Monday, January 30, 2017

E-mail 01/30/2017

(Ok, this week deserves this) WOW! WHAT A WEEK!

So we found out about this for sure on Thursday, but Monday evening, Elder Harris and I were picked up by the assistants and I was dropped off in Madisonville to be in a trio with Elder Matealu and his trainee Elder Ludwig here and the other three went to Louisville because Elder Harris went home on Tuesday due to medical reasons, so I will be here until the end of February and then I will reopen Henderson with someone else. So, down side of this situation, Elder Harris had to go home, up side, I get to be companions with one of the best missionaries I know and watch him train too.

Tuesday, we went and worked with this couple with the Churches ARP. The other two have worked with them on this before and the couple seem to enjoy the program. After that, Elder Matealu had a district leader's conference call, then we went to the Salvation Army and did service there. Next we went tracting and was blessed with one of those last door stories. The man who answered the door had a huge grin on his face and was very polite and welcomed us in but excused himself to finish something. So we sat there looking around and see all sorts of religious things and said to each other, "This is going to be very good or we're about to get into a bash." Well when he came back he just asked questions like, "why do you believe what you believe", and "Why did you choose to go on a mission", and "how has believing this helped you." All very good questions, because he really wanted to know, so as we answered his questions we also shared the Restoration with him and he even agreed to read the Book of Mormon. Well after that awesome experience, we had dinner then went and taught one of there most progressing investigators (someone that I taught last week on the exchange), and afterwards something got brought up about Yu-Gi-Oh and he found out that the other two had decks so he gave each of us, what I believe to be, a very good card in the game, so to be polite I took it but was thinking to myself "I have no idea what I'm going to do with this." Oh well, it made him feel good.
To finish off the night, we had dinner with members, then played a board game with them.

Wednesday, was the day things got really exciting, we went to the church and watched the World Wide Missionary Training. The first part was a review of last year's training with some extra insights. Two of the things that really stuck out with me was something Elder Bednar said to the question, “How does a missionary know if he is being effective?” he said "Don't worry about it, if you are doing what you're supposed to be doing then the Lord will take care of the rest." Second, to answer the question, “How do I know if something is by the spirit or if it's just me?” Again Elder Bednar said "You don't need to know, if it leads you or others to do good then it doesn't matter," then quoting an apostle from before my time (I'll get the exact reference later) he said "You will know it was by the spirit if you learn something from what you say." The whole thing was amazing and I will definitely study it again. Then at the end they gave the announcements in regards to updates on how we do missionary work. The first is the key indicators, we are now only accounting on four of them, not to forget the rest, but these are the ones that if we focus on and prayerfully and effectively work on, we will see great success. These being: Investigators Baptized and Confirmed, New Investigators, Investigators with a Baptismal date, Investigators who Attended Sacrament Meeting. Also, Mission Presidents are not allowed to make new key indicators for their missions. The next change was to the daily schedule, the two biggest things being, instead of planning at night we do it from 8:30-9 a.m., then do personal Study from 9-10 a.m. Then on Preparation Day, we study from 7:30-8 a.m. Then we are open to do what we need to from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. So it has been interesting adjusting to it.
Then that evening we drove to a town in the very south west corner of the mission. We first stopped by an appointment we had with a lady and her kids, but the lady wasn't there and her mom wasn't up to meeting with us because she had gone through chemo so she was exhausted. Quickly, Elder Matealu explained priesthood blessings and asked if she would like one, and she gladly accepted and was really grateful afterwards. Then we had a lesson with a less active that had lost her mom last year and was still having trouble with it, so we taught a very powerful Plan of Salvation lesson and helped her work through some of the stuff and helped her figure out some of the root problems.
We then drove all the way back to Madisonville and went to the church to have coordination meeting and was able to meet many of the members who were there with the youth, and I didn't even have to seek out my victim of who I would torment because he came to me trying to act all tough and smart, so this will be fun, him trying to get the upper hand, well I gave him a hard time.
Then to top off the night we went to a less active members home and gave the husband a blessing because he hadn't been feeling well all day. It was fun, when we got there they had a friend over and the husband introduced us, and his friend told us he knew who we were because he is a member, and the member we were there to see got a little upset with him because he never told him, then his wife said that she knew, and he was like, "No one tells me anything!" But it was all in good fun.

Thursday, in the morning we helped a member in his barn/shed cleaning, organizing(ish), and packing insulation. Then we saw the investigator who is getting baptized in a few weeks, he's really funny and they're having him brush his teeth with cinnamon toothpaste so he thinks of them every morning ;) Then we visited the less actives from the night before and had a great discussion about the Plan of Salvation. From there we dashed to a member's home and had dinner with them, which by the way, was really good. From there we went to our Yu-Gi-Oh loving investigator and as we were sitting down to talk, one of the other people that live at the same facility asked if he could join. As we were talking, the other guy made a comment about how he sees God and the purpose of life, then before any of us can say anything our investigator replies to him with a short, simplified, but powerful explanation of the Plan of Salvation, and before this guy left we gave him a Plan of Salvation pamphlet.

Friday, we had a lesson with a guy we met in a parking lot the night before, and this guy had prepared a lot of anti, the two problems with that is one, we could rip it apart, and two he had anti for the Jehovah's Witnesses, so that was funny, and we had a good lesson with him.
We then had weekly planning, tried by some people, then had dinner with some members that made really good hamburgers with a fried egg in the burger, it was amazing.

Saturday, we did a LOT of driving, first we met a member at a former investigator's house and spent most of the time clarifying questions they had from the last set of missionaries that taught them. Then we drove to the edge of our area trying to find some less actives and had two impromptu lessons with random people we met. After that we drove back to the church in Madisonville and just as we were pulling in a member called us asking for help because his roommate had just gotten a call that his mom had passed away, so we dashed over there and was able to give him comfort through the Plan of Salvation that helped him out a lot. From there we dashed to a different members home and he went out teaching with us and drove us around, he showed us some of the land that he owned and some of the stuff on it, then unfortunately both appointments fell through, but we did find out that he is a very prominent person in the area. We then went home and had dinner.

Sunday, Church was good, I got to meet the rest of the ward and we had two investigators there. It's awesome how missionary minded people they are around here. Anyway, after church we went home and spent the rest of the day inside because we figured we had earned it from all the work that we did this week ;) Na! We did stay inside, but it was because Elder Ludwig has been fighting some sort of stomach bug for the last few days and it hit him really hard Sunday so we decided to let him rest.

Well, that was my fun and exciting week.

Love y'all!
Elder Durrant
Great Kentucky Louisville Mission

Monday, January 23, 2017

E-mail 01/22/2017

You know, I've heard that Mother Nature once said "You can't fit all three seasons in one week." Well Indiana/Kentucky replied "challenge accepted!" This week went from the 30's to the mid 70's in a matter of days, and now it's leveling off at about 50 degrees.

So not a whole lot happened this week, but we did get to go on an exchange Thursday. I went to Madisonville with Elder Matealu, and we did what we could, but he was having some leg problems so we weren't able to get everything done that he was hoping for. But first we went to the Salvation Army to do some service (apparently the Salvation Army is a church, who knew?), they have a place like the D.I. It was fun and everyone was joking around, but there was this one guy that saw me and must have thought "fresh meat" or something, so he was trying to give me a hard time, but I gave him a good run for his money and he only stumped me once, so if someone could please explain to me how 2 and 2 = 24, I would be very appreciative. Then that evening we went to see one of their investigators who live at a place where everyone is not completely there but enough so that they can still interact with others. After we taught him a super cool lesson, his roommate wanted to show off his Yo-Gi-Oh cards and wanted to play Elder Matealu with his best deck. He told him if Elder Matealu beat him with that deck he could keep the one that he used to do it. The guy we taught wanted to show me his, but I was glad he didn't ask me if I wanted to play because I don't know how to. Well when we left Elder Matealu had a new deck of cards and I still didn't know how to play.

Friday, we had district meeting and the zone leaders came so we got a picture of the three stooges.

Saturday, we had lunch with the zone leaders at this little family Mexican place and it was really good. I got this massive burrito that filled be up, and then when we went to pay, the guy said someone else had already paid for us, that was really nice and awesome of whoever did it. We then spent the rest of the day seeing people and getting stuff done.

That's the highlights of my week.

Love y'all!
Elder Durrant
Great Kentucky Louisville Mission

Front row, left to right: Elder Lundgreen, Elder McIntosh,
Elder Grossman (ZL), Elder Matealu
Back row, left to right : Elder Ludwig, Elder Durrant,
Elder Harris, Elder Robinson (ZL)
The three stooges are back together!
Elder Durrant, Elder Matealu, & Elder Robinson (ZL) 
This is a picture of one of the lizards we feed 
at a place where we do service.

Monday, January 16, 2017

E-mail 01/16/2017

Goodbye Tell City IN, hello Henderson KY.

So besides transfers, not much happened this week, so I'll tell you about transfers.

I had been originally told that the Elder leaving Henderson would come up to Tell City and I would go back with his ride, simple enough. But NO; something had to happen so I ended up going all the way to Louisville and then getting a ride all the way back. I really didn't mind because I got to see some people that were there that I hadn't seen in a while. On the car ride back I got to ride with Elder Robinson who I hadn't been around in almost a year so that was a lot of fun we able to catch up.

The rest of my week has been filled with driving, rain, and heavy wind. But another upside, I get to be in the same district as Elder Matealu, and he is my district leader.

One last exciting turn of events, I forgot my shaver in Tell City and it will be a couple weeks before I can get it back so I had to go to the store and buy some razors and shaving cream, it is not fun at all bleeding from the face daily. I also found out that my blood only stains not purify, oh well.

Love y'all!
Elder Durrant
Great Kentucky Louisville Mission

Monday, January 9, 2017

E-mail 01/09/2017

Good by 50 degree weather, hello -5 degrees 

Tuesday, we were trying by a ton of potential investigators and were able to set up some return appointments, and that was pretty much our day, walking until we were too tired to walk anymore.

Wednesday, we had dinner with a less active and he was friendly, said we can come back but made it quite clear that he had no interest in coming back to church, so that is unfortunate. Afterwards we went to the older couples home and played cards and that's always a ton of fun.

Thursday, we had the first snow storm of the season, and by snow storm I mean we got between 1/4 to 1/2 inch of snow, but all the schools were closed for the day and it got really cold. We did our weekly planning, then tried by the return appointments we had set up but they all fell through.

Friday, it was really cold again, like single digits to the negatives with a wind chill. Well we had Zone Meeting, that was great, then in the evening we had dinner with a less active part member family, mmm meatloaf! Well we have been working with them and are now getting a consistent schedule with them.

Saturday, we decided we hadn't been to Kentucky in a while, so there were people we went to see/find and as we were driving we got a text, I am being transferred to Henderson Kentucky.  So I am staying in the zone just a different district. We stopped by some people letting them know, then I spent the last bit of the evening packing.

Sunday, I got to let everyone know I was leaving, it felt good everyone telling me I'd be missed, but the one that always makes me feel great is when the Bishop/Branch President tells you that they appreciate all the work you've done there. Then we were going to go see the Mitchell's that we have been teaching, but he let us know that she was feeling sick so we rescheduled for next week, so we went to the other Mitchell's and visited with them for a little bit.

Now today is consisting of finishing packing.

Love y'all!
Elder Durrant
Great Kentucky Louisville Mission

Me, Elder Matealu, and Elder Mcintosh

Saturday morning

My Christmas tree

Brother Embrey, Me
 (no one thought to tell me my hair was a mess) 
Sister Embery
Sister Skeen (the RS president) and I
This is the other Mitchell family
Best one, because I was the only one that knew 
it was being done, everyone else didn't.
Brother Leibering, Me, Sister Leibering
Elder and Sister Reed, and of course Me.
The Zone

Monday, January 2, 2017

E-mail 01/02/2017

Wow! I can't believe I haven't talked with y'all since last year! I really need to do better at that.

Tuesday, we drove up to Jasper and on the way up, the assistants texted (they being the other Elder's transportation) and said they would be late, so we hung out at the apartment until they got there. After that we went home but took a detour to stop at a members home. Since the GPS was set for the shortest distance we got to go on some interesting back roads. In the end we made it home safe. That evening we walked a dog with a former investigator that we ran into at Wal-Mart and got to know her. It's funny, we met her husband and he looks just like "The Dude" aka Jeffrey Lebowski.

Wednesday, we walked the dog again, and played cards, turns out Elder Hendricks is really good at Phase 10.

Thursday, we had our weekly planning, then got stood up by a couple people.

Friday, we had district meeting and Elder Permann had everyone give a short training on the Christlike attributes, so our 1 1/2 hour meeting turned into a little over 2 hours. Later our appointment texted us and they had to reschedule, and then to top of the day I cut Elder Hendricks' hair.

Saturday, we went and visited with some of the members that lived way out there, that have fun talking with us, and he showed us some guns he recently bought. We went and visited with some other members, then went in and listened to the fireworks that went off at midnight. That was much nicer to hear then gunshots going off at midnight like last year.

Sunday, church was interesting, not only was there not very many people there because people are getting sick left and right (no, neither one of us are), plus with it being New Years, lots of people probably slept in. Also it wasn't announced last week that it wasn't going to be fast Sunday, so the branch president and one of His councilors gave talks. Then we went over to a members home and we ended up spending some time there fellowshipping because it was a family gathering and there were less actives we've been trying to work with and nonmembers there as well. Everything was going great until they brought out the karaoke things... and guess who everyone really wanted to hear sing? The missionaries. Well we kept declining and other people were singing and others were playing the guitar, then the thought stuck me, this would actually be a great way to build trust with everyone and the Mama would love it, so I swallowed my pride (that was really bitter) and sung “I need thee every hour” and I can't remember the other one.

Love y'all!
Elder Durrant
Great Kentucky Louisville Mission