Monday, May 26, 2014

Love this Church!!!


So we met mike at the Ward BBQ last week and we taught him a quick Restoration lesson in the kitchen... in the middle of everyone. He was asking about the lost 116 pages... and I knew this was going to be good. He came to church the next day and then we set an appointment to come on Tuesday

Some background info on mike. He is nondenominational and comes from a VERY strong baptist background... so he loves the Bible. He gained a testimony of Christ in prison. He lives with an active member from our ward, Dennis and his mom. 

Tuesday, we decided to reteach the Restoration and even brought the Apostacy kit that mom made me with the cups. It was awesome. We had a really good discussion and then at the end, we asked him if he had any questions. And he did... About Spirit Prison and Baptisms for the Dead....

Those are two biggies! Needless to say we were there for like 2 hours and then scheduled another lesson for the next day. I said a closing prayer and afterwards he lifts a finger and says, "Wait I need to say something." And says his own prayer. He asked Heavenly Father to truly let him know if this church is true and what we were teaching him is true. It was such a great prayer. 

As we were leaving the driveway, Dennis' mom comes up to us and says that she doesn't feel comfortable sitting in on the lessons. She loved the lesson and even remembered what it was, but she told us that she is not a good example because she still smokes and drinks and couldn't feel the spirit. She started crying and saying that she just felt so guilty... We told her that we would love to have her sit in on the lessons and I know that it will be exactly what she needs if she is willing to change. I hope that she will continue with us. 

Wednesday we invited two Recently Returned Sister Missionaries to come to Mike's lesson. Two that know the Bible really well. All day I was studying the Plan of Salvation and the Bible. It was intense. I was so nervous but the lesson turned out so well! He loved it! We asked him to be baptized and he said he would if he found out. He said he is just having a hard time leaving his church and what he has grown up with. I told him, "Mike! You don't have to leave any of that behind. What you know is perfectly in line what we believe. We just want to add more." 

I know that he knows it is true! I know that he has received an answer! 

KP & Isaaclyn

I just love these two! They are so awesome! 

On Tuesday we extended an earlier baptismal date for June 7th and as soon as Sister Huber said that they both got the biggest smiles on their face! We taught them the first half of the Plan of Salvation and they have such a strong testimony of the Atonement. I talked about how if you split up the word it first says "At" and then "One". How when we repent and are forgiven, we grow closer to Heavenly Father and becoming "At one" with him. 

KP loves all the guys in the ward and even refers to them as "Brother" and then their first name. So we went to Brother Cole's house on Friday and taught them the last half of the Plan of Salvation. Before we started we asked KP to give us a summary of the first half and he taught all of us! It was amazing! He was even talking about the Atonement and being "At one". At the end, Isaaclyn prayed and asked that we may remember Jesus Christ and the Atonement. 

It is amazing how much they are learning and growing! Before Tuesday they didn't even know what the Atonement meant, and now they are teaching us about what the Atonement is! 

Saturday was David's baptism and they were able to come. The spirit was so strong and they enjoyed the service. Afterwards they came to the Open House and the White Oak Sisters gave them a tour. We were giving David's brother a tour and afterwards KP asks me, "So Sister Loo, I just want to make sure that everything is ok for our baptisms onJune 7th." and I said, "Of course!" He was telling everyone that night about his baptism. He is SO excited.

Sunday comes around and they are participating in Sunday school and loving church. Afterwards, KP comes up and asks when we are meeting because he wants to make sure that we go over 2 Nephi 31, the chapter we assigned them. They are holding us accountable!


So this week we told David we wanted to be in contact with him every day just so that we could make sure that he was alright and still ready to be baptized on Sunday

We planned to meet with him Tuesday... then he got called to work. 

Planned for Wednesday... Work at 10:00.

Planned for Thursday at 8:00 so we could teach before work at 10:00... he gets called in at 8:00

So our last chance effort was for Friday at 8:00 because we still had to teach him half of the commandments. Sister Huber and I fasted and prayed that we would be able to meet with him so that he could still get baptized. It was interesting because usually I would be stressing out, but I felt totally calm. I knew that he was going to get baptized. We were just going to face a bit of opposition before that happened. 

We were able to teach him... in about 45 minutes, The law of Chastity, Ten Commandments, Follow the Prophet, Word of Wisdom, Law of Tithing, and the Law of the Fast. It was a lot. And then afterwards he was interviewed.

James told him that he would pick him and his brother! up at 3:30 the next day for his baptism at 4:30.

Saturday comes around and we are filling the font and getting everything ready... On the way there I tell Sister Huber, "Wow. This is great. We haven't faced any opposition. It's unusual." 

Well I don't know why i said that because I totally jinxed us! James calls us at 3:30 and tells us that David isn't home and no one is answering the door. Great. We call his mom and his friends. No one knows where he is. David has no phone and so there is no way to get in contact with him. So James just waits thinking that he is just running a bit late because he might of gotten a call to go to work. 

Well a half an hour passes and still no David. Our investigator is MIA. It turns 4:30. Still no David and everyone is sitting in the room waiting for the baptism to start.

We decide to just cancel and reschedule. Bishop get up and asks me to say a couple of words and then we would have a mini testimony meeting since Isaaclyn and Kp are there. So I get up and thank everyone for coming and bear my testimony on enduring to the end. During it, Sister huber leaves to the hallway to answer a phone call... So after I'm done I leave to see what is going on... David is home!!!!!

Bishop is up talking and then everyone gets up and talks about how they will be excited to support David when he gets baptized... and Sister Huber and I are just waiting to tell everyone, "HE IS ON HIS WAY! THERE IS STILL GOING TO BE A BAPTISM!"

We tell bishop and finish testimonies since it will take 30 minutes for David and James to drive over! They get there and they quickly change... And we have the baptism and James confirms the Holy Ghost to him afterwards. And guess what?! His brother, Joshua, was able to be there to support him! It was great! After all that it was still able to happen and we were able to make it to the open house on time! 

David and Joshua came to church the next day! Joshua loved it! James jokingly said to him after church, "Joshua, so when are you getting baptized?" And he said, "umm... whenever." Oh so exciting!!!! Soon that whole family will come to know the truth! I only wish his mom could have been there! Seriously so awesome that a couple of months ago Sister Walker and I were teaching his mom the Restoration on the doorstep and Saturday her son was baptized and received the Holy Ghost. The church is true!

Church Open House

The Church Open House and Ice Cream Social was a huge success!!!! Viet even surprised us and came after work! Also we gave Danielle's mom a Church Tour!

It was awesome! Everyone loved the Blue Bell Ice Cream and they all stayed late playing volleyball!

Oh I love this gospel and I love being a missionary! I'm seriously so grateful to be here and don't know who I would have been without this wonderful, testimony building experience.

Love y'all!

Sister Loo

Scooter runs with Laura T. 
Golfing on Sis Huber Hooked! 

Papusa's!!!... Tupu is going to love this stuff in a couple of weeks! 
Dinner on Thursday.
Apparently there is a tradition that all the
missionaries slide down the banister.  
Church open house and Ice Cream Social...can't wait!  
Ice cream for dayz!

David's baptism :)
David and James after the baptism.
with Viet...
More from the ice cream social 
Some displays from the ice cream social and church open house. 

Ice cream social & volleyball 
Remember the weekly taco trucks...?
Well, Sister Huber and I are doing weekly doughnut runs on P-day morning.
With Rochelle, she is the sweetest thing!
More Texas bumper stickers.  Gotta love Texas!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Satan is trying his hardest... but we will fight!

Devil Dog

Everyone in Texas has pets... and not just one, multiple. So when we went to visit a potential investigator, Karen, and she had a dog it was no big deal. Except this dog was evil. He would not stop barking. We brought Laura with us and as soon as she opened her mouth to say the prayer... Bark!

He was so distracting... Not to mention the Kanye West and Drake playing in the background too... But we got through the lesson and none of those distractions seemed to even phase Karen.

I went to hand her a Book of Mormon and Invite her to read and as soon as I did that... Bark! Bark! Bark! The dog had jumped up on me and started growling and barking. It was so scary! I freaked out... Oh the little cunning ways of Satan... But you know what?! She still got that Book of Mormon. So good try Satan. Good try.

Joseph Smith and the Temple of Doom

So Monday we got a text message from Alfreda of a YouTube link... and that is never good. Apparently her Dad showed her some videos online titled "Joseph Smith and his Temple of Doom" and "Mormons are the Illuminati". Honestly we busted out laughing when our Ward Mission Leader told us the title of the videos... Who would ever take those things seriously. 

It is so hard because there is so much anti-mormon stuff out there. Satan is really trying his hardest because he knows how true the church is and how it will make people happy. And that is not in his plan! He wants to make us miserable. I am so sad because we completely lost contact with Alfreda when less than a week before she was so excited to get baptized.

We left her a voicemail with our testimonies of the church. I hope that she listens to it. We figured that that would be our only hope of inviting the spirit back into her life. 


So this last Tuesday nothing seemed to be going wrong. We were planning to make posters for our Church Open House... No one had paper to enlarge the flyuer to a poster... Then our appointments were cancelled and we had a member with us who would have been perfect for the investigator who cancelled. 

Then we were able to get Viet to come to the chapel and have a church tour! We were so excited and then we pull into the parking lot of the chapel... and they are getting their carpets cleaned! Really!

But we did the tour anyways. Closed the doors to the chapel and it was still peaceful and calm. The spirit was so strong. 

Squeaky Clean & Baptism

We had a wonderful lesson with David reading Ether 12. It was really great because what we had planned to share with Ether 12 did not go as planned. But it was wonderful! We needed that chapter to be able to lead us to inspired questions we could ask David. 

He has been having some "spiritual battles" lately and told our Ward Mission Leader, James that he didn't think that he would be ready for baptism. So we explained the role of the Holy Ghost afterwards and how the Holy Ghost would be able to help him fight through those spiritual battles. James told him that it is a wonderful gift and is the next step for him to take and that he didn't need to be perfect. We found out that he didn't want to be baptized because he thought he would need to be squeaky clean! We cleared up that confusion immediately... HE WILL BE BAPTIZED THIS SATURDAY!

"This is my Church!"

We received two referrals, Isaaclyn and Kpandi. They are cousins and from Liberia! Isaaclyn went to the home ward last week and she walked in and said, "This is my Church!" She loves it! 

Kpandi came to our BBQ on Saturday night and on the way there with our Elders Quorum President he told him that he wants to get baptized! He fit in great and was loving hanging out with our members! 

They came to church yesterday and are progressing really well! I am so excited to teach them! They will be coming to FHE tonight and Viet and Danielle will be there as well!

Also... I'm thinking of having Isaaclyn braid my hair... It would be pretty fun and easier to manage especially in the summer.

Speaking a different language... Gangsta

At the computers... "Are you guys nuns?" 

"Nope we are missionaries..."

"Oh! You are Triple O G's of Jesus Christ!"

Sister Huber and I were just so confused... Welcome to Texas.

Church Open House & Ice Cream Social

The work is still progressing despite all the challenges being put in our path and the temptations of Satan. We are seeing so many small and simple miracles in our area and we are so excited.

I am excited for David's baptism and know that he is taking the right steps to show his love to our Heavenly Father. The spirit will be so strong. We are having his baptism right before the Church Open House & Ice Cream Social so it will be a really busy day. 

I am excited for the Church Open House & Ice Cream Social as well. I will be putting my degree to work! We will be giving church tours and having ice cream with gospel displays on Temples, Institute, the Book of Mormon, and Prophets. Afterwards we are going to be playing volleyball. We have been planning this for about a month and a half. We wanted to create an activity for members to be able to invite their friends and have a good time, to introduce them into the church and to have them feel the reverent spirit in the chapel. 

So please pray for David and the Church Open House this Saturday! I really appreciate all your prayers and know that they are always answered!

Love y'all! Lovin' Missionary Work!

Sister Loo

   Pedicures on P-day after the news of Alfreda...
we needed a pick-me-up :)

   Heart Attacking Members of our Ward!
   Another day of matching... but too lazy to change.
Sister Huber may get me to change my mind
on this whole matching companions thing... We will see!
People already have to ask who is talking on the phone
because apparently we sound the same. #compunity
   Scooter Riding with Laura

Monday, May 12, 2014

A Week of Prayer!

Minha Companeirha

I have a new companion, Sister Huber! She actually trained Sister Walker and I have been on an exchange with her before too! She came with me the first time we went to visit the people on LoneStar Campus at the Christian group. 

She is from American Fork, Utah and is 20 years old. She has never been in a YSA ward before and so it is very different for her but she is adjusting so well. I am so excited to work with her and know that she will be great for this area. We already teach really well together and are contacting people to learn more about the gospel like crazy!

Trials before Baptism- Alfreda

We have only taught Alfreda once before and asked her if she would be baptized. She was a little hesitant but told us that if all the pieces to the puzzle fit together and she knew it was true that she would be baptized. 

On Monday (Sister Walker's last day in the area), Alfreda called us and asked when the next date to be baptized would be. We told her May 31st and she said, "Ok. When can we meet this next week?"

So Tuesday Sister Huber and I went over to teach the Plan of Salvation. Before it even started Alfreda expressed that she will be at church on Sunday and is ready to be baptized! She expressed concern because she knows that her family will probably be against it and not happy, but she knows it will happen and she wants the strength to persevere through it. She was so excited! She said, "I am just so excited. I don't know where all this excitement is coming from... but I am SO excited!"

Well, we had set up a ride for her to come to church and Alfreda was ready to go. We got a text from her on Sunday morning telling us that she wouldn't be able to go. Her family had already left for church and she had an argument with her father before leaving and he told her that she couldn't go to church. So he purposefully took all the keys out of the house so that Alfreda couldn't leave because she wouldn't be able to lock the house. 

We prayed with her and asked her if she had the faith that Heavenly Father would keep her house safe while she went for an hour of church. Unfortunately, she was unable to come. :( So please keep Alfreda in your prayers, she has the desire to be baptized and her family is what is holding her back from receiving the blessings of baptism. I know that she is prepared and waiting! Give her the strength!

The First Prayer

We taught Viet and invited him to pray at the end of the lesson. Usually Viet doesn't like to pray and doesn't read. He always asks us to. But this time he read from the Book of Mormon AND prayed at the end! 

It was his first time praying... And it was the sweetest prayer. He started off with "Dear Heavenly Father. Thank you for letting me have the GREATEST teachers ever. This is the first time I'm praying so I hope I don't do anything wrong." I couldn't help but smile the entire prayer.

Another reason why missionary work is so awesome! I have heard so many sincere first prayers!

Welcome to YSA Wards

Yesterday we were invited to a BBQ with some of the Summer Sales Alarm guys. They have brought two of their nonmember roommates to church already so we are going to start teaching them! 

So we showed up and our dinner consisted of water AND... wait for it... MEAT. Water and meat. That's it. I just looked to Sister Huber and said, "Welcome to singles ward!" She came from the Woodlands with elaborate organic meals to singles ward. It was pretty funny.

Lots and Lots and Lots of Prayers this week please.

Lauren- That she will keep the motivation and happiness to continue reading the Book of Mormon

Alfreda- See above

David- David wants to get baptized but doesn't feel ready yet. He is going through some family issues as well so keep him in your prayers.

We weren't able to meet with many investigators this week due to Finals so please pray to help us get in contact with all of our wonderful new investigators!

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the wonderful mothers and women in my life! I just want to express my love for my mother and her wonderful example and testimony. I am so thankful for her desire to serve a mission and know that as a result of her strengthening her testimony, she has been able to influence and strengthen my testimony. I am so grateful for her support and happy to call her my mother! She is the greatest!

Love y'all!

Sister Loo

P.S. Also... Frank is going to the temple to do baptisms tomorrow! So excited for him! He LOVES the temple.

My new companion Sister Huber! 
Flying kites on P-day...
Happy Cinco de Mayo...
...and celebrated this week with Bahama Buck's of course! 
Caught up with Elder Frandsen at transfers. 
Going to miss Sister Walker, but know that she will do great in her new area.
Pray that she won't get sunburned on her bike! 
Biggest bug I've seen out here yet...stay tuned!!!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Summertime and the living is "easy"? Epic Week #2

OYM & 7 New Investigators

In Preach My Gospel, we are told: “The Lord is preparing people to receive you” (155).  “Pray for the spiritual sensitivity to recognize opportunities” (156).  “Talk to as many people as you can each day” because “God will place in your path His children who are being prepared to receive the restored gospel” (156). 

This week there were so many miracles! I had set a goal to talk to everyone again this week and Sister Walker and I set a goal to find 7 new investigators and we did! Heavenly Father as a result have put so many people into our path who are ready to accept the gospel... and a couple others who aren't. But that's missionary work. :)

The best girlfriends you can have...

We went to go check up on a less active member. Well he answered the door and said, "Oh this is not a good time. We are not being very mormony here." 

He told us how when Sister Walker and Sister Stepp came the first time to see how he was doing his non member dad said, "Travis! You have 2 girlfriends here to see you." 

He was like "what girlfriends?" 

So I said, "Ya we are the farthest thing away from girlfriends. *chuckle* " 

And he responded talking to his friend. "Well these are the good girlfriends. The best ones you can have around."

Oh dear. I definitely was a little bold and just asked, "Are you interested at all in coming back to church? Do you have the desire? Because we don't want to bug you. We are not being judgmental at all." 

And he is still interested... I gave him an easy out and he wants to come to church. :)

The one thing I remember from seminary.

So as y'all may know... I wasn't the biggest fan of my seminary teacher in high school... But we were teaching the Restoration to a new investigator, Sammy and he asked if the Book of Mormon had any examples of Pride and ego. So I answered that the Book of Mormon goes through a cycle of pride where the people are blessed, they forget Heavenly Father and are wicked, are humbled, and then blessed. 

Afterwards Sister Walker said, "I liked your pride cycle answer. I was thinking of an answer and you said it way better. " And I said, "Well I'm glad that the one thing I remember from seminary finally paid off!" It was pretty funny!

Sammy is Muslim and reads the Koran. But he is open to religion and has a friend on a mission (Danielle's boyfriend. That guy is on fire with missionary work!). He really understands the language of the Book of Mormon and we are so excited to meet with him and see him progress. 

Some great mini experiences... and investigator updates

We were teaching an investigator, Xavier, the Restoration and his neighbor across the street was mowing his yard. As soon as he was done he was getting ready to turn on his weed-whacker and it wouldn't. So as Sister Walker was sharing her part of the lesson I sat there and prayed and prayed in my mind that it wouldn't turn on. "Please Heavenly Father, make it not work. Don't let it turn on." And it didn't! Faith and Prayer work with the spirit of being a missionary.

Our ward like became 3 times bigger this Sunday. About 50 summer sales YSA's walked in the door for selling alarms and pest control. It was crazy! So we have about 10 girls and 40 guys... too funny. 

Lauren: We taught Lauren the Plan of Salvation and invited her to be baptized on June 7th! We are so excited for her. She takes her Book of Mormon to work and reads it on her break. She even had sticky notes in the chapter we assigned her, Alma 32, on faith. 

Jethro: We met with him on Lonestar Campus. He expressed to us that he has never received an answer to his prayers. I was so sad. So we are working with him to know how the spirit speaks with him.

Danielle: Taught the Restoration and she is already finished with 2 Nephi!

Faith. It's that simple.

We went over and talked with Viet, our Vietnamese friend. We asked if he had any questions about what he was reading and we started having a discussion about Faith from Alma 32: 21 "And now as I said concerning faith- faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true."

He loved that scripture and wanted more understanding. He believes in a God but simply what does faith mean and do for us? We talked about how faith grows and how the spirit speaks to us. We had a recent convert with us who used to be Agnostic and he was able to bear his testimony on how he received his faith. 

Faith --> Action --> Confidence --> Perfect Knowledge

We testified that as he works to pray, read the scriptures, and understand his faith will increase and he will be more confident and come to know that God loves him so much. 

So how does your faith grow? How does the spirit speak to you? What can you do to make sure that your faith continues to grow each day?

I know that as you do so that you will be blessed and as promised at the end of Alma 32 "Then, my brethren, ye shall reap the rewards of your faith, and your diligence, and patience, and long-suffering, waiting for the tree to bring forth fruit unto you."

Love y'all! 

Sister Loo

Meet our new friends...
Clyde "Walker" & "Loo Loo" Bug...
Best purchase ever!!! 

LDSSA Picnic with Victoria and Kathryn

This week was exhausting... but fun! 

Remember Kandice and her butterflies?
Well, sister Walker and I 
see Lady bugs all the time now! (look closely)