I love being a missionary

May 18, 2015

So this week is transfers! We haven’t gotten our call yet, we will tonight, so we don’t know for sure about Elder Petersen or me yet, but Elder Bouwhuis is going home! So that’s kind of sad but he’s excited to see his family. We had a pretty good week though. We went to the hospital again, not for one of us, but every so often we get asked to go and give a blessing to members in the University hospital. Its a really good hospital and lots of people go there, and we’re the closest missionaries so we get calls to go there a decent amount. We gave a blessing to a 1 month old little boy, which was my first time giving a blessing to someone that young, but it was good. Part of what was said during the blessing was that the faith of his mother would play an important part of healing him. It seems like almost all of the people we give blessings to aren’t active, the mother wasn’t, so it’s cool to be the ones who go and give them some spiritual uplifting and encourage them to have more faith.

We also mowed this lady’s lawn this week. She’s older, lives alone, and doesn’t have any income or family near, so her “grass” (mostly dandelions) was pretty tall, like to our knees, so that was some good service to get to go do. She’s been taught by lots of missionaries, but disagrees with us on lots of points, so she’s not the most interested in what we do as missionaries, but she read the chapter in the Book of Mormon that we left her and is a really nice lady, just a little crazy.

Baosheng is doing ok. He didn’t come to church for a couple of weeks, and its been hard to meet with him, but we got to this week. He’s a super funny man, and has good English, but has a thick accent. He says think like “sink” and things like that and he calls me the professor, because he thinks that I should be a professor at a university because of how I teach and that its very easy to follow or something like that, which I think is pretty funny because I distinctly remember many times in high school saying that I’d be anything but a teacher, because I hated teaching. Anyway, the lesson was good. We talked about faith and read Alma 32 with him and talked about really putting God first in our lives, and He helps us to figure out the rest, and to make things ok. Baosheng also came to church, which was amazing! He sat next to two different members in Sunday school and priesthood and was asking both of them about the Word of Wisdom and other things, all on his own. We weren’t sitting by him because he likes to sit alone, but we talked to Brother Rosales, one of the people Baosheng talked to, and he said that he was just telling him about how God knows that we don’t want to offend others and be rude, but how more important it is to not offend God, and that He helps us to have strength, but he also helps others to understand us, and he told Baosheng a story about someone who was in a similar circumstance, something about a lady that held meetings in her house for something and usually served coffee and how when she joined the church she quit having coffee and how the people were accepting and respected her views as she explained it to them and with a little time it was good. So that was really exactly what he needed, and we’ll see where we get to with him, but church is great!

Another thing about church that I liked a lot was in Sunday school. The teacher gave us a lesson about repentance and he made an analogy or metaphor, or something comparing us to a house. Sin is like cluttering up the house, and repentance is like decluttering it. So he talked about how repentance is decluttering our lives. If we keep up on it daily its a lot more manageable, and how if we procrastinate, it builds up and it becomes a huge chore that we have to take on. Or if how we live in a cluttered house we become accustomed to it, and a little more relaxed and comfortable with it and how it was the same way with sin. We can sometimes become comfortable with sin and tolerate it more. It was a pretty good analogy.

We’ve also been getting up at 5:30am for a few days, Saturday and today to go and play basketball at the church with some of the other missionaries. It’s been nice because we haven’t gotten to since two weeks ago because the temple was our pday last week but I’m sure feeling tired. We also met a guy named Warren, who used to meet with missionaries a lot in the ’90s, but he had them over so they could watch tv and goof off. So he knows that we’re all about business now, and said that back in the day they’d have an agreement that he was Catholic and they were Mormon and they didn’t try to convert each other, so those missionaries didn’t ever talk to him about the church at all, so he doesn’t really want us to either, but he took us out to olive garden today, which was really nice, but when we were at his house before lunch we tried to start teaching him, but he didn’t want us to so we left him a pamphlet. So not sure if we’ll ever really go there again or not.

Life’s going good, and I love being a missionary. A great member family here, the Zirkers, had us over for dinner yesterday and fed us some great ribs, so they could say good bye to Elder Bouwhuis. They have a great family and it was really fun to get to give a lesson to them about love and how the gospel is all about how God loves us and how we should love him and love everybody around us as well. We also went over to another family who was struggling a little with something, and the mom just asked us to come over, because they need a message from us, and it was amazing how different it was there (we think maybe the dad was reading some anti Mormon stuff or something and is a little shaken) but we just bore testimony about the Book of Mormon, and how it has helped us in our lives. I shared one of my favorite scriptures, in Mosiah 24:14 which talks about why we get burdens. I just talked about how we all have burdens and we can get through them with God’s help, and He lets us go through those and have those experiences so that we can be a witness for Him afterwards. And I know that has been the case for me and that I know the Book of Mormon is true because of the Holy Ghost, but also because it helps me in my life. That was something that helped me to understand why we have to go through some things in life. So I know that the Book of Mormon is powerful and can help each of us always.

I love you all a lot!!
Elder Hayden

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