Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Another week has flown by and too many exchanges!

This past week went by super fast once again!

I hope all is well at home! We are well into September now, and I hope
you guys are enjoying Labor Day weekend!

As I said in the title, we had a whole bunch of exchanges this week!
And to top it all off, we had an AMAZING fast Sunday yesterday!

So starting on Monday, I had an exchange with Elder Hobbs. Elder Hobbs
came into the MTC with me, and we knew each other in the MTC, so we
were looking forward to this exchange. Our only worries were that we
were only a month old, so we prayed that we would be able to find all
of our appointments (thank you, GPS) and be able to function well as
newbies. Both our companions are district leaders, and there was a
leadership conference in Houston they had to go to, so that's why
Elder Hobbs and I were left together. We ended up calling this
exchange the Orphan Adventure.

The Orphan Adventure started Monday evening, all Tuesday, and
Wednesday morning, where we would then exchange back at a Zone
conference we had. But what was the miracle was the crazy amount of
success we had. We started in Moss Bluff (my area) and halfway we
switched to Jennings (Elder Hobbs's area). In Moss Bluff, we knocked
on some doors and found some potential investigators. We found a
 super solid man and we're going back to see him on Thursday. 
We also gave him a Book of Mormon and he's
definitely going to read. Then, when we switched to Jennings, we had
some more great success. We knocked on 7 Doors, had 6 contacts, and 4
return appointments. That's over 50% on returns! It felt so good. It
was weird because it seemed like everyone we talked to wanted to hear
our message. Elder Hobbs and I felt like an Alma and Amulek that had
just started on our missions.

After we switched back on Wednesday, we had an amazing Zone Conference
in Beaumont, Texas. President and Sister Drake shared some really
wonderful insights, as did the APs. The APs actually had a very
spiritual demonstration of hour sacred prayer really is, and how much
of a change we'd make if Heaven Father was right besides us, listening
and talking back to us right then and there. It was a great, first
zone conference.

And of course, later in the week, in Friday we had more exchanges! I
took Elder Hansen with me and went back to Moss Bluff. Elder Hansen
and Elder Heath are the other elder companionship in our District. We
had a fun first day biking around in some super muddy rain. We went
and biked to some potentials, all while biking through deep puddles,
and getting super soaked and muddy. We also managed to find a guy who
is super interested. At first he only wanted a pamphlet. Then I
explained the pamphlet. Then he really wanted a Book of Mormon. Sadly,
he said he is very thorough in his research, so he told us to come
back in a year. We'll see about that! The next day, after we dried
out, we had some amazing success before we exchanged back. In the 2
hours we spent contacting, we had 11 contacts and a return
appointment! That was a huge blessing. That same day, the sisters had
another baptism.  Expect some great news next week on another baptism!

But really the day I felt the most spiritually edified was yesterday,
Fast Sunday. It was my first fast Sunday out in the field, and I told
myself if I wanted it to go smooth, we need to find people to teach so
we can sit down and not get super fatigued. And the Lord blessed us
beyond measure. EVERYONE (okay, maybe except one person) but I mean
EVERYONE we had scheduled to talk to was home. Which does not happen.
And every contact we had was interested in our message. We had 5
lessons, 4 Book of Mormons, and 4 contacts, and one baptismal date! I
don't know how it all happened, but similar to Tuesday, It just felt
like everyone wanted us, like everyone wanted to hear our message.
Everyone person we contacted wanted a Book of Mormon. I honestly just
felt a huge out pouring from heaven because this does not happen.
Where we expected to find rejection and hate, we found acceptance and
love. If fasting really was the cause of our success, we are
definitely going to do it more often. Honestly, even right now I can't
get over how much love we felt yesterday. Everything just came
together spiritually, I cannot comprehend it. I said a huge prayer of
gratitude when we came home after yesterday. I am going to continue my
gratitude by preparing those people for baptism.

Anyways, that's my week! My spiritual insight for you guys is 1 Nephi
7: 16-17. Laman and Lemuel are angry with Nephi, so they bind him with
cords. Nephi then prays for deliverance and his bands are loosed. My
insight is relate this to the adversary and his spiritual bindings.
Think deep! Love you guys!


Elder Blackburn

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