracting up, found a few more people that way. Had our first return lesson with an older lady named B-----. She read a few chapters in the Book of Mormon we gave her and found it to be very interesting. She is a Grandma Beve archaeological type, haha and when we were explaining the Book of Mormon and what it talks about by using the pictures in the front (which by the way is a super easy way to introduce the BoM to someone maybe for the L-----) she said 'I knew Columbus was not the first to sail across, no fair that guy gets all the credit' haha. Never had that response before but hey whatever gets their interest. We hopefully will see her tomorrow for another lesson. We took C----- on a chapel tour this week that was awesome. He really enjoyed it and we had a good lesson afterwards. He just has to read the Book of Mormon and pray, I know that he will receive an answer. At first he listened to us just to be nice and see what his son who is on a mission is teaching but now he is starting to question and want to know for himself. We found a part member family from tracting that we are super excited about. A few of their neighbors had mentioned them in the past but we had never met them before. They seem super ready and really open. They laid out their concerns right in our first conversation and they feel that if we can satisfy those they see nothing holding them back. Their concerns are about the three degrees of glory and continued revelation but that will all be solved by reading the Book of Mormon, which they never have before. That's all missionary work is really, reading and praying and everything else falls into place. On Saturday we had a really neat experience, helping clear out the furniture in the temple that was there for the Open House so that they can put folding chairs in for the dedication. It was a long day, we were there from 8am to 12pm, going up and down stairs with tables and couches and stuff. It was a really cool experience though. The spirit  there was so strong, even when we were doing work. It was cool to look around at your own pace and see all of the details. It was an awesome opportunity. excited to go to the dedication on Sunday, as well. Had a really good week of studies this week. One of the elders I live with, Elder Parsons, who has been out for a while, has shown me how to study differently and has shown me some really cool insights. It has been really awesome. You've got to know the gospel and live it before you can teach it. Wish I read more back home but luckily we can repent, haha but seriously, I love reading and what I have gotten out of it.  I want that to be the case on my mission and off. Looks like you guys had fun this week, glad you are all well!!! love you 

Elder Mountain

A bit of his email to me (Ma):
 "I know that Christ lives. I know that he knows and loves us. I know that he has shown us the way to have peace and joy in our lives. I know that the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. Anyone who reads its pages can not deny it to be so. I love this gospel!" 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

New companion and 30 member in-home visits!

Weekly Email
Elder Mountain with his new companion, Elder Jewkes.

Man what a week! So transfers were on Wednesday. I know I would be getting a new companion, so I was anxious who it would be. In transfer meeting me and my buddy, Elder Jewkes, sat next to each other having a small amount of hope that there may be a chance we would be together. So president starts calling out all of the companionship's and Elder Jewkes and I realize we are some of the only ones that haven't been called out and we get excited that it might actually happen. Then president calls "Elder Mountain with Elder Jewkes" and we couldn't believe it, haha. We have been serving in the same district since I left the Spanish ward, so about 4 months or so. The next thing that happens, getting transferred in the same district. It has been awesome! We get along like me and Scotty or Sloan did back home. A lot of laughing, which makes it a blast. Elder Jewkes is from South Jordan Utah. He also came out the exact same time I did, both been out 6 months. I really, really hope we are together for a while. The work has taken off since he has gotten here, which has been amazing. We had a great lesson with K--, she went to the temple this week, she told her Pastor about it, and he gave her tons of anti-material. We showed her briefly how ridiculous it all was and it really is starting to discredit her Pastor in her mind. She doesn't understand why they would attack us so much and why what they say twists the truth so much. We taught a lesson about the Godhead which she really enjoyed. She is a logic thinker and she said it just makes sense that the Father and the Son are literally a father and a son, not one being. Our goal now is to get her to church. We are going to the temple with C---- tomorrow, super excited about that. We had a really awesome lesson with the M------- family. The mother of the family is in-active and her husband, her 14 year old son and her 11 year old daughter aren't members. Sister M------really wants her kids to learn about the gospel, They have never been to church and can make a decision what to do on their own. They are really bright kids and giving it some serious thought and are really sincere about finding out if it is what they want to do. We have been super busy with the church tours we have been giving. The members are starting to catch the vision of the idea. We've got to get all of these friends that they took to the temple in to the church. Elder Jewkes and I decided that every moment we aren't teaching an investigator to be in a members home sharing a message about the gospel, like a super quick 15 minute FHE. We ended up doing 30 of those this week, which was a lot, haha, but man does it build member trust. When they see us teaching and feel the Spirit, they are so much more comfortable about us talking with their friends. Elder Jewkes and I still can't get over the fact we are companions. It's gonna be a blast with him. I am so excited to still be in our wards, the members here are so awesome. Brother Gaytan for an example, one of our Ward Mission Leaders, went into Relief Society this Sunday and did this object lesson with this really good chocolate and compared how the gospel is sweet to the taste. He told this amazing story and testimony about his Grandfather, who just passed away, he was converted in Mexico by a friend who wouldn't stop inviting him to read the Book of Mormon. Then he had us bear our testimony, it was awesome. The members here are great. Man there was so many funny things that happened this week, like we were at dinner and this little kid who is 8 was making waffles and he said he was gonna make a 'nutritious' waffle. While we were talking with the parent, he piled chopped strawberries literately 6 inches high on one tiny waffle. When we looked over, he had the most excited face, like in a cartoon about to chow down, haha. But more importantly, the work is doing great, I feel the spirit more in my life than I ever have. Feeling the spirit many, many times a day, almost constantly, really amazing. It's incredible to see how the Lord leads and guides those who will listen and obey. I know Christ lives. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know anyone who reads it with a sincere heart will gain that same witness. I know that prayer is an amazing gift from our Heavenly Father. I love talking with him.

Anyways, hope you guys are well!!!
love and miss ya!!!
Elder Mountain 

Distric photo time! 

His famous hash-browns! Looks delish!
Still can't believe he cooks!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Baptism and staying at East Guadalupe Road :)

Weekly Email

E--- baptism day!

So the big news first, transfers!!! Found out last night that I am staying in the area and Elder Ault is being transferred. It will be my fourth transfer in the area, I am getting to know the wards pretty well, haha. I am excited to stay. We have a lot of potential and I really really love the wards and the members. Every companionship in the zone is changing one way or another so its gonna be a lot of new faces. Anxious, of course, to find out who my new companion will be. Elder Wilson is being transferred, who has been in the apartment for 3 transfers, we have got along great, sad to see him go. The baptism was so awesome!! E--- is the man, he took a week off work to study the Book of Mormon and prepare for his baptism. The ward he lives in supported him amazingly. There were some families from the ward we cover along with his ward that he lives in and there were over 100 people there! it was awesome to see. He really has become a great friend. You guys gotta meet him some day. The other guy in white in the picture is Brother Murphy, who lives in our ward, man is he a spiritual giant, haha. He has taught me a lot about teaching and improving as a missionary and just about life in general. I have really enjoyed being in their home often. E--- is still going to face a lot of trials but now he has so much more help, after being baptized people have such a stronger, more direct connection with Heavenly Father and the Spirit. Other than the baptism we had a good last week of the transfer. We had a good lesson with S-----, first one we had in a while with her. Talked about Nephi building the ship and how we can learn from how Nephi asks the Lord where the ore is to make tools, he does not ask where the shipyard is at to buy a ship or ask where the lumberyard is. He starts with the beginning step. A lot of the times in life we have problems and we ask the Lord to solve it but we forget to see what the first step is. We have to act and ask for help and guidance along the way. C---- was not able to go the temple this week but we are going with him tomorrow hopefully. We were able to go with some friends of some members who came in town from Tennessee, super country family, haha. But man they were so golden, asking a million questions and prying our brain about it all. Wish they lived here. We will get some missionaries over there somehow. It really is amazing to see how the temple softens hearts and really gets people thinking. Lately we really have been getting the chapel tours going in the wards. We are starting with the leaders in the ward to get them prepared for what it's like. It will be what the push is after the open house, especially in this stake. Had a meeting with the Stake President yesterday and man he reminds me a ton of Brother Steele (a Brother in our ward, was actually Nate's seminary teacher) in 20 years, haha, even is a car mechanic I found out. He just has a funny sense of humor and is very down to earth. Man all of the snow you guys got is crazy. It's in the 50's or 60's here, no sign of any rain at all. I heard from a member about the traffic jam in Atlanta, that's crazy. I can't imagine being stuck in that or being stick in school, haha, i bet that was insane. Love you guys and miss ya!!! 
Elder Mountain

The 2 sets of missionaries that helped teach E---.

E--- and Brother Murphy