Sunday, May 24, 2015

Saturday Service Project Photos - May 2015

A couple of pics from one of our service projects last week. I'm just livin up the mission life out here haha



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 Armstrong
Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission


Spring in Luling 2015

Here's a couple pics of our District and Elder Morrell and I after a nice bike ride in a storm...

Our District

Keepin it real 


May 11, 2015 - Happy Mother's Day Y'All!!

Hey Y'all!

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
Elder Armstrong
Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission

Missionary swagger -

May 2015

May - Mission Pictures

This is our barber, Charlie, he's such a cool guy! He'll get dunked soon haha 

Elder Morrell & I next to the Mississippi River

2 Months! ~ May 4, 2015

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 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 ya i dunno what we'll do about him haha 

Anyways, 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!!
Elder Armstrong

Pics from my hood - April 2015


Biking & tracting with Elder Morrell in Luling

Luling is Poppin' - April 28, 2015

Hey yall! 

So yesterday was "proselyting Monday" cuz transfers are tomorrow so that's why I didn't get to email. but oh my goodness there was the biggest storm of my life!! literally. at 10am the sky was practically black and we were on tornado lockdown! the sirens were going off and our phone was getting a bunch of emergency texts and of course Elder Morrell and I wanted to see it so we went outside our apartment and were videoing the lightning and stuff and we literally nearly got struck by lightning. I swear on my life it was the scariest thing but I got it on video!! Idk if it's too big to send in an email or not but i'll try, but if you look at it you can see that it was literally just a few feet away from us and the thunder was deafening. it was SO COOL!! hahah but ya we didn't see a tornado but one touched down somewhere else in Louisiana and blew a train off a bridge so that was nuts.

Anyways, this week was pretty slow cuz it was crazy storms all week and we're still on bikes so everytime we went out we got caught in the storms....i hate the rain here haha we saw a 12 foot gator in the middle of the highway though so that was awesome!! and we did a lot of tracting and I had so many doors slammed in my face this week. it was great! haha all i could say was "hello" and they'd be like "nope. not interested." SLAM. I was mad at first but it just got to the point that I just laughed everytime. 

And we got a referral from the sisters here for a guy named Eugene so we went and visited him. Oh my goodness. this guy was a trip haha so he's 72 years old and he told us quite a few stories. Some of which included his multiple visits to jail for fighting, his 4 or 5 ladies that want him to marry them and his vast love for work and money. This dude talked to us for about 2 hours and we talked for maybe 5 minutes the whole time. he has 10 kids and he even said he had a 3 page list of women that he's been with that he wanted to show us but we said we'd have to take a raincheck on that. haha he was a nice dude but he kinda scared me at the end cuz he was trying to convince us that he was crazy and we were like you're not crazy! to which he replied "yes i am! I spent over $500 on this box of knives" he then pulled out a massive box of all different kinds of knives and axes and proceeded to tell us how he has some in every room of his house...hahah the guy was awesome though. I'm pumped to see what he has to say the next time we see him.

And the Lord is blessing us with miracles! We had 4 investigators at sacrament! Xavier, Mr. Charles, Mike and his girlfriend Barbara! It was awesome! And Xavier is getting baptized this Saturday so the first missionary that found him, Elder Makin, is doing that and then he asked me to confirm him  so I'm pumped!! but ya I love it here. The sisters and Elder Morrell and I are killing it here! members of the branch even said that they've never had a group of missionaries as powerful as the 4 of us are so that got me stoked. Being a missionary isn't easy, but i love it :) anyways, thank yall so much for the emails and everything every week!! Love yall!!

Elder Armstrong

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Pepper Palace Pics April 2015

The Pepper Palace
Notice my red face right after taking the "Hot Sauce Challenge" 

Hot Sauce Champion

April pics


The Grand Mississippi River

In a member's home - African American Last Supper

The Pepper Palace - April 20, 2015

Hey yall! I'd like to apologize now for all the pictures i'm gonna send this week haha i took a lot. But holy cow so this week has been awesome! BUT we've been on bikes and sure enough there were thunderstorms ALL WEEK LONG so that was fun to ride in. But first off I'll have yall know that I nearly died twice this week. Literally! the first time was last P day, we wen't downtown for my first time and went to the French Market in New Orleans (btw there are some VERY interesting people here) hahah anyways, we went to this place called the Pepper Palace. Now this place is home to the world's hottest hot sauce. you need to sign a waver to try it. Now for those of yall that know me pretty well, you know that I can't handle hot stuff. at all. and you also know that If people tell me do something that'll be funny/cool....well there's a good chance I'll do it. So long story short, I put about a pea sized drop of this sauce called "flashbang" on a chip and ate it. OH MY GOODNESS. it was like tasting hell. my ears were ringing, my face and hands were tingling and I couldn't even think or talk. It was as if the devil himself were liquified on that tortilla chip. And to make things worst I almost started having a panic attack cuz my mouth hurt so bad. But hey, I survived and got my picture on the wall of flame so I guess it's cool.

Second time, we're riding our bikes on the highway and there are a bunch of stores and food places that people are turning in and out of on the side of the highway we're on. Anyways, I'm about 10 feet away from a van and it's stopped so I assume she sees me. Well very clearly in my head I hear "go wide around this car" so without hesitating I go wider around it and as soon as I'm in front of it, she hits the gas to shoot a gap in traffic and it felt like I was watching her in slow motion but she literally misses my back tire by like 8 inches! Elder Morrell was behind me and he was freaking out cuz if she hit me I would've been flung into oncoming traffic and that wouldn't have been good for anybody. But by listening to the Holy Ghost I was definitely saved there.

It was also a really spiritual week too. I gave the spiritual thought at a joint zone conference so that was a little frightening. And I also taught my first instruction in district meeting which was cool. But Elder Morrell and I have been really faithful and diligent in our finding and contacting efforts lately and the Lord is blessing us with success. We are finding so many potential investigators and by the end of this week we should have up to 8 more investigators! That's really good considering we've only had 1 or 2 this whole transfer. But the coolest spiritual experience we had this week was with Mike.

Now idk if I talked about him to yall last week, but we found Mike while tracting in Hahnville. He's a legally blind, retired cop. He was raised catholic and studied theology so he knows a lot about religion. But we had an appointment with him on Saturday. We went over and he's such a cool guy and for a blind dude he gets around really well. But we taught him the restoration and it was so powerful. He understand all of it and kept saying "mmhmm" or "that makes sense" it was awesome! At the end he said "Ya know, we go through life as students, and God sends us the teachers. Well I feel like yall are the teachers that he's sent to me." I had such a strong feeling to invite him to be baptized and so i did and without hesitation he said "Yes. If I keep believing what yall are teaching then yes I'll be baptized." Morrell and I were so pumped!! We have a lunch appointment with him and his girlfriend tomorrow so that'll be fun.

The Lord is blessing us with miracles here in Louisiana. It's definitely a tough area but we keep working hard and being faithful and it's paying off. I love this work even though its so hard sometimes. I know that Heavenly Father prepares all his children at one point or another to receive the gospel and it's our job as missionaries to find those who are ready. Thank yall so much for the weekly letters and support!! Love yall!!

-Elder Armstrong


Reptiles of LA

I caught this baby leopard gecko!