Wednesday, July 24, 2013

July 22nd ~ Hebrews 10:35 (Jeffrey R. Holland gave an amazing talk about this scripture)

Hebrews 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.

Click here for talk by Elder Holland

Good Morning!

This week was awesome! It was filled with long hot, muggy days of biking and preaching. The grind. But it's so awesome. We worked super hard every day and came out with some good results at the end of the week. We taught XXXXX, our tattooed miracle boy, and HE wants to set a baptismal date and a date for him to quit smoking! He's so awesome. We taught a new investigator, XXXXX. He is just a senior in high school and he's a friend of one of the young men in the ward. He's so awesome. He's got such a huge desire to be closer to Christ. And that’s why we are here, haha. To help people be closer to Christ. We taught him the restoration lesson and committed him to start reading the Book of Mormon. It was so awesome. Great lesson.

Now that I'm coming up quickly on ten months, I'm really feeling the urgency of this work. The first year of my mission is almost over and I feel like i'm just beginning! I still feel new to the field sometimes! There's so much I want to do on my mission and I feel like time is running out! Is it going this fast for you guys! I'm starting to realize how much of a lifestyle this is. I don't know how I'll be able to let it go. I've never done anything in my life that makes me happier or is more fulfilling. I love the Gospel. I love sharing it. I love teaching! I love biking in the heat. I love biking in the rain. I love talking to strangers, knocking on doors, and getting cursed at, yelled at and just plain hated on. I love finding people who are searching for something more, then helping them come closer to the Savior. The only way to survive out here is to love it. Love it all. Love every single trial and person as they come. This work is way too hard, way too important, and too urgent to complain, whine, or be lazy. Even when the chips are down and it seems like no one even wants to entertain my friendly waves, the Lord always gets me through. Sometimes we feel like we let the Lord down. But it's not us who hold him up. He holds us up. And He will not let us down.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is real. In it you can find power, and solace. There's no place I would rather be.

Elder Sherwood

P.S.   I love all your letters. I'm so sorry that it's so hard for me to write back to you all. I'm always so busy on preparation day! Just know that I really, really, really appreciate all the time and effort you put in to your letters to me. They are a real blessing in my life and the things you tell me are always applicable to what trials I'm going through at the time. So keep it up! Thank you so much!

Mom and dad!: thank you so much for sending those shirts! Some days I sweat through two shirts haha so I definitely needed more. I'm going over to the Larsen’s today to take in the sides a little bit like you did with my other shirts. But they are absolutely perfect so thank you!!!!

July 15th ~ James 1:5

James 1:5   aIf any of you lack bwisdom, let him ask of God, that cgiveth to all men liberally, and dupbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Good Morning! This week was crazy.

First of all, did you hear about the dress code change? Khaki's. awesome......haha just kidding, it is pretty cool. I was checking out the website just now. We will be able to wear khaki's, light grey stuff, boot style shoes and more colorful ties. We're gonna be lookin good. I knew this would happen. We are still waiting to hear from president about what stuff will be acceptable here in our mission.  

I can barely handle this wild ride. We have been struggling recently. We have been trying so hard to find new investigators. This week began with us having so much success while tracting. Finding so many new potentials. Then on Friday we hit a road block. We were having a rough day. It was around 5 o'clock. We were standing on the sidewalk with our bikes trying to figure out what potentials to visit, or which members to go see, or what street to tract, but having no success in making a decision. We did not know what to do. Appointments had fallen through and our spirits were low. I was ranting to Elder Koetting about how there are people prepared, people we can help, right here in this area, right now! Saying "how do we find them?!" Meanwhile Elder Koetting was saying a silent prayer, making a promise to the Lord that he would be better about working out in the morning if the Lord could just make something happen. Our desperate cries were heard. Seconds later, a thugged out, tattooed, tank top wearing, monster energy drinking, miracle appeared next to us. He says hey are you guys Mormons? We answer in the affirmative and ask him some simple questions. Come to find out, this man lived in Utah at one point. Took lessons from the missionaries. I said to him "But then you stopped when you moved out here?" He said "Ya...But I need to start it up again...I need you guys to pick me back up." In our moment of desperation, God answered our prayers. "God's opportunity, is man's extremity".

This was one of the many miracles and tender mercies we experienced this week. I love being a servant of the Lord. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ.  

Thursday, July 11, 2013

D & C 15:6

D & C 15:6  And now, behold, I say unto you, that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to adeclare brepentance unto this people, that you may bring csouls unto me, that you may drest with them in the ekingdom of my fFather. Amen.

Hey! This week was just a rollercoaster ride.

On Thursday we had transfers. We went to the transfer point (our church building) and said goodbye to the missionaries leaving our district. Elder Prestwich, Elder Atkin, Elder Hironymous, Sister Newman, and Sister Nelson. It was a sad day. We've all had such an awesome time here together in Bentonville. I still remember back in April when we all got shotgunned in here and had no idea what was going on haha. So it was sad sending them off. But at transfer point we got to welcome new missionaries, new district members, and old friends! I saw Elder Andra! It's always so awesome seeing him. He's going home in four months! And I was with him for his year mark!!!!! I can't believe that. Time moves too fast.

Thursday was also the 4th of July which was awesome. The whole day was pretty rough because everyone was out at parties/super busy/on vacation. But at night we went over to Orchards Park where they have like a fireworks show and just like everyone in Bentonville shows up. So we went and when we got there, there were some people from the 1st ward and the 1st ward missionaries playing volleyball so we joined in. After a little bit we noticed a kid who was playing that no one recognized. We introduced ourselves and he started asking questions. SO many questions haha. It was so awesome. I quote "so you guys just go around like talking to people about Jesus?" Me: "Yup pretty much". Kid: "you should talk to me about Jesus.” This kid literally invites US to teach HIM! It was so awesome. He loved us so much. He loves the restoration of the gospel. We taught him about the restoration got his number and now he's in contact with the Springdale missionaries. Such an awesome experience.

This week also had it's rough times. Our investigator, XXXX, isn't progressing very well. She's having a really hard time accepting our message. XXX is ridiculously busy with the move and doesn't have time to meet with us :( We have tracted soooo much of this town. Probably the majority of the streets in our area. We are having a really hard time finding new people to teach. But things are looking up! We had a great day yesterday. Our neighbors the XXXXX have a kid living with them. The XXXXXs are members and the kid living with them isn't. He used to be an investigator but some stuff happened that cause him to stop. Yesterday we were able to spend some time with the XXXXXs and XXX. We are making him our priority. Miracles are going to happen this transfer. There are people out there willing to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. And He will guide you to them. I love being a servant of the Lord :)

Elder Sherwood

Monday, July 1, 2013

Genesis 18:19 (substitute Abraham with own name)

I'M STAYING IN BENTONVILLE! Ah so happy. Both Elder Koetting and I are staying here in Bentonville for another 6 weeks. We are so excited. I love this town. This week was a pretty good week. We were able to go on a ton of exchanges with the youth and a couple of kids that are getting ready to serve missions. They are so excited and it's awesome because they love coming out with us and doing whatever we are doing haha.

Oh man my crash last monday was SWEET! I've low key always wanted that to happen to me. Literally seconds before the crash I thought to myself, as I saw this girl get out of her car onto the sidewalk, man how funny would it be if that happend to me right now. Sadly, the lady didn't seem as interested in the gospel as she did about my bike and my physical wellbeing. I was totally fine haha. If I had been like 1 second behind where I was, that door would have been comin off that car, no doubt, no doubt in my mind (Rico).

After that social broadcast last week we have determined to not tract as much. We miss it. We love tracting. But there are much more productive things we can do with our time for sure. The work here in the buckle of the bible belt is difficult. Let me tell you. But it has increased my testimony so much. A member told us the other day an interesting idea. When we pray and ask for patience, or more faith or whatever, God gives us a trial to learn patience or faith or what have you. Trials are how we grow. Everyday is a trial here. Everyday we get rejected. But weeks of no's are all worth one yes. It's so disheartening when I have this knowledge. This indescribable peace. When I testify of what I know is true and I know that the Spirit is there! And someone still chooses to decline our invitations. Our invitation is not to believe what we believe because we say so. Our invitation is to understand the magnitude of our message, how we know it can bless your life, and then to simply find out for yourself. We put the evidence of our beliefs in the hands of all who wish to hold it, and say, here, put it to the test. And we can do so because of the powerful witness of truth that we have received. That I have received. I know that Jesus is the Christ, our savior, redeemer, and friend. I know that any challenge or problem we face can be made bareable and strengthening if we rely on Him. And I know this because of the Book of Mormon. It's true. It is what it claims to be. And all people can have the same knowledge. I love being a servant of the Lord. There never was or could be a better job in the world.

Ok gotta go! Love you all so much! :) have a good week :)

Genesis 18:19
19 For I aknow him, that he will bcommand his cchildren and hisdhousehold after him, and they shall ekeep the way of the Lord, to do justice and fjudgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.