It has been a good one!
As for updates on Ashleigh-- She is doing great! We taught her the Plan of Salvation on Monday, and then she went to FHE. On Thursday, we taught her again, and set the date for August 16th for baptism! We had had a huge concern that she works on Sundays and wouldn't be able to come to church. But she told us that she talked to her manager, and was able to get Sunday mornings off! So that's a huge step forward. She went to Institute following the lesson, and had a great time. She texted us during the week and told us she had taken August 16th off of work for her baptism! That's going really well.
On Tuesday we went on splits with some guys in the ward, Jake and Isaac. Jake and I went tracting in an apartment complex in the area, and talked to a lot of people. We didn't teach, unfortunately, but it was still good! Jake served his mission in Barcelona, Spain, so we jumped at the opportunity to talk to a Mexican family when we heard them speaking Spanish! That was really fun.
On Wednesday we went on exchanges with the Assistants. I joined Elder Whiteley in their area. We taught quite a bit and did some good contacting. I learned a lot, and that was a good day. In our area, Elder Rosequist and Elder Jacobson taught 5 lessons tracting with the survey!
The Fourth was a big planning day for us. Fridays are normally our weekly planning days, and this Friday was no exception. We planned all morning for our own area, then had some lunch. After that, we drove some of the other elders to a parade where they were giving service at the Church's booth, and then got back to planning. We did a lot of planning for the Zone. We are trying to cast a zone vision and set goals to reach it. We spent most of the day doing that, and made a whole lot of progress. In the evening, we went to a barbeque at a member of the bishopric's house, then had some ice cream at another member's barbeque. At night, the city fireworks were right beside our apartment complex, so we saw them by just stepping outside! I have two ties that Elder Rosequist and I wore that day. One is red and white striped, and the other is blue with white polka dots. It was pretty patriotic, if I do say so myself...
The next day we had some great success finding! We tracted into a man named Bob who told us he was an inactive member. We exhorted him to honor his covenants in a kindly manner. Then just across the hall from him, we tracted into a girl named Karen. She was super prepared for the Restored Gospel! She told us she was looking for a Church. We taught her about the Restoration. She said she believes it could be true. She told us that if she found out it was true, she would be baptized into the Lord's restored Church. We left her with a Book of Mormon, and she was excited to read! She isn't a young single adult, though, so there won't be too many more updates on her before she's handed off to the family ward. But it was great to find her!!
Yesterday we had a great first lesson with a man named Ron. He was waxing his car outside his house, and we asked him to take the survey. All the while when he was taking the survey, he kept elaborating on his answers, explaining that there were different versions of the Bible, and asking questions like, "Why are there so many different Churches?" Of course we had to teach him. He still had a way to go before he finished waxing his car, so he was trapped. We taught him about how the Lord teaches us the Gospel through prophets, about priesthood authority, and about the mission of the Savior. He was shocked that we had the same beliefs regarding Jesus Christ and His Atonement. He had known a lot of members of the Church in his lifetime, but he didn't know we had those fundamental Christian beliefs. Glad we cleared that one up. We taught him about the Restoration of the Gospel through the Prophet Joseph Smith and the translation of the Book of Mormon. He listened as he waxed, and asked us a lot of questions. Lastly, we testified that there is a prophet on the earth today. He said, "Wait. So-- you're telling me that there's a prophet now. 2014." I told him yes. "What's his name?" I told him, "Thomas Monson." He said he'd never heard of him. Then he stood in silence, and there was something big churning up inside his head. Finally he said, "Wow. I've-- No one has ever told me there's a prophet. I'll tell you what. What was his name?" We told him. He said, "Okay. I won't even look him up online. I'm just going to pray about it. I'll ask God if he really is a prophet. Then you guys can call me on Wednesday." I asked him why he wanted to know if he was a prophet. "Well, I'd want to know what he has to say! If it's true, it opens up a whole new door for me and my family." We testified that it would be important, and it would make all the difference in the world for his family if he found out our message was true. We invited him to say a prayer to close the lesson. He did, and it was very sincere.
A great week! I love you all and hope you're having amazing missionary experiences of your own. Choose the right!
A thought from Mom:
“Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men.” ~ John F. Kennedy