Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Week 21: Texas A&M, Baptisms and Family History

Aloha!!! This week was a good one. It was jam packed and filled with work. Elder Pesci and I were trying to go for the most lessons that we both have ever had in the mission. A solid 30!!! 30 lessons in one week is already extremely hard, but it is even harder when you are in one of the smallest areas in the mission. By the end of the week we finished with a solid 25. Even though we were just short, it was fun giving it all we got! We worked so hard! Like insanitly hard!! Plus we were so blessed for our efforts.

So last Tuesday we went up to College Station Texas, and we went and played volleyball with our zone. Well on the way up we decided to go to the Texas A&M Football stadium (Kyle Field), and the door was wide open so we decided to go in. We walked inside and there were a lot of workers, and we said hello and went on our way. Not one person told us to leave. We actually got all the way down to the field. It was so sweet!! That stadium is so big and was so sick!!!

Anyways, we have had so much training on a new curriculum. It's called Family History. I'm not sure if you guys have heard of it, but it's actually pretty cool. Because of it, we had a huge miracle come from it. Yesterday we knocked on a door and did the new "family history door approach" to a lady named Hope. She started telling us that she would absolutely love to find her ancestors. We gave her a My Family pamphlet and she was looking through it and kept telling us how happy she was that she can do this. She said that she is going to tell her whole family about it as well. We invited her to our family history class on Wednesday, and she said that she is definitely going to come. Absolutely amazing!!!! Family History can lead to so much. I invite each one of you to fill out a My Family pamphlet because it is a great resource and tool. I have definitely seen the blessings come from doing family history.

On Saturday my old investigator Milton got baptized, and I got permission to go all the way down to Houston to see it. It was amazing!!! It was probably the happiest I have been on my mission. I loved him so much. He is 18 years old and just a stud. The best part about it was that his dad Lorenzo (Elder Christensen and I's recent convert) was able to baptize him. It brought tears to my eyes as Milton came up out of the water with a huge smile on his face!!! This is why I am on a mission. To bring souls and families into the fold of God to live in happiness forever.

I love missionary work. We are all so blessed to have the gospel in our lives. I don't know where I'd be without the gospel. I know we hear that phrase a lot, but honestly, I would be in a rotten place without the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I have seen he miracles come and come and come. It's pretty amazing. 

I love all you guys so much!!! Remember who you are and what you stand for. Because y'all are children of God!!!

Love Elder Heiner

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Week 20: I'm On TOP Of The WORLD, HEY!

I'm still in the Wild West. Everyone looks like cowboys, and says y'all, yes sir, and yes ma'am, and I have started to say all of those. I fell like a real Texan. I even want to get some cowboy boots but they are just so darn expensive. But there was a few things this week that stood out over the rest and I'm excited to tell all a y'all. 

On Tuesday we were going around and nothing was happening. We Elder Pesci and I both were sick, and were not doing super hot. We were going to go back to the apartment and reboot when right out of the blue, a miracle happened. I had a really strong impression to go over to a less active members house that missionaries had tried to get into contact with countless times, and had no luck. Well we went over to a home (they were a less active and part member family) and we were able to talk to a lady (who is not a member) on her front porch. She told us how she wants a perfect body, because she has had so many problems, and we shared how one day you will be able to have your perfect body, and we can actually explain this to you next time we come. So she told us to come by on Saturday. We would have never gone over there if I hadn't listened to the spirit. I know that the spirit leads and guides us, and we must listen to him because he will bless us and others. I know her life will get better as she follows and learns more of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Heavenly Father is guiding each one of us, but if we aren't listening, and keeping his commandments, we won't know which way to turn. 

So I am deathly afraid of heights!!! On Saturday we were helping a member in our ward finish his giant car port, and we had a lift thingamajig, to help us put the car port together. Once we finished the car port (which took like 6 hours with 5 guys) Elder Pesci got in the lift thingamajig and took it all the way up to it's highest point. So basically I was on top of the world, Hey. It was super scary but a lot of fun. But I was ready to get off of it haha.

Yesterday we had the opportunity to go to a mission meeting. We had Elder Packer (President Boyd K Packer's son) come speak to us. He focused his topics on faith, the culture of the spirit and how we can receive revelation. He talked about how almost everything we do is related to faith. Like when we go to the store, we have faith that we will be able to get the groceries and make it back to our apartment. Faith is everything, and when we have a greater amount of faith, we will be blessed. 

This week I want each one of you to pray for someone, I don't care who it is, but pray for a person who you really care about. I have found that when I pray for others I am able to feel the love of our Heavenly Father more than when I just pray for myself. Have a great week. I love you all. Remember who you are and return to some place with honor.

Love Elder Heiner

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Week 19: A Small Town in Texas called Navasota

Guess what? I'm in the middle of nowhere!!! Navasota Texas is my new area, and it has about 7000 people in it. Back home, whenever I thought of Texas, I thought of Cowboys and Ranch's and wide open plains. Then I went to Houston, and it wasn't like that at all, but here, I'm finally out in Texas. Transfers were crazy! I'm up here with an Elder named Elder Pesci. He is an awesome Elder. He has taught me a lot already in the week that I have been with him. Since we have such a small area, we have to work extra hard, and I like it!!!

A few things that happened this past week that stood out the most: I had the weirdest lesson of my life, we went to the temple to do baptisms for two recent converts and three of the youth in our branch who got to go for the first time, and I had THE biggest roller-coaster P day in the history of history. So let's jump into it!!!

My first day in Navasota we taught a lesson with to a man who is an English Professor at Sam Houston College and so smart. We were planning to teach him about the Restoration, but he had already been taught that lesson like 10 years ago. He told us that Elders 10 years ago had taught him and they drank Ice Tea together (I feel bad for those Elders because they probably didn't know what they were drinking haha). So we were prompted to share the Plan of Salvation with him. But right before we started he's like: evil really fascinates me. I was like "what!!!!!" I tried to tell him that everything has its opposites, and he's like: " no everything doesn't have its opposites". He wouldn't let us talk and this guy was just nuts. As we started up again on the P.O.S., he told us that stuff didn't really interest him, and that he is going to let God know all of that information. We then showed him the hope of God's light, but I forgot to explain the video in the beginning so he thought I was insulting him, when that wasn't the purpose at all. We were trying to tell him, that it is by the power of prayer and fasting that you can know the truth of all things but he took it in the wrong way. Overall, it was the craziest, weirdest and most frustrating lesson I've had. I was so excited to get out of there!!! But it was a great learning experience. Heavenly Father is pretty humorous because Elder Pesci and I just laugh every time we think of him.

The most spiritual part of the week was when we had the opportunity to go to the temple with a recent convert family named the Fairs. Billy and Maddy are recent converts and we got the opportunity to go to the temple with 3 other families who were going to the temple for the first time. It was the!!!! A older sister, who looks just like grandma (it's weird, they look so similar) brought like 100 names to do baptisms for the dead, and it was awesome!!!! The spirit was so strong and it was awesome because we had our Navasota family doing baptisms together. Billy and Maddy's sister, Melaine who was the first one to get baptized in there family, came as well, and it was her dream to have her family go to the temple together. The spirit touched everyone's hearts that night.

So P day was pretty weird. It had its super highs and lows. As a district we played Fruit ball. It's like baseball but with fruit. It was sooo much fun. Then a little later we went to the Navasota river because it is super full, and I pulled a super sad move; I locked the car keys in the car. We had to wait for a guy to come unlock the door for an hour and 15 minutes. Then that night we were driving and we were inches away from hitting a deer that bolted across the road. Oooohhhh man it was a roller coaster of a day.

I have a new favorite Mormon Message that I like to share with people, and it is "The Will of God". I love it because our Heavenly Father is the Gardner and sometimes we feel like we have been cut and can't grow back, but Heavenly Father gives us trials so we can be stronger, because he knows the past, present and future; and I know he knows what we need. So if any of you are going through a hard time, pray to our Heavenly Father for help. He knows you, and loves you, and will not let you falter forever. 

I love all of you. I love hearing about your lives. Maddy I'm so happy that you are still positive as ever and are fighting through Junior year. Anamarie I know you are going to be a professional cello player by the time I get home. Brett, you are going to easily beat me in basketball, and William is going to be a professional cleaner by the time I get back as well. Thanks Mom and Dad for all the support. I love you guys so much.

Love Elder Heiner

Monday, November 2, 2015

Week 18: Flooding is FUN!!

Houston floods
It's so crazy how long I've already been out. Yesterday was my 4 month mark, and it honestly doesn't feel like I have been on a mission for 4 months. It's probably because the weeks go so darn fast. Just like this last one. This week was fun. I got to go on 2 exchanges this week. Exchanges are always fun because I get the opportunity to go be companions with someone else in my zone. The first one was with Elder Pogroszewski, and we were in his area. It was a lot of fun. Elder P. has a ton of energy and is super funny. He also is a great teacher. He is pretty amazing at it, considering the fact that we both came out together. We had this amazing lesson with a girl named Angela. She is not keeping very many commitments, which was super frustrating. She also won't give up smoking. So we taught her about fasting, and showed her the "Hope of Gods light" Mormon message (we share this to a lot of people, and it is amazing because investigators, less actives and strong members, can all relate to this message, in some way or another). We told her that the only way you can find happiness, is first pray to God and then fast to be able to receive an answer to your challenges. We told her that she may not even like the answer that she gets, but trust God, and everything will be OK. She told us that she was just thinking that right as we said it. It was funny because it kind of scared her. But I know the spirit taught that lesson, not us. But overall it was a great lesson. 

The other exchange was with Elder Bonzo. He is in a biking area, so we got to ride bikes the whole time. A lot of lessons fell through which was super sad, but we had one lesson with a guy named Daniel. He has a baptism date for November 15, and is really excited. He has been through a ton. He had addictions to drugs and alcohol, and his life was getting worse and worse. A few months before Elder Bonzo had met him, he had given everything up, and wanted help from God. It is no coincidence that Elder Bonzo and Sellers found him. We shared with him the "Hope of Gods light" video again, and he related to it almost exactly. It was crazy. He was so open with us about his past, and I was grateful for the opportunity to meet him and help him. We even got him to meet a couple of YSA's in our ward, which was perfect for him. Fellowshippers are so important btw. On our way back home, the wind had gotten really bad and it was blowing straight in our faces and we had to bike 3 miles to get back home. That moment when you are peddling as hard as you can and you are going a good 4 miles per hour, yeah that was us. When we got back to the apartment, I collapsed on the floor because my legs hurt so bad. Our exchange went into the next day as well (Saturday). Saturday morning it was raining so hard. We kept getting flash flood warnings at like 2 am in the morning on our phone. There were so many streets that were flooded. It was crazy. On Saturday we did a lot of street contacting. Contacting on a bike is so much better than in a car (because in a car it is a little bit more difficult for obvious reasons). It was nice talking to everyone we passed, and saying hi to everyone. It was weird when we switched back, to not be on a bike anymore because I felt like I wasn't working as hard, it was sad :(

More flooded streets

This week we also had Zone meeting and learned a lot of great new ways to teach. President Mortensen has amazing ideas. The scripture that we are going to start using a lot is Acts 19:1-6. A lot of times when people tell us that they have been baptized by the another church, its like a mechanism goes off in our brains like oh no . . . But now when people tell us that they have been baptized by another church, we are going to show so much happiness. Because what they did was a great act of faith, except it wasn't by the authority. Well the Acts scripture explains how many disciples were baptized under Johns name and not under the Saviors. So they were baptized again. This is the same principle (except I am leaving out a lot of details). So we need to help those who have already been baptized that they are amazing for following the example of Jesus Christ, but that they need to be baptized again under the name of Jesus Christ and by the power of God.

Our zone (take 1)

Well, transfers are tomorrow and I am leaving Liberty. It's been a fun 3 months, but now President is sending me off to some new place. I am excited to serve wherever I go. I know that the Lord will help me, just as he has helped me serve here. It's time to leave my baby area and start a new. I will be leaving a lot of great people, a great ward, and a great view everyday. Already in these 2 transfers I have started to see a change in me. I have become much closer to my Heavenly Father and my savior Jesus Christ. There is no way that I could be here on a mission without their help. From that first week in the MTC, that felt like an eternity, to now, I know that my Savior Jesus Christ has been carrying me through the tough times. I know that he is carrying all of you as well. I encourage you all to solamente (just) think of positive things. If negativity comes, find something positive. I have found that a lot of the people that don't have too much out here, are so happy. We are blessed with so much.

Our zone (take 2)

I love you all. I hope, wherever you are, remember that your savior KNOWS YOU. He is helping you in your hardest of times as well as the easiest of times. Stay Classy my friends.

Love Elder Heiner