Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Welcoming a new member

Hey guys! Thank you so much for the prayers on Behalf of Jess. The baptism was awesome! We didn't think there was going to be a lot of people there, but we filled the room! That is the best feeling is when you feel the support of the ward at the baptism. We took some great pictures, so you can see them at the bottom of this email. I will have to say Jes is probably the most outgoing person out of all the people I've taught on my mission. She only missed one lesson out of the past 4 weeks we've been teaching her. It was awesome! Everything has gone well. From teaching to baptism. It'll be sad when I don't get to witness miralces like Jess everyday like I do now! Elder Goettsche was able to make it to the Baptism too! So it was cool having a baptism with my MTC companion.

We also got to meet the new mission President and his family! The Hewlett's are awesome! We reminisced about good ol' Centerville. I asked if much had changed, they said "not really" haha. It doesn't look like I've missed much! They are super cool though!! I'm really excited I get to work with them for the next couple weeks. They asked Elder Kelland if I was trunky, he said yes haha but we baptized this week and they were all really impressed. I'm not that trunky!

On Tuesday we did service for a sweet old southern lady that Spencer Smith found while selling pest control. She lived slightly out of our area so we called up her actual Elders and they helped us out. It was awesome. So many centerville-ians!

That's about it! More to come

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Monday, June 26, 2017

Goodbye and Thanks to President and Sister Drake!

Henry was very blessed to serve with these wonderful people 49 of his 52 weeks in the mission field - they will be remembered.

A bike accident and a furry visitor

Alright so transfers happened and I got a new companion! His name is Elder Kelland and he's from Oregon. He's been out for about 11 months and at the end of this transfer he will hit his year mark. He just came from the country so it's been fun showing him around the city.

We had quite the crazy week. A tropical storm was supposed to pass through, so naturally the mission leadership was really freaked out so we had to check in at 12, 5, and 9 every day this past week. We only had one day where it really rained, besides that it was just SUPER humid

I also crashed on my bike super hard this week hahaha elder Kelland saw the whole thing. We are still laughing about it because what happened is I hit a pothole that had water in it so I couldn't tell how deep it was but my front tire went in and didn't come out . I only ended up with some gnarly bruses. My bike is fine, I was just mad that I crashed. I've only crashed 2 times now

One more interesting thing that happened was we had a visitor on our porch a few days ago. Elder Kelland and I had just come home from dinner with a member when we hear this rustling going on outside our door. Elder Kelland looked out the window and said "Holy cow! It's a raccoon!" (Insert raccoon emoji) so we did the only logical thing...took selfies and filmed it. Animal control didn't pick up, so we tried to help the situation, but eventually it went away.

Zone Conference was also this week.. it was sad to see President and Sister Drake for the last time! It was super spiritual, President talked about his goals he set when he was called to be a mission president, and Sister Drake basically gave a summary of what she did segments on (which was basically my entire mission). Then we did farewell testimonies. Even though we still have the whole transfer ahead of us, it was my group's time to get up there and give our testimonies. It was awesome to see all of the missionaries who came out the same time as me talk about all the progress we've made. It was an unforgettable experience for sure!

And to end the week, our investigator finally made it to Church!!!!! We were so excited! She even sent us a text letting us know her alarm went off haha she's awesome! She also decided to bring along her 70 yr old mom with her. One funny thing that happened is the youth had just come back from a Nauvoo trip, so we legit had a few youth go to the Stand and say "I know Joseph Smith died for us". Bless their hearts but we have some definite clearing up to do now haha.

Well that's about it!

See yall next week!

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Last Transfer

So today starts the last transfer. Calls were made on Saturday and Elder Goettsche is getting transferred. So it looks like I'll have a new companion for my last transfer. We spent a good amount of Sunday saying good bye to people. This area is pretty good and Elder Goettsche is really sad to leave. It looks like I'll be "dying" here in Fall Creek!

We had some sweet experiences this week. One in particular was finding this guy named Estaban. Elder Goettsche felt inspired to try a part member family, and when we showed up there was this super prepared guy. He had been talking on the phone with his girlfriend about what God wanted him to do as his "next step". Then we just happened to show up! We taught him the whole Restoration right then and there. The best was when we came back for the return appointment. Since he's YSA we did a mini split with the YSA Elders and Esteban had kept the commitment twice over! That was super cool. He's golden.

We were able to teach Jess some more times this week. She's progressing really well! We taught her a whole bunch this week. She was supposed to come to church but she had an emergency at work and wasn't able to make it :/ please keep her in your prayers!

There is this awesome Polynesian family that fed us this week. I love Polys they feed us so well!! They had a whole bunch of extended family in town and one is a non member and she came to to church so that was cool.

That's about all for this week! Talk to you later.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Stake Conference

We had such a fantastic week! It all started on Tuesday when we used to the new smart sort application in our area books. Smart sort goes through former's and decides which might have potential. We still go by the spirit when making decisions. So anyway, We were in a neighborhood and this Lady named Jess appeared. We decided to try it. When we knocked, Jess answered and said "oh! I've been meaning to call you guys!" That was super unexpected! As we get talking, we find out she's already read the Book of Mormon all the way through and was Fixin' to get baptized. We asked if getting baptized is still something she still wanted to do. "Yeah I think so!" Was the reply. So Jess is super Golden and we've already taught her one other time with a member. The best part is she kept the commitments we've given her.

So that was pretty cool. Stake Conference was also this week. We had a visiting authority. His name is Elder Dube and he's from Zimbabwe. He was a pretty funny guy and I really enjoyed what he talked about. The best part is because it was stake Conference is I got to see Smitty! There was some promptings that helped him come to conference, he's been under the weather lately but he still decided to come. Elder Dube talked and stressed the importance of reading the Book of Mormon, which is was great for Smitty. There were many tender mercies, and seeing a convert and being able to talk with him was so amazing. MISSIONARY WORK IS THE BEST!

Alright y'all that's it for now! Missionary work is bumpin here in Fall Creek!

Elder Blackburn

Monday, June 5, 2017

Miracle Week

Alright so this week had a huge miracle with our Investigator (a Sister). So if you can remember we gave her a chapel tour about two weeks ago. The other members of her household we really upset at her and they had some misconceptions about Mormons and it was a huge mess. There was a lot of persecution and she and her son felt threatened so she texted us saying she didn't want to meet with us anymore. Immediately we felt like we needed to fast with her, so Saturday of two weeks ago we went over and asked if we could all do a fast.  She was still really friendly towards us, so after informing her how to do a fast she was on board. So all last Sunday we fasted and a HUGE miracle happened! When we went to see her on Tuesday she told us The people who were bothering her moved unexpectedly the next morning!!! Wow it was a huge miracle!! We asked her what her next step would be, and she said, "well I should probably go to church" we asked how she'll get there and she told us she would take an uber. And that's what happened! She came to Church!! So many cool and good things are happening. Church was awesome, the testimonies that were born were great and really brought the spirit. Great things are happening!

Sorry for the short email we are currently at a member's house having a big grill for pday!