Monday, January 13, 2014

January 13, 2014 - Midland 2

I've been sitting here for the past, like, 15 minutes trying to come up with a clever subject line. 

This was an alright week. It was a little bit slower due to the weather which sounds like the lamest excuse but it slowed the work down. The mass email from Pres. Hess this week was titled, "Many are cold, but few are frozen" which I thought was terribly witty. Many parts of the MLM were shut down for a few days. People got snowed in, but luckily we didn't get it as bad in Midland.

I told you a bit about Jeremy Hammers last week. He contacted our WML Bro Jones last week and said he wanted to learn more about spiritual things, specifically the Book of Mormon. He sincerely wants to change his life and become a servant of God and he is so humble. He is going through a lot right now and he feels as though he can't come back from where he's been but the Gospel has been healing him in every way- emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. We set a date with him for January 25th. 

We currently have two other investigators on date. Chuck Moore is a brilliant guy we knocked into before Christmas. He is full of the light of Christ and basically everything we teach him recognizes immediately as truth. He has a mild developmental disability but is seriously brilliant. He knows the Bible and Christian doctrine really well and loves what we teach him. Basically his only concern is getting good fellowshippers- he actually went onto and looked for candidates of Mormons in Midland who could be his fellowshippers. Pretty awesome. I've already told you about Nick (Heather Hale's 13-year old son) who has been progressing pretty well. Apparently he had a bad experience with one of the boys at church the other week so that might be an obstacle we will have to overcome before we can continue with him.

We had two great Restoration lessons with some pretty new investigators. The first was with Chris, a cool guy that was recently in a bad car accident that has changed his life and is always looking for new perspectives on God. He is excited to read the Book of Mormon and we'll be seeing him later this week. We also had a really good lesson with Tearis (Tee-air-iss)- I don't know if I've told you about him yet but he's an awesome black guy from Flint. Tearis loves to talk and we've had a difficult time teaching him but we finally were direct and had a great lesson with him. He is very interested in the Book of Mormon as well and he has committed to read it. He also fed us collard greens which I enjoyed thoroughly.  

Most of the week was full of potential finding since door contacting was less-effective due to the weather. There wasn't a lot of outward success but we still got out there and used our time to the fullest. The Midland wards are getting very involved with the work which is exciting. We have a really good district full of hard-working, loving missionaries. We've been getting lots of solid referrals which is very exciting.

Not much about this week. It was very good- Elder Graves is doing well and is adjusting to the work at a fast pace. He's a great teacher and is quickly learning to love the people of Midland/Michigan. 

I love you all! From what I hear, it sounds like you all are doing well. 

-Elder Schmutz

I attached a picture of the Elders of the District the day me and E. Derricott picked up our trainees in Lansing. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Tripanionship, Training, Etc.

This was a very full and wonderful week and I'll try to write everything about it. 

Tuesday morning we went to Mt. Pleasant and dropped off Elder Peterson. I picked up Elders Derricott and Mcmurtery and we headed back to Midland 2. It was a glorious tripanionship. We worked in the Midland 2 area mostly but taught some people in Midland 1. We had a great time teaching and finding together. It was definitely different but a ton of fun. I'll include a picture at the bottom.

Thursday morning, we all went to Lansing to pick up our trainees. Before that we got some instruction from Pres. Hess. Then we met our trainees...My new companion is Elder Graves! He's from Pocatello, ID and is awesome. He is the 4th of 5 children and loves filming, especially sports-camera work. He is a great guy; he has worked hard and is adjusting to mission life well. He loves the people we meet and is a wonderful listener. He is excited to learn more, get better at mission work, but is enjoying himself. Elder Graves is basically teaching me. 

It's been an insanely busy week outta nowhere. We've been following up with a lot of potential investigators and other stuff. It seems like the ward is warming up to mission work as well now that we're bringing people in. We've got some solid referrals which was a surprising blessing. 

So many things happened this weekend. A huge miracle and blessing was teaching Jeremy Hammers. Jeremy is a friend of our Ward Missionary Leader Bro. Jones who gave him a Book of Mormon 2 years ago. Jeremy contacted Bro Jones on Friday and said he wanted to learn more about spiritual things. Jeremy has been through a lot recently which I won't get into a lot of detail with, but he is amazing. We got a text from Bro Jones that said, "come right now, I have someone for you to teach". When we got there, Bro Jones and his son-in-law had taught him the Restoration. We had a profound follow-up discussion with him - he has just recently come to know that God lives and he wants to follow God. After talking to him about the Atonement we gave him a priesthood blessing. The Spirit was very strong. Jeremy asked us if he could come to church with us which was awesome. After we gave him the blessing he cried and asked about prayer and we answered his questions. We set up a time to have a church tour and discussion for Saturday. He loved the church tour, but he got overwhelmed by our discussion on the Plan of Salvation and left hurriedly saying that he needed time and didn't want to investigate any more. We were pretty heart-broken because we had no idea what we had done wrong. We said a prayer when we got back to our apartment for Jeremy and we felt very strongly that everything would be alright. Jeremy called us an hour later and thanked us for the lesson and explained he had gotten anxious. He told us he wasn't going to come to church but he did anyway. He had an amazing experience with Sacrament meeting. He wants some time to read the Book of Mormon then he'll see if he wants to learn more but it I know that everything is alright. 

Wow, that was a long-winded story about that but seriously that doesn't contain a 100th of what happened in the past 3 days. 

We taught a new investigator named Chuck who's awesome. We set a date with him and basically his only obstacle is to make a friend in church. After our discussion he went on and found candidates for a good fellowshipper for himself which was pretty awesome. He has a slight developmental disability but is brilliant as far as gospel doctrine. He seriously said some profound things. Wow.

That's about it. I'm excited for what's ahead and I feel blessed for all of the blessings that God has given us. I love mission work! So many blessings. I love you all. I seriously think about you all of the time. 

-Elder Schmutz
Here's a picture of the tripanionship

Elder Graves, ladies and gentlemen