A couple of pics from one of our service projects last week. I'm just livin up the mission life out here haha
Sunday, May 24, 2015
Hey i hope yall had a great week!So you know how people talk about the gift of tongues when they go on missions? Well, I believe that I've received the gift of stomachs. I'm not quite sure how but I eat SO much. Like more than I've ever eaten before in my life. The members here expect me to have at least 2 or 3 plates when they have us over for dinner. And not gonna lie, I thought I was staying in good shape here and that the southern food wasn't getting to me cuz i haven't been gaining weight...but I was wrong. We started Insanity this morning...oh dear. Let's just say that's gonna be a LONG 60 days of working out...haha but anyways, the Lord has been blessing us here with murcles! sometimes it's tough because our numbers don't always reflect a lot but it just goes to show the missionary work is NOT about the numbers. This week was such a good one and if you just saw our numbers you wouldn't think it. We've been setting up people and families to teach left and right and we're just establishing a good friendship or foundation with them and it's finally paying off! So here's some cool things that happened this week!So last Sunday (not yesterday but last week) Xavier got the Priesthood!! and Elder Morrell was able to ordain him and confer the priesthood to him so that was super cool to see him already working towards the next steps he has to take in the church!:)Then the sisters met a guy named Colton who said he's searching for God in his life and gave him to us. So we go over to meet him and he's this black dude that has a fleur delis tattooed on the front of his neck! He invited us in and we got to know him and he's a rapper and producer that goes by "Nola Boy" hahah so sick. We taught him the restoration and he totally accepted it! He said stuff like "Ya man that totally makes sense to have a prophet again!" we went back the next day and gave him a Book of Mormon and he said he'd been wanting one for a while and that he felt in his heart that our message was true! he wasn't able to come to church and he called us last night to apologize and we ended up reading the Book of Mormon with him and had a little lesson over the phone for like a half hour! pray and everything! it was pretty cool! he's gonna get dunked.Then we were also able to teach Mike again and he remembers most of what we've taught him about the Restoration and Plan of Salvation and he listens to the Book of Mormon on tape everyday! We were able to teach him the Gospel of Jesus Christ and he's still committed to working towards baptism! He was also able to come to church yesterday because Brother Pearsall (who is pretty much the coolest guy in our branch) was able to give him a ride! Mike came for all 3 hours and loved it! We got a new branch President who introduced himself to Mike and a lot of people were talking to him and he said he felt very comfortable and enlightened there.And yesterday we were finally able to set up appointments with a couple of families that we've been talking to for so long and the Lord provided us with a way to share the gospel message with them! A cool thing was said yesterday in Branch Conference, our Stake President said that if we pray as families or just as individuals, each day, to have a missionary experience or opportunity then he will bless us with those opportunities!! I've seen it first hand in my life too! When I was at Redlands before my mission, i prayed everyday for missionary opportunities and sure enough, everyday I prayed for one, I had one! It's all about humbling ourselves to God and saying "Here I am! Let me do your work!" I promise yall that if each one of you pray for these chances, the Lord will bless you with them. Those of us who have the blessings of the gospel in our life need to share them!!I'm learning so much from Elder Morrell and my mission. I feel like I've already grown so much and no matter how hard it is to keep on working or keep obeying the rules or whatever it may be, I keep on going cuz I love Our Savior, Jesus Christ. He should be our motivation for obedience. And not out of fear, but out of love. As we gain a better knowledge of the Atonement, this change of heart will take place and we will willingly follow and obey Christ because we love him. It shouldn't be a burden to keep the commandments. They give us blessings! who doesn't want to be blessed?? and the best part is, we can make mistakes and repent for them so it's like they never even happened! don't take this for granted. We can't fathom what Christ has done for us. It's impossible. But we can show him gratitude for what we do know and the best way to do that is to follow him willingly. I love and miss yall a lot but I'm so glad I have this opportunity to serve!! hope yall have a great week!!Elder Armstrong--Elder ArmstrongLouisiana Baton Rouge Mission
I hope everyone had a great Mother's Day and I hope y'all told your moms how much you love them. It was so nice being able to Skype the family (love you mom & dad!!) but ya it was a great first mother's day out here in Louisiana. Anyways, I hope everyone had a great week too, it was pretty good here in Luling this week!So we went to Seymour's little town home this week to see if we could teach him cuz we ran into him last week when we went to see a less active member. Now he's been in the mental hospital for the last month so he's not all there haha but we went over and he was home so he let us in. Now Seymour smokes SO much. like probably 2 or 3 packs a day. And so why we were in there he's just smoking away and Elder Morrell and I are practically choking haha so we ask him if we can share a message with him and he says sure. So we say an opening prayer and as soon as we say amen Seymour hops up and says "Thanks bruh, imma go take a shower now" and so we left hahaha it was so funny. But ya that guy is kind of a trip.We also saw Mike, our blind investigator this week and he's doing so good! He studied Theology in college so he already has a good knowledge of religious terms like exaltation, resurrection, etc. so it makes it really easy to teach him cuz we don't have to dumb anything down for him. But we taught him the Plan of Salvation and it was so cool cuz before hand we were talking to him about his family and he lost a son in the military and he was telling us that he believes in an afterlife but that it's a mystery and no one knows what it's like. So then Elder Morrell and I were like actually we know exactly what it's like and he was pumped. But ya he excepted it all and at the end we committed him to a baptismal date and he was excited!! So hopefully he makes it. I just love seeing how the spirit changes people.We also had a lot of service opportunities this week, especially on Saturday. we were out doing yard work for like 8 hours! I loved it, it brought me back to my days of cruisin in Shelby and mowin lawns in the neighborhood. But when we got done we were driving back home and we passed a house of this guy named Rodney who isn't a member but he always stops and talks to us when he sees us and is just super nice. Anyways, we drive past and he flags us down so we pull over and him and his whole family were having a fish fry and he told us to come and get some food. I was so pumped. We had fried bass, catfish, oysters (SO salty) and frogs! not frog legs, but the whole frog and it tasted way good! Southern hospitality is real!!It's just so great to see how the gospel not only changes other people, but how it's changed me already. I love working and obeying cuz I'm gaining a better knowledge and love for the atonement. The greatest work we can do is missionary work and you don't have to be a full time missionary to do missionary work. I love this gospel SO much. literally i can't describe it. When I look back on my life i see all the dumb mistakes i made and it's the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and his atonement that has brought me peace and comfort and it's through Christ's sacrifice that I've been able to be forgiven and made clean. We can always repent and always turn to our Father in Heaven, never forget that. Anyways, thanks again yall for the emails and letters and support!! I love yall!!Elder Armstrong
Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission
Well I hit my 2 month mark today!! haha it feels like it's gone by so fast! I know it's not that much time compared to 2 years, but it's getting there! Anyways, I hope yall had a great week! So we had transfers this week and Elder Morrell and I are staying put here in Luling and so are Sister Miskho and Sister Baird! They're such cool sisters! But ya this week was another slow one, not a whole lot went on except a few things.
We went to transfer meeting on Wednesday to get our car back and then we spent the day in Baton Rouge visiting some old members and investigators that Elder Morrell used to know cuz he was in Baton Rouge for like 16 months. And we visited this one lady named Sister Shuler. Now she is one of the most interesting people I've met so far. She has paranoia, schizophrenia and multiple personality disorder. And when she came outside when we pulled up she was holding a cabbage and a knife and proceeded to carve the cabbage throughout our conversation. hahah she also thinks her neighbors plant weeds in her garden and try to poison her hahah she was such a funny lady!Oh! we also caught a turtle!! Morrell was driving and it was just in the middle of the road so I jumped out and picked it up haha I wanted to kill it and keep it's shell and have everyone sign it at transfer meetings but Elder Morrell said no...so we relocated it in the creek by our apartment. Sheldon would've made a great transfer turtle though...
And then on Saturday we had Xavier's baptism!! oh my goodness it was so spiritual! And we had a lot of support from the branch! We were worried that not a lot of people would show up because we had our day of service from 8-2 that morning and then his baptism at 5. But we had over 40 members show up, it was awesome! Then yesterday I was able to confirm him in Sacrament meeting and that was super cool.
We also had an investigator show up to sacrament and bear his testimony...while he was stoned...hahaha oh my goodness this guy was a trip! but then one of our members looked him up and found out he was involved in a murder trial a couple years ago but "wasn't mentally fit to see trial"...when we heard that we were like what the heckkkk...so ya i dunno what we'll do about him hahaAnyways, All is well here! I know i say this a lot but being a missionary is so hard but so rewarding! Like I can't even describe the happiness I felt when I watched Xavier get baptized cuz I knew I contributed to his conversion! the spirit is always here to guide us, we just have to the world's volume down sometimes so we can hear it. Anyways, thanks for all the support! I miss and love yall!!