Monday, July 27, 2015

This has been another great week! I can't believe that July is almost to a close! Time is just flying so fast out here. I love being a missionary and I love being here in Pennsylvania! It has been the greatest experience of my whole life and I am so grateful for the time I have left to serve the Lord.

This week we were able to do a good amount of service! We were able to mow two lawns for members and one of our investigators called us randomly and asked if we could help him move a mattress up the stairs. They are from India and they said that they didn't know who to call so they figured they would just give us a call! Well after a lot of hard work we finally got it up their stairs. It took every trick in the book but Elder Liston and I finally did it! They gave us some Indian lemonade afterwards... let’s just say it's not like American Lemonade haha. I don't know how they did it but it was spicy! Not what I expected haha. 

We were able to pick up a new investigator this week which is always awesome. It is so humbling to me to know that he has prepared people everywhere to teach and that these are his children who he loves so much. I think it is really important to remember that. Every person we talk to or pass outside is a child of God, and He loves them. Remembering that gives me the extra motivation I need to be a little kinder, or to look for opportunities to serve. As we do so we will notice an added measure of happiness in our lives.

We had an amazing lesson with Bernice this week. After she came to church she was a little concerned because she thought she didn't feel the spirit. She had always thought from the other churches she went to that the Holy Ghost felt like goose bumps and had made you want to jump up and shout hallelujah. We were able to explain to her all the different feelings that the Holy Ghost can bring and that it can be just a happy peaceful feeling. Well when we saw her on Saturday she was still struggling with that and she had some other crazy stuff going on in her life. We talked about trials and how just because we pray doesn't mean that he will take those trials away. But he will help you get through them. He will give you the strength you need and help you all that he can. We were able to testify to her that it will all be alright in the end. I know that is true. If we put our faith in our Savior we can also say with 100% confidence "It will all be alright in the end." Well after we left she called us. She told us that after we had left, she felt so much joy and happiness and peace. We asked her what she thought that was and she said she knew it was the Holy Ghost!! Heavenly Father is so aware of us and I can testify that is true. I hope you all continue to have a great summer and enjoy all the blessing you have in your lives!! 

Monday, July 20, 2015

This has been another great week! We continue to work hard and see all of the blessings that come from it! We have been teaching and talking to our 10 year old investigator Kilos a lot. He is so awesome! We talked to him about Joseph Smith and he had a lot of questions. He has such an awesome spirit about him. He will go around with us talking and teaching people, he is super cool. On Saturday when we were talking to him it started raining pretty hard. He had a soccer ball so we played some soccer with him for a little bit outside. We got soaked but it was super fun. Kilos thought that Elder Liston and I were some next level soccer players haha. I guess when we play with a 10 year old we can actually hold our own but that is about it.;) We talked to Kilos' parents to see if he could come to church again but they said they were headed to there church instead. Kilos looked devastated but next week he should be able to come. As we were leaving he yelled out to us, "Thank you for the best day ever!!" That was a testimony to me that even the little things we do can make a big difference for others.
We had Bernice come to church this week which was a MIRACLE. We have been inviting her since I got here but this is the first time that she has come. She was super nervous but it was such a great experience for her. 
We also were able to mow the lawn for another one of our investigators! It has been over 10 months since I have done that! I was a little rusty at first but it all came back to me quick. Fran made sure that we did everything very safely. Elder Liston was using the riding mower and Fran said he wasn't allowed to take it off the first speed. I think he topped off at 1 mph! Haha it was really funny. We were also able to have a really good lesson with Fran. She has been going through a hard time and she just broke down and started crying. We were able to comfort and we offered to give her a blessing. I am so grateful for the power of the priesthood. The spirit was so strong as we gave her that blessing and I was able to feel just how much love our heavenly Father had for Fran. It was an eye opener to me that he has that love for every single one of his children. Every single person we see and talk to every day is loved more then we could ever imagine by our Heavenly Father. He has done so much for us and has loved us despite our imperfections so what room do we have to judge others for theirs? I know in all things we need to try to be like the Savior. To forget about our pride and see people as they truly are. I am so grateful for my mission and the things it has been able to teach me. Thanks for all that you do! Have a great week!

Farmer Jacob

Elder May, Kilos, Elder Liston

Monday, July 13, 2015

Hey everyone!! So this has been another awesome week! We were able to go on exchanges with the Assistants this week and that was super cool. I was with Elder Gates and I learned a lot with him. We were able to teach one of our investigators Fran. We had an awesome lesson and then afterwards she let me hold her chicken and pet her Donkey! So I think we are definitely building some good trust with her haha. She is the nicest lady and has such a sincere belief in Christ and his atonement. 
Sunday was such an awesome day. There is an apartment complex we visit a lot and there is a  kid there named Kilos. He is so cool and he follows us around everywhere. We will talk to people outside and he will be tagging along with us adding his testimony to what we are sharing. This week we invited him to church and he begged his parents to let him come. He ended up coming with his Dad and they both really liked it. Kilos was asking us if he was allowed to come every single week. We didn't have to think about that one for too long haha. 
Later that night we went to see one of our new investigators John. When we first talked to him on his porch he wasn't too interested in what we had to say at all. But we were persistent and he eventually agreed to take a restoration pamphlet. Well we went back last night and he was so happy to see us! He read that pamphlet and he wanted to read the Book of Mormon really bad. He was scared that we weren't going to come back because of how reluctant he was to talk to us at first. But it takes a lot more than that to get us missionaries to not come back haha. We were able to give him a Book of Mormon and bear our testimonies of its truthfulness. He said he was going to start reading and praying about right away. The awesome thing is that I know that if he does so with a sincere heart, real intent and faith he WILL receive an answer. It is so nice to be able to have 100% confidence in that promise.
So many miracles happen out here every week and I wish that I could write about all of them. Something I have really been thinking about this week is happiness. I was reading the first presidency message in the Ensign and I love how it talks about the pioneers and despite all the trials and hardships that they were going through, they still were happy. Happiness isn't something that only comes around every other weekend or only when the weather is perfect and it is the NBA finals, happiness can be found everyday in every moment. The times when I have felt the least happy, is when I am thinking about myself. There are so many things that we don't have or attributes that someone may have and we don't. The cure to that is to think about others. How can we be a blessing to someone else? How can we help someone have a better day? I can promise that will bring you a joy in your life that will be lasting. I know that through Christ we can be changed and transformed into the people he wants and needs us to be. Love you all, have a great week.

Elder May wearing Brother Almeida's juditsu uniform

Monday, July 6, 2015

Happy 4th of July everyone! I hope that everyone had a great weekend! It was super rainy all day long out here. I was actually pretty disappointed. They didn't do anything too fun out here. I didn't see anyone out celebrating but that could have been because it was pouring rain outside. But we had another great week! On Wednesday we had to drive out to Pittsburgh for a meeting with the Mission President and a lot of other missionaries. It was like a 4 or 5 hour drive! But once we got there it was great. I love being able to be around President Johnson. He is an amazing person. After we went to his house and he had us play against his Ping pong machine again. It was super fun.
We had some awesome miracles happen this week! We were going to see one of our investigators Bernice. We were driving by here house to park and she saw us. She started waving at us and pointing at the parking spot in front of her house. We parked and when we walked up to her she started crying. She had been having a hard day and was having some problems. She said that she was hoping that we would come by and then she saw a car. We were able to help comfort her and testify of the power of the atonement and the love of Jesus Christ. By the end she was feeling so much better. I know that Heavenly Father is truly leading us and guiding us. He loves his children and he wants us to be there for others when they need it.

Later that week we were walking and a guy walked out of his car. We talked to him and he had actually been taught by missionaries before. He was willing to have us come back to teach him and his wife! We went and tried someone who wasn't home and we saw him just as we were about to get in our car and as he was walking inside. It has been so cool to exercise faith and to see miracles happen.

On Sunday we went to go teach Bernice again. We haven't taught her about the Word of Wisdom yet and during our lesson she told us how she decided that she was going to quit drinking Ice Tea and that she was smoking. She didn't eve know that was a requirement for Baptism. Elder Liston and I couldn't believe our ears!! We told her that in order for her to be baptized those were some things that she was going to need to give up! She has really been progressing. She has changed so much already! I can't say enough how much Heavenly Father is a part of this work.

Another Miracle that happened was we were sitting outside a Donut shop using their wifi. As were sitting out there, a lady walked up to us and handed us a box of 12 Donuts! She said that she had gotten them for us and she thanked us for what we were doing. If she wasn't a girl I would have thought for sure it was one of the three Nephites! Well I am loving every day out here and I love this chance I have to truly forget about myself and help others. I know that this life is meant for us to become like the Savior. I think of the love that he has for all of us and I hope that I can show a small amount of that love to others. Have a great week everyone.