Tuesday, February 9, 2016

February and more miracles!

We forgot to post Henry's email last week, so below are two in a row - there is a story that continues from one week to the next, so maybe it was meant to be  :)


We had quite a few memorable experiences this week. I am going to save
the best for last, but I am going to share another great experience

So we have been teaching this teenager named Marcos for a while now.
He wants to get baptized but his mom has no interest so it's hard to
help him progress. He's been reading the Book of Mormon and prays
everyday now, but he hasn't been putting for the faith and coming to
church. So while we were waiting to teach him one day this week (he
had to go buy some tortillas for his mom real quick) with Brother
Griffin when this one guy just randomly approached us and turned to
brother Griffin and said, " you're brother Griffin, right?" And
brother Griffin had this weird expression on his face
And then said "wait, I know you! You're Noel right?" We had no idea
what was going on, but we started talking to this guy named Noel. Come
to find out, he had recognized Brother Griffin from church about four
years ago when he was 15. Noel back then was going to our church on
Broadway street with his aunt who was taking the missionary lessons.
The aunt ended up getting baptized, which then led to her feeding the
missionaries a ton. So Noel has been around missionaries before, and
he's super familiar with the lessons because he sat in on them with
his aunt. For some reason, he never got baptized, but what happened is
his aunt soon was diagnosed with cancer and died. Super sad, but this
led to Noel's family splitting and he lost contact with the
missionaries. Now four years later, he just moved into the same
complex where Marcos is at, and he came right up to us. So we taught
him the Restoration and he was like "yeah I believe everything" and he
asked for a copy of the Book of Mormon. It was sweet! The only problem
is it's gonna be hard to teach him because he works at the airport and
has a crazy schedule. We were super excited to get this new
investigator this week.

Now it's time for the big news.

Two Fridays ago, we were informed that there was going to be a tri
mission conference on Saturday the January 30th (yesterday), combining
the Houston south, Houston east, and Houston mission as we were going
to hear from speakers Lawrence E. Corbridge of the Seventy, and
PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON, President of the Quorum of the Twelve
Apostles. The Senior Apostle ! So that's what happened yesterday. I
know this is super out of the blue because I had forgotten to tell you
in my last letter that he was coming, but we got to hear from him
yesterday! And he wanted to shake all of our hands, so I have shaken
the hand of the next Prophet lol. It was sweet, all of us lined up
(about 700 of us, and they handed out hand sanitizer before so it
wasn't going to be germy) and as I waited in line, I was getting super
psyched up, and when it was my turn, I looked him in the eyes, and
besides the fact that his were green, they were absolutely filled with
Charity and love. The man is amazing. After we had been re-seated, a
missionary next to me said, "can't you feel that this man is a man of
God??" And I agreed. He could only be an Apostle of the Lord . It
was a remarkable experience
He shared some wonderful Insights into passages of D&C, and the Book
of Mormon. He made some prophetic promises and blessings. And he asked
all the mission presidents and their wives to stand and share a
message they want all of us to hear. The overarching theme was love.
It was wonderful. All the stake presidents of the areas were there,
along with the temple president and his wife. There was so much
righteous power in that room. President Nelson is a funny guy, but one
insight I will share with you that he gave us is how much of a tool
the Book of Mormon is. He was talking about the gathering of Israel
before the second coming, and a little about the tribes of Israel, and
then President Nelson spoke about how Israel would be gathered. And
this is what I got out of it: out of all the tribes and their records
of Jesus Christ, Ephraim and the Book of Mormon are the Lord's tool of
choice for the harvesting and gathering of Israel. That to me shows
how much the Lord himself values the Book of Mormon, and the amount of
faith we should be putting into the Book of Mormon. The Lord could
have chosen anything, but he decided to use the Book of Mormon. Pretty

Pretty legit week!

Elder Blackburn

Hey everyone! I need to start off by apologizing for forgetting to
share one of the highlights from the tri-mission conference that
happened two Saturdays ago. Since we were combined with the South
mission, I made sure to see if I could find elder Justin Smith, a true
VHS bro from home. And sure enough, the first person I saw when I
walked into the gym was Elder Smith! It was legit, and we kept
accidentally calling each other by our first names since that's how
we've know each other through all of Junior High and Highschool. But
we eventually remembered how to missionary and we caught up on how
life has been the past 7 months. It was a tender moment, we took a
picture and I'll attach it below. It was weird seeing someone from "my
other life" and really he's the only person from home & school that
I've seen in person on my mission outside the MTC. It was sweet!

This week was a little bit slower than normal, missionary work wise,
but we still had some tender mercies that made everything worth it. We
get a lot of old, random referrals from many years ago that have been
floating around until they land in Broadway, so we spent a good
portion of our week trying to reduce the number of uncontacted
referrals we have in our pool. It took us to some areas we haven't
been before in our area, and one eventually led into a good ol bible
bash. I was a little rusty on my old and New Testament knowledge, but
eventually we just had to walk away because he wouldn't accepting the
invitation to read the Book of Mormon. In my spare time after this
event, I eventually found my self reading under "salvation" under
"True to the Faith." It points out some good info on how we should
respond when people ask if we are 'saved''. Because to truly
understand the question we must reply with the question of 'saved from
death, or saved from sin?' I recommend reading from that section :)

The true highlight of this week was us re-finding our miracle
investigator, Jessica. We realized after we had initially contacted
her a few weeks ago, we totally forgot to get her phone number! So
we've been trying to stop by her house but with no luck..until this
past week it was a little bit later in the day when she answered.
We were super excited to see her again and to hear what has happened
since last time we saw her. She said that she wasn't able to attend
church last Sunday due to a family gathering, but hopefully she'll
come in the future. We asked how her Book of Mormon reading has been
going, and get this: she hasn't been able to read because her daughter
has been hogging the book and reading so much that her mom hasn't had
the chance to! Isn't that cool?? Needless to say, we gave Jessica her
own copy of the Book of Mormon so she can start reading as well. We
haven't met the daughter yet, apparently she's super shy but we have a
lesson scheduled with both of them this Wednesday. Pray it works out!
We are super excited to teach them!

I'll attach some photos we took while we were downtown. Since it's
outside the mission By just a little bit, it was a unique
experience to be down there. Elder Smith said his AP has been pistol
whipped lol.

Take care!
Elder Blackburn

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