Monday, August 5, 2013

Week 9- Gilbert

good to hear from you. and keep up the updates. i love them. maybe pictures even? deal. Anyway... That's awesome that so many people were able to show up at the family reunion. It all sounds like a ton of fun! yeah it's weird that school starts so early. it starts really early here too. it starts this wednesday, august 7. but we love it because that means there are actually people in Arizona! If i didn't tell you already, a lot of people like to leave Arizona in the summer because it's really hot. and humid too. i don't think i told you how humid it was. only in august and september though. and there are monsoons too. weird huh? so basically it's really hot and it pours rain once every couple weeks. haven't seen a haboob though... A haboob is a huge dust storm thing that looks like a wall of sand coming at you. I don't think i'm spelling it right either, so i wouldn't look it up until you can spell it right haha. ANYWAY...
All is well in Gilbert! We gained two new investigators this week so we're excited. and that guy named marshall that we taught last week, we taught this week too. He wasn't super engaged last lesson, but the spirit was strong toward the end of the lesson. we gave him a soft commit, and he said when he comes to know it's true, he'll get baptized. Which is a miracle in itself because He's been catholic all of his life (which is a pretty long time). But we have another lesson with him this week and we're hoping to have a church tour with him this week. Hopefully he'll accept an invitation to church this week too! just this last lesson we taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Anyway i know that was super jumbled, but i don't really have time to go back and make it understandable so that'll have to work. But Marshall is are most hopeful investigator right now. so if you want someone to pray for... there ya go haha. We went on exchanges the other day and came across someone that accepted a book of mormon but we didn't have one with us so we said we'd drop one by this week. So we're praying for success with him. We also have a super good potential investigator that we were supposed to have a lesson with this week but it fell through. We hope to meet with her this week. The work is definitely progressing in this area! The Lord is really blessing us through our patience and dilligence! it's so cool to see the development of the area over the past six weeks that elder cook and i have been here. The Lord has really used us to completely change the area. And the zone for that matter. we came into the val vista zone, which is a new zone (but the areas aren't new, just reorganized into a new zone) with only one progressing investigator. but everything is changing rapidly! We're pumped.
I don't need a raincoat. I'm just enduring through the random rain. It doesn't come often enough to need a raincoat. So i don't really need it yet. The arizonans say that it doesn't even BEGIN to cool down until halloween so i'm in for a treat. But when it does i'll probably need some conservative v-neck sweaters. and maybe a windbreaker or something. But not for a while.
Anyway... I hope the family is keeping the commitments I've been sending! I know they are sometimes hard but push forward! I'm super pumped that you are encouraging your seminary students to invite nonmembers to activities. it's all about inviting. Our purpose as missionaries is to "invite others to come unto Christ..." Everyone has their agency. It's one of the gifts we are given in this life to allow us to progress. So people are going to say no to the invites. It's going to happen. But that should never stop us from continuing to invite. the invite is the success, not the fact that they come or not. They are not going to get offended when we invite either. We learned from Elder Nelson in the broadcast weeks ago that if we invite our friends out of pure love for that person to come unto Christ, they cannot and will not be offended. Role play with them if you can. Role play with dad. and with the kids. By role playing, we get the lame invites out of our system and learn how to do it well. PMG teaches us to role play a ton.  Show them that video of the one black kid that changed his teachers quorum from just him, to like fifteen people.
Sorry for going off on tangents.
Love, Elder Bronson 

Parker writes about a 'monsoon' that happened where him and his companion were totally drenched and had to go home to dry their clothes.

At the temple

Week 8- Gilbert

good to hear Ryan came home and gave an awesome homecoming talk. believe it or not I actually did write him once... but i forgot to send it. It sat in my scriptures for about a year. I can't remember where I put it but i definitely lost it. I wrote it at efy like two years ago haha. Anyway...  that doesnt' mean he can't write me!! he's got it all backwards. he has to write me first!\
Thanks for the thought. It's definitely true that we need to be positive even if difficulties lie ahead. All good thoughts. I kinda have something that kinda goes along the lines of that haha but I think that Alma 26 is one of the greatest chapters in the book of mormon. At least missionary related. All of Alma is missionary related but anyway... Alma 26 is about Ammon as you know. but there is a ton of good stuff in it. especially toward the end when it says "and the lord comforted us and said: 'bear with patience thine afflictions, and i will grant unto thee success.'" totally applicable. The work is tough. especially during the arizona summer. not the heat though, that's easy. but the members. not even the members but all of Arizona. they are all gone! haha they call them snowbirds. They leave during the summer and don't come back until it's cool again. But basically 1/3 of the ward comes to sacrament every sunday, and 2/3 are out of town. So those are our afflictions. It causes the work to sometimes be tough. But we've worked with patience and dilligence and faith (D&C 4 and Alma 26), and we were able to see success. and are looking forward to more success. Elder Cook and I were able to have a lesson with a guy named marshall. he's about mid forties. We did some service for him a couple weeks ago and we were able to get in with him. we taught the restoration. He's a lifelong catholic but it didn't even matter. the spirit was there and super strong toward the end when we got into the restoration. It was so awesome. They just stare at you without blinking when you are quoting joseph's experience. I love it. But anyway he said that he'd read the book of mormon and pray about it. We gave him a soft commit too ( that's basically like, "When you come to know that the bom is true, will you follow the example of jesus christ and be baptized by proper authority?") And he said yes so we'll see how it goes! But we have two more lessons set up this week with two other investigators, so we are seeing the work pick up and we're super excited! But it's all about the members! read pmg and it'll tell you the same thing! but definitely in this area. \
Elder Cook and I are happy to see the work pick up. There are a few people in our area desiring to come back to activity and so we are working on them slowly but surely! and we had an awesome lesson with a new investigator last week! his name is marshall. and a couple more lessons set up this week with other investigators. We're excited. Anyway love ya Court! but you are definitely right. never let doubt or discouragement creep in. Discouragement can result in a decrease of faith. never doubt. coolest quote ever ready? I'm sure you've heard it and i'm sure i'll butcher it but... Elder Holland, "for two hundred years this book (book of mormon) has been examined, and attacked... but i'm sticking to what my great grandfather said 'no wicked man could write such a book. and no good man would. unless it were true. and he were commanded of God to do so." It's wayyyyyy better when you hear holland say it so look it up! good stuff though!
Also as a ward missionary, when you are trying to get members excited, look in the first chapter of preach my gospel. there are a bunch of quotes from all of the prophets about member missionary work. some of them inspire, others condemn. but my favorite one (which is kinda condemning) is by President Hunter, "When you feel the blessings of the atonement in your life, you cannot help but have a concern for the welfare of others. A good indicator of your personal conversion is your desire to share the Gospel with others." Use PMG.  
Maybe you could start incorporating pmg into family night, or nightly scripture study. but there are some quotes in the first chapter from each latter-day prophet about member missionary work. some of them are so awesome, and slightly condemning haha but my favorite one is the one by president Hunter (I actually shared it with court already too but...). It says, "When you feel the blessings of the atonement in your life, you cannot help but have a concern for the welfare of others. A good indicator of your personal conversion is your desire to share the gospel with others.) Pretty intense, huh? i think so! but anyway  love you lots! keep writing!
Love, Elder Bronson

Week 7- Gilbert

good to hear you are having so  much fun without me! haha just kidding. that is so awesome to hear that valerie got married! and that whole member missionary story is truly incredible. all the connections!
i'm glad you're sending more letters.. i like letters.. i never told you about the ties because i didn't get them until like tuesday so i didn't have a pday to write to you about them! but i love them! except one of them lost its color the other day when we got attacked by a monsoon. it was pretty awesome. We were just riding our bikes and some guy was like "you should probably get inside, the storm's about to hit." Obviously we shrugged it off because it looked fine outside. and then... we immediately got hit by a gust of wind and couldn't hear anything that we were saying to each other. Elder Cook and I went into the nearest house which happened to be where other missionaries in the mission were staying. but they weren't there. and then on the way back to the apartment from the wml's house we got hit by the rainstorm. pretty eventful day. We had to hang all of our stuff up because it was all soaked haha. arizona's got a monsoon season if you didn't know! haha. yeah don't worry about the water thing. members take care of us. yeah i've met with president a few times. Elder Cook and I always seem to be the ones that run into him. We've had a few ten minute conversations with him completely by accident when others have barely met him haha. good to hear Ryan's back! tell him hi for me!
none of the following missionary lingo will make sense to you but here we go. and it's gonna be quick because i'm out of time but..
yesterday we had to get 47 oyms to achieve standard of excellence. Elder Ballard said if you talk to 20 people a day then you'll qualify for blessings in the future. So we have been getting standard of excellence in oyms every week. but this week we were at 93 and had to get 47 more yesterday. and yesterday was a sunday. We couldn't get out of church until about 4 and then dinner was at 5, and we had a member visit at 8, so we basically had about two hours to actually be able to contact people. But we prayed super fervently and i did personally a ton on saturday night as well. This is the Lord's work. And if we're praying for help with His work, he's definitely going to give it to us. as long as we do so with real intent, having FAITH. which is key. So on the way to church we usually see 1-2 people we can talk to. But we saw 10. right then i knew the Lord was helping us. it was awesome. And then long story short, we were able to get our 47 oyms by the end of the night, with only having like two hours to do it. it was crazy. awesome actually. prayer works. tell your friends hahaha. anyway, while getting oyms the yesterday, we came across a guy that we've talked to a ton before. His name is renee. he walks his dog like every night so we always see him and talked to him. We've testified and taught him like the first two times that we saw him, but he's not ready yet. he's got it in him though so i guarantee that he'll become a member at some point in his life. but anyway, we talked to him for a while again and i don't remember what the context of the conversation was but i said to him something like "well we got you out there helping us proselyte right?" and he was like "well what would you want me to say to people, something like 'i know a couple guys that can help you out' " and we were like "YEAH THAT'S PERFECT!" so we basically have a nonmember helping us out now haha. we'll see how it goes. pretty awesome though.
anyway that was not short at all haha oops.
Gotta go love you mom! and everyone else!
Love, Elder Bronson